J. Clarke wrote:
| Morris Dovey wrote:
|| Robatoy wrote:
|||| My _preferred_ weapons are keyboard and ballot.
||| I so wish I had a ballot.
|| Y'know, I was thinking about that a while back. Not your (r's)
|| specifically, but the notion that citizens of a country aren't the
|| only stakeholders in choosing that country's leaders.
|| It was just idle thinking, of course, because no one in any country
|| would be willing to give someone from another country a role in
|| choosing their country's leadership. Still, it's an interesting
|| thought - and I've wondered how things would play if the world
|| the USA could elect one senator and one representative to our
| Probably about like they play in Puerto Rico and like they played in
| the Phillippines.
Quite possibly. Still, because of their far wider constituancy
(assuming that the individuals /would/ actually attempt to represent
their constituants), it'd be interesting to see if they could do other
than vote "Nay" on all issues. :-)
||| That said, it does not render my views and my ability to express
||| them as impotent.
||| It's that 'forest-from-the-trees' thing, Morris.
|| Absolutely true - that's the "keyboard' part of the arsenal.
|| /can/ bring about change when well-chosen words are spoken/written
|| a suitable context.
| But only if the people with power to effect change see the words.
That's a given. Are you feeling ignored?
|| Well, in a manner of speaking, we're all trees in the forest - even
|| though we'd each like to speak our own piece and be heard as
|| It's being worth listening to that's the real challenge.
| Getting heard is harder than being worth listening to.
I haven't found that to be the case - but I may have some advantage
because of my location. I've been going to campaign "town hall"
meetings and have a different view.
||| A lot of my peers were on loan to Iran to build their electrical
||| networks. They made a lot of friends. So many Iranians we'd love
||| to have as neighbours. What's with the war drums?
|| Fear and a certain amount of bigotry. Fear that Iran will develop
|| nuclear weapons as powerful as those we have and fear that they'll
|| act irresponsibly.
| Several of nations have nuclear weapons as powerful as those we have
| and are not a problem. I don't think that anyone in the US gives a
| damn if the Brits or the French have nuclear weapons of any degree
| of power. Iran though is run by Islamic fundamentalists, and while
| the ones running Iran have not done so recently, Islamic fundies
| seem to like to blow up anything they dislike and don't really seem
| to give much of a damn who, including themselves, gets hurt in the
| process. If it Iranians nuked a city somewhere and the whole
| country got paved as a result they'd be acclaimed as gloriout
| martyrs to the Jihad.
Posession of nukes imposes (IMO) a requirement for non-stop 100.000%
responsible behavior of which I see little evidence in any human
society - YMMV.
_Radical_ fundamentalists of _any_ persuasion are so labeled, at least
in part, because they deny cultural and social norms - and so their
ability to act responsibly in a wider context is diminished.
A world in which we have jihad, crusade, purge, ethnic cleansing, etc.
as operative concepts is not a good place in which to even store
| That's why Iran having nuclear weapons is a bad thing. In fact
| Pakistan having them is a bit scary--the current regime there seems
| to be reasonable, but it doesn't even have the whole country under
| control--there are places in Pakistan that the cops don't go
| without a military escort, and there have been attempts to
| assassinate the current leader. If the fundies take over Pakistan
| then it's quite possible that Very Bad Things will follow.
I agree. It's already /possible/ - but the probability would likely
|| I worked (and socialized) with some Irani immigrants in San Jose. I
|| was pleased to give 'em all the furniture I'd built for my
|| apartment when I returned to Iowa, and I'd be still more pleased
|| to have them living next door here.
| Every Japanese I've met has been a good guy. So has every German.
| That doesn't mean that Pearl Harbor and the Holocaust didn't happen.
| It's not the man in the street that starts wars, it's the
| government. In the late '30s and early '40s both countries had
| rather nasty governments that didn't much care who got hurt while
| they pursued their dreams of power and there was precious little
| that the man in the street could do about it. A lot of good,
| decent Japanese and Germans got killed either by or for those
| Do you really trust the Iranian government? You don't seem to trust
| the US government and the US government is at least notionally
| answerable to the populace, so why is the Iranian government more
No, I don't - but neither do I have total confidence in /any/
government. I like to think that the US government - both as a whole
and as a collection of elected/appointed/hired individuals - is more
responsible, responsive, and answerable than most - but the news is
filled with evidence of irresponsible and unwise behaviors. However
good it is, it's not 100%.
|| In order to beat the war drums, it's necessary to /ignore/ the
|| value of individuals. I've concluded that "hawkishness" is
|| inversely proportional to the number of places from which one's
|| friends come and
|| inverse-squared with one's appreciation for cultures other than
|| one's own.
| So which would you rather? Some of those valuable individuals die
| sooner while the Iranian government is prevented from obtaining
| nuclear weapons that it doesn't need, or a lot more die later when
| that government uses those weapons?
I'd rather you extended my range of choices. :-)
| Why is the Iranian government so Hell-bent on nuclear weapons
| anyway? That money could be far better spent expanding the economy.
I don't /know/ why - but I'd guess that they're afraid and have
convinced themselves that they can live less in fear if they can wave
a bigger stick. I'd also guess that the primary sources of their fear
are the USA and Israel.
I agree that the resources could be used much more productively.
||| Won't you add impeachement to you arsenal of keyboard and ballot?
|| That's not really a solution to the problems we've created for
|| ourselves - for a number of reasons. For instance: How would you
|| knowing the head of household next door had carelessly shot a
| What does this have to do with impeachment? And how often does that
| particular scenario happen anyway? That's another statistic that
| you people pull up at the drop of the hat without understanding
| it--"shot someone you know" is not the same as "shot a friend".
Relatively seldom. I am not, by the way, "you people" any more than is
John Clarke. It was not a group of people who wrote the article to
which you responded. I'm making an effort to respond thoughtfully and
honestly to you as an individual - and I'd appreciate if you make that
I maintain that a hunter is responsible for where his bullet/shot ends
up - absolutely and without exception. If the trajectory cannot be
known to be safe, the shot must not be fired. In my considered opinion
Cheney demonstrated his inclination to act irresponsibly at a very
I not only would not hunt with the man - I would be loathe to allow
him to trade control of his shotgun for control of our nuclear
|| IMO, our stars never shone so brightly as when we focused our
|| on sharing our best with others in need - and they never dimmed so
|| rapidly as when our politicians changed their focus from 'help' to
|| They _still_ don't have 24-hour electricity in Baghdad.
| And they aren't going to until the Iraqis quit blowing each other to
| Kingdom Come.
| That's why the US is there right now, to try to keep the lid on
| until the government is strong and stable enough to do so without
| help. Now, I'm sure you're going to counter with the argument that
| everything will be peachy-keen in Iraq if the US leaves. And you're
| right, it will, if you define "peachy-keen" as "The Mahdi Army
| overthrows the government, establishes a Shiite dominated Islamic
| fundamentalist state, arrests and imprisons or executes anybody who
| dissents, lines up all the troublemakers and lots of other innocents
| who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and
| shoots them, establishes a new secret police, and Moqtada Al-Sadr is
| elected President for Life by a 110 percent majority".
No - I'm going to counter by reminding you that the US is there right
now because our President declared Iraq to be a "clear and present
danger" to the United States and directed his Secretary of Defense to
send our military forces there to remove the weapons of mass
I understand that you're frustrated, as am I, but let's not lose sight
of facts nor allow ourselves (or others) to duck responsibility for
actions taken and not taken.
DeSoto, Iowa USA