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Guard Dog

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Posts posted by Guard Dog

  1. I've always thought that Christianity was rooted in the New Testament more than the old. Considering that 90% of the New Testament writings contradicts 95% of the Old Testament. That however is my own opinion and it may be uninformed. The only thing I wanted to point out before was that although three of the major names among the founders were Christian in name only, most were, true believers. Or at least claimed to be.


    We've wandered off track a little. As I stated before. If Mr Ellison wishes to swear on the quran he is free and welcome to do so. Ir's right there in the 1st amendment.

  2. I would strongly suspect that your statement 'vile and incomprehensible' stems more from the fact of your incomprehension than any vileness on the part of the religion. I stand (as I think has been made very clear) against Islamic fascism, but not against Islam.


    You were right, I was wrong to say that. Apologies offered to anyone offended.


    As for the statement about 9/11, it's as nonsensical as saying that Britain learned everything it needs to know about Roman Catholicism on 27th August 1979. No religion is that simple, even something as extreme as Aum Shinri Kyo has complexity.


    I'm sticking to this one. No other religion instructs it's followers to kill non believers. The principle tenent of Christianity is to love one another. Those who practice violence in it's name are in violation of it's tenents. Those who practice violence in the name of Islam are following it's tenants. I spent quite a bit of time in Saudi Arabia in 1991-1992 and saw that first hand.


    And my point about the founding fathers is essentially a ripoff of Warren Ellis/Spider Jerusalem. God forbid that we might have learned something since the ineffable light of truth was granted us by the founders.


    I was not debating your point, just pointing out a few things that you said were a little wrong.

  3. To answer Alanschu's question. The First Amendment states Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This has become what people refer to as the "Establishment Clause" and has been used (wrongfully) to argue that the US government must be totally deviod of religion. It does not say that at all. It does not violate the first amendment to place a Christian symbol (such as the Mt. Soledad Cross) on public property. Nor is it wrong for Ellison to swear on a Quran however little I may like it. The thing about freedom is, you must take the good with the bad. Personally I find Mr. Ellisons religion incomprehensable but he has every right to practice it as he pleases where he pleases. If that means he swears his oath on a quran good for him and I will defend his right to do so.


    The first amendment is often used by anti-religious groups such as the ACLU to attack religious practices everywhere. The are quick to point out the first part of the establishment clause but totally ignore the second part.

  4. Relax, it's just some senator playing up to his extremist supporters. I do find it funny that senators seem to find it difficult to grasp the nature of freedom of religion.


    See my preivous post for an explanation. But those who see this and worry are not extremists. They are average people. America learned all it needs to know about Islam on 9-11-01.


    As for the counter argument that the founding fathers were christian, this is firstly inaccurate*, and secondly going to lead down some interesting paths. Principally, many of them were slaveowners. Does that mean slavery should be reinstated?


    Straw Man


    * My impression was that while everyone in those days said they were christian, many of the founders were sceptical to say the least.


    Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison could be described as Deists. The rest I would not call them anything but Christian.

  5. Allow me to pass on a little "inside info" since I have been involved in politics. Substance accounts for very little in Washington D.C. Style is everything. This whole mess was engineered to grab headlines and get a little rise out of everyone. It sets an agenda and makes talking points during a time when there is really nothing going on. It also gives the pols a chance to strut and preen, liberals for it, conservatives against it. So it is a big deal but only in that context. That is just for the US. I do not know how they act in Europe or Canada, or elsewhere.


    Di, if you actually knew how little the congress critters knew about the constitution I don't know if you would laugh or cry. I know two congressmen personally. One is a well meaning idiot with a smart chief of staff that keeps him in office. The other is an arrogant @$$ who honestly believes the law is what Congress says it is. I got into a conversation with the latter last year about Imminent Domain being a 10th Amendment issue (I argured Kelo v New London was a disgraceful decision). About 5 min into the conversation I realized he had no idea what the 10th amendment actually said. In November he was reelcted for the 5th time. I would not vote for him and I consider him a friend.


    Both are democrats for those who are wondering. Having a philisophical slant does not make you smart.

  6. Like Mortis, I've said all I have to say on this debate. One more observation though. I've always found it odd the same people who oppose the death penalty support abortion. So, there is no right to kill a person who has murdered other people, but there there is every right to kill a baby who has harmed no one.


    I guess if you oppose the death penalty AND abortion you are at least logical and consistent.

  7. Unfortunately, that's not much of a guarantee.  If the death penalty is not a deterrent, I doubt hanging out in a black 8x6 cell is going to help either.  What I wouldn't be surprised with though, is how exceptionally harmful it would be to throw someone into complete isolation for 5 years.  If you're going to do that, you might as well just keep him in prison.  If someone wasn't already disconnected with reality and society, after that they might as well be.


    The wonderful media (which already is excessively sensationalist, and would depict murders and rapes as being the most common type of crime committed) is exceptionally quick to point out repeat offenders for crimes.  So much so, that it overrepresents it and makes people think that once a criminal, always a criminal.  Rehabilitation programs do work.  It's just that the media doesn't find it particularly news worthy if a criminal gets out of prison and never commits another crime and integrates himself perfectly into society.


    Also, I think when it comes to prison sentences, people completely underrate freedom.  They hear about how they have access to a library, get meals, and so on, and get all upset.  If you don't think it's all that bad, then why don't you just go commit a crime and go down easy street?  I like my freedom.  I like not having to adhere to a particular schedule that someone else sets up for me.  If I want to hang out with friends and go down to the mall I can.  If I wish to go on a vacation, I can.  If I don't like my job and want to go and get a new one, I can.  If I don't like the place I live and want to move, I can.  Maybe it's just me, but I'd much rather have autonomy in my life, then be told when to eat, when to sleep, and so on (for the record, it's 4 AM right now, because the job I have lets me make my own hours.  As long as I work a 35 hour week, the boss is happy).




    The more horrifying prison is, the fewer people we will have in it. Recitivisim will drop if we make or prisons more like the isolation cells at Devil's Island during the turn of the 20th Century. That the repeat offender rate is so high now when we do so much to rehabilitate tells me that rehabilitation is a fools errand anyway. So you make it so terrible and so dehumanizing (which means so much worse than it is now) that no one will repeat for fear of going back.

  8. How exactly does killing someone protect the rights of the victim?  Personally, I'd rather protect the rights of everyone.


    It makes sure that the killer doesn't get the chance to make more victims.


    I agree. Tookie Williams will not be killing anymore convienience store employees. Or ochestrating any more attacks on prison guards. Or sending anymore orders to the Crips. Ted Bundy will not kill any more college students. Tim McVeigh will destroy no more buildings.


    To quote Ron White In America, we have the death penalty. And we USE it. If you come here and kill someone we will kill you back. It's our policy. :aiee:

  9. So you believe that mankind cannot change and that we are all fundamentally rat bastards who can never look beyond their own noses?


    I believe that is our nature. If you are a creationist then you believe we were made in God's image but fell. Yes we did, hard and far. If you are an evolutionist then we are animals descended from animals and how could you expect any better from us? But those of us who are able to move beyond our base instincts deserve to be protected from the ones who don't. I'll agree the death penalty is not effective as soon as Ted Bundy kills another college girl, Tim McVeigh blows up another building, etc.

  10. I have to agree with what some of the others posted. Romance is a small part of charachter development. If a charachter does not develop in a story but a romance is bolted on anyway, it really doesn't work well. I would rather have a group of well fleshed out believable characters than a romance option. Or both if it works for the story. The only RPG that hit all aspects IMHOP was Torment.

  11. Well, not to put to fine a point on it, but I personally find all the "romances" I've ever seen in crpgs to be trivial insipid drivel.  The lauding of the BG2 "romances" as some sort of high-point boggles my mind. 


    I'm not saying a story woven about the development of some sort of relationship between characters could not work in a crpg.  It probably would and could be quite compelling.  But I ain't never seen that yet.  These "notches in the belt" things that comprise the "romances" in current crpgs are really a low point of current crpg design.


    The only thing I choose to romance in current crpgs is my claymore.


    No offense. :mellow:


    They were the best of the bad. That did not make them good.

  12. "if we are civilised people living in a TRULY democratic country"


    I doubt yuou know what TRUE demcoracy. Going by a trued emocracy, the majority in this threa dwould win which means bye bye child murderer.


    I don't thinbk he should be tortured; but he should be punished and not felt pity for, and that includes up to the death penalty.


    Cold blodded murderers deserve nothing less. If it wa spossible to 'redeem' him then sure; but as otehr spoint out; this isn't a fairy tale wher ethe bad guy tm will see the error of his ways and reform.


    You been drinking today Volo? :mellow:

  13. I would change my stance on the death penalty if we could reform our prisons. If all murder convicts were kept in total isolation, 8X6 cells with no windows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with no TV, no books, no human interaction of ANY kind (their meals will be slid through a slot in the door) for every day until they die of natural causes, then I will go along with abolishing the death penalty.


    In the US, prisoners get cable TV in their cells for free. Free use of a library (with tons of legal materials). A free college education if they choose, It's B.S. If it were up to me, if you have a 5 year sentance you would spend evey minuite of that 5 years in that 8X6 cell with no one to talk to, no liberal psychobable about "reforming" you. I guarantee you one thing, no one who served time will want to go back.

  14. in the last couple of months:

    Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky)

    Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels)

    Common Sense (Thomas Paine)

    Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man (Christopher Hitchens)

    On the Suffering of the World (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    Teach Yourself Jung (as tangential background information for another book I am currently reading: The Seven Basic Plots (Christopher Booker))

    An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom (Cicero).

    I have a subscription to New Scientist and Scientific American

  15. and the fact that everyone wants to pull out of iraq at this point but the current administration says no so they are staying means that even if theres a ground swell of support, unless it's what the leader wants it's not gonna happen.


    Just because the public wants it does not mean it's right or wise. Yes they want up to pack up and leave Iraq now but by and large do not understand the terrible consequences of that action. By and large the public wants the US government to pay for healthcare and point to other nations that do. But they don't even understand why it doesn't, can't, or even comprehend the damage it would do to our nation and society to change our system enough to allow it. We tend to elect people because we hope they are better informed about things like this than we are and if you do and those people decide based on the best information they have that a war is needed to defend the best interests of the nation then you should support that until you find out otherwise. And if it means serving and fighting, so be it.

  16. It's a distinct, and massive loss of personal freedom.


    It's a straw-drawing event, sure, for an entire age group, but it is still stripping those people of that base freedom.


    As bad as it is, if it is ever enacted it IS legal. Would you go to jail, Canada, or the the service? The shortest route is to just go in, do your two and get it over with. I think the jail term is longer and I don't believe Canada will welcome dodgers again. Which would any of you guys take?

  17. You're contradicting yourself.  First you argue that the Revolution was primarily about representation rather than taxes, and then you state that the current American government-- a product of representative democracy-- should be overthrown because of high taxes.  If the main reason to overthrow an oppressive government is lack of representation, then modern Americans shouldn't be considering revolt.  (And, by and large, they aren't.)

    Jeez, that was intended to be a tounge-in-cheek comment. You guys are taking that too literally! But you are correct. Any heartache with the fiscal discipline (or lack therof) in the current government has nothing to do with the causes of the revolution. Thats why I added a second paragraph so I did not make a connection between two seperate thoughts. Anyway, let me say for the record I do NOT advocate armed insurrection against the US govt. The problem with forums is sarcasm often does not translate well!

  18. I differentiate because the american revolution was a bunch of guys makign a power grab so they didn't have to pay of the brits for the French-Indian war. I mean in most history classes they don't really explain other than that we were trying to pull of a militant case of Tax Evasion.


    So I guess my problem is not with the soldiers, but it's more with the leadership.


    I'd still run like hell should the draft come for a war of agression.


    The big point of contention was that the colonies did not have representation in Parliament. Tax was the match that lit the powder keg but the powder keg was no autonomy or representation in what was becoming an increasing hostile govenmnent in England.


    I find it ironic that our forefathers threw out the British over a 3% tax rate yet now we vote for politicains that have created a bloated, over reaching govenment that is crippling us with taxes, most of which the Constitution grants it no authority to levy. About time we got out our muskets again and lined up on the Boston Green.

  19. Something else to think about everyone. Hypothetical scenario here. After the collapse of the Weimar government in Germany in 1933, Hitler became the new Chancellor and he immediately set aside the Treaty of Versailles and began arming for war. Suppose the "Big Three" had then taken military action against Germany. After all they violated the terms of their peace agreement and Hitler was promising to reannex territory now independant or owned by other nations by force. It was twenty years after the war ended so conscription would be a must and they (the allies) would have been attacking a sovreign nation. But it would have been a short fight. At the time it would have appeared like an unjust and unnecassary war and many of you would have then looked at such a conflict as you do Iraq now.


    But looking at it through the prisim of history, how many lives would have been saved? How would the world be different? If you had fought in 1933, perhaps your younger brothers or sons would not had had to fight in 1940. Sometimes an "unjust" small war now is better than a "just" big war later. Just something to think about.

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