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[P]
Patriotism or Bigotry?

By enterfornone in Op-Ed
Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:32:45 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Society, or at least western society, has progressed a long way in the past hundred years or so. No longer are people discriminated against based on their gender or the colour of their skin. More recently discrimination against homosexuals has also become unacceptable.

However despite this, the majority of western governments and individuals, still hold on to the belief that citizens of their own nation deserve special rights over and above citizens of other nations.


The most obvious example of this discrimination is in the treatment of foreign refugees. In one of the Australian Liberal Party's 2001 election advertisements, Prime Minister John Howard stated "We decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come."

But do we really have that right? Would it be right for a mostly white town to prevent a black family moving in? Would it be right for a mostly Christian own to prevent a Satanist moving in? If not, why is it OK to prevent a foreigner entering your country?

Another example of the prejudice against foreign citizens can be seen in the US war in Afghanistan. So far some 3,500 civilians have been killed by US bombs. While many would argue that the US attacks are justified by the number of people who were killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks, consider this:

A group of terrorist have taken some 3,500 American hostages in a large office building. The authorities can attempt to negotiate with the terrorist in the hope that they will leave without harming the Americans. Or they could send in soldiers to kill the terrorists, hopefully minimising civilian causalities. Or they can blow up the building.

I think it is fairly clear that in such a situation the authorities would make every possible effort to ensure that no innocent party is hurt. And when they decide that direct action is necessary, they would act in such a way as to minimise civilian casualties.

This analogy isn't entirely accurate, since in Afghanistan there were no hostages, no one was in immediate danger of being harmed if the US did nothing. It was simply about retribution. However, no matter which way you look at it, dropping bombs would never have been a solution if American lives were at risk. It is only the fact that the civilians killed were foreigners that allows the US to justify their deaths as "collateral damage".

Why is this the case? Why is it the American lives lost on September 11 are deemed so much more precious than the thousands of lives lost in punishing the few responsible for the September 11 attacks?

But this attitude of treating the lives of people in our own countries as more important than that of foreigners goes far beyond the war in Afghanistan. Most western countries provide a social security system which supplies the poor with enough food and shelter for at least a basic level of existence. We still have poverty, but not poverty in the sense of having no shelter from the elements and having to go for days without food or water.

Yet despite the adequate welfare provided to our own people, very few countries have been able to meet the modest goal set by the United Nations to provide 0.7% of GNP in foreign aid.

It is not that wealthy western nations cannot afford it. Peter Singer claims in his book Practical Ethics that if "we stopped feeding animals on grains and soybeans, the amount of food saved would - if distributed to those who need it - be more than enough to end hunger throughout the world."

So what can we do about this? Already we have many people lobbying world governments in attempts to fight against the attitudes described above. In Australia, Refugee Action is one of many organisations that lobby for fairer treatment of refugees. The "Network Against War And Racism" is one of the many anti-war groups out there. And there are hundreds of groups trying to lobby western governments to increase foreign aid.

Most of these groups are based around Socialism. This isn't necessarily a bad this, the extreme left has done quite a bit to inform us about issues that we otherwise might never hear about.

But I don't think that is the solution. Socialism is based on the idea that there are large numbers of evil people in the population that must be forced to do the right thing. They believe that the wealthy must be forced via taxes to give to the poor. I don't think that is the solution.

The solution is to teach people that they are citizens of the world and that looking after citizens of foreign nations is just as important than looking after their own. After all, when Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence he stated that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". All men - not just Americans.

And in a practical sense, I believe the solution is not Socialism, but the supposed great enemy of Socialism, Globalisation. When we have both complete freedom of trade, and more imporatantly complete freedom of movement between nations, we will no longer be able to say that citizens of other countries are not our problem.

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Display: Sort:
Patriotism or Bigotry? | 147 comments (144 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
Just revenge? (2.80 / 5) (#1)
by MVpll on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:17:03 AM EST

I think it is a little harsh to proclaim America's actions in Afghanistan as soley retribution. National governments find it hard enough to produce quality results on a national level, let alone the international level. Asking them to run before they can comfortable walk is bound to lead to disappointment, letting them know they will be expected to run in the future is perhaps a good thing.

Socialism an Globalisation. (4.84 / 13) (#2)
by ooch on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:29:44 AM EST

First off, great piece of work, +1FP from me.

Just want to nitpick a bit about the very last paragraph:

And in a practical sense, I believe the solution is not Socialism, but the supposed great enemy of Socialism, Globalisation. When we have both complete freedom of trade, and more imporatantly complete freedom of movement between nations, we will no longer be able to say that citizens of other countries are not our problem.

Globalisation is hardly the great enemy of Socialism, it is actually its very goal. Remember the socialist internationals? In the eyes of Marx and co. all workers in the world should unite under the banner of socialism, and forget about their old nation-states. The ultimate goal was global socialism.

Later on the world Globalisation got a different meaning, namely the free movement of capital over the world. Not people, capital. That is the main problem a lot of socalled anti-globalists have with agreements like NAFTA and the FTAA: they permit free movement of capital but not of people. The border of Mexico is guarded heavily to not let any Mexicans in, yet the goods that the Mexicans make for their American bosses in Mexican factory's can freely enter the US.

In the end the word globalisation should be avoided altogether IMHO, it means too many things to too many people.

agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 01:57:34 PM EST

'Globalization' is much too generalized. From now on lets treat it as the ignorant-protestor word who just yells about things he doesnt know much about. Sort of like complaining about The Man.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

So... (3.09 / 11) (#3)
by sombragris on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:47:19 AM EST

Would it be right for a mostly white town to prevent a black family moving in? Would it be right for a mostly Christian own to prevent a Satanist moving in? If not, why is it OK to prevent a foreigner entering your country?

...would it be right for a mostly Palestinian town to prevent a Jewish family moving in?

however... (4.00 / 5) (#5)
by mikael_j on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:04:26 AM EST

On the west bank and Gaza we aren't talking about one family moving in, we are talking about setting up whole neighbourhoods complete with a bunch of soldiers...

/Mikael Jacobson
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
/AND/ (3.20 / 5) (#9)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:47:21 AM EST

destroying the Palestinian villages, and closing off their farming land.

[ Parent ]
Don't even try to analogize the two. (2.33 / 3) (#30)
by truth versus death on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 01:36:50 PM EST

Yes, if the Jewish family used guns, force, and threat of force to move in.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
but what... (3.66 / 3) (#58)
by sombragris on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:36:14 PM EST

but what if not? I am thinking mostly of Palestine in the 1930s during the British Mandate.

[ Parent ]
palestinian racism (none / 0) (#112)
by deadplant on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 11:23:43 AM EST

I don't think anyone is going to argue that the majority of Palestinians are racist bigots. Same goes for the Israelies (perhaps a somewhat lower percentage).

So many years (centuries) of war does that to people.

[ Parent ]
Globalisation 1 or globalisation 2? (5.00 / 9) (#4)
by marx on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:56:39 AM EST

And in a practical sense, I believe the solution is not Socialism, but the supposed great enemy of Socialism, Globalisation. When we have both complete freedom of trade, and more imporatantly complete freedom of movement between nations, we will no longer be able to say that citizens of other countries are not our problem.

Everything you say up to here sounds reasonable, but I'm missing something from this idea. If you have global freedom of trade, and global freedom of movement, don't you also need global law? As an extension of this, you would need global democracy, since someone has to make the laws.

I don't think this is what you mean though, and thus I disagree with you. I accept the free market mechanism, but only when it's regulated by the people.

To simplify discussion, let's call globalisation without global law "globalisation 1", and globalisation with global law "globalisation 2".

Since we're assuming democracy, every societal mechanism must (or should, if the system is working correctly) be beneficial to society as a whole. It's simple to prove that unregulated markets are not, and thus a democracy does not want that. This does not mean that unregulated markets are not beneficial to anyone. Of course the companies who manage to exploit the unregulated market will benefit tremendously.

If we assume all countries in the world are democracies, and that the question is posed to them if they want globalisation 1 or not, the absolute majority would obviously say no, since it would not be beneficial to them (not even in the long term). The only countries who would say yes, are those few who can exploit the market, and who have an unscrupulous enough population to not care about the consequences for the rest of the world, or even the long-term consequences for themselves.

Somehow I don't think Bush is talking about kumbayah-globalisation 2 when he is backing "globalisation", he is talking about globalisation 1.

The only really accepted situation when a population can use violence is when democracy is threatened. "No taxation without representation" was used to justify a war against Great Britain. I don't really see why "no globalisation without representation" cannot be used to justify war against those who are trying to implement globalisation 1. Previously I did not support the violent anti-globalisation protesters, but if this is their cause, then I think anyone who supported the US war against Britain must also support them.

I'm not saying the situations are completely analogous. But what is developing is a war between those who think democracy is the most important, and those who think the unregulated market is the most important. And somehow the US has ended up on the side not backing democracy.

Essentially, if the US would have had the role of Great Britain, it would have called "no taxation without representation" a communist slogan. This to me is somewhat ironic, but also a bit sad.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

Global law (3.50 / 2) (#8)
by enterfornone on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:31:13 AM EST

Everything you say up to here sounds reasonable, but I'm missing something from this idea. If you have global freedom of trade, and global freedom of movement, don't you also need global law? As an extension of this, you would need global democracy, since someone has to make the laws.
You wouldn't need global law - individual countries would still make their own laws and people would be free to move elsewhere if their government had unjust laws.

This does not mean that unregulated markets are not beneficial to anyone. Of course the companies who manage to exploit the unregulated market will benefit tremendously.
I don't think this is true. I think unregulated markets would be benificial if it were combined with unregulated migration. Unregulated markets are only not benificial because companies are able to exploit foreign citizens who are basically slaves to their own government. Were these people able to migrate to capitalist countries we would not have the problems with "slave labour" that we have today.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Global Law (4.28 / 7) (#10)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:56:24 AM EST

The problem is that what the WTO is doing is exactly that - making global laws. Or rather, the only law is that their should be no national regulation preventing free trade - and the WTO is the court that will enforce this. Whithout much representation.

When can I move on Mars?

The WTO is clearly systematically ruling in favor of the big corporations, against local governments - "Local" meaning here the US or the EU. If the US decides that chemical X is dangerous for the environment, but company PPG wants to sell said chemical X in the US, the WTO will usually rule against the US.


Also, check your facts. The "slave labour" problems occur in capitalist countries as well as anywhere else. Indeed, in the context of the work market, "law is liberty, none is slavery". In a deregulated world, some big country would decide to suppress minimum wage, and would attract most corporations. No more jobs in the industrialised world, so every one has to go to the deregulated country, where everyone is slave labor...

[ Parent ]
No more jobs... (4.50 / 2) (#15)
by enterfornone on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:24:21 AM EST

No more jobs in the industrialised world, so every one has to go to the deregulated country, where everyone is slave labor...
And no more consumers to buy whatever products these slaves are making.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#17)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:30:12 AM EST

You just described the economical crisis of the 90's, the one that peaked in 93. How do you prevent such a problem in your deregulated world?



[ Parent ]
You assume a global government (5.00 / 3) (#25)
by marx on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 12:11:43 PM EST

You wouldn't need global law - individual countries would still make their own laws and people would be free to move elsewhere if their government had unjust laws.

This is an interesting theory: the free market mechanism applied to governments. However, you are making an implicit assumption which is quite important to make explicit. The whole theory is based on that countries must be forced to open their borders. What authority can force countries to do this? You are assuming that a global government already exists. How is this government elected? Or is your plan that for example the US should force all countries to open their borders?

If you're saying that there should be a global government, but that its scope should be very limited, then I'm with you. As long as there is some kind of legal system. I don't like this kind of extortion-based dictatorship that seems to be emerging with the WTO and IMF and whatever.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

treaties, partnerships etc... (2.00 / 1) (#34)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 01:55:34 PM EST

Through the same way america has already opened (somewhat) the borders of canada and mexico - by signing treaties with them. This is how nations agree on things like this.

Not really that difficult a concept...

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

(somewhat)?! (none / 0) (#115)
by coffee17 on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:37:59 PM EST

somewhat? capital can be shipped across, but people aren't free to move across... that doesn't seem to free to me, I'm closer to being a mexican than a washing machine, or a shoe.

-coffee


[ Parent ]

Not 100% true, unfortunately... (3.75 / 4) (#6)
by kaemaril on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:06:10 AM EST

No longer are people discriminated against based on their gender or the colour of their skin. More recently discrimination against homosexuals has also become unacceptable.

I think that, sadly, these statements are not 100% true. Sexual discrimination, racial discrimination and sexual orientation (is there a single word to describe this?) discrimination still exists. It may not be as prevalent as it once was, but it's still there.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


What I meant... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
by enterfornone on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:23:34 AM EST

I guess I didn't say that right. What I meant was that racial and sexual discrimination are no longer acceptable in mainstream society, whereas in the past discriminating based on race and gender was considered the norm. Of course there are individuals that still discriminate, but society as a whole does not.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Discrimination (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:59:28 AM EST

Compare the salaries of Men and Women in a similar work position. Say that there is no discrimination.

Indeed, it rather seems that there is less discrimination on a person to person basis - noone will be openly racist or sexist - yet, the discrimination system still works. Women have to work much harder to get to the same positions as men.

[ Parent ]
Average saleries (4.33 / 3) (#13)
by enterfornone on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:11:51 AM EST

Compare the salaries of Men and Women in a similar work position. Say that there is no discrimination.
Average saleries don't really tell the story. Much of the diference is due to the number of women who work part time due to family commitments. Most of them do this by choice. Another factor is that many women drop out of the workforce, again by choice, to raise a family. This results in, on average, there being more expereinced men in the workforce than there are women. The more experienced men obviously get paid more.

Of course there is still quite a bit of real sexism in corporate circles, particularly among senior execs who have been bought up with the "old boys club" mentality. But for the most part corporate sexism is a thing of the past, certainly in the overt sense that I'm talking about.

I work in IT, which is primarily a male profession. But the women I work with get paid at the same rate as me and I would go as far as to say they are not discriminated against in any way.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

Right (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by J'raxis on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 03:15:06 PM EST

Repeal the discrimation laws. See how fast this country returns to what it looked like in the 1950s. There are plenty of people out there who simply don’t act racist or sexist or whatnot because it’s illegal (in public, social, and/or professional contexts) for them to do so.

— The Cynical Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

the fact it is illegal.. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 06:24:09 PM EST

shows that society has deemed such things undesirable.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

society (none / 0) (#55)
by rhyax on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 06:56:42 PM EST

By society as a whole do you not include the US government?

I agree with your other points, but by no means is this the last frontier... we are a long way from a discrimination-free society, and not just in rural mississippi or wyoming

[ Parent ]

Uh huhz (4.25 / 8) (#12)
by bc on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:11:12 AM EST

Would it be right for a mostly white town to prevent a black family moving in?

Eh, why wouldn't be right? Why are you assuming that if they don't, the reason must be because the family is black? Suppose it is because they have no space, or no food, or are riven by disease? Is it still automatically bad because the family is black?

Would it be right for a mostly Christian own to prevent a Satanist moving in? If not, why is it OK to prevent a foreigner entering your country?

Exactly the same objections apply to these statements too. Sure, if the reasons are racial or religious descrimination, that could be wrong, but are you assuming that in cases of the minority that must be the reason? There are and endless number of reasons why a town may reject a black family, or a satanist, and so on, all of which are perfectly reasonable. And the same applies to foreigners and states. This is really just a silly, emotional crock.

The authorities can attempt to negotiate with the terrorist in the hope that they will leave without harming the Americans. Or they could send in soldiers to kill the terrorists, hopefully minimising civilian causalities. Or they can blow up the building. I think it could easily be argued that in the case of Afghanistan the US first tried approach one, negotiation, and is now following approach two, sending in soldiers to kill the terrorists, whilst minimising civilian casualties (AKA 'collateral damage', a term you could just as easily have used here). So how do you explain that your own analogy undermines itself? After all, they are following the same strategies on a global fronteir as they would in your hypothetical building full of American innocents.

We still have poverty, but not poverty in the sense of having no shelter from the elements and having to go for days without food or water.

Contrary to ignorant Western belief, the world outside Europe and North America isn't in a state of starvation. In fact, almost everybody in the world isn't starving. Those that are are in war torn states, which are surprisingly uncommon. In other words, whilst much of the world does suffer from poverty, you can't really claim they are starving, for goodness sake.

The solution is to teach people that they are citizens of the world and that looking after citizens of foreign nations is just as important than looking after their own.

So some glitzy TV advertising campaigns and perhaps some classes in our schools teaching the kids to love the foreigner, yea, like a brother, will solve global poverty? kewl.

♥, bc.

no space, or no food, or are riven by disease (4.00 / 2) (#14)
by enterfornone on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:21:46 AM EST

Suppose it is because they have no space, or no food, or are riven by disease?
Unless they are eating your food and living in your home the first two don't really count. It's fairly easy to test whether or not someone is "riven with disease". If that were the reason we don't let people in as immigrants we would probably have to think about not letting them in as tourists too.
Contrary to ignorant Western belief, the world outside Europe and North America isn't in a state of starvation.
Again from Singer's book 'The Worldwatch Institute estimates that as many as 1.3 billion people - or 23% of the world's population - live in absolute poverty. For the purpose of this estimate, absolute povery is defined as "the lack of sufficient income in cash or kind to meet the most basic biological needs for food, clothing and shelter."'

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Dodge (3.66 / 3) (#18)
by bc on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:33:23 AM EST

Unless they are eating your food and living in your home the first two don't really count. It's fairly easy to test whether or not someone is "riven with disease". If that were the reason we don't let people in as immigrants we would probably have to think about not letting them in as tourists too.

The precise examples I gave are irrelevant; my point was that there could be any number of reasons why a racial/religious/whatever minority should be rejected from a state or town, without it necessarily being due to their racial or religious preferences. In your article you appeared to state that any such rejection must be because they are a racial or religious minority. WTF?

Again from Singer's book 'The Worldwatch Institute estimates that as many as 1.3 billion people - or 23% of the world's population - live in absolute poverty. For the purpose of this estimate, absolute povery is defined as "the lack of sufficient income in cash or kind to meet the most basic biological needs for food, clothing and shelter."'

Oh. Does this mean I can expect these 1.3 billion people to die within the next few months, as their basic biological needs are not being met?

If not, then their basic biological needs are being met.

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]

TF (4.00 / 1) (#20)
by enterfornone on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:41:40 AM EST

The precise examples I gave are irrelevant; my point was that there could be any number of reasons why a racial/religious/whatever minority should be rejected from a state or town, without it necessarily being due to their racial or religious preferences. In your article you appeared to state that any such rejection must be because they are a racial or religious minority. WTF?
I would argue that there is not a single legitimate reason why an American citizen would be deported from an American state or town.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
There are plenty of reasons (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by bc on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:11:44 AM EST

Varying from Gated Communities discovering that a resident has broken the contract under which they stay there, to extradition between states, to reasons of public health, to crime, etc etc. You position seems a bit clearer now though.

♥, bc.
[ Parent ]
1.3 billion starving (none / 0) (#113)
by deadplant on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:36:16 PM EST

Oh. Does this mean I can expect these 1.3 billion people to die within the next few months, as their basic biological needs are not being met?
If not, then their basic biological needs are being met.


No, only a few hundred million will actually die right away. The rest will be malnourished, in other words: their babies will be stillborn, they will die before they reach the age of 40, they will die or suffer horribly from minor diseases that a well fed person could easily repel, and the children that survive past 2 years will be stunted and weak.

[ Parent ]
US (4.28 / 7) (#16)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:28:13 AM EST

Neither the US nor Europe nor Australia are in a lack of resources. All could support quite a lot more people on their ground. The reason those countries aren't letting foreigners on their ground has nothing to do with fear of starvation. The clearest proof for that is that in most developped countries, the largest group of illegal immigrants is one of a well accepted, alike looking nation ; e.g. in Australia, most illegal immigrants are brits.

The US attempt at "negotiation" had nothing to do with that word. The only thing the US said to the Taliban was, "Give us OBL or we attack. Communication over". Also, the US didn't send many soldiers ; it mostly bombed the country. Air bombings are known to be a rather unefficient way of minimizing civilan deaths - collateral damage is just an euphemism for that. The only way to minimize civilian casualties is to really make a ground attack, with infantry, using only guns ; only a soldier can reasonably hope to distinguish between a civilian and a soldier. When there is a 'hostage building', the authorities usually send commandos a la counter strike, not B1's and B2's.

And a study was once made of what kind of geography and history is taught to kids around the world - those that hear the less about foreign countries are the US children. Perhaps it would be better to start with this than with TV ads... It has good odds of working, honest.

[ Parent ]
those that hear the less about foreign countries (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by sgp on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:48:20 PM EST

those that hear the less about foreign countries are the US children.
From over here in the UK, I do wonder what (if anything) US students are taught about the rest of the world ... Yoorop seems to be one big place, Africa another, Australia's a third, and ... oh, there are some other bits, too I guess, but that's all full of commie bastards.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant... I couldn't name the capitals and leaders of any American states, I just wonder how many Americans could name the capitals and leaders of any EMEA countries... since these are far more populous than American states combined, this could be an interesting (though easily cheated) straw poll...

A few starter questions: - rate yourself, or post, who'se forcing you?

  1. England
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. Angola
  5. Nigeria
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. Egypt
  8. Ghana

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

*chuckle* (none / 0) (#74)
by Robert S Gormley on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:59:26 PM EST

I'm biased... but I can name all 50 US states, and I live in Australia. I'd love to see Americans name all 6 states and 2 territories of Australia...

[ Parent ]
One nitpick (4.75 / 4) (#19)
by BrentN on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:40:14 AM EST

Good article! I will, however, take issue with your quoting of Peter Singer. No hard numbers are (or can be) provided to substantiate Singer's claims, either here or by Singer himself.

This is a real sore point for me, as the local PETA groups and the activist vegans (who'da thunk it?) use this unsubstantiated claim in their protest literature.

The fact of the matter is that there are considerable benefits in processing soybeans and grain meal through animals, even if ~95% of the energy is lost. These benefits include:
- Enrichment of the number and types of amino acids and complex proteins available.
- Increase in the amount of "good" (and bad!) fatty acids available.
- Concentration of energy, mainly as a side effect of the first two items.
- Ancillary comestible benefits, including dairy products and eggs
- Ancillary non-comestible benefits, including manure for soil fertilization.

The fact the we "pay" the cost in most of the energy from the soybeans/grain meal is just the price of doing business. TANSTAAFL. We'd have to pay the energy costs at some point, and in my view, its better to pay it with soybeans than petrochemicals. Unfortunately, I digress somewhat from the topic at hand.

While I agree with you that free trade and free movement of people across borders are desirable things, I think they are a symptom of the problem being solved, not the solution itself.

Cows are not efficient (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by marx on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:23:16 PM EST

We'd have to pay the energy costs at some point, and in my view, its better to pay it with soybeans than petrochemicals.

This is not true. This is a very simple energy process, I don't see what's so hard to understand about it. A cow is an energy converter with a specific efficiency, i.e. when energy is converted, a certain amount of energy is lost. I can make a machine which takes 10 kg wheat as input, and outputs 2 kg of wheat, and some heat. This does not mean that I would have to pay the 8 kg of energy cost anyway, it's pure energy loss.

As for the ancillary products, this is a red herring. None of those things are necessary. If the goal is to have luxury, then sure, I can think up much less efficient processes for producing food than a cow.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

not very efficient... (5.00 / 3) (#90)
by physicsgod on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:37:28 AM EST

but they're mighty damn tasty.

--- "Those not wearing body armor are hereby advised to keep their arguments on-topic" Schlock Mercenary
[ Parent ]
Re: Refugees (4.71 / 7) (#22)
by Talez on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:33:10 AM EST

I know I've seen this somewhere before and I think it deserves a reposting. Here's a handy 3 step method to reducing the refugee problem in australia:

1) Determine whether they are refugees within the week. Anyone without identification should be considered a refugee automatically and a new temporary UN identification should be drawn up

2) Asylum seeker sticks his hand in a barrel and pulls out the name of a suitable UN member state. Suitable UN member states should be decided by a list of criteria set by the UN refugee council. These criteria could include language, religion, past and present civil disorders and possibly how many refugees a certain member state has taken already.

3) Wherever they draw out is wherever they go. No second chances. No redraws. They take their immediate family with them. Anyone that breaks this rule and tries to escape (immigrating legally would not be escaping) to a different country will be disqualified from regugee status.

This isn't a "I want to resettle here because the grass is so much greener" thing. You are escaping persecution. Not everyone in this world is a bleeding heart socialist. If you do want to resettle or immigrate properly, make an application at the consulate of the country you wish to immigrate to either before you leave on your journey or after you have claimed refugee status.

Also, to those who think refugees should be housed in the community. This wouldn't be a bad idea once they are proved to be genuine refugees. Look at all the British and American backpackers working over here on expired tourist visas. They dont care whether they are scheduled to be deported. They also know that the Australian Federal Police have better things to do than track down a couple of backpackers overstaying their welcome.

What would happen if an asylum seeker's application were rejected and they were scheduled to be deported. Do you think they would sit back and accept the immigration commission's decision? In all honesty, we all know that's highly unlikely. They would most likely disappear into the community which they have been housed in.

However, on the flip side, we must make sure that when detainees are in detention, that they meet a standard for asylum seekers set by the UN council for refugees.

Also, governments consider their citizens first because the citizens have (mostly) been working their asses off paying taxes for almost all of their working lives. After putting so much into their country, they (the citizens) should be first in line to benefit from these taxes that they have paid to the country.


Si in Googlis non est, ergo non est
wrong article (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by nodsmasher on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 12:54:21 PM EST

ya i think you posted this in the wrong article being moderated, id sugest re-posting it but as of writing this coment its at -8 so don't bother
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
whose number one (2.08 / 12) (#23)
by sopwath on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:35:43 AM EST

Some person (very left wing already) claims they called around and have, gasp, found there were civilian casualties in a large scale military operation. What do you expect? If Afghanistan was bombing your country (or flying planes into it) do you think they would care about "civilians"? I bet thier idea of an attack would be to miss the army and actually attack the general populace on purpose.

Another thing, calling the US counter attack retribution is way off base. Saying Afghanistan, and therefore Al Quida, would do nothing if we didn't go over there is bull. If I killed your family by soaking thier house in kerosene and then let them burn, would you be able to just say, "Well I should try to reason with Mr. SopWATh and bring him to justice."

The Declaration of Independence does not protect those who are enemies of the US. Why should we protect a group whose sole purpose is the destruction of that liberty you think we should hold the world to? How do you suppose we spread this liberty around the world? Imperialism is the only way to force other nations to accept our rule of law, that doesn't work in the long run and goes against American policy.

All these great socialist countries (I'll pick on China for now, they're the biggest [that sounds familiar for some reason]) how many people have been killed building the three gorges dam? What about thier humane treatment of criminals? When was the last time you read an interesting article about China's treatment of the media? Oh, I guess the wonderful leaders in that country have been doing such a good job that no one has anything to complain about.


Once you realize that every separate nation is worried about one thing you will see why each nation is so selfish.

good luck


Graduation, Sleep, Life: Pick Two
rule of what law??? (3.70 / 10) (#26)
by Gorgon5 on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 12:14:01 PM EST

What gives the USA to continual right to not only blow the crap out of anything it disagrees with, but also to get righteous about it?

If you are going to accept the fact that the United States has the right to bomb Afghanistan and kill thousands of people instead of submitting to the will of international law, especially when the USA has yet to actually publicly produce any solid, credible evidence that what they are doing is right, then you are going to have to accept that some people believe they have the right to try to destroy America, without submitting to international law, and without publicly producing any evidence.

The USA has to stop thinking that it has the right to enforce its system of profits and laws and privilege on the rest of the planet.

The USA claims to be a nation of law, ruled by reason and by its public. If this is true, then perhaps the USA should be demonstrating this by acting within the law.

Bottom line: You can't use unlawful means to force other people to accept your "rule of law". That is vigilante behaviour which, in the USA, is illegal. If you burned my house down then yes, Mr. Sopwath, I would try to have to arrested and put on trial. I would not burn your house down, kill your dog, or kick you in the genitals.

And what if other countries don't want to abide by American Law? What right does America have to force them?

Your argument about China is fallacious. It is not true that the United States is good because China is bad. Dig? Maybe China is doing awful things. Maybe all socialist governments do awful things. (China as a socialist gov't is a whole other kettle of fish, by the way.) Maybe socialism is the worst form of evil. Even if all these things are true, in no way does that mean that the United States of America is any better.



[ Parent ]
China? (4.33 / 3) (#39)
by J'raxis on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 03:28:11 PM EST

China is a totalitarian state that uses socialism (Communism, actually) in name only. Actual socialist states include Canada, Sweden, and to some extent many other European nations.

Either you have your head up your ass or that was a fairly good troll.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Patriotism or Bigotry (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by sgp on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:53:36 PM EST

From the title, which word would you chose to describe yourself? Patriot or Bigot?

I know which comes first to my mind when I read such posts....

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Some things (4.00 / 4) (#69)
by Robert S Gormley on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:12:21 PM EST

The US counterattack was retribution - you refused to work out a solution, you just sent in carrier battle groups to hunt down - although hardly a representative sample, a scary number of comments I read were full of "The USA is the dark angel of vengeance", and in need of some - any - blood.

How do you suppose we spread this liberty around the world?

Despite Dubya's State address, who the fuck is the US of A to take aim to 'spread liberty' throughout the world?

It's amusing to go on about how the US is supposedly protecting the rest of us poor unfortunates from the evils of the great socialist China. Last I heard, you'd accorded China "most favoured nation" status. Hardly an enemy.

[ Parent ]

It's neither. (4.20 / 5) (#24)
by m0rzo on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:07:08 AM EST

I commend you for a well written and thoughtful article but I disagree with you totally. You have just gone and undermined the fundamental concept of nations. Maybe you think we should do away with these "archaic" institutions but I certainly don't.

Every country has a right to decide who enters. Resources are limited, if people are allowed to travel freely and live where they choose there would be chaos. Imagine if the entire third world uprooted and left to live in Australia or Great Britain. The same problems that blighted their home lands would ensue in the West. Fair enough, asylum seekers are different if they are genuine, but I'm all for keeping economic migrants out.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
economics (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by beebutterfly on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 01:54:14 PM EST

What if you'd written:

Every country has a right to decide what enters. Resources are limited, if products are allowed to travel freely and be consumed wherever they are desired there would be chaos?

It could be argued that economic migrants are beneficial to countries monetarily...the same kind of argument is used to promote free trade.

In short: if you buy the free trade argument, why not a free people argument?


Float and Sting!
[ Parent ]

because people are expensive (4.50 / 2) (#37)
by _Quinn on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 02:38:16 PM EST

In the US, this is less of a problem, because the government doesn't provide much in the way of social services. In Europe, however, if someone else moves in and can't support themselves, the citizens end up supporting them -- which they generally don't want. You also end up with a 'race to the bottom'; if anyone could go to a country with a very nice system of social(ized) care, then that country would either (a) have to stop offering that level of care or (b) go bankrupt, because the people most likely to move are precisely those who are least likely to be doing well where they are. Of course, that isn't always their fault; but the point remains: even ignoring infastructure costs, it is not cost-free to let more people into a country.

Do I think laws should be amended to allow anyone who can demonstrate a means of support to go wherever they want? Sure, why not?

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
[ Parent ]
the hypocrisy of white people against immigration (4.66 / 3) (#62)
by turmeric on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:23:45 PM EST

Millions upon millions of white people had to flee
Europe, not only because of religious or political
persecution but simply because there were no jobs.
The accounts of the 'indentured servants' go something
like this quite often:

Joe Blow Irishman got kicked off his land by a Brit,
wandered around england for 2 years looking for work
and nearly starving to death, couldn't find any,
saw a flyer for free passage to America
in exchange for 7 years work, went across, got
lucky and didn't die of some horrible disease
like 20 or 30% of the rest of the people might have,
and became a slave for 7 years, often dying before
the period of 'indentured servitude' was up.

From Joe Blow Irishman's perspective, he is fleeing
shit for a better life.

Now here is the Indians perspective.
Before the white's came and brought their cattle
and fenced in all the land and water, we were able to hunt
many kinds of wild game such as deer or beaver or
whatnot. Of course we can't do that anymore, hell
we can't even travel over that land anymore.
Plays-with-beads told us we could have a better life
if we took some money for our land and moved
further away from the ocean, but really, these white
people never seem to stop coming.
I am all for hospitality and immigration, but really
where will it all end?


[ Parent ]
Globalization, borders and so on. (4.50 / 4) (#32)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 01:50:31 PM EST

I think you're right about that. Globalization is the solution to many of the world's social woes. An ideal world would be one without borders, without nations, where people are not americans, australians or germans, but instead humans. Where one is free to move and work wherever they choose.

This what has always somewhat amazed me about the anti-globalizations protest folks. Most of them seem like they would be open, if not encouraging to knocking down borders and doing away with protectionist economies.

I think their arguments need to be more focused. Don't argue against globalization - argue against corporate greed. Argue against the next Enron. But not the free-trade and open border aspect of globalization. When we have truly global free trade and knock down all artificial barriers, then every person in the world will have the opportunity to be successful, and no longer will certain sections be mired in poverty.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

huh... (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by xriso on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 03:37:31 PM EST

That sounds a lot like "globalisation" to me. Isn't one of the things the protesters hate is that the US is "invading" poorer countries? There would still be poverty, btw. It would be like the successful towns and poor towns that exist within our own countries, but on a larger scale.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]
oops! (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by xriso on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 03:40:22 PM EST

OK, next time I'll fully read a comment before replying... I'm sure the protesters would still have qualms about complete globalisation even without the corporations. And I think there would still be the poor places like I said
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]
Yes, there would. (4.00 / 2) (#43)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 03:56:27 PM EST

But without borders, there would be equal-*opportunity*. People with the will could get up and simply leave. Move to somewhere prosperous. Right now, with borders and horrible immigration policies (see: Australia), those with the will to work and better themselves simply cannot.

The fundamental problem isnt with corporations themselves, or the fact they're across the world. The problem is a nasty bit of human nature: Greed. Every economic system, whether it be capitalism or socialism has its downsides, though they may be different. Capitalism can go wrong when greed happens, socialism's is laziness. Unfortunately neither can be corrected through laws or organization.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

getting up and leaving (5.00 / 2) (#45)
by xriso on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:16:24 PM EST

This would be very difficult for your generic African super-poor person. It would be interesting if there was some sort of "fund" that sends people from Africa to better off places when they couldn't afford it themselves.

So, I would really be equality of right, not opportunity.

Corporations are a funny thing, though. Originally the US was very very anti-corporation (not only did the British government oppress them but also the Brit corps), but the attitude has shifted as the US became more first-world.

Also, remember that greed is actually the force that drives capitalism as well as its downfall. The point where the greed starts to adversely affect the public is when someone has a monopoly or close to one.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]

on greed and capitalism (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:31:40 PM EST

You would be surprised just how well a superpoor african can use their legs and backs to move themself...

I dont think its what drives capitalism. I think the desire to live a better life than you already now do drives it. Some might call that greed, but I dont think its greedy for a poor person to want to be middle class.

It becomes greed when it does start affecting negatively the lives of others at their expense. Like polluting rivers to avoid the cost of pollution controls. The key here is to work hard and efficiently - but not to the point of destroying the lives of others. The key is control.

Socialism's downfall is the lack of efficiency. With little incentive to do a better job (like higher pay, or not getting fired), there is no reason to work hard to make a good product. Of course, in an ideal world people would work hard, just for the sake of working hard. But alas, human nature kicks in and laziness happens. Product quality suffers. This can negatively affect the public (say, someone dies because a seatbelt in a car has been installed improperly).

Now I won't argue which is a 'worse' human trait - greed or laziness. To me, they are equally heinous, though for different reasons perhaps.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

That is what they are saying (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by linca on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 03:40:03 PM EST

If you listen to them, beyond the "anti-globalization" word. At least for the first part of your comment. They want globalization, but not done by free trade first. Free trade does not guarantee everyone an equal chance to succeed. Because destroying the "artificial barriers" would mean the disparition of minimum wage, of environment protection, of free education and easy access to culture. Destroying "artificial barriers", as the WTO wants it, would mean all countries should go back to the status of Indonesia or your random African country. Everyone would have an equal chance to be successful, or to live an happy, middle-class life (I do think one should be allowed not to wish to be successful, but rather to be able to raise his children, have leisure time, retire before being 80...)

Unregulated Free Trade guarantees that there will be another Enron, because the premices for Enron are exactly the same a those of Free Trade : the only point in life is making money, nothing should stand between you and money.

[ Parent ]
Scalabilty (4.60 / 5) (#36)
by Woundweavr on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 02:21:30 PM EST

The problem with Globalization is that as the amount of people a government has sway over, the more corruption and the less self determination. This problem exists in both socialist, communist (both theory and practical versions), republics and democracies. Each person would have less individual control over their lives because their vote means less and less. With a socialistic economic system, it just leaves more people to exploit the system while increasing the bureacracy exponentially. With capitalistic economic systems, it will result in the same uneven distribution of wealth as exists today as the nations that are rich will continue to be rich without tariffs to discourage poverty wages in other areas.

Current globalization isn't some kind of government by the people across the globe, but a corporately controlled group exercising power over people who did not elect them.

If someone came into your home and murdered your parents or spouse or kids, you would be angry and devastated. If someone killed a family the next town over you might be sad but not devastated. If someone five thousand miles away you might say thats too bad but you wouldn't let if affect you. By your arguement, you should care about everyone in the world the same. People who are connected to you matter more in your mind. People that remind you of yourself, of your own mortality will matter more emotionally than someone about as alien as can be. It is human nature.

Sidenote: Don't take Herold's word for the number of casualties. Examining his sources show that he repeatedly overcounted and misread reports.



It's a little different... (4.22 / 9) (#44)
by skim123 on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:14:59 PM EST

Why is this the case? Why is it the American lives lost on September 11 are deemed so much more precious than the thousands of lives lost in punishing the few responsible for the September 11 attacks?

Military officials will tell you that we gave the people of Afghanistan a chance not to be bombed. We said, "Turn over Osama." They said no. We said, "Any nation that harbors terrorists, will get the fuck bombed out of them." They still said no. Now, granted, those getting pelted with bombs that have gone astray weren't polled as to if they wanted to turn over Osama, but, the thinking goes, if they really wanted to avoid the "death from above" they'd revolt against the current regime and hand over Osama.

Of course it is ludicrous to assume that starving pheasants are going to rise against the armed zealots of the al Qeada, but at least they were given a chance, unlike the 3k or so in the WTC. Also, we are aiming at military targets. Yes, some bombs go astray, but we are not intending on killing innocent lives; Osama and his henchmen were, obviously.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Not a fair characterization (4.57 / 7) (#49)
by kripke on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:48:49 PM EST

Actually, the Afghan government had offered to turn Osama over to a neutral third party, as is provided by international law. This offer was utterly rejected without justification by the U.S. What right do we have to force Afgan civilians to undergo bombing just because we didn't care to adhere to international law? We are clearly the aggresors in this case.

[ Parent ]
There's no meat on a wooden decoy (4.00 / 4) (#52)
by afeldspar on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 06:05:44 PM EST

Actually, the Afghan government had offered to turn Osama over to a neutral third party, as is provided by international law.

This was after they assured the nations of the world that they were not sheltering Osama, had no idea where he was, and could not possibly turn him over for justice even if they did know.

Given the wide variety of stories that the Taliban militia offered on whether they could or couldn't, would or wouldn't, turn over Osama bin Laden, I do not think it is the act of a reasonable person to select one story from the many which, if it had been true, might have led to the most peaceful resolution, and thus assume that it was true.


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]
Although... (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by sgp on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:34:58 PM EST

It could have been true, and easily proven. If given the chance. And let's face it, most people assumed that they knew where he was, and if the US Gov't didn't think that, then what was their justification in bombing the fuck out of Afghanistan?

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Bzzt. Wrong. (2.00 / 2) (#80)
by Apuleius on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:13:06 PM EST

That "neutral third party" was a Shariaa court in another Muslim country. Shariaa law is a joke, and one that is not exactly very funny.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Overreaching, perhaps (none / 0) (#119)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:25:12 PM EST

Shariaa law is a joke, and one that is not exactly very funny.

Which is why there are people in numerous countries throughout the world, including Indonesia and Nigeria, demanding its adoption on the grounds that it seems to them to be more fair and internally consistent, and less subjct to bribery and corruption, then the british- or roman-style legal systems that were imposed on those countries by the west.

I wouldn't want to live under a shariaa system. But it seems to me to be a perfectly *reasonable* legal structure, and one that works well in the countries where it has been adopted.

[ Parent ]

No, not over-reaching at all. (none / 0) (#122)
by Apuleius on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:19:19 PM EST

Which is why there are people in numerous countries throughout the world, including Indonesia and Nigeria, demanding its adoption on the grounds that it seems to them to be more fair and internally consistent, and less subjct to bribery and corruption, then the british- or roman-style legal systems that were imposed on those countries by the west. If a million people believe a silly thing, it is still a silly thing. The procedural rules regarding witnesses in a Shariaa court make the whole thing a very unfunny joke. (For example, a judge is not allowed to let the testimony of a Jew stand over that of a Muslim.)


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
End World Hnuger.. (3.25 / 4) (#51)
by Zapata on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 05:57:52 PM EST

feed the pheasants.

Ahem. Sorry.

"If you ain't got a camel, you ain't Shiite."


[ Parent ]
you did give afganis a chance not to be bombed? (4.50 / 4) (#56)
by nusuth on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 06:57:21 PM EST

No way. Those people had no power over the situation, neither on WTC attacks, nor on keeping Usama. When they were given the chance, they revolted against Taleban...and founded a new government that is copycat of Taleban (except the new one really does not know where Usame is), oh well...

Don't get me wrong, I'm on your side on this. But you didn't really expect people overthrow Taleban and turn over Usame to you because they didn't like being bombed, did you?

[ Parent ]

Well.. (4.66 / 3) (#57)
by mindstrm on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:21:07 PM EST

It's obvious you've never been in the presence of a flock of hungry, starving pheasants... it's not a pretty sight.


[ Parent ]
Nothing to worry about (none / 0) (#107)
by deaddrunk on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 06:17:06 AM EST

It's obvious you've never been in the presence of a flock of hungry, starving pheasants... it's not a pretty sight.

Pheasants aren't carnivorous birds.



[ Parent ]
Sir, (3.25 / 4) (#65)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:42:22 PM EST

Military officials will tell you that we gave the people of Afghanistan a chance not to be bombed. We said, "Turn over Osama." They said no. We said, "Any nation that harbors terrorists, will get the fuck bombed out of them." They still said no. Now, granted, those getting pelted with bombs that have gone astray weren't polled as to if they wanted to turn over Osama, but, the thinking goes, if they really wanted to avoid the "death from above" they'd revolt against the current regime and hand over Osama.

This is so internally inconsistent it is hard to believe.

First, your "they weren't polled" part effectively refutes your "argument". How is it exactly that you propose that people may be compelled by a third party to rise up in arms against their government, and be punished with their lives if they don't comply?

Second, you have to consider the economic conditions in the country. How effective are communications networks? What information is it that arrives to an Afghan villager? Which conclusions can he derive from it?

--em
[ Parent ]

Well then... (none / 0) (#79)
by Apuleius on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:11:30 PM EST

So I guess since the Germans could not have toppled Hitler, Britain and the US should have just left them alone? Guess what, mate, people do have a responsibility to establish a government that will not be a thorn in others' sides. Otherwise, they get stomped.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#83)
by PhillipW on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:59:31 PM EST

Hitler was wildly popular in Germany when he was ruler. I don't think we can say the same about the Taliban. Also, remember that Hitler was allowed to march his tanks into another country (The Sudetenland) without any opposition. It wasn't until he invaded Poland that anyone decided it was time to fight Germany.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
On that rationale (5.00 / 2) (#95)
by Robert S Gormley on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:08:49 AM EST

The American government is one of the biggest thorns - the number of people its policies have pissed off and disenfranchised is incredible. You apparently then have a need to do some internal stomping...

[ Parent ]
Interesting ... (none / 0) (#118)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:22:36 PM EST

How is it exactly that you propose that people may be compelled by a third party to rise up in arms against their government, and be punished with their lives if they don't comply?

But this raises an interesting question: if it's illegitimate to inflict pain on the people of country [x] in an attempt to cause their government to desist from action [y], in what way may you legitimately attempt to cause their government to desist?

How effective are communications networks? What information is it that arrives to an Afghan villager?

Terrible, and virtually none. :(

[ Parent ]

Not quite the full story (4.00 / 6) (#68)
by Robert S Gormley on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:55:33 PM EST

It was a lot more like:

Turn over Osama.
On what grounds?
He's a terrorist.
Show us evidence.
We have it, but no, you can't see it. Turn over Osama.
Then you can't have him.
Turn him over or be bombed. After all we did show evidence to a neighbouring country who we coincidentally approved US$1.2B in aid to on the same day. Isn't that good enough?

Reverse this, imagine the Taliban demanding extradition of someone to face justice in Afghanistan, but stubbornly refusing to produce evidence. You'd laugh at them, with or without military might.

[ Parent ]

Here's a closer version: (2.66 / 3) (#78)
by Apuleius on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:09:43 PM EST

Uncle Sam:Give us Osama.
Taliban:On what grounds?
Uncle Sam: He's a terrorist.
Taliban:Show us evidence.
Uncle Sam: Turn on CNN, you fucking moron.
Taliban:CNN is run by Jewish freemasons. We want more evidence.
Uncle Sam: What, and compromise our sources? Get the fuck real. Turn over Osama, or I go 21st Century on your ass.
Taliban:No.
Uncle Sam: Okay, then...
Taliban:Ho, I am slain!

The evidence issue was a smelly red herring. Osama was married to the Mullah Omar's daughter. There was no way he would have been turned over. And as for reversing the situation, that would presume some kind of equivalence between the US and the Taliban. There is no equivalence. The US is a civilized country. The Taliban were savages. That the situation is assymetric is a natural consequence.




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Hrm (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by Robert S Gormley on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:28:31 PM EST

a. Turning on CNN shows what? That buildings are burning? That doesn't point to Osama. That a bunch of commentators CNN dragged out of bed think he's responsible? Who are they - judge, jury and executioner?

b. Oh, and you're advocating the total disregard of due process because the other guy isn't gonna like it much? Can we say 'slippery slope'?

For what it's worth, I think Osama had a lot of involvement in this. I also think that's all the more reason to do the job properly, as opposed to hastily and emotionally.

[ Parent ]

Yes.. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by Apuleius on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 11:38:15 PM EST

Turning on CNN shows a chronology of Mohammad Atta's actions from Germany onward, including his visit to Afghanistan, and plenty more evidence. As for due process, the Taliban don't even know what it means.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Joking I Hope (none / 0) (#84)
by PhillipW on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:05:42 AM EST

As for due process, the Taliban don't even know what it means.

I do hope you are joking. America was founded on principles. We do not discard them because we find the people to whom we are applying these principles is an asshole. If we did do this, then not only would those principles be very shaky.

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Bah (none / 0) (#86)
by Robert S Gormley on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:13:19 AM EST

By the time CNN had investigated that thoroughly, you were claiming air superiority. Jumping the gun a little?

[ Parent ]
So much for subtlety. (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by Apuleius on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 01:20:45 AM EST

My point was that Uncle Sam had already revealed enough evidence to the whole wide fucking world to justify extradition, that he was therefore justified in holding on to whatever more evidence he had. It seems some people didn't get it.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
No they hadn't... (3.00 / 2) (#93)
by Robert S Gormley on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:59:26 AM EST

Point to precisely what evidence that will stand up in a criminal court that has been released, not chronologies, not dodgy videos that have been "discovered sitting in the back of Al Jazeeras news room" etc...

[ Parent ]
Do you not understand the word extradition? (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by Apuleius on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:09:50 AM EST

It is not the same as conviction.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Extradition (4.66 / 3) (#99)
by linca on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:31:57 AM EST

requires some proofs. Even if Ossama Bin Laden had been found to be in France, it would have required much more than one month for "due process" to accept to extradit him!

And OBL wouldn't have necessarily even been extradited from France. Most European countries don't extradict people risking death penalty.

[ Parent ]
You're right. (2.00 / 2) (#126)
by Robert S Gormley on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:55:51 PM EST

So you're willing to extradite a member of your family/country to [insert foreign country name here] without evidence?

Anyway, as already noted, extradition hearings require evidence to be provided.

[ Parent ]

That's a very dangerous argument (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by deaddrunk on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 06:08:13 AM EST

Well they show no regard for human rights and the rule of law, so why should we?

Because we're supposed to be better than them, dammit.



[ Parent ]
Nice article, but.. (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by Alfie on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:33:49 PM EST

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I can say without reservations that your following statement is false:

No longer are people discriminated against based on their gender or the colour of their skin. More recently discrimination against homosexuals has also become unacceptable.

Hollywood and the national media, as well as certain parts of the country, may have become more accepting of people of color, but every few days I have to listen to my dad, who is a decent person in other respects, make the most heinous claims about minority groups of all kinds. At times I feel as though I have an Archie Bunker clone for a father. And, as I said, he means well—he is a good person in many ways—but he believes the propaganda which makes fun of minority people's plights and misrepresents their positions. I occassionally argue with him, but it is difficult to deal with viewpoints shaped in a vacuum of real controversy; he has accepted absurd strawmen claims which are paraded in place of real grievances in some of the more conservative media outlets.

This is why I voted –1 for this article, even though it otherwise touches upon some good points.



you missed the point (4.50 / 2) (#50)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 04:50:53 PM EST

The point wasnt to say that it doesnt happen anymore, but that its no longer generally accepted by society (KKK meetings excluded). If a politician were to get up today and say "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever", he would be stoned right off the stage.

Everyone knows its 'wrong' to say such things in public, but it will take a few generations before it actually leaves the minds of people. Particularly the older generation set in their ways.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Patriotism == Bigotry (2.80 / 5) (#54)
by quartz on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 06:49:54 PM EST

I'm dead serious. I have yet to see an example of detached, un-emotional patriotism. And I'll probably never see one, since patriotism is an emotion, not an idea. And we all know how emotions help us think more clearly.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
Bzzt! Wrong. (2.00 / 1) (#76)
by Macrobat on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:08:11 PM EST

I am patriotic. I love my country (the USA), and I love the ideals on which it was founded. I lament every day that the government and the people of the United States do not live up to those ideals (as I imagine people lamented the day after the constitution was ratified). I also rejoice when I see individuals and organizations who buck that trend and continue in the tradition of enlightened citizenship. I believe that freedom from oppression and the liberty to make your own basic life decisions are good for Americans and everyone else. I also believe that the U.S. Government has a pragmatic need to make sure these freedoms and liberties apply first to its own citizens, and then to the rest of the world.

Tell me again how this equals bigotry?

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.
[ Parent ]

on patriotism (none / 0) (#103)
by kubalaa on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:57:45 AM EST

I generally agree with you. I'm not sure the US gov has "a pragmatic need to make sure these freedoms and liberties apply... to the rest of the world." But what you've said is barely patriotism; you -- in principle at least -- support the idea, not the institution. Following your stated logic, if the U.S. ceased to be a haven of democracy, you'd move somewhere better, right? Riight.

That's not patriotism; patriotism is a blind faith that your country is right and good regardless of what it does. A love of country, not of principle. A lack of critical political introspection. On the surface, the difference between patriotism and principles is whether your side is the "good" one; but everyone thinks their side is the "good" one, so where does that leave you?

(I was tempted to rate you a "1" just based on use of the phrase "Bzzzt! Wrong.")

[ Parent ]

wrong. (3.50 / 2) (#121)
by wrffr on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:14:27 PM EST

What you're describing is _nationalism_, not patriotism.

[ Parent ]
enlighten us (none / 0) (#130)
by kubalaa on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 04:49:37 AM EST

dict patriotism: "Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one's country"

dict nationalism: "A devotion to one's country; patriotism; especially. an exaggerated or excessive form of patriotism."

I can see where you're trying to draw a distinction between the two. But the fundamental idea is that both are attachment to country, not to ideals. And my point was that many patriots like to tell themselves they're devoted to the ideal, but when it comes down to it they're not willing to inspect their country and see if it really lives up to the ideals they claim to support.

[ Parent ]

patriots. (none / 0) (#143)
by wrffr on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 06:27:59 PM EST

But love of country and having ideals are not mutually exclusive. You can love your country and understand that there are problems and want to make it better.

Yes, some people who consider themselves patriots blind themselves to problems within their country, but they're being nationalistic, not patriotic.

But at the same time, I've also run into people (predominately on the left) who are too eager to say that someone's guilty of nationalism because they have different ideals, not because they're blinding themselves.

[ Parent ]

Bigotry (1.66 / 3) (#59)
by dag on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:45:22 PM EST

Racism, sexism, and heterosexualism still exist. I'm sorry if this hurts you. But as long as you are not a black lesbian woman, then you wield some form of power in the United States. Sure de jure racism, sexism, and heterosexuality is no longer around in an explicit sense, there are still de facto forces working against us.
On the topic of national bigotry: yes it exists, but it exists as it is weaved into capitalism, just as sexism, racism, and heterosexuality. This means you can't create a solution without dealing with all these subjects. You can't. Can not. It's impossible. You can masturbate about solutions to one. But you can't effect change.

Educate yourself, learn just how racist, bigotted, sexist, and homophobic you are.

-A racist and bigotted white male that's trying.

weaved into capitalism? (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by rebelcool on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:39:15 PM EST

I would love to know what school of economics you attended to teach that capitalism somehow cares about race and sexuality.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Racism and Capitalism (none / 0) (#91)
by dag on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:20:21 AM EST

Historically minority groups have been used as strike breakers, creating a negative perception by the white majority who wanted to keep their jobs as well as a standard of living.
In a modern context, immigrants, and people of various minority descents are used in below minimum wage positions because the company's see them as a cheap form of labor to make their profit margins larger.

Thanks.

[ Parent ]
oh so you mean... (none / 0) (#109)
by rebelcool on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 10:26:39 AM EST

the greed of people and bigotry cause oppression of minorities? Thats a far cry from the laws of economics that govern capitalism.

I was expecting Blacks + Mexicans - The Man = Profit.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site
[ Parent ]

Racism And Bigotry (none / 0) (#120)
by dag on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:45:42 PM EST

In order for capitalism to work, there has to be competitive labor prices, which leads to discrimination. Otherwise we may as well call ourselves socialist.

[ Parent ]
Blind Patriotism (4.00 / 5) (#60)
by Purple Walrus on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 07:47:34 PM EST

I just have a comment to make (my first one on K5!!!)... Blind patriotism makes me sick. I hate it when people stick a flag on their car and drive around thinking that they have done something good for their country. Don't get me wrong, sticking a flag on your car isn't neceserally bad. I just don't see the point in doing so if you aren't gonna do anything else.

If you trully support your country, that's great, but please don't pretend that you do if you really don't care about anything except what your neighbours think of you.

---
Walrus
how do you know it's blind? (none / 0) (#70)
by gregholmes on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:15:59 PM EST

How do you know the patriotism of someone with a flag on his car is blind?

Do you just assume that you are enlightened, and those you disagree with are "blind"?

I hate it when people stick a flag on their car and drive around thinking that they have done something good for their country.

They've shown that they love their country, and that they think it is worth defending. They are telling their fellow citizen that they are not alone; that even though a cultural and media elite laughs at patriotism that their fellow citizen does not. That seems like something good to me.



[ Parent ]
Sorry if I didn't make it clear (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by Purple Walrus on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:37:30 PM EST

I'm thinking a bit slow today. Anyway, most of the people with flags on their cars are blind patriots. Nevertheless, there are many who are true patriots who truly love the US of A. I never said everyone who does this is an idiot (or maybe I did and forgot). I hope you get what I'm trying to say, I really don't have a way with words.

---
Walrus
[ Parent ]
This is an interesting question ... (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:20:19 PM EST

certainly many thoughtful people have disdained open expressions of patriotism for fear of being thought of exactly the way you are expressing; for fear of being assumed to be mindlessly in favor of everything their country does and blindly opposed to everyone else.

And yet ... I went to the gold cup final this weekend; i felt a lump in my throat and a shiver as my national anthem was played. When I was travelling several years ago, it did more to reinforce both my love of other cultures and my identification with my culture and my country ... do i have a flag up? No. Do I believe the US is the best country ever to have existed? No. Do I believe that the rest of the world has nothing interesting to offer humanity, and that the US has found the answers to everything? No ... and yet, I feel intensely patriotic; this is my land, these are my people ... and even when i think the majority of americans are blithering idiots, they're still, in a quite peculiar sense, *my* blithering idiots.

Or something like that, anyway. :)

[ Parent ]

Cultural & media Elite? (none / 0) (#88)
by Redemption042 on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:00:34 AM EST

Uhhhh.... The media exist solely to make money. Therefor they cash in on whatever movement is occuring at the moment. Thus, when Bush has an 86% approval rating and people are stupidly crying out for blood, the media will try and cash in on that as we've seen. Psst, hey buddy, here's a secret: there is no secret liberal media conspiracy. People who do stick there flags on their cars are idiots. I've yet to see any in my neighborhood take proper care of the flags on their cars or on their houses. I'd say that is a pretty good indication they don't give a shit.

*sigh* fucking cultural and media elite.

[ Parent ]
feeding the troll ... (3.00 / 2) (#108)
by gregholmes on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 06:31:34 AM EST

What the heck, I have a few minutes to kill ...

Psst, hey buddy, here's a secret: there is no secret liberal media conspiracy.

You're the only one talking about secrets and conspiracy. The liberal nature of news media and entertainment isn't even arguable, it is quite open and obvious. There isn't a conspiracy, just a shared world view.

People who do stick there flags on their cars are idiots.

Oh, well that settles it then. My mistake. Oh, by the way, it's "their".

The media exist solely to make money. Therefor they cash in on whatever movement is occuring at the moment.

They do have to bend a bit to the business aspects ... but they are surprisingly resistant to them as well. Even on September 11, one of the big three pretty boy newsreaders (Jennings?) was yammering about how wrong it was that Air Force 1 was kept moving, and the President's destinations temporarily kept secret. "Some president's just handle crisis better than others", I believe he said. During news coverage. It just fit into his world view; he had no sense that it was incredibly inappropriate and out of whack. The perils of live coverage, I guess.



[ Parent ]
Troll? (none / 0) (#124)
by Redemption042 on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:16:28 PM EST

>Oh, well that settles it then. My mistake. Oh, >by the way, it's "their".

A) I posted this response late at night after a long day. This was the reason for the multiple spelling errors. I'm sorry about that. As for the opinion that people that stick flags on there cars are stupid? I gave my personal justification for that opinion. If you have a problem with my opinion attack the justification, not the opinion.

>You're the only one talking about secrets and >conspiracy. The liberal nature of news media >and entertainment isn't even arguable, it is >quite open and obvious. There isn't a >conspiracy, just a shared world view.

I apparently don't share your views. Neither do a quite large group of the population. Justify your opinion. I'll take a look after I get back (I've got to go soon.) and find a story that was only posted a couple of months ago about the report by fairness and accuracy in reporti

Anyways, the post ins't a troll.

[ Parent ]
*sigh* (none / 0) (#127)
by Redemption042 on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:15:55 AM EST

Christ, I can't believe I did that. The only excuse this time is that I was late for something. I truly understand the difference between there and theirs.

*sigh* My hurried typing really is horrible. I'm sorry.


[ Parent ]
*sigh* (none / 0) (#128)
by Redemption042 on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:17:19 AM EST

Christ, I can't believe I did that. The only excuse this time is that I was late for something. I truly understand the difference between there and theirs.

*sigh* My hurried typing really is horrible. I'm sorry.

[ Parent ]
no, not a troll, sorry (none / 0) (#131)
by gregholmes on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 05:36:22 AM EST

However, forgive me for thinking it's a troll when you assert that I believe in a secret conspiracy(!), and then say that yes, people with flags on their cars are too idiots, because ... they don't take care of them. Er, should they hoist them at dawn and lower them at dusk? To the national anthem and taps, respectively? I think it is understood that these aren't really flags, in that sense, they are symbols of flags. But I apologize for calling it a troll, as it wasn't intended as one. I just actually found it hard to believe that you believed what you were saying! My mistake.

Anyhow, liberal bias in media is a difficult thing to quantify, but to the extent that it can be, this is a good resource. Voting patterns in particular are quite revealing. I wasn't talking about you and I sharing a world view (obviously) I was talking about a large majority of reporters and editors sharing a world view. This link also states what I was trying to say before, a little more eloquently:

Liberal bias in the news media is a reality. It is not the result of a vast left-wing conspiracy; journalists do not meet secretly to plot how to slant their news reports. But everyday pack journalism often creates an unconscious "groupthink" mentality that taints news coverage and allows only one side of a debate to receive a fair hearing.



[ Parent ]
okay (none / 0) (#135)
by Redemption042 on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:14:16 PM EST

Alright, that makes sense. I suppose they shouldn't have to raise and lower little tiny flags at dawn and dusk, respectively. My problem is not with that, however. The people in the neighborhood I live in all have real flags raised on their houses. They all also have flags on their cars. These are the same people that give me shit for not having a flag on my house. These are also the same people that keep their flags up (The real flags) in the rain and the dark. I understand that this isn't the case everywhere. But it does cause me to have an opinion that those people are hypocritical bastards.

I'll apologize again, as well. It wasn't a troll, but I was under the influence of sleep deprivation and ... not exactly in my right mind. I can understand why you'd think it was a troll.

[ Parent ]
You're funny, mister (5.00 / 2) (#61)
by cp on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 08:16:03 PM EST

No longer are people discriminated against based on their gender or the colour of their skin.
P'haps you should've qualified this statement a wee bit.

misconceptions (3.71 / 7) (#71)
by gregholmes on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:31:05 PM EST

However despite this, the majority of western governments and individuals, still hold on to the belief that citizens of their own nation deserve special rights over and above citizens of other nations.

They hold on to that belief because it is true.

Inside my house, my family has special rights, over and above those who are not members of my family.

Where I work, employees have special rights, over and above non-employees.

Etc.

Why is this the case? Why is it the American lives lost on September 11 are deemed so much more precious than the thousands of lives lost in punishing the few responsible for the September 11 attacks?

You're making that equation, not the President. He's waging (or waged, it is pretty much won there) war against enemies who attacked the United States. this isn't some academic exercise where you sit around and compare worths of lives.



Borders and ethnic identity (4.75 / 4) (#72)
by Macrobat on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 09:36:57 PM EST

But do we really have that right? Would it be right for a mostly white town to prevent a black family moving in? Would it be right for a mostly Christian own to prevent a Satanist moving in? If not, why is it OK to prevent a foreigner entering your country?
Citizenship and ethnic/religious/whatever identity are orthogonal concepts. The same operations simply don't apply to both of them. In fact, applying the same set of standards to both situations would be the greater evidence of racism. Consider: I allow or disallow citizenship into my country on criteria divorced from race or religion; that is, there is no detectable pattern to the religious beliefs or ethnicity of the people I let in and keep out. You'd be hard-pressed to say my admission criteria were racist.

On the other hand, suppose I automatically allowed everyone of, say, the Amish faith (however I see fit to define it) into the country, but had stricter rules for everyone else; I think you might rightly conclude that my immigration policy was prejudiced against the non-Amish. You might even call it racist.

The point is, the fact that I have an immigration policy is not in and of itself evidence of ethnic prejudice. It's a matter of defining what my borders are, and how they may be crossed. Do countries have a "right" to do that? I don't know, but every nation that I can think of does it. Moreover, can you really fault Bonaire, for example, for having a zero-immigration policy? They don't have any space for many more people to arrive. And if a small country has the right to determine who gets in and who doesn't, why doesn't a large one?

"Hardly used" will not fetch a better price for your brain.

you are so political correct (3.66 / 3) (#75)
by mami on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:01:00 PM EST

that you want to judge any sort of feeling of belonging to a group, religion, ethnicity or nation as discriminatory. That's pretty strange and frankly a bit phony.

You are born into your family, your family is born into an ethnicity and most probably into a religion and they are grown up in a nation. Do you want to blame them having more trust in what they know than in what they don't know ?

Patriotism...oh well, it can go wrong, see Germany in Third Reich , otherwise it's a normal feeling, IMHO.

Ahem... (3.00 / 2) (#77)
by gnovos on Sun Feb 03, 2002 at 10:29:58 PM EST

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

'nuff said

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen

Declaration (none / 0) (#114)
by Ken Arromdee on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:06:39 PM EST

The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document. It is not the Constitution. Quoting it for this purpose is no better than all the fundamentalist Christians who quote the same passage and use the Creator line to justify their vision of a religious America.

[ Parent ]
General reply (4.11 / 9) (#85)
by sigwinch on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 12:54:53 AM EST

So far some 3,500 civilians have been killed by US bombs.
That particular dubious number came from adding up deaths reported in the news. I.e., he pulled numbers out of his butt.
However, no matter which way you look at it, dropping bombs would never have been a solution if American lives were at risk.
Do you remember *nothing* from the Cold War? Military planners are perfectly willing to kill Americans if it saves more Americans later.
I think it is fairly clear that in such a situation the authorities would make every possible effort to ensure that no innocent party is hurt. And when they decide that direct action is necessary, they would act in such a way as to minimise civilian casualties.
Just because they want to reduce fatalities doesn't mean that Marine commandos won't charge in with machine guns blazing killing everything that moves in a mad dash to the bombs.
This analogy isn't entirely accurate, since in Afghanistan there were no hostages, no one was in immediate danger of being harmed if the US did nothing.
Al Qaeda, their Taliban comrades, and the Afghans who underwrote their operations, wanted to kill every American. Literally, that is not an exaggeration. The Afghan campaign disrupted long-term plans to nuke American cities.
It was simply about retribution.
If it had been retribution we'd have loaded the heavy bombers full of nuclear missles and completely wasted Afghanistan. Then we'd have sent in bulldozers and plowed the remnants of their dying cities into the ground, without bothering to clear out the civvies first.

I'd recommend you do a web search on the sack of Hama before you spout anymore ignorant bullshit about retribution.

Why is it the American lives lost on September 11 are deemed so much more precious than the thousands of lives lost in punishing the few responsible for the September 11 attacks?
There was absolutely no punishment or retribution involved. The Afghan campaign was a prophylactic measure to reduce future public health threats to Americans. It was patently obvious long beforehand that the Taliban and anybody caught standing near them were in for some heavy shit someday. The only question was who would do it. Now we know the answer: the U.S.
It is only the fact that the civilians killed were foreigners that allows the US to justify their deaths as "collateral damage".
Bullshit. If they'd all been concentrated in, say, Toledo, the military would have gone in shooting. Al Qaeda and the Taliban were a mortal threat to the Republic and they'd have been killed wherever they were, collateral damage be damned.
It is not that wealthy western nations cannot afford it. Peter Singer claims in his book Practical Ethics that if "we stopped feeding animals on grains and soybeans, the amount of food saved would - if distributed to those who need it - be more than enough to end hunger throughout the world."
And if we did so the client states would be in our thrall more thoroughly than any friend of Rome ever was to the Caesars. Every nation is no more than three meals away from a revolution, and this plan would give control of the Public Feeding Trough to the dead hand of bureaucracy.
The solution is to teach people that they are citizens of the world and that looking after citizens of foreign nations is just as important than looking after their own. After all, when Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence he stated that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". All men - not just Americans.
Rights are defended, not exercised. "We are the friends of liberty everywhere, but the guardians only of our own." It can only be otherwise if we act as a nanny to states that we have decided are incapable of protecting themselves, and must be protected from themselves whether they want it or not.
And in a practical sense, I believe the solution is not Socialism, but the supposed great enemy of Socialism, Globalisation. When we have both complete freedom of trade, and more imporatantly complete freedom of movement between nations,...
A full belly and money will only make them more dangerous. The problem is that they are prescientific and driven by emotion and mysticism. Because of their philosophy of life, they can only see Western mastery of the material world as a privilege which they have been denied, when in reality it is the birthright of every person who is willing to apply their mind.

The great power of Westerners comes from good *scientific* education. If you want a massive public program to help "those poor ignorant starving third worlders", put two generations of their children through intensive boarding schools. If bin Laden had really wanted Islam to rule the world, he'd have set up a chain of universities.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.

If I recall correctly (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by Robert S Gormley on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:04:23 AM EST

It can only be otherwise if we act as a nanny to states that we have decided are incapable of protecting themselves, and must be protected from themselves whether they want it or not. America has done so on several occasions, for better or worse...

[ Parent ]
Specific reply (4.00 / 1) (#97)
by StrontiumDog on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:19:55 AM EST

That particular dubious number came from adding up deaths reported in the news. I.e., he pulled numbers out of his butt.

"Pulling numbers out of your butt" means making things up. Like the rest of your own post, filled with brown-rimmed assertions like

Al Qaeda, their Taliban comrades, and the Afghans who underwrote their operations, wanted to kill every American. Literally, that is not an exaggeration. The Afghan campaign disrupted long-term plans to nuke American cities.

Pulled out of your butt.

If it had been retribution we'd have loaded the heavy bombers full of nuclear missles and completely wasted Afghanistan. Then we'd have sent in bulldozers and plowed the remnants of their dying cities into the ground, without bothering to clear out the civvies first.

Pulled out of your butt. Perhaps dumbasses consider that the only possible form of retribution is nuclear genocide. When the US exacted retribution from Libya by raiding Tripoli and Benghazi, they did not send in the nukes and bulldozers either.

Al Qaeda and the Taliban were a mortal threat to the Republic and they'd have been killed wherever they were, collateral damage be damned.

Pulled out of your butt. Saudi Arabia, supplier of three quarters of the 9-11 hijackers, has been completely untouched. The military dictatorship of Egypt continues to recieve two billion dollars in aid each year despite repeated accusations from its paymaster, the US government that it is doing too little to stamp down on muslim fundamentalism. "Collateral damage be damned" my ass. "Pussyfooting" is the word.

The problem is that they are prescientific and driven by emotion and mysticism ... The great power of Westerners comes from good *scientific* education.

Oh yeah. Yep. This is why the Western world, and the export of Western ideas, has resulted in the violent deaths of 150 million human beings in the last 100 years, making the 20th century the bloodiest century in history.

But of course world wars, colonialist wars, cold wars, proxy wars, nuclear bombings, the Holocaust, and the export of the philosophy and ideology known as Marxism, all pale into insignificance compared to the horrors carried out by a handful of Saudi suicide hijackers on September 11 2001.

Crybabies.

[ Parent ]

Stuff (none / 0) (#104)
by sigwinch on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 05:03:51 AM EST

[Regarding the intentions of Al Qaeda and the Taliban] Pulled out of your butt.
Pulled out of their press releases and holy books.
Perhaps dumbasses consider that the only possible form of retribution is nuclear genocide.
No, but a highly-limited campaign that takes great care to minimze unnecessary destruction cannot be considered substantial retribution. If if you consider the pinko's number of 4000 Afghans dead, that's only a month of U.S. traffic fatalities, and you don't hear the pinkos whining about how the U.S. gov't is slaughtering its own people by allowing them to drive cars.
Saudi Arabia, supplier of three quarters of the 9-11 hijackers, has been completely untouched. The military dictatorship of Egypt continues to recieve two billion dollars in aid each year despite repeated accusations from its paymaster, the US government that it is doing too little to stamp down on muslim fundamentalism. "Collateral damage be damned" my ass. "Pussyfooting" is the word.
I cannot fathom why they are treating the Saudis with kid gloves. There will definitely be war, and I cannot understand why the administration is giving them time to position counterstrikes. If it was my show I'd have preemptively bombed Riyadh to show them we mean business, then given them 12 hours to surrender or be nuked off the face of the Earth. The only thing I can figure is that Washington is using their next target as a sacrificial lamb to prove to the American public how bad the Saudis are, in order to get support for an all out attack.
Oh yeah. Yep. This is why the Western world, and the export of Western ideas, has resulted in the violent deaths of 150 million human beings in the last 100 years, making the 20th century the bloodiest century in history.
Remember that without Western -- well, 'scientific' rather than strictly Western -- ideas there wouldn't have been 150 million people to kill. The wars weren't really any worse than previous wars: what was different were the very high population densities, supported by industrial technology.
But of course world wars, colonialist wars, cold wars, proxy wars, nuclear bombings, the Holocaust, and the export of the philosophy and ideology known as Marxism, all pale into insignificance compared to the horrors carried out by a handful of Saudi suicide hijackers on September 11 2001.
Damn straight. Those older wars killed hardly anybody on American soil. The 9-11 attacks were the worst domestic military loss in over a century, and the worst domestic military loss to a foreign enemy in nearly two centuries. And the 9-11 attacks were more of a publicity stunt than a real attack. If they'd chosen to destroy infrastructure and sow distrust they'd probably still be at large, and the economic costs would probably be much higher. If they ever get their acts together and start fighting like War College graduates do, we're in deep shit.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Interesting (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by deaddrunk on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:22:58 AM EST

It can only be otherwise if we act as a nanny to states that we have decided are incapable of protecting themselves, and must be protected from themselves whether they want it or not.

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people." - Henry Kissinger.



[ Parent ]
Life, Liberty and Property (none / 0) (#89)
by shelikestobite on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 02:09:16 AM EST

This was the way the phrase "Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness" was originally phrased. Property implies ability to set boundaries and control ones boundaries to some extent.

During the Million Man March speech, Min. Farrakahan pointed out that the framers of the constitution used symbolism(in places like the Great Seal) which shows they saw the United States originally as a melding of European nations-specifically England, Scotland, Ireland, German, Holland and France-they didn't see African-Americans or Native Americans as part of what they were creating.

It seems strange to me to suggest that multi-culturalism has anything much here to do with the Declaration of Independence because this trend has existed in all English speaking nations-and much of continental europe-but not elsewhere.

Hubris of the Globalist Religion (1.71 / 7) (#92)
by Baldrson on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:46:06 AM EST

People want so very much to believe that "we are all the same" but aside from the fact that memetically we are from potentially incompatible cultures, the harsh scientific facts are that we don't know but what there are genetic differences that would render unbrideled mixing as destructive to humans as it is in the transportation of other species that upsets the balance of existing ecosystems. The fact that much of this destruction has already been accomplished is no excuse to continue it in ecology -- nor is the fact that the potential damage to human peoples may have already been largely realized, justification to continue recklessly endangering human populations.

All peoples of ethical constitution must begin addressing themselves to the fact that technologies, like transportation, are power and with power goes responsibility -- including the responsibility to face our profound ignorance of the consequence of what may be happening to natural legacies that go back not merely millenia, but sometimes millions of years.

For those globalists who are so sure their religious beliefs about human "races" are proven scientific facts, as opposed to merely the state religion currently in vogue, please think it possible you may be wrong -- for if you are wrong, the costs of recovery may well be far beyond anyone's ability to indemnify.

As a bit of food for thought, and doubt, about the "scientific proof" that your beliefs about genes in humans are correct to a moral certainty, I offer the following items by a colleague of mine (who will go unnamed due to the consequences visitited on many in his position by the new inquisition against free scientific publication) addressing popular arguments regarding racial differences:

Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 18:04:32 -0000

More important genetic information:

  1. As regards the "more variation within, rather than between groups" argument, Kaessman et al. (Science 286, 1159-1162, 1999) note that there is more genetic variation between some subspecies of Chimpanzee than between some Chimp subspecies compared to Bonobo chimps, a separate species. Thus, this "argument" is worthless, and one can find, in nonhuman animals, more variation within a species than between species, without abrogating the idea of species and species differences. That there can be more individual variation than racial variation also does not invalidate race.
  2. The 99.9% = we are all the same argument suffers from the following
    1. According to some studies, for example Sibley and Ahlquist (J. Hum. Evol. 20, 2-15, 1984), humans differ from chimps by 1.9%, bonobos by 1.8%, gorillas by 2.4%., and orangutans by 3.6%. Thus, the human racial difference is a full 5.3% of the human/chimp differential, 5.6% of the human/bonobo, 4.2% of the human/gorilla, and 2.8% of the human/ orangutan. In addition, data from Jared Diamond's "The Third Chimpanzee" book can be interpretated in making the human/chimp similarity as high as 99.1%, a mere 0.9% difference, which would make human racial variation more than 10% of this (11.1%).
    2. According to Prof. Hrdy in her book, Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection, the current evidence suggests that the human/chimp difference in cognitive skills is the result in differences in only about 50 genes (out of tens of thousands), with differences in regulatory genes being important. Again, the relevance to human racial differences should be obvious.
    3. A post by A. Hu in the "Upstream" site discussion makes the follwing point. Microsatellite genetic analysis of dog breeds (Zajc et al., Mamm. Genome 8, 182-185, 1997) points to a difference between Greyhounds, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retreivers having an index in the 0.028-0.054 range. This compares to a similar study in humans (Kimmel et al., Genetic 143, 549-555, 1996) which shows that Japanese and Chinese have an index of difference of 0.029. Also stated in the post is that larger racial differences are in the range of 0.087 - 0.363. Therefore, genetic differences between dog breeds, which result in large phenotypic consequences, are about equal to intra-racial ethnic differences, and smaller than human inter-racial differences.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


lies, damn lies, and... (none / 0) (#100)
by kubalaa on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:44:58 AM EST

I'm trying hard to see the point of all this. You're saying that, because we have some vaguely-defined genetic differences, interbreeding is bad? As long as we're comparing apples and oranges, have you noticed that "mutts" tend to be generally more intelligent, better behaved, and longer-lived than purebreads?

You argue that racial variation is along the same axis as human-chimp species variation. The implication being, I suppose, that on average some of us are closer to chimps than others? Let me illustrate the fallacy: if I have genes ABCD, and you have AECD, and a chimp has ABCF, then we are all 25% different from each other; but where the differences lie is the important thing. Don't forget that a lot of our DNA probably isn't even functional.

[ Parent ]

He's making the logical extension of the bio... (none / 0) (#133)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 09:24:57 AM EST

He's extending the bio-diversity argument that ecologists make all the time. Anything that reduces biological diversity is bad. Therefore, interbreeding between races (i.e., "miscegenation" as it was once called) is bad.

Guess I better tell my friend with the mixed race kids that he's committed a crime against biology.


------
I love working with computers. I mean, in what other line of business can you say the words "Gold-Plated Crimp-On Banana Plugs" with a straight face
[ Parent ]
biological diversity (none / 0) (#139)
by kubalaa on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 05:49:38 AM EST

He's missing the crucial point that diversity is necessary within populations. If populations don't interbreed, then you get inbreeding, effectively reducing the diversity within any particular group. Breeding through sex is designed to maintain and promote necessary diversity; no need for worries on that front.

In short, biologically, cross-pollination is desirable.

[ Parent ]

heh. (none / 0) (#140)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 06:41:03 AM EST

I didn't say he was right.


------
I love working with computers. I mean, in what other line of business can you say the words "Gold-Plated Crimp-On Banana Plugs" with a straight face
[ Parent ]
On the assumption that this isn't a troll... (none / 0) (#101)
by magney on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:45:47 AM EST

...we don't know but what there are genetic differences that would render unbrideled mixing as destructive to humans as it is in the transportation of other species that upsets the balance of existing ecosystems. The fact that much of this destruction has already been accomplished...
What destruction? I'm not aware of any detrimental effects that crossbreeding between ethnicities has created.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Deadly Serious (3.00 / 2) (#110)
by Baldrson on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 10:38:01 AM EST

What destruction? I'm not aware of any detrimental effects that crossbreeding between ethnicities has created.

  1. My point is that we do not know, to the extreme certainty demanded by the extreme degree of global changes imposed by the projection of globalist ideology, that destruction will not occur -- and that globalists cannot, even if they wanted to, buy enough insurance to cover the risks to which they are subjecting the world.
  2. The history of destruction of indigenous peoples should be ample evidence that "population structure" as ecologists call it, has been lost. You may not value such structure and may therefore not see its loss as "destruction", but it _is_ a beyond any of us to be so extremely certain that such structure is valueless -- especially given the brief period that technological civilization has existed compared to those population structures.
  3. Beyond simple loss of legacy (which should be enough) there are clear examples of bad effects of mixing peoples, such as Rh incompatibility. So much morbidity and mortality has arisen from Rh incompatibility throughout the post-paleolithic period that it quite likely qualifies as the largest single source of human suffering among European populations.
  4. Even though there are the above examples of human population destruction, I was talking about destruction of non-human populations when I said this destruction has already been accomplished..." which you cut off in mid sentence. The rest of that sentence, was ...is no excuse to continue it in ecology -- nor is the fact that the potential damage to human peoples may have already been largely realized, justification to continue recklessly endangering human populations. The fact that you have not witnessed such destruction is so far from the extreme levels of evidence required by the extreme scale of the risks being taken by global change in human population structure that I didn't think it necessary to point to the existing evidence for human population structure loss and gross examples in more ancient history such as Rh incompatibility.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Dog breeds, etc (none / 0) (#102)
by linca on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 04:51:28 AM EST

Do you know that a dog breed is created? i.e., only a few dogs where ever domesticated, and later the 'races' where intentionnally differentiated based only on general physical appearence, in the time of only a few thousands years - only little time for genetic mutations. This explains the small amount of genetic divergences between dog breeds.

And, despite the fact that the differences between humans and chimps come from different genes, all humans have these fifty genes. that is the definition of a species : we all have the same genome.

Race, as you wish to call it, though this term in zoology is given to human created breeds, whereas the human 'races' were not human created, is meaningless. There is no such thing as a 'black' or 'white' race. It is only a statistic of the allels of an ethnic group. OTOH, the only things that determine "race" in the public view is the color of the skin - a phenotypal aspect caused by perhaps a handful of genes, which has no links to the other "black" or "white" genes.

By looking at a specific set of genes, of which you have taken off the "skin color" genes, you cannot say what race that set comes from.



[ Parent ]
wow (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by calimehtar on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 07:42:26 PM EST

You may be right that there is more similarity among dog breeds than human races. But to take that analogy a step further, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that purebred dogs are weaker, more suceptible to genetic abnormalities and general stupidity than mongrels.

And you are right to point out, as you did in another comment, that globalization is also the source of the disnification or times-squarization of the world. But I think I would rather live in disneyland than in Jerusalem.

Anyway it's a complicated issue, thanks for taking an unpopular position and arguing it convincingly.


+++

The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret.


[ Parent ]
Puebreeding vs Crossbreeding (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by Baldrson on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 09:39:40 PM EST

purebred dogs are weaker, more suceptible to genetic abnormalities and general stupidity than mongrels.

It's called hybrid vigor and, yes, anyone who knows about breeding uses it to good effect within its limits. What are it's limits? Well, to put it simply, hybrids are generally considered optimal "market" material but bad "stud" material by breeders. Although some "multiplier herds" are somewhat hybridized they consist of hybridized females and their male issue are generally used for market rather than going back into further breeding. The optimal breeding strategy involves 3 purebred strains rotationally crossed for best performance. When you inbreed your purebred strains you are usually doing so after an out-cross or mutation where you acquired some nasty deliterious recessives hidden by the dominant genes, and need to cull them from the lineage. It takes a _long_ time to do that and there is a lot of sacrifice of animals that goes on while getting rid of the bad mutations (which tend to be recessive) leaving only the desirable mutations (again which tend to be recessive) expressed in the breed. You can get a beneficial mutation into dominance but it takes even longer.

Dog breeders have mostly gotten away from utility breeding and are show/status addicts where the qualities being selected by the judges are hardly the same as those being selected for in, say, border collies by shepherds, let alone the original "deal" cut between scavenging wolves and hunters.

I would rather live in disneyland than in Jerusalem

There is a time when I would have said "So would I" but then that is largely because I'm more closely related to Disney than I am to Eisner.

PS: My father won the state of Iowa hybrid seed corn 4H contest when he was a teenager and went on to be 2 time national clean plowing champion so I'm not entirely without background here. My best friend was in hog breeding competition and was the source of the information on the 3-way rotational cross and multiplier herds.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

you're a crappy biologist... (4.00 / 3) (#129)
by Lode Runner on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 01:57:26 AM EST

... and your "friend" is too.

The great thing about Science is that it is easily accessible and is subject to peer review. So I had a quick look...

First, you've got Kaessmann (that's two M's, not one) ass-backwards. The article by Kaessmann et al. asserts, if anything, that "race" and "species" are poor taxonomic tools. Their argument was that there was no significant genetic difference between chimp subspecies or even between chimps and bonobos. The article is also an attack on the arbitrary placement of chimp "races" and bonobos on separate branches of the phylogenetic tree. Kaessmann et al. drive this point home with the last line of their article: "Consequently, not only chimpanzee subspecies, but also bonobos and chimpanzees, may have an intermixed genetic relationship."

Then you botched your description of what you call the "99% argument", a description that you set up as a strawman to attack anti-racism:

The 99.9% = we are all the same argument suffers from the following

This isn't an argument about race at all; it's an argument about the genetic differences between species. If you were to use the method employed to obtain the 1.9% human-chimps, 2.4% human-gorilla, etc. differences to attempt to find a variation between, say, 100 "pure" Negroid and 100 "pure" Caucasians, you'd fail to find any significant difference, let alone something useful in any kind of genomic analysis. Simply put, these methods are outdated, which is one big reason why none of the "hot" genomics projects (i.e. those where there is money to be made) are looking at differences between these so-called races. The drug companies that fund a lot of these studies once had a pipe dream of tailoring drugs to race, but they couldn't find race, so now they focus on individual variation within homogenous and inbreeding groups (see Kari Stefanson's project in Iceland). And even that's not really working so well... You messed this up to:

...human/chimp difference in cognitive skills is the result in differences in only about 50 genes (out of tens of thousands)

First, "cognitive skills" have not been linked to any particular genes. Then, the amount of difference between human and chimp cognitive "hardware" is so vast that a "difference in 50 genes" is, at best, a risible explication. Intelligence, if we could objectively quantify it, would almost certainly be too multigenic for us to understand its workings, and that's leaving alone the effort to tease out genetic cause from environmental cause.

...new inquisition against free scientific publication

Oh, you must be referring to that system where your proofs by vigorous assertion are shot down because people demand things like testable hypotheses.

All of this taken along with your anti-immigration article leads me to the conclusion that you're an angry, white nativist who's trying to find scientific validation for his racist beliefs. Too bad science won't cooperate.



[ Parent ]

No, But You Are An Ethically Bankrupt Sophist (2.33 / 3) (#147)
by Baldrson on Fri Mar 01, 2002 at 02:58:30 AM EST

The ethical argument I put forth is both logically and scientifically sound. The burden of evidence is not on me to show that global mixing of subspecies is enormously damaging -- but for those like yourself to show to a virtual certainty that such mixing is not damaging beyond their ability to indemnify for the damages -- those who use or promote the use of technology to mix genes from various ecosystems at rates that are vastly beyond the natural rates that appear to serve only the short term interests of global government, multinational corporations and a few genetic groups of various species and subspecies.

Since you failed to provide a case sufficiently strong -- a case commensurate to the degree of potential damage compared to the ability to compensate for it -- and proceeded to engage in an ad hominem attack, it is clear you have sophistry to offer rather than any real response. You are therefore -- as is typical of your religion -- at least as ethically bankrupt as any theocratic minion of the empires of history. You promote the abuse of power to transport biologically risky materials around the world resulting in world-wide biological havoc.

You might have made a start at an ethical defense of your religious beliefs by refuting, not one, two, nor even a majority, but all of the points brought up by my colleague (not "friend" as you quoted) -- since even one of them would present sufficient doubt, by itself, to put out of reach the degree of certainly basic ethical considerations require you to demonstrate. You failed not only to respond at all to the discussion of dog breeds -- you, unsurprisingly, offered a series of false or misleading arguments regarding each of the other items to which you did respond. At the risk of wasting time here are your sophistries laid out for all who will read this to see:

The article by Kaessmann et al. argues, if anything, that "race" and "species" are poor taxonomic tools.

Here is the article by Kassmann for those who would like to review it directly. Kassemann is clearly trying to show that culture, not genes, is important in the observed behavioral differences between chimpanzees. The odds that he biased his data on bonobos in a way that would undercut his own thesis is far lower than if similar observations were made by those advocating the view that "genes matter". Where he fails most miserably is not within chimpanzees (although he does fail to make his case adequately convincing for there) but precisely in the data quoted regarding bonobos. He does state, "...it is difficult or impossible to distinguish members of the different subspecies on the basis of morphological characters (25). There seems to be no obvious correlation between different chimpanzee 'cultures' and the geographical location or subspecies of the groups studied (1)." When it comes to bonobos, however, he has no such citations to offer. Although he implies that bonobos may be of the same species as chimpanzees he doesn't dare state that "it is difficult or impossible to distinguish" bonobos from chimpanzees on the basis of morphology or behavior. If he made such a statement, he would sacrifice his academic credibilty among primatologists to no avail. Hence the relevance of DNA data on bonobos vs chimpanzees to the the "more variation within than between" argument regarding human subpopulations is dependent only on the fact that there are observed differences in behavior and morphology between the two -- independent of whether one wishes to categorize bonobos as a subspecies of chimpanzees or as a separate species.

"The 99.9% = we are all the same argument suffers from the following..."

This isn't an argument about race at all; it's an argument about the genetic differences between species.

Since the ratios taken are between interspecies genetic differences and intraspecies genetic differences not only is it an argument about intraspecies genetic differences -- it is a rational argument about such differences, unlike your patently false statement that "If you were to use the method employed to obtain the 1.9% human-chimps, 2.4% human-gorilla, etc. differences to attempt to find a variation between, say, 100 "pure" Negroid and 100 "pure" Caucasians, you'd fail to find any significant difference". The whole point of taking the ratio of intraspecific differences to interspecific differences is to measure how much of the manifestly heritable differences in morphology and behavior between humans and chimpanzees (and other great apes) might, by interpolation, show up due to the degrees of difference between human subpopulations. Clearly an intrahuman range of difference between 5% to 10% of the human to chimpanzee difference is sufficient to cast doubt on the "we are all the same" dogma. Since "racial" variation accounts for at least 7% of intrahuman variability the inter-"racial" (in the 19th century anthropological definition of "race") is between humans are between .35% and .7% of the difference between humans and chimpanzees. You might want to claim that this is not signficant, but considering the profound differences between humans and chimpanzees, you should be a bit more circumspect -- particularly given the fact that groupings of people by "race" in its 19th century definition suffers from large number effects in washing out intergroup differences that may be relevant to the problems created for various isolates such as you yourself mention, Icelanders but also other groups like the Buryata, Pygmies, Tibetans, Hawaiians, etc.

difference between human and chimp cognitive "hardware" is so vast that a "difference in 50 genes" is, at best, a risible explication. Intelligence, if we could objectively quantify it, would almost certainly be too multigenic for us to understand its workings, and that's leaving alone the effort to tease out genetic cause from environmental cause.

Although I find Prof. Hrdy's "explications" to be "risible" on occasion, this isn't one of them. Clearly all our phenotypes are profoundly multigentic in the sense that, for example, if our hearts fail to develop, all our other phenotypes will express as rot. This isn't an argument against the sort of genetic specificity being set forth by Hrdy. Just as all phenotypes are profoundly multigenic, all genes are profoundly pleiotropic. That doesn't mean we can't be rational about the degree of influence exerted by various genes on various phenotypes. Given the very small differences between human and chimpanzee genomes it is not surprising that there might be as few as 50 genes that are primarily responsible for the main phenotypic differences between human and chimpanzee nervous systems.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Live stock (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by Weezul on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 05:14:37 AM EST

You do realize that if did as you suggest and stopped eating meat to feed the third world we would totally obliterate the third world's ability to produce food? The current feed the world charaties are bad enough about obliterating local economies.

I saw some piece about some farmer in Afganastan who basically could not afford to feed his family by growing food. This is the result of foreign aid. No one wants people to die of starvation, but we need to take steps to mitigate the long term consequences of our actions.

If you want a constructive proposal to help poor nations, try paying them to build roads, giving them trucks, and giving them fuel. These are all things they can not provide for themselves easily and these investments allow large amounts of food to move from farmers to consumers.

One last point, it is ok to make up the diffrence between internal food production with food aid, but unless you have a truely excecptional situation (like that volcano recently) you should charge for the aid and turn the money into subsadies for the local farmers.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
Way oversimplified ... (4.00 / 1) (#116)
by aphrael on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 03:16:00 PM EST

I saw some piece about some farmer in Afganastan who basically could not afford to feed his family by growing food. This is the result of foreign aid

This is an interesting assertion; do you have some statistics to back it up? I *think* you are saying that the sending of food to afghanistan in large quantities depresses the cost of food, which makes it impossible for farmers to sell their product on the market (although it shouldn't make it impossible for them to farm for subsistence). Which is a valid point, up to a point --- yet there are countries, and Afghanistan today is one of them, where local production isn't sufficient to meet demand --- in a country where significant swathes of crop have been destroyed by warfare and the people don't have the money to pay for imports, either there is foreign food aid or the people starve.

If you want a constructive proposal to help poor nations, try paying them to build roads, giving them trucks, and giving them fuel. These are all things they can not provide for themselves easily </p. <p>This appears to be a bald and bold assertion with no factual basis. As a ridiculous example, giving fuel to Nigeria would be worse than useless. (although in general it might be reasonable). Building roads with foreign aid would undercut the local construction industry in exactly the same way that you fear providing food will undercut farmers.

you should charge for the aid and turn the money into subsadies for the local farmers

Doesn't this assume that people can pay for the aid? Your whole argument seems to be based on the notion that giving aid to poor countries will cause people who could buy goods and services to not do so and take the free stuff instead --- and that's perfectly valid given the assumption that the people can pay. But in a lot of the regions under discussion, they can't. In Afghanistan in particular, the entire economy had collapsed; nobody can make money doing anything, and while supporting the farmers is a worthy cause, charging everyone else who isn't being supported for food they can't pay for doesn't help anything.

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#134)
by Weezul on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:14:11 PM EST

Actually, I do agree with what your saing about regions where the people can not pay, and specifically excluded true emergency type situations like the recent refuges from that volcano.

Still, when you are in a situation like Afganistan you should be tring to create an economy, not just feed people. I might even suggest printing up new currency and handing it out to the Afgans with their initial aid. You donate farming equipment to the farmers. You bild road and hand out more new currancy. Finally, you make them pay for the second batch of aid and you charge what the local farmers are charging.

Clearly, my artificial economy plan is too simplistic, but I do think major economic restarter programs should be considered absolutly essential perts of food donation programs.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
The current feed the world charaties (4.00 / 1) (#132)
by enterfornone on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 06:37:39 AM EST

Most of these charities aim to make the areas where they work self sufficient, rather than just trucking in food.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I think.. (none / 0) (#136)
by Weezul on Tue Feb 05, 2002 at 12:21:48 PM EST

..food for peace has been creditied with destroying a number of local economies. I don't know about the majroity of these orginisations.

There is another point that no one talks about. Are millitary leaders more likely to destroy farming capasity when their army will get fed by NGOs? It was considered somewhat revolutionary for Bill Gates charity to require third world countries to produce immunization records for the children Bill was paying to immunize. Clearly, it's hard to subvert the funding of something like the peace corps which actually has Americans helping to build a bridge, but it is pretty common for local rulers to subvert the funding and resources of these orginizations. It's just so much cheaper for these orginisations to pay local people to administer it.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
discrimination still exists (3.50 / 2) (#111)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Mon Feb 04, 2002 at 11:23:21 AM EST

No longer are people discriminated against based on their gender or the colour of their skin.

Huh? Do you ever visit the real world? Such discrimination may no longer be legal, but it still bappens big-time. Go ask any woman or anyone who has non-white skin.

Maybe so, but you wouldn't know it (none / 0) (#146)
by brotherhayashi on Sun Feb 10, 2002 at 05:23:23 PM EST

....with all of the phony claims of discrimination floating around. A new achievement test shows that poor black kids don't learn as much in school than middle-class white kids? It must be discriminatory! A member of some minority got laid off? Sue the corporation; it must be discriminating! Fourteen candidates were chosen for a job and the mix wasn't 50/50 black/white or 50/50 male/female? There must be discrimination! Ill-educated voters don't know how to vote, don't ask for help, and thus cast their votes wrong? Call Jesse Jackson! They've been disenfranchised. Studies reveal that blacks commit 10 times as many murders per capita than whites? The police must be biased!

There's a major construction project going on in my town and lawsuits have forced the city to hire three contractors for every aspect of the building: one to do the work and two minority-owned ones to watch. It's pathetic.



[ Parent ]
Get Your Facts Straight. (2.33 / 3) (#137)
by aitrus on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 12:22:17 AM EST

Less than a thousand people in afghanistan have been killed, not 3,500.

It is the job of every government to work in the best interest of its citizens. Limitting immigration is not bigotry; every nation goes through immigration indigestion. When such problems occur, anti-immigration laws are enacted to settle internal problems.

America may not be giving away a large portion of it's anual GNP to foreign nations in the form of green-backs, but we sure as hell are giving other nations material support. In the congo, we have provided the area with Geographic satelite images; we've given them access to our GPS satellite systems. In other nations, when a serious disease breakout occurs, they call the United States Center for Disease Control and we give them free help; not because we care about their people, but because we don't want it spreading to us. We owe countries and their greedy governments nothing, and the UN is little more than a small tail wagging on a large American dog.

I don't care what these vegan researchers are saying; they can provide me with all sorts of stupid 'facts' but until they start providing viable alternatives to meat, I'm going to continue eating burgers.

Lastly, I'm a citizen of America first, and then I am a citizen of the world. I'd rather see a dozen local problems solved, here in america, than save a thousand people from being slaughtered by greedy governments. Globalisation is the answer to improving a person's standard of living, whereas Socialism's goal is to reduce every else to the lowest common denominator, without any rational goal in mind.

Facts (none / 0) (#138)
by enterfornone on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 01:26:43 AM EST

Less than a thousand people in afghanistan have been killed, not 3,500.
On what do you base this "fact". I at least have a source for my 3500 claim.

I don't care what these vegan researchers are saying; they can provide me with all sorts of stupid 'facts' but until they start providing viable alternatives to meat, I'm going to continue eating burgers.
I suppose you have a source that states burgers are an essential nutrient too.
Lastly, I'm a citizen of America first, and then I am a citizen of the world.
How is that different from being an aryan male hetrosexual first?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
not really (none / 0) (#141)
by aitrus on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 08:49:59 AM EST

"On what do you base this "fact". I at least have a source for my 3500 claim."

You don't have a source, you have a bloated document that you and thousands of others have referenced yet have never fact-checked.

"I suppose you have a source that states burgers are an essential nutrient too."

http://samizdata.blogspot.com/2002_02_03_samizdata_archive.html#9317404
http://www.wsu.edu:8001/vwsu/gened/learn-modules/top_longfor/timeline/robustus/robustus-a.html
http://www.cabrillo.cc.ca.us/~crsmith/garhi.html

meat is an essential part of the human diet; my jagged teeth and stomach's ability to digest meat tells me so.

"How is that different from being an aryan male hetrosexual first?"

How is proclaiming my membership of the world over my own country somehow better? I don't recall saying I had a problem with helping other nations, but I'm not going to jump into some new world order where a bureaucrat in Belgium decides the laws in Arizona. When people spew about being a member of the world, what they're really saying is one of two things: 1) we need a massive bureaucracy in control that can dictate policy anywhere, using force if necesary; or 2) we need to give away trillions of dollars so foreign governments can embezzle it all.
Yes, the US is a massive Bureaucracy, but I blame the socialists ;P

[ Parent ]
hahaha (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by enterfornone on Wed Feb 06, 2002 at 04:55:16 PM EST

but I'm not going to jump into some new world order where a bureaucrat in Belgium decides the laws in Arizona. When people spew about being a member of the world, what they're really saying is one of two things: 1) we need a massive bureaucracy in control that can dictate policy anywhere, using force if necesary
This is exactly what the US has been doing in the Middle East for decades. And it's not the socialists that support it.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
It's worth quoting (none / 0) (#144)
by Jel on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:04:04 PM EST

It's worth quoting, because it symbolises what America is *supposed* to stand for, regardless of whether or not it legally does stand for that.

There is an incredibly important concept of going by the spirit of the law, not the word of the law. In that case, this document is more relevant.

Having said all that, such documents, to me are outdated. "One nation, under god, indivisible" really doesn't say much for equality, now, does it?

Disclaimer: I ain't an american. I don't know these texts by heart. Maybe that makes me ignorant, maybe it just makes me unbiased.



OOPs ... (none / 0) (#145)
by Jel on Thu Feb 07, 2002 at 09:16:46 PM EST

OOPs, that was supposed to be a reply to #114.


Sorry, I'm new =^)

[ Parent ]
Patriotism or Bigotry? | 147 comments (144 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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