Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Interview being pulled from theaters

Kim Jong Un is a fabulous posturist. He’s good at raising tension. Remember his threat to bomb Austin, Texas last year? Immediately into coming into office after his father died, he declared that the armistice with South Korea was over. He HATES South Korea and, as batshit crazy as he is, what has he done about it? Nothing. What has he done about anything? Nothing. He’s a petty tyrant.

What he’s not good at is reducing that tension in any kind of graceful, mature way. He simply doesn’t do anything. All that bluster, all those dramatic threats… it amounts to nothing and he hasn’t demonstrated any substantial interest in actually pursuing any action. It’s propaganda for his people. We do the same thing.

What we don’t do—not usually, at least—is respond in any way that directly impacts the American public. Especially where it hurts… right in the Christmas movie!

I saw the movie last week. It’s funny, but it’s not funnier than you might expect. Kim Jong Un is characterized as a belligerent and confused man-child that has daddy issues. It’s exactly what you might expect, and it’s funny. (What’s not funny are few over-the-top scenes of violence that seem out of place in the otherwise “family friendly-ish” movie.) It’s not the kind of movie worth starting a war over.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama & Cuba

I think we’re all essentially in agreement, BSG

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama & Cuba

And who exactly should suffer from that?
We punish a nation for the crimes of a man?
Have these sanctions helped anyone yet?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Obama & Cuba

I’m no libertarian but I think it’s about time. I see absolutely no reason to feel any concern.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / if ...

With such volatile feelings, Frosty, you should probably be writing in a journal (and not so much on an internet forum).

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / if ...

Problem solved. (I think.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / if ...

In my country I think they call this “puppy love.”

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / I will attempt to explain the Fails in the monetary system

I agree.

My perspective leans toward relativism and that there’s no universal ethical overlay that will work for everyone all the time. Vicious despots believe they are doing good, and philanthropic humanitarians can do lots of damage guided by the best of intentions. Few people intentionally do “bad things” but lots of people do bad things as defined by social norms.

That said, the cure for “bad things” lies in the ability for us to relate our actions to the environment and its denizens.

Relating to one another is a great way to improve our ability to live together peacefully. The antithesis is to create two-dimensional caricatures of our opponents. It’s super common to frame people we don’t agree with as one-dimensional heathens… “terrorists.” What is a “terrorist?” A person that wants to spread terror? I don’t believe anyone wants that… the “terror” is a means to an end, and I am sure that we are considered “terrorists” to a greater degree by those we label as such. Right? No relating going on there.

The most frequent tips in conflict resolution tend to be things that relate the opposing viewpoints…
• Identify mutual goals (understand your opponent’s desires)
• Build on common ground (increase contact and communication)
• Search thy soul (understand and communicate your own desires)
• Dissect the conflict (understand whether it’s competitive, mutually exclusive, or whatnot)

Being “all in this together” is a terrific guiding beacon to see one’s way through difficulties.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / I will attempt to explain the Fails in the monetary system

Warren in 2016

Karmakoolkid is my new (asshole) best friend.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Serious Nonsense

Lingo from the field…

Kook
Anyone who is basically blowing it.

NIMBY
A neighbor opposed to public park improvements because they are afraid of change. Stands for Not In My Back Yard.

BANANA
“Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything” (a super-NIMBY)

Pedalphile
A BMX bicycle rider (see also the less appropriate “BMXican”)

CPTED (pr. sep-TED)
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Design discipline that seeks to prevent unwanted behavior through the removal of ground cover, for example.

New Urbanism
Urban planning philosophy that seeks to integrate normal components into compact, pedestrian-friendly clusters (e.g., neighborhoods) set into a regional framework.

LULU
Locally Unwanted Land Use (cousin to NIMBY and BANANA)

NIABY
Not In Anyone’s Backyard

NIMTOO
Not In My Term In Office

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Hmmm… “absolute ability corrupts absolutely.”

That works!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Is it wrong for (the police) to use violence in any situation?

Yes, I wish they wouldn’t. However, I recognize that society accepts a certain degree of violence when the ends justify the means. I’m not a revolutionary. I simply disagree.

Of course, I would prefer that violence weren’t required or acceptable by anyone… police, criminal, terrorist, or whatever. That would be ideal, and I think that it’s what we profess to be working toward as a species. We aspire to be peaceful yet casually justify violence, and I think that’s unfortunate.

A necessary evil is still an evil.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Insightful Quotes

(I just thought they were fun quotes, Karma. That’s all.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

I think we’re not agreeing on what it means to have power.

I mean to define power as the “ability to enact change.” Without a gun, I am powerless to shoot someone. I shared my professional credentials as a means to reveal that I am experienced in community and individual empowerment as a means of impacting health and service.

When I suggest that you could not intervene at Columbine, it is relevant and underscores my position that you lacked the power that is granted by opportunity, motivation, and means. We cannot equate “motivation” with “power.” Does that make sense? Just because you desire to intervene does not mean that you have the power to intervene. Similarly, just because you have the access to intervene doesn’t mean you have the motivation to, or the means to, and so on.

A homeless person torturing a senator is wrong, but no more wrong than a senator torturing a homeless person. The homeless person may not have the opportunity, motivation, or means to do so. A senator, by means of their legislative power, has the opportunity, motivation (perhaps) and means to make the homeless person’s life very miserable. I believe the onus is on the senator to be guided by ideals due to the power they wield over others. If you lack the opportunity and means, your motivation is irrelevant. That’s what I was trying to get at. Does that make sense?

Murder is murder whether it’s done by someone with power or without.

No, it’s not. Murder is never done by people without power (i.e., means, motivation, and opportunity).

I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say with your last sentence. A person can only be right or wrong after they have the power to enact change?

Yes, because our morality is based on actions. If you are powerless, you cannot enact change for better or worse. It is only when we have the power to enact change and/or to intervene in change that is occurring that we invoke a moral code to guide our actions.

It’s wrong for the same reasons no matter who does it.

I COMPLETELY AGREE! High-five, Kasic!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

What does it matter that a nation is in a position of power? An action is not made right or wrong because it’s done by someone with or without power. The power someone holds is irrelevant.

I disagree. I think that it’s entirely relevant.

You cannot do anything to intervene at Columbine because you lacked access. You were powerless to make an impact. If you are powerless to impact change, your motives behind your actions are irrelevant. This is a central tenet to advocacy and, as it happens, my personal occupation. I help people become community catalysts for change. (That sounds so NPR.)

Perhaps you might elaborate for me what you mean when you say that the power someone holds is irrelevant to whether they are right or wrong? They can only be right OR wrong after they have power to enact change.

Am I wrong to assume that if you saw someone running around with a gun and shooting at people you would call the police, knowing that the police are going to have to use violence to stop that other person?

No, you are wrong to assume that the police will have to use violence to stop that person. If the police use violence, that is at their discretion. Calling the police is what is proscribed to me as a healthy, contributing member of society. Enacting my own form of vigilantism would necessarily put me in the position to:

1. Presume to know that the person is in the wrong for their actions. Maybe that’s clear and maybe it isn’t. People say that they would have shot James Holmes but fail to recognize that if several people thought this at the same time, one would not know which of the shooters was the perpetrator (especially in a dark movie theater). I am not trained to make such snap judgements, particularly with such severe repercussions.

2. Have the power and access required to intervene. I have never been in a shoot-out, nor have I witnessed one. I am not going seek these situations out and I can confidently say that I am not going to instigate one. In my lengthy experience on this planet I have yet to encounter ANY situation where the appropriate response to a situation is NECESSARILY violence. I have traveled through Islamic countries, the Balkans… I was in Sarajevo… parts of Asia, all of Europe, frequently spend time in the slums of Tijuana (and other parts of Mexico), as well as my own nation’s most notorious ghettos… New York, Los Angeles… more than half of our 50 states.

Yet, strangely, I have never had to shoot anyone. This makes my practice of pacifism very easy to adhere to.

…that use of violence in one situation does not encourage violence as a society.

I’m not blind to this idea. I’m also not stupid. What happens is that the acceptance of violence as an inevitability normalizes it. I don’t believe the normalization and acceptance of violence (and torture) is a positive thing. I think it should be avoided.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Kasic, I’m sorry that the application of ideals annoys you. It’s what ideals do.

All of our behavior is informed by ideals. “I am hungry. A meal would be ideal.” The variables are largely irrelevant at this scale. What kind of meal is less important than the existence of the meal. This is an elevated approach to a subject.

“If you were hungry, would you eat dirt?”

Well, perhaps. It depends on a wide range of variables, right? What if there’s a reasonable alternative… a plate of dirt next to a bowl of chicken soup? What’s the relevant ideal you’re invoking while making this decision?

Would you kill someone to eat? What’s the ideal you’re invoking?

Would you push someone out of a life raft so that you can climb in? What’s the ideal you’re invoking?

Ideals are critical for informing our decision-making and without ideals we would flounder without direction.

We can agree (I hope) that we ALL share an ideal of pacifism. None of us desires violence and we all want to prevent violence and its ugly cousins… suffering, exploitation, repression, human indignities, and so on.

Why we argue is because we cannot seem to agree on how easily we might be to compromise those ideals in order to promote them. I would like to believe that I take a very narrow view on my level of compromise. My personal views on the application of violence is that I am personally unwilling to commit acts of violence. I am not a violent person. It is in my nature to not be violent and I recognize that I am a man of peace. I am not ashamed of that and I only participate in my own defense of that ideal because it amuses me, and not because I feel it requires defense. Of course my ideal of pacifism has extremities where it fails to be applicable… as all ideals do… but that does not devalue the adherence of those ideals as strictly as possible.

By expanding our societal acceptance of violence as a means of preventing violence, we shift the median tolerance towards a place where violence is increasingly acceptable. I am not comfortable with this movement and would prefer that acts of violence—be it torture or otherwise—were increasingly LESS acceptable by a nation in a position of power, like the United States. I believe we are morally obligated to set a less permissive standard of violence given our military and economic strength.

These principles started in our individual acts. This is why I’m a pacifist.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

You would also sacrifice yourself in order to save the lives of those you care about. Right?
Absolutely.

So you condone suicide bombing?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

If someone is being assaulted and you come across them, and the aggressor is not listening to words/intends to kill them, use of force must happen to stop them.

The “use of force” is not synonymous with “use of violence.” You cannot substitute the two in this phrase and have the sentence mean the same thing.

When this leads to an innocent person being harmed/killed by another because someone with your ideal fails to even try and stop them beyond talking…

I think we covered this sufficiently. My position is that a non-violent approach to conflict resolution is not the same as, as you say, “fail to even try and stop them.” Nice hyperbole. Not engaging in the same behavior that one is trying to prevent is NOT the same as “doing nothing.”

And to blame the person that is not willing to engage in violence for the escalation is a ridiculous premise. First, this presumes that one might have the means to effectively intervene.

By that logic: Who is to blame for Columbine? You are, Kasic, because you did nothing to prevent it. You might claim that you weren’t in a position to intervene. Whose fault is that? Yours. If you hear gunshots down the hall, we should hold you responsible for not grabbing a chair and rushing the assailant? Kasic, what have you done to prevent violence? Clearly not enough because, hey, violence is still all around us.

The responsibility of violence is always on the perpetrator.

To clarify: Racial discrimination requires power. Racial bias does not.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Insightful Quotes

“From pacifist to terrorist, each person condemns violence – and then adds one cherished case in which it may be justified.”
—Gloria Steinem

“Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.”
—Albert Einstein

“The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Until someone shows me that the former is true, I’ll keep an open mind about the latter.

Under what circumstances would it be okay for you to be tortured, Karma? If you can justify it in others, certainly you can justify it for yourself.

Under what circumstances do you think it’s okay to torture American soldiers as a “last resort?” Let’s hear it.

I strongly believe that if I don’t do what and ALL that is necessary to protect my life when it is being SERIOUSLY threatened, then I have less-than-total belief that my life is of more value than the ppl who are trying to take it.

Let me guess. You would also sacrifice yourself in order to save the lives of those you care about. Right?

We aren’t the ones who have challenged those of “the other guy”.
They are the ones that have challenged our RIGHT to have & keep ours.

“They started it!”

We don’t indiscriminately kill innocent people, (until we do).

In Iraq, 200,000 people have died to date because 3,000 Americans died. This is not reasonable. It is insanity.
In Afghanistan, more American soldiers have died “preventing violence” than died on September 11th.
How many Afghan civilians have died? You should know this, Karma, if you’re defending it. (Answer: About 21,000)

On race:

We aren’t the ones who have challenged those of “the other guy”.
They are the ones that have challenged our RIGHT to have & keep ours.

Show me some of this reverse racism. I’d love to see it.

Some scholars claim that “racism” requires power.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / I will attempt to explain the Fails in the monetary system

Introduction: State your premise, observation, hypothesis…

Body: Provide 1 to 3 pieces of evidence and/or connect existing evidence to your conclusion through causal logic.

Conclusion: Restate your premise, observation.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Darren Wilson a murderer.

Thank you, Karma. Well said.

Daniel, equal rights does not mean equal opportunity. This is a crucial concept to understand when talking about racial and gender equality.

If women are “equal,” why are only 5% of Fortune 500 companies run by women when they comprise more than half the population?

If black men are “equal,” why are they disproportionately represented in our penal system?

When you define a solution for inequality based on your own experience, you’re invoking what some people call “white male privilege.” You should understand that as a white male you are afforded a degree of trust and opportunity that doesn’t exist to the same degree for black people and women.

(Also, it may be interesting to note that in some gang-controlled neighborhoods there is a feeling that “gang order” is what keeps the neighborhoods safe because there’s so much distrust over the police and judicial system. That’s worth chewing on.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Look.

If torture doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. We can’t call it a “last resort” if it doesn’t work. If it works, great! Let’s do it! Let’s jump right to torture. Why not, right?

Here’s the fundamental hypocrisy. One cannot cause violence in the name of preventing it. It’s the flimsiest of all justifications. Drug dealers use it all the time. “I didn’t think I was doing any harm because if I don’t do it, someone else will… so I might as well reap the benefits instead of them.”

When we torture, we assign value to human life according to our own priorities. Clearly the tortured person doesn’t share those priorities. However, as they are our detainees, we are in the position of power and can—through force—exert our priorities. (This power dynamic is similar to the argument that claims it is technically impossible for minorities to be racists.)

What value, Karma, is an ideal to you? Is there any value to “lofty idealism?” Should decisions be made purely along pragmatic and/or self-serving lines? It seems ironic to have the phrase “lofty idealism” and “doesn’t make it right” in the same passage. What does “right” mean in that context? According to societal norms?

vikaTae (and Karma): Clearly I am being facetious when I suggest that we might use torture to exact the time of day from people. I hope that wasn’t really necessary to explain.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Torture, Its Legality and its effectiveness,

Torture is certainly good at getting information. However, it’s proven to NOT be good at getting reliable information. Bad information is worse than no information… we should know. We went all-in on a war to find WMDs that never materialized at a cost of billions of dollars in tax-payer dollars and thousands of lives, many of them innocent. School teachers, accountants, kids that love soccer. These people died because the United States was operating with faulty information.

Torture doesn’t produce good, reliable information. Therefore, torture serves no purpose except to deteriorate the essential value of human life and subvert our commitment to supporting basic human rights and dignities.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Darren Wilson a murderer.

Originally posted by DanielMontgomery:
Women have more power than men, gays are getting the human rights they deserve, repeat offenders should be held more accountable, blacks have been equal for years, handicapped people have a shit ton of social programs to take advantage of because they’re handicapped, weed is being legalized, and if you have any clue about how evidence works you would know that wrong place at the wrong time is a very rare occurrence.

Women have the power to pass a viable human being entirely through their vagina. Is that a power you think men should have, Daniel?

Repeat offenders should be held more accountable? Even for petty, victimless crimes like minor drug possession?

Blacks have been equal for years? Uh… not by a long shot. Can you provide any example? Are you talking about professional sports?

Wrong place at the wrong time happens all the time. Ask someone who is incarcerated for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and tell them that they don’t know how evidence works. Then run.