Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

I remember when America was great! I’m old enough.

When marijuana possession could land you a life sentence.
When cops in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles were openly corrupt and corruptible.
When there was no safe way to get an abortion.
When women could be abused in a marriage and if they left, had no legal protection.
When business owners could hire and fire people based on their race or gender.
When business owners could hire and fire people if they put out.
When they could ship you off to war if they had one going on.
When, once, they executed people suspected of witchcraft.
When they brought the world to the brink of global nuclear war.
When they became the only nation in the world to use a nuclear weapon in wartime.
When they started a war based on obscure political principles and thousands died.
When they started another war based on obscure political principles and thousands more died.
When they preferred to uphold “gun rights” even though it was literally killing their children.
When they were one of the last first-world nations to accept the need for tighter environmental regulations.
When the argument over the right to OWN people almost tore the nation into pieces.

I don’t really remember all of that… but that’s the country that we’re supposed to be patriotic for.

It’s ironic to me that “love it or leave it” is such a popular motif in juvenile right-wing rebuttals, and yet these same people are quick to discredit the value of migration. Does that mean that a patriotic Islamic Statesman is more valuable than an individual that hates ISIS because of that patriotism? Is that the “value” of patriotism… it’s just blind commitment to an idea and unconditional love of country?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should corporations be allowed to marry?

Bravo! Best SD topic ever. (Thanks for stepping it up, Mafefe. This is more like it.)

My answer: Hell yes. Corporations SHOULD be allowed to marry.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Canada Vs. United States

To answer your question as to why I didn’t mention Mexico, Mexico is only ranked 15th because of what they can siphon off the United States. Their economy seems to be based on the drugs they manufacture and the pushing of their poor on our almost depleted economy.

There’s still a lot of hyperbole going on here. The US isn’t “siphoning” off cheap labor from Mexico? I’m not sure what “siphoning” means in your message. I’m not sure where drugs fit into their economic health (and whether you mean pharms or illegal varieties), but I know that agriculture is still significant but automobile manufacturing is a growing sector. That’s pretty big for Mexico. Canada doesn’t manufacture automobiles. And Mexico continues to be a major global player in electronics… both in manufacturing and in research and development. Mexico produces oil though not as much as Canada. You probably quit reading when you got to the word “hyperbole” so I’ll just leave it at that.

Then there’s your bold and unsubstantiated claim that the US economy is “almost depleted.” What does that mean? The US economy is the largest in the world and is BY A WIDE MARGIN larger than the world’s second-largest (China). There is $18-TRILLION in the US economy. China has about 10-trillion.

So to claim that Mexico is tanking the “almost depleted” US economy is kind of… umm… stupid. (Sorry I had to use that word. I couldn’t think of a better one.)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Canada Vs. United States

That’s not necessarily it, jhco. I work for a nonprofit organization, (though I’m in Programs rather than in Development/Fundraising). I’ve seen lots of reasons why soliciting donations is difficult. It has very little to do with Christianity. There are over 350,000 religious congregations in the United States and within a body of people that large, there will be a typical cross-section of personalities… generous, greedy; engaged, aloof; etc.

Here are some of the factors I’ve seen first-hand:
• How does the potential donor relate to the deliverer
• Quality of your ask
• Who’s delivering the ask
• Does the incentive outweigh the cost
• How is the asking organization perceived
• Is the venue or environment appropriate and advantageous
• How many other people are asking
• What is being asked
• How many options is the potential donor being offered
• Is the donation process convenient for and aligned with the potential donor
• Is the value or outcome of the donation valuable

There are some common factors that go into a person’s decision to donate. You’ll note that none of them have anything to do with faith except for MAYBE the first one.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / which marriage will "progressives" "fight" for next?

Mandatory gay marriage and anal-sex-ed classes.

Meanwhile, Repugnicans are arguing for no sex between anyone except white men and their prostitutes using tax subsidies and offshore shelters.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What would Obama look like in a future U.S History Textbook?

ON TOPIC: Obama’s legacy will be that he was a conscientious and thoughtful president that communicated well with his colleagues in SPITE OF THE FACT that there were dipshits running around trying to disrupt progress with their ridiculous comments.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What would Obama look like in a future U.S History Textbook?

Seriously!? All of the bullshit sarcastic derails and circus sideshows that Mafefe tosses out get a pass, apparently.

SD stands for Sarcastic Disruptions.

I’m gonna take a trip. See y’all in a week or so.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Path to Peace

@Leia: You’ve missed the requirements of the OP. The whole point of this conversation is to presume that it IS possible. What’s the point of the conversation, you ask? Well… what’s the point of drawing a picture in your sketchbook?

 

Topic: Serious Discussion / What would Obama look like in a future U.S History Textbook?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / If somebody fails to notify the buyers of a house of 'the crazy neighbor who harrases anyone liveing there', can the buyers of the house sue?

Ha, that’s a pic of a movie that you may be too young to get. It’s from The Jerk and that is Steve Martin, of course. In this scene there is an assassin in the woods across the street that is trying to kill Steve Martin’s character. He’s too dense to understand what’s going on; all he sees is someone shooting at the cans (“Somebody HATES these cans!”). The assassin is obviously missing his intended target.

The point of the picture is that what can seem like one target can actually be another, and since this harassment appears to have been targeted behavior, as opposed to those examples you bring up in your response, there’s reason to believe that the harassment would stop as soon as the “target” family left the area. In other words, it would be an outlandish assumption that the house itself were a target, like the cans in the photo.

The examples you bring up may be inexcusable for other reasons. I think that moving into Greek Row next to “Omega Party Hardy” would warrant some disclosure. But the others, I’m not so sure.

How much “harassment” would trigger an obligatory disclosure? It seems like a slippery slope.

• The neighbor has a loud dog.
• Sometimes the mail isn’t delivered on time.
• Vines on the property are invasive.
• The neighbor is a smoker and the fumes waft into your house.
Etc.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / If somebody fails to notify the buyers of a house of 'the crazy neighbor who harrases anyone liveing there', can the buyers of the house sue?

In my layman opinion there’s no case.

The crime, if there is one, does not appear to be any form of intentional deceit. The crime is in the harassment. The previous owners may have moved because they felt harassed, and they would be under no obligation to share that information with prospective buyers (any more than they would say that they’re selling the house due to divorce or a death in the family). The previous owners would need to be aware that their stalker was focused on the property rather than on the family… and what a strange thing that would be.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What would Obama look like in a future U.S History Textbook?

Ha!

I can’t even tell with you, Mafefe.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Path to Peace

I’m confused…

@Leia: Sometimes people just want to exchange ideas. The path is often more interesting than the destination.

@James
The idea of a “unifying threat” is reasonable but it doesn’t exactly meet the condition of being “at peace.” Imagine a world famine; everyone is in crisis mode and nobody (hopefully) is killing each other, but it’s not really a peaceful situation.

I consider the definition of “peace” as some form of sustainable existence. I can see how a unifying threat would galvanize humanity, but it would be difficult to say what would bring people together in the best possible way.

I suspect some kind of unequivocal contact by extraterrestrial life — expressing an heightened intelligence that we could understand — would be fascinating. I think it would be particularly fascinating if that intelligence were clearly superior and that the ET brought with it valuable and transformative technology.

“Here’s a device that replicates food and water, and here’s a device that cures all of your diseases. One condition: Don’t fight. Okay, see you bye.”

That could be interesting.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Path to Peace

For what it’s worth, (and I’m having a difficult time tracking the details of your exchanges, Yeasy / Wargamer… so I apologize), I don’t put much stock in the “religion” of religious wars.

Rather, I believe that all wars—even those that are commonly perceived as having significant religious motivations—are ultimately about resources and power. It has very little to do with promoting one doctrine over another except in as much as that doctrine mandates obedience to a particular papal institution (and tithe!).

Some experts claim that fewer than 10% of all wars are fought on religious grounds… such as the Crusades. The Crusades also were motivated by greed and power… the “religious” aspect appears to have been merely a justification.

The only true religious wars are wars that are required by religious doctrine and we really don’t have any religions like that on teh planet anymore. There may be interpretations that justify the execution of infidels and heathens but they are widely seen as a perverted distortion of doctrine. Just because one is Christian doesn’t necessarily mean that one believes that witches should be burned at the stake, for example. Violence in religion is rare. God help us if a religion is truly militarized… it would be the end of the world.

I am inclined to believe that religion has done more to promote peace than to galvanize violence. (I’m not personally religious because I think it’s kind of boring as a personal exercise.)

I believe that the constraints outlined in the OP suggest that peace cannot be achieved against the public’s will… we cannot “enslave” people into peace. Enslavement would be tantamount to theft… as personal resource (their time) were removed like property. In our Peacetopia, individuals must be allowed some degree of personal liberty… and this PROBABLY includes political expression, some degree of “freedom of speech,” the freedom to gather and meet, and so on. The extent to which each of these freedoms is allowed or constrained should feel comfortable and reasonable to its practitioners.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

The Confederate Flag symbolizes a lot of different things. What it means depends entirely on the context.

The Confederate Flag flying over the state capital obviously doesn’t mean “pro slavery.”
Some people want it to represent self-governance and state rights.
A few people don’t care what it means; they just want to sell ashtrays and bumper stickers.
To some it means “trashy Southern rock-n-roll.”
To me it means “idiot on board.” (“Do y’all give out free camo hats wideez shirts?”)
To others it might reflect some nostalgic bygone era when (white) people had it easy.

The negative symbols tend to endure, however.

I feel like the Confederate Flag’s legacy is carved in stone. The only people that are proud of it are guys like Ted Nugent… polarizing characters that most reasonable folks would like to distance themselves from.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What would Obama look like in a future U.S History Textbook?

Obamacare
The first effective social-media presidential campaign (galvanized young voters)
Economic recovery (if it lasts)
Immigration reform
The utter collapse of Labor
Fair Sentencing Act (not that anyone cares that much about prisoners; but difficult constituents to represent politically… brave move, El Prez.)
The era of gay marriage and legalized pot
Black family living in the White House… symbolic achievement.
And, on race, the frank language in his “More Perfect Union” speech
Biggest ears ever.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

Just keep in mind the last time the issue was voted on, more than a quarter of blacks (if anyone should have sway in removing the flag, it’s them) wanted the flag to stay.

Robert Reich, among others, makes a compelling argument that the Confederate Flag is an important symbol to retain in popular culture BECAUSE it represents so many distasteful things. The symbol represents our unwillingness to take responsibility for slavery. It’s a failure of our comprehension of how many millions of lives we (Europeans) damaged and refuse to be accountable for… as if the sins of our fathers are not ours, just as our sins are not our children’s. The flag represents a perpetuation of our collective denial.

Without the flag, racism recedes into the shadows… still present, just harder to see. Removing the symbol does not remove the fact. Removing the symbol may actually make the argument that racism is still rampant MORE difficult.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Path to Peace

I’m not convinced that “violence” necessarily equates to “assault.” On second thought, it sort of does.

I would think that there are two paths to peace:

1. In which iterative improvements are made in the precise direction toward the desired outcome. (Every step toward peace is one that is increasingly peaceful.)

2. In which program stages may take a more indirect route but ultimately result in the desired outcome. (The path to peace has a few “necessary evils.”)

I think either route is interesting since this is all academic anyway. However, it’s safe to assume that the first route — in which each step along the path to peace results in a slightly more peaceful world — is preferred.

EDIT:

Yes. Actually I assume religion and culture necessary to utopia. I assert that non-military conflict, and ethical conduct is only possible with the successful interplay of culture, philosophy and religion; this is our humanity. Popular contentions in this forum revolve around the eradication of religion and culture however the removal of such and especially the latter which would fundamentally suspend the ethical through sheer relativism therefore blur the second criterion.

I fundamentally agree. “Peacetopia” would, in my imagination, allow for ample expression of religion and culture… provided that those religions and cultures were not mutually exclusive to others.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

The swastika can be used as a religious symbol left or right, and the Nazi swastika also appears both left and right. (As Karma points out.)

Symbols can clearly have technical and popular meanings… and, as in the case with the swastika, those meanings can conflict. Symbols require context. There are symbols that are used in typography to enhance technical writing, and those same symbols might also be used in mathematical notation or some other esoteric scientific application.

Case in point: Get a swastika tattooed on your arm and see how well the “religious meaning” comes across. (Might need to throw in a few lotuses and stuff.)

The instinct to survive is more potent than the instinct to get along.

Damn, Kasic! That’s a good one! I totally get it (and I love the simplicity). That’s sort of the whole issue with the challenges of peace summarized into its base form.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

Well, the larger question is why, when we’re faced with negative symbols, it tends to trigger an emotional response yet when we’re faced with a positive symbol the emotional response tends to be more subdued.

It’s true for physical encounters, too. In a negative physical encounter our fight-or-flight response is triggered. With a positive physical encounter, there doesn’t appear to be an equally potent counterpart.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

To me the Confederate Flag represents intolerance and a “nation” that sought to subjugate people. To a lesser degree I see the Confederate Flag as a badge of ignorance, intolerance, and segregation or division. I don’t assign any specific positive characteristics to the Confederate Flag.

Yet I don’t have the same degree of association to the American Flag. I think that’s ironic. Why would I have feelings for one symbol, (especially that they’re negative), yet not for another similar one?

Few other flags, national or otherwise, carry much emotional meaning. I understand what they mean intellectually, of course… the Canadian Flag is the symbol of our maple-syrup-eating neighbors to the north. The flag below represents gay pride and gay identity. While I have lots of feelings about gay pride and identity, I don’t generally associate those feelings with this flag.

Similar images also hold little emotional impact. A burning Quran:

A burning Bible:

Strangely, one of the most enduring symbols that trigger an emotional response is this:

Do you find that symbols that elicit negative emotional responses are more common than those that elicit positive ones?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

I think it’s interesting that one of the arguments made by civil libertarians, (of which I consider myself a proponent), is that symbols like flags are essentially meaningless and should not require protection. For example, I do not feel offended by this image:

I see very little meaning in the American flag. My sense of Nation comes from a different set of symbols. The abstract notion of Nation, for me, is imagined as community and the place in which it resides. That community’s norms are fluid and dynamic. The American Flag is irrelevant to my personal relationship with my country. I consider myself a patriotic person and meet most every popular definition or requirement of a patriot.

And yet there are people like me that find this image offensive.

I find it interesting that I might consider one symbol benign and largely meaningless, yet I would find another similar symbol loaded with meaning.

Do you have any reaction when you see these images? What do they mean to you? Where did you learn to associate those feelings with these images?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Path to Peace

Karma has a knack for escalating the personal. I think we’ve all been at the receiving end of his jabs.

@Yeasy, @wargamer, @james:

What if people were to adapt and adopt Asimov’s 3 (or 4) Rules of Robotics? I’ve replaced “robot” with “person”, obviously.

1. A person may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A person must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A person must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
(4. A person may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.)

The second Law is obviously a bit weird. I don’t think this idea has much value, frankly. I’m just throwing it out for fun.

Another opportunity for identifying something creative and weird with this goal (of achieving peace) might be to distinguish between “violence” and “harm.”

People are violent. We are animals. All omnivorous and carnivorous animals are violent. We cannot enjoy a hamburger without violence.

Violence is okay, and violence is not the antithesis of peace. So perhaps there’s a path to peace through the disassociation of ideas that we instinctively position as the absence of peace… things like “violence.”

When we look at it this way it becomes clear that pacifism is not necessarily a route to peace. I think that’s interesting.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Most cringe worthy thing you've done?

A girl kissed me once and I peed my pants.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Misrepresenting Race

Yeah, I suppose she would have more of a “shared experience” than most other white people. That’s a fair observation.

Nobody has questioned the intensity or conviction of her beliefs. As far as I can see, her “daring to care” was never in question.

“White privilege” … indeed.

Are you denying that her white privilege afforded her the opportunity to identify as black?
If so, do you think her four black siblings were afforded the opportunity to identify as white?

EDIT: Oh, wait. I think I see what you’re getting at.

If her siblings were raised in a white environment, then her exposure to a black “community” was somewhat artificial. While she would have witnessed how her brothers were treated with suspicion… a white family going out to breakfast with four black kids might raise some questions among curious wait-staff, for example… but that suspicion or curiosity might be borne more of the atypical arrangement than of their “blackness.” It would have probably been more of the “different-ness” of the family composition.

It would not have been the same as being raised as a black child in a black community.

I don’t know to what degree this would have provided her with insight into the black experience. Maybe it would have, maybe not…but most certainly to some degree. Enough, in fact, that she would go on to become the president of a state chapter of the NAACP. No small career feat, probably.