Recent posts by Ungeziefer on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Bombing Of Gaza By The Evil Israel

Could you be more specific on the “sharia is inherently fascist”? In what ways? And the thing about Hezbollah, how are they fascist?

Well, that was the rest of the giant post you quoted there. I made a big list of Facist cultural tenets which I suggest crossover quite well.


Once again short for time :) But! Yes it was Nasser I was thinking of. I may have made a mistaken connection between him and the MB however. I can’t find the direct source, but I have read that his published memoirs openly admit to nazi collaboration. A link to that regard, from, FOX news suggests a large influx of nazi refugee’s under his presidency.

Afghanistan under the Taliban and Saudi Arabia, both of which are more the product of tribalism than religion.

Granted. But to my mind that is actually a much better fit with Italian Fascism for that reason. The relationship to The Church is less about any theistic concerns, but more traditional cultural ones. It’s about making sacred the big and old, the traditional, populist, nostalgia. Hence why Fascism not only played into Roman Catholicism (but nothing of other Christian branches) but also Rome itself – The Fascia itself derived from Roman symbols.

Call me an apologist, but wouldn’t fascists shut such places down?

Not necessarily? I mean probably, but that is getting more into Fascism as Totalitarian Police State then as a Fascism as a Culture between Church, State and The Public. As a quick segue into something I’d find comparable would be closing commerce on Sundays, or badgering men with long hair. One is vaguely religious, one isn’t, but both are traditional values. It’s the common history, weird tribal traditions and all that becomes sacred – and The Church becomes a vehicle of making that convincing, and also an element of what is carried over itself.

Anywho. I’m sorry to give such short shrift again. Will have to catch up. Thanks!

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

I find all the formatting required to cite quotations exhausting. Sorry.

Me too, I tend to lazy quote everything with copy and paste prefaced with".bq". So no worries there.

You’re right. Murder is the intentional ending of someone’s life against their will. The intent, alone, is not murder. And ending someone’s life against their will is not necessarily murder. These semantics are not very interesting… we all know what we’re trying to talk about.

I love semantics myself, but I’ll grant it might not be as interesting to everyone. Although to bring it back to something you were suggesting earlier, we do tend to employ semantics to make killing palatable. There are cultures, ethos’, tied up in those killing words – some are sterile, or heroic, or horrifying, and they are used to emotionally color and manipulate our reactions to the event.

Ungeziefer, you claimed that you would kill someone to protect your property but not for money. When you say there are “issues” of trespass and entitlement… are you suggesting that you are “entitled” to kill someone if they trespass on your property?

More or less, yes. There are some sticking points as to what constitutes a property, trespass, due warning. But I believe that one is entitled to safety and security within their home for their self and their possessions, and that those who trespass upon it by force, may be justly met with force in serving those ends. That said, I wouldn’t call it a tacit endorsement. It is not always preferable, wise, efficient, generally not always good. But neither is it always bad.

My fundamental point is that there’s a complexity to this negotiation that each of us resolves differently and approaches with individual tolerances. Some people have a greater tolerance for committing acts of violence than others… that’s a no-brainer… and some people have less tolerance. I choose to align my views, as much as possible, with the idea that no act of lethal violence is ever acceptable. It is, for me, the simplest and most defensible position to take.

Quite right. To cut to the meat of it however, I would ask you, in what ways does non violence serve yourself/others? What are the consequences and qualities of violence that lead to it being unacceptable?

I also wonder where do you draw the line of agency? Is calling the cops to engage in physical violence on your behalf (say, arresting a home intruder) any different from engaging in it yourself? Would calling a hitman, as opposed to simply murdering someone, not qualify then by the same grounds?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Everyone has the means to prevent murder. In fact, you cannot prevent murder while conducting murder. It’s illogical.

Well, no, you can’t. But you could prevent this or that murder. It’s only in the absolute premise that murder is bad, does avoiding murder all together become meaningful. If I could press you on this, why is murder bad?

Of course, now we need to fear the Carr Brothers AND dudes like KoolKid who may think that we are scum of the earth because of our tattoos, choice of music, national interest, or whatever other “threat” they feel is appropriate. I’m not comfortable with that.

Considering his example were serial rapists and murderers, pushing that to include cosmetic decisions seems a little absurd. You’re willfully distorting his argument and maligning the parameters that he considers lethal force acceptable in order to make it seem more threatening.

You state that murder requires pre-emptive action and motive. This isn’t correct, as far as I’m concerned. Murder is an act, not an intention… murder requires that you have ended someone’s life against their will.

So if a construction worker accidentally knocks a brick off a building, and it squishes some random passerby, he has murdered them, he is a murderer? I think few would equate the word to your definition. If this is going to be a dialogue it might be good to start looking at our semantics. You may object to partitioning ‘ways that people get killed by people’ but I think things like Intent tend to be a big tripping point in conversation.

When I hear people blithely state that they could kill for A, B, and C reasons (but never for D!), it boggles my imagination. Ungeziefer says that he would kill someone over a television set, but puts his foot down on killing someone for money. (That would be wrong!)

Yup. I don’t see the dissonance between the two. Yes, there are materialist concerns in common. But there’s also issues of trespass, entitlement and response. But I’m also not sure why you are surprised to see people state they would do X under circumstances A,B, but not C. In what way do you find measuring an act based upon it’s expected consequences boggling?

You seem to look down on my television defense, but where is that line drawn? Should I just wander into your home freely and help myself, how frequently, for how long? At what point do we acknowledge some value to material concerns? At what point does my seizing the sum of your labor constitute enslaving you?

By stating that he is a trained killer, he has positioned himself as a potential existential threat to those around him. Clearly he is willing to kill. He only needs a reason. Is he actively LOOKING for a reason to kill his neighbor? Maybe. Only he knows… but he’s apparently proud of his capacity to kill. One can only hope that he doesn’t go off the deep end and become his one-man Carr Brothers show. At what point should we intervene? Perhaps his responses in this very thread are both a cry for help AND a warning to his community.

I find this odd. You’re reaching into unknowns quite deeply. ‘K stated he’d kill under X, but how do we know only X, it might also be A-Z! Oh No!’ Well, we don’t. We never do. But how are you, or I, or anyone except from such a ridiculous premise? ‘Pete said he’d never kill, but how do we know that, he might kill everyone for no reason! Oh No!’ It’s ridiculous.

You kill someone. How do you justify it?

By the change in the collective human experience and the enrichment therein of what I value. Pretty abstract, but ultimately that’s the root of it.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

Well it’s a little late for me to be replying directly. But as a general statement I have little moral qualms with murder as an abstract. I don’t see the utility of a universal absolute not to kill. I feel the world, my values, common values, can be potentially enriched and on justifiable grounds. To jump on the quiz.

• Would you kill a bad person to save the lives of 100 innocent people?
Kind of ambiguous. What is “bad”, what is “innocent”, but yes really.

• Would you kill one bad person to save a single innocent life?

• Would you kill one young bad person to save a single innocent elderly person?
The whole potential for change thing? But still, yup.

• Would you kill one good person to save the lives of 100 bad people?
Nope. I see enriching the good as the central thesis.

• Would you kill someone you didn’t know if you were paid to or it was your job?
No, as personal financial gain does not seem a justifiable reason.

• Would you kill one person that was stealing your television?

• Would you kill someone to protect national interests
Yup. Although, I am pretty skeptical of what constitutes “national interests” and how often killing protects them.

• Would you kill someone that threatened you or your loved ones?
Threat here is kind of ambiguous. Threatened as in, intended to harm? Yes certainly.

• Would you kill someone you felt threatened by?
Feeling threatened is fairly vague. If I thought they had every intention and means of harming me, potentially. If I just thought they seems scary, menacing, potentially dangerous, intimidating, what have you – then no.

• Would you kill someone that was hurting your child in a non-lethal way?
Depending on the non lethal way yes. I don’t have a child, but I have a cat. I’d kill someone for hurting my cat, for sure. Does that make it worse? Ah well.

• Would you kill yourself to save 100 innocent lives?
Heh. Probably not. Even less so if they were strangers. Post thought, but, maybe someone else would, and really then… good for them?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Shooting/Riots in Ferguson, USA.

That said, the officer did pursue and continue to shoot him as he fled,…
YOU know this….HOW?

Multiple eyewitness reports, and I believe the police report, but I’d have to check on that one.

Making an arrest is often somewhat “aggressive”.

I agree. But the problem is less the arrest, and more the shooting. Acceptable lines of behavior and all.

On this, you & I are 100% together.
I’m pushing really hard for our city & county to do just this….esp. along w/ on-person cameras, too. None of this is very expensive at all.

Happy to hear that :)

You mention some procedural problems with Wilson’s action by the witness accounts. Which does bring an element of doubt, but a hypothetical cop looking to just hassle some black kids may not be exactly following procedures.

A witness you didn’t quote, described the two of them “arm wrestling” at the window. I think it is pretty safe to assume there was some form of physical struggle.

We probably should entertain the possibility that Brown’s demeanor was affected by a likelihood that he had an elevated level of adrenaline due to his thinking the stop was being made because of the “robbery”. This effect on the body wouldn’t dissipate immediately upon learning the stop was only for jaywalking.

Unless he still had all the stuff he robbed on him. Later police reporting described Wilson noticing they were holding handfuls of cigars. Now, that detail popped up at a pretty convenient time. But it does also stand to reason.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Shooting/Riots in Ferguson, USA.

What problem do you have understanding, that in extremely volatile, uncommon situations, those who are assigned the task of maintaining order HAVE TO use extreme measures in order to secure as many CIVIL RIGHTS for as many ppl as possible? Requiring ppl to modify their civil rights for the greater good isn’t all that unreasonable.

You’re framing things very abstractly. I don’t see a curfew as a functional means of preventing crime beyond active vigilance and response. A curfew is about asserting control, suppressing dissent through fear. I don’t believe there is any “HAVE TO” in their extreme measures at all. Further, by creating conditions in which our rights can be revoked, we create the incentive to gerrymander and exploit those conditions. I see the greater good best served as the fulfillment of our rights, those that infringe upon them whether rioter or riot cop are the antagonist to that.

But, I do know that public servants telling ppl to stay off the streets (in the public…ppl don’t “own” the public) between midnight & 5 am isn’t all that serious of a problem when a much more serious problem of major proportion is going on all around the suburb.

Disagree. It is specifically ppl, or rather people, or rather The People, that own the public streets. So under the assumption that I pose a threat, I am being forcibly incarcerated in my home – which, as it does not infringe upon the majorities livelihood, or activities, is considered dismissible. I don’t see the wanton destruction of property as a more serious problem then the assumption that armed majority empowered (if that,) men are entitled to prevent harmless activity.

Unless it is YOUR shop windows and goods being stolen…which just might mean you are out of business?

Potentially so. Buy insurance. Remain vigilant. I sure as hell wouldn’t walk over to my neighbours house and tell him he better stay inside at night, because I’m worried I might get robbed.

I would think ya know damn well by this time what MY stance on civil liberties is.
AND, I’d like to think that I’ve also made it crystal clear that liberties/freedom HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES that go along w/ them.

And what responsibility is that here? The obligation to do what you’re told by authority? That if we just assume everyone is a criminal, then naturally criminals will just stop altogether?

I find being cooperative w/ authorities—as opposed to being a part of the problem; because I find a need ATM to be exercising my civil liberties—to be one of those “unfortunate” tasks that can been viewed as being limiting by ppl who aren’t able to fully grasp intense situations that they haven’t had the opportunity to be charged w/ containing.

Really? I’ve never found cooperating with the authorities to be marginally effective. From serial rapists, personal theft, the neighbor beating the shit out of his girlfriend, coked up driver smashing into everything, being assaulted in broad daylight, they never did jack all. Maybe that’s just my experience. But it is a little beside the point. Your suggesting that this is necessary, and that I am ignorant of how. I’m not buying it. There are the means to effectively manage this, and it does not require pulling the entire populace off the streets.

I abhor those who bloviate loudly about “civil rights” and ignorantly/arrogantly manage to “forget” the responsibilities that go hand-N-hand with them. This “confusion” is much like that over “freedom of speech” & 2nd Amend. “rights” to own the biggest mother-fucking gun possible.

Responsibilities? Responsible to whom? Sounds more like a privilege, a grace extended by the powers that be then rights. And what precisely are these responsibilities in nature? So you’re equating walking the streets with amassing weapons to mass murder and destruction? That seems a little hyperbolic.

and that shit is supposed to mean….WHAT?
My point there is that some of the media is running a “cherub pic” of Brown that is not at all indicative of who LIKELY really is.

I totally agree Brown is an asshole. But my point was that you suggested cooperate initially, protest later. I’m suggesting that is exactly what they did. But now they’re expected to protest later, later, again. As injustice continues to abound. It does not seem like there is much consolation in that all.

Ones that might even work in some situations.
But, “canvasing” takes time.
Where is this “increased police presence” supposed to come from….esp. in the amount needed in that situation?
I’m not sure what “attention/respond” is supposed to do in a cluster-fuck of rioting.

They’re supposed to come from the surrounding area and federal government, which well, they did. Vigilant Response to a riot would assumedly lead to a dispersion of violent elements, and the prevention of active crimes. What’s a curfew supposed to do in a cluster fuck of rioting?

There was no “pushing”.
Whoa there, Sparky. The curfew IS NOT enacted because of some tacit assumption of guilt. A curfew DOES HAVE penalties should one decide to VIOLATE it. I guess one might assume that at that point, they are then “guilty”.

All laws are enacted under threat of force, there is always “pushing”, as much as necessary. So if one is not assumed to be a criminal, then why does one have to consent to be treated as one or defacto become one?

A clearly terrified person would be cowering behind the counter until Brown was long gone.
NO. he clerk went around the counter and held open the door for Brown…placing himself directly & CLOSELY right in front of him. I’m assuming he wanted Brown out of the store….likely telling him to not come back. I just don’t see any clear being terrified of Brown until he was violently shoved. Even then, the clerk made a grab for what was in Brown’s hand (the “stolen” item?).

Still disagree. I’ve been directly attacked as a clerk by a customer, I held the door for him as he left too. Admittedly, I wouldn’t say I was frightened of him at that point, was certainly adrenal as all fuck though. Terror readily results in cooperation, that was was politely guiding a guy thrice his weight through the store I find in no way at odds with him being threatened by him. I also don’t see the clerk making that grab. It was also clearly stolen, he never produced payment, and it was recorded as a robbery to boot.

You know this….HOW?
I see this “knowing all about it” to be a huge part of the core issue in shit storms like this….PRESUMPTION of “knowing”. All one need do to “justify” personal rejection of the CIVIL RIGHTS of others is to first “establish” that they indeed have ALL OF the facts firmly in hand. After that, most anything they do is almost a divine right.

How do I know he was fourty feet from the squad car and unarmed? How is that even in question? Because his corpse was fourty feet from the squad car in front of a street of witnesses? Because every party validates that? Because his corpse didn’t have a weapon on it, and every party validates that?

I don’t really see the basic, universally corroborated details of this case as some launching point for a diatribe on civil liberties.

or just walking away?
Dose someone “flee” by going backwards?
Brown was shot facing the officer.

So you are suggesting he walked backwards, while still facing the officer? What? I am confused here.

The officer had every right to stop Brown from “fleeing” a felony.
An officer can’t just nilly-willy shoot someone resisting arrest.
However, should during that arrest the situation warrant deadly force…so be it.

Stop, is a little ambiguous here. By stop, you do mean kill right? Why not just say it outright? The officer had every right to kill a fleeing felon. In what way does an unarmed man running away warrant deadly force?

WHO? The companion kid? I think we know just how good of a witless witness he is.

I agree he doesn’t seem a very reliable witness, but there were a number of others who saw the events.

And a page break, since I’m gonna start agreeing with you here for a bit.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Shooting/Riots in Ferguson, USA.

Regardless, even though this would appear to be a huge usurpation of the innocent many because of the misdeeds of the few, there is likely a good reason behind it and the innocent should understand it and be highly cooperative. I think most sensible ppl would WANT to stay indoors/at home rather than be out and about.

What? Have to object to that. First, there’s a big difference being doing what you want, and doing what you’re told. If people want to stay indoors, by all means, let them, but telling everyone else to is a serious problem. I’ll take civil liberties over shop windows any day. It’s as much about cowing the people to regain unilateral control as any protection of property.

If there is wrong-doing on the part of the officer, then LATER is the time to protest it. We don’t live in a police state where unprofessional actions are ignored.

Like after they shoot the kid, er grown ass man, (look at me parroting emotionally manipulate, questionable diction, boo) but before dark, still, right?

Increase police presence, canvas for volunteers, pay attention and respond. But pushing the whole population behind a line under tacit assumption of guilt isn’t acceptable.

Does anyone know what the statement of the store clerk is regarding the altercation … in particular, if there was an actual theft? It appears from the video that there was a lot of “conversation” going on, with some reaching a long ways over the counter, behavior that indicates a degree of “privilege” that is, at best, not good shopping etiquette.

Clearly a robbery. Buying things generally requires producing payment. I also disagree that you suggest the clerk was not initially threatened by him, he seemed to me clearly terrified, literally servile.

In this case it appears they did neither. They killed someone that was not posing an existential threat to anyone.

Well he was fourty feet from the squad car and unarmed. Considering the altercation started at the squad car, by all accounts, I can only posit that he was fleeing. Which is corroborated by eyewitness testimony.

The altercation began with either the officer assaulting Brown, or Brown assaulting the officer, which falls into a he said / she said thing. I’m curious what the medical reports on the officer himself will say, although again, that won’t really prove initiation by either party.
Also wonder where the shot fired inside the car ended up, would provide some context to that shot.

All things said, being huge, having recently completed a violent robbery, and now being pressed by the police, I wouldn’t find it terribly surprising if he had assaulted the officer.

That said, the officer did pursue and continue to shoot him as he fled, so that seems to show some pretty aggressive tendencies as well. Likely will never be clear one way or another.

Dashboard cams should be mandatory. When are we All going to start watching the watchmen? It’s not expensive, it’s not difficult.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Bombing Of Gaza By The Evil Israel

The mufti of Jerusalem is the one and only example of direct nazi influence in the area.

They had targeted propaganda radio in like half a dozen different languages. The Muslim Brotherhood was massively funded, one of Egypt’s subsequent presidents admits to collaboration. Although, I’d say most of the impact would be voluntary adoption as opposed to direct influence. Particularly in contemporary concerns.

Feel free to make that case with reference to actual islamists. Unless you’ve boned up on this subject since the last time we discussed it, I’ll save us both some time and say you aint got shit.

Getting pressed for time, so skimming through the tenets of Fascism most relevant. The State is an inherently spiritual body, The State is Religion, Religion is The State. Service to the State is a religious duty. The entirety of all conduct is an observation of religious duty and service to the state. Traditional cultural norms and language are sacred. The State is the sole determiner of value in all matters. Specific sanction of war as a spiritual necessity. Specific denunciation of material happiness versus moral happiness. Specific denunciation of democracy, or of justification to be found in majority appeal. Basically it’s psuedo-theocratic, traditionalist, conservative, totalitarian, imperialism.

Any party which advocates the supremacy of islam and places the state subordinate to islamic tenets is operating pretty close to mind. We see the same conflux between spiritual absolutism and personal life – laws become sacred laws, languages becomes sacred languages, the state enshrines traditional even if not strictly religious functions, there is an absolute value system to which everything is dependent and that is used to justify political methodologies. Any political system which employs Sharia law I’d say is inherently fascist in a very proper sense of the term. For one offhand, how about Hezbollah? Even Al-Wasat

So those spectrum’s of Islamic Poltical Thought which holds itself subordinate to majority appeal in matters of state, does not derive value from spirituality, does not claim absolute value, does not enshrine traditional culture and language, may not apply. Also Islam is by no means the only one with Fascist leanings. But it does put the Islam in Islamo Facism. I’d say, of course, Israel operates with many of the same conceptions of the state. I know it’s a boogeyman word thrown about a great deal.

If you’d throw we some contrary examples, I’d be happy to look at them later.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Shooting/Riots in Ferguson, USA.

The officer said he thought he was on something.

Which I’d have to say is a bullshit emotional appeal to use drug fear to justify. On “something”. Um, on what, and in what ways is this relevant?

I’m not saying a police encounter with someone on drugs is not altered by the nature of those drugs. But if you’re going to cite it, then actually cite it. What variety of drugs, as evidenced by what behavior, indicating what conclusion. “On Something” means Drugs Are Scary, Drugs Are Bad, Drugs Are Mysterious it doesn’t inform or expand the informational pool whatsoever. It’s class based fear mongering to blanket justify.

Could you cite that directly? Because if those were his exact words that’s bloody unacceptable.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Bombing Of Gaza By The Evil Israel

The Islamofascist argument [which usually begins with the mufti of Jerusalem and then skips like 50 years of pan-Arabism] is just as much anti-semitism as labelling the Israelis Nazis.

Wait, what’s anti semitic about suggesting a cultural transfer from Euro Anti-Semitic rhetoric to the Middle East? I mean, I do that. And are we using the definition of Semitic that includes arabs? It’s kind of a weasely word. And is the Fascism here referring to Fascism, or The Nazi’s specifically? I think there’s a good case for equating Islamic political thought with Fascism, especially Italian style.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Iraq Round Three

We take it under our wing, then our companies can mine those resources.

Look to the first wave being Canadian. It’s a false flag operation to make it seem less directly Imperial. Most likely will be Talisman, which is all but a US Vassal Corp and has a dubious human rights record. Was last time.

Ladies and gentlemen, you now have a shiny example of just how disconnected and apathetic people in the western world are from the wars that even their own people will fight overseas. More concerned with how corporations profit than the welfare of the people in those regions or hell even your own countrymen who have fought there.

I’m sorry, are you suggesting this is a bad thing? Yes I am more concerned with how corporations profit from wars then the welfare of the soldiers or the inhabitants. Although I’d suggest it has a little less to do with ‘apathy’ and ‘disconnection’ ( don’t worry my signature malaise and ennui however are still deeply in effect ) and more to do with a skepticism of the cause and effects at work here. Supposing we remove the cause of a given condition, it kind of renders the effects moot hm? Which is not to tacitly endorse “Blood For Oil!” as the end all be all justification for the Iraq conflict.

But your outraged demands of ‘Think of all the people, and think of all their feelings!’ seems to be an emotional deflection away from issues of Agency, Justice, and Accountability which I see as inexorably linked to any real solution.

I’m by no mean an expert, but I get the feeling that even with reduced labor prices in areas like Iraq, the added costs associated with refining crude oil in these areas – security, shipping, leasing/building infrastructure – wouldn’t really save much as opposed to refining locally.

Well the people who run those businesses, generally quite successfully, seem to disagree. Plus the US is terrified of trampling over nature to access it’s local oil.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Shooting/Riots in Ferguson, USA.

In what fantasy universe do you live in is it EVER justified for a cop to shoot an unarmed man 6 times?

I still haven’t boned up on the case so for the big picture I’ll have to reserve judgement. But, to be fair, shot counting is kind of iffy territory beyond indicating it was a “decision” as opposed to an “accident”. Police are trained to shoot to kill, which is to fire repeatedly into center mass, until they stop moving. So, I’m not sure a surprising number of shots could really be considered malice, or excess, in it’s own right – it’s really just procedure.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / I have a religious obligation to wear a colander on my head!

I don’t think it has anything to do with numbers.

It sort of does, and brings up an interesting thing in Patafarianism. Legally in Canada, to be a Religion you must own land. One is legally bound to possess a church of select minimum dimensions, and a certain number of ‘followers’ to ‘priests’. Back in my artist days we were debating getting a performance art group together that was legally valid as a religion, but alas federal sanction of our spiritual beliefs were beyond our budget. But back to point, Canuck Religions require a certain amount of wealth, an arbitrary distinction in adherents, and the spiritual enfranchisement of a structure. All of which I consider pretty problematic from a religious perspective, and from a general freedom of conscience and speech one.

[ie. Sufism used to be considered a cult in Islam but have since come into their own]

They have? Last I heard was reviled as a heresy, all but eradicated, and is brutally suppressed everywhere except the few pockets that managed to live on. Not to be combative, I like Sufism, would love to where when/where/how it is enjoying mainstream success.

Mithras was a persian god adopted by Romans and their colonies, it had a little story about how Mithras came to be but it was mainly about getting drunk.

Ooh, I feel that’s not the whole story. Between Mithras and Sol Invictus, you have everything that is generally associated with Christianity/Abrahamic Religions, firmly established and prospering in Roman/Western culture. Death and Resurrection, Monotheism, Light/Dark metaphors, The Christian Sacred Calendar, um… Halo’s?

Isis was an Egyptian export and had something to do with king-making.

And death and resurrection, which would be a lasting theme. Also was arguably a prototype for the Magdalene and Mother Mary cults that existed around/within Christianity. General ecstasy, revelation, magick themes likely had an impact on various other Greek mystery cults and on Gnosticism. Isis was probably the most powerful incarnation of worship/recognition of a feminine divine within Western history.

Both Mithras and Isis enjoyed defacto recognition by Rome for quite some time and were amongst the pantheons of officially recognized religions. Until Christian Rome wiped it all out as paganism.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Is it right to kill one person to save the lives of many?

But I’ll give you the technology aspect. The military pays well for good tech, and always has done.

Yeah, but does it do so competitively? One could make a case for the drive in necessity. But dollar for dollar I’m not sure the technological run off from figuring out how to kill people more effectively would compare to direct, concerted efforts to better then human experience.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / An open question.

It seems accurate enough off hand, although I didn’t go hounding after their sources. I am a little surprised at how much of a leveling effect they expressed in certain institutions (prison, juvenile), but I can’t say it is past the bounds of reason. I think the implications are a little bit negligible? I’d suggest that a lot of our rape policy is more interested in preserving power institutions then leveling justice, and that revealing that these abuses of power are (predictably) common is no real revelation and unlikely to shake the system up on its own.

I also think any discussion of ‘rape’ or ‘sexual assault’ that draws from statistics has to really define and disclose their nomenclature. Technically, I’ve been sexually assaulted quite a number of times. But never with any trauma or impact. I look at my own numbers and can’t help but consider it a really skewed accounting.

But yes I think Janto is right in sighting our new sexual sensitivity to Feminist cultural inertia, and that ultimately it is a good thing, and that a rise in victim reporting hopefully creates a rise in awareness and removes any conception of isolation or alienation through it.

It’s also a nice article that is respectfully, thoughtfully written from a feminist author. Which considering the backlash against any male-issues of late does the subject a real service and is an applaudable effort.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Bombing Of Gaza By The Evil Israel

Also is it just me or does the dad, Lenny, sound like a NYer? Pretty rich to be talking like it’s been your land for eons when you’re born and raised in America. anyway,

Absolutely does. Which does add this interesting vector to the story. You have this cultural attitude, this drift across generations. The expat father to the 20 year old zealot; these are strange characters. I also found that the Israeli state itself seemed it it’s way seemed fairly innocent in the manner. This is a family discussing radical insurgency within the military, not as the military; or advocating beliefs/actions that get them arrested, not overtly celebrated.

Where is this culture? What is it’s contact point, it’s vectors of transmission?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / I have a religious obligation to wear a colander on my head!

Given that I consider a hat of one form, much like a hat of another form, I have no objection to the wearing of a hat (Divine, simply magical, God sanctioned, or I suppose totally conventional) so long as it does not hamper the identification of an individual where relevant. Wearing silly hats should not be a theistic privilege over the citizenry rights.

But really, I am delighted to have the government fairly powerless to fight stark faced absurdity creeping into it’s structures. Further, I do think it is successful demand for us to consider the legitimacy and purpose of that which we afford the religious.

It’s annoying and antagonistic. Fighting to wear something on your head to berate the law about what they allow due to religion is just a bad way of trying to achieve the goal. You’ll only earn enemies for a lot of trouble and no accomplishments while making an ass of yourself.

Completely disagree. I’d say it is damn near poetry. I mean, it is annoying, it is antagonistic, but damned if not perfectly so. Harmlessly so. It’s freedom fighting via the path of the clown, they’re cultural assassins with a colander on their head.

But…it’s not like they’d have won if the school board had actually agreed to it. Satire is pointless if your target audience doesn’t object.

Granted. I mean one of the real catches in that case is that it was an expression of the desire to have children taught scientific matters with legitimacy. Teaching them even more sillyness would be contrary to that point. But that’s why I think Headgear is such a good target for this. Because it is about questions of identity and license. It is about the relationship of church to state, and about the liberties afforded the religious in that name. Adding new varieties of hats directly engages that issue, and exceptionally silly public ones reengage it on view.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Bombing Of Gaza By The Evil Israel

I remember when I told Somebody that I was abandoning attempting rational discourse with him, ahh the memories. Having fun yet friends? But more on topic, in the grander sense, I came across a video a little while back with a settler Israeli convicted of attacking Palestinian families property that I found just, so terribly disturbing. That proud, powerful, self righteousness of religious orthodoxy removing hesitation, guilt, and doubt.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Russell Brand: New disinformationist?

Russell Brand started out as a stand up comedian and found fame fronting a Big Brother spin-off, which just about sums up his intellectual level.

I actually quite disagree. I find him generally quite insightful, well read, and very potently aware of his status as a celebrity. But I’ve been a fan ever since he referenced Baudelaire in his stand up. Ultimately he’s a utopian socialist, but nothing terribly fringe. I’d suggest he gives a quite solid interview here. Well worth the watch in my opinion.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Womyn: noble effourt or heroic cause

Be warned, owning a slave is a lot of work. Especially if you don’t wish to be walked all over by the slave. Being a slavemaster takes a certain mindset and hefty measure of self control. But yea, it can be very, very rewarding for all parties concerned if the Dominant knows what they’re doing.

Damnit Vika, I spend like five minutes lurking on a blue moon and now I can’t resist chiming in with a chuckle.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should medical crystal meth be legalized?

I’m just joining this discussion, but I see no good reason meth should be legalized.

I would suggest because it makes criminals out of responsible users, producers and distributors. That it further enforce the government’s presumption to dictate drug use.

And how often have we seen or heard of hyponatremia deaths, compared to those due to drug use?

They’re quite common. But I wouldn’t want the government dictating what I do on the basis of how other people manage to kill themselves.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should medical crystal meth be legalized?

Crystal meth has many medical benefits such as weight loss. Also it cures cancer and AIDS. So, should medical crystal meth be legalized?

Virtually is already, unless you’re poor. (Sounding more like Urine every day….) There’s no shortage of powerful amphetamines in the contemporary legal drug market. From diet pills for the white picket fence type, to powerful stimulants for the airforce, potent amphetamines remain readily accessible so long as they retain a price tag and privatized, legally protected, revenue for big pharmaceutical businesses and their partners in legal arbitration and enforcement.

Although nod to Online for beating me to that punch.

And while I agree with greg’s sentiment I would have to add a codicil:- It’s your body, put into it / do unto it as you see fit – do not expect me (or society more generally – and I’m aware this is more relevant in countries with ‘socialised’ healthcare, etc) to pay for any medical condition arising therefrom, or to support you if (extreme example) you decide to have amputated both arms, etc.

I have to agree with you. Although most people with dangerous vices generally cost public health less money. Everyone dies. Protracted, intensive care without possible resolution until inevitable death tends to be the largest financial burden. Healthy people tend to draw that out. The vice ridden generally get to it sooner, and get out of it sooner. Only they have to front the moral outrage at the cost of their audacity to die.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Feminism: Does Sexual Exploitation Empower Women?

It’s a generally frowned upon profession and for her to say it is empowering is very ignorant.

So it is important for women to fulfill social expectations constructed for them? Regardless of their personal views. So we have a vote for socially constructed biased paradigms, none for personal agency.

If she wishes to empower women, set a good example. Be the woman you want other women to be.

Which, conditioned by your previous statement, is openly -“Set a good example, be the woman I want women to be.” That you would even frame such a statement under the suggestion that it is her agency, volition, and authority at work is frankly staggering.

Successful, respectful, powerful women should lead the movement.

Who defines success? Who defines respect? Who defines power (arguable that one, really)? Gendered social constructs made by separate, self appointed, authoritarian structures, desperately trying to supplant individual identity with sexist super ego? “It’s not important that you respect yourself, it’s important that you are are respected (by society, men, myself)”

So here’s something I think would be interesting to revive the thread with.

I think coercion is a very different bag then physical force or spontaneous aggressive moves without consent. I don’t find the numbers on “Coercive” “sexual behaviors” leading to things very startling or that bothersome. I’ve had enough of the dreaded “unwanted sexual contact”, and speaking from my male perspective (Where, my physical supremacy and ultimately final arbitration of a conflict situation is generally assumed) I find the most bothersome thing being the privilege and assumption of consent.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Prostitution

You have to retain the fine. If you don’t, you will get people trying to wiggle their way out of any punishment whatsoever.

I suppose an only tally system would have no immediate punishment, but there would be the looming threat of escalating.

If they truly cannot afford it, the court will take this into consideration, and choose to waive the fine, in lieu of penalty another way. Community service most likely.

Or, they might not. Summary sentencing by rote based upon approved non differentiating standards seems more likely. Mostly how things work now. Although, you’ve brought to mind an interesting notion. Time based sentencing. I think a case could be made for the rich having more time then the poor, but not that much. A certain number of requisite hours seems fairly equitable across the board.

The fine IS a good idea, because if a person cannot pay it and has an honest reason why they cannot, then the form of punishment is changed.

Even supposing they can pay it, it still remains more punishing of the Poorer then the Richer.

What they are meant to do is cover the legal administration costs. I’ve no problem with the fines being raised, so long as they’re still waived for those who cannot afford to pay them. In the long run they will have to be raised, to cover the costs of the numbers being prosecuted who cannot afford to pay them.

Sort of? Most mass ticketable offenses (Speeding) are employed directly as a revenue generator. Which covers costs, yes, but for the most part nothing directly associated with the offense itself. Also large or troubled cases do not see an increase in fines to cover their more extensive cost.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Prostitution

Lawyers typically do not have passion. They are essentially professionally trained liars and con artists, not people seeking to push the boundaries and explore new heights. Typically they’re in it for the money, occasionally for the pleasure of seeing others suffer. So it is a very tightly tied to money profession.

I must disagree with you there. I find most lawyers very interested in law (if not, justice) and pretty ready to push the boundaries and explore. I don’t disagree they are in it for the money, especially so at inception. But what I am trying to suggest is that there are many very capable, very dedicated agents in that profession and it is precisely because of the money.

No shortage of chemical engineers is something I’m surprised by. There is a chronic shortage of engineers generally. Chronic shortage across the sciences that is only getting worse.

Well fresh out of a bachelor’s around here you can expect to make a little shy of a hundred grand yearly with total employment confidence. Which is pretty sexy when compared to a half dozen fine art’s graduates I know making just blush of minimum wage.

Although, I do agree that there is a shortage of sciences. I’m in a petrochem city, so anything oil and gas tends to have gold rain down on it and one can really, really, see the effect that has on profession and education spreads.

It is however, absolutely essential for someone willing to go into R&D. No passion, no researcher. They become a lawyer or a financier instead. No matter how much money someonte threw at you, they would not instill in you an all-consuming passion to push boundaries, push your very limits, and spend every waking moment dreaming about this passion. Such things can only be nurtured from an initial seed and grown over time, not created by dropping say fifty million dollars in a person’s lap and telling them they are now a biomedical researcher. Their life is to revolve around that passion now.

I disagree with the suggestion that various non RD jobs are bereft of passion and that those within are expressly born of it. Look at R&D for Big Pharma, I’m not convinced everyone of them crawled up from the playground and shouted to the heavens “I shall synthesize designer drugs and privatized cures for the wealthy!” but there they are, in spades, being quite well compensated.

Now I will give you that there are the rare and exceptional for whom finances don’t hold much draw, dangerous torchbearers with lightning in a bottle. But anything with sufficient pay scale is going to see a swathe of very capable, very ardent workers. I also agree with your emphasis on it being an organic process nurtured, encouraged, enabled and educated but I don’t see that as at odds with high paying positions – one hand washes the other.

But backtracking a little. My main emphasis and original point was that our local Wunderkind, or even a handful of capable people, will not be able to achieve the requisite education, study, training, without a certain amount of capital.

Providing the conductor can be bothered to check it. Or that the train service is even still using them and hasn’t gone totally automated.

Generally at the stop four or so rookie cops will come aboard, check everyone trying to leave, and check everyone remaining. But nope, no automation around here.

you may consider it semantics, but I have to absolutely disagree with you. It’s the land that accounts for most of it, and the house, and the fixtures and fittings I inherited with it. It’s hard to use dirt as readily available capital, or to shop with a house as payment.

One could sell it. It is by your own estimation you have multiple millions of dollars in assets, and liquid or not I must again say that would seem to qualify you as a multimillionaire. Which, much as it sounds, is well out of the scope of what most people consider the middle class and is a hundred fold the average american.

My actual available finances are far, far short of the million. I have property which I can sell if required (assuming anyone wishes to buy at the time) but to do so also means I have to go without that property. A range is one of the things I inherited with the house when my grandmother passed on. I could sell it in theory, and go through all the palava of having it disconnected, dragged out of the house, and buy something else to cook food on. But it’s hardly easily accessible money. Plus then I wouldn’t have access to it anymore. This turbine which is in my thoughts a lot atm, is going to set us back £150k. If I were really the multimillionaire you assume I am, I would have the ready capital to purchase it relatively worry-free. Instead, that is a sizable chunk of change. Absolutely worth it, as we spent several days without power last December. My fault there; I forgot to buy more fuel for the generators. I knew we were low, but not that low, and then the winds hit, and the powerlines decided they wished to lay on the ground for a while…

Yes, selling things is inconvenient. But it does operate under the assumption that one owns a thing. So, there is that. Also, I did not assume you were a multimillionaire; You told us you had a net worth of about three million. I’m sitting at about thirty five thousand personally in the interest of reciprocity.

It’s also why I’m so steadfastly against thijser’s idea of fining people not in money, but in terms of a percentage of their property, for minor breaches of the law – such as prostitution or your dog fowling the verge. I’ve got some inkling of the utter hell it would be, liquidating your home, and trying to keep assets whole as opposed to partitioned, just to pay what would for anyone else, be a minor fine.

I’m not sure I follow why for anyone else it would be a minor fine if we are operating under the assumption of a total stake in finances. Last time I got a ticket I was in net debt though, so I suppose operating under a percentage fine I would have been awarded a small sum of money, heh. What I don’t follow is your suggesting that you would have less solvency or control per dollar. It would be inconvenient to sell a home and buy another, certainly. But alternatively having the bank foreclose and minimum house values out of reach would leave one homeless. Which seems worse.

A better way to handle it would be something more in line with the driving lisence points system, where you get X points per offense along with a fine. Get enough points and you’re off the road, regardless of how much money you have. Do it with sex trafficing, and if you get caught enough times you’re in jail, regardless of what financial means you have. It’s a much fairer way of dealing with the potential for inequal finances, by taking them out of the equation.

Except that you suggest they retain the fine, which keeps the legal system de facto more punishing of the poor. I’m not against the idea of a tallying system, but beyond simple misdemeanors the impact a percent fine could have on the behavior of the ultra rich would be interesting.