war of the worlds

It is that season again. A Supreme Court nomination is again our nation’s political focus. There is no question that this has become a sham political debate and not a quest for a sound jurist.

It would be naïve to suggest that politics in the judiciary is a new phenomenon in our land. Marbury v. Madison itself was about the seedy intersection of politics and blind justice. What I am decrying is that the process has been emptied of all content whatsoever.

The divisiveness over Roe v. Wade has much to do with this, but this is itself merely part of a larger trend. A trend toward high stakes political gamesmanship at the expense of We the People. A trend away from the substantive decision-making and toward the blood sport of politics.

The Roe debate itself is minor in the context of the overall tragedy which is the extreme politicization of the American mind.

It is with some mirth that I observe all the casual conversations around the water cooler where the phrases “judicial activism” and “strict construction” are bandied about with cavalier certainty. But I derive no similar humor from the lawyer-politicians who consciously perpetuate the existence of these mythical jurisprudential antipodes. The shameless lying coming from both sides of the aisle should disgust any informed observer.

“Lying” will probably seem too harsh a word to many. But frankly if you make it through law school and still have an honest belief that this political terminology is of utility in the substantive discussion, then you are too stupid to deserve the degree. Sadly, I do not think that most of the CongressCritters are in fact stupid. They just play stupid on TV.

The truth you seldom hear is that this quasi-legal language exists solely as proxies for underlying political positions.

The funny thing is that many of the same people who carp the loudest about these issues are the same ones you will later hear lamenting the poor jurisprudence coming from our courts. As the ancient wisdom would tell us, we will reap what we have sown. Sow political seeds and what you get is political fruit. And political fruit is almost never good law.

Personally, I lay much of the blame at the feet of the Traynor and Warren courts. These “great” jurists and their brethren made it fashionable for courts to get into the business of making law. Brown v. The Board of Education led to the popular error that the courts are competent to be agents of social change. And have no doubt, “error” is exactly correct: as monumental as was Brown it is highly arguable whether the court ordered busing produced the social benefit many assume flowed strictly from that aspect of the decision.

My just saying something negative about Brown will undoubtedly prompt some ugly emails.

But I have a dream of sound jurisprudence that anchors our human rights in natural law rather than subjecting them to the whims of an inherently political legislature or their conscripts in the judiciary. Contrary to the myths you hear nightly on the news, returning the courts to their limited Constitutional function would not dictate any particular political outcome. Social Justice is possible without tearing our legal institutions apart. Liberty can be protected without shredding our Constitution.

But judging by the empty rhetoric I hear daily, my vision is destined to remain nothing more than it is: an abandoned dream.

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113 thoughts on “war of the worlds”

  1. I agree with Dis. Cur. here. Liberals have shot themselves in the foot by trying to bypass the democratic process [or the “mass stupids” as one leftist responder revealingly put it]. Let’s have term limits for Federal Judges including Supreme Court justices. Let political questions be fought out in democratically-elected assemblies, not decided by the Annointed.Doug

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  2. Career politicians wouldn’t be if the benefits (high incomes, big staff, expense accounts, other perks, contacts, travel, etc.) didn’t outweigh the costs. In Ricardo’s world politicians would serve 2 terms max, bureaucrats 20 yrs service maximum. George Washington set a trend of two terms. EVERY president since then took his lead and had the decency to not be hogish till Mr Socialism gave us the new deal. A new attitude of entitlement. The bureaucrats picked up that new attitude themselves and feel like we taxpayers owe them and their pet projects regardless of funding, regardless of effectiveness, need, constitutionality, etc.Prof. Ricardo

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  3. That’s too bad, cause I’ve already started to gather evidence through photos…I’ve got 2 different girls, ahem, subjects, documented. It’s a pity I didn’t get the other ones I’ve seen….Here is something that may make us all more sympathetic to the Prof’s principles.I have a friend here, who has a boyfriend from Denmark. He’s a “film-maker” and has made a few documentaries already. They are both in South Africa at a film festival now watching the premiere of one of his documentaries. He has the money to call her every 20 minutes from Denmark to Czech Republic, and visit here often. He has a comfortable life.He’s a commercially successful film-maker, what I myself might like to be….Wrong!!!!This guy gets paid by the Danish government to travel around the world and shoot films. And they give him a living allowance (which is PRETTY DAMN HEFTY it seems!)So the Danish taxpayer subsidizes this “film-maker.” Wouldn’t we all like to be subsidized like this? I don’t think that’s f-ing fair at all, and I’d be quite pissed if I paid high taxes for this guy’s benefit. I appreciate his desire to make films, but if you can’t make a commercial success, I don’t see why the government should pay your way so extravagently. I mean, there is a welfare state, and there is a Welfare State. The U.S. ought to make everyone chip in on the world’s defense spending, these guys are taking a free ride on us.

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  4. Prof,Well, I have no problems with decent pictures. However, Blogger doesn’t support picture uploading in the comments and only very limited for the Blog itself. This is one of the many reasons I’ve considered going to another service with more of a real messageboard, or using one of the add-on message boards that are out there. Time has really not permitted me to consider such things.What you can do is post links. I’d never tried to imbed an image link in a comment but I just put one in here and it was not allowed. If anybody has some ideas, I’m all ears. So I’m guessing the best we can do is post a link and let folks who want to see it click it.

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  5. Yoshi: Take a look at these links.< HREF="http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/downloads/economicFreedomandPerCapita.gif" REL="nofollow">Economic Freedom and Per Capita Income<>< HREF="http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/downloads/Index05_EconFreedomMAP.jpg" REL="nofollow">Distribution of Economic Freedom<>Go to < HREF="http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/downloads.cfm" REL="nofollow">this page<> and download under “SCORES” the Excel spreadsheets and look at the country by country data. This information would be of interest to Common Good as well. Remember <>5 = worst, 1 = best.<>Prof. Ricardo

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  6. Yoshi: “<>By the way, there are some really gorgeous girls walking around this place…. It’s almost sadistic. I saw this one yesterday I thought I was going to need some kind of heart medicine….<>”As spokesperson for the Curms readership, I hereby petition the authorities that be to allow pictures, for educational purposes you understand, to be allowed in this blog. Recent events in foreign markets could best be understood with uploaded digital photos…er, charts! And given that we have a reporter/investigator on location, not to take advantage of his digital camera w/zoom lens and charm with the ladies….I mean markets….It would be a travesty not to use this powerful tool. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  7. “REAL wages increased in the country every year till 1973 and has been going down since.”Prof, I read last night that in the past 2 decades or so China, Brazil, India, and Russia have doubled the global labor force in the world. At the same time, they brought no new capital, at least, not much. So the ratio of labor to capital dropped. It’s like it brought down the average productivity of the labor, and increased the average productivity of the capital. Result is that wages are growing very slowly, and profits are growing very quickly. So owners of the capital benefit from the communist China, very ironic time we are living in. Also, even there there aren’t really a lot of net jobs being outsourced, there is still the fear of losing the job to foreigners, which takes the leverage away from labor groups…. they can’t demand so much money when they fear their job will go abroad…I’m going to learn more about monetary policy myself when I get home where my books are….By the way, there are some really gorgeous girls walking around this place…. It’s almost sadistic. I saw this one yesterday I thought I was going to need some kind of heart medicine….

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  8. Yoshi,I think the answer on the coke price might be right in front of you there. I suspect the income levels in the Czech Republic are considerably lower than Germany. Perhaps it is nothing more than the price the market will bear. And I’ll bet that if there is that type of price discrepancy there is some smuggling but I’ll bet the amount of money to be made relative to the amount of product to move makes that less attractive than some other things. It is easy to forget that liquids are heavy and moving them is burdensome. If I can make $3/hr doing legit work, and I could make $.25 on a bottle of coke, I’d need to sell twelve an hour to replace that income and a lot more to offset the risk. That gives a low threshold around 100 bottles of coke a day and an actual number much higher than that to make it worth it. You don’t just hide twenty gallons of coke under your coat.But never say never…I’ll bet it is happening. Somebody has a way of getting a big truckload over at little expense. That stuff probably gets sold in ordinary channels and the people don’t realize they are buying black market goods. I think large scale like that is the only way for coke to make sense.

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  9. yea I didn’t really mean about electing officials in Beijing… my point was just how decentralised the world really is when you think about it…..The Gold Standard… are you sure about that? You think that’s a good idea? I recall it was deflationary… I’m going to start studying balance of payments between countries…. I think the gold standard was causing some kind of inefficiency… I’ll learn more about it…In the meantime I was talking to a friend who I learned makes about 70 koruna an hour. There are about 24 koruna to a dollar, so that’s less than 3 bucks an hour. And this person has almost a master’s in economics from the most prestigious, competitive university in the country….I don’t understand why wages would be so low… there are loads of people here, looks like a thriving, bustling city, markets galore… I would like to learn this answer…Also, I noticed last time I was here, taking a bus, I noticed the cokes were about 2.00 $US in Germany, when the bus stopped for a break… I was watching for this too…. then once we crossed the border into the Czech republic the price dropped to less than a dollar for the SAME Coke. What the? There has to be a logical reason why people don’t smuggle Coca-Cola across the border 5 minutes away to make the profit…. I didn’t think there was even an economic border anymore…. anyone have any perception on this topic?

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  10. Yoshi,“the president said. “Workers are … taking home more of what they earn. Inflation is low.””Presidential BS. Inflation is not prices, it is quantity of money. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) does not include investments in the stock market or the price of government. The CPI went up 3-4% annual in the 90’s. When you added in the increase in stock price and government (tax increase to pay down the deficit) the number of dollars consumed increased because the number of dollars available increased. The increase was about 10% per year. Real inflation was high in the 90’s and IS high now. Do not be fooled by current government CPI BS. Price increases are symptoms of inflation, not the cause. Quantity of money is the cause and government is the only legitimate manufacture of money. Don’t follow the CPI, follow M3 or MCCPIG.“According to the Economist article, inflation is being held low by cheap goods coming from Asia.”What they probably mean is the measurement of the couple of hundred items in the CPI are low because of Asian goods, thus the “measurement” of the CPI, therefore what the CPI supposedly represents, inflation, is “being held low.”“Maybe we should start electing officials in Beijing….?”That would guarantee failure. Go back to a gold standard. REAL wages increased in the country every year till 1973 and has been going down since. Guess what happened that year? Bye, bye gold standard. Bye, bye responsible monetary policy. The paper you have in your pockets is not money. It is “legal tender.” Those aren’t coins in your pocket. They are tokens. Coins are precious metal. We lost most of that in 1964-65.Excellent monetary policy will restore the economy and cripple expansionist government. Which path do you think expansionist government will choose? Beijing will not help you here. Apparently, neither will Bush & Co.Prof. Ricardo

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  11. Yoshi,I hope Prague is treating you well. I can only imagine how nice the weather must be.I have found that whole give the president credit for the economy thing ridiculous for some time. Government policy does matter, but it is one of several things and the timeline of these influences is extremely long.Shrub is no unique in this regard…it has been happening for many moons. Probably a negative legacy of the FDR years.

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  12. greetings from a land that is not quite as scorchingly hot as Texas..“More Americans are working today than ever before in our nation’s history,” the president said. “Workers are … taking home more of what they earn. Inflation is low. Mortgage rates are low. Home ownership in America is at an all-time high. In other words, this economy is moving.”The President said this today. It’s interesting how people give the President credit for the economy like he’s some kind of wizard. Hmm, according to the Economist article, inflation is being held low by cheap goods coming from Asia. Let the Chinese currency appreciate against the dollar and let’s check on inflation then. Of course, the Chinese are holding down bond yields by buying U.S. treasury notes, which is why we are buying houses and taking out mortgages, since the interest rates are low. Again, let the Chinese stop buying bonds and we can start talking about buying homes, mortgages, etc. And as for home ownership, there is a price bubble b/c of the low rates, and home prices will start falling in a year or so….. Maybe we should start electing officials in Beijing….?

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  13. Prof,I do not find it hard at all to think of the Earth as a young earth. My position is simply that I do not know. I think at best the materials that you linked support uncertainty.I do not judge the scriptures based on science. I would not even consider it. Science is a product of the minds of men and subject to all kinds of errors. I take science for what it is: the best we can do of understanding creation through our own faculties.As I’ve said before, the Bible is clearly anthropomorphic on many of these creation points. I’m just not going to get twisted up because of some people’s silly assertion that they have a firm lock on what it means when God says that he created the universe. I personally think my view is much more differential and reverential to God than is the position that mere men have a clear understanding of a creation by a God who stands outside creation itself.From where I sit, it seems to me that genuine open-minded inquiry is a rare thing indeed whether we are speaking of Scientists that reject super-natural explanations summarily or Christians that reject any idea that might possibly be counter to their personal idea of what Biblical teaching means. I have zero interest in appeasing the materialist crowd that rejects anything that they cannot experience through their own five senses and the reasonable deductions there from. Rather I wish to use the brain God gave me for something more than a hat rack. Testing what one knows against other things they know is the only way to genuine understanding and faith.But let me be clear on the theological point at bar: the Bible is the measure of all things. I just believe that our understanding of Biblical Truth is growing over time and just like the doctrine of the Earth as the Center of the Universe, other man-made doctrinal concepts will be rejected by the Godly as our learning increases. I do not know exactly where that takes us with respect to specific modern “debates”, but I am comfortable that a sovereign God will work it all out.

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  14. Randy & Tony, < HREF="http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4005.asp" REL="nofollow">Here<> is an iota of info on young earth, creation info available. The old-earthers have so tainted and influenced us that its hard to think of the Bible as being literal with regard to creation. We allow the scriptures to stand in judgment by what we “know” from science. And we try to reconcile the two without compromising the billion year earth model and so we come up with the gap theory, and other compromises of scripture. Tony, go about 80% of the way down < HREF="http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v23/i1/howold.asp" REL="nofollow">this page<> and see the section entitled “Jesus and the age of the World.” Substantial food for thought. You may have seen it before. Anyway, don’t let Common Good in on the links. He holds fast to his non-worldview worldviews and new information could endanger those worldviews.Prof. Ricardo

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  15. Saurav,It is scary how good politicians have gotten. The intelligent people I see that have been sucked into this charade really astounds me. Then again, I too was one of THEM back in my partisan days. 😀Hey, I’ve mentioned the book a hundred times, but if you get a chance to read < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679741801/qid=1123336830/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/102-7292170-2920965?v=glance&s=books&n=507846" REL="nofollow">The Image<> by Daniel Boorstin, it goes into the topic of media, how politicians handle media, how society views media and the impact of media centric social outlook. Published in 1961 but reads like it was published in 2001 (other than the examples being a bit dated).

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  16. <>“strict construction” are bandied about with cavalier certainty.<>Maybe they oppose the Louisiana Purchase–you never know 😉Anyway, “judicial activism” complaints will go the way of “states rights” complaints–once the people who generated the political arguments get into the seats of power they want. It’s really interesting how this new generation of political lying has the added benefit of constructing a strawman and criticizing it for exactly what the proponents are doing and would like to do further–it’s very Bushy and really ingenious as long as enough people don’t catch on.

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  17. C.G.: <>Prof, why would anyone feel the need to be perfect?<>If one sin condemns and a person were thinking that they should be unhappy with God/Adam/original sin issue, then they would have to be standing on some righteous ground, i.e., not to have sinned themselves. If you have sinned yourself, then the point about Adam & original sin is moot.“<>Also, why do you define a non-perfect person as fallen…<>”It’s a Christian term, jargon if you will. Like conversion, reborn, baptism, etc.“<>Your caring god created hell, right? I think I will stick with the phrase heaven vs hell lottery.<>”Doesn’t bother me. However, you are limiting your ability to understand it from the onset by creating a very small box called lottery. Everything outside of that box is unavailable for consideration because of the model you constructed. I am happy you’ve found a world view that works for you. (I’d be happier if it were more correct. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  18. Randy,<>although I fear for CG’s scorched behindie<>A God would not have created anyone just to fry them. It doesn’t even make sense to fry the bad ones, much less someone as charming and <>perfect<> as me.btw… Prof, why would anyone feel the need to be perfect? Also, why do you define a non-perfect person as fallen… I would just go with imperfect. Your caring god created hell, right? I think I will stick with the the phrase <>heaven vs hell lottery<>. You almost had me convinced, but then it occured to me there was much chance involved in ending up in the exclusive Christian club. For example, consider the chance involved in where on the planet you are born. Prof born in the middle of Saudi Arabia would almost certainly not be Christian. The rules based heaven entry is surrounded by endless varieties of chance… i.e. lottery. Sorry. Tony… what typo did I jump on? I guess you answered you think the dinos lived for millions of years, and Randy really didn’t answer other than providing many facts about carbon. I was very afraid Prof was going to say the Dinos never existed. 🙂

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  19. I agree that it is flawed, and I am not holding to a true 7000 yr old earth as some speculate, becasue until we know it is all speculation and faith to some degree. What His intentions were with “dinosaurs” is unclear at the moment, just looking forward to the day we will all know Him and have our answers.

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  20. I agree that it is flawed, and I am not holding to a true 7000 yr old earth as some speculate, becasue until we know it is all speculation and faith to some degree. What His intentions were with “dinosaurs” is unclear at the moment, just looking forward to the day we will all know Him and have our answers.

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  21. I agree that it is flawed, and I am not holding to a true 7000 yr old earth as some speculate, becasue until we know it is all speculation and faith to some degree. What His intentions were with “dinosaurs” is unclear at the moment, just looking forward to the day we will all know Him and have our answers.

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  22. Randy,Just because carbon dating has flaw doesn’t mean it is worthless. Heh. Just got your second post.So lets say that anything older than 60,000 years is problematic. 60,000 years old is old enough to invalidate the Bishop Usser timeline that some folks still cling to.It is pretty clear based on scientific observation that some of this stuff is pretty old. The only way to make it fit the Usser timeline is to assume that God created and old earth. I have no problem with that postulate, however, I do not view it as necessary. I think Yoshi called that a “headgame” played by God and largely that is the way I see it.Hmmm…Yoshi should be boarding his flight about now…wonder if his ears are burning.

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  23. In summary, the carbon-14 method, when corrected for the effects of the flood, can give useful results, but needs to be applied carefully. It does not give dates of millions of years and when corrected properly fits well with the biblical flood.

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  24. Also, the Genesis flood would have greatly upset the carbon balance. The flood buried a huge amount of carbon, which became coal, oil, etc., lowering the total 12C in the biosphere (including the atmosphere — plants regrowing after the flood absorb CO2, which is not replaced by the decay of the buried vegetation). Total 14C is also proportionately lowered at this time, but whereas no terrestrial process generates any more 12C, 14C is continually being produced, and at a rate which does not depend on carbon levels (it comes from nitrogen). Therefore, the 14C/12C ratio in plants/animals/the atmosphere before the flood had to be lower than what it is now.

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  25. Second, the ratio of 14C/12C in the atmosphere has not been constant — for example, it was higher before the industrial era when the massive burning of fossil fuels released a lot of carbon dioxide that was depleted in 14C. This would make things which died at that time appear older in terms of carbon dating. Then there was a rise in 14CO2 with the advent of atmospheric testing of atomic bombs in the 1950s.[3] This would make things carbon-dated from that time appear younger than their true age.

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  26. Libby, Anderson and Arnold (1949) were the first to measure the rate of this decay. They found that after 5568 years, half the C14 in the original sample will have decayed and after another 5568 years, half of that remaining material will have decayed, and so on (see figure 1 below). The half-life (t 1/2) is the name given to this value which Libby measured at 5568±30 years. This became known as the Libby half-life. After 10 half-lives, there is a very small amount of radioactive carbon present in a sample. At about 50 – 60 000 years, then, the limit of the technique is reached

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  27. We can second notions all we want, bottom line is none of us will know until the last day what the truth is. Everything we believe is based on faith. Faith in what someone else tells us is the truth that they have facts to back up. Again I will point out that carbon dating has flaws.

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  28. “And yes, I believe Dinosaurs were real and lived a long time ago. I believe that there are clearly evolutionary processes at work in our world and that we still have a long ways to go to understand them. And I do not believe that those assertions are inconsistent with a God created universe.”I second this notion…

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  29. “And yes, I believe Dinosaurs were real and lived a long time ago. I believe that there are clearly evolutionary processes at work in our world and that we still have a long ways to go to understand them. And I do not believe that those assertions are inconsistent with a God created universe.”I second this notion…

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  30. CG,Seize on one typo and then avoid a substantive response. Your standards really are slipping. I am tempted to not answer your question since you dance around points like Fred Astaire performing on a fire ant mound. But then you know me too well. You know I will take the bait. I am very weak.I like facts. I don’t stick my head in the sand and ignore difficult things…or better, things that might be considered difficult if one’s mindset is locked into beliefs on minor points.I’ve always considered the whole age of the Earth argument on the hysterical side. What a lot of arguing about nothing. I’ll go back to the Genesis creation account again.I think Genesis…or at least the first half of it…is often anthropomorphic. As I said before, God “said” is itself kind of interesting. Funny thing is that I have brought the whole issue of God’s speaking prior to creation, but the literal crowd never wants to address it.This is not to say I have a problem with looking at the Creation account literally because I think the account communicates truth. I just don’t think it was meant literally and it is necessary to take it literally. The important truths in Genesis 1-2 is that God created the universe and it was good and that Man exercising his free will chose the path of self-determination and suffered the penalty of death. Throw in a few other nuggets and you have a good picture of the fundamentals of the Judeo-Christian worldview.As I said before, a lot of people looked at the Creation account and decided that Earth was clearly the center of the Universe. People were locked up and worse by Pharisaical types for suggesting otherwise. In my view God is revealing his creation to Man and it is an ongoing process.And yes, I believe Dinosaurs were real and lived a long time ago. I believe that there are clearly evolutionary processes at work in our world and that we still have a long ways to go to understand them. And I do not believe that those assertions are inconsistent with a God created universe.

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  31. That’s an interesting piece there, thought-provoking…. it certainly sounds like it’s talking about a dinosaur to me…..but didn’t Job happen AFTER the flood? I mean, there has to be other literature from around the world that’s as least as old as Job. Or is that the orgin of the dragon myths? Of course, if they died in the flood, no one would have lived to make a myth out of it. I’d like to see that commercial you are talking about. I’ve always thought to make a film there myself… the scenary is great…I lived there 2 years you know…. that’s my claim to fame that doesn’t impress women here at all….

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  32. Yoshi: “<>You know, the Bible would have a lot more readers if they would’ve had a few dino-stories….<>” Job 40: 15-2415 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. 19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. 20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. 21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. 22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. 23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. 24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares. Picture an elephant. Does he move his tail like a cedar? Does his nose pierce through snares? Do dinosaurs bones last through the ages? Kind of like (v.18) they are strong pieces of brass or bars of iron.Job is considered one of the earliest written books of the Bible.Speaking of Prague, did you view the Nissan 350Z DVD of blasting through the city wide open for over 8 minutes? They shut the city down 6 AM one Sunday to film the DVD advertisement to debut their 350Z. Awesome film. Beautiful place. Not a bad car either.Prof. Ricardo

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  33. I used to go to those Creationism seminars, yea, the one guy you see on TV sometimes (he was even on Ali G’s show!) He’s top dog in the world of Creationism.They told us about how the dinosaurs really blew out smoke like a certain beatle and that’s where the dragon myth came from. That was years ago when I believed anyone that appeared to have some self-confidence in what they were saying (incidently, I liked Rush Limbaugh then too, for the same reasons). I’ve since come to new conclusions and can now see the B.S. behind these kinds of people… the creation guy is a nice, sincere guy (unlike Rush), but I wouldn’t take him seriously…Even Pope John Paul 2 acknowleged a kind of evolution theory was possible and not contradictory to a Christian’s faith, and he was the leader of the Christian church. I assume the Prof. has just been too deeply engrained to be able to change at this point in his life, it would call into question everything, and frankly, that kind of stuff can make an older person lose it. Luckily I was only about 18 when I realized all the Virgin Mother Mary and Baby Jesus stuff was B.S. (Plus the LSD helped me re-program myself, I’d probably be saying ten rosaries a day if it weren’t for that stuff! Thank God for acid.)Imagine if you learned what you believed your whole life was B.S. at 40? And you spent your whole life believing it? You wouldn’t be able to change….That’s the same reason why a lot of these old folks have a hard time with letting go of the nationalist crap too.

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  34. Yoshi,Very cool going to Prague. I hear it is a great place to visit. The beer scene rocks as well.As to the Amsterdam package…I’ve got you covered. I’ll have some of my friends from the Dallas Police drop it by…they are going to be in your neighborhood anyway 😀Seriously though, enjoy. Someday maybe I’ll get to Europe…this lotto ticket in my pocket is feeling lucky!

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  35. My plane leaves at 3.40 pm. I will go to the World Youth Day in Koln and see the new Pope (I get a little financial backing if go, plus with all those young people there, about half being female, there is some real good odds of meeting some really good looking Croatian or maybe even American girl). I noticed though there is communism. The Prof. might want to know, that all us rich kids have to pitch in 10 bucks to a “solidarity fund.” That helps poor kids get a free ticket…..Those Red Commies….. where is the principles? I think we need to increase defense spending…..

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  36. C.G.: “<>How long do you think the dinosaurs were here?<>”Since the beginning of creation till they were extinct 🙂 – till about the time of the great flood. Kind of blows your mind doesn’t it? Evolution is so entrenched, that if somebody deviates from the “norm,” well, they’re a little nuts right? But you knew the old Prof. didn’t walk lock step with the crowd. So many lemmings – so few cliffs. 😉Prof. Ricardo

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  37. Just because Prof. doesn’t believe it doesn’t make it objectively true. We have the damn bones, for God’s sake. We also have the sub-human remains of man-like creatures. Unless God created this stuff with the appearance of a history, just to mess with our heads. With that sense of humor God has, I wouldn’t put it past him…You know, the Bible would have a lot more readers if they would’ve had a few dino-stories…. and not only that, we’d probably have believed its creation story more….. instead we read about the Israelites and how love take such joy in smashing infants heads against rocks for the common cause….

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  38. Common Good: “<>Prof said I got all of the premises wrong. Don’t think so…”<>Let us examine.“<>I know any creator that would create me without my permission,<>By definition, anything created does not give permission. This is an illogical statement. I could go into the definitions of the words and their nuances, but sorry, I got a life.“<>assign guilt of birth because of some Adam dude,<>Ever done anything you regret? Why? Why haven’t you been perfect? You sure have been picking the Christians, the religious right, the GOP, the anyone-that-opposes-socialism apart. It seems there is a common thread throughout mankind. Imperfection. We do things wrong even when we intend something right. You have evidenced it in your life. I know I have in mine. Anyone that assumes that the next child born is perfect is as crazy as a sewer rat. We are all fallen. We all, without exception, fail and fail regularly. That doesn’t mean we can’t do nice things, kind things. By why do such nice kind people have regrets, errors, mistakes, mean things they have done to others. I know how hurtful children can be in school. I was the brunt of some of it. Did their parents or schools train them to hurt people? No. It was inherent in their make up. If by some miracle “Adam” had not sinned, the very next person would have anyway. You and I did, and everyone else I know. Your all important free will demands your ability to reject intelligent and wise and kind decisions as well as the reverse. If their were ZERO original sin, do you think with free will you would not be outside of the will of God at any point in your life? Our humanness and wilful actions condemn us so that there is no need to blame Adam. Were you perfect from birth, you might have an argument here. As evidence for the world to see, you are without excuse on this point.“<>choose to communicate with me throughout the ages by creating a man and a translated bible,<>And this is bad? Did Egypt’s gods send their written word? Did the Greek and Roman gods send a real man to preach reconciliation and brotherly love? Did their gods demand human sacrifice or send their own son to be sacrificed for the people?<>and create a heaven or hell lottery based on how I follow the rules (has to be rules, or there wouldn’t be heaven vs hell consequences)<>#1 – lottery – an event or affair whose outcome is or seems to be determined by chance. If there is a consequence to an act of obedeince (ie following rultes) then it by definition is not a lottery. Bad use of the English language, or your misunderstanding, is clouding your mind. I am here to help.#2 – Let me help you here. The first rule is never, ever, ever, ever, ever sin OR you will go to hell. Next. Everyone sins so everyone is going to hell based upon chance (lottery)? No. Based upon actions. However, the caring God gave you a get-out-of-Hell-free card (as Tony put it). He made a way for hell bent man to go to paradise the other side of death, that natural and inevitable state that occurs to living organisms whether they believe in God or evolution or neither.“<>… is not a caring god.<>”Illogical conclusion based upon erroneous premises and understanding of the nature of man, the nature of God, and the nature of salvation. If you seek to understand, you WILL learn. If your mind is closed on the subject, then learning cannot take place. Your call.Prof. Ricardo

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  39. Believing and having faith can sometime be a little different, I have the faith to understand that we are carbon dateing these fossils at hundreds of millions of years ago for a reason, I do not know what that is, but I will know someday and that is good enough for me. Fossils fall into a category for me that states“We can carbon date to a certain point and be pretty sure of the answer, but for things that are dated for millions of years ago, even you are taking the “faith” that the system works that well.

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  40. $20.00 Sometimes we just need to be reminded! A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this. He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air. Well, he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air. My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE and WHOSE WE ARE. You are special- Don’t EVER forget it.” If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it can bring. Count your blessings, not your problems. And remember: amateurs built the ark .. professionals built the Titanic. If God brings you to it – He will bring you through it. Pass this message to 7 people except you and me. You will receive a miracle tomorrow.

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  41. Feel free to envy me. I couldn’t take the heat here in Texas (the temperature that is.) I also couldn’t handle a bunch of dysfunctional people in my family…. I needed a vacation.so I booked a ticket for tomorrow to Prague, the Czech Republic, to just “chill out” for the next two weeks. There I will ponder my life (paid for with credit card, of course), and come home hopefully refreshed. Tony, if you get a mysterious package from Amsterdam in about two weeks, don’t open it. Just drop it off in the bushes in front of my house when you get the chance. I’ll email the correct street address after I know the coast is clear….

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  42. Prof,<>But “fundamentally fallen creatures” means we are not only capable of sin, corruption, lying, hurting others, hatred, envy, and all sorts of evil, we are prone to it.<>It does not logically follow that humans are guilty of something at birth because their human nature is a bit lacking. You guys fight like crazy to get every conception squirted out on mother earth, and then immediately label them as <>guilty<> on arrival. Strange, really. I think some people really just need to beat themselves up. You guys aren’t into leather and whips are you? If I was a baby just squirting out into this world and was presented with Prof’s worldview, I think I would crawl back in…. you know, skip the heaven vs hell lottery. Babies are suppose to automatically win the lottery… why risk a sure eternal payout. 🙂

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  43. I went and played a round of golf… well 12 holes and then lightning. I thought you guys would have solved the meaning of life while I was gone. You just rehashed old theories. 🙂Tony,<>You describe how God can not be a caring God because of how he created you very well.<>Good try. Might want to try the reading thing again. Prof said I got all of the premises wrong. Don’t think so… just reciting the Christian rules as expressed. Prof… btw… do you believe the dinosaurs lived here for millions of years?Randy…. that’s point -> game -> set -> match. Looks like I don’t want you on the tennis court, OR in our family’s living room when a female member has to make decisions about her pregnancy. 🙂

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  44. You know, when people hit below the belt, you find yourself feeling like you must accomadate them. Next thing you know two people are fighting like animals. You become a monster to beat a monster…. in those cases I can imagine a devil, really working behind the scenes….. tempting you to just give in to anger, violence…. like the Emperor did to Luke Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi….It’s best just to try and remain logical and civilised, and not get pulled into it. Turn the other cheek, as it is said.

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  45. Yoshi,Well then, the only difference between you and I is that you are a much better person than me.The truth is that you and I don’t make the rules. For instance, if I made the rules, beating the crap out of stupid people would be a good thing. 😀

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  46. “If he didn’t create the universe out of nothing, then he’s second banana. What ever originated matter, THAT’s God.”-I’m not saying God didn’t do it. It did. No way Evolution makes perfect sense alone, there had to be a start, and there still has to be a way things actually “change” which must be supernatural. Evolution has some big holes for me that I can only fill with a God. I can certainly tell God exists because I can clearly see divine providence in my own life. I’m sure there is some point to this absurd, bizarre history we have. And maybe we can’t prove we evolve physically, but look down at your keyboard and tell me we don’t evolve culturally. Things, whatever it is you want for an example, seem to go from simple to more advanced…When I’m around animals, I can see the similarities so much it’s uncanny. I see my grandmother in the mother bird protecting the baby that fell early from the nest. And when I see people, fathers sitting with their little chubby kids at Wendy’s, I see just some apes with their baby apes, nourishing themselves in a post-modern bizarre world. (Go to WalMart to people watch if you really want to see this). I even feel the animal inside myself when I want to hit my uncle with that pan I was talking about. I have instincts that are distant and faint, but no question those animal instincts are there. I’m a human too, I feel I’m something special to God, beyond a mere animal. But no doubt, with enough childhood trauma, maybe being in a warzone, more testosterone, etc, that human part of my brain, the new part that separates us from being animals, could be broken through. That might be the fallen part you and Tony are talking about. Just the animal we came from not so long ago fighting the human. The flesh fighting our human spirt. “By that sin, death entered the picture.”The Africans have the same belief… coincidence? “Survival of the fittest, natural selection, and all that.”Certainly this is real. That’s what capitalism and trying to get a pretty girl will teach you. One hardly needs a textbook to learn this truism.As for Jesus’ death, after probably months of my life thinking about it, I still wouldn’t understand why his crucifixion would “save” me. I can accept it, for whatever that is worth. I can admit that I need forgiveness, and do my best to not sin (ie, turn away from sin.) But I still don’t have this inner feeling that is sufficient, by any means. And I don’t understand why Jesus would say, “Father, why have you forsaken me” if he was actually God in the sense we are taught he is. I mean, what does it really mean, “son of God?” I’ve read much of the Bible. I’ve also seen the dinosaurs at the museum. Interesting point you made about Jesus’ fish…. so basically the dinos never lived, but were kind of just put here as a decoration. That’s possible, I suppose. But I think God is a little more complicated, and I think It has a method to Its madness, not just arbitrariness. I also don’t believe that the Jews had a monopoly on God up until Jesus showed up. I don’t put much stock in the Old Testament other than a historical document for ancient Hebrews. Ever wonder why those Old Testament people, who Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadduces, were so WAY off course? Seems as though Jesus himself basically wrote off the Old Testament. And that’s why, as we saw in the Passion movie, they killed him. So these Old Testament Jewish folk are certainly fallible….If Jesus refered to Adam and such, of course Jesus was going to use examples that the people of that region understood in thier cultural context, b/c you can’t teach an old dog new tricks; if Jesus had been born in Greece he probably would’ve referred to Greek stories of orgin. After reading about these African religions, they are believe in a monotheistic God who created the world.It makes me wonder if Jesus is the son of this African GOD too. I mean, isn’t God the Creator God the Creator?

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  47. “But “fundamentally fallen creatures” means we are not only capable of sin, corruption, lying, hurting others, hatred, envy, and all sorts of evil, we are prone to it. Not just prone to it, but fundamentally geared that way. From the Christian perspective, it is man’s nature.”I disagree with this. I can assure you, there are people out there that give everything for others, no questions asked. Most mothers, for example. We all know this is true. Now men like us, with testosterone, yea, I admit, we might like to punch a guy out now and then, or steal, or tell a lie. But in NET terms, I’m more GOOD than EVIL. I may be FALLLEN on certain occasions (like today when I stole a cookie at Quizno’s b/c they were out of vinegar and oil chips after I’d already paid for them), but about 98% of the time I don’t give in to the dark side. Beleive me, sometimes I’d like to hit a certain uncle in the face with a frying pan, but I don’t. So I’m taking credit for that, because it is very hard for me to do the right thing sometimes, yet I do it. That doesn’t seem fallen to me. And as I said, many mothers are not “fallen,” unless you have the most loose definition of evil in the world. What about Mother Teresa? -she stole a taffy in the 1920s in Albania? Sorry, that’s not “fallen” to me.

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  48. Tony: Personally I think it is a difficult thing to admit to oneself that they are fundamentally fallen creatures.C’mon Good: “<>If one buys into the religious belief of guilt at birth the rest follows without difficulty.<>”Nice trump card. Cuts off the conversation, then you don’t have to deal with it. You immediately jump to <>original<> sin. But “fundamentally fallen creatures” means we are not only capable of sin, corruption, lying, hurting others, hatred, envy, and all sorts of evil, we are prone to it. Not just prone to it, but fundamentally geared that way. From the Christian perspective, it is man’s nature. No one had to teach a small innocent child to lie, steal cookies, disobedience, focus on themselves and their own needs, lust, tantrums, etc. It was quite natural. We are fundamentally fallen creatures. Without any reference to “guilt at birth” we are sinful creatures.“<>I don’t have to be perfect to be a good person.<>”Why would you be anything less than perfect? You’re not saying the life you have lived has evidenced the fact that you are fundamentally fallen too. Horrors.“<>I know I had no vote whether or not to be here.<>”I hate it when people do this, but I can’t pass it up here. Ready? WELL DUH! That’s how that reproduction process thingy works.“<>I know any creator that would create me without my permission, assign guilt of birth because of some Adam dude, choose to communicate with me throughout the ages by creating a man and a translated bible, and create a heaven or hell lottery based on how I follow the rules (has to be rules, or there wouldn’t be heaven vs hell consequences)… is not a caring god.<>”I agree. But then you got it all the premises wrong, so your conclusion that God is not caring is wrong.“<>If humans aren’t capable of understanding an infinite god, then doesn’t it seem pretty likely they are also not capable of picking the exact and exclusively right religion?<>”Unless there were only one God, the creator of the universe, the only real God, AND he revealed himself to man. Then if the true God revealed himself and man’s fundamentally fallen nature has him create religions all day long, it is incumbent upon the participants of Realityville to figure out if the sun-god, moon-god or Jehovah is the real God. The difference being similar to the real Cathrine Zeta-Jones compared to cardboard cut-outs of Phyllis Diller. But a perpetual state of self induced blindness is every bit as handicapping as real blindness. Don’t blame God for squinting so hard that you can’t see Him.Prof. Ricardo

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  49. Tony: Personally I think it is a difficult thing to admit to oneself that they are fundamentally fallen creatures.C’mon Good: “<>If one buys into the religious belief of guilt at birth the rest follows without difficulty.<>”Nice trump card. Cuts off the conversation, then you don’t have to deal with it. You immediately jump to <>original<> sin. But “fundamentally fallen creatures” means we are not only capable of sin, corruption, lying, hurting others, hatred, envy, and all sorts of evil, we are prone to it. Not just prone to it, but fundamentally geared that way. From the Christian perspective, it is man’s nature. No one had to teach a small innocent child to lie, steal cookies, disobedience, focus on themselves and their own needs, lust, tantrums, etc. It was quite natural. We are fundamentally fallen creatures. Without any reference to “guilt at birth” we are sinful creatures.“<>I don’t have to be perfect to be a good person.<>”Why would you be anything less than perfect? You’re not saying the life you have lived has evidenced the fact that you are fundamentally fallen too. Horrors.“<>I know I had no vote whether or not to be here.<>”I hate it when people do this, but I can’t pass it up here. Ready? WELL DUH! That’s how that reproduction process thingy works.“<>I know any creator that would create me without my permission, assign guilt of birth because of some Adam dude, choose to communicate with me throughout the ages by creating a man and a translated bible, and create a heaven or hell lottery based on how I follow the rules (has to be rules, or there wouldn’t be heaven vs hell consequences)… is not a caring god.<>”I agree. But then you got it all the premises wrong, so your conclusion that God is not caring is wrong.“<>If humans aren’t capable of understanding an infinite god, then doesn’t it seem pretty likely they are also not capable of picking the exact and exclusively right religion?<>”Unless there were only one God, the creator of the universe, the only real God, AND he revealed himself to man. Then if the true God revealed himself and man’s fundamentally fallen nature has him create religions all day long, it is incumbent upon the participants of Realityville to figure out if the sun-god, moon-god or Jehovah is the real God. The difference being similar to the real Cathrine Zeta-Jones compared to cardboard cut-outs of Phyllis Diller. But a perpetual state of self induced blindness is every bit as handicapping as real blindness. Don’t blame God for squinting so hard that you can’t see Him.Prof. Ricardo

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  50. CG,Not merging a religious belief, with the facts that a life starts at conception. There is no question even in your mind that something is started at this point. My reference to the 14th amendment was in reflection of a woman’s right to abort, and men have no equal right or footing in the decision, so in fact you are taking away 18 years of the posterity of a father to raise a child for nine months of discomfort to a woman. Even in your socialist world of equallity and less wealth gap it don’t add up. Even you can see that.And to that end even you can not stand on any foundation of woman’s rights to abortion! Set match point.

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  51. CG,Well, you attempt to disagree with my statement that it is difficult to admit one’s fallen condition by saying,<>”If one buys into the religious belief of guilt at birth the rest follows without difficulty.”<>You are close here to making my point for me. You do not agree that men are evil by nature. You believe this because of a belief in your own goodness. This is a very natural thing to believe.There is a chasm of understanding that separates the view of man as inherently good from the view of man as inherently bad. I wouldn’t try to say otherwise and I would agree that this is fundamental.I have observed two solid pieces of evidence for the proposition that man is inherently bad. The first is the world around me. It is difficult to look around me at the world and think any different. I certainly know many individuals that I don’t consider bad in the ordinary use of that word. But when I look at society overall it is pretty clear that things are rotten to the core.The other piece of evidence is an examination of my own heart. I tell you candidly that in moments of introspection I do not like what I see. But I do like what I am through Christ and for that I deserve no credit: if I had it my way, things would be quite different.On “rules”.According to Christian Orthodoxy there is only one rule: acceptance of the free gift of grace through the death of Jesus Christ by recognizing the need for forgiveness and choosing to turn away from the self-centered life. There is no other act of obedience that merits heaven. In my view it is not a lottery if the winning ticket is free and hand delivered to your doorstep.The notion of a works based faith where you have to do enough good to merit redemption is a scary notion indeed. I would share your misgivings about a world that works that way. I am grateful for not having that burden.You ask a great question when you said, <>”If humans aren’t capable of understanding an infinite god, then doesn’t it seem pretty likely they are also not capable of picking the exact and exclusively right religion?”<>The beauty of Christianity is that there isn’t a lot of doctrinal complexity to it in its pure Biblical form. I think the schisms within Christianity are great evidence that your point is exactly correct: it is very difficult for finite humans to be certain about everything that God is. But then, God made things pretty simple if you just listen. All the other stuff is just details.But I have a question for you.You describe how God can not be a caring God because of how he created you very well. I wonder if you were positing the existence of a caring God, how would you suggest he should have created you? How would it work?

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  52. Tony,<>Personally I think it is a difficult thing to admit to oneself that they are fundamentally fallen creatures.<>I don’t think the issue is one of difficulty at all. If one buys into the religious belief of <>guilt at birth<> the rest follows without difficulty. That belief naturally leads to an individual needing to define their imperfections. If the logic of Christianity doesn’t work for you, then it’s not a matter of admitting… but rather not accepting the premise. I personally don’t buy the <>guilt at birth<> concept. I think that type of belief system (and a belief in god for that matter) can be logically explained as a reaction by humans being born into a very tough existence. If life’s a bitch, folks are likely to invent an afterlife. I feel no need to reach some level of <>perfection<> as you suggest. I don’t have to be perfect to be a good person. I know the life I have led. I know I had no vote whether or not to be here. I know any creator that would create me without my permission, assign guilt of birth because of some Adam dude, choose to communicate with me throughout the ages by creating a man and a translated bible, and create a heaven or hell lottery based on how I follow the rules (has to be rules, or there wouldn’t be heaven vs hell consequences)… is not a caring god. It amazes me that Christians can jump past all of these issues and come out the other side believing in a caring god. I just refuse to believe in the type of god that Christianity defines. I think you are on to something when you say <>we just can’t know as humans<>. In my moments when I believe in a deity, I move that <>we just can’t know<> up the belief food change… i.e. wrapping up a belief in a deity into Christianity and the bible doesn’t work for me. If humans aren’t capable of understanding an infinite god, then doesn’t it seem pretty likely they are also not capable of picking the exact and exclusively right religion? Maybe there is a god… and maybe there is something after this life… but humans certainly will never decipher the rules while here. It just doesn’t seem like a subject one needs to dwell on past trying to be a good person while here, maybe throw in some good works or Dem votes :), and wait to see a light (or worm dirt) when you croke. Randy.. it seems your post answers the question for you.<>Section 1. All persons <>born<> or naturalized in the United States…<>It looks like one would have to ammend the constitution to change <>born<> to <>conception<>.Randy, you equate conception and living cells (pro-lifers call this life) with a human and rights. I do not. You are merging a religious belief argument into a constitution argument.

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  53. I slept like a baby last night. How could I not? Knowing our government is taking a strong arm stand against crime and quashing rebelling at its onset is such a relief. I mean, I feel safer for at least, what, three more weeks? That’s how much longer that wicked diabolical Martha Stewart has had her house arrest lengthened for going to Yoga class and, (children close your eyes) horseback riding. Oh, the humanity! But come September, its back to business as usual. Deadbolts on the linen closet at my house. I am ready for the crime surge when her ankle bracelet is taken off. Are you?Prof. Ricardo

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  54. CG,“I don’t know why you bother arguing abortion with me. I think a pregnancy is the mother’s call, not yours… end of story. The rest of the details don’t matter to me. You guys can pinpoint the definition of life if you must… I feel no need to do that.” I guess I am trying to get at why you do not feel the need. You spout off about all the social injustice and the RR and theocracy, and you don’t have the decency to allow all these feelings to carry over to the most innocent and unprotected segment of our civilization. You talk of women’s rights and you ignore the rights of babies. At conception a life begins, that is not refutable. Whether or not you put any value on that life is contrary to all the ranting you pour out here. You talk about the poor, the needy, progressive taxes, and the wealth gap, but you ignore the life gap, and the rights gaps that exist today. I am man enough to admit that I agree that the wealth gap is too heavy and growing in the wrong direction, I think progressive taxes are the right solution. I also believe that our tax codes are over the top and to monstrous for the average man, and that is where we should keep the level of understanding on taxes and the code. I think that a CEO’s wealth should be tied to his productivity and employee benefits, also how many people he employs and the lowest salary on the line. How that can be done is still quite a mystery to me, but I think that something fair and equitable can be established. The story you tell of women’s rights though is preposterous and outrageous. You want to give special rights to one segment of our society and fore go similar rights to all other portions. This is not what the 14th amendment is about.Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.There is no basis for anything relating to abortion in here. There is also nothing in here that states there is extraordinary protection for a certain segment of society based on race, sexual orientation, or gender. Where is it then that you and “your” party have determined to give unequal rights to women over men. Is it based on the years of oppression that they have endured, or is it something you feel is a right, because they are a “weaker” gender. And if this is the case, can it also be said that my rights as a man should be clearly stated that if a woman has the right to chose life or death for the infant, than I have the right to say that it is her choice to raise the child if she chooses life. See the problem here is abortion is wrong on too many fronts for it to continue for much longer. The Democratic party is using it as a hold out for a segment of society that it can manipulate into voting for them. Yes the Reps do similar things with big business, but as we have seen, Reps took and handed over Clinton recession and turned it around, not only that, but after Sept 11th also. This was quite a feat, and Al Gore could not have done it as well. There may be some Dems (like you) that actually feel the things you do for the people you feel for, and think that Dems are on your side. They are however, not it is all smoke and mirrors. Very similar to the Reps. I choose Republican, because they can not only protect me, protect the infants, but keep the country rolling without catering to everyone out there with a gripe.

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  55. Yoshi: <>C’mon…. I think they whole God created the world through evolution makes much more sense.<>Then you loose consistency. The creation model is consistent and rational. The evolution model is inconsistent and irrational. Do you believe in eternal matter? Where did it originate? Was God a late comer on the matter scene and tried to change what was already here? Or did he speak the universe into existence like he said he did, matter from nothing? Which is the more impressive “God-like” characteristic? If he didn’t create the universe out of nothing, then he’s second banana. What ever originated matter, THAT’s God. Take the earliest known evolutionary moment. What happened before then, where did it come from and who caused it? After you answer that, then back up and ask the same question again. Repeat as necessary to find the real God.Secondly, God says by Adam sin entered the earth. By that sin, death entered the picture. But by evolution, death has always existed. Survival of the fittest, natural selection, and all that. Because man sinned, we needed to be reconciled with God through a sacrifice. The perfect sacrifice was, of course, Jesus. But if death has always existed and there was no first Adam, then Jesus death was unnecessary. The inconsistencies pile up and we build a man made neutered god that cannot create. If He wasn’t able to get the job done in the past, what makes us think he’ll create the new heaven and the new earth that he promised?Do you believe any of the miracles of the Gospels? Feeding of the 5000? He fed them with fish. Those fish were interesting. They never swam in water. The were created mature, fully functional, with an appearance of history they never had. That’s what he fed the 5000 with. That’s how he created the earth: mature, fully functional, with an appearance of history it never had. He did so well, the scientist that reject <>Him<> have created a whole new religion that has deified His creation and the method of its existence apart from its true creator.When I say I know Yoshitownsend, if I say he’s a nine year old girl that lives in a small town in Arizona, talks with a lisp and likes Barbie dolls, Do I really know Yoshitownsend? If I say I know God, say I trust in Him for my salvation, but reject His attributes (creator, merciful, compassionate, just), do I really know him and trust him?There are many blind men in ditches giving directions in this world. Everyone of them wants you to take directions from them. Some look like professors, some bloggers, some naive or hurt relatives, some scientist. The only true God has written a letter to his people. It might behoove you to go to the source rather than listen to the blind men in the ditch. One has a prefect track record of predicting history, the other dismal. Its worth your time to figure out which is which. The ROI for this effort is off the charts.Prof. Ricardo

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  56. CG and Yoshi,I think you have a few misunderstandings about Christianity. Indulge me a little explanation.First, in my view there is no Biblical warrant to suggest that someone who has not heard the message of Jesus is under an automatic penalty of damnation to Hell. Undoubtedly some people believe that, but I think it is very hard to support based on the Bible. I’m all ears if either of you want to make the case that this is what the Bible teaches.Second, on the whole notion of “rule following”: the good news is that there are no hard fast rules as to behavior that merits salvation. In fact, the whole basis of Christianity is that salvation is <>not merited<> by good deeds. You can not be good enough to earn the get out of hell free card.The reason is that it is a “free” card. The classic example is the thief on the cross next to Jesus who was saved through faith as he hung there dying. It is actually a beautiful thing if clearly understood.The doctrines of works, such as that advanced by CG’s hero Benjamin Franklin, inevitably lead to self-damnation. As one matures, one realizes their imperfection and shortcomings. When you finally understand that you come up short on the good-ometer, there is not much to turn to. Lets say I’m 40 and have raised hell all my life. How many years of good does it take to mitigate 40 years of bad?Such a calculus is a terrible burden to be under. If you do not feel that inadequacy in the effort to be “good”, then either you are insensitive to the standard of goodness, or clearly a much better person than I.Personally I think it is a difficult thing to admit to oneself that they are fundamentally fallen creatures. It is easy enough to see that in others, but hard to see that in oneself. I would not be harsh to someone claiming their own goodness or that goodness of their Mothers. This is a most natural, albeit dangerous and unrealistic, thing to believe.

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  57. Prof,That is kind of funny. I had a conversation about unfairness in life with my six-year-old Son tonight. Innocence is a beautiful thing.I’m sure your Daughter will get the “right” perspective though. 😀

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  58. <>On the Creation/Evolution thing<>I view the Bible as God’s revealed truth to Man. I believe it is infallible and should be taken literally where the language is clearly meant as literal. Thus, I believe in Adam and Eve, the flood and much of what is easier to write off as legendary or allegorical. But, I’m also a fairly well educated person and my wife of twenty-one years is a molecular biologist. Reconciling this matter is of significant importance to me and my family.This is where we find ourselves on the matter. God gave us reason and intends for us to use it. As time has marched on, we continue to learn more about our universe and as we learn more, our thinking on God’s revelation grows with that learning. Few now deny that the Earth orbits the Sun, but educated and faithful men of another age felt passionately about the Earth being the proper Biblical center of the universe. We came to understand that maybe the perceived clarity on the point was an error and we learned how to reconcile the new learning with our faith without stretching or twisting faith or reason.I believe that faith will be completely reconciled with reason when God restores Creation to its as-created Goodness. Our inability to perform that reconciliation now reflects our limitations as men. As our knowledge continues to accumulate, we will perhaps reconcile more of this gap than what we have managed thus far.I for one have a real difficulty understanding people who are so certain that they understand even the act of creation when we do not even have a firm handle on our own human ability to create. How can any of us be so certain that we understand what creation means as applied to an infinite God? Clearly, God spoke to us at times in abstract ways such as when he “spoke” creation into existence. But “speaking” is itself anthropomorphism not to mention a physical phenomenon of a created universe: God is doing his best to help us grasp his enormity.Our weak ability to grasp the act and fact of creation is nowhere more evident than in the discussion of the old Earth v. young Earth arguments. It is pretty apparent to me that the God who <>created time<> and the other dimensions could probably handle creating a universe that not only appears old, but actually <>is<> old. I’m not saying that is what I believe, but rather pointing to the possibility. We could spend a lot of time being troubled over such things in a spiritual sense, but I find that effort somewhat lacking in utility.Similarly, I think such a God as this might create men through evolution, or that he might not. If one really opens their mind to the best of our limited ability as to what such a God might be, it is enormously humbling. I may know that I am created in God’s image, but does that mean God has lungs and a poor sense of humor? I think not. I think we are the best facsimile he could fit into four dimensions much like the artist who tries to render three dimensional perspective on a two dimensional canvas. I am strongly influenced in this regard by the engaging book < HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/048627263X/qid=1090270456/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/103-3290900-1918247" REL="nofollow">Flatland<>.I am not troubled at our inability to understand how God’s truth is hard at times to reconcile with our experience using our limited minds. Instead, it is better to spend our energy trying to more fully understand God and better understanding his creation.My faith is that God will sort it out in his time-not mine.

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  59. Transcript of earlier tonight…<>Daughter:<> Yes, Daddy?<>Dad:<> I’ve got your tax return ready for you to sign.<>Daughter:<> What?<>Dad:<> Your tax return. I filled it out for you. Here’s where we reported…<>Daughter:<> Taxes?<>Dad:<> Well, you don’t actually owe any taxes, but we have to report your income.<>Daughter:<> To the President?<>Dad:<> No, no. Well, actually, the federal government, yes, but not the president. He’s too busy to look at your return.<>Daughter:<> The federal government wants to know how much I make?<>Dad:<> Yes.<>Daughter:<> But its none of their business.<>Dad:<> I know. It used to be un-Constitutional. They had to pass an amendment to be able…<>Daughter:<> Do they know my account number?<>Dad:<> No, honey. They…uh…actually they do. You see, when you earn interest…<>Daughter:<> They know my accounts and they want to know how much I make. Its none of their business.<>Dad:<> I know. But we have to. Just sign on page 2.Isn’t it amazing that the mind jaded with having to report every nuance of financial information over decades does not experience the outrage of government intrusion that the uninitiated feel. Injustice is like that. Soon enough, divulging personal financial information that would be rude to request in social circles will become old hat to her. After a few years, trained just like us, she’ll divulge her social security number on que, she’ll spend countless hours tracking income and expenses, and jumping through the deduction hoop like the rest of us. Arf, arf. Grrrrrrrrr.Prof. Ricardo

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  60. Hey! I meant, I will marry another (woman, of course!).But we can just come to a mutual agreement that we are “married” instead of having some little boy- touching priest go over the whole ceremony for us. As for gays, give them the tax break and the party, and let’s just call it “Civil Union.” In five years everyone will just call it marriage anyway…. I mean, who do we think we are kidding? A Rose by any other name is still a rose, right?Put some honey in the poison and they’ll never even taste it… mwa ha ha ha!!!

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  61. Yoshi,<>I’ll just marry myself with my own authority, thank you very much.<>PLEASE… I’m begging here… DO NOT tell us about your honeymoon night … with yourself. We get it. ;(<>So, where I’m heading with this is, I sincerely, whole-heartedly would not worship a God that would send my grandmother to Hell on account of the fact she is naive. I’d burn in hell first, and I’d rather burn in Hell with my grandmother than be in Heaven with all the lotto-winners that guessed it right.<>Yep. I’m not much interested in belonging to a club which would leave out good people either… much less fry good people in hell for eternity because they didn’t get the rules right. That can’t be the truth. If it is, everyone on the planet should drop the expression “a caring god” immediately, and just go with the “god fearing” stuff. btw… scratch what I just said about Carlson. He just said he really likes Santorum. That’s it for me… he is guilty by association.

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  62. Yoshi,<>I think they whole God created the world through evolution makes much more sense.<>Yeah, I’ve never viewed evolution as something to hold up as proof that god doesn’t exist. Obviously a god could use any technique in his/her miracle repertoire… i.e. the timeline was certainly under god’s discretion. That said, those that just think the dinosaur millions of years thing is a myth …. well, I won’t complete that thought. 🙂Yoshi… there is one conservative on cable that I have started to like a <>little<>… Tucker Carlson. Yeah… he’s a flaming libertarian, but other than that bow tie thing, I like his debating style.

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  63. IMHO, marriage is a state of mind. Why do I need some priest or preacher (whose church was just created three weeks ago, btw) to legitimize my “marriage?”First we’d have to assume these people even have some kind of authority which they don’t have. In the same sense it seems like I know more than nearly every professor I’ve had, I’ve also seemed to know more than most religious leaders I’ve come across. So why would I need their endorsement? I think marriage is just a remnant of a common ancient tradition…..Aside from the tax break status and the big party your father-in-law pays for, what’s the point?I’ll just marry myself with my own authority, thank you very much.I’m reading this book now on anthropology of Africa. Bizarre stuff. But what is so strange is how similar they are to us, though they seem so primitive. The Africans talk to their dead parents, and have conduits to the spirit world. However, if anyone looked at the link I put up a few days ago, the one my grandma is into, where Jesus and “Rosa Mystika” (aka Virgin Mary) appear to a “visionary” and get “messages,” you really have a hard time distinguishing which is more ridiculously primitive….< HREF="http://www.holylove.org/index2.htm" REL="nofollow"> “Holy Love Ministries” <>And this leads me to my next point. I now completely understand my grandmother has entered complete la-la land and there is no coming back. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so the axiom goes. Now, many Christians would say this “conduit” stuff was against the Bible in some way or another, and I’d agree. However, they’d go on further to imply that she was “going to Hell” because she didn’t “get it right” with her God-given inferior intellect. (I know how stupid this all sounds, but I’m pressing on anyway. This is not my forte.)So, where I’m heading with this is, I sincerely, whole-heartedly would not worship a God that would send my grandmother to Hell on account of the fact she is naive. I’d burn in hell first, and I’d rather burn in Hell with my grandmother than be in Heaven with all the lotto-winners that guessed it right.And if anyone says that “ignorance is a good excuse,” well then, that opens the door to let everyone in…. even those African tribal believers.

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  64. Prof,<>For the first time in months I feel good about the war. I’d never seen it from that perspective before.<>Hey, I just got my political cover for claiming we have already lost the war in Iraq. O’Reilly just pretty much said the same thing. I still don’t know if we could have won Iraq or not… but I do know Rumsfeld’s bet/experiment/ego gymnastics of doing this on the cheap with a smaller force cost us dearly. He had experienced military men tell him otherwise… and that wasn’t good enough for him. Appearances are so deceiving… I really use to enjoy his news conferences in the early days after the initial Iraq invasion. I disagree with accepting anyone other than the smartest among us for presidents. We get cheerleaders standing in front of props their marketing geeks setup. We get puppets run by corporate america. We should be electing the village elder… the wisest in both IQ and experience. We can find a better president than these from almost any major university… a Prof if you will. 🙂I don’t think the culture war or any collapse of morality is much of an issue in 2005. I think it’s insignificant compared to racism, stresses from globalization, and a growing gap between the have’s and the have not’s. Like John Stewart told Santorum the other day on his show: how can anyone say with a straight face that the 1800’s without gay marriage and slavery was better than 2005 without slavery and some gay marriage? It’s a <>chicken little the culture is falling<> red herring. We aren’t going to immoral ourselves out of existence… but we sure could greed and intolerant ourselves out of existence. It’s the reason some feel compelled to slap <>compassionate<> in front of conservatism. In their minds, if not their hearts, conservatives know we can’t avoid being involved in and participating in the plight of our economic losers. Even if one doesn’t come to that conclusion based on conscience or morality, they will come to it out of necessity. You ignore or isolate have nots long enough, you live with crime statistics… and some will not accept your tough love rules and will show up at your doorstep some night to get your stuff. Hang on to the compassionateless conservatism if you must, but buy sturdy parimeter fencing for your home. This is the way I look at it. If I have a choice of being worth $100 million in a society where 25% are poor, or being worth $50 million where poverty and crime rates are almost nil… I know which way I would go… being rich without having to look over your shoulder.

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  65. I’m not saying I agree with Common Good on everything, but one thing I can say is that it TOTALLY changes my perspective on the Prof. when he indicates he believes in the literal Biblical story of creation. C’mon…. I think they whole God created the world through evolution makes much more sense. You’ll even find that in the Catholic Cathecism.

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  66. Common Good: <>And here is the most important thing… I wouldn’t set tax policy based on what Prof thinks is fair, or too much tax. I would set it based on common good/government service needs … and then collect for it in a progressive fashion.<>Since income, that is, reward for effort, is the life blood of every economy, let us rephrase your statement and see if the model is valid.<>I wouldn’t set blood donation volume based on what the donor thinks is fair, or too much. I would set it based on need of the patient and his common good needs … and then collect for it in a progressive fashion.<>Obviously, a donor of blood has the choice to walk out. A taxed citizen does not. If only the <> taxing entity<> is consulted, what restraint does he have? Taxation w/o representation. The last elections that begat the tax cut were our representatives. The taxes go up, the taxes go down. Don’t worry, your boy (or girl HRC) will get in there someday and blissful tax hell will come upon us to satisfy even the most tax hungry souls out there.<>Before Shrub, Afghanistan was a mother ship, and Iraq was satellite operations. Post-Shrub… reverse it.<>Actually, the way you put that makes the war on terror seem like a success. Afghanistan #1, now neutralized. We’re now making our way through the satellite operations. Thanks. For the first time in months I feel good about the war. I’d never seen it from that perspective before. 🙂<>Absolute truth belief systems are by definition intolerant.<>Are you absolutely sure about that? You wouldn’t be getting judgmental and intolerant of Christians, theocracy, Bush, the Iraq war, wealthy millionaires, …, …, …, …, …, …, …<>Santorum just wrote a book on his holy roller god-like ability to tell the rest of us how we should live<>I know, doesn’t that bite. He needs to leave <>that<> to government. Which coincidentally is made up of equally obnoxious, greedy, intolerant, and fallible men. Kinda makes you want to put some limitations on those kind of people. Like a non-living Constitution that means what it says. Like a limit to how much they can tax. Etc.<>Where was the original intent that gays shall not be entitled to marriage rights.<>You often point to the “common good,” the consensus of what was right. Because every one, thousands of years ago, was well aware of how boy parts fit girl parts. They saw their animals mating, in fact the bred them for different purposes. They, thousands of years ago, were also privy to <>their<> history. Their history showed, as does ours today, that as society deteriorates morally, people start to steal, litter, not care, become selfish – this degradation also happened in the area of sexuality. I doubt you can find a place or time in history where a lapse in morals in society did not manifest itself in the area of sexuality. Additionally, I doubt you can find a significant increase in homosexuality without a commensurate leap in other deviant sex. These people thousands of years ago understood what apparently escapes people today, that the wholesome institution of marriage is DEFINED as the joining of ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN. BY DEFINITION, get it? 🙂 By definition a rock is not a tree, paper is not steel, emotion is not scissors. Words have meaning and by history across ALL continents, ALL countries, ALL races, ALL religions have defined marriage as between men and women. A remedial study of anatomy and a dictionary can help you with this one. 😀<>The squabbling about prayer in school really isn’t about “the kids”.<>This is readily solved by those bound for heaven and those bound for hell. Get government out of schools. Then you can pray all day to God, Allah, bananas, Mr. Clean, whatever. You can have all calculus all the time, 18 hours of literature a day, or have 3 hour classes or 15 minute classes. Right now, there is not individuality between schools (forget the football mascot). It’s like going to a Mormon church anywhere on the planet – their teaching the same thing at the same time. Conformity. No school can advance because he’d have to drag all the other schools with him. Control and conformity. They are all <>very<> equal – equally bad. Get government out and ANY child can have ANY education their parents want them to have. The sky is the limit. But once again, to you, its not the results, not the needy, it’s the method. Prayer in school is not a Christian issue. It’s a government issue. It’s a parent issue. Right now the government has the money, the kids, the control and the parents don’t. It’s a government/parent issue. Ditto evolution, sex ed, kids getting abortion w/o parents knowledge, etc.<>Christians are seeking special status rights in our nation. <>If Christians could marry same sex and non-Christians could not, THAT would be special rights. But if Christians and non-Christians cannot both marry same sex, THAT is not special rights. THE CHRISTIANS ARE FORBIDDEN THE SAME “RIGHT!” Homosexuals can marry. Like heterosexuals and Christians, they must marry somebody of the opposite sex.<>Prof: 1) don’t you feel more intelligent than our current president<>I don’t know where I rank w/regard to him.<>2) doesn’t that bother you that that can happen in a country of 300 million people?<>No. We don’t elect the most intelligent people. The most intelligent are in cubicles, running businesses, developing software, teaching at universities, blogging on The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon ( :-D. Not necessarily running in political races. Politicians may posses non-intellectual characteristics that we demand. Say ethics, morals, the ability to keep his zipper up in the oval office. You may have a list characteristics you demand as well.Prof. Ricardo

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  67. Randy,I don’t know why you bother arguing abortion with me. I think a pregnancy is the mother’s call, not yours… end of story. The rest of the details don’t matter to me. You guys can pinpoint the definition of life if you must… I feel no need to do that. You said: <>marraige is, has and should always be a man and a woman that chose to start a family and do it morally. End of context. You can not rebute that.<>Yeah, you and Santorum have nominated yourselves to define marriage for everyone else. You bet I can rebute that (isn’t that rebut or refute :). I’m married… I didn’t do it for kids. My wife and two mutts are a family. Santorum told me marriage wasn’t to confirm the love between two people. Man… he knows so much and wasn’t even there in Lake Tahoe when I married my wife. I’m going to have to break it to my wife we shouldn’t have any marriage rights, and we certainly did not confirm our love when we got married. I get a kick out of people who believe in God and therefore think they all of a sudden have the ability to act like a god… maybe some form of 10 commandment envy or something.

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  68. “women’s reproductive rights… is MAJOR stuff.”You are not talking about the right to reproduce CG, you are talking about the right to end a life, that no-one else in this country has a right to. When do we extend that right to fathers that are forced to support that child after a mother decides that the support income outweighs the discomfort of childbirth. They are out there. You talk about rights, but you have not even begun to talk about the rights of innocent children that can not even cry, and are murdered every day in this country. You talk about rights of the financially challenged and the rights of ‘gay marraige’, but there are those that are challenged to take their first breath and you do not speak of that in a favorable light. Gay marraige for what, marraige is, has and should always be a man and a woman that chose to start a family and do it morally. End of context. You can not rebute that. You talk about the RR gay bashing, but gay bashing would be going back to the 60’s when they were found living together and the house was burned down. We have not reduced their rights in this land of the “too” free and the “I want mines”. It is all a bunch of hog wash and you can not logically defend it, unless you spout of the same old rhetoric of those leaders you chose to follow, looking for votes from any special interest that will join you band wagon.

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  69. Randy,I have been down for a long time. All I have left with my buddy Prof is a little Ropa-Dobe. I never land a blow… even if I did, he wouldn’t know it. 🙂Now Prof,Taxes… should be progressive (very) based on net income. Assets… I may make upper income rate adjustments based on an individual net assets… i.e. dude that just earned his first million would probably pay less than the dude that just earned his 100th $million. My tax policy would nourish and water the saplings, but expect much from the mature trees. I wouldn’t have blanket Shrub-style tax breaks to so-called stimulate the economy. If I was giving economy tax stimulating breaks… it would not be blanket breaks by income category. I would tie it specifically to job creations… i.e. x $tax break per job creation. Assets… the place assets would come into play for me would be safety-nets/common good insurance. Social Security would become an old age insurance policy… those who hit the economic lottery during their lifetime need not (and would not) collect old age Social Security payments. And here is the most important thing… I wouldn’t set tax policy based on what Prof thinks is fair, or too much tax. I would set it based on common good/government service needs … and then collect for it in a progressive fashion. I think the way you conservatives start from “what’s fair for you” is about as greedy and self-centered as it can get. The cost of a decent society is taxes. In the US, we have incredibly weatly people still complaining about thier tax rates… there has to be some kind of special hell for that type of self-entitlement worship. What else do you want to know about my tax policy… I’m here to help.Iraq… Prof, you aren’t reading the dice very well. Of course their are Al Qaeda types all over the globe, but what’s your point. There is a difference between satellite operations and the mother ship. Before Shrub, Afghanistan was a mother ship, and Iraq was satellite operations. Post-Shrub… reverse it. Let me type this real slow for you Prof… WE ALREADY LOST IRAQ, and our nation will suffer bigtime for it. We would have been MUCH, MUCH better off not doing Iraq, than doing it this poorly. I heard some lady call in to C-Span this morning telling someone they were un-American or un-patriotic because they said something similar. Funny how some people call facing reality un-American. Agree with there uneducated view of reality, or you are un-American. Mass stupids.Pluralism… Christians just can’t stand the fact others now live here. I’m for eveyone speaking English, but not everyone speaking Christian. Get it? I’m for profiling, not for Christianity given a special faction status in the Courthouse. Get it? US Christianity tolerant…. pleaseeeee!!!! Absolute truth belief systems are by definition intolerant.Gay bashing… in our nation, we have holy rollers (Santorum just wrote a book on his holy roller god-like ability to tell the rest of us how we should live) deciding they have the right to define special rights for themselves, and deny them for others who do not belong to their faction. Prof, you claim to be well educated on our Constitution. Were was the original intent that <>gays shall not be entitled to marriage rights<>. Talk about constitution activism… pure and simple. Hey, I live in one of the Red states where the holy rollers slid in a <>no gay marriage for you<> addition to the ballot… AND IT WORKED. Mass, superstitious intolerant stupids. The monkeys are more scared of the sweet ladies next door not bothering a soul then they are of family poverty, lack of healthcare, terrorism, etc. Very strange prioritization.Theocracy… the dream is alive and well. There is no better method of self-reinforcement of one’s belief system than to force everyone else to live under it. The squabbling about prayer in school really isn’t about “the kids”. It’s about parents needing to reinforce their beliefs by forcing it on others… that simple really. Quiz: 1) Is the US a Christian nation or a nation where the majority are Christian? Bonus question: Based on the answer to #1, should the Christian faction be given any rights in the US that non-Christians are not given?Universal Health Care success: Don’t remember your quoted response, but yeah… if everyone is covered at some acceptable level of medical care, and Capitalism is still cranking along.. then it sounds like success. What’s your point?Science… evolution. Intelligent design… not science. I really don’t care if we quit teaching evolution in school… my life would be the same whether I was taught that or not. I’m just not willing to play the stupid games of calling Intelligent design a science. Parent’s have the right to argue to remove sensitive subjects from public schools, but they should not have the right to force religion into a pluralistic school system. Again, Christians are seeking special status rights in our nation. We can define our nation and our constitution anyway we want… but it requires constitution ammendments for the major stuff. Christianity getting special rights, christianity getting to define marriage rights and women’s reproductive rights… is MAJOR stuff. If that’s what we want to be … theocracy or theocracy-lite… then get on with the ammendment process.The RR is picking these fights, not folks like me. I think we can all get along just fine as long as no faction tries to own this country, or gets special faction rights. Psuedo-equal rights doesn’t work for me. btw… Prof: 1) don’t you feel more intelligent than our current president 2) doesn’t that bother you that that can happen in a country of 300 million people. You make fun of Gore (so do I), but he did have the IQ for the job.

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  70. Common Good,<>Wrong way: give millionaires a $100,000+ tax break at a time of war.<>Is that millionaires by way of income, or millionaires by way of assets? Define your terms. In the early 1950’s tax rates were as high as 94% and it was during the Korean war. Should <>they<> have received a “tax break?” Come clean C.G.. What is the maximum income you want somebody to earn? What is the greatest assets/net assets you want somebody to possess? Don’t shy away from the challenge. Think of it as helping you being understood, as us knowing the real you, as making your statement have meaning this side of reality. 🙂<>Wrong way: turned Iraq into breeding ground for terrorism (wasn’t before the war)… and lied the nation into this disaster.<>No dice. The connections already existed. The corruption was in place to allow it. The greed existed there (as it does in so many other nations) to allow it to happen. The Al Queda are in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Florida, Mexico, Chetchnia, probably border states like Texas, Arizona, California and about 1-2 dozen more places I can find on a quick Google search. But the one thing you’re absolutely sure of is, they weren’t in Iraq. I didn’t know the place was such a blessed oasis of rest from terrorist like the rest of the world. I guess blogs are educational after all.<>Wrong influence: intolerance against pluralism, gay bashing, mind-numbing quest for theocracy, merging of Christianity and Nationalism, refusal to help the poor if a hint of collectivism, superstition before science, etc.<>Are you by chance a college professor? It is exactly the tolerance of the Christian right that has allowed America to destroy itself. Pluralism! Good grief. Pluralism is the offspring of political correctness movement. PC demands that we frisk one-legged white wheelchair bound grandmothers at airports when everyone knows its young Arab men we are to be concerned with. We’re becoming a bilingual nation. You can’t call a government office, scan your debit card, or shop at Home Depot without having to now answer the question: Spanish or English? The result is better integration? Heck no. We are developing sub-cultures of hyphenated -Americans that are concerned with ME, ME, ME. Melting pot? Forget that brother. Pluralism dumped that pot over into the bar ditch. “Gay bashing?” I’ve never seen such accommodation in my life. If I walked down the street buck naked carrying a manhole cover sized condom in my hands I would be (rightfully) arrested on the spot. But take the politically protected group of homosexuals, call it Gay Pride day and WaLa! The world is afraid to speak of it. It is abnormal, against nature, and is unhealthy for those that practice it. However, just like the King’s new clothes, we are forbidden to speak of it.“Quest for theocracy?” It used to be every state had a requirement to believe in God for the governorship, and many to be Christians. Gone. Major universities were began by Christians to propagate the Gospel. They don’t even know how to spell it. Prayer was gone in ‘63, the Bible in ‘65. The Ten Commandments have fallen. Secular government is teaching our children absent any mention of God. In God We Trust and the mention of God in the pledge of Allegiance are soon to be censored. The Bible is going the way of the Dodo bird in the courtrooms, where people can now swear on a Captain Crunch box. The religious community is becoming obsessed with weak paraphrase versions of the Bible… And C.G. is worried about a theocracy. That somebody might actually believe and act the other 6 days of the week what they profess on Sunday. Uh, I’m not licensed to practice this, but I think I know neurosis and paranoia when I see it. 😀“Refusal to help the poor if a hint of collectivism?” You are confusing refusing to help collectivism with the refusal to help the poor…and that doesn’t speak well for what you think of the poor. Remember what I asked you months ago about Universal Health Insurance? How would you know if it’s a success? You said if it exists, it’s a success. The program is more important than the needy. Please reevaluate.“Superstition before science?” I assume this in relation to creation vs the hypothesis and religion of evolution. Another product of that world view you don’t have. Another day…Prof. Ricardo

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  71. Prof,<>You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice some economic growth than Let Bush stimulate the economy in the wrong way.<>Wrong way: give millionaires a $100,000+ tax break at a time of war.<>You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice some lives to terrorism than let Bush fight terrorism in the wrong way.<>Wrong way: turned Iraq into breeding ground for terrorism (wasn’t before the war)… and lied the nation into this disaster.<>You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice some souls than let the religious right have influence outside of their own homes in the wrong way.<>Wrong influence: intolerance against pluralism, gay bashing, mind-numbing quest for theocracy, merging of Christianity and Nationalism, refusal to help the poor if a hint of collectivism, superstition before science, etc.You get the idea… 🙂

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  72. Algorezeera debuted Monday. Did any of you catch it? Their web site is http://www.current.tv/. In the first 24 hours they covered: the search for human egg donors; how to commit suicide by throwing yourself in front of a train; and the positive side of prostitution and pimping. This is intellectual stuff. You can be proud of Al Gore’s accomplishments with this one. Just about brings a tear to my eye.BWAAAAHAAAHAAA……Oh goodness…..life is getting better by the minute.Prof. Ricardo

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  73. C.G. :<>You really get the idea sometimes that Prof would rather sacrifice some lives then provide charity in the wrong way.<>You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice some economic growth than Let Bush stimulate the economy in the <>wrong way<>.You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice some lives to terrorism than let Bush fight terrorism in the <>wrong way<>.You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice some souls than let the religious right have influence outside of their own homes in the <>wrong way<>.You really get the idea sometimes that Common Good would rather sacrifice …You get the idea.You sure get worked up in a lather over stuff being done the wrong way. Me thinks thou ears not hear what thou mouth spew. But that can’t be. The atheists tell me all the hypocrites are in Church. Yet, there you are. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  74. “My question is what happens to oil demand if a nation like China wakes up one day and goes cold turkey off of coal?”My guess is OUR gas prices go up higher, Americans start walking more and losing weight, and we still get cheap stuff at WalMart ’cause the Chinese are still making it. Plus there is a space-race to create a more viable form of energy for us to use.

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  75. I recently watched a Nova episode on China. The gist of the show was that China is now at a very critical juncture with their economic expansion. For the last 20 years the economic growth in China has been really cranking, but they did it at the expense of relying bigtime on burning coal. Beijing has what looks like constant fog… but it isn’t fog… it’s very severe polution. Civilizations seem to go in cycles. At first, at high levels of poverty, issues like the environment are not on the citizen’s radar. As their standard of living goes up, the citizens start having enviromental demands. Supposedly, scientists have already measured polution from China blowing into the Northwest US. China’s major industry appears to be the steel business. Until recently, all steel manufacturing was dependent on coal. In recognition that this can’t go on forever, China (the government) mandated the largest steel manufacturer to start converting itself off of coal. My question is what happens to oil demand if a nation like China wakes up one day and goes cold turkey off of coal? And yes, Yoshi. Prof finds just as much absolution in his economic beleifs as he does with his religious beliefs. You really get the idea sometimes that Prof would rather sacrifice some lives then provide charity in the <>wrong way<>. I think the either/or line of arguments is kind of a waste of time. Of course countries and societies have to become self-sufficient… AND of course the US needs to use some of it’s wealth to help feed those who aren’t self-sufficent yet. It’s not an either or… it’s a BOTH. You know how absolutist types are… the process and the worldview has to come first. 🙂

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  76. Thanks for the kewpie doll…I only need them to confirm to myself my point is pretty solid and understood. By the way, did anyone see my “central tenet of Christianity post?” The lightbulb for that one came on while I was sitting over the toilet…I’ll have to brush up on the depression-era stuff. The point is still valid. The depression came unexpectedly, and the hard-working people of America just got hit. So there was somewhat of a market failure. Keynes wrote something about it being quite possible and normal for things never to truly recover on their own… I forget the details however…As for the locusts, I was reading some African literature which takes place in the 19th century, and indeed they ate them. When the locusts came, which happened once in a generation, they ran around catching them in pots and then later roasted them…. no kidding… we could ship some of Emerald’s Kicked-Up tomato paste over there, subsidized by the US govt. Prof has stock in that company, B&G Foods, so he’s got a vested interest in seeing this happen.

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  77. Yoshi: <> “But every now and then a crop failure happens because large biblical swarms of bugs comes once a generation, and eats everything in site.”<>Maybe we should export DDT. That stuff worked great.“<>However, I personally suggest that they eat those damn locusts. Full of protein…. and I imagine even culturally acceptable…<>”Or maybe we could send < HREF="http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_em" REL="nofollow">Emeril <> over to show them various ways to cook the locusts. Could end up being an export crop. 🙂Prof. Ricardo

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  78. Yoshi,I need to spend more time learning on those topics as well. The oil picture is especially complex. I used to have half of a handle on that, but the world has since changed considerably.I don’t necessarily agree with you that the great depression “was not going to end anytime soon”. There is a lot of data to suggest that the US Economy was climbing out of the depression at the onset of the war. I think almost everybody agrees that the war was a huge boost and catapulted America ahead. So it is really a matter of degree in what you believe. Part of the reason I see it this way is talking with my Grandparents and people of that generation tends to support that things were much better by 1939. I think this is reflected in FDR’s incredible popularity with those that actually rode that period out.Of course that leads to the next question as to whether FDR’s policies were responsible, or whether it was the natural progression of the business cycles. I tend to believe it was some of both. FDR’s policies produced positive consumer sentiment and got things moving again. But I think it is pretty clear that the depression was ending prior to the War.Give you a kewpie doll and I don’t even get a thank you. With friends like this…

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  79. The people of Niger, not to be confused with the people of Nigeria (who incidentally have loads of oil which oil firms bribe the leaders to steal the profits from the people of the country), are probably pastoral people in some part, subsistance farmers in another part. Land-locked desert country. I assume they produce food. I’d bet on it. But every now and then a crop failure happens because large biblical swarms of bugs comes once a generation, and eats everything in site. Or at least they eat whatever is left after the drought comes. However, I personally suggest that they eat those damn locusts. Full of protein…. and I imagine even culturally acceptable…I was thinking that the Prof. is basically right in his concepts of economics. But he is using them in a static world, where the complex realities of life aren’t interfering and interacting with each other…. Europe right after World War 2 was facing massive starvation itself. We barely averted a worldwide communist takeover through the Marshall Plan. We in the USA were spared because the war stayed off our continent, and no other reason but that. In fact, ironically, the war SAVED our butts from an unprecedented depression that was not going to end anytime soon. Sometimes life throws a curve ball… the trick is to deal with each one with the information we already have, the lessons learned, and realize there is no one size fits all approach in such a complex world.My new interest is going to be China and India, international finance, and as well, monetarism. These are the topics I want to learn about now….There was a great article about China in the latest Economist magazine, “how China runs the world economy.” I highly recommend it. For example, I learned the reason the oil prices haven’t caused inflation is because it isn’t because of a reduction in supply, just increased demand on the Asian side. Plus, their cheap products have helped hold prices down for us here. Plus they have a huge impact on the yeilds on treasury bonds…. affecting our crediting power and fueling the rise housing prices….all things I really need to learn much more about….

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  80. Yoshi,I don’t do grades. But I can offer you this kewpie doll if it helps::-)–||–< I would say, however, that there is a grain of truth in the notion that Nigerians should get busy producing food. The grain however is not individual willingness, but structural issues that are barriers to adequate food production. It strikes me that these are the very kinds of situations where First World assistance is most likely to be productive.It is all to easy from the comfort of our Western lifestyles to assume that individual character is the sole determinant of material achievement. While individual character is in my view a prerequisite, there are many other factors that figure into the picture. We love to hold up the colonists as paragons of virtue who bequeathed to us the Protestant Work Ethic, and indeed, that is an essential legacy for which we should be grateful. But we tend to forget the failure and starvation of the early settlers the preceded their obtaining technical assistance from indigenous Americans. Was their starvation just a matter of weak character? Or was perhaps a few things out of their control?

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  81. Prof,read that weeks ago. Thanks though. The guy may have an incentive to make a name for himself, but he doesn’t seem that brilliant. He does say something I deeply agree with, something I thought I’ve made clear, that INTERNAL barriers to African trade must come down. Of course, and no less important, they should also remove barriers to trade with the rest of the world (which is happening slowly but surely thanks to people like me who are joining the ONE Campaign).But the guy says something pretty stupid concerning Niger.“We don’t have any excuses in Africa. We can’t blame nature. We have to tell our leadership to open up and get people producing food.”Oh really? Nature can’t be blamed. Last time I checked, a locust plague was nature. So was a drought. And so was the desert Niger is located in. Unless someone comes up with a real cheap way to desalinize sea water and have pipelines running into Niger, there are going to be some geographical difficulties to overcome. Tony, give me a check mark if that is a sufficient answer.

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  82. First, I had an epiphany last night. Remember when I said the central tenet to Christianity was that we are all equal in God’s eyes? I was right (as usual). In Judaism, God was for the Jews. Only for Jews, they were the chosen ones. By CONTRAST, in Christianity, all are equal in the eyes of God. Check mate.

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  83. Prof,Interesting link. Though the material therein says nothing about whether we should be helping or not. Rather it goes directly to the important point that we should not just dump money in the laps of incompetent institutions.I have called often for increased US largess, but never once for just writing blank checks. I think we should not spend a thin dime not calculated to be of benefit. This is why I suggested a serious study of the matter instead of the open check concept which we saw happen in the aftermath of the Christmas Tsunami.At the risk of redundancy, I would point out that virtually every aid organization has stories along these lines. I will not name it, but a Christian aid organization I am familiar with unwittingly led to a lot of disruption because of the distortions the availability of money caused. Bottom line is that this says zip, zero, nyet, nada about whether we SHOULD render assistance.I could go on, but I think my point is pretty obvious: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But that doesn’t make good intentions or acts of decency a bad thing.

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  84. Yoshi,This just in…< HREF="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050730/ap_on_re_af/why_africa_goes_hungry&printer=1;_ylt=AkxKXb1KjApJw6z29wQ.9QsV6w8F;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-" REL="nofollow">Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine <>By TODD PITMAN, Associated Press WriterSat Jul 30, 7:41 PM ET In Niger, a desert country twice the size of Texas, most of the 11 million people live on a dollar a day. Forty percent of children are underfed, and one out of four dies before turning 5. And that’s when things are normal. Throw in a plague of locusts, and a familiar spectacle emerges: skeletal babies, distended bellies, people too famished to brush the flies from their faces.To the aid workers charged with saving the dying, the immediate challenge is to raise relief money and get supplies to the stricken areas. They leave it to the economists and politicians to come up with a lasting remedy. One such economist is James Shikwati. He blames foreign aid.“When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more,” said the Kenya-based director of the Inter Region Economic Network, an African think tank.“They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change.”Moving the aid can be nightmare in itself. Africa’s good roads are few, and often pass through the front lines of civil wars. But Shikwati notes an additional problem: Even African countries that have food to spare can’t easily share it because tariffs on agricultural products within sub-Saharan Africa average as high as 33 percent, compared with 12 percent on similar products imported from Europe.“It doesn’t make sense when they can’t even allow their neighbors to feed them. They have to wait for others in Europe or Asia to help,” he said. “We don’t have any excuses in Africa. We can’t blame nature. We have to tell our leadership to open up and get people producing food.”…..See the link for the balance of the article.Prof. Ricardo

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  85. Tom,Well, I think the <>Brown<> court had a lot of law to lean on. Its been over a decade and I don’t remember its exact reasoning, but Equal Protection comes to mind as do various reconstruction era federal statutes.The <>Brown<> error in my view is taking the next step and telling the legislature <>how<> the legislature should approach setting things right. What the Court should have done was to rule the system unconstitutional under equal protection. Then they could’ve enjoined the opening of the schools pending a redress of the issues by the legislature. This would have forced the legislature to act and potentially a better solution obtained.It is this kind of judicial over-reaching to which I will continuously object. And my objection has nothing to do with the substance of the decision. I totally support the integration of the schools. But, I believe in the rule of law and the separation of powers. The courts are not institutionally competent to decide what the law should be. Traynor and Warren are the mortal enemies of sound jurisprudence. And “are” is the correct verb because their error and dangerous thinking have poisoned the minds of jurist and citizens alike.

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  86. Yes — <>Brown<> was the huge initial mistake —because racist Democrats (like Bryd) were filibustering more enforcement.At least Brown had the 14th Ammendment. Roe has nada.Abortion and gay civil union/ marriage and all sexuality should be laws of the states, not the feds.

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  87. I am thankful every day I don’t have a worldview. It seems to cause you guys much turmoil. Tony, now I know how you killed that first family gerbil. Jeeze… tough way for a gerbil to check out.

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  88. CG,Wow. CG is saved again by my “no delete” policy.I won’t revisit the old worldview definition discussion from which you seem to have gained <>NOTHING<> and as a result of, for some strange reason, you still seem to object to the rather simple and ordinary definition intended by the rest of the world. Your penchant for insisting on a private definition of words that are totally out of touch with the rest of the world’s usage is truly an amazing thing to behold.I’m not suggesting you meet the rest of the world any farther than halfway. But please, have it YOUR way, as you seem to insist you must.One comment does, most unfortunately, naturally flow from your little list. It strikes me that a gerbil up my rectum would indeed be an easier thing to endure than cramming the Democratic party into my voting plans were I a liberal.

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  89. “<>If you think about it, worldviews are much like …..<>”OK, OK, we get the picture.As much as it has been handed you in a sippy-cup, let’s back up even further so that you know what a “worldview” is.A worldview is a model. You may have put this model together through experience or someone may have told you about it. It helps us make sense of the world around us. To steal an example from a book I read. Suppose you sleep walk and wake up in the dark. You can barely see, but you make out the outline of the refrigerator in front of you. You reach out and touch it and confirm that is what it is. You now know you are in the kitchen and make your way back to bed.Because you have created a model in your head of where things are in your house, in your life, you were able to recognize where you were. You compared your model to the data and if it is accurate it will reliably inform you and guide you.I have a Christian Worldview model. When I see a fossil, I see a fossilization caused by catastrophe, the Great Flood in Genesis. When I hold it up to my model, it does not contradict. My model is complete enough to explain this phenomena.Other people have a model of evolution. When they see a fossil, the compare it to their model and they have an explanation of where it fits in some sequence of events. I assume their comparison of their model finds no contradictions.Our worldview is merely a model to help us understand our world around us. You may think you don’t have one, but you do. So does your pet. It may be constructed totally of your own experiences or a unique blend of portions of other models that seem to work for you. If you wish to argue the validity of a particular worldview or model, fine. But, alluding to your analogy, don’t poo-poo the concept of worldviews. 😉Prof. Ricardo

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  90. If you think about it, worldviews are much like assholes:1) no two are exactly the same2) both facilitate the production of shit3) neither should be put on display in public4) both are sometimes involved in homosexual matters5) when brought out into the light of day, they really can stink6) a preoccupation with either is kind of…. you knew this was coming… anal.7) forcing items into them that aren’t a good fit causes discomfort and strifeI will try and think of more examples.

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  91. CG,I’m not sure if there was a point in your Ying-Yang humor attempt or not.Part of what I would emphasize is that the shift in modern thinking away from antithesis and toward dialectic was for the broad masses and entirely unconscious one. This is why we are seeing the breakdown in social cohesiveness today: people are thinking in new ways that they themselves have not assimilated into an organized worldview.Not that things were peachy-keen before the shift either. For the majority of people, a worldview was something they inherited. And in general, they inherited several millennia of accumulated wisdom that had been tested by the trials of the ages.The Shift has the effect of unraveling all of this. When one has no reference point for Truth, it is hard to even state a positive position on the most simple of matters. Society is left with vague notions of utilitarian principals and a profound lack of direction.Here is where I give the Christian Right a bit of credit. As wrong-headed as they may be on politics, at least they do attempt to claim the existence of Truth. For all their error and misapprehension of things of both time and eternity, they have not entirely scuttled the ship of reason. (Some have, but that is another post.)Which is not to say that all those frothing radicals are reasonable people. Like other large groups, most have not thought things through. Generally they have a pretty scant notion of the philosophical chasm that separates them from others and perhaps separates their own internal contradictions.Still, it is good that <>somebody<> believes in Truth.Ironically your attempt at humor pulls in a hint of eastern mysticism. While eastern philosophy is varied and diverse, dialectic thinking is perhaps a bit more compatible with that outlook. There you have it: a dangerous generalization that people can properly call me on the carpet for.But if Ying is taken to be Western notions of antithesis and an objective knowable universe, and Yang the modern notion of dialectic and subjective reality you might almost have a point. Indeed, that is the shift we have made. But I would point out that the Ying was not found wanting so much as it was found inconvenient or uncomfortable. Yang is the easy road. The road of acceptance and warm fuzzies. I’m OK-You’re OK.And when you understand that reality, then it is pretty clear what a great fit Ying is for our rich and lazy society. Someone who doesn’t even lift their own garage door is less likely to want to undertake anything difficult whether that be physical, intellectual or spiritual.And this my friend is a sorry state of affairs indeed.

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  92. Tony,<>Interestingly, the idiocy that grips our political process dates to the time when the tradition of antithesis was broadly replaced by the modern notion of synthesis in intellectual circles.<>Yes, and at the same time the Ying theory was found wanting, and was replaced by the Yang.Those poor, poor intellectual circles. What’s the prerequisites to join a circle?Stay tuned for more government software module development news. Soon to be released: SmartCongressUtilityModule (SCUM).

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  93. Prof,Well, I’m glad to see we are in pretty good agreement on these points. But something must be wrong in the universe if someone is agreeing with me. I may need to re-evaluate my position.Actually, I don’t. I spent a lot of time and energy developing my opinion on this topic. It is pretty clear that anything a court does other than determine facts and apply the law is problematic on many levels. And I continue to be amused by folk such as CG that are so certain that they see positive or negative political results as the logical result of sound jurisprudence. The reality is that if you take the politics out of the judicial process, we all win in the long run.

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  94. CG,Your leap to the extreme that believing that Courts should not make law is the same as believing the Supreme Court could be replaced by software, is every bit as ludicrous as the Strict Constructionist notion itself. There is nearly a millennia of English common law that tells us otherwise.Discussing the extremist positions really isn’t that useful. The notion that the Constitution is a “living document” or that all wrongs can be righted through the dogma of “strict construction” is a bit like discussion political philosophy constrained by the idea that Monarchy and Marxist Communism are the only two possible organizing principals. The discussion is worthless and I for one will ignore it like I do all the other Blue v. Red drivel that gets passed off as real debate.There is plenty of sound jurisprudence to be observed and analyzed by those that have a genuine interest rather than a partisan objective. Pick up any Federal Reporter dated prior to 1960 and you will find a cornucopia of good sound judicial reasoning. Of course things were not universally wonderful then either, but the standards were pretty clear and judges and lawmakers had a pretty clear idea of what the business was that they were about.Interestingly, the idiocy that grips our political process dates to the time when the tradition of antithesis was broadly replaced by the modern notion of synthesis in intellectual circles. It is no accident that thinking in all disciplines has become hopelessly muddled ever since.

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  95. C.Good wrote:“I think resorting to the personal responsibility mantra when discussing universal healthcare is intellectually lazy.” Look, people aren’t that incompetant. The brain is like any other part of your body, if you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s one of those truisms that I didn’t make up. That’s why rich kids are generally smarter than poor ones- their parents invest more in their development, give them more to read, etc. Their brains get exercised….I believe you get some educated people out there, they can handle themselves. That’s something the government can spend more money on (as opposed to the private sector). And in India and China, those little kids are doing exactly what our kids should be doing. Like the rabbit and the tortoise (we are the rabbit), those people are going to pass us up in our complacency. All I’m saying is, if you are going to have healthcare for everyone, you can’t have people showing up at the doctor for a dandruff problem when all they have to do is instead call and talk to the pharmacist for a minute. There obviously has to be a filtering system.“Yoshi, your major rant here is about Africa. Do you see the private sector solving Africa, or even acting like they care?” Well, the private sector, ultimately, will have most of the solving in Africa. Their own private sector… tourism, agriculture, industry, etc.The pre-conditions have to be met first… fair trade conditions, transportation infrastructure, maybe some subsidized technology and science to counter some built in geographical problems, but after that the bird will have to eventually leave the nest….or we need to put some birth control in their water supply….Incidentally, one of the reasons Africa is so screwed up is because of the massive public sector. Everyone had jobs given by the government, with no work to do (and no real pay either). There were ten people working at the post office to get you a stamp out of a drawer. They nationalized all the industries and ran them into the ground. Those people in Africa by no means want to live off hand-outs from us for the rest of their lives…. they’ve got pride too… believe it or not. I’m all for bringing down the costs of healthcare, or anything for that matter. But the question is, is universal healthcare actually a solution that would work? How does it work in other countries that have tried it? I’d have to see some more info on them…. is it just an illusion of something that works, like the little pig’s straw house? Or is it solid like the other pig’s brick house?sorry for changing the subject… from other blog post….

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  96. CommonGood Fakenews Associated PressFriday, July 29, 2016; 11:59 PMIn a 51-49 vote on the Senate floor, with Vice President Pat Robertson casting the deciding vote for the Republicans, the Supreme Court was replaced with a software application (StrictConstrustionistWare … SCW). SCW had been under development in India during the previous Republican Jeb Bush administration. This is the way the SCW works: A request to have a case heard by SCW is entered via web screens. Many standarized templates are available depending on the type of case request. SCW processes the request and comes back with one of two answers: 1) that’s frickin unconstitutional, don’t ask for this again 2) That is unknowable from the constitution. The second response will require input from the Senate. The Senate may either direct SCW to add this to the “the states will always decide this however they want to from now on” list, OR the Senate can decide it’s a federal matter, in which case SCW puts it on the “wonder when you lazy elected types will ever get around to making the law that you refused to let the Supreme Court deal with before” list. Pat Robertson was heard saying “the constitution has always been an absolute truth”, and it’s a wonderful day that we are able to take the human element out of our laws and turn this over too dedicated hardware and software.

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  97. Tony,“<>I want to be sure I understand your point before I respond.<>”I agree with your point and was just adding to it.Social justice within the legal institutions would be applying the law equally as it is written as long as it does not transgress God’s laws. Application of the law evenly to all is just.However, someone with a “social agenda,” that is, someone with a list or plan to accomplish before they ever hear a case is likely to step beyond their authority, not for real justice (applying the law equally), but in achieving their agenda. My error in my statement above is probably the inaccurate description of “unpopular.” If C.G. is correct and 65% want Roe v. Wade, then I guess you could call that popular. “Unpopular stands” are ones that could not be accomplished with legislation in the way legislation is meant to be passed. A social agenda of unpopular stands is a prescription for judicial abuse in our legal instutuions.Prof. Ricardo

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  98. Prof,What did you mean exactly when you said, “Social agenda is not, if you’re taking unpopular stands.”?I want to be sure I understand your point before I respond.

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  99. CG,If you think that the Supreme Court is competent to implement social justice solutions, I have some land in Florida I need to talk to you about.You are typical of what I’m talking about when I discuss the error. Yes, you are all happy when the Court makes decisions that go your way. But guess what, that won’t always be the case. Revisit the Peyote case if you doubt me. And if you ask a bunch of people about the social justice of that, they will tell you they made the right decision on that rationale.Courts should apply law to facts. While there is some interpretation inherent to the process, it isn’t the open-ended free-for-all you suggest or which the court seems to practice.I have a feeling that when the court’s view on Social Justice is one where abortion is unjust and homosexual union immoral, then you might develop a different view on what a court should or should not do.

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  100. Tony: “<>Social Justice is possible without tearing our legal institutions apart.<>”Social agenda is not, if you’re taking unpopular stands.“<>Liberty can be protected without shredding our Constitution.<>But control cannot.Common,“<>It’s kind of silly to tell the American public (65% of which don’t want Roe overturned)..<>.” And 89% are government educated. Somebody on previous blogs coined a phrase. I believe it was “mass stupids.” Are you willing to restrict them to 35% or expand them to 65%? As you have pointed out, just because a bunch of misinformed people agree on something doesn’t mean its best. Hey! If 65% want Roe v Wade, why not appease the Constitutionalists by getting rid of Rv.W, and use your superior numbers to have fetalcide legalized in all 50 states? 65% is nearly a super majority. It would be a piece of cake for those in the blood-sport business.“<>…that’s it’s out of bounds to know if the dude’s plans include overturning Roe vs Wade.<>”I want to know too. Course he can’t do anything till a case makes its way to the Supremes and is accepted AND 4 others on the court feel that it could be overturned. I would hope that he would promise to overturn ALL unconstitutional errors previously made. C.G., there is a body in government meant to make law, that is Congress. It must cross the desk of the executive branch. The judiciary has a role and its not being an unelected new legislative branch, regardless of how necessary that may be to achieve Utopia in some people’s eyes.Prof. Ricardo

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  101. <>led to the popular error that the courts are competent to be agents of social change<>I absolutey want the Supreme court of the land to be in the <>social justice game<>. It’s really a dumb debate, because they will always be involved in social justice because laws and our constitution (and life) are gray. If it was otherwise, we could could replace the Supreme Court with good software (probably outsourced to India).The <>judicial activism rant<> is just something made up to sell to the mass stupids. Also, if I’m a Senator voting on the confirmation, I ABSOLUTELY want to know if the dude is planning on overturning Roe vs Wade. It’s kind of silly to tell the American public (65% of which don’t want Roe overturned) that’s it’s out of bounds to know if the dude’s plans include overturning Roe vs Wade. Go ahead, try and convince the public they have no right to know that. The Senators, even the Dems give that lip service, but I’m not buying it.

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