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  #3301  
Old November 15th, 2008, 12:47 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by InfinityMax View Post
This is you showing me where you keep your head.
If I wasn't an admin, I might choose this one as my sig.


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  #3302  
Old November 15th, 2008, 12:49 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by tjheroscape View Post
So this is my last post on this subject you know where I stand and I will not change anyone's mind and you will not change mine.
Like Uncle says on Jackie Chan, 'One more thing.'

This is the biggest giveaway that your time is wasted in a debate of any kind. When you approach a debate with the single-minded goal of persuading everyone you're right, you've completely missed the point. There are many purposes behind a rousing intelligent debate, but you seem to have grasped none of them. Some reasons to debate include:

1) Define your own position. By allowing other people to challenge what you believe, you allow yourself the opportunity to grow. You either reinforce the beliefs you have, or you get to examine the possibility that you may have been wrong. Either way, you grow. That's incredibly positive - if you let it happen.

2) Understand opposing positions. When other people bring their positions to you, offering you the opportunity to challenge them, you begin to learn more, not just about the other people in the debate, but about humanity in general. You get to take a peek behind the curtain, often getting a glimpse of what makes people work - and not just specific people, but also people in general.

3) The sheer pleasure of intelligent debate. There is something intensely satisfying about the competitive nature of a good debate. Nobody needs to 'win' to enjoy a healthy debate - which is good, because there is almost never a winner. It's a contest of wits, a game of intellectual skill, a multi-sided duel that sharpens your mind. It's made all the more interesting because people tend to bring a huge emotional investment to a political debate, and the people who can debate without resorting to insults or sweeping, ignorant comments are some of the most fascinating people you'll ever know, whether or not you agree with them.

If you came in here thinking that the only purpose of a debate is to make someone else agree with you, then you have been completely wasting your time. For that matter, I am probably wasting my time talking to you, because you seem to be dead set on making high-handed comments and condemnations, but I am hoping you can calm down and be a useful contributor. Right now you're a stereotype, with all the depth of a cardboard cutout. When you decide to try to be something else, you might be interesting.

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  #3303  
Old November 15th, 2008, 01:22 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Yeah fellas, and please remember that, in here, the gloves come off. It is necessarily that way to ensure that folks learn to use respect.

In other news, I was talking to a friend yesterday. She went to a lecture at her church that featured a guest speaker. He was a retired secret serviceman who had served over 30 years in the secret service, and still acts as a consultant, and travels around giving lectures.

The lecture was basically anecdotal account of his experiences serving several famous presidents and first ladies, but it was his open discussion afterwards that I found interesting and somewhat scary.

While having an informal Q&A after his lecture, the guy mentioned that he had been contacted by the secret service for some advise on Obama. Apparently there have been more death threats against Obama in the last year than in any full term of any president in modern history. They feel that they will need to triple their staff to deal with the extra workload, and the task of deciphering the serious threats from the rest, is going to push the current systems to their max.

The secret service has urged Obama to keep a low profile, but Barack has been resistant, and even reckless at times.

I swear, this really scares me. I do not want to have another inspirational leader lose his life in the public eye. I can't even imagine the turmoil. I remember when Reagan was shot, and how we all were struck with emotion and concern.. and anger... I hope nothing happens.


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  #3304  
Old November 15th, 2008, 02:19 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

I agree 110% GB. I didn't vote for the man, but he's to be my president now, and any S.O.B. that tries to take him out...it pisses me off just to think about it. That's the kind of pulling together of the country that you never, ever want to have to experience; we had one like it on 9/11 and we sure don't need another one any time soon--I'd rather have "devisive politics" and gridlock (both of which I think are healthy for a Representative Democracy) before I'd ever want the country to come together in mourning after something like that.

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  #3305  
Old November 15th, 2008, 02:38 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Fezzikthedoor View Post
I agree 110% GB. I didn't vote for the man, but he's to be my president now, and any S.O.B. that tries to take him out...it pisses me off just to think about it. That's the kind of pulling together of the country that you never, ever want to have to experience; we had one like it on 9/11 and we sure don't need another one any time soon--I'd rather have "devisive politics" and gridlock (both of which I think are healthy for a Representative Democracy) before I'd ever want the country to come together in mourning after something like that.
Yes, it is an odd thing. He's ours, we voted for him, and whether you agree with his politics or not, you have to respect that fact that he has captured the spirit of America in a way that we have not seen in a long time. It is within all of our interests that he does well, improves our way of life, causes no harm, and restores our dignity as a nation that is part of a world that wants to look to us for leadership. There is potential there that we need to protect. When you think about our presidents (all of them), you realize the courage that each and every one of them must have to place their fragile lives so out there like freakin targets. I do not envy the men that have served as president.... not one bit.


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  #3306  
Old November 15th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

I have actually heard the statement come out of peoples mouths that they hope he dies. Ignorant inbred scum is all they are.....but to be honest I have also heard people wish death upon President Bush....same thing...ignorant scumbags. I can pretty much guaruntee I will be trying to remove Obama from office as well...but that will be in 4 years with a ballot.

I did read an article a while back though on how many presidents have been shot...I was surprised at the number...

Four were killed by gunfire, A. Lincoln, J. Garfield, W. McKinley, and J. Kennedy. Others who were shot at are A. Jackson, T. Roosevelt, F.D. Roosevelt, Gerald Ford (two attempts), and R. Reagan. There were other attempts but the president was not in the area.

We are talking like one out of 11 presidents has been assasinated but 9 have been shot at total which is more like 1 out 5....that is really friggin high.
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  #3307  
Old November 15th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Grungebob View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fezzikthedoor View Post
I agree 110% GB. I didn't vote for the man, but he's to be my president now, and any S.O.B. that tries to take him out...it pisses me off just to think about it. That's the kind of pulling together of the country that you never, ever want to have to experience; we had one like it on 9/11 and we sure don't need another one any time soon--I'd rather have "devisive politics" and gridlock (both of which I think are healthy for a Representative Democracy) before I'd ever want the country to come together in mourning after something like that.
Yes, it is an odd thing. He's ours, we voted for him, and whether you agree with his politics or not, you have to respect that fact that he has captured the spirit of America in a way that we have not seen in a long time. It is within all of our interests that he does well, improves our way of life, causes no harm, and restores our dignity as a nation that is part of a world that wants to look to us for leadership. There is potential there that we need to protect. When you think about our presidents (all of them), you realize the courage that each and every one of them must have to place their fragile lives so out there like freakin targets. I do not envy the men that have served as president.... not one bit.
The question I always ask myself is not for me....live or die in your nation's service is an honorable death and there are much worse ways to go out. What would scare me though is to place my family into that position....that is almost like taking your children into a friggin war zone with you...that is where my spine begins to buckle a bit.
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  #3308  
Old November 15th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by InfinityMax View Post
OK, but if life begins at conception, does that life have the right to not be extinguished for the convenience of the mother? Is the collection of cells entitled to fewer rights because it is not big enough? At what point is that baby big enough to have rights? And does that point coincide to when life begins? If so, it seems to me that the crux of the argument does, in fact, boil down to when life begins - because once life has begun, the right to live outweighs the right to do what you want with your own body.

I don't know when life starts. I don't even know of a sufficient definition of life against which one could make such a judgement. Certainly, a few living cells do not constitute life in the sense that you mean, otherwise heading a soccer ball is tantaount to murder (dumb example I know). I think that unless you believe in a soul, life doesn't have an instant before which it is not there and after which it is. This is my basis for arguing that it is some sort of sliding scale.

A handful of cells should be extinguishable on a passing whim of the woman---it's completely her call at this point. Just for the sake of argument I'll throw 4 weeks out as an absolute minimum before which, in my opinion, the woman has total freedom to do whatever she pleases with her body. The embryo has no rights.

At the other extreme, say 28 weeks, I find the argument equally clear-cut. At this point the fetus is viable and has a full right to life regardless of the woman's opinion.

In between it's a mess. There are two opposing sets of "rights" and at some point the rights of the foetus take precedence. I don't know where that point is and I'm not qualified to make such a judgement.

I've had very similar arguments to this several times, except I'm usually the "pro-life" side rather than "pro-choice" simply because of who I'm talking to (these conversations took place in Communist Europe and the People's Republic of Vermont, where the default "right" is a woman's bodily autonomy). I don't like either of the terms pro-life and pro-choice because they, to me, give the impression that there is an absolute right answer to the problem and leads to the polarisation we see in these debates. Perhaps I can be pro-reason, or pro-balance, or pro-nuance or something. I do believe that what these discussions need is a recognition that both sides are right at the relevant extreme cases, and that it's a difficult issue to find a balance.



Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinityMax
For me, it comes down to two things. First, responsibility. I see no reason we have to provide a convenient out for women who don't want to have to deal with the consequence of their actions.
I don't buy this at all. Car travel is dangerous. We don't withhold treatment at car crashes because those involved knew they were taking a risk by driving. Actions have consequences and must be dealt with. The correct response of a woman who does not hold personal beliefs to the contrary upon waking up after a night of unexpected unprotected sex is to take the morning-after pill. That is dealing with the consequences. Punishing oneself by having a baby is not the right choice.

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Like Uncle says on Jackie Chan, 'One more thing.'...

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  #3309  
Old November 15th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

What I think is a really, really simple answer to the 'when does life begin' question is this:

When does an OR physician pronounce one's death? Is it when there's no heartbeat? Let's find it on Google....

From Wikipedia, "Death":
Historically, attempts to define the exact moment of death have been problematic. Death was once defined as the cessation of heartbeat (cardiac arrest) and of breathing, but the development of CPR and prompt defibrillation have rendered that definition inadequate because breathing and heartbeat can sometimes be restarted. This is now called "clinical death".

Now with a fetus, obviously, the fact that the heart and respiration are just starting and do not need restarting we can probably justifiably ascertain that life begins at the point where conditions of death are no longer met: Heartbeat and Respiration.

An embryo has heart activity at 22 days. So we can say that one precondition for life begins in 22 days. The other is a little more difficult, but lungslike motion starts at 11 weeks, although the circulatory system starts before that.

So, perhaps 11 weeks is as good a point as we can determine for the definition of life, based on the determining factors for death?

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  #3310  
Old November 15th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Here's another way of looking at this for those who honestly don't know when "life" begins:

You walk up to a person on the sidewalk standing next to a large cardboard box... they hand you a gun and ask you to shoot the box, but inform you that there may or may not be a person inside that box. You can't see inside the box, so there's no way for you to know. How many of you would shoot the box? (obviously a rhetorical question.)

The point is, if determining when a human life is worthy of protection is (as Obama would say) "above your paygrade", why would we err on the side of killing a life over saving one?

If you say, "I don't know whether or not it's a "baby" yet", is it really a good idea to "shoot it", so to speak, and simply hope that it's not?

And another thought... if someone believes an abortion is fine "before 6 weeks" (for example), what magical thing happened one second, or one minute, or one hour before that calendar 6-week mark that changed the baby into a human life worthy of protection? It's fine to kill it at 11:59pm on day 41, but not OK to kill it one minute later at 12:00am on day 42.... Aside from a chosen calendar date, what fundamental change occured in the baby that makes it a human life? If it's a human life at 12:00am, it was certainly a human life at 11:59pm as well...

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  #3311  
Old November 15th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Snotwalker 8000 View Post
And another thought... if someone believes an abortion is fine "before 6 weeks" (for example), what magical thing happened one second, or one minute, or one hour before that calendar 6-week mark that changed the baby into a human life worthy of protection? It's fine to kill it at 11:59pm on day 41, but not OK to kill it one minute later at 12:00am on day 42.... Aside from a chosen calendar date, what fundamental change occured in the baby that makes it a human life? If it's a human life at 12:00am, it was certainly a human life at 11:59pm as well...
I guess the this is exactly the crux of my argument---I don't believe that there is such a clean cut-off, and to hope there is leads to unreasonably extreme positions (banning the morning-after pill, say, or third trimester abortions).

SuperflyTNT gives some nice examples of points at which the embryo/foetus becomes "more alive". I'd go further and say that the embryo/foetus/baby gradually accumulates "lifeness" (lifosity?, hit points?) in a more-or-less continuous way. At some point you have to make a cut-off for legal reasons, and that is incredibly hard to do, and it is not a question that has a right answer. Or, to turn it around, there is a right answer but that answer depends on the relative importance of competing issues to us as a society.
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  #3312  
Old November 15th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

I'm with Skyknight. As much as I am against Obama's ideas, I will voice my opinion, and support him when he is right, as there are plenty of issues that are an obvious right or wrong regardless of your political standpoint. I condemn anyone who would attempt to inflict physical harm on him, or any other political worker.

I have to bring up that our government is made to be self-correcting. When something goes wrong, it can be changed after a relatively short amount of time. Its why presidents can't serve for life, and why congressional terms aren't longer.

@SW8k, that's a kind of weird argument. Its similar to the problem that prevents you from walking out a door. To get to the door you must go half way there. You can continue going half way there an infinite amount of times, but you will never get there.

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