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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

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And so another year has passed and the blog is "celebrating" the completion of 7 years of whatever it is we do here. Eight years of Bush and 7 years of onegoodmove. I really started blogging in November of 2001, with a blogspot site, but I date the 'real' beginning to January of 2002 when I started taking it more seriously and began using the MoveableType software. Maybe there should be term limits on blogging. I'm tempted at times to say goodbye, but I still have a bit of forward momentum, and so for now I continue.

  • 'Atheists launch bus ad campaign' by Ariane Sherine - RichardDawkins.net

    If you say that God probably doesn't exist aren't you techinically an agnostic? I suppose that is tecnically true but not a useful definition I use the term agnostic to refer to one who thinks the god, no god question is a 50/50 proposition. Atheism simply means without god. I am, and most here who to profess to be atheists mean they are teapot atheists.

  • The Blame Game in Gaza

    When it comes to U.S. Media coverage of the Israel/Palestinian conflict, it's Fox News style fair and balanced. I found the Israeli response to the recent strike at a U.N. school that killed 30 civilians appalling. The claim, undoubtedly true, that Hamas was using the school as a shield as the justification for the mortar attacks. The key for me is that they used mortars guaranteeing that many civilians would be killed. I'm waiting for the political cartoon showing a single Hamas fighter surrounded by thousands of women and children and the Israeli's dropping a two thousand pound bomb on them and then an Israeli government spokesman using the same justification they used for the school attack.

  • Jay Leno's wind turbine - Boing Boing
  • Do we need evidence?
    Do we need empirical evidence to warrant thinking that telling children that people suffer torment in hell forever is harmful and bad? I don't think so. There are things that we know without evidence. For instance we know that telling people they are stupid or ugly or boring or generally repulsive is bad. We also know that bad news is bad, so we know that it's bad to tell people bad news if it's not true - we know it's bad to tell someone: 'your cat/dog/best friend/mother/child is injured and in terrible pain' if that's not true.

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    Comments

    we know it's bad to tell someone: 'your cat/dog/best friend/mother/child is injured and in terrible pain' if that's not true.

    well, let's just test that, shall we?

    norm, your cat is dead.

    sorry. i mean "your cat is injured and in terrible pain".

    you know, it's the time difference. i'm really not trying to be one of those obnoxious "first" people. it's just been working out that way.

    about the civilian deaths at the un school: just imagine they're rabid "faithheads" who actually voted for a theocratic dictatorship whose sole reason d'etre is the destruction of israel. oh, wait- no imagination required.

    Children can vote in isreal?

    You see in the civilized world when a criminal runs into a school, we go in and get them and arrest them. We don't blow up the school without checking who else is inside.

    But I love voting record as a justifiable means for murder. Folks should start using that as a defense in court here in the states. "I wasn't going to do it and then they said they voted for Bush twice, and McCain too!"

    I realize this is like talking to a wall - you're those deluded people who have taken the untenable position that Israel is the cruel bully and the Palestinians are the righteous victims. But your virtual reality couldn't be further from the truth.

    The people of Palestine support Hamas. Hamas has openly stated they want to destroy Israel. So to call these people 'innocent civilians' is more than a stretch, it's ludicrous. Compound this with the fact that Hamas purposely locates their rocket launchers and other military objectives amongst civilians specifically to provoke this type of reaction from the world (the terrorists know one thing, and that's how to manipulate you) - and your reaction becomes not only ludicrous, but sadly predictable.

    Here you can see footage of Gaza Strip terrorists firing weapons from the UNRWA boys' school, and read about their other atrocious tactics: http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/06/about-that-israeli-strike-on-the-un-school/

    This is an excellent article by Andrew C. McCarthy, describing the real situation in detail: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTE1YWZkMzkwYmQyNWM5MzBkOTZhZTAyZDExZDFhNzQ=

    And a great article by Mark Steyn:

    Twenty-eight dead civilians in a village from which 150 Katyusha rockets have been launched against Israel doesn't seem "disproportionate" to me. What's "disproportionate" is the idea that civilian life should be allowed to proceed normally in what is, in fact, a terrorist launching platform.

    http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/1611/30/

    But I'm sure you'll keep blathering about 'proportionality' (they only launched 6000 rockets at us, we have to wait!) and the Geneva Convention (which doesn't apply, and which only serves to allow terrorists free reign and signor states a path to 'honorably lose').

    I do my best not to be a wall but anyone that suggests that every last civilian should be held accountable for every action of their leadership is a pretty dark precedent to set.

    The people of Palestine support Hamas. Hamas has openly stated they want to destroy Israel. Last I heard Hamas one in a multiparty system with less then 50% of the vote

    Have Israeli people not publicly discussed the destruction of Palestinians and worked to keep them from forming an independent state? Has Hamas never been willing to discuss any peaceful resolution to conflict?

    Twenty-eight dead civilians in a village from which 150 Katyusha rockets have been launched against Israel doesn't seem "disproportionate" to me.

    How many people did those rockets kill?

    Hamas is not really the issue. Israel's policy towards the Palestinians was pretty much the same before Hamas came to power. Or even before Hamas existed. Hell, many voices inside Israel was thrilled to see Hamas win the election. It was a gift to the hardliners. They knew Hamas would provide the justification to continue the oppression the Palestinians.

    Israel and the US hold they key to solve this mess. They only need to stop blocking the international consensus (supported by the Arabs and Iran), namely the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with some adjustments. But Israel doesn't want that, and Washington supports them. Until they reverse, peace will not happen.

    anyone that suggests that every last civilian should be held accountable for every action of their leadership is a pretty dark precedent to set

    It seems, like most situations, this is an argument that requires context.

    When the vast majority of the populace of any area have publicly stated their agreement with genocidal policy (which is the case with Palestine, and which is not the case with Israel), they have made their own bed. These are the same people who overwhelmingly believe that it is a valid form of protest to strap a bomb on your chest and run into a theater or other civilian center. The approval for such behavior amongst Palestinians is a majority position (in fact it's a surprisingly popular belief amongst the world's Islamic population).

    True, this is because Palestinians are indoctrinated by Hamas to believe this way. It's a cycle that feeds itself: the people side with Hamas, Hamas indoctrinates more people.

    It is simply not the case that an unwilling, unwitting populace of 'innocent civilians' in Palestine are the victims of unwarranted Israeli aggression. They support a group who openly uses them as pawns. Which is why it's so frustrating to constantly have 'civilian deaths' used as an argument against Israel: you're playing right into the hands of the terrorists.

    Referring to an earlier quote of yours:

    You see in the civilized world when a criminal runs into a school, we go in and get them and arrest them. We don't blow up the school without checking who else is inside.

    Are you really, seriously arguing that Palestine is part of the 'civilized world'? Do you pause in your routine condemnation of Israel to actually investigate what their enemies believe?

    Have Israeli people not publicly discussed the destruction of Palestinians and worked to keep them from forming an independent state? Has Hamas never been willing to discuss any peaceful resolution to conflict?

    I'm certain some Israelis have said such things, largely because your second statement is provably false. Hamas does not want peace. They have repeatedly stated that their only goal is the obliteration of Israel. The international community has repeatedly browbeaten and harangued Israel into stopping their campaign of self-preservation, and each time Hamas (and its predecessors) has gone right back to launching rockets at Israel.

    How many people did those rockets kill?

    Why do you persist in the belief that this is a valid argument?

    How many people did the Japanese kill at Pearl Harbor? How many Japanese did we kill? How many Jews and Russians did the Nazis kill? How many Germans did we kill? Should we go kill some more to even the count?

    War is never about proportionality of casualties. The people who believe this to be the case simply misunderstand what proportionality means, much like they misunderstand the Geneva Convention and other 'war conduct' rules. They also fail to understand that warfare has changed. The enemy has adapted their tactics to use our own 'civilized' laws against us, and your response is to attempt to further hobble civilized society.

    Here's an excellent article on the subject of 'proportionality' and related issues: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/48801

    But I love voting record as a justifiable means for murder.

    works for me. no, really, i was just trying to be funny. like this:

    about those children- i ordered them killed. yeah, i was talking to the israeli defence minister the other day. he was hesitant, but i told him "hell, that's the way to win this war! hearts and minds! our enemies love life and we love death. they wont be able to withstand the deaths of their children and will sue for peace! no, wait, that's what hamas says, never mind.

    what, not funny?

    lighten up. (well, actually you were being pretty light. i appreciate the sarcasm.)

    I try.

    Why does anyone in the middle east vote for theocracy? Even the Jews do essentially. what region of the world could possibly have more evidence that it is a bad idea.

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand....happy 7th blog anniversary, norm! here's wishing you another fun and excitement filled 7!

    yes, thanks for all the hard work Norm always a good read and a good discussion.

    Much enjoying the increased frequency of Dr. Who items.

    I have missed the whole Dr. Who thing and I am really a science fiction fan. Any recommendations how to start? (For example, when I wanted to get into Battlestar Gallactica, my friend said start with the mini-series which was an easy way to jump in...)

    Don't even JOKE about saying goodbye! You have TOO many wonderful articles on here! ;)

    I also didn't know it had been that long. I didn't start reading the page until October of 2002.

    Norm - It seems like so much work, I'm always so happy you've taken it on. So many online discoveries thanks to you!!! I think I'm commenting less (although I still seem to have a lot of comments :) but I'm still reading and noticed you read a book of King's short stories. Did you like it? A review I saw made me want to try it.

    I did like it. There was one story, where he used, a new to me device to show the passage of time, that I thought was particularly effective. I started a post on it and never finished. I'll dig it up and put it on the forum.

    To say "There's probably no God." is just as absurd as to say "Mars will probably not turn into a giant space bat and devour the inhabitants on the Earth next Thursday." At some point one has to admit that the infinitely improbable is impossible. That's not to say that extremely improbable events don't occur. They do. Constantly. It's a wondrous universe.

    Teapot atheists are just hedging their bets like any other agnostic.

    Teapot atheists are just hedging their bets like any other agnostic.

    I believe you misunderstand the point being made. Perhaps this will help. http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2006/10/agnosticism.html

    That's 70 in blog-years, Norm -- congratulations on some golden longevity for a sterling site, from one that ain't even 5 yet!

    from one that ain't even 5 yet!

    Time passes more slowly when you have a revolution every day.

    Why does anyone in the middle east vote for theocracy? Even the Jews do essentially.

    that's just not true,red. even the ultra-orthodox parties just want their slice of the pie, which means primarily state money for their educational institutions. they're actually very happy that the reins of power are in the hands of the secular, and they have actual religious justification for this.

    if you are referring to marriage and burial for jews being in the hands of the rabbinate- yes, this is a problem, but it's not about theocracy. it's a church/state issue, and an economic one- that just happens to be how many of them make their livings.

    i can't think of any israeli who ever voted for, or had the oppurtunity to vote for a theocracy as i understand it. maybe your definition is broader than mine.

    It was back in January of 2006 when I was able to get in contact with Richard Dawkins through one of your friendly commenters here on onegoodmove, which let to me getting the website job for RichardDawkins.net . That's obviously become a lot more, and I keep pretty busy these days with that site and its surrounding projects, but I do check in here at onegoodmove daily. Thanks for everything Norm.

    All best wishes, Josh Timonen

    Happy anniversary and thanks for all the enlightening and enjoyable posts over the years. Please keep your momentum going! Where else will we find the funny, the weird, the beautiful, and the rational?

    Happy Blogiversary & thanks for all the time & effort you put into this.

    I may not comment often, but I do read you daily -- probably for the last 5 years.

    As prior comment noted, please keep momentum going.

    Best, Judi

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