Middle East / Egypt

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Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:38 am

Surprised we don't have a thread on this given the news lately. Imho, what is happening in Egypt is pretty scary. I certainly can sympathize with people who want democracy. But if the end result is an Islamist state that reneges upon its peace agreement with Israel, then on a world scale it is certainly a huge setback.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:45 am

Hey, total war might make a comeback.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Kifle » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:56 am

I honestly don't have a clue what's going on over there at the moment, and I really don't have the energy to wade through opinionated journalism to find out. I keep hearing about Egypt, though. Maybe when I'm not working 20hrs a day, I'll get around to looking at it... unless one of you guys wants to give me a condensed version :)
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:54 pm

Trying to get as much news as I can from people on the ground, as opposed to MSNBC and Fox News. In a nutshell, the "president" of Egypt has been in power for three decades. Under his rule, the country has prospered economically, but he's kind of a dick and his government is mostly corrupt. To say Mubarak has been rigging elections would give him too much credit... he essentially petitions the Parliment (which he appointed) to install him as the only candidate on the ballot, then wins referenda by a 100-0 margin. 2005 was the first time they had an alternate candidate on the ballot, and Mubarak rigged that shit so blatantly that he had to arrest dozens of journalists for calling him out on it.

Shit got real a couple weeks ago, when long-brewing sentiment started breaking out on the internet, leading to protests. The protests grew to critical mass, and Mubarak killed all mobile, SMS, and internet connections in the entire country to keep protestors from organizing. In the last few days, he has pledged to disband the government, except for himself, and rebuild it according to the "will of the people." Unfortunately, all the people want is for him to generally fuck off, and he doesn't seem to be willing to do that. Also, he basically turned the police and the military out to go quell the protests by any means necessary, so Egyptian citizens are now regularly being doused with tear gas, and all of their prisons have been busted.

I'm kind of surprised kiryan hasn't started a thread calling out Obama for being allies with Mubarak. In reality, America has been allied with Mubarak for decades, selling them weapons and helping expand their economy.

The protests are political in nature. The people are of mixed religions, mostly Christians and Muslims. It is not, as Glenn Beck so desperately wants you to believe, a violent uprising of radical Muslims determined to install Sharia law and threaten United States interests.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:19 pm

I believe people should be free.

1 million people out of 80 some is pretty significant. Mubarak is a mostly benelovent dictator which I think is not the worst form of government, but is not as ideal as a constitutional republic/democracy... even if it has a primarily islamic underpining and if the people want it... then I think they should have it. If the end result of this is a theocracy under which the people have less freedom (which I do worry about), then I'll have a lot more to say, but I don't have a strong opinion on this yet.

I think Ragorn' position that the people want him out is out on a limb. I'm not sure 1 million in the streets represents the majority or even a large minority. It probably does... but if a fanatic 1% forced out a ruler that 80% of people support it would be a travesty? I think Obama is wrong to advise him not to run for these reasons... although it is is a good way to provide some legitimacy for any future elections.

I also don't have a problem with him shuffling his government in an attempt to stay in power, but I do think there should be a real election by the people for his job within 6 months... not the farce of an election that has occured thus far. If he can't agree to submit himself to the will of the people, then I think he does need to go.

The strongest criticisms I've read are about how Obama has destroyed our foreign policy by losing x y and z countries as "allies" which is more than other past presidents. I think its a fair criticism, but I don't necessarily agree this is a bad thing in the long run.

Sure we lose a lot of "power" initially, but I think it reduces our obligations as well. We may not be able to mobilize world consensus to act on shared threats (oh wait we can't do that anyway) and we will have to accept a lot more suffering in the world, but I'm getting kind of tired of getting no credit for the work we do. So let these shit hole countries go into chaos, make these regimes murder their people in an effort to stay in control and we'll intervene as we feel like it for short periods of time... wham bam kill a dictator then go back to minding our own business.


The worst criticism that I'll give is that Clinton and Obama both should've come out against the shutdown of the Internet. They obviously can't because they support giving the president of the USA the same power, but the real concern in my mind is that we tacitly accept it from our allies while condemning it from China.
Last edited by kiryan on Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Sarvis » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:38 pm

kiryan wrote:I think Sarvis' position that the people want him out is out on a limb.


Umm... you may want to check that. I haven't posted in this thread before this...

I'm not sure 1 million in the streets represents the majority or even a large minority.


Unless it's Islamic priests, then 800 represents Everyone.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:01 am

My apologies Sarvis. I meant Ragorn.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Kindi » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:13 am

egypt is the biggest country (population) in the area by like 2x larger than anywhere else, so what happens there is pretty important
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:26 am

There also I believe the most secular country in the region... what happens there is very significant from many standpoints... including the implications on the suez canal and the fact they control massive amounts of water from the nile through legal agreements signed before population explosions in the area. I guarantee you a few neighbor countries are dieing to get a chance to "renegotiate" or flat out ignore Egypt's water rights if they sense any weakness. Egypt is a strategically very important country.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:41 am

Mubarek is a dictator, and there is an enormous amount of corruption in his regime. And yet at the same time, he has been one of the most stabilizing forces in the region for decades. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have expended a tremendous amount of money over the years propping him up. I think Obama can be fairly criticized on the basis that it hurts our foreign policy objectives if world leaders whom we currently support feel we might abandon them at the earliest sign of trouble. But on the other hand, you can't really blame the administration for wanting to basically remain neutral - so that we haven't overtly burned whoever is running Egypt when this is all over with.

I wonder how it would go over if instead of Cairo this was happening in Washington DC. An unpermitted demonstration in front of the White House for days on end. It's funny how Mubarek is told not to use force on the demonstrators when you know that if something similar was happening here the demonstrators would, of course, be hauled off to jail in handcuffs. And beaten if they resisted arrest.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:21 am

I as well am very curious what would happen if there were protests on this scale (even strictly peaceful) anywhere in the US... Protests that were organized without paying for the required police and emergency presence... protests that continued even after being ordered to disperse by lawful agents of the state...

oh and there appears to be a bi-partisian push to give the executive branch an Internet kill switch... You know, for our protection from cyber attacks.

At times, I really do wonder what is the difference between us and Venuzela (nationalizing industries and profits while we threaten to tax it all away), China (under valuing its currency vs our inflating our currency) and Iran (funding insurgencies vs regime change).
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:23 am

Abraham Lincoln wrote:In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free.

Americans have given a million of their sons and daughters defending our right to govern ourselves as a free nation. While it's easy for many of us to forget that, the few among us that have sacrificed so much, have made it easy by ensuring that the rest of us need not sacrifice at all.

All people that believe they should have a voice for their future can believe in the cause of liberty.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:06 pm

kiryan wrote:I think Ragorn' position that the people want him out is out on a limb.

I .. wouldn't say that's "my" position. I'd say that's the position of literally every news source on the planet. I mean, I don't really know what Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin are saying, but I assume their stance is that the Egyptian revolt is a referendum on Obamacare or something.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:44 pm

Summary, which I admittedly didn't read, provided by American Thinker.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/ ... _revo.html
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:00 pm

Interesting article. Assuming its accurate, its appears to be a very good analysis.

For the technocrats it was the fiscal and economic policy that was their domain and they performed miracles. The Egyptian economy under the Nazif government showed unprecedented growth. The currency was devalued, investment was pouring in, and exports were growing. Even the economic crisis did not dramatically effect Egypt. The real disaster in all of this however is that no one actually rationalized or defended those policies to the Egyptian public. The country was moving towards a full capitalist system but no explained why that was needed or why it was ultimately beneficial. While such restructuring is naturally painful for a population that was dependent on the government for all its needs, the people were fed the same socialist rhetoric nonetheless. It mattered very little that the country was improving economically, people did not see that. It is not that the effects were not trickling down, they were. It is that the people were used to the nanny state for so many years that they could not understand why the government was no longer providing them with those services.

That was an interesting paragraph because of our situation. A portion of the government tried to take away subsidies and the result was revolution. The author ends his analysis with basically Mubarak out, the well respected army takes over because there is no opposition party or leader, just a huge disorganized mob. Army restores security and subsidies. However, the genie is out of the bottle, the Egyptian people now know they can challenge their government and long term rule without a voice even by the respect army... just isn't going to happen.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Vigis » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:53 am

Interestingly enough, I have found much less slant in Australian reporting than what I saw when living in the US. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to get news on the Middle East.

LOL, as I write this, they just showed the makeshift helmets that the Egyptian protesters are wearing (one dude had a cooking pot on his head and another with a laundry basket).

From this side of the world, here is the take:

Basic agreement that Mubarak's government has been corrupt.

Basic agreement that Mubarak's government has been responsible for both the expansion and suppression of radical Islam due to his aggressive persecution of radicals - put Bush to shame, and probably less waterboarding....

While I share Corth's fears of having a radical or conservative theocracy being installed, it does not seem likely. The Muslim Brotherhood appears to be the largest balance compared to the current government. The Muslim Brotherhood has already publicly put forth their preferred representative who is considered a "moderate Muslim."

The Muslim Brotherhood, despite the defection from one of their members to become Osama's #2, is a non-violent group and promotes peace in all Islam.

The Jihadists at this point are unorganized because, though they despise Mubarak, they do not share the Muslim Brotherhood's values or support their cause. On their internet forums, they have called for several different strategies including: swelling numbers in Egypt to take advantage of any power vacuum, attacking oil pipelines to Israel, etc.

My biggest fear is that whatever government is put into place will repudiate the recognition of Israel as a state. If that happens, much of the Arab world will follow suit and the US will be drawn into another war in the Middle East in order to prevent Israel from deploying nukes. I am a big fan of supporting Israel, but I have to admit that if somebody pulls a knife they pull a gun - if somebody pulls a gun, they fire a freaking bazooka.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:18 am

Muslim Brotherhood is bad news. They would institute Sharia law, for one thing, which is automatic fail right there. But beside that, they are overtly in favor of rescinding the peace agreement with Israel. Regardless of who you side with in the Israeli/Palestinean conflict, you want to see generally more peace, not less, right? They might be moderate in relation to say... Al Queda.. but that doesn't mean we want them running Egypt.

One thing that interests me about these popular arab uprisings. They seem to basically be internet powered. Young people using twitter and other social media to organize themselves and get their messages out You saw it in Iran a couple of years ago and even more now. And yet, there is a distinctly Islamist slant to it, which is a hyper-conservative influence. Weird confluence of old and new there. I like to think that over time young arabs secretly viewing western porn and listening to western music will kind of turn away from those dark ages values.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:51 pm

Would you secretly view porn if the penalty was death? and it wouldn't get swept under the rug either... as soon as it became public a large percentage of the population would be demanding your death.

I'd cut my balls off before I looked at porn in these societies.

--

I'd almost rather just let the whole middle east disintegrate. Let them work out their own problems... whether that means genocide or just dramatic population reduction. Could we really get any more blame than we already get? I'm tired of hearing shit from the left about how we shouldn't be over there, I'm tired of hearing shit Internationally on both sides. Like 95% of UN resolutions condemn Israel (not exaggerating). Just let them kill themselves off and be done with it. As long as they can claim to be "supporting" the peace process they can play both sides. Take that option away, let them duke it out.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:00 pm

It's an uphill battle for the morality police when the forbidden fruit is right there at your fingertips in the privacy and anonymity of a locked room. Iran is a great example. The old guard is doing everything they can to impose traditional Muslim morality upon the people. And the young basically laugh it off and wait until they are in control so they can get rid of the silly restrictions.

The interesting thing is that the Islamists find the internet so useful also. It's obviously a great way to get their message out. But it will probably rot them from the inside out. You take the good with the bad. They are getting off on lesbos while demanding that their women wear Burkhas. That type of internal hypocrisy can't last forever - so consider me optimistic.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Sarvis » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:21 pm

Corth wrote:so consider me optimistic.


Well you do think a free market will turn out well, so yeah... ;)
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:39 pm

Corth wrote:It's an uphill battle for the morality police when the forbidden fruit is right there at your fingertips in the privacy and anonymity of a locked room. Iran is a great example. The old guard is doing everything they can to impose traditional Muslim morality upon the people. And the young basically laugh it off and wait until they are in control so they can get rid of the silly restrictions.

I honestly feel like that's how America is too. That marijuana proposition (I forget the number) failed because voters over the age of 45 overwhelmingly voted against it. In ten or twenty years, when that demographic has aged and dwindled, that proposition will pass.

The interesting thing is that the Islamists find the internet so useful also. It's obviously a great way to get their message out. But it will probably rot them from the inside out. You take the good with the bad. They are getting off on lesbos while demanding that their women wear Burkhas. That type of internal hypocrisy can't last forever - so consider me optimistic.

Again: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... umers.html

Conservative states buy more porn per capita than liberal states, with Utah topping the chart. The more you repress your urges in public, the more likely you are to give in to them in private. How long until Christianity rots from the inside out too? :)
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:10 pm

Ragorn, I think your whole argument falls down when you consider marriage and sex. Most people as evidenced by statistics would prefer to sleep around, yet we resist with varying degrees of success to hold to a different ideal of marriage. Given that this has been the condition for thousands of years, I don't see liberals, conservatives or anyone else "rotting" from the inside.

Also, there is a fundamental difference with the way Christians look at moral failures, sin aka watching porn. We recognize its a stuggle of carnality vs religous morality and that everyone will lose many of those battles and all can be forgiven. Many think thats hipocritical, and technically it probably is, in reality Christianity is an impossible standard to meet; we can only strive to be Christ like... therefore, I suggest that we are less likely to "rot" as you describe.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:39 am

Ragorn wrote:Conservative states buy more porn per capita than liberal states, with Utah topping the chart. The more you repress your urges in public, the more likely you are to give in to them in private. How long until Christianity rots from the inside out too? :)

Considering that they've been doing it since forever, never.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:43 am

Ragorn wrote:
Corth wrote:It's an uphill battle for the morality police when the forbidden fruit is right there at your fingertips in the privacy and anonymity of a locked room. Iran is a great example. The old guard is doing everything they can to impose traditional Muslim morality upon the people. And the young basically laugh it off and wait until they are in control so they can get rid of the silly restrictions.

I honestly feel like that's how America is too. That marijuana proposition (I forget the number) failed because voters over the age of 45 overwhelmingly voted against it. In ten or twenty years, when that demographic has aged and dwindled, that proposition will pass.

Ironically, it's things like liberal welfare like Medicare and Social Security that's keeping the elderly folks alive and voting.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:27 pm

Also, there is a fundamental difference with the way Christians look at moral failures, sin aka watching porn. We recognize its a stuggle of carnality vs religous morality and that everyone will lose many of those battles and all can be forgiven. Many think thats hipocritical, and technically it probably is, in reality Christianity is an impossible standard to meet; we can only strive to be Christ like... therefore, I suggest that we are less likely to "rot" as you describe.

The evidence suggests that the struggle itself makes you more likely to fail. People who try to resist their carnal urges are more likely to give in to them than people who simply accept human sexuality as a part of life.

I think when a Christian strives to maintain a Christ-like standard, that's admirable. I'm glad that people of religion set themselves up with lofty moral goals. Where you lose me, is when those Christians start legislating their morality in an attempt to get EVERYONE to follow their code. First of all, I don't agree with all of your morals. And second of all, you don't follow them anyway, so please stop trying to punish everyone for failing to live up to rules that nobody wants to follow anyway, not even you.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:52 pm

How do you feel about liberals legislating their morality...

abortion
death penalty
animal rights
environmentalism
healthcare law and social services in general
wall street pay
rich and taxes in general
illegal immigration

With the exception of the libertarians... aren't we all legislating our own version of morality?
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:01 am

Ragorn wrote:
Also, there is a fundamental difference with the way Christians look at moral failures, sin aka watching porn. We recognize its a stuggle of carnality vs religous morality and that everyone will lose many of those battles and all can be forgiven. Many think thats hipocritical, and technically it probably is, in reality Christianity is an impossible standard to meet; we can only strive to be Christ like... therefore, I suggest that we are less likely to "rot" as you describe.

The evidence suggests that the struggle itself makes you more likely to fail. People who try to resist their carnal urges are more likely to give in to them than people who simply accept human sexuality as a part of life.

I think when a Christian strives to maintain a Christ-like standard, that's admirable. I'm glad that people of religion set themselves up with lofty moral goals. Where you lose me, is when those Christians start legislating their morality in an attempt to get EVERYONE to follow their code. First of all, I don't agree with all of your morals. And second of all, you don't follow them anyway, so please stop trying to punish everyone for failing to live up to rules that nobody wants to follow anyway, not even you.

Hey, I'm with you on the not being forced into a religious law. However, you do have to acknowledge where laws are not just religious. Particularly where many religions possess the same law. A society without religious influence is one without religious freedom.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:30 am

kiryan wrote:How do you feel about liberals legislating their morality...

abortion


Trying to prevent a law from being written is legislating now?
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:31 pm

I think he was referring to Roe v. Wade, which is a classic example of "legislating from the bench". There is no basis for a right to abortion in the constitution. The court really had to stretch for that one.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:16 pm

Corth wrote:I think he was referring to Roe v. Wade, which is a classic example of "legislating from the bench". There is no basis for a right to abortion in the constitution. The court really had to stretch for that one.


But still, that's not legislating so much as blocking legislation... they basically STOPPED people from legislating morality.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Kindi » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:01 pm

Corth wrote:I think he was referring to Roe v. Wade, which is a classic example of "legislating from the bench". There is no basis for a right to abortion in the constitution. The court really had to stretch for that one.

US Constitution wrote:The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

funny how i posted that twice today. i guess everyone forgot about it
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:41 pm

kiryan wrote:How do you feel about liberals legislating their morality...

abortion
death penalty
animal rights
environmentalism
healthcare law and social services in general
wall street pay
rich and taxes in general
illegal immigration

With the exception of the libertarians... aren't we all legislating our own version of morality?

With the exception of animal rights, none of those are morality issues. Having an opinion on politics is not morality.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:24 pm

abortion is not a morality issue? funny, its a constant topic in college classes on morality and ethics.

death penalty is not a morality issue? So you're saying there is no question about what we "ought" to do with regards to the power to put people to death? Death penalty is often justified or attacked based on moral philosophy.

animal rights is not a question of morality? Funny, the animal rights activists would strenuously disagree. By some moral thinkers, if a thing can suffer, it is "subject to a life" and has a right to its "bodily integrity" and freedom which humans obviously violate daily at the dinner table.

environmentalism is not a moral issue? Whether one or many groups pollute the Earth for their benefit is not a moral issue? I think you need to check what moral means.

healthcare law... why do we have healthcare law if its not a moral duty for everyone to have access to healthcare?

wall street pay. What kind of language is it when you call companies and profits evil? Is that the language of reason or of morality? What are you practicing when you declare that more profits SHOULD go to their "rightful" owners?

rich and taxes in general, see above. Why is it the rich's "fair" share to pay higher rates than the poor? wouldn't fair and impartial be a flat rate regardless of income?

illegal immigration. not a moral issue? not a matter of "equality"? not a question of whether we own this land or if it was stolen? Not a question of whether we have the right to refuse other people from coming here?


http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/

1. descriptively to refer to a code of conduct put forward by a society or,
--a. some other group, such as a religion, or
--b. accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

or more simply "what one ought to do". Politics is ALL about what one ought to do in the sense that there is always one group or another that thinks we all ought to do something and that it should be compelled by the force of law.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:48 pm

Morality legislation is a law being passed purely from the basis of morality; a law that has no other health, economic, or military reason for its prosposal.

Banning prostitution, for example, was not morality legislation. Many people view prostitution as immoral, but the legislation was proposed to help combat the spread of disease. There's a legitimate medical reason for the law. Banning gay bath houses in San Francisco in the 80s wasn't done as a means of discriminating against homosexuals; at the time, gay sexual contact (particularly prominent in bath houses) was the leading factor in the spread of AIDS at the time.

Immigration is not a morality issue. Immigration is a logistical issue. For some people, the death penalty may be a morality issue... if your sole reason for arguing against it is "thou shalt not kill," then that's a morality issue for you. For me, it's a logistics issue. I'm more concerned about the cost of incarceration vs. execution, the incidence of false positive verdicts, and its effectiveness as a deterrent than I am about whether we "should" be "sanctioning murder."

Abortion is a moral issue for Christians. You guys are the ones crying about how "wrong" it is. Liberals want to keep it legal, to let each individual make the choice according to his or her own morality. For us, it's a health issue. We want to make it LEGAL for a woman to pursue an abortion if that's her choice. We do not want to make it MANDATORY.

Wall street profits? Nobody calls profit "evil" except conservatives looking to build a straw man argument. Profit is fine. Go profit. If you profit by breaking regulations or by defrauding the American public illegally, then the government will step in and regulate your industry. This is an economic issue, not a moral one.

You're confused about what it means to legislate morality.

Also, I can't say I'm completely surprised that I have to explain what morality is to a conservative. I don't think most of you know.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:47 pm

Morality is determining what we "ought" to do.


Seriously, maybe you need to educate yourself on reason, morality and ethics. I've been reading my wife's ethics books for fun, 6 of them in the past 3 weeks. Morality is to answer the question of "how we ought to live". Here's a relevant quote from Wikipedia affirming that this is the common belief and the tie in to politics that I mention.

"If morality is the answer to the question 'how ought we to live' at the individual level, politics can be seen as addressing the same question at the social level."

Now your arguments are all of the nature that it wasn't legislating morality because there was a justification that existed outside of morality. However, morality is looking at what we ought to do. Banning prostitution or gay bath houses purely for health and economic reasons is a moral decision. A decision to prevent people from engaging in activity they want to, and especially in the sense of not banning the activity impartially (universally for all people). However, it can be found to be a morally just decision by some moral philosophies because the discrimination is not "arbitrary" and instead a reasonable and proportional response that you would agree with if imposed on you. It is still fundamentally a moral question.

Abortion is a moral issue. I don't know how you get off saying otherwise. There is a paper on the moral and ethics of abortion from every single moral ethos. How can you possibly declare its not a moral issue. Likewise with the death penalty. They may be "settled" issues for you, but they are most certainly a moral question.

Wall street profits. Really, conservatives call them evil huh? because we're in general against profits and big businesses. Who spent the last 2 years attacking business.. specifically demonizing profits and pay? Wallstreet fat cats? Is that a term of endearment? Financial, Insurance, healthcare insurance, oil? seriously, check yourself, theres a blue Democrat card in your wallet and on it is inscribed "you hate big business" and "rich should pay more taxes". The obligation of companies and rich people to the people and the communities from which they derive their profits is clearly a question of morality. Please justify the reason that rich people should be treated differently than poor people in terms of taxes when we are all "equal"?

I may not understand what it is to "legislate morality" in colloquial practice, but I do know what the words mean. If you want to limit your understanding of what morality is to secular vs religious, thats fine, but realize some of us refuse to start the argument on your terms. I'll leave you with some articles agreeing that all laws by definition legislate morality and with selections from the constitution that obviously legislate morality.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

--Hmm that seems an awful lot like legislating the morale view that all people are equal.

http://www.midwestoutreach.org/journals ... ating.html
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/ ... gisla.html
http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/11/1792
--The truth, however, is that every law and regulation that is proposed, passed, and enforced has inherent in it some idea of the good that it seeks to promote or preserve
http://www.coralridge.org/equip/10Truth ... uth-6.aspx
--The real question is not whether morality should be legislated, but whose morality will be enacted into law
http://conservativecolloquium.wordpress ... yone-else/
Libertarians wish to codify their morality of liberty into law. The most thoughtful and principled libertarians would support liberty even if it did lead to impoverishment, inefficiency, and misery. They see liberty as a moral issue; liberty in itself is not morally neutral. Violence against the life, liberty, or property of another person without just cause (self-defense or reparation for previous injury) is not merely bad for material prosperity but bad for people; it is immoral, a violation of human rights. Moral relativism or neutrality simply doesn’t exist in conscientious libertarianism (or any other political philosophy).
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:57 pm

Kindi wrote:
Corth wrote:I think he was referring to Roe v. Wade, which is a classic example of "legislating from the bench". There is no basis for a right to abortion in the constitution. The court really had to stretch for that one.

US Constitution wrote:The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

funny how i posted that twice today. i guess everyone forgot about it


This might be true, but Roe v. Wade found a -constituional- right to abortion.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



Goddamned slippery mage.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:59 pm

Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:I think he was referring to Roe v. Wade, which is a classic example of "legislating from the bench". There is no basis for a right to abortion in the constitution. The court really had to stretch for that one.


But still, that's not legislating so much as blocking legislation... they basically STOPPED people from legislating morality.


It's straightforward legislating from the bench. Before Roe v. Wade each state independently decided, through legislation, whether to allow abortions or not. After Roe v. Wade, abortion became an inalienable constitutional right. The unelected Supreme Court declared from the heavens that abortion must be allowed under all circumstances.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:22 pm

I may not understand what it is to "legislate morality" in colloquial practice

Yes, I see that you don't.

Legislating morality is the practice of passing laws that have no basis in the public interest aside from the personal opinions of those passing the law. I'm not really interested in arguing with you, I'm actually defining a term for you so you can understand what the words mean. If you want to argue that Bush's bailot of the auto industry is an example of morality legislation, then you're welcome to do that, but you'd be wrong and I'm not going to waste my time insisting that you're wrong.

Banning PCP because PCP addicts present a clear and present danger to the general public is a law founded in the public interest.

Banning people from smoking marijuana in their own homes is morality legislation, passed based upon the personal preference of the individuals who sponsored the law, with no basis in the public interest or safety.

Do you understand the difference, or are you going to continue to argue because you like posting links to shit that has no relevance?
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:43 pm

Ragorn wrote:Banning PCP because PCP addicts present a clear and present danger to the general public is a law founded in the public interest.

Banning people from smoking marijuana in their own homes is morality legislation, passed based upon the personal preference of the individuals who sponsored the law, with no basis in the public interest or safety.

Do you understand the difference, or are you going to continue to argue because you like posting links to shit that has no relevance?

You're reaching for this one. Marijuana users are linked to higher rates of crime, debt delinquency, and depressed household income. Arguably, this is as much of a basis for the public interest as any other.

PCP is CLEARLY the greater public interest, but by your reasoning, marijuana is too.

I'm also going to leave you with a hint. No legislation can be made purely on the basis of public interest without the influence of the personal beliefs of the people who help an idea become legislation or vote into law. So, do you understand the 'difference?'
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Sarvis » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:02 pm

Corth wrote:
Sarvis wrote:
Corth wrote:I think he was referring to Roe v. Wade, which is a classic example of "legislating from the bench". There is no basis for a right to abortion in the constitution. The court really had to stretch for that one.


But still, that's not legislating so much as blocking legislation... they basically STOPPED people from legislating morality.


It's straightforward legislating from the bench. Before Roe v. Wade each state independently decided, through legislation, whether to allow abortions or not. After Roe v. Wade, abortion became an inalienable constitutional right. The unelected Supreme Court declared from the heavens that abortion must be allowed under all circumstances.


No, they declared that you cannot create a law against it. That is all. That is, in fact, their JOB. If you want to say declaring laws unconstitutional is "legislating from the bench" then fine, the Supreme Court's job is to legislate from the bench.

Of course you'd still be playing some strange semantic word game, since they are basically saying states cannot create legislation about something. So they are legislating a lack of legislation? Please.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:17 pm

Teflor Lyorian wrote:You're reaching for this one. Marijuana users are linked to higher rates of crime, debt delinquency, and depressed household income. Arguably, this is as much of a basis for the public interest as any other.

Do you have a citation for these assertions?

And more importantly, do you believe that Prop 19 failed because of the threat of depressed household, or because of resistance to marijuana legalization based in morality?
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:33 pm

Ragorn wrote:
I may not understand what it is to "legislate morality" in colloquial practice

Yes, I see that you don't.


You can define it however you want, but virtually every law legislates morality in a technical sense.

Ragorn wrote:Legislating morality is the practice of passing laws that have no basis in the public interest aside from the personal opinions of those passing the law. I'm not really interested in arguing with you, I'm actually defining a term for you so you can understand what the words mean. If you want to argue that Bush's bailot of the auto industry is an example of morality legislation, then you're welcome to do that, but you'd be wrong and I'm not going to waste my time insisting that you're wrong.


its funny because bailing out the auto industry has been described as moral hazard. Now how could it be morally hazardous if its not a moral decision? Btw, I would argue that capitalism is a set of moral values that govern how one "should" act.

Ragorn wrote:Banning PCP because PCP addicts present a clear and present danger to the general public is a law founded in the public interest.


At the expense of a person's interests. The decision as to when you can infringe upon a person's right is a moral question.

Ragorn wrote:Banning people from smoking marijuana in their own homes is morality legislation, passed based upon the personal preference of the individuals who sponsored the law, with no basis in the public interest or safety.


Marijuana is a terrible case study. There is a growing body of research linking smoking marijuana to mental health issues. You have precedence of restricting smoking locations because it affects other people... growing effort to apply this to smoking in a car with kids and yes at home too. Then there is the whole public health argument which is arguing the consumption of salt and soda is causing unhealth in the general public which is increasing shared costs.

Ragorn wrote:Do you understand the difference, or are you going to continue to argue because you like posting links to shit that has no relevance?


I understand that you want to say these cases are different, but they are not. Every law that says you must or must not do something is legislating morality. Its religious morality vs good of society morality vs Kantian morality vs utilitarian morality. Every law that applies the rules in an impartial manner is making a moral judgement against some ethos... sometimes its morally justified, other times its immoral depending on the ethos, but either way its a question of morales and one view is being legislated
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:52 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Teflor Lyorian wrote:You're reaching for this one. Marijuana users are linked to higher rates of crime, debt delinquency, and depressed household income. Arguably, this is as much of a basis for the public interest as any other.

Do you have a citation for these assertions?

And more importantly, do you believe that Prop 19 failed because of the threat of depressed household, or because of resistance to marijuana legalization based in morality?


It is a moral decision. Prop 19 failed because people think the harm to society outweighs the benefits to society after years of hearing about how bad Alcohol and Tobacco are for people. Morally, they weighed the decision according to their personal moral philosophy and made a moral decision on how to vote.

In your earlier arguments however, you made the case that if you can demonstrate that there is a societal benefit, its no longer a moral decision. So if we can show that MJ increases healthcare costs, can legislation restricting it be amoral rather than moral? I submit the evidence below as proof that the prop 19 vote was not legislating morality. it was in fact merely in the interests of the public good which you claim is an amoral decision. It is in fact an economic issue.

http://www.nber.org/reporter/winter05/pacula.html

Economic / Education
Findings from these analyses suggest that marijuana use negatively affects youths' performance on standardized tests by lowering math scores by as much as 15 percent. According to research conducted previously, this reduction in math test scores could translate into a reduction in future wages by as much as 2 percent for those not going on to college.
...
the results from both models suggest that marijuana use in the tenth grade does indeed decrease educational attainment. The author notes that the negative impact of marijuana use in the tenthgrade on educational attainment is similar in magnitude to the effect of living in a single parent family or living in a family with an income in the lowest quartile.

... CRIME, specifically property crime

Reduced-form models suggested that the negative association between marijuana use and violent crime was spurious while the positive associations between marijuana use and property and income-producing crime could be causal in nature

... Healthcare, specifically addiction treatment. The cost in terms of car accidents is obviously not 0 as well.

Evidence showing trends in dependence rates confirm this suspicion. And, the cost of treating the dependent population is not nearly as low as is frequently presumed.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Kindi » Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:15 am

Corth wrote:
US Constitution wrote:The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


This might be true, but Roe v. Wade found a -constituional- right to abortion.

i don't understand. doesn't the 9th amendment mean "ppl have rights other than those listed here"? or are you saying it's a positive finding rather than a negative finding (they thought it was one of the enumerated rights)? cause if so, then i'd say they were just trying to cover their asses, since i've never heard someone strike something down for violating the 9th amendment..... tho findlaw has some good history and a place where they used it to create a "right to marital privacy" to get rid of a law banning contraception. why is it always the babymaking...

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/cons ... endment09/

abortion is a definition problem imo. what's the definition of 'human'? once you've got that nailed down, in exhaustive detail, you can figure out if the mom or the baby should get priority
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Corth » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:50 am

Kindi,

The basis of Roe is the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. It follows a line of "substantive due process" decisions (going back to the infamous Dred Scott case) where the court has found certain substantive unenumerated rights from the following language in the 14th Amendment: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". In an earlier decision the court found a general right to 'privacy' from that language, and expanded upon that concept in drafting the Roe decision. The problem with this type of jurisprudence is it basically gives the court a license to find any right it feels expedient at any given time. Ideally, courts are here to interpret the law, not make law. Critics of Roe, like myself, do not necessarily have to be pro-life. I believe it should be up the states to decide whether abortion should be legal - and I am in fact pro-choice.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:22 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Teflor Lyorian wrote:You're reaching for this one. Marijuana users are linked to higher rates of crime, debt delinquency, and depressed household income. Arguably, this is as much of a basis for the public interest as any other.

Do you have a citation for these assertions?

And more importantly, do you believe that Prop 19 failed because of the threat of depressed household, or because of resistance to marijuana legalization based in morality?

"Past year illicit drug users were also about 16 times more likely than nonusers to report being arrested and booked for larceny or theft; more than 14 times more likely to be arrested and booked for such offenses as driving under the influence, drunkenness, or liquor law violations; and more than 9 times more likely to be arrested and booked on an assault charge."
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/pub ... index.html

"positively associated with property and income-producing crime"
http://www.nber.org/reporter/winter05/pacula.html

"If the respondent stated that they had ever used marijuana daily for twenty days in one month, their household income was compared to another household without a daily user. The "user" households were found to have a household income 27.9% less than those households that did not have such an interviewee."
http://www.duncan-associates.com/Productivity.htm

- If you're wondering why none of these are from 2010, it's the same reason why there's no more studies about the average frontal lobe size by race. Since addiction is considered a disease, public studies comparing drug users to normal people simply aren't done outside of the medical community - or are funded by pro-legalization initiatives studying very specific angles looking for a positive figure. Furthermore, individual comparisons of heavy marijuana users with the average non-user can be problematic without adjusting for variety of variables.

I don't know why you bothered to question it. It seems pretty damned obvious that regular marijuana users are either loaded hippies, the bored rich, or (like most) dirt poor addicts. There's no real two ways about it. I hold no particular beliefs on Prop 19 - I simply don't care about what that is. If it was something people had to vote on, it's ALL about what the people believe. Don't kid yourself.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby kiryan » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:42 pm

I think there is a large group of functional, recreational marijuana users with incomes from 40k - 100k that probably account for at least 50% of the product used. I know at least a dozen users (I do not use or associate with them regularly but I have long running relationships with them) that are not "poor" in the same sense as trailer trash poor.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Teflor Lyorian » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:58 pm

Most recreational users I know are 45+ years old, wealthy, and functional (however, they are very infrequent users. The one habitual user I know is a loser in nearly every sense of the word, aside from winning at smoking more pot). It doesn't really change the few statistics there are on individual marijuana users, particularly abusers that make up 30% of the users.
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Vigis » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:09 am

Popped back onto the boards to read everybody's opinions as I hadn't read this thread since I posted in it. I started reading at that point, then went through all of the subsequent posts.

I am not kidding when I tell you that at one point I seriously forgot the topic of the thread I was reading.

For that, I must compliment Ragorn - Best Derailment EVER!! With this line:


Ragorn wrote:Conservative states buy more porn per capita than liberal states, with Utah topping the chart. The more you repress your urges in public, the more likely you are to give in to them in private. How long until Christianity rots from the inside out too? :)


I had to backtrack all the way up the thread to find the culprit for changing a Middle East / Egypt thread into a morality thread. I must say I am absolutely impressed! :D
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Re: Middle East / Egypt

Postby Ragorn » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:53 pm

This thread never really got started properly, after the general consensus was revealed to be "I can't be arsed to figure out what's going on over there." So let's talk about porn instead, amirite?
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