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Everything posted by oldsalt

  1. Ideological Reeducation

    While I rightly admire our founders, and those who preceded them who raised Europe out of the Middle Ages, I would say that they did this in spite of their religious beliefs. I have no admiration for Christianity, but I do admire some Christians for specific actions. Being a Christian qua Christian guarantees nothing about the individual, neither good nor evil. People are people, and act accordingly. My sweet Grandmother went to the Church of Christ every Sunday, then opened the neighborhood tavern she owned for over 50 years. Church was one thing, a ringing cash register another. She saw no contradiction; "God helps them who helps themselves" leaves a lot of room for action. I think what is important to remember is that men can accomplish remarkable things depending on the level of their reason. Unfortunately, they can sabotage their own efforts by not understanding fully what it means to reason (especially when that reason is attacked at its root, the way it was by Kant). That is our history and the context in which we fight.
  2. Ideological Reeducation

    Yes, I am aware of this and have been for a while. You are have it at Annapolis because you have it at the University of Delaware. As the article says: "This technique has been implemented across the land in our universities...." As I said, the military, including its academies, are a mirror of the society they serve. Both are a serious problem and both require the same remedy.
  3. Ideological Reeducation

    The scandals have been rampant since the sexes were mixed, as I stated above. No service can allow this and maintain discipline. It most certainly does pose a more serious problem during a time of war. Just this last week, a young man shot and killed a female soldier who wasn't interested in him, along with another female who was with her. He then turned his gun on himself. The problem becomes more serious when the sexes are mixed in a war zone, where everyone is walking around armed to the teeth. I can tell you from my own first-hand knowledge that it causes problems. I was one of a handful of females in a war zone (back in the dark ages when nurses were about the only females allowed in a war zone). My family exploded in a fury when I told them I was enlisting, and it wasn't because I would be the only officer in a family of white hats. It was that the reputation of female military personnel was next to that of a change-for-a-quarter whore. My own experience was that this was mostly wishful thinking, but I had to contend with it nonetheless. Just in case you aren't aware, sailors drinking and carousing isn't something new. There was a time when it was almost mandatory.
  4. Ideological Reeducation

    As someone raised in the Navy, and served myself, I don't have to take a look, I've lived it and am fully aware of the history. But you missed my point completely. You see these facts and see a theocracy. I see these facts and see history. I used the viros as an analogy for a reason. These people seem to wake up in a new world every day. Events that have a long history are seen as new evidence to bolster their belief in man-made global warming, ignoring the history. You see what is happening at Annapolis and you see a theocracy, ignoring the history. You cannot simply erase the fact that this country was founded by the faithful, whether they were Deists, or Puritans, or Quakers, or any of the other myriad sects. Our founding documents were based on Enlightenment ideas, but they were often couched in religious terms. Read your Locke. Religion is a part of the whole of human history, with only very brief moments of respect for reason. Kant rules the whole of Western Civilization. We are living with the consequences of the prevailing philosophies, religious and otherwise. Surprise! It is obviously dangerous. But to focus one's attention on the religion, while ignoring everything else, takes one out of the full context of what is happening in this country. Please understand, Rick, that I do not minimize the enormity of the problems we face as we struggle to bring a new Renaissance. But it is a problem that has always plagued mankind. It has always taken an enormous amount of effort to drag humanity into the light of reason, and has seldom been accomplished. Seeing the problems does not make me run in circles shouting that the sky is falling, but impels me to take what positive steps I can take to make what change I can. I take courage from the fact that a very small number of men, with very flawed ideas, managed to bring about the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution within a religious culture that burned them at the stake.
  5. Ideological Reeducation

    It isn't just decades, but throughout the history of the Naval Academy. Yes, the military academies teach this, as well as self-sacrifice. And they are supported by tax money. But you cannot conflate the structure of a military academy with any other university. These people are in the military. They operate under military rules. Their standards of behavior would be considered draconian by almost any freshman entering any university. That the rules are stricter during a time of war isn't anything new either. There are valid reasons behind these rules. There are a lot of problems mixing the sexes in the military. They aren't talked about because the PC atmosphere is such that anyone who brings it up, especially within the hearing of civilians, are vilified as sexist throwbacks. The military mirrors the society from which it is drawn. To call any of this a "theocracy" is to ignore the entire history and tradition of the military--not just the Navy. To me, your example is like that of the viros who are saying that the California fires are caused by global warming, while they ignore the entire context, including the nature of the geography, the weather patterns at this time of year, the nature of the topography and vegetation--and the laws and regulations governing land use. To say that the motto and wartime restrictions constitute a theocracy is to ignore the facts in furtherance of a belief. It is not an argument one way or another. The point Scott made about those who ignore the "treatment" is important. Just because someone is taught a particular thing doesn't mean they suddenly join the Borg, regardless of the aspirations of the teachers. Even those who may try on a philosophy or two usually settle on an eclectic collection of whatever suits them. The crying shame of it is that they end up trying on philosophies instead of learning how to think about and choose one at the place designated for the job.
  6. Ideological Reeducation

    Scott, it looks like we were posting at the same time. And came to two different conclusions. I didn't read that partiular comment, though I read most of the piece. I was taking consolation from the person who told the RA to mind his own business. The RAs sound like brownshirt trainees.
  7. Ideological Reeducation

    While I agree with this, I would point out that you are comparing private and public universities. If a private school makes its rules known, then no one has any complaint to make about them, no matter how loathsome they are. The University of Delaware, however, is a state school supported by tax money. It is disturbing enough to read this tripe, but even more so to realize that it hasn't been met with a resounding and emphatic "no!" from those subjected to it.
  8. Ideological Reeducation

    May I ask what is your University?
  9. The Ayn Rand Lexicon is now Online

    I received notice of this the other day and have been having a wonderful time visiting the site. YAY!
  10. Mystics of muscle? Or mind?

    As usual, I had a terrible problem knowing where to post this article from TimesOnline. It ought to go in the "Jokes" thread, but unfortunately it's no joke. Doesn't this level of competence earn them wheelbarrows full of money from the part of the world that doesn't govern by magic?
  11. The Religious Left

    I know we aren't supposed to do this, but ! I'd go for something more substantive, but Ed said it all, and quite nicely, too.
  12. The Religious Left

    Well, gee, who are we going to vote for now to keep the theocracy at bay? (Sorry, but my level of disgust is high tonight.) I noted the Left's use of religion in the last election, and stated then that god forbid they overtly use the altruism that unites socialists and the faithful. Of course, as the article points out, they've been doing that since the middle of the 19th century. Surprise! The Left, for all its denial of God, is no bulwark against religion. How have these facts been left out of the equation? A personal anecdote follows; you've been warned! When I was 15, I took my first Great Books class. It was my introduction to the world of ideas, and it was love at first sight. I absorbed each assignment like a sponge, and I was always ready for the discussion. Our teacher, Miss R., was a dried up spinster who usually taught journalism. She was also a good Christian of the Baptist persuasion (the relevance of this will become evident below). She would invariably begin the discussion with me, because she knew that I would be prepared, thoughtful and eager. About half-way through, we read, in succession, The Communist Manefesto, and The Gospel According to John. Her instructions for the discussion of John was that we would talk about it as though it were any other philosophical treatise and we would not go into the religious aspect. In all innocence, I took her at her word. Part of it was the juxtaposition of the two, but taking the Gospel of John out of the realm of the sacred was a revelation (I beg your pardon). My first question was: If we are supposed to be Christians, why weren't we Communists, since communism was Christianity applied to politics? Miss R. turned purple, sputtered a few incoherent sounds, and promptly left the room. She didn't return for the rest of the hour. The class was thrilled to suddenly have a free hour. I sat there bewildered and wondering what I had said. Miss R. did not call on me for the rest of the semester. My grade went from an A to a D with no explanation. It wasn't until I read Ayn Rand that I understood what I had asked--and why Miss R. dared not try to form an answer.
  13. According to the article, she has conferred with every loser who ever did their bit for the "peace process." Or is it the "road to peace?" Or whatever it is they're calling it for the next 5 minutes. From the article: And after that she is going to personally terraform Mars. Perhaps there is some form of swamp gas that deforms the brain cells of all who enter Foggy Bottom.
  14. Moral Dilemmas

    From the sound of your two threads dealing with this professor, I would suggest that if you do not already own a copy of Phil Oliver's The Objectivism Research CD-ROM, you ought to invest in one. Many of the answers to the kind of things that will be thrown at you will be found there.
  15. Happy Birthday to RayK

    Happy Birthday to one of my favorite Marines--a favorite because he always exercises his mind, as well as his body. Semper Fi, Marine.
  16. My world is burning

    Betsy, I haven't seen any report from you. Everything A OK?
  17. My world is burning

    Oh the environmentalists and politicians are as positive these fires are a sign of global warming as they were about Katrina. In my very brief survey of the web this afternoon, I did see that Harry Reid made a sound bite to that effect. I don't have a link. My time is limited and ... well, I just don't care. I've other things to see to. Let's just say that the viros are just one more group using the fires to push their agenda, just like the rest of the parasites who are climbing out from under the rocks to use this gift of disaster and misery. (Is there an emoticon for spitting? They make me want to spit.) Thanks to all of you who have been concerned for the welfare of those who live here. Thankfully, I've never been in any danger. Go 4 TLI has had to face much more than I.
  18. My world is burning

    Those who have seen to this county during the worst of the crisis are now shoved aside so that the national and international press can leech off of the disaster. Where before, the press concentrated on the practical requirements of people relying on them for information, we now are blessed with state and federal officials patting themselves on the back (having demoted those responsible for a well-run plan to introducers of important persons) for such acts as having one man responsible for one area, write one of those "I absolve you of responsibility" letters to someone responsible for another area, in order to do an end-run around regulations that came from . . . blank out. Since it is the government, authority to issue such a dispensation isn't an issue. While Katrina whirls about the head of every state and federal official, as well as around the press, notice that no one draws the essential differences between that crisis and So. CA. While they point to the wealth of so many of the victims here, they won't mention that wealth has turned chaos to a manageable situation, and is necessary to maintain life and property in a complex society. Nor will they accept any responsibility for the ideals they live by, which turned a large segment of a city's population into dependents who were incapable of providing even a day's provisions for themselves, but thought nothing of sticking it to the Man by stealing his wealth sans a government middleman. We are fine. I am proud of my city and the people in it. When dealing with issues that properly belong to a city government, they've shown themselves to be competent and effective.
  19. My world is burning

    Betsy, that is about how it looks around here. You stay safe.
  20. My world is burning

    Thank you all for your concern. We are in no danger here, since we are on the coast, on the water. If the fire were to reach us, we'd just let go the lines and head out to sea. We do have several families that have come to their boats after being evacuated. We know that one family has definitely lost their beautiful home. The worst we are suffering comes from breathing the smoke-polluted air. A mild on-shore breeze would normally help, but so much of the smoke has been pushed out to sea that all it is doing is pushing it back on us. The air and the ash is all we are enduring, and that is nothing compared to those who are losing their homes and possessions. I must reiterate my admiration for those whose job it is to fight this conflagration, and those who have the responsibility involved in the crisis. By the way, there have been no rapes or murders at the stadium. I blame Bush.
  21. The Humanitarian with the Guillotine

    As Homer would say, it's funny 'cause it's true (even if metaphorically).
  22. The Humanitarian with the Guillotine

    She makes some important points. I like these two quotes in particular: A brilliant aphorism.
  23. My world is burning

    Drat. How I completely missed that incomplete sentence, I don't know. The fires are jumping the roads. Sorry about that.
  24. Founders College Psychology Program

    Good. You may be a semi-regular poster, but that doesn't lessen your value.
  25. Arab political cartoons

    Here are some interesting cartoons from various Arab states, translated by Memri: On terrorism. On women. Most of these are pretty crude, but I was surprised to see that anything like them would be done--and published.