Discussion:
Rest of the world
(too old to reply)
Paul Prescod
2001-09-14 16:46:35 UTC
Permalink
Is there any news going on in the world that doesn't involve the
bombing? If I were a dictator I would use this opportunity to round up
opponents, confident that the US media is too preoccupied to report and
the international diplomatic community to busy to rebuke.
--
Paul Prescod
Bill Humphries
2001-09-14 16:58:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
Is there any news going on in the world that doesn't involve the
bombing? If I were a dictator I would use this opportunity to round up
opponents, confident that the US media is too preoccupied to report and
the international diplomatic community to busy to rebuke.
At the risk of setting off an already hyper-stable John Hall, it appears
from reports I've heard that the Israeli government is taking advantage of
the situation to crack down on their little rebellion in the territories.

I've heard nothing on the so-called 'missionaries' the Tailiban are
holding, the fate of the westerners held by bin Laden's associates in the
Philippines, or the Christian/Muslim fighting in Nigeria, nor the
secessionist islands in Indonesia.

=== Bill Humphries | http://www.whump.com/moreLikeThis/ ===
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty or safety." -- Benjamin Franklin, _Historical
Review of Pennsylvania_
John Hall
2001-09-14 17:19:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Humphries
At the risk of setting off an already hyper-stable John Hall,
it appears from reports I've heard that the Israeli government is
taking
Post by Bill Humphries
advantage of the situation to crack down on their little rebellion in
the
Post by Bill Humphries
territories.
Set off?

Actually, I'm a little surprised the Israelis haven't done more. Then
again, they are probably right. I fully expect them to crack down more
severely, but they look like they will ease into it.
Russell Turpin
2001-09-14 18:51:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
Actually, I'm a little surprised the Israelis haven't
done more. Then again, they are probably right. ..
Of course they are "right." Israel was immaculately
conceived, all military actions they have made were
necessary and justified, state religion is a good
idea, the Palestinians have no legitimate grievance,
and they act solely from their inherent evil.

We know the catechism. Good luck finding a
choir.

Russell
John Hall
2001-09-14 18:51:12 UTC
Permalink
Behalf Of Russell Turpin
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2001 11:51 AM
Subject: Re: Rest of the world
Israel was immaculately
conceived,
It was messy.
all military actions they have made were
necessary and justified,
Almost all justified, I can think of some counter-productive ones.
state religion is a good idea,
Not usually.
the Palestinians have no legitimate grievance,
and they act solely from their inherent evil.
Basically.
Paul Prescod
2001-09-14 19:12:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
...
Post by Russell Turpin
the Palestinians have no legitimate grievance,
and they act solely from their inherent evil.
Basically.
This is so over the top that I'd appreciate if you could justify it.
--
Paul Prescod
Russell Turpin
2001-09-14 20:08:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
.. state religion is a good idea ..
Not usually.
I cannot resist asking: When do you think
state religion is a good idea??

Russell
Gary Lawrence Murphy
2001-09-14 20:52:11 UTC
Permalink
R> I cannot resist asking: When do you think state religion is a
R> good idea??

It worked pretty darn well for thousands of years in pre-Tut Egypt
and in pre-Roman Greece. Personally, I blame the Rosetta Stone for
why it can't work in the Industrial/Information Ages.

Isn't Economics a religion?
--
Gary Lawrence Murphy <***@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 20:53:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
R> I cannot resist asking: When do you think state religion is a
R> good idea??
It worked pretty darn well for thousands of years in pre-Tut Egypt
and in pre-Roman Greece. Personally, I blame the Rosetta Stone for
why it can't work in the Industrial/Information Ages.
Isn't Economics a religion?
Push on that a little. It's perhaps an interesting point, if there's any
depth to your assertion. On the face, though, it's clear that economics
isn't a religion --- it doesn't seek to explain things with motivated, aware
supernatural forces.

jb
Gary Lawrence Murphy
2001-09-14 21:12:23 UTC
Permalink
R> I cannot resist asking: When do you think state religion is a
R> good idea??
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Isn't Economics a religion?
J> Push on that a little. It's perhaps an interesting point, if
J> there's any depth to your assertion. On the face, though, it's
J> clear that economics isn't a religion --- it doesn't seek to
J> explain things with motivated, aware supernatural forces.

Oh good. I was worried. So tell me, what _is_ the Dow Jones
Industrial Average _really_? The S&P? Also, while you're at it, how
do Domestic Investments people predict the yield curve into 2035?
(futures arbitrage depends on such values)

Investors certainly _talk_ of these things as if they were aware ("I
wonder what the DJIA is going to do today?" "I hope the unemployment
rate likes me" or "this is my lucky set of suspenders") and when I
compare this to the Iablicus (aka Abbammon) explanation of "daemons"
as "natural forces we cannot command" (ie, he, as high priest of
Egypt, did not really think natural forces were especially 'alive') or
Albert Einstein asking us to ask if the "Universe likes us" well ...

Ok, I'm no MBA, but when I worked for DI at the bank of Montreal, it
sure _seemed_ supernatural with a hint of necromancy to me ;)
--
Gary Lawrence Murphy <***@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 22:03:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Oh good. I was worried. So tell me, what _is_ the Dow Jones
Industrial Average _really_? The S&P?
These are *measurable* net effects of *real, observable* collective
behavior.
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Also, while you're at it, how
do Domestic Investments people predict the yield curve into 2035?
(futures arbitrage depends on such values)
There's no more sense in your implication here than if you were asserting
that the reason a stone dropped falls to the earth is through the action of
daemons. One big difference between science and religion is that science
describes repeatable phenomenon in quantitative terms sufficient to make
predictions; even economics can do this, albeit to a much more limited
extent than, say, physics.
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Ok, I'm no MBA, but when I worked for DI at the bank of Montreal, it
sure _seemed_ supernatural with a hint of necromancy to me ;)
I'll grant that economics doesn't rise to the level of physics in describing
its particular set of phenomenon. But it's a far cry from religion...

jb
Gary Lawrence Murphy
2001-09-15 00:31:00 UTC
Permalink
If what Jeff says is true, why do Economists not agree on the future
whereas astronomers can pinpoint an asteroid in 2038.
--
Gary Lawrence Murphy <***@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
Russell Turpin
2001-09-15 00:48:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
If what Jeff says is true, why do Economists not
agree on the future whereas astronomers can
pinpoint an asteroid in 2038.
Some systems are more predictable than others.
Meteorologists can't tell how many hurricanes
will strike the US next year. Indeed, they have
only partial ability to tell where a hurricane today
will go tomorrow. And hurricanes are made of
the same atoms that physicists and chemists
study.

Russell
Gary Lawrence Murphy
2001-09-15 00:58:16 UTC
Permalink
Ok, a simpler question: what major phenomenon was successfully
predicted (not caused, like Black Monday) by economists? At least
Jeane Dixon successfully "predicted" the discovery of beta-carotine ;)

Anyway, Mayans had an airtight computable religion, a calendar of
reinforcement that lead to their untimely demise, so there goes the
unpredictable/unrepeatable argument against religion, and I will bet
most people who base their business ethics (which company to toast) on
"economic arguments" haven't a clue how to crunch more than a few
equations but depend, like the average Mayan citizen, on the
prophesies of their priest-class.

Whether or not you like it, it was a trick question: Economics _is_
our state religion. Science research in our universities is
constrained by economic interests (sponsors, patents ...), what our
scientists are permitted to say is true or is false is (at least in a
few proven instances) constrained no less than when the Pope put
Galileo under house arrest for his writings on atoms. To believe
otherwise is delusion.

Fortunately, this particular state religion is mediated by a wonderful
mix of traditional religions of all shapes and colours that permeates
even into the highest offices :)
--
Gary Lawrence Murphy <***@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 01:07:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Ok, a simpler question: what major phenomenon was successfully
predicted (not caused, like Black Monday) by economists? At least
Jeane Dixon successfully "predicted" the discovery of beta-carotine ;)
Economists working in financials fields predict short-term market movements
every day, with varying degrees of success; those working for major banking
and trading concerns lose their jobs if their predictions are not perceived
to be of value to their employers. (I will also point out that economics
has a weird constraint that's not shared to the same degree by other
sciences: specific predictive power in various economic contexts has
*immediate* and *significant* financial value, and this limits the openness
of the field.)

It's not black and white, Gary; economics is a new and still-developing
science; was chemistry a religion rather than a science before we
understood the structure of the atom? Economics is also unique in that it
deals with a phenomenon that is *hugely* multidimensional. Probabilistic
guesses about short term effects are the best we can do today. Just as
meteorologists can speak of short-term effects and long-term trends but not
specific events in the long term, so too is economics limited in its
predictive ability. Even so, it is FAR better a predictive mechanism than
any religious prophecies I'm aware of.

So do you want to argue that meteorology is also a religion?
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Whether or not you like it, it was a trick question: Economics _is_
our state religion.
This is baseless rhetoric. You have failed completely to support the
contention that economics is a religion. You've attacked whether or not
it's a science on the basis of an apparent lack of understanding of what
science *is* --- and failed at that, too.

G'bye.

jb
Paul Prescod
2001-09-15 01:22:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
...
Economists working in financials fields predict short-term market movements
every day, with varying degrees of success; those working for major banking
and trading concerns lose their jobs if their predictions are not perceived
to be of value to their employers. (I will also point out that economics
has a weird constraint that's not shared to the same degree by other
sciences: specific predictive power in various economic contexts has
*immediate* and *significant* financial value, and this limits the openness
of the field.)
Isn't the predictive power of short-term economics self-limited? If a
widely known economic model predicts that the market is going to bottom
out in six months then everyone will buy stocks five months from now.
Which means that the market will really bottom out in five months. So
publicizing a prediction can either reduce or increase its likelihood of
being accurate.

The more we (the public in general) know about short-term economics, the
less it is likely to behave like what we think we know.
--
Paul Prescod
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 01:37:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
Isn't the predictive power of short-term economics self-limited? If a
widely known economic model predicts that the market is going to bottom
out in six months then everyone will buy stocks five months from now.
Which means that the market will really bottom out in five months. So
publicizing a prediction can either reduce or increase its likelihood of
being accurate.
Yup. That's precisely the reason to limit the distribution of any predictive
models; the more people that are aware of them, the less useful they become.

jb
Russell Turpin
2001-09-15 02:04:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
Isn't the predictive power of short-term economics
self-limited? ..
Yup. That's precisely the reason to limit the
distribution of any predictive models; the more
people that are aware of them, the less useful
they become.
Well, clearly if you're the investor who has the
new model. There might be an argument that
the rapid spread of such models benefits the
economy as a whole, by improving the
decisions made by the investment and arbitrage
communities.

Russell
Paul Prescod
2001-09-15 02:45:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
...
Yup. That's precisely the reason to limit the distribution of any predictive
models; the more people that are aware of them, the less useful they become.
If the definition of "science" requires predictive power then economics
is a science as long as you don't publish what you learn! After you
publish it, it ceases to be predictive.
--
Paul Prescod
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 02:46:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
If the definition of "science" requires predictive power then economics
is a science as long as you don't publish what you learn! After you
publish it, it ceases to be predictive.
Yup, that's problematic. It limits the recognition of economics as a science, and
limits progress in economics *as* a science.

jb
Gary Lawrence Murphy
2001-09-15 01:32:13 UTC
Permalink
J> ... You have failed completely to support the contention that
J> economics is a religion.
and I will bet most people who base their business ethics
(which company to toast) on "economic arguments" haven't a clue
how to crunch more than a few equations but depend, like the
average Mayan citizen, on the prophesies of their priest-class.
g'day.
--
Gary Lawrence Murphy <***@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 00:51:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
If what Jeff says is true, why do Economists not agree on the future
whereas astronomers can pinpoint an asteroid in 2038.
Are you an idiot, or are you just playing one on FoRK? (As I sometimes do,
too. ;-)

(a) I've already said that economists admittedly do not have the level of
precision of physics, which of course includes orbital mechanics.

(b) Get together 10 astronomers / orbital mechanics experts and ask them to
"pinpoint an asteroid in 2038" --- by which I assume you mean determine its
orbital position --- and you're likely to get some amount of disagreement /
variation in precision of the answer. The magnitude of the variation in
predictions will be less for an orbital mechanics problem than for an
economic prediction, but there will still be some --- the n-body problem is
difficult.

(c) Science is about process, not outcome. The difference between
economics and religion is in process. Any real economist no matter how
dogmatic would toss out his or her own pet theory if the evidence
overwhelmingly favored some new theory which demonstrated better and more
accurate predictions. In this sense economics is very much a science. In
contrast, most religious "theories" of the world were made by primitives and
lunatics in the past and have shown an incredible resistance to revision;
further, they don't *predict* aspects of the world, they merely *explain*
them in a way that by definition CANNOT be subject to empirical
verification.

jb
Gary Lawrence Murphy
2001-09-15 01:27:57 UTC
Permalink
J> Are you an idiot, or are you just playing one on FoRK? (As I
J> sometimes do, too. ;-)

Naw, not today. I just like to provoke them :) I love it when they get
all bothered and precise and elaborate over some trivial issue which,
really, neither of us is in a position to answer, and where the answer
does us no good anyway.

I will tell you this much: Senior economists at the Bank of Montreal
do not call what they do a 'science', they call it an 'art', and some
of them refuse to use any computing devices to support their arguments.
I'll put no smiley on that. I'll also tell you that network security
engineers at Canada's largest telco also call what they do "an art".

The Innuit say "we have no art. we do everthing best we can". Marcel
Duchamp said "Art is in the gap", in the spaces between our knowledge;
those spaces are everywhere, even in your solid process science. Even
in reflex reactions to mass murderers and suicide bombings.

I will tell you this as well: The psycho-conditioning techniques which
led to your vehement defense of science as something inherently
greater than religion are born of the mental conditioning research of
St. Ignatius ;) repeatable, reliable, and today the basis of all
military, religious, motivational and cult psychological training
_everywhere_.

Religions do indeed have their reliably repeatable phenomenon ... it's
just that they slipped it by you in childhood, and you've never
scientifically asked where you got them ;)
--
Gary Lawrence Murphy <***@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 01:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
I will tell you this much: Senior economists at the Bank of Montreal
do not call what they do a 'science', they call it an 'art', and some
of them refuse to use any computing devices to support their arguments.
Well, then, I have no doubt that they are artists, not scientists. That
does not mean that other economists are not scientists. It does probably
mean that the senior economists at the Bank of Montreal are nutcases. ;-)

jb
Owen Byrne
2001-09-14 21:13:10 UTC
Permalink
... science is a religion, for it rests on certain dogmas that cannot be
rationally justified. Thus, accepting it requires a leap of faith. But
just as government has no business teaching religion in the public
schools, it has no business teaching science either. In a truly
democratic society, people would be as free to choose their
epistemology as their political party.

http://www.csicop.org/si/9703/end.html
Perhaps it won't work because the preeminent religion is completely
intertwined within our governments and other institutions (at least in the
western world) - If you accept the model.

Owen Byrne
***@permafrost.net


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Bone" <***@jump.net>
To: "Gary Lawrence Murphy" <***@canada.com>
Cc: <***@xent.com>
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2001 5:53 PM
Subject: Re: When is state religion a good idea?? (was: Rest of the world)
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
R> I cannot resist asking: When do you think state religion is a
R> good idea??
It worked pretty darn well for thousands of years in pre-Tut Egypt
and in pre-Roman Greece. Personally, I blame the Rosetta Stone for
why it can't work in the Industrial/Information Ages.
Isn't Economics a religion?
Push on that a little. It's perhaps an interesting point, if there's any
depth to your assertion. On the face, though, it's clear that economics
isn't a religion --- it doesn't seek to explain things with motivated, aware
supernatural forces.
jb
http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
Russell Turpin
2001-09-14 22:38:44 UTC
Permalink
Obviously, it depends on how one defines "science"
Post by Owen Byrne
.. science is a religion, for it rests on certain dogmas
that cannot be rationally justified. Thus, accepting it
requires a leap of faith. ..
The first statement is true in a very analytic sense.
The second statement I would question a little
bit. The "dogma" that science requires is that
empirical evidence can be used to test notions
of how things work. You use that "dogma"
every time you travel from one place to another
with the expectation of getting to a desired
spot. Putting on your philosophical hat, yes, you
can question such "dogma." And scientists will
tell you that you should! But you wouldn't be
questioning it -- certainly not on the Internet --
unless you had already applied it. By the time
you find your way to your first science classroom,
you've *already* put into practice all the "faith"
you will need to do science. And you'll never be
required to practice any additional faith.

That seems very different to me than the case
with most religions. You can learn everything
there is about the Christian religion, and never
become Christian. But if you learn everything
there is about physics, you'll be a physicist.
In the second case, the learning *is* the
becoming. In the first case, a different kind
of leap is required. I'm not going to argue
over definitions. But I will point out this
difference.

Russell
Rodent of Unusual Size
2001-09-14 21:24:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Isn't Economics a religion?
On the face, though, it's clear that economics
isn't a religion --- it doesn't seek to explain
things with motivated, aware supernatural forces.
Oh, come -- what is Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand' if
not a supernatural force? :-D
--
#ken P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini http://Golux.Com/coar/
Author, developer, opinionist http://Apache-Server.Com/

"All right everyone! Step away from the glowing hamburger!"
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 22:03:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rodent of Unusual Size
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by Gary Lawrence Murphy
Isn't Economics a religion?
On the face, though, it's clear that economics
isn't a religion --- it doesn't seek to explain
things with motivated, aware supernatural forces.
Oh, come -- what is Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand' if
not a supernatural force? :-D
It's an "abstraction." It's the *measurable* net effects of *real,*
observable collective behavior, not a voice from a burning bush.

Get real.

jb
Rodent of Unusual Size
2001-09-14 22:07:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by Rodent of Unusual Size
Oh, come -- what is Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand' if
not a supernatural force? :-D
It's an "abstraction." It's the *measurable* net effects
of *real,* observable collective behavior, not a voice
from a burning bush.
Get real.
Get real yourself, Bone-head. :-) READ THE FRICKIN' SMILIES!!!
--
#ken P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini http://Golux.Com/coar/
Author, developer, opinionist http://Apache-Server.Com/

"All right everyone! Step away from the glowing hamburger!"
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 22:23:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rodent of Unusual Size
Post by Jeff Bone
Get real.
Get real yourself, Bone-head. :-) READ THE FRICKIN' SMILIES!!!
I missed putting mine in there as well. While I'm finding some of
these newbies a little irritating, I'd never actually be irritated
with you, Ken. :-)

jb
Rodent of Unusual Size
2001-09-14 22:36:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
I missed putting mine in there as well. While I'm finding some of
these newbies a little irritating, I'd never actually be irritated
with you, Ken. :-)
Oh. Okey, mock-ire assuaged.. I thought you were taking
me *seriously*. :-D
--
#ken P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini http://Golux.Com/coar/
Author, developer, opinionist http://Apache-Server.Com/

"All right everyone! Step away from the glowing hamburger!"
Rodent of Unusual Size
2001-09-14 22:39:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rodent of Unusual Size
Oh. Okey, mock-ire assuaged.. I thought you were taking
me *seriously*. :-D
And what is *really* weird is that I was even a little bit
upset that someone would consider taking me seriously. Wow. :-)
--
#ken P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini http://Golux.Com/coar/
Author, developer, opinionist http://Apache-Server.Com/

"All right everyone! Step away from the glowing hamburger!"
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 22:46:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rodent of Unusual Size
Post by Rodent of Unusual Size
Oh. Okey, mock-ire assuaged.. I thought you were taking
me *seriously*. :-D
And what is *really* weird is that I was even a little bit
upset that someone would consider taking me seriously. Wow. :-)
I often find myself in that position. I always assume that nobody
takes anything on FoRK seriously, and get into trouble with that
assumption.

jb
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 20:45:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
state religion is a good idea,
Not usually.
Not EVER.

jb
John Hall
2001-09-14 21:31:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
state religion is a good idea,
Not usually.
Not EVER.
Your belief in ideological purity is nice. Except when doing so is
essentially suicidal.

The entire idea that the state should be neutral religiously is an
incredibly new and culturally specific idea that only arose after
centuries of bloodshed. And it required the major factions to agree to
neutrality. Even in this country, the freedom of religion clause was
not meant to be anything like what it has come to mean. An instructive
early Supreme Court ruling emphatically noted that the freedom of
religion clause did not apply to the States and any state that wished to
do so was free to implement the Inquisition.

In the case of the middle east, there really aren't any secular states.
You would impose upon Israel a suicide pact while holding them to
standards that are vastly different from what you expect of their
enemies. A purely secular state in that region isn't tennable.

That being said, perhaps you could enlighten me about the exact policies
that you find so heinious. Protecting settlements is simply protecting
their citizens -- on land annexed after being attacked by states that
sought the destruction of Israel. Isreal has a better moral claim to
those lands than we do to the South West.

Many benefits in Isreali society flow to armed forces veterans. I
understand that such duty is compulsory for Jewish citizens and optional
for Isreali Arabs. That hardly seems unfair. You'd have a better case
if military service was denied that section of the population due to
their religious background.

And then of course you have "class suspicion". Arabs are targeting
women and children for death. I haven't heard of many incidents with
Jewish Isreali citizens strapping explosives to themselves and trying to
kill children in a pizza establishment, have you? Now, it *does*
happen, of course. But when it does Isreal's government and citizenry
treat such people as criminals, not heroes.

"Ethnic Profiling" is the only possible rational response in such an
enviornment.

Indeed, if Israel was the evil religious state you imply what accounts
for the continued existence of the Mosque at the Dome of the Rock?
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 22:17:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
The entire idea that the state should be neutral religiously is an
incredibly new and culturally specific idea that only arose after
centuries of bloodshed.
This is called learning from history and past mistakes. It's time to push
those lessons forward and outward. Make no mistake: THE major culprit in
Tuesday's tragedy is religious irrationality. I think it's time to stop
tolerating any and all religious expression that adversely impacts other
human beings. (For the record, I can't begin to even express the depth of
my loathing for Falwell's and Robertson's despicable, opportunistic, morally
bankrupt use of Tuesday's events as a pulpit from which to propagate their
bullshit. It *almost* rivals the evil in Tueday's events themselves, not in
effect but in the blackness in their hearts that it reveals.)
Post by John Hall
That being said, perhaps you could enlighten me about the exact policies
that you find so heinious.
Much as I'm reluctant to do so, I find myself defending the Palestinian /
Arab point of view here. Okay, fine. The treatment of ethnic Palestinians
in Israel has fallen to a level where, for any other similar group anywhere
else in the world, the US would ordinarily be outraged and demand changes /
inact sanctions. The situation isn't vastly different from the South
African apartheid situation. Ethnic profiling and other practices ---
including *frequent* individual acts of brutality by police and military
forces against Arab-looking individuals --- is de rigeur in today's Israel.
Post by John Hall
Arabs are targeting women and children for death. I haven't heard of many
incidents with Jewish Isreali citizens strapping explosives to themselves
and
trying to kill children in a pizza establishment, have you?
You are absolutely correct here. You need to understand that any advocacy
of a more objective / less knee-jerk supportive stance -wrt- the Israelis
does NOT imply advocating a supportive, pro-Palestinian stance. There's
blood on all their hands. This recognition --- that no party in that
conflict is innocent, and that indeed the behavior of both parties is
entirely despicable and unacceptable in a civilized world --- is at the root
of my newly reconfigured attitudes about that region and the policies that
need to be applied. We've tried almost continuously throughout the history
of the Israeli state to help ensure stability and freedom over there. We've
ended up with a bunch of terrorists and a racist semi-theocratic state.
Neither of those things is acceptable. It's time for all that to END.

jb
Russell Turpin
2001-09-14 22:52:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
State religion is a good idea.
Not usually.
Not EVER.
Your belief in ideological purity is nice. Except
when doing so is essentially suicidal.
In the case of Israel, it seems to me that maintaining
a state religion is more the suicidal course. Israel
is not hated because it is a state. It is hated because
it is a Jewish state. Now, obviously, making the
transition to a secular state is not going to solve its
problems the year following. Not even the decade
following. History has long shadows, even for a
state created a mere half-century past.

But becoming a secular state may be the *only*
thing that can save Israel. As long as the Middle
East is divided into states that officially support
competing religions, all of which attach special
significance to common territory, there will be
strife because of this.

Yes, the notion that government should be neutral
with respect to religion is a feature of modern
democracy. But Israel *is* a modern democracy.
As John points out, it's government is more
advanced than many of its neighboring states. The
question is whether its policy in this regard is part
of the problem, and whether a change in its policy
is necessary to a long-term solution of the problem.

Russell
John Hall
2001-09-14 21:57:14 UTC
Permalink
Behalf Of Paul Prescod
Post by John Hall
...
Post by Russell Turpin
the Palestinians have no legitimate grievance,
and they act solely from their inherent evil.
Basically.
This is so over the top that I'd appreciate if you could justify it.
Prior to Israeli retaliation for the intifada, what was the comparitive
standard of living in the West Bank for the Palestinians compared to
those 'enjoyed' by people in the surrounding non-Isreali states in terms
of:
A) material standard of living
B) western type judicial systems
C) freedom of information
... Etc ...

Syria is a dictatorship that killed 20,000 civilians by shelling one of
their own cities where their loyalty was questioned (was the name Hamas?
I forget. Hamas sounds too convienent since it is the name of a terror
group).
Jordan is a monarchy that went to war against the Palestinaian
leadership a number of years ago.
I'm under the distinct impression that the Palestinians were a lot
better off than the Egyptians.

None of these states had a free press that I'm familiar with. And it is
my distinct impression that just about anyone would rather be in the
hands of the Israeli police than those in the surrounding countries.

Even in political representation, I've seen references to mayors of west
bank towns. I assume such mayors are elected in free elections, and
that towns in the surrounding states have nothing equivalent.

=================================

Are the Palestinians suffering now? Of course. But that is a result of
the insurrection and terror they unleashed, not a cause.
John Hall
2001-09-14 23:02:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
The entire idea that the state should be neutral religiously is an
incredibly new and culturally specific idea that only arose after
centuries of bloodshed.
This is called learning from history and past mistakes. It's
time to push those lessons forward and outward.
The lessons of history are subject to continual re-examination. You
live in a society that learned its lessons the hard way, but also
continued with an inherited culture that had strong religious overtones.

Plato, and most philosophers up until very recently, have always assumed
that the state had to have a hand in shaping the moral character of its
citizens lest it eventually fall apart. Democracy was thought to
require more moral instruction, not less. It is an open question
whether a state hostile to directing the moral character of its citizens
can survive over the long term. I would prefer the answer to that
question be yes. I'm rather afraid it isn't.
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
That being said, perhaps you could enlighten me about the exact
policies that you find so heinous.
Much as I'm reluctant to do so, I find myself defending the
Palestinian / Arab point of view here. Okay, fine. The
treatment of ethnic Palestinians in Israel has fallen to a
level where, for any other similar group anywhere else in the
world, the US would ordinarily be outraged and demand changes
/ in act sanctions.
The problem is that such things appear to be a direct reaction to the
threat. If people with blue tattoos are routinely committing acts of
barbarism, you can expect life to get difficult for all people with blue
tattoos.
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
Arabs are targeting women and children for death. I
haven't heard of many
Post by John Hall
incidents with Jewish Israeli citizens strapping explosives to
themselves and trying to kill children in a pizza
establishment, have
Post by John Hall
you?
You are absolutely correct here.
Not that you seem to understand the implications.
Post by Jeff Bone
There's blood on all their hands.
More moral equivalency bullshit.

And McVeigh was killed. Blood on 'our hands', yes. Innocent blood, no.
Israel won't even support the death penalty against terrorists. Had
McVeigh been a Palestinian terrorist in Israel, he would still be alive.
Post by Jeff Bone
We've ended up with a bunch of
terrorists and a racist semi-theocratic state.
That Israel is a 'racist semi-theocratic state' is an assertion that you
haven't supported.

In South Africa, laws were on the books that prohibited paying blacks
more than a certain amount (routinely violated, BTW). Are there similar
laws on the books in Israel against people of Arab descent?

Are Israeli Arabs denied an education?

Did Israel refuse to supply Palestinians with gas masks to protect them
during the Gulf War?

What *exactly* are the attributes that make this a racist theocratic
state. For example, I'm not aware of regulations that prohibit the
practice or support of non-Jewish religions.
Jeff Bone
2001-09-14 23:22:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
The problem is that such things appear to be a direct reaction to the
threat. If people with blue tattoos are routinely committing acts of
barbarism, you can expect life to get difficult for all people with blue
tattoos.
And that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?

John, you and I just are not going to agree on several issues: the
appropriate roles of state and religion, the culpability of the Israelis in
creating instability in that region, and so forth. So be it. You're
welcome to your point of view, however narrow it may be. I only hope that
we can as a nation --- indeed, as a world --- step back from the situation
once the emotion has died down, examine the root causes of Tuesday
specifically and political instability in the Middle East in general, and
deal directly with those root causes.

jb
Dug Song
2001-09-15 16:51:22 UTC
Permalink
I only hope that we can as a nation --- indeed, as a world --- step
back from the situation once the emotion has died down, examine the
root causes of Tuesday specifically and political instability in the
Middle East in general, and deal directly with those root causes.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,551036,00.html
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/

-d.

---
http://www.monkey.org/~dugsong/
John Hall
2001-09-14 23:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Russell Turpin
Post by John Hall
Your belief in ideological purity is nice. Except
when doing so is essentially suicidal.
In the case of Israel, it seems to me that maintaining
a state religion is more the suicidal course. Israel
is not hated because it is a state. It is hated because
it is a Jewish state.
It is hated because it is a state that contains a high number of Jewish
citizens that aren't dead yet, built on a western cultural tradition
that has generated a great deal more prosperity that the other
traditions.
John Hall
2001-09-14 23:44:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
The problem is that such things appear to be a direct
reaction to the
threat. If people with blue tattoos are routinely
committing acts of
barbarism, you can expect life to get difficult for all people with
blue tattoos.
And that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?
Hardly. Other responses are down right irrational. A large portion of
all effective police efforts consists of noticing, and reacting, to such
information.
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 00:07:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
The problem is that such things appear to be a direct
reaction to the
threat. If people with blue tattoos are routinely
committing acts of
barbarism, you can expect life to get difficult for all people with
blue tattoos.
And that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?
Hardly. Other responses are down right irrational. A large portion of
all effective police efforts consists of noticing, and reacting, to such
information.
Well, there you have it. I find that point of view absolutely ludicrous.
It's equivalent to racial profiling in many respects: the information
"people with blue tattoos commit more crimes" is only slightly different
from "people with black skin commit more crimes." That's a totally ignorant
and irrational point of view, IMO. It's the ultimate and most malevolent
and small-minded kind of confusion between causation and correlation, with a
real and sad human cost.

jb
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 00:11:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Well, there you have it. I find that point of view absolutely ludicrous.
It's equivalent to racial profiling in many respects: the information
"people with blue tattoos commit more crimes" is only slightly different
from "people with black skin commit more crimes."
Sorry, I wasn't quite clear. While the information itself *might* be true,
acting as if the correlation is equivalent to causation is totally ignorant and
irrational. If you (John Hall) advocate the police in your scenario "making
life difficult for all people with blue tattoos" then you must also also
advocate them stopping and harrassing black folks driving nice cars, or walking
around in expensive parts of town. Okay, John, you've tipped your hat: you are
apparently a racist.

jb
John Hall
2001-09-15 00:41:54 UTC
Permalink
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2001 5:12 PM
Subject: Re: Israeli Religious Discrimination
Post by Jeff Bone
Well, there you have it. I find that point of view absolutely
ludicrous. It's equivalent to racial profiling in many
respects: the
Post by Jeff Bone
information "people with blue tattoos commit more crimes" is only
slightly different from "people with black skin commit more crimes."
Sorry, I wasn't quite clear. While the information itself
*might* be true, acting as if the correlation is equivalent
to causation is totally ignorant and irrational. If you
(John Hall) advocate the police in your scenario "making life
difficult for all people with blue tattoos" then you must
also also advocate them stopping and harrassing black folks
driving nice cars, or walking around in expensive parts of
town. Okay, John, you've tipped your hat: you are
apparently a racist.
Backtracking already.

The real question is simple: is it true and accurate. The second
question involves well known tradeoffs in accuracy, the cost of
information, and the value of the information. I understand there is an
entire literature that goes under the heading 'rational discrimination'.

I did not say, and never said, the correlation was equivalent to
causation.

The real question, of course, is what 'making life difficult for people
with blue tattoos' would mean in this case. Certainly, and at a
minimum, it would involve increased survelience and questioning.
'harassing' in your statement above is a completely ambiguous phrase.

And it also implies that private citizens will begin to take preventive
measures. That might very well mean that it becomes very hard for
someone with a big prominient blue tattoo to catch a cab late at night.
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 00:57:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Okay, John, you've tipped your hat: you are
Post by Jeff Bone
apparently a racist.
Backtracking already.
There's a difference in realizing you didn't say everything you meant to say
and "backtracking."
Post by Jeff Bone
I understand there is an
entire literature that goes under the heading 'rational discrimination'.
No doubt. There's a variety of literature --- including such odious pieces
of crap as "The Bell Curve" --- advocating white supremacy in various ways.
Do you own any of those? Would you like to defer to them for credibility?
Post by Jeff Bone
I did not say, and never said, the correlation was equivalent to
causation.
It is implied in the attitude that people with blue tattoos should be
subject to increased police surveillance. It is a sort of "guilty until
proven innocent" attitude. You are infringing the rights of those with blue
tattoos *before* crimes are committed.

jb
Lucas Gonze
2001-09-15 00:51:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by John Hall
The problem is that such things appear to be a direct
reaction to the
threat. If people with blue tattoos are routinely
committing acts of
barbarism, you can expect life to get difficult for all people with
blue tattoos.
And that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it?
Hardly. Other responses are down right irrational. A large portion of
all effective police efforts consists of noticing, and reacting, to such
information.
Isn't that prior restraint, John? Punishing people _before_ they commit a crime
is unamerican -- we gave it up at the same time as feudalism.
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-15 00:59:05 UTC
Permalink
I absolutely cannot believe I'm reading the statements below. If the major
culprit in Tuesday's tragedy is religion, then it is because the religion of
a certain group of people preaches the idea that killing others and
themselves brings them into the afterlife successfully. Disparaging Judaism
and the State of Israel is exactly what these folks hope to accomplish.

Your comments are totally off-base. You seem to think that putting the
United States in the center of the Middle East would be an excellent idea,
yet there is no evidence that anything like that has ever or would ever
work. Instead there is a Jewish population surrounded by a group of people
that want them dead. Make sure you understand that -- the Arab neighbors of
Israel want the Israelis DEAD. They don't want a country where church and
state are separated -- they want no Israelis and no Jews. If you don't
understand and recognize that, then you understand nothing about the
conflict in the Middle East.

Check your history and read up how the Arab neighbors made refugees of the
Palestinians to create the situation that now exists. Read up on how little
respect the Arabs had in destroying Jacob's Tomb. And count up how many
suicide bombers are Jewish or Israeli.

What you have here in the extremist Islamics is a total lack of regard for
life. They kill civilians instead of engaging with the governments. And,
while you're at it, why don't you take a look about how former Prime
Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians EVERYTHING THEY WANTED and
Yassir Arafat still turned it down. That's because they will only be happy
when Israel is destroyed.

And keep this in mind -- Palestinians who enter Israel are searched,
interrogated and checked to make sure they aren't going to kill anyone.
Israelis who enter Palestine are just killed.

You've tried to make a really polished argument that lack of separation of
church and state are the problems in the Middle East and the cause of the
WTC destruction, but until you've been on the oppressed side of the fence
and seen the destruction of your neighborhoods, death of friends and family,
and felt the fear of attending your own synagogue (or church) you will not
be able to understand the realities of the situation there or the people who
were involved in the WTC.

And just so you know -- I have had people in my community that were killed
(and pointlessly so) by the Palestinians, folks who were nearly killed by
the suicide bomber last week, and I'll tell you that there will be police
outside my synagogue patrolling because of fear of attacks during the High
Holydays.

-- jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Bone
To: John Hall
Cc: 'Russell Turpin'; ***@xent.com
Sent: 9/14/01 6:17 PM
Subject: Re: Israeli Religious Discrimination
Post by John Hall
The entire idea that the state should be neutral religiously is an
incredibly new and culturally specific idea that only arose after
centuries of bloodshed.
This is called learning from history and past mistakes. It's time to
push
those lessons forward and outward. Make no mistake: THE major culprit
in
Tuesday's tragedy is religious irrationality. I think it's time to stop
tolerating any and all religious expression that adversely impacts other
human beings. (For the record, I can't begin to even express the depth
of
my loathing for Falwell's and Robertson's despicable, opportunistic,
morally
bankrupt use of Tuesday's events as a pulpit from which to propagate
their
bullshit. It *almost* rivals the evil in Tueday's events themselves,
not in
effect but in the blackness in their hearts that it reveals.)
Post by John Hall
That being said, perhaps you could enlighten me about the exact
policies
Post by John Hall
that you find so heinious.
Much as I'm reluctant to do so, I find myself defending the Palestinian
/
Arab point of view here. Okay, fine. The treatment of ethnic
Palestinians
in Israel has fallen to a level where, for any other similar group
anywhere
else in the world, the US would ordinarily be outraged and demand
changes /
inact sanctions. The situation isn't vastly different from the South
African apartheid situation. Ethnic profiling and other practices ---
including *frequent* individual acts of brutality by police and military
forces against Arab-looking individuals --- is de rigeur in today's
Israel.
Post by John Hall
Arabs are targeting women and children for death. I haven't heard of
many
Post by John Hall
incidents with Jewish Isreali citizens strapping explosives to
themselves
Post by John Hall
and
trying to kill children in a pizza establishment, have you?
You are absolutely correct here. You need to understand that any
advocacy
of a more objective / less knee-jerk supportive stance -wrt- the
Israelis
does NOT imply advocating a supportive, pro-Palestinian stance. There's
blood on all their hands. This recognition --- that no party in that
conflict is innocent, and that indeed the behavior of both parties is
entirely despicable and unacceptable in a civilized world --- is at the
root
of my newly reconfigured attitudes about that region and the policies
that
need to be applied. We've tried almost continuously throughout the
history
of the Israeli state to help ensure stability and freedom over there.
We've
ended up with a bunch of terrorists and a racist semi-theocratic state.
Neither of those things is acceptable. It's time for all that to END.

jb




http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 01:36:40 UTC
Permalink
Disparaging Judaism and the State of Israel is exactly what these
folks hope to accomplish.
Let's be very clear: I am not disparaging Judaism or the State of
Israel. Let me be very precise about what I've been stating: (a)
Religious *fanaticism* is a problem. (I said irrationality, I
should've been more precise and said "fanaticism.") I have not
accused Judaism in general of being fanatic, or made *any* claims
about Israel in this regard. (b) I believe that blurring the lines
between church and state is *always* a *bad* thing. I've written
before on this list about how I believe this is a bad thing in our
*own* society, with respect to the push by Christian extremists for
encoding their own moral philosophy in the laws of our land. I'm
equal-opportunity anti-religion. Even so, I recognize that everyone
has a right to their own religious beliefs; they just don't have a
right to force them on others or discriminate against others based on
those beliefs.

It is an extremely knee-jerk reaction to equate *any* criticism of
Israel with disparaging or assume that it implies anti-Semitic
sentiment. It's also reactionary to rush to the defense of Israel in
all situations without taking a moment to consider objectively what
has evolved over there. A moment of unsentimental reflection of the
parallels between South Africa and Israel --- or any of the Balkan
conflicts of the last decade --- should suffice for any reasonable
person to reach some conclusions.
Your comments are totally off-base. You seem to think that putting
the United States in the center of the Middle East would be an
excellent idea, yet there is no evidence that anything like that
has ever or would ever work.
I have not suggested this at all. I have at most suggested --- and
not seriously --- that one solution to the Middle East problem would
be to simply eliminate the Middle East --- the geography, not its
people. Much of the bickering is based on control of the Holy Land.
Just as you would take a toy away from children who could not agree
on sharing it peacefully, perhaps that response is worth considering
in various ways in this context. This is not a practical solution,
it's merely a contextual lens for viewing potential solutions.
Instead there is a Jewish population surrounded by a group of
people that want them dead. Make sure you understand that -- the
Arab neighbors of Israel want the Israelis DEAD. They don't want a
country where church and state are separated -- they want no
Israelis and no Jews. If you don't understand and recognize that,
then you understand nothing about the conflict in the Middle East.
I completely recognize this; hence my comments about blood on the
hands of all parties in the ongoing conflict. Understand that a
neutral or even belligerent stance -wrt- Israel does *NOT* imply a
supportive stance -wrt- any of their neighbors.

The entire region is populated by nation-states who behave like
tempermental, bratty children, and who have historically been the
source of more violence than almost any other region of the world.
Technology has progressed to the point that we cannot tolerate such
cultures of violence and hostility any more. Tuesday was a call to
all the nation-states of the world to grow up and behave like
civilized adults. Those states who fail to heed that call should no
longer be tolerated. If Israel *and* all its neighbors can set aside
the historical bickering and tribal hatreds and reform their cultures
of violence and intolerance, then the world can be a much better
place and no further action is required. If they cannot, then in
light of the failure of a half-century of diplomatic efforts the time
has come to reconsider how we deal with them.

jb
Russell Turpin
2001-09-15 01:59:13 UTC
Permalink
.. You seem to think that putting the United States
in the center of the Middle East would be an excellent
idea, yet there is no evidence that anything like that
has ever or would ever work.
The problem is that the US -- and Britain and France
-- have been in the middle of the problem since the
end of the Great War. These western nations
created Israel. And after WW II, when the baby
took off running, the US continued to be largely
involved. And not just in Israel. Throughout the
Mideast, we have brokered deals, mediated
agreements, sent aid, sold arms, fomented coups,
and even fought wars. Given the state of things
today, I think most people would have to agree
that there is little evidence that this has worked.
But are you really suggesting a stance of neutrality
and disengagement? That we should abandon our
allies? Stop aid to Israel?

It seems to me, at this point, that we're in the
center of the Mideast, whether we like it or not.

What worries me is not the immediate threat. We
will win this war. Whatever that means. But in
2030 or 2040, will a new branch of Islamic
terrorists be set on the destruction of the west?
Subverting technologies that are even more
destructive?

There are branches of Islam that hold that the
Islamic religion should be manifest through
government. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya,
and several others are not just countries with
majority Islamic populations, but are states with
an official religion. I view this movement as
one of the greatest threats to modern society
in the coming decades. Somehow, we need to
defuse it. And that means encouraging secular
rather than religious government.
Disparaging Judaism and the State of Israel
is exactly what these folks hope to accomplish
I don't think anyone here has disparaged Judaism
(beyond some disparagement of religion generally).
My own view of Israel is that they are an
important ally, that unlike their neighbors they
are a modern democracy, but that in the long
run, they also need to become a secular state.
If you think that is disparaging, you should read
some of the things I say about the US !

Russell
John Hall
2001-09-15 04:51:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
No doubt. There's a variety of literature --- including such
odious pieces of crap as "The Bell Curve"
A well written book, slammed almost entirely by people who did not read
it, mostly for things that it didn't say. I lean a little more toward
Sowell's comments / critique. Interestingly enough, I browsed a
critique by the author who wrote "The Mismeasurement of Man" and he even
acknowledged that they used the best data set available and analyzed the
data in the correct way -- he just didn't think the data was sufficient
for some of their conclusions.

Rational discrimination is simply employing standard economics to
explain reasonable behavior. It is idealogues, that want others to pay
with their safety and lives for their own non-rational fetishes, that
are the problem.

As a group of black ladies related to D'Souza -- they have a strong
tendency to cross the street early rather than walk by a group of black
male teenagers. Do they tend to cross if they are white? No.
Rational? Probably. And it is *their* necks and safety on the line if
they ignore their experience.

Finally, it isn't guilty until proven innocent. It is simply
recognizing that they are, in fact, more likely to BE guilty and
reacting accordingly. The innocent people with blue tattoos should
properly blame the criminals with blue tattoos for their plight. Asking
people to die because it isn't nice to notice is irrational. You can do
that if you wish, but you are not entitled to complain if others
decline.

All of this, of course, is heavily dependent upon the accuracy of the
stereotype. Not only in 'direction' but in 'magnitude'. It is also
dependent upon your other sources of information and relative
information costs.

--- advocating
Post by Jeff Bone
white supremacy in various ways. Do you own any of those?
Would you like to defer to them for credibility?
Post by John Hall
I did not say, and never said, the correlation was equivalent to
causation.
It is implied in the attitude that people with blue tattoos
should be subject to increased police surveillance. It is a
sort of "guilty until proven innocent" attitude. You are
infringing the rights of those with blue tattoos *before*
crimes are committed.
jb
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-15 05:01:07 UTC
Permalink
You misunderstood my comment below (because I didn't state it correctly).
My point was that if a country with the same constitution as the US were in
the Middle East instead of Israel, there's no evidence that the country
would be any more successful. The key point was that the original assertion
that the problem was that Israel is a Jewish State, not a state like the
United States. I don't buy that assertion.

Israel was created as a state for Jewish people. Its formation was in some
ways like the Vatican, which is an independent state run by the Catholic
church. It wasn't originally a secular state where a group has attempted to
change it into a religious one, and thus I don't see the issues with it
remaining a Jewish state. If at some point the entire world lack prejudice
and can merge principles into a common set of practices, that would
certainly be something. But Israel wasn't created to impose religion on its
population -- it was created to provide a homeland for a terribly persecuted
population. The Islamic states are less about that -- they are all about
imposing their ideas on their population. And those countries follow all of
the rules for doing that sort of thing -- they have virtually the same
policies that the Soviet Union did when it existed -- restrict travel, both
inbound and outbound, create a fear of the government, impose your ideas on
the population, and make sure that the population can't just up and leave.
Israel clearly isn't like this -- it's a democracy with a clear Jewish
theme.

What we really need isn't the destruction of states like Israel. Instead,
we need to ensure that the population of this planet is free to live in
societies that match their ideas and with the understanding that they are
not to impose their ideas on others. Israel isn't trying to make the
Palestinians Jewish. On the other hand, the Taliban are certainly trying to
make their population fundamentalist Islamic.

-- jeff

-----Original Message-----
From: Russell Turpin
To: ***@xent.com
Sent: 9/14/01 9:59 PM
Subject: Re: Israeli Religious Discrimination
.. You seem to think that putting the United States
in the center of the Middle East would be an excellent
idea, yet there is no evidence that anything like that
has ever or would ever work.
The problem is that the US -- and Britain and France
-- have been in the middle of the problem since the
end of the Great War. These western nations
created Israel. And after WW II, when the baby
took off running, the US continued to be largely
involved. And not just in Israel. Throughout the
Mideast, we have brokered deals, mediated
agreements, sent aid, sold arms, fomented coups,
and even fought wars. Given the state of things
today, I think most people would have to agree
that there is little evidence that this has worked.
But are you really suggesting a stance of neutrality
and disengagement? That we should abandon our
allies? Stop aid to Israel?

It seems to me, at this point, that we're in the
center of the Mideast, whether we like it or not.

What worries me is not the immediate threat. We
will win this war. Whatever that means. But in
2030 or 2040, will a new branch of Islamic
terrorists be set on the destruction of the west?
Subverting technologies that are even more
destructive?

There are branches of Islam that hold that the
Islamic religion should be manifest through
government. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya,
and several others are not just countries with
majority Islamic populations, but are states with
an official religion. I view this movement as
one of the greatest threats to modern society
in the coming decades. Somehow, we need to
defuse it. And that means encouraging secular
rather than religious government.
Disparaging Judaism and the State of Israel
is exactly what these folks hope to accomplish
I don't think anyone here has disparaged Judaism
(beyond some disparagement of religion generally).
My own view of Israel is that they are an
important ally, that unlike their neighbors they
are a modern democracy, but that in the long
run, they also need to become a secular state.
If you think that is disparaging, you should read
some of the things I say about the US !

Russell




http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
Russell Turpin
2001-09-15 13:35:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
You misunderstood my comment below (because I didn't
state it correctly). My point was that if a country with the
same constitution as the US were in the Middle East instead
of Israel, there's no evidence that the country would be any
more successful. The key point was that the original assertion
that the problem was that Israel is a Jewish State, not a state
like the United States. I don't buy that assertion.
Israel was created as a state for Jewish people. Its formation
was in some ways like the Vatican, which is an independent
state run by the Catholic church. It wasn't originally a secular
state where a group has attempted to change it into a religious
one ..
Its creation was nothing like the Vatican. Modern
Israel was an Arab territory ruled by the Ottomans,
until WW I. You're right that *any* nation created
there by bringing in a foreign population was
destined to trouble. That it was created as a state
for an opposing religion just threw gasoline on the fire.

But what's done is done. The US problem is how to
choose a foreign policy that makes the world safe
for western society in the 21st century. One of the
greatest threats is state religion. As a matter of
principle, we should oppose it, and encourage
governments to be secular. That's going to be a long
path. To take one example, we're neither going to
change Saudi Arabia in a short period of time, nor
do anything to lose them as an ally. We will have
to work this principle the way other foreign policy
principles are worked: patience, appropriate
application to circumstance, a nudge here, a
firm insistence there, over decades. But I fear for
the world's safety if the religious states in this world
don't start down the path of secularization. And
to pursue this as foreign policy, we must pursue it
across the board.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
.. and thus I don't see the issues with it
remaining a Jewish state.
State religion is wrong. Do you really dispute
the notion that everyone in a nation should
have the same rights and responsibilities
under the law, regardless of their religion?
Post by Jeffrey Kay
If at some point the entire world lack
prejudice ..
No, you don't get utopia. You *can* get
governments, like the US and Britain, where
people have equal rights regardless of their
religion, and people who attack Jews or
synagogues are prosecuted and put in jail.
Does that mean no Jew in the US will ever be
attacked for being a Jew? No. But that's not
the case in Israel, either!

Russell
Lisa Dusseault
2001-09-15 05:06:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
If the definition of "science" requires predictive power then economics
is a science as long as you don't publish what you learn! After you
publish it, it ceases to be predictive.
What about the simple predictions economics makes? For example, in
microeconomics, it's usually predicted that when the price of some good goes
down, as long as the marginal utility of the good is not zero, consumption
of the good will go up.

I've heard it complained that the price/consumption and marginal utility
graphs don't have numbers -- well, they can have numbers. Pick a concrete
good -- say, concrete. Fill in a few points on the graph (consumption at
various prices) then fill in between and extrapolate a little to get
predictions. Then you'll have some idea how much concrete will be sold at a
price that hasn't been tried yet. That's predictive.

Further, most microeconomic principles don't suffer from variation depending
on whether they're known or not. It doesn't matter if I predict you'll buy
less concrete if the price is raised; that prediction has little effect on
consumption.

It always surprises me that people expect magic out of economics, rather
than simply boring predictions from masses of data. The part that works is
called either common sense or accounting; the part where it doesn't work so
well (economists trying to predict GDP a year in the future seems to me like
meterologists predicting weather a year in the future, they can only make
good guesses) is the only part people think of as economics.

lisa
John Hall
2001-09-15 05:12:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Let's be very clear: I am not disparaging Judaism or the
State of Israel.
Horseshit on the second. You have done nothing but.
Post by Jeff Bone
A moment of unsentimental reflection of the parallels
between South Africa and Israel --- or any of the Balkan
conflicts of the last decade --- should suffice for any
reasonable person to reach some conclusions.
Namely, that you have absolutely no sense of proportion.
Post by Jeff Bone
... hence my comments about blood
on the hands of all parties in the ongoing conflict.
It is the moral equivalence BS that is so offensive. Equating the Arabs
desire to kill Israeli citizens with the desire of the Israelis to
prevent them from doing so is reprehensible.

I remember a Microsoft employee that explained one of the reasons Iraq
invaded Kuwait was because during the Iran war Kuwaitis would cross the
border and date Iraqi women. A friend of mine said "you forgot to
accuse them of spitting on the sidewalk!". Roughly the same thing here.
Post by Jeff Bone
If Israel *and* all its neighbors can set aside
the historical bickering and tribal hatreds ...
Israel tried. And it got more terror in the process. Concessions from
Israel only encourage her enemies. It takes two to make peace. Israel
can't make peace by itself.
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 05:31:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
Post by Jeff Bone
Let's be very clear: I am not disparaging Judaism or the
State of Israel.
Horseshit on the second. You have done nothing but.
Fine, you are correct. I am disparaging Judaism and the State of Israel.
Let's be complete, though: I'm also disparaging Islam, Christianity, the
United States of America's policy over the last half-century towards the
Middle East in general, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, the Taliban, the
Afghani people, the Palestinians, and everybody else. If criticism is
disparaging, then yes --- I am disparaging all of the above.
Post by John Hall
Namely, that you have absolutely no sense of proportion.
Really? Perhaps in absolute terms that's true. I haven't run the numbers.
Post by John Hall
Post by Jeff Bone
... hence my comments about blood
on the hands of all parties in the ongoing conflict.
It is the moral equivalence BS that is so offensive. Equating the Arabs
desire to kill Israeli citizens with the desire of the Israelis to
prevent them from doing so is reprehensible.
If your above statement were an accurate reflection of the situation there,
that might be true; but there has been plenty of unnecessary Arab blood
spilled as well throughout that conflict. Neither party is innocent. Both
parties are theocratically-motivated, discriminatory, and hostile towards
the other.
Post by John Hall
Israel tried. And it got more terror in the process. Concessions from
Israel only encourage her enemies. It takes two to make peace. Israel
can't make peace by itself.
You don't TRULY believe this, do you? Israel all good, Arab demons all
bad? How naive can you really be?

jb
John Hall
2001-09-15 05:14:42 UTC
Permalink
Behalf Of Lucas Gonze
Isn't that prior restraint, John? Punishing people _before_
they commit a crime is unamerican -- we gave it up at the
same time as feudalism.
No, because it wasn't punishment that was at issue. It was increased
suspicion.

In addition, you have to be careful to separate private and government
actions.
Jeff Bone
2001-09-15 05:44:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Hall
Behalf Of Lucas Gonze
Isn't that prior restraint, John? Punishing people _before_
they commit a crime is unamerican -- we gave it up at the
same time as feudalism.
No, because it wasn't punishment that was at issue. It was increased
suspicion.
A priori restriction of an individual's rights *is* punishment without
judgement. It's prior restraint. Ethnicity, religion --- or blue tattoos
--- can *never* constitute probable cause.

jb
rudy rouhana
2001-09-15 08:02:48 UTC
Permalink
I'm not going to go into an in depth explaination, because it's almost 3am.
However, there is a country in the Middle East with a constitution very similar
to the U.S. Constitution since it is based on the French Constitution. That is
Lebanon.

23 May 1926: Constitution adopted; it is fashioned after that of the French
Third Republic.
After 1920: League of Nations grants France mandate authority over Greater
Syria including todays Lebanon.

Read it for yourself:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/law/le00000_.html

A Lebanese led the standards for UN Human Rights as far back as 1947.
http://www.udhr.org/history/Biographies/biocm.htm

In my opinion, the country was just fine until the Palestinians that we had to
absorb to create a Jewish state for Israel attempted to kill the President. A
situation so screwed up that even Syria, a Muslim state, aided Christians to
try and defeat the PLO. This started the civil war in 1975.

To top it off, an Israeli invasion in 1978, denounced by the UN, continued our
spiral down to instability.

14 March 1978: First Israeli invasion, resulting in an occupied 'Security Zone'
in South Lebanon. Israel continues the occupation in violation of UN resolution
425.

It's not that the Muslims only want to associate with Muslims. It's that they
don't want to associate with Jews. They were more than happy to come to
Beirut, hang out with Christians, party, drink, gamble, shop, chase women, etc.
All things they couldn't do in their own countries.

When I was in college I had no problems getting access to notes, old exams,
etc. that all the Aramco/Muslim students had. I can guarantee that if I was
Jewish, they wouldn't have even spoken to me.

So, there must be something that the Israelis specifically must have done to
tick off the Muslim states in the region.

-Rudy Rouhana

__________________________________________________
Terrorist Attacks on U.S. - How can you help?
Donate cash, emergency relief information
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Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-17 14:23:10 UTC
Permalink
Russell --
Post by Russell Turpin
Post by Jeffrey Kay
You misunderstood my comment below (because I didn't
state it correctly). My point was that if a country with the
same constitution as the US were in the Middle East instead
of Israel, there's no evidence that the country would be any
more successful. The key point was that the original assertion
that the problem was that Israel is a Jewish State, not a state
like the United States. I don't buy that assertion.
Israel was created as a state for Jewish people. Its formation
was in some ways like the Vatican, which is an independent
state run by the Catholic church. It wasn't originally a secular
state where a group has attempted to change it into a religious
one ..
Its creation was nothing like the Vatican. Modern
Israel was an Arab territory ruled by the Ottomans,
until WW I. You're right that *any* nation created
there by bringing in a foreign population was
destined to trouble. That it was created as a state
for an opposing religion just threw gasoline on the fire.
I did not mean to imply that the "creation" aspect of Israel was like the
Vatican. Rather, my point here is one of purpose. Israel was created to be
a homeland for the Jewish people. It was not created to be a secular state.
It's too easy to look at the Jewish people as a collection of folks with the
same religion; I don't think that's totally accurate and it's certainly not
how Jewish folks view themselves. There is a common culture, belief
structure, and genealogy that represent the Jewish people. I don't think we
view Native Americans as folks who just happen to have the same religion,
and we can't think of the Jewish people as a just group of folks with the
same religion either.

I believe that the Arab population has a similar view of itself. So unless
we're going to totally get over any cultural divides between groups of
people, we're going to have nations exist that are more homogeneous
culturally than the US is.
Post by Russell Turpin
But what's done is done. The US problem is how to
choose a foreign policy that makes the world safe
for western society in the 21st century. One of the
greatest threats is state religion. As a matter of
principle, we should oppose it, and encourage
governments to be secular. That's going to be a long
path. To take one example, we're neither going to
change Saudi Arabia in a short period of time, nor
do anything to lose them as an ally. We will have
to work this principle the way other foreign policy
principles are worked: patience, appropriate
application to circumstance, a nudge here, a
firm insistence there, over decades. But I fear for
the world's safety if the religious states in this world
don't start down the path of secularization. And
to pursue this as foreign policy, we must pursue it
across the board.
I think that the idea of a "secular" country is totally idealistic also. In
the US, we have a country that was essentially founded on Christian
principles (I don't recall any Jews signing the founding documents). Israel
was founded on Jewish principles. We need to encourage all governments to
be tolerant and accepting of all religions for folks who wish to live in
countries that have constitutions on ideals different than their own, but
that doesn't invalidate the founding principles. Israel runs a democratic
system based on Jewish principles. It doesn't impose Judaism on anyone like
Iran did in the 80s.
Post by Russell Turpin
Post by Jeffrey Kay
.. and thus I don't see the issues with it
remaining a Jewish state.
State religion is wrong. Do you really dispute
the notion that everyone in a nation should
have the same rights and responsibilities
under the law, regardless of their religion?
Do you really think that people in Israel don't have the same rights and
responsibilities? Don't make the mistake of comparing Israel to it's Arab
neighbors where they impose a particular religion on their people. That's
really not the case in Israel. Probably the one essential difference is the
Law of Return -- any Jewish person can automatically claim citizenship in
Israel. However there are Arabs and non-Jews in the Israeli Knesset. All
of them can vote. If you think that's state religion, then you ought to
look more closely at the US, where people are expected to swear oaths on a
Christian Bible and refer to God in places and ways that offend Jews,
Muslims, and folks who don't even believe in God.

The reality is that Israel is very similar to the US, except instead of
having a Christian majority population, it has a Jewish one. It's
principles are based on Judaism, not Christianity. And it is a homeland for
the Jewish people, a population that has been persecuted for thousands of
years. It's not the United States, and it wasn't intended to be. But it's
not anything like the surrounding countries with a "state religion".

jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>
chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
"first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
twain
"golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
-- sports illustrated
"if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 14:22:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
I think that the idea of a "secular" country is totally idealistic
also.
I agree, and I'm not sure that ideology can stand in this day and age
if what results is the kind of thing we've been seeing in that region
for the last several decades. Secular states are nothing but trouble.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
In the US, we have a country that was essentially founded on
Christian principles (I don't recall any Jews signing the founding
documents).
This is not accurate. Many of the signers and *certainly* most of the
authors of the various US inception documents were not Christians but
rather Deists --- essentially agnostics, which were about as
nonsecular as you could effectively be in those days and still
function in society.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Post by Russell Turpin
State religion is wrong. Do you really dispute
the notion that everyone in a nation should
have the same rights and responsibilities
under the law, regardless of their religion?
Do you really think that people in Israel don't have the same rights
and responsibilities?
A pattern of less respect for the human rights of non-Jewish Israelis
is evident (and growing more pronounced) in recent times. The
military has been extremely belligerent towards poverty-stricken
non-Jewish Israelis in various areas.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
If you think that's state religion, then you ought to look more
closely at the US, where people are expected to swear oaths on a
Christian Bible and refer to God in places and ways that offend
Jews, Muslims, and folks who don't even believe in God.
Many of us believe this is wrong.

jb
Russell Turpin
2001-09-17 15:12:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
I did not mean to imply that the "creation" aspect of Israel was like the
Vatican. Rather, my point here is one of purpose. Israel was created to
be a homeland for the Jewish people. ..
Let's be clear that the Vatican is NOT a homeland for
the Catholic people. Rather, it is the headquarters for
the Catholic Church. While the Pope fielded an army and
controlled significant territory, at this point in
history, the Vatican is an independent nation in name
only. If you doubt that, try to find any native citizen.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Do you really think that people in Israel don't have the same rights and
responsibilities?
I'm still learning about this. Here's an interesting
article:

http://www.total.net/~jtoth/shahak.html

Is it true that the Rabbinical courts function as part
of the Israeli state? Is it true that only Jews may lease
land owned by the Israeli state?

Russell


_________________________________________________________________
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
Tom
2001-09-17 15:17:19 UTC
Permalink
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-17 17:31:37 UTC
Permalink
Jeff --
Post by Jeffrey Kay
-----Original Message-----
Post by Jeffrey Kay
I think that the idea of a "secular" country is totally idealistic
also.
I agree, and I'm not sure that ideology can stand in this day and age
if what results is the kind of thing we've been seeing in that region
for the last several decades. Secular states are nothing but trouble.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
In the US, we have a country that was essentially founded on
Christian principles (I don't recall any Jews signing the founding
documents).
This is not accurate. Many of the signers and *certainly* most of the
authors of the various US inception documents were not Christians but
rather Deists --- essentially agnostics, which were about as
nonsecular as you could effectively be in those days and still
function in society.
While many of them were Deists (which isn't really agnosticism, but rather a
view that God doesn't play a direct role in day to day activities), they
clearly believed in Christian principles and God -- they were virtually all
church going individuals and shaped the framing documents of this country
with those moral values. I didn't say that the US was founded as a
Christian country -- rather that the principles that went into the framing
documents were those based on the Christian ideals of the times.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Post by Russell Turpin
State religion is wrong. Do you really dispute
the notion that everyone in a nation should
have the same rights and responsibilities
under the law, regardless of their religion?
Do you really think that people in Israel don't have the same rights
and responsibilities?
A pattern of less respect for the human rights of non-Jewish Israelis
is evident (and growing more pronounced) in recent times. The
military has been extremely belligerent towards poverty-stricken
non-Jewish Israelis in various areas.
The military has been extremely belligerent towards those that pose risks to
Israel. That's the problem. Think about this -- with Palestinian
sympathizers inside Israel, enough there for the regular suicide bombings
and car bombs that take place, don't you think you'd be belligerent too? I
think we in the US just got a taste of what life is like in Israel and I see
this country reacting in the same way. Imagine being of Arabic descent and
traveling on an airplane now. I'm not saying that's right, but we all have
strong tendencies toward self-preservation. What we think of as unjustified
belligerence is an ivory tower perspective. Imagine going through last
Tuesday for the next 50 years.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Post by Jeffrey Kay
If you think that's state religion, then you ought to look more
closely at the US, where people are expected to swear oaths on a
Christian Bible and refer to God in places and ways that offend
Jews, Muslims, and folks who don't even believe in God.
Many of us believe this is wrong.
For the record, I would prefer we not do these things either. But I respect
the basis upon which this country was founded and appreciate the right to
have my opinion and beliefs respects. For the most part the US does not
insist on religious practices that offend me and fortunately offers me the
opportunity to challenge those things that do. But the reality is that our
pluralistic society breeds folks that would attack a house of worship and
people for their beliefs, so I also believe that there's nothing wrong with
a country that exists to provide a homeland for those who share the same
beliefs and have set up a society around them. There's a distinction there
also -- no one is forced to practice their beliefs in a particular way, but
the society is setup to the majority population which shares a common set of
beliefs.

Many states here in the US are like that today. In Utah, it's tough to get
an alcoholic drink -- very highly regulated because of state community
standards. Some places had and still have "blue" laws -- forcing most
stores to be closed on Sunday. I'm not suggesting that I'm in favor of all
of these things, but Israel's right to build a country around Jewish
principles and ideals is not that dissimilar to how the US was created and
the growing pains that face both countries today.

jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>
chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
"first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
twain
"golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
-- sports illustrated
"if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 18:11:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
While many of them were Deists (which isn't really agnosticism, but
rather a view that God doesn't play a direct role in day to day
activities), they clearly believed in Christian principles and God
That's inaccurate. First, Deism is literally inconsistent with
Christian dogma of any variety I'm familiar with; from dictionary.com
(not the best source, but in a pinch) Deism is defined as "the belief,
based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then
abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on
natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation." This would
not be consistent with a God who became incarnate as postulated by
Christianity. Further, it's *explicity* opposed to Christianity as
evidenced by many of its best-known adherents. (See below.) Second,
I'm not sure what "Christian principles" are, but I would suggest that
the principles held by the framers were general moral principles that
happen to be consistent with a subset of Christian principles.

Franklin and Jefferson wrote quite eloquently about his beliefs in
some of his letters, IIRC, but I'm at the office and don't have access
to my collections of their stuff. Some of Thomas Paine's essays are
available online at [1], and speak directly to the issue of Deism as
it relates to Christianity. In particular, "Of The Religion of Deism
Compared with the Christian Religion." [1] He was quite the critic of
Christianity; check out his other essays. [3]
Post by Jeffrey Kay
-- they were virtually all church going individuals
This was probably a matter of social, commercial, and political
expediency rather than anything else, at least for the framers that
went on record as being outside the popular religious mainstream of
much of early America. Just as many politicians who couldn't give a
flying fig attend church *every Sunday* today...
Post by Jeffrey Kay
The military has been extremely belligerent towards those that pose
risks to Israel. That's the problem. Think about this -- with
Palestinian sympathizers inside Israel, enough there for the regular
suicide bombings and car bombs that take place, don't you think
you'd be belligerent too? I think we in the US just got a taste of
what life is like in Israel and I see this country reacting in the
same way. Imagine being of Arabic descent and traveling on an
airplane now. I'm not saying that's right, but we all have strong
tendencies toward self-preservation. What we think of as
unjustified belligerence is an ivory tower perspective. Imagine
going through last Tuesday for the next 50 years.
I agree with the self-preservation aspect. It's a sticky problem.
But just as the US's handling of Native Americans, for instance ---
who waged a terror campaign against the US --- has been judged
harshly in the light of historical objectivity, so too must we
consider the larger picture here.

jb

[1] http://www.deism.com/
[2] http://www.deism.com/paine_essay01.htm
[3] http://www.deism.com/paine.htm
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 18:19:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Franklin and Jefferson wrote quite eloquently about his beliefs in
some of his letters, IIRC, but I'm at the office and don't have access
to my collections of their stuff.
Eegad. Their, their. This is what happens when I "random edit." ;-) I'm
not illiterate. Really. ;-) :-) Not only that, but I missed a pun
Post by Jeff Bone
Just as many politicians who couldn't give a
flying fig attend church *every Sunday* today...
Just as many politicians who couldn't otherwise give a flying fig attend
church *religiously* (yuk yuk) these days.

:-)

jb
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-17 17:52:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
-----Original Message-----
Post by Jeffrey Kay
I did not mean to imply that the "creation" aspect of Israel
was like the
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Vatican. Rather, my point here is one of purpose. Israel
was created to
Post by Jeffrey Kay
be a homeland for the Jewish people. ..
Let's be clear that the Vatican is NOT a homeland for
the Catholic people. Rather, it is the headquarters for
the Catholic Church. While the Pope fielded an army and
controlled significant territory, at this point in
history, the Vatican is an independent nation in name
only. If you doubt that, try to find any native citizen.
I agree. The point I was attempting to make was poor. Rather than try to
pursue a bad point, I'd rather let that comparison die :-).
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Do you really think that people in Israel don't have the
same rights and
Post by Jeffrey Kay
responsibilities?
I'm still learning about this. Here's an interesting
http://www.total.net/~jtoth/shahak.html
Is it true that the Rabbinical courts function as part
of the Israeli state? Is it true that only Jews may lease
land owned by the Israeli state?
I don't know for sure about the leasing part, but Rabbinical courts do
function as part of the Israel. This is some of what I consider growing
pains in the country. The country was established around Jewish principles,
which include Rabbinical courts (this is a longstanding tradition of the
Jewish people). Rabbinical courts don't function much differently than our
Supreme Court -- no jurors, just people knowledgeable in the principles upon
which they must make decisions. In the case of a Rabbinical court, rabbis
preside instead of lawyers. They must bring together the community
practices (laws) and religious principles in making decisions. This is part
of the growing pains that Israel is going through.

As a society, Israel would really like to emulate the US -- hence the
democratic government. However, as a homeland for Jewish people, how can
Israel survive if an Arab population could easily come in and vote out the
government? These are the tough decisions that Israel will have to face and
deal with once it has the opportunity to not be in a war with its neighbors.
And frankly that is what baffles me about this situation. In reality, most
of Israel is populated by "secular" Jews. Given the opportunity there will
be a great debate about the role of Rabbinical courts, the Law of Return,
and lots of other things. But that debate can't happen when Israel is at
war.

What needs to happen is peace. Once Israel's Arab neighbors decide that
Israel can exist safely, all of these issues will be discussed. They've
been discussed for many years internally and externally, but they can't move
forward because Israel is forever being pulled into war.

Keep in mind that Israel isn't opposed to the creation of a nation on the
West Bank which is Palestinian. However, they won't allow that nation to
have an army that can strike at Israel. My personal belief is that peace
will begin to occur when Arafat dies. I'm not hoping that someone will kill
him -- rather I expect that one of the more moderate and politically savvy
folks like Hannan Ashwari (sp?) will take the lead for the government and
really negotiate a peace. Arafat continuously fails to do that because he
fails to take ownership of the problem. As the Israelis say -- Arafat says
one thing in Arabic and another in English. Until that stops and he puts
some real action behind his words, we won't see peace.

jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>
chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
"first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
twain
"golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
-- sports illustrated
"if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
Steve Sapovits
2001-09-17 18:09:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
While many of them were Deists (which isn't really agnosticism, but rather
a
Post by Jeffrey Kay
view that God doesn't play a direct role in day to day activities), they
clearly
Post by Jeffrey Kay
believed in Christian principles and God -- they were virtually all church
going
Post by Jeffrey Kay
individuals and shaped the framing documents of this country with those
moral
Post by Jeffrey Kay
values. I didn't say that the US was founded as a Christian country --
rather that
Post by Jeffrey Kay
the principles that went into the framing documents were those based on
the
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Christian ideals of the times.
I'm not sure how accurate this is, but this site lists the
religious affiliations of the Founding Fathers:

http://members.tripod.com/~candst/tnppage/qtable.htm

Also, I seem to recall reading that one of the first things
the early Congress spent money on (1777 I think) was the purchase
of bibles. I have no context though. Could have been early
religious lobbying behind that I guess ...

----
Steve Sapovits
***@globalsports.com
Tom
2001-09-17 18:43:34 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Jeffrey Kay wrote:

--]Israel survive if an Arab population could easily come in and vote out the
--]government?


If you a Democratic goverment and the majority of your people vote out the
current leaders, whats the problem? The word is Democratic not "Theocracy
with a slight leaning towards Democracy cause tahts where we lots of cash
from and they like that sort of thing"

Rethink the words and the goals of the government there.

-tom
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 18:50:04 UTC
Permalink
The problem with the "Homeland theory" is that it rests on the assumption that
there should be some special relationship between ethnicity or religious
affiliation, control of national government, and sovreignty over some geographic
region. It's an inherently discriminatory notion, fatally flawed and doomed to
generating controversy and conflict. As long as these things are not treated
separately, then tribal squabbling will continue. It's the *exact* kind of thing
I've talked about before around here in other contexts: the legal encoding of
the notion of "you and I are different." Anywhere and everywhere this happens,
it is wrong.

jb
Post by Tom
--]Israel survive if an Arab population could easily come in and vote out the
--]government?
If you a Democratic goverment and the majority of your people vote out the
current leaders, whats the problem? The word is Democratic not "Theocracy
with a slight leaning towards Democracy cause tahts where we lots of cash
from and they like that sort of thing"
Rethink the words and the goals of the government there.
-tom
http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
Paul Prescod
2001-09-17 21:43:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
The problem with the "Homeland theory" is that it rests on the assumption that
there should be some special relationship between ethnicity or religious
affiliation, control of national government, and sovreignty over some geographic
region.
This principle is embedded in most ideas of human rights and I'm sure is
enshrined in international law. There is an abstract entity termed "a
people" and "peoples" have a right to "self-determination". In other
words a right to sovereignty. In this world, that can only occur when
they also have control over some geographic region. That was the basis
for international support for East Timor's secession. And Kosovo's
pseudo-secession. etc.

The alternative is to say that when a geographically-distinct cultural
minority finds itself trapped in a majority country it has no
moral/legal recourse other than to ask for decent treatment from the
majority.
--
Paul Prescod
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 03:44:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
Post by Jeff Bone
The problem with the "Homeland theory" is that it rests on the assumption that
there should be some special relationship between ethnicity or religious
affiliation, control of national government, and sovreignty over some geographic
region.
This principle is embedded in most ideas of human rights and I'm sure is
enshrined in international law. There is an abstract entity termed "a
people" and "peoples" have a right to "self-determination".
This is true. But "exclusion" is not a right; in fact, non-exclusion is the basis for
most human rights: "a people" can only be defined legally in an opt-in manner. This
is fundamental to most notions of human rights and international law as well. The
Israelis are worried about being voted out of office and losing sovreignty to a
non-Jewish Israeli population? That's too bad, then, if the Palestinians and other
Israeli Muslims indeed have enough internal clout to do so. They should either give
the Palestinians their *own* homeland and self-rule or totally disenfranchise them and
face the world's contempt at hypocritically doing so.
Post by Paul Prescod
In other
words a right to sovereignty.
If you believe "a people" is free to define itself on an ethnic basis, then white
supremecists in the US should be free to define themselves as such, politically seize
power in the Idaho state government (to the extent they don't already have it) --- and
then pass whatever discriminatory laws they so choose. I doubt anyone on the list
thinks that would be a good thing.... "a people" must be defined on the basis of an
open group who chooses to abide by the same laws, legal convenants, and governmental
structure. Anything other than an opt-in basis is *wrong.*
Post by Paul Prescod
In this world, that can only occur when
they also have control over some geographic region.
So you're saying that all geographic regions of the world are controlled by religious
or ethnic monocultures? I think the evidence speaks otherwise.
Post by Paul Prescod
That was the basis
for international support for East Timor's secession. And Kosovo's
pseudo-secession. etc.
The alternative is to say that when a geographically-distinct cultural
minority finds itself trapped in a majority country it has no
moral/legal recourse other than to ask for decent treatment from the
majority.
I would *almost* agree. The appropriate moral/legal recourse --- which the majority
party should be happy to give --- is separatism. Once separated, the minority
"people" / nation is then subject to not just domestic pressures and laws, but
international ones. It's interface abstraction and encapsulation via generic
interfaces: a good idea in any system of interacting components.

jb
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 03:31:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
The problem with the "Homeland theory" is that it rests on the assumption that
there should be some special relationship between ethnicity or religious
affiliation, control of national government, and sovreignty over some geographic
region. It's an inherently discriminatory notion, fatally flawed and doomed to
generating controversy and conflict. As long as these things are not treated
separately, then tribal squabbling will continue. It's the *exact* kind of thing
I've talked about before around here in other contexts: the legal encoding of
the notion of "you and I are different." Anywhere and everywhere this happens,
it is wrong.
jb
Jeff,
This is right on, but the change to less tribal forms of government must be gradual and
initiated by the people. It will take years if not centuries. Mao tried to rush the
change in China with disastorous results.
Bill
Bill, this (Mao / China) is an excellent point and a sharp critique of my position. I'm
forwarding it to FoRK, hope you don't mind.

jb
Tom
2001-09-17 18:51:12 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Jeff Bone wrote:
--]> While many of them were Deists (which isn't really agnosticism, but
--]> rather a view that God doesn't play a direct role in day to day
--]> activities), they clearly believed in Christian principles and God


Ya know, rather than try to make 200+ year old appologies for the relgious
nature of the founders , why dont we TRY to think a little about the times
and what was trying to be accomplished.

The idea that you can be a religious perosn in your personal life and a
secular person in your goverment life was something that struck a lot of
the founders as a really good idea.

You can be influenced by a thing without ruling the populace under that
things name. Thus you can be a Christian or a Lutheran or a Protestant or
a Qucker or Jewish or Muslim or Iluvitarian or what ever and yet still
govern in such a way that your regliion is not the driving force of your
governance but the driving forces of Life LIberty and the Pursuit of
Happiness for all.

It was an advanced thought back then and it seems that its still above
most folks abilities today.

So sad that we have come so far to fall so short.

You may now continue the bickering debates on detialsm.

-tom
Tom
2001-09-17 19:00:18 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Jeff Bone wrote:


--] It's an inherently discriminatory notion, fatally flawed and doomed

So long as the "chossen" children of (insert deity here) feel it is thier
moral and lifes work duty to rule in the name of (insert deity here) there
will be a problem.

Unless we all unite under one deity. Yea, we cant even unite over Coke vs
Pepsi.

Either there is more than one Deity controling things or there is one
Deity writing lots of checks that cant be covered OR it just doesnt matter
if there is a Diety or not so long as we can make up something to fight
over.

Bottom line is, once you get down to the point where the justification
for land grabs, killing and goverments is "cause (insert deity ) said so"
its hopeless, well hopeless unless your willing to erradicate the mindset
with reeducation or removal fromt he gene pool.

Prove this wrong. PLEASE.

-tom





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\ /
X ASCII Ribbon Campaign
/ \ Against HTML Mail
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-17 19:23:49 UTC
Permalink
This is by far the most complicated problem, as you identify below. But I
don't think it's a simple one. The question is -- is there only one valid
form of society? Your assertion below seems to indicate such, but it's
never been proven to any extent. Even in the US, we have 50 separate
governments under one umbrella, allowing for the notion of tribes (states)
within this country. The whole idea around statehood is that different
population areas have different concerns within their geographic regions.
These concerns range from issues of commerce to morals. The only difference
here is that the states for all intents and purposes don't have armies and
thus can't fight each other over these issues. And it's entirely about the
notion that you and I are different. Be real now -- do you think the folks
in Utah or Hawaii or Alaska or Texas or Nebraska think they are the same as
everyone else in this country? And if so, they why are there state
governments with strict territorial borders?

The beautiful thing about the US is that because of the federation of
states, we have all agreed in advance not to encroach each other's land and
not to take up arms in settling our disputes. And over time we've matured
from our original loyalties to states (the original colonists) to being
Americans.

Frankly, I think the Israelis would be ecstatic to have that situation in
the Middle East.

I understand your point about homelands. But until the people of Israel are
safe, the relationship between the Jewish people and the government can't
even surface. And this is totally common in the world today. Countries
emerged as tribes with flags to mark off a geographic area as a community of
people with a common culture and set of beliefs. That's how the US formed.
And, oh yes, the US formed with the notion of slavery that lasted almost 100
years before it was finally abolished. It took a time of growth and
maturity for the country to emerge and be able to address that issue, even
though it came down to arms.

It's too easy to sit in the ivory tower and say that Israel should mirror
the US. Maybe Israel will grow up and be more pluralistic over time (I
believe that it will), but it can't while the military has to fight off its
neighbors. And that's the problem -- until there's peace, there can be no
maturity. The question is one of peace and how to obtain it. Right now,
there appears to be no good solution that will offer security to the people
of Israel and as a result there will be no opportunity for this growth to
occur.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
-----Original Message-----
The problem with the "Homeland theory" is that it rests on
the assumption that
there should be some special relationship between ethnicity
or religious
affiliation, control of national government, and sovreignty
over some geographic
region. It's an inherently discriminatory notion, fatally
flawed and doomed to
generating controversy and conflict. As long as these things
are not treated
separately, then tribal squabbling will continue. It's the
*exact* kind of thing
I've talked about before around here in other contexts: the
legal encoding of
the notion of "you and I are different." Anywhere and
everywhere this happens,
it is wrong.
jb
Post by Tom
--]Israel survive if an Arab population could easily come
in and vote out the
Post by Tom
--]government?
If you a Democratic goverment and the majority of your
people vote out the
Post by Tom
current leaders, whats the problem? The word is Democratic
not "Theocracy
Post by Tom
with a slight leaning towards Democracy cause tahts where
we lots of cash
Post by Tom
from and they like that sort of thing"
Rethink the words and the goals of the government there.
-tom
http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>
chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
"first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
twain
"golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
-- sports illustrated
"if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 19:37:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
This is by far the most complicated problem, as you identify below.
But I don't think it's a simple one. The question is -- is there
only one valid form of society? Your assertion below seems to
indicate such, but it's never been proven to any extent.
I think it's become very clear over the course of history. There is a
strong correlation between peace, prosperity, and stability on the one
hand and integrated, non-secular, capitalist democracies on the
other. The world is getting fed up with tribal society, tribal
squabbling, and human rights violations. The defining policitical
characteristic of the 21st century will IMO be the recognition that
tribal (i.e., having a preference for some ethnic or religious group,
blurring the lines between national and ethnic or religious identity)
governments and political philosophies are flawed and unstable and
have no place in the civilized world. Finally! One can hope, at
least.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Even in the US, we have 50 separate governments under one umbrella,
allowing for the notion of tribes (states)
That's totally bogus. There is a *clear* analogy to tribes when the
notion is a strong tie between ethnicity (or other discriminatory
dimension) and governmental preference. There is *not* the same kind
of homogeneity within any state in the US that you see in any "tribal"
organization. (I can certainly attest strongly to that, living in
Texas and yet being so opposed to a lot of the mainstream political
memes here. ;-)

jb
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 19:58:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by Jeffrey Kay
This is by far the most complicated problem, as you identify below.
But I don't think it's a simple one. The question is -- is there
only one valid form of society? Your assertion below seems to
indicate such, but it's never been proven to any extent.
I think it's become very clear over the course of history. There is a
strong correlation between peace, prosperity, and stability on the one
hand and integrated, non-secular, capitalist democracies on the
other.
Grrr... I'm typing faster than I need to be. "Secular" of course.

jb
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-17 19:35:33 UTC
Permalink
One other thing --

Just in case it looks like I've dropped out of this discussion (one in which
I'm keenly interested), I just want to let you know that I'm offline for the
rest of today and the next two -- to observe Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New
Year).

jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>
chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
"first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
twain
"golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
-- sports illustrated
"if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
Tom
2001-09-17 19:41:44 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Jeffrey Kay wrote:

--]It's too easy to sit in the ivory tower and say that Israel should mirror
--]the US. Maybe Israel will grow up and be more pluralistic over time (I
--]believe that it will), but it can't while the military has to fight off its
--]neighbors. And that's the problem -- until there's peace, there can be no
--]maturity. The question is one of peace and how to obtain it. Right now,
--]there appears to be no good solution that will offer security to the people
--]of Israel and as a result there will be no opportunity for this growth to
--]occur.


How can there be peace given that all the sides feel the Diety Ordained
Justification to kill each other?

Yes its tough to watch others make the same mistakes you had to make ,
historicaly, as a nation. BUT, and this is a key point, you try everything
and anything to make sure you dont get any splash damage from thier
actions.

Since we have funded one side over the other this is not easy to do.

Anyone here read Brins Uplift War saga? Maybe waht nations need are a
patron for the first 50 or so years before they get full nation hood
rights.

-tom
Jeffrey Kay
2001-09-17 20:05:56 UTC
Permalink
You need to re-read my last e-mail. The first point is debatable as the US
is one of the younger countries on Earth. It is currently the most
successful, but only time will really tell. Many countries are capitalist
democracies (including Israel) and have non-secular elements in them. Many
of these countries become more pluralistic over time, but that depends on
the country. The Japanese have profound cultural elements in their society,
including an emperor who they believe is God. So do the Indians. The Queen
of England is the Protector of the Faith and is crowned by the Church. The
French have profound cultural ties that make it difficult both for visitors
and immigrants. Same with the Italians.

These folks have managed to live in peace with each other and their
societies have become more pluralistic over time. If Israel's neighbors in
the Middle East could live in peace with the Israelis, likely the same thing
would happen.

The second point you make totally missed my point because you didn't bother
to read the statement I made in the next paragraph. I said --
Post by Jeffrey Kay
The beautiful thing about the US is that because of the federation of
states, we have all agreed in advance not to
Post by Jeffrey Kay
encroach each other's land and not to take up arms in settling our
disputes. And over time we've matured from our
Post by Jeffrey Kay
original loyalties to states (the original colonists) to being Americans.
This was one of the original debates -- federation or confederation -- how
much power to the states. Over time those loyalties changed flavor (almost
reverted back in the South when their way of life was disrupted). I'm not
suggesting that the states were tribes, but the original colonists loyalties
were to states and over time formed with each other.

Don't miss the point about "over time". Things mature slowly, and often
pleasantly, when there is peace.

So here's the question we all really want answered -- how does peace emerge
in the Middle East? If you were President, how would you solve this
problem?

(Okay -- now I'm really leaving -- be back in a couple of days -- )
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Post by Jeffrey Kay
This is by far the most complicated problem, as you identify below.
But I don't think it's a simple one. The question is -- is there
only one valid form of society? Your assertion below seems to
indicate such, but it's never been proven to any extent.
I think it's become very clear over the course of history. There is a
strong correlation between peace, prosperity, and stability on the one
hand and integrated, non-secular, capitalist democracies on the
other. The world is getting fed up with tribal society, tribal
squabbling, and human rights violations. The defining policitical
characteristic of the 21st century will IMO be the recognition that
tribal (i.e., having a preference for some ethnic or religious group,
blurring the lines between national and ethnic or religious identity)
governments and political philosophies are flawed and unstable and
have no place in the civilized world. Finally! One can hope, at
least.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Even in the US, we have 50 separate governments under one umbrella,
allowing for the notion of tribes (states)
That's totally bogus. There is a *clear* analogy to tribes when the
notion is a strong tie between ethnicity (or other discriminatory
dimension) and governmental preference. There is *not* the same kind
of homogeneity within any state in the US that you see in any "tribal"
organization. (I can certainly attest strongly to that, living in
Texas and yet being so opposed to a lot of the mainstream political
memes here. ;-)
jb
jeffrey kay <***@engenia.com>
chief technology officer, engenia software, inc.
"first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
twain
"golf is an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle"
-- sports illustrated
"if A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is
work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." -- albert einstein
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 20:18:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
You need to re-read my last e-mail. The first point is debatable as
the US is one of the younger countries on Earth. It is currently
the most successful, but only time will really tell.
I disagree. The problem is that context shifts; the world isn't the
same place that it was in the past. It's reasonable to hypothesize
that the success of the US is due to its particular characteristics
being better adapted to the kind of global technological context we
see today.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Many countries are capitalist democracies (including Israel) and
have non-secular elements in them. Many of these countries become
more pluralistic over time, but that depends on the country. The
Japanese have profound cultural elements in their society, including
an emperor who they believe is God. So do the Indians. The Queen
of England is the Protector of the Faith and is crowned by the
Church. The French have profound cultural ties that make it
difficult both for visitors and immigrants. Same with the Italians.
I would never dispute that there's a wide variety of cultures and
historical vestiges of particular forms of gov't. But in all of the
above examples (Japan, India, England, etc.) the figureheads are
effectively just that --- figureheads --- and they've all moved
towards more secular / open societies over time. Stability and
prosperity even among these companies closely correlates to how far
towards secular / open they've moved.
Post by Jeffrey Kay
The second point you make totally missed my point because you didn't
bother to read the statement I made in the next paragraph. I said
--
Post by Jeffrey Kay
The beautiful thing about the US is that because of the federation
of states, we have all agreed in advance not to
Post by Jeffrey Kay
encroach each other's land and not to take up arms in settling our
disputes. And over time we've matured from our
Post by Jeffrey Kay
original loyalties to states (the original colonists) to being
Americans.
I read you statement. My dispute was with the whole notion; there
was *never* as much homogeneity within any given US state as there
would be in a tribally-organized nation or state. We've been a
diverse population from the start. If you want to see historical
homogeneity in the US, you need to look at units as small as counties
and cities. But thank you, you've pointed out a weakness in my
argument; I've been arguing for secular, non-discriminatory gov't.
Really what's needed is a recognition that monocultural governmental
forms are dangerous. Perhaps gov't should be largely acultural. (If
that's a word.)
Post by Jeffrey Kay
Don't miss the point about "over time". Things mature slowly, and
often pleasantly, when there is peace.
Well, two points: (a) I believe that evolution in forms of society is
synced to particular things like progress in transportation and
communication technology, velocity of money and distribution of
trade. Tensions often arise when gov't can't keep up with these
things. (Witness the disconnect in our own legal / technical
environment between the DMCA and the deeper implications of a digital
society.) And (b) I'm not sure that maturing slowly is a good thing;
we may not have the luxury of time anymore. It may be time for
everybody to grow up, and quickly.

jb
Jeff Bone
2001-09-17 20:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
So here's the question we all really want answered -- how does peace
emerge in the Middle East? If you were President, how would you
solve this problem?
I have no idea. I do think we should closely examine our policies
-wrt- economic aid and arms sales.


jb
Russell Turpin
2001-09-17 20:25:45 UTC
Permalink
The Japanese have profound cultural elements in their society, including an
emperor who they believe is God.
We should have an annual convention for all the Japanese
who still believe the Emporer is god incarnate. My house
is only 800 square feet, so we may have to use yours.

Or maybe mine would do.
The Queen of England is the Protector of the Faith and is crowned by the
Church. ..
And she is almost as irrelevant as the Japanese emporer.
Mark my words, any decade now, England will abolish the
monarchy. Right after fox hunting. As to the Church in
England, religious observance is at an all time low, and
both archbishops -- Catholic and Anglican -- have
complained that they are presiding over a country of
atheists.
The French have profound cultural ties that make it difficult both for
visitors and immigrants. ..
Visiting France is wonderful. And easy. If you think
France is difficult, you really should avoid some of the
more exotic places in the first world. Like Maine.

Russell


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Russell Turpin
2001-09-17 20:46:22 UTC
Permalink
Isnt there a law in the US that requires sanctions to be placed on
countries that acquire nuclear weapons?
I think it works the other way around. The nuclear powers
-- US, Russia, Britain, France, and China -- are signatories
to the non-proliferation treaty, where they all agree to
limit the spread nuclear weapon technology to other nations.
Three nations have acquired nuclear weapons, but are not
signatories to the treaty: Israel, Pakistan, and India.

Russell


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Damien Morton
2001-09-17 21:01:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeffrey Kay
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2001 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: Israeli Religious Discrimination
Isnt there a law in the US that requires sanctions to be placed on
countries that acquire nuclear weapons?
I think it works the other way around. The nuclear powers
-- US, Russia, Britain, France, and China -- are signatories
to the non-proliferation treaty, where they all agree to
limit the spread nuclear weapon technology to other nations.
Three nations have acquired nuclear weapons, but are not
signatories to the treaty: Israel, Pakistan, and India.
Which of Israel, Pakistan, India does not have sanctions imposed upon
them for acquiring nuclear weapons?
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 03:23:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Damien Morton
Post by Jeffrey Kay
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2001 4:46 PM
Subject: Re: Israeli Religious Discrimination
Isnt there a law in the US that requires sanctions to be placed on
countries that acquire nuclear weapons?
I think it works the other way around. The nuclear powers
-- US, Russia, Britain, France, and China -- are signatories
to the non-proliferation treaty, where they all agree to
limit the spread nuclear weapon technology to other nations.
Three nations have acquired nuclear weapons, but are not
signatories to the treaty: Israel, Pakistan, and India.
Which of Israel, Pakistan, India does not have sanctions imposed upon
them for acquiring nuclear weapons?
Um, I'll take Israel for $500, Alex?

jb
Russell Turpin
2001-09-17 22:07:16 UTC
Permalink
This principle [the "homeland" theory] is embedded in most ideas of human
rights ..
I think you're wrong about this. Human rights are more
typically expressed as the rights of individuals, than
as the rights of peoples.
.. There is an abstract entity termed "a people" and "peoples" have a right
to "self-determination". In other
words a right to sovereignty. In this world, that can only occur when they
also have control over some geographic region. ..
How far do you want to carry this? Mexico has been battling
an indigenous insurgency. In Europe, the Basques are still
fighting for a homeland. India, New Guinea, and China are
each home to dozens of different peoples, each with their
own language and religion. There are hundreds of indigenous
peoples in South America and Africa. The US and Canada have
their own groups of indigenous peoples. To which pieces of
land do these groups have rightful claim? And how do we
battle the existing polities to assert these claims? And
how are conflicts resolved, when multiple groups claim the
same ground? History is long, and the people who were
conquered yesterday got there by conquering a previous people
the day before, who did the same, going back many millenia.

In some sense, I believe in arbitrary right of secession.
Right down to the individual. The problem with the "people"
who carve out a piece of land to rule is that they are then
the majority, which uses their new found homogeneity to turn
around and oppress a now smaller minority group.
The alternative is to say that when a geographically-
distinct cultural minority finds itself trapped in a majority country it
has no moral/legal recourse other than to ask for decent treatment from the
majority.
Or to put this more positively, that every polity should
recognize fundamental *individual* rights, including
freedom of religion.

Russell


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Paul Prescod
2001-09-17 22:29:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Russell Turpin
This principle [the "homeland" theory] is embedded in most ideas of human
rights ..
I think you're wrong about this. Human rights are more
typically expressed as the rights of individuals, than
as the rights of peoples.
Okay, fine, it is a "right of Peoples", not a human right.
Post by Russell Turpin
...
How far do you want to carry this?
I agree that it is messy. But it is also not right to say to people
stuck in nations they would never have chosen: "Sorry, deal with it."
And I'm speaking as a citizen of a country that has had to deal with
this issue intimately.

I don't know the answer but I'm just pointing out that life is not so
simple as saying: "We're all equal. Boundaries are arbitrary. Live in
the nation the colonials put you in and be happy." It is easy to say
that as an American because there is no lost tribe of Americans stuck in
someone else's country.

Let's face it: the only reason we have different nations at all is
because different people have different cultures and beliefs. Divorcing
"nations" from "peoples" from "states" is unrealistic for the
foreseeable future.

Some problems have no ideal solution.
--
Paul Prescod
Russell Turpin
2001-09-17 23:29:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
I don't know the answer but I'm just pointing out
that life is not so simple as saying: "We're all equal.
Boundaries are arbitrary. Live in the nation the
colonials put you in and be happy." ..
I can think of no better way to guarantee internecine
warfare for the next century than to insist that every
people has a right to its own homeland. Do you
want there to be a 22nd century?
Post by Paul Prescod
.. It is easy to say that as an American because
there is no lost tribe of Americans stuck in
someone else's country.
I'm sure you meant "..besides the Mennonites
living in Mexico." Off hand, I can't think of others.
Post by Paul Prescod
Let's face it: the only reason we have different
nations at all is because different people have
different cultures and beliefs.
That's a vast oversimplification that perhaps was
most true in some long ago prehistory when early
homo sapiens spread throughout the world. Given
the complexities of history since then, different
nations have come about in vastly different ways.
Turkey, for example, evolved out of the Ottoman
empire after its defeat in WW I. Speaking of
homelands, should the French have some claim
to central Turkey? (Yes, the same Gauls that
settled the Gallic nation earlier settled Galatia.)
Germany and Italy are both the results of mergers.
Great Britain conquered the Welch and the
Scottish before becoming "Great." China is a
Chinese empire conquered by a Mongol empire
evolved back into a Chinese empire evolved into
a socialist empire now evolving into something
entirely different. Mexico came from a colony
declaring independence from a European empire
that had conquered the Aztec empire. There
are several different indigenous peoples in it,
each with its own language. India has hundreds
of languages and peoples. There are relatively
few nations that are actually "one people," and
even those that seem to be are actually the
result of unremembered conquest and merger.
How far do we carry the rights of a "people"
to unravel history?

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see nations
split apart. If the Quebecois get the votes, I'll
be the first to visit the new French nation to
my north. The problem for them, as with most
seccessionist groups in today's mobile and
overlaid world, is that a lot of people in
Quebec prefer to remain Canadian.

Russell
Paul Prescod
2001-09-18 02:32:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Russell Turpin
...
I can think of no better way to guarantee internecine
warfare for the next century than to insist that every
people has a right to its own homeland. Do you
want there to be a 22nd century?
I didn't say that all peoples have a right to fight violently for their
own homeland. If they have the opportunity to achieve it democractically
(as is the case in many parts of the world) then they should do so.

It isn't as if those that would fight violently for their own homeland
would really care whether I believed them to be morally right or not!
Post by Russell Turpin
Post by Paul Prescod
.. It is easy to say that as an American because
there is no lost tribe of Americans stuck in
someone else's country.
I'm sure you meant "..besides the Mennonites
living in Mexico." Off hand, I can't think of others.
Are they truly Americans? Mennonites do not really consider themselves
as belonging to the nation that happens to surround them.
Post by Russell Turpin
Post by Paul Prescod
Let's face it: the only reason we have different
nations at all is because different people have
different cultures and beliefs.
That's a vast oversimplification that perhaps was
most true in some long ago prehistory when early
homo sapiens spread throughout the world. Given
the complexities of history since then, different
nations have come about in vastly different ways.
I'm talking more about why we want nations to exist rather than fighting
for their destruction as a few communists have. Most people want nations
to exist because they feel that it is right and good that Mexico should
decide how to handle its rich/poor disparity differently than the US
which is different in turn from Canada.
Post by Russell Turpin
....
Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see nations
split apart. If the Quebecois get the votes, I'll
be the first to visit the new French nation to
my north.
Fine. Then what on what do we disagree?
Post by Russell Turpin
.... The problem for them, as with most
seccessionist groups in today's mobile and
overlaid world, is that a lot of people in
Quebec prefer to remain Canadian.
Sure.
--
Paul Prescod
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 04:03:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
Post by Russell Turpin
...
I can think of no better way to guarantee internecine
warfare for the next century than to insist that every
people has a right to its own homeland. Do you
want there to be a 22nd century?
I didn't say that all peoples have a right to fight violently for their
own homeland. If they have the opportunity to achieve it democractically
(as is the case in many parts of the world) then they should do so.
Do the "hosts" have the right to oppose and suppress this process with
violence?

jb
Paul Prescod
2001-09-18 04:26:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Bone
...
Post by Paul Prescod
I didn't say that all peoples have a right to fight violently for their
own homeland. If they have the opportunity to achieve it democractically
(as is the case in many parts of the world) then they should do so.
Do the "hosts" have the right to oppose and suppress this process with
violence?
No. It is never appropriate to fight peaceful ideas with violence.
--
Paul Prescod
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 04:34:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
Post by Jeff Bone
...
Post by Paul Prescod
I didn't say that all peoples have a right to fight violently for their
own homeland. If they have the opportunity to achieve it democractically
(as is the case in many parts of the world) then they should do so.
Do the "hosts" have the right to oppose and suppress this process with
violence?
No. It is never appropriate to fight peaceful ideas with violence.
When do we recognize that peace has failed, if ever? When do we acknowledge
that we fundamentally do not understand these people as well as they understand
us, and must accept their battle on their terms rather than ours.

We gave Afghanistan $113M in aid last year. They did not turn OBL over to us.

jb
Paul Prescod
2001-09-18 04:41:40 UTC
Permalink
I think you're having a different conversation than I am. I was talking
about host countries and separatist minorities. I don't see how that
applies to Afghanistan and OBL.

I'm all for war against the Taliban, but I think we should see it as a
war of liberation for the Afghani people. And we should help them to
remain liberated.
Post by Jeff Bone
Post by Paul Prescod
Post by Jeff Bone
...
Post by Paul Prescod
I didn't say that all peoples have a right to fight violently for their
own homeland. If they have the opportunity to achieve it democractically
(as is the case in many parts of the world) then they should do so.
Do the "hosts" have the right to oppose and suppress this process with
violence?
No. It is never appropriate to fight peaceful ideas with violence.
When do we recognize that peace has failed, if ever? When do we acknowledge
that we fundamentally do not understand these people as well as they understand
us, and must accept their battle on their terms rather than ours.
We gave Afghanistan $113M in aid last year. They did not turn OBL over to us.
jb
http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
--
Paul Prescod
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 04:41:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Prescod
I think you're having a different conversation than I am.
My point is that it might not have worked *in* *this* *case* because the
Taliban might not care about one lousy city in a mostly-rural nation.
jb
G***@aol.com
2001-09-18 16:01:24 UTC
Permalink
hey! me say bomb me say bomb me say bwah-hah-hah-bomb

hey, fucked up taliban, taliban havana
(daylight come and we wanna go bomb)
while you are there, suck a TNT cigar
(daylight come and we wanna go bomb)
one missile, two missile, three missile, FOUR
(daylight come and we wanna go bomb)
you started this, you freakin' turban'd whore.

one week later, anger supplants grief,
geege
Jeff Bone
2001-09-18 17:21:03 UTC
Permalink
Geege, you just made my day! :-) :-) You ever thought about a
career in comedy?

jb
Post by G***@aol.com
hey! me say bomb me say bomb me say bwah-hah-hah-bomb
hey, fucked up taliban, taliban havana
(daylight come and we wanna go bomb)
while you are there, suck a TNT cigar
(daylight come and we wanna go bomb)
one missile, two missile, three missile, FOUR
(daylight come and we wanna go bomb)
you started this, you freakin' turban'd whore.
one week later, anger supplants grief,
geege
John Hall
2001-09-20 18:56:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom
If you a Democratic goverment and the majority of your people
vote out the current leaders, whats the problem?
It is a problem if they turn around and start slaughtering the minority.
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