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Teaching Sam's book
Posted: 07 March 2006 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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That is hardly anger its called sarcasm. Are you sure you are a high school teacher? You seem awful sensitive. Maybe you’re feeling a liitle guilty. Guilt is a natural response when we do something wrong. Do not be afraid. In the future I will let you know when I am being sarcastic.  Did you really think I was trying to make you change your sign off note. I was trying to make a point. You mock those who believe the river exists for them yet you have no problem denying the river. It wasn’t meant to be an angry point. I am sorry. I’ll keep my kid gloves on.

My message doesn’t make much sense since you changed your posting but I’ll leave it up as a reminder to keep away from sarcasm.

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Posted: 07 March 2006 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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The canal loves to think that rivers exist solely to supply it with water.

I’m not sure what you guys are arguing about because I’ve arrived here too late to have seen a message that’s been changed.

The canal-river quote seems obviously to attempt an instruction about life purpose. I can think of only one reason off-hand why so many people seem to ponder and argue over the question of life purpose. And that is that human expectations are out of whack due to our cultural inheritance of Deistic doctrines that instruct us toward purpose that is based in fiction.

Why isn’t life purpose commonly stated as: “To live healthy, happy lives and if we’re fortunate enough to have children, to protect and provide for them”? That is my life purpose.

Frankr, should I presume that your life purpose revolves around serving God? But what does serving God accomplish other than exactly what I’ve stated as my life purpose?

(Kindly correct my presumption if I’m mistaken.)

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
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Posted: 07 March 2006 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Homun—what this is about is father frank thinks that CK is a heretic conspiring with us apostates to corrupt good catholic youth.

Hence the good father foaming at the mouth—you would be also if the world was comprised of you, those who don’t agree with you and are out to get you, and those who say they agree with you but secretly don’t because they are out to get you.  What’s an angry paranoid lout to do?

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Posted: 07 March 2006 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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frankr, why do you so pompously have to discredit every other point of view in your obvious attempt to maintain the fading legacy of the big christian kahoona?

Careful Bob, someone might think you were hateful,

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Posted: 07 March 2006 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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I would like to be known by my proper title which is the big christian kahuna. Spelling is very important to us Catholics. Although I hate to agree with Mudfoot he is at least partially right. I prefer people to say who they are. I like an atheist to admit to atheism, a catholic to catholicism, an agnostic to agnosticism. I don’t like sneaky people especially when their involved in education. It is the whole teacher is more important than the subject problem. I know most of you would be upset if public school biology teachers were at a discovery institute forum finding ways to work ID into their science curriculum. I don’t mind public schools teachers favoring ID, but I think they should make their position known to their students. Give me Brutus over Cassius any day of the week. Thats a Shakespeare reference boys in case you’re wondering.

I am not a paranoid, by the way, if everyone is out to get me. I am trying to stay away I really am, but I do like it here.

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Posted: 07 March 2006 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]I wrote this for Freethought Radio, and am in the process of recording it now.  It’s part of a series I’m doing for them about the writings of the founders relating to church and state.  This letter can be found in most Madison writing collections:

Here is a letter from James Madison, the “intelligent designer” of our constitution AND bill of rights, clearly indicating his views on the establishment of religion in our republic.  If you like, I can provide more data concerning this subject, but you can do your own research if you are interested.

I think you are doing a fine job, by the way, to even have them questioning this stuff.

Pete

Pete,
Are you familiar with the argument Newt Gingrich makes in Winning the Future regarding the role religion played in the early republic? It reads more like a ramp up for a 2008 presidential election bid, but I’d be interested in what you think of it.

—ck

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Posted: 07 March 2006 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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I am not familiar with the book, but I am looking at a review of it on my other screen right now, by John Kyl from the National Ledger.

In my opinion, you were correct in an earlier post when you said that most of the founders were deists.  Deism was the accepted worldview among the elite in europe and America in the mid 18th century.  Religion was pretty much limited to the masses and the uneducated.

Even Tom Paine, who was often accused of being an atheist, strongly expressed his deist views in “Age of Reason.”  Not all, but most of the colonies had very restrictive religious laws prior to the constitution, some even made atheism punishable by death.  So far as I know, there was only one conviction under those laws in any state, and it resulted in a short jail sentence.

Anyhow, I don’t know what the Newtster says in his book, and it probably won’t bubble up to the point where I need to find out.

Here is the review:

Winning the Future
By Jon Kyl
Feb 27, 2006  

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, raises some troubling questions in his new book Winning the Future.  As is his style, Gingrich also proposes solutions—ones that are worth considering.

He describes five great threats to America. They are (quoting verbatim):

1.That Islamist terrorists and rogue dictatorships will acquire and launch nuclear or
biological weapons.

2.That God will be driven from American public life and reduce us to the civilizational ennui that now characterizes a declining Europe.


3. That America will lose the patriotic sense of itself as a unique civilization.

4.That America’s economic supremacy will yield to China and India because of failing schools and weakening scientific and technological leadership.


5. That an aging America’s demands on Social Security, Medicare, and related government programs will collapse the systems.

Each threat can be overcome, says Gingrich, but only if regular Americans are as active as the elites who are driving so much of our policy-making today. He notes that most Americans (91 percent) believe we should be allowed to say “one nation, under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and only 23 percent believe the United Nations should play a leading role in world affairs, with countries deferring to its policies.

Some judges and policymakers however, hold a different view.  It’s their position that will prevail if the American people let it.

To answer the above-listed challenges, Gingrich proposes a 21st century “Contract with America,” somewhat like the 1994 slate of proposals that helped Republicans capture the majority in Congress after more than a half century of control by the Democratic Party. Its basic points (again, quoting verbatim):

1.We must commit to a long war to defeat the terrorists and tyrants who would destroy America.

2.We must reestablish that our rights come from our Creator and that an America that has driven God out of the public arena is an America on the way to decay and defeat.

3. We must insist on patriotic immigration and patriotic education based on classic American history and the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln.

4.We must transform our domestic institutions in order to harness modern science and technology to create jobs, wealth, and lead the world economy into the 21st century.

5.We must establish the opportunities for a personal Social Security account, a portable personal pension account, and a personal health savings account, so the wealth we create during our working lives is wealth we control.

Underlying much of Gingrich’s thinking is the notion that Americans “must reinvigorate the core values that have made America an exceptional civilization.” He worries, as I do, that our children are no longer taught these values, with the result that they will be ill-equipped to make decisions (including at the polls) that support policies based on our core values.

Gingrich believes the two primary battlefields in this struggle are the courts and the classrooms, and he proposes several reforms to reassert citizen influence over both. One such solution to which I subscribe is to appoint judges who will interpret the U.S. Constitution based upon our founding documents and law rather than the laws or rulings of other countries.  Newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito exemplify this approach.

Winning the Future minces no words in identifying the threat we face from the radicals who attack innocents in the name of Islam. Gingrich writes: “If anyone thinks terrorists don’t threaten us, the question is: What could it take to convince you? If nearly 3,000 people dying on American soil in one day does not frighten you, what would?” And he concludes: “the sobering reality is that terrorist leaders are determined to kill Americans and destroy our government and culture.”

We cannot negotiate with the terrorists; our only alternative is to defeat them, and we can’t do that without engaging them – precisely the same point President Bush made in a recent speech. In fact, the book quotes another comment by the President that, “Americans should expect not one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.”

I enjoyed serving in the House with New Gingrich and find even now, that whether you agree with him or not, he presents important ideas in a compelling way.  I recommend his book to anyone looking not just for problems, but also for solutions.

I agree with both his point one and with his solution.  I don’t believe in the supernatural at all, so his point two is a non-sequitor as far as I’m concerned.  Our rights come from nowhere but ourselves, and I dont believe that europe is declining as the newtster believes.

Point three is a joke!  Immigratrion is OK as long as we are accepting only new christian republicans, I guess, the rest can stay wherever they are, and in his solution he is proposing once again that in the view of the neocon, atheists, agnostics, and any non-christians can’t be patriotic.  What absolute bullshit!

He’s right about point four, the disingenious sob, who the devil is kicking science out of the schools?  It sure isn’t the scientists!  Which government is waging an absolute war on science as we speak.  Do you have any idea how many agency decisions have been made at high levels only after checking with prominant xtian leaders?  Do you have any idea how many decisions in the last 5 years have been made because of xtian dogma?  This point is a joke.  What’s needed is for the religious to get the hell out of the way!

Point 5 is correct, but the solution is not turning the collected money over to the people, the solution is to not collect the damn money in the first place.  There is a terrific national sales tax bill (the fair tax plan) on the floor of the house right now.  If passed it would be the biggest transfer of power in this country since the constitution.  The IRS, the lobbyists, tax lawyers, and the whole infrastructure that supports the income tax would be eliminated with the stroke of a pen. 

The only problem is, it would empower the people at the expense of the government, and too many people in this country are too used to uncle running everything, and taking care of them.  When that attitude ends, things will start happening, but the politicians, such as the newtster, have to be emasculated first.

Read the federalist papers if you want to see how the government should work.  You wont recognize it!

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Posted: 07 March 2006 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]

Anyhow, I don’t know what the Newtster says in his book, and it probably won’t bubble up to the point where I need to find out.

I read it. My father-in-law is a big republican, and for good reason, he’s rich and makes plenty of ca$h exploiting tax loopholes that his party keeps wide open. He gave it to me as a discussion starter. Like I said, it read like a platform starter in case he runs in 08. I too agree on his assessment of the terrorist threat.

Thanks for weighing in.
—ck

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Posted: 07 March 2006 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]Read the federalist papers if you want to see how the government should work.  You wont recognize it!


No kidding!

That’s why I like to use “traditional American values” a lot when arguing with theocracts and the like.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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