Friday, April 28, 2006

Podcasts and more snippets-of-science...

More catching up. Here are some top-level items... followed (in comments) by more of those tasty science snippets you all love so much.

1. News:

I am quoted in an article about sousveillance, that ran recently in the Village Voice:
http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0617,belgiorno,72978,6.html
(Not actually very accurate of my real views, but it adds to the melange of insights and reflects the demand fro reciprocal accountability (RA).

2. Full speeches available for download:

* A talk at the Institute for Accelerating Change about "exploring horizons," or how people peer ahead, spotting errors and avoiding crippling assumptions.

3. David Brin INTERVIEWS that originally ran on National Public Radio - topics include:

* 'Video Surveillance'.

* "The Science in Science Fiction" shared with William Gibson.

* "Science Fiction Writing."

* The Future on a special "NPR Talk of The Nation: Science Friday with Ira Flatow."

* A panel discussion about spying and censorship on the Internet. (Visit www.kpbs.org/thesedays then click on 'itunes'.)

4. Some side notes:

* Kevin Lenagh, the artist & co-author of CONTACTING ALIENS, has written in with the following: “ On lenahgalienfactory.com, in the for sale section, I'm putting some of the Uplift Art on products. If you can, let people know that they can have General Boult on a Tee-shirt!” Kewl!


4. More great science snippets will be posted below... In “comments”...

(This technique of offering the big data dumps as lead items in the comments level, has the advantage of keeping the top layer clean, letting casual find the (pompously) “important” essays. But you citizens of this community are free to weigh in and tell me if you approve, or dislike the method. Ironically though, you can only do so under... Comments.

42 comments:

David Brin said...

More great snippets-of-science... And other cool stuff......

* A dose of anti-cynicism! People are using raigslist Lost and Found to prove that the human trait of reed is displaced by empathy and decency. Of course, this is Craig’s List...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060402/ap_on_hi_te/lost___found
What makes it happen? My crackpot theory? A combination of satiation and satiability. The former is provided by a rich civilization. The latter by individuals who are sane enough to notice.

Spurred by the risks from roadside bombs and terrorist ambushes, the military is aggressively seeking to replace troops with battlefield robots, including new versions armed with machine guns.
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2006-04-13-robot-soldiers_x.htm

Google, Inc. on Tuesday was granted a patent for a voice interface for search engines. The patent documentsuggests that Google will be
leveraging its logs of stored textand audio queries to improve speech recognition and relevancy, as the company does currently with text keywords. It says, "The query logs may consist of audio data...
http://www.kurzweilai.net/email/newsRedirect.html?newsID=5463&m=15453

(Ah, but Sergey isn’t the only Brin winning patents, lately! More soon.)

Government agencies, including DARPA, are exploring a new method for information-analysis-tool integration called the Unstructured Information Management Architecture. IBM developed UIMA to coordinate the efforts of its application development teams that work on ways to better manage unstructured...
http://www.kurzweilai.net/email/newsRedirect.html?newsID=5461&m=15453

Wanna help invent SkyNet?
Cycorp has just launched a trivia game for the public that will help fill in gaps in Cyc's knowledge. Cyc is an AI project with a huge collection of everyday knowledge. In the FACTory game, the computer
generates statements that the user has to describe as true, false or incomprehensible....
http://www.kurzweilai.net/email/newsRedirect.html?newsID=5460&m=15453

* Hamsters blinded following damage to their optic nerve have had their vision partially restored with the help of an implanted nanoscale scaffold that has encouraged nerve tissue to regrow. The method uses sequences of peptides made to self-assemble into mesh-like sheets of nanofibers by immersing them in salt solutions at similar concentrations...
http://www.kurzweilai.net/email/newsRedirect.html?newsID=5372&m=15453

* Gradually, over time, I’d like to accumulate a group knowledge pool about games like Will Wright’s SPORE and “Infinity: the Quest For Earth”...
(http://www.fl-tw.com/Infinity/infinity_overview.php)
so that we can speak knowledgably when funding sources seem interested our unique Exorarium - which has very little in the way of overlap with these other games, but may want to avoid their mistakes and adopt some useful tools.
Comments welcome.

Anonymous said...

I tried the Village Voice site but the server was down.

A lot of the sites mentioned in the blog cannot be reached. Either something is wrong with the net this afternoon or there is some weird filter on this computer.

mindmaker said...

About Cyc and Cycorp as mentioned above -- Douglas Lenat's enormous ontology is not a true, thinking artificial intelligence. Other people are creating AI Minds that may simply swallow up the Cyc ontology, when given the chance.

Anonymous said...

Mindmaker said...

About Cyc and Cycorp as mentioned above -- Douglas Lenat's enormous ontology is not a true, thinking artificial intelligence. Other people are creating AI Minds that may simply swallow up the Cyc ontology, when given the chance.

But Cyc is more than the ontology - it includes a
logical language, inference engine and a collection
of related tools.

PEM

Daniel said...

In regards to the "robotic soldier" story above, it strikes me that there may be an unintended downside to using robot soldiers. It's a lot easier to light off an RPG at a robot than it is at another human being. But once you've actually gotten into a firefight with a human or a non-human, it's a lot easier to go one step further and start blowing up real people.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't using robots instead of people make going to war a lot easier. Instead of saying "We know they have WMD, and we know they want to use them on us. If we don't risk a few of our lives, they're going to kill us all", they could simply say "To be 100% sure of our security, we're being aggressive and not risking a single American life."

Could we say that as the risk to (our side's) soldiers decreases, the willingness for a country to go to war increases.

Phil said...

Once the government has decided that there is something to win, whether one's own country is able to win is the next consideration. If one's society does not value human life, it doesn't matter whether one's own side has great loss of life. If one's society does value human life, then the possibility of only robotic losses might encourage aggression. Note also that if one's society values human life greatly, then it will not start a war at all because the enemy (victim) would also suffer loss of life.

Doug S. said...

I'd like to hear from the posters here on two simple questions. They are multiple choice.

Which would be worse for the United States?

a) Allowing Iran to become a nuclear weapons state, like Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

b) Using any means necessary to deny Iran the capability to aquire nuclear weapons.

Which would be worse for Israel?

I suspect that the United States can live with a nuclear Iran, but I suspect that Israel can't. If I were Israel, I'd do whatever it takes to prevent it, up to and including a nuclear first strike, as a simple matter of survival. The only sane response to Nazi Germany was war. Israel's only sane response to an Iran seeking nuclear weapons may also be war.

(Does anyone know a good site for "armchair generals" to randomly argue points like this? It sucks to live in interesting times, but reading and talking about them is fun.)

Stefan Jones said...

Oh my . . .

I want a uterus and ovaries implanted so I can have Stephen Colbert's Baby.

Just . . . wow.

Stefan

Don Quijote said...

Which would be worse for the United States?

a) Allowing Iran to become a nuclear weapons state, like Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

b) Using any means necessary to deny Iran the capability to aquire nuclear weapons.


b. for the US and for the world. Starting a war against a country thta has not broken any treaties, nor committed any acts of aggression against it's neighbors would be highly destabilizing for the international order.

Which would be worse for Israel?

Why should I care? Not my problem! I am an American, not an Israeli.

If I were Israel, I'd do whatever it takes to prevent it, up to and including a nuclear first strike, as a simple matter of survival.

At which point Israel would be on the same moral plane than Nazi Germany.

The only sane response to Nazi Germany was war.

Only after they declared war on the US, prior to that the Prescott was very busy making money in Germany (not that he was the only one).

TC said...

Doug S. asked, I'd like to hear from the posters here on two simple questions. They are multiple choice.

Which would be worse for the United States?

a) Allowing Iran to become a nuclear weapons state, like Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

b) Using any means necessary to deny Iran the capability to acquire nuclear weapons.

Which would be worse for Israel?


Actually, it’s all bad. Iran has made it pretty clear that they hate Israel, and Israel has been one of our strongest allies in the region. When Iran builds a nuclear bomb, it’s only a matter of time before they manufacture the pretense to use it against Israel. We’ll act in defense of Israel, and, well, the situation degrades from there.

If Israel tries to stop Iran with a conventional raid or, God forbid, a nuclear strike, well, that road leads to disaster, too. I think it’s even worse for the U.S., because we’ll have to defend an ally who just used a first strike. I can’t imagine our allies in the Mideast will stick with us. Come to think of it, if I were Iran, I’d work hard to make Israel strike first. The PR value would be tremendous.

Iran has the knowledge; they will build the bomb. We can’t stop them; or even if we can, it’ll be Syria, or North Korea, or some other state who builds it next.

The problem is that genie’s out. We must step up and forge a diplomatic environment wherein states like Iran (or anyone else, including actual terrorist organizations) won’t use a nuclear weapon.

Unfortunately, I don’t think our government has done enough to cultivate people with top diplomatic skills. I mean no disrespect for those serving in the diplomatic corps, but when I see someone like Mr. Bolton elevated to the U.N., I have to shake my head.

Diplomacy must be the key. I wonder if it’s too late?

Rob Perkins said...

"Why should I care? Not my problem! I am an American, not an Israeli."

If Iran glasses Israel, eventually, you'll breathe the fallout, politically, socially, economically, spiritually, and environmentally.

That's why you should care.

TC said...

Keeping the top layer clean and using comments for the "data dump?" Works for me. Strikes me as more efficient.

Thanks for asking!

Doug S. said...

No, the only sane response to Nazi Germany became war once they invaded Poland. Just ask England and France. We in the US didn't send soldiers into harm's way until much later, but we did everything we could to supply England's military. I believe that we should have been involved in the war from the beginning instead of waiting as long as we did.

And no, nuking Iran wouldn't make Israel the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany. It might make them the moral equivalent of the Roman Empire, but not Nazi Germany. Invaders can generally be divided into three types, in increasing order of the burden they place on those they defeat.

1) The conqueror, who demands that the defeated obey or die.
2) The crusader, who demands that the defeated convert or die.
3) The exterminator, who demands that the defeated die, without giving them any way to save themselves.

Nazi Germany was more evil than any other empire in history because they alone were exterminators. The Romans and Mongols were conquerers; they only demanded obedience and tribute. The Soviet Union and any of the many "holy warriors" in history, including Osama bin Laden and the Crusaders themselves, were crusaders; they demand that you believe. The Nazis didn't care about either actions or beliefs. If they declared that you were one of the inferior races, they wanted you dead. You were left with two choices: die fighting, or die in a gas chamber. They were the geopolitical equivalent of a rabid dog, and you can't live in peace with a rabid dog. In order to find something as evil, you have to turn to fiction instead of history; the most obvious comparison is the aliens in the movie Independence Day.

If Israel demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment, Iran refuses to comply, and Israel attacks and eventually uses nuclear weapons, Israel is acting as a conquerer, not an exterminator.

Finally, why do I care so much about Israel? One reason is that my ancestors were Polish Jews, and those that didn't escape to America were killed by the Nazis. Another is that, ideologically, I see no difference between Israel and the United States. Israel is an outpost of the Enlightenment surrounded by fanatical macho indignation addicts, and the only reason it has survived is because it is stronger than its enemies, who would still be willing to seize any opportunity to destroy it by force. Contrary to popular belief, Israel never really won any of its wars with the Arab world; it merely won battles, while allowing its enemies to live to fight another day. As Sun Tzu said, in order to win a war, you must convince your enemy that he has lost.

(Ugh. This is turning into a horrible, Wall-Of-Text style rant. I'd better stop here before it gets any worse.)

Don Quijote said...

If Iran glasses Israel, eventually, you'll breathe the fallout, politically, socially, economically, spiritually, and environmentally.

If the US or Israel Nukes Iran, eventually, you'll breathe the fallout, politically, economically and environmentally.

Don Quijote said...

Doug,

Your rant has me ROTFLMAO...

No, the only sane response to Nazi Germany became war once they
invaded Poland. Just ask England and France.


My Grandfather spent the war in Germany as a POW from 39 to 45.

We in the US didn't send soldiers into harm's way until much later, but we did everything we could to supply England's military. I believe that we should have been involved in the war from the beginning instead of waiting as long as we did.

There was money to be made & communist to kill, it's so much better when some else does the killing for you.

And no, nuking Iran wouldn't make Israel the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany.

A preemptive war that killed millions of people,damaged their environment & that of their children for multiple generations, caused birth defects & other such niceties to generations yet unborn would be worse than anything the Nazis ever did.

It might make them the moral equivalent of the Roman Empire, but not Nazi Germany.

That would be the US.

Invaders can generally be divided into three types, in increasing order of the burden they place on those they defeat.

1) The conqueror, who demands that the defeated obey or die.


like we do, see Guatemala, Nicaragua, Phillipines, Iraq etc...

2) The crusader, who demands that the defeated convert or die.
The spanish in South America.

3) The exterminator, who demands that the defeated die, without giving them any way to save themselves.

US in North America.

Nazi Germany was more evil than any other empire in history because they alone were exterminators.

You should tell that to the American Indians (The only good indian is a dead indian).

The Romans and Mongols were conquerers; they only demanded obedience and tribute.

just like we do..


If Israel demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment, Iran refuses to comply, and Israel attacks and eventually uses nuclear weapons, Israel is acting as a conquerer, not an exterminator.

Gee, how big does the pile of dead bodies have to be, before you move from conquerer to exterminator? one Nuke, two Nukes, three? How many hundreds of thousands of people must die before it becomes extermination?



Finally, why do I care so much about Israel? One reason is that my ancestors were Polish Jews, and those that didn't escape to America were killed by the Nazis.

Don't go blaming the Iranians, the Arabs or the Palestinians for that. Blame the Germans and the Poles, they are the ones who did the killing, why should the middle-east pay for the sins of the Europeans?


Another is that, ideologically, I see no difference between Israel and the United States. Israel is an outpost of the Enlightenment

You're right about that, they are both occupiers, ocuppying Arab Countries one for fourty years, the other for three.

Abu-graib, Guantanamo & Bagram AFB are real monuments to the Enlightenment.

surrounded by fanatical macho indignation addicts,

ROTFLMAO
WTF is that suppose to mean?


and the only reason it has survived is because it is stronger than its enemies, who would still be willing to seize any opportunity to destroy it by force.

Just the way we destroyed Iraq?


Contrary to popular belief, Israel never really won any of its wars with the Arab world; it merely won battles, while allowing its enemies to live to fight another day.

And it never will, Demography is a bitch. It would be far cheaper & easier for everyone involved to give every Israeli Jew a few hundred Thousand Dollars, an American Passport & bring them to the US.

Tony Fisk said...

Hrm...!
Apart from the bizarre reaction it evoked from Stefan, it's an interesting social observation that King..er President George III (really!) can laugh off the roasting provided by Sen. Obama, yet is visibly cringing at the barbs from Stephen Colbert.

You take comedians more seriously than the opposition?

Or, maybe it was the faint precursor *splat* on the fan above him that distracted his Highness from Colbert's routine, made him glance up and say 'Oh S--t!!'

Bush turned down chances to kill Zarqawi: ex-CIA spy

(The Four Corners site is here. They usually publish program transcripts shortly after the program is aired)

We will stay the course... which we define.

This is a 'war' on ...what was that again?

Markbnj said...

Stefan Jones said...

Oh my . . .

I want a uterus and ovaries implanted so I can have Stephen Colbert's Baby.

Markbnj says, Thanks for the link. I've stolen it, and put it in "Henny Youngman" (one liner format) here
http://markbnj.blogspot.com/2006/04/humor-colbert-comedy-central-skewers.html

Thanks again for sharing the link!

Stefan Jones said...

Here's some highlights of the transcript of Colbert's speech.

It's as much aimed at the press as Bush:

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction.

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "They're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This ship's not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.

Markbnj said...

Don Quijote said... (discussing Doug's comments)
(DQ)--> ROTFLMAO
MBNJ: WTF is that suppose to mean?
Rolling on the floor, Laughing my Ass Off...

(DQ)--> My Grandfather spent the war in Germany as a POW from 39 to 45.
MBNJ **Really? Most of the Arab areas in the Mid East SUPPORTED the AXIS powers, I'd have thought he'd be in the Axis Army.

(DQ)--> There was money to be made & communist to kill, it's so much better when some else does the killing for you.

MBNJ: Sigh. Some things never change, despite our supposed increase in knowledge...

(DQ)--> A preemptive war that killed millions of people,damaged their environment & that of their children for multiple generations, caused birth defects & other such niceties to generations yet unborn would be worse than anything the Nazis ever did.

MBNJ: Yeah. True. Just like the 1981 Strike on IRAQ's Nuke-uh-lah plant "killed millions of people,damaged their environment & that of their children for multiple generations, caused birth defects"

MBNJ: Perhaps we might take a moment here, as americans (I presume, darned presumptious of me, ain't it?!) to THANK Israel for that 1981 attack, removing IRAQ's chances of enriching Nuke-uh-lah fuel.

What a shame that Iran learned from that and decided to place their facilities WAY DEEP underground.


( Invaders can generally be divided into three types, in increasing order of the burden they place on those they defeat.)

1) The conqueror, who demands that the defeated obey or die.

(DQ)--> like we do, see Guatemala, Nicaragua, Phillipines, Iraq etc...
MBNJ: OR like most CHRISTIAN nations did during the middle ages.. (Baptism or Die!)

2) The crusader, who demands
that the defeated convert or die.
(DQ)--> The spanish in South America.
MBNJ: OR MORE Historically accurate, the ENTIRE conquest of EUROPE by the eastern fringe (moslems) in the middle ages.

(DQ)--> The Romans and Mongols were conquerers; they only demanded obedience and tribute.
MBNJ:--> Yeah, that's why the Romans DESTROYED the second Jewish temple in 70AD (almost a thousand years BEFORE MOHAMMED was alive...) They were only trying to sacrifice a pig, in the hallowed ground that even moslems claim Abraham made his sacrifices on.

(DQ) --> If Israel demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment, Iran refuses to comply, and Israel attacks and eventually uses nuclear weapons, Israel is acting as a conquerer, not an exterminator.

MBNJ:--> I highly suggest you read the little clip I picked up regarding the israeli submarine program (here: http://markbnj.blogspot.com/2006/03/mideast-interesting-interview.html
The Iranian plan won't work either. If the Israelis are wiped off the map, they will STILL be able to make the entire earth (and MidEast in particular) RADIOACTIVE, and NUKE-Uh-leah- Wintered From their Strategically placed SUBMARINE fleet!

(DQ)--> one Nuke, two Nukes, three? How many hundreds of thousands of people must die before it becomes extermination?
MBNJ: It makes MUCH better sense to see that NOT having more countries with BOMBS would be safer (at least to me...) But you continue to insist that IRAN's nuculear desire is breeder reactors. OK. Doh.

(DQ)--> Don't go blaming the Iranians, the Arabs or the Palestinians for that.
MBNJ: -->Oh no. The Arabs (you used the term, so I will too) were ACTIVELY fighting the Allies in WW2.
As a matter of Fact, I go back FURTHER in my blame, to Post WW One, and BLAME GREAT Brittan, for TOTALLY messing up the administration of (defeated Turkish Empire and all the lands that were conqurored.

See here for brief discussion of 2 state plan PROPOSED in 1948 and vetoed by the arabs: http://markbnj.blogspot.com/2006/03/mideast-academy-awards-palestine-no.html


(DQ)-->Blame the Germans and the Poles, they are the ones who did the killing, why should the middle-east pay for the sins of the Europeans?
MBNJ:--> Because THE ARABS in the middle east were JUST as complicit, and involved, by SUPPORTING the AXIS powers, and attempting their own extermination of the Jews.

(DQ)--> You're right about that, they are both occupiers, ocuppying Arab Countries one for fourty years, the other for three.

MBNJ: Sorry Don Q. The UN proposed a two state solution in 1948. The ARAB world said, Hmmm. I'll think about it. NO, I can't stomach the idea of JEWS having a state here.
We'll just EXTERMINATE the ENTIRE land that the UN just gave to the JEWS. Oh, and the land from the ARAB state??? the land NOW sits in JORDAN, who annexed it the day the ARAB state was declared.

And Guess what. Read the "old testament". God gave the Jewish people the ENTIRE land there in a deed that is over 3,000 years old.
SORRY you feel that the land that JORDAN STOLE in 1948 should be YOUR state.

(DQ)--> Abu-graib, Guantanamo & Bagram AFB are real monuments to the Enlightenment.
MBNJ: --> I actually agree with you here. I think the current brain dead president is unfortunately NOT leading our country. He is simply a somewhat good looking puppet being controlled by Karl Rove, the VP, and a bunch of others.

Markbnj

Respectfully asking my brothers indulgence..

Think of it this way. Who was it that introduced the greatest weapon of the 21st century? The Palestinian Fanatic. In their blood-lust, (and yes, I personally feel that is the correct term) to attempt to HARM Israelis, both ARMY AND non-army personnel, they developed the SUCIDE Bomber(I say we should take a nod to Issac Asimov in the foundation series and call them ...Nameless Idiots...) to destroy our society.
And guess what? Now the humble sucide bomber even gets used against other ARAB (and muslim) victims...
that's the only thing that keeps me laughing sometimes, (Yes, I can be perverse at times)

Cheers:
Markbnj
(markbnj.blogspot.com)

Doug S said...

Sorry about the USENET-style quoting, it's the best I could do. (MarkB: you got my statements and Don Q's mixed up; he was quoting me.)

> Doug,
>
> Your rant has me ROTFLMAO...

If rants weren't fun, I wouldn't write them! ;)

>
>> No, the only sane response to
>> Nazi Germany became war once they
>> invaded Poland. Just ask England
>> and France.

>My Grandfather spent the war in
>Germany as a POW from 39 to 45.

>>We in the US didn't send soldiers
>>into harm's way until much later,
>>but we did everything we could to
>>supply England's military. I
>>believe that we should have been
>>involved in the war from the
>>beginning instead of waiting as
>>long as we did.

>There was money to be made &
>communist to kill, it's so much
>better when some else does the
>killing for you.

I won't disagree with you there - better not to risk your own neck if there are better options, but until we did get involved, things weren't going so well in Europe. The only other army capable of opposing the Nazis was the Russian army under Stalin, and once the Russian army entered territory, it kept it.

>>And no, nuking Iran wouldn't make
>>Israel the moral equivalent of
>>Nazi Germany.

>A preemptive war that killed
>millions of people,damaged their
>environment & that of their
>children for multiple generations,
>caused birth defects & other such
>niceties to generations yet unborn
>would be worse than anything the
>Nazis ever did.

It might be worse than what the Nazis accomplished, but not worse than what they intended. And you're missing the distinction I tried to draw: All Iran has to do to avoid Israel's wrath is to OBEY. Neither obedience nor conversion could have saved the Jews from the Nazis, and that is why the Nazis were worse than anyone else. Again: It might make them the moral equivalent of the Roman Empire, but not Nazi Germany.

>>Invaders can generally be divided
>>into three types, in increasing
>>order of the burden they place on
>>those they defeat.
>>
>>1) The conqueror, who demands that
>>the defeated obey or die.

>like we do, see Guatemala,
>Nicaragua, Phillipines, Iraq etc...

Exactly. Glad we agree.

>>2) The crusader, who demands that
>>the defeated convert or die.
>The spanish in South America.

Yep. Perfect example.

>>3) The exterminator, who demands
>>that the defeated die, without
>>giving them any way to save
>>themselves.
>US in North America.
Not really. Our predecessors certainly didn't treat the American Indians any worse than we treated the black Africans that we enslaved.

>>Nazi Germany was more evil than any
>> other empire in history because
>> they alone were exterminators.

>You should tell that to the
>American Indians (The only good
>indian is a dead indian).

I'd say we were crusaders instead of exterminators. If we wanted to kill every last Indian, there wouldn't be any Indians around today within the US. The Indians who "chose" to convert to Christianity, learned English, and tried to adapt a more European lifestyle generally weren't murdered. Mistreated, yes; murdered, no. Again, compare the treatment of the Indians to the treatment of the Africans, who we certainly had no intent of exterminating.

>>The Romans and Mongols were
>>conquerers; they only demanded
>>obedience and tribute.

>just like we do..

I won't disagree.

>>If Israel demands that Iran stop
>>uranium enrichment, Iran refuses
>>to comply, and Israel attacks and
>>eventually uses nuclear weapons,
>>Israel is acting as a conquerer,
>>not an exterminator.

>>Gee, how big does the pile of dead
>>bodies have to be, before you move
>>from conquerer to exterminator?
>>one Nuke, two Nukes, three? How
>>many hundreds of thousands of
>>people must die before it becomes
>>extermination?

Numbers don't matter in this classification. What matters is whether the victim's surrender will be accepted. If Iran "surrenders" to Israel, Iran would be left alone; if the Jews "surrendered" to the Nazis, all they could look forward to is a different death.

>>Finally, why do I care so much
>>about Israel? One reason is that
>>my ancestors were Polish Jews, and
>>those that didn't escape to
>>America were killed by the Nazis.

>Don't go blaming the Iranians, the
>Arabs or the Palestinians for
>that. Blame the Germans and the
>Poles, they are the ones who did
>the killing, why should the
>middle-east pay for the sins of
>the Europeans?

They shouldn't, and I'm not blaming them. I'm just saying that my ethnic background gives me a more immediate interest in Israel than in, say, Tibet.

>>Another is that, ideologically, I
>>see no difference between Israel
>>and the United States. Israel is
>>an outpost of the Enlightenment

>You're right about that, they are
>both occupiers, ocuppying Arab
>Countries one for fourty years, the
>other for three.
>
>Abu-graib, Guantanamo & Bagram AFB
>are real monuments to the
>Enlightenment.

Which is exactly why we need to get rid of the anti-Enlightenment bastards that are running (and ruining) our government!

>>surrounded by fanatical macho
>>indignation addicts,

>ROTFLMAO
>WTF is that suppose to mean?

Just some buzzwords that mean something like "evil fucking bastards that are trying to send the world back to the Dark Ages." I like to sound more erudite, you see. ;)

>>and the only reason it has
>>survived is because it is stronger
>>than its enemies, who would still
>>be willing to seize any
>>opportunity to destroy it by
>>force.

>Just the way we destroyed Iraq?

Well, I was thinking more like the way we destroyed Japan during WW2. There really wasn't much left to bomb by the time Truman gave the order to use nuclear weapons. (Technically, we didn't destroy Iraq ourselves, we just got rid of everything that kept it from self-destructing, but the difference really doesn't matter.)

>>Contrary to popular belief, Israel
>>never really won any of its wars
>>with the Arab world; it merely won
>>battles, while allowing its
>>enemies to live to fight another
>>day.

>And it never will, Demography is a
>bitch.

Agreed. In the long run, Israel needs peace more than the Arabs do.

>It would be far cheaper &
>easier for everyone involved to
>give every Israeli Jew a few
>hundred Thousand Dollars, an
>American Passport & bring them to
>the US.

[completely straight face]
Want to bring over the Palistineans instead? We could do that, too, although I suspect it wouldn't matter which group leaves. Should we start asking for donations or sign a petition or something?
[/completely straight face]

HawkerHurricane, wannabe peacemaker said...

Not going to play 'in search of', trying to find who said what...

Suicide Bombers invented by Palistinians? Ever hear of Kamikazes?

"We never thought they would use thier planes themselves as weapons." FADM Chester Nimitz, 1945

"We never considered that they would use planes as weapons." Then NSA Condeleeza Rice

FADM Nimitz had a excuse for that statement.

OK, let's play 'what if'. Imagine that some super-powerful alien race shows up and says "disarm or else". They pick a spot, say, Florida, plant a bunch of people on it, and declare it a independent country. What's our response? Would we be hostile about it? Would we try to get weapons so we couldn't be threatened anymore? Would we support leaders who say they would solve the "Florida Problem"? Think about it.

The solution to the problem of Palastine/Isreal/Canaan...
Possibility 1: Palastinians proceed with a passive resistance program, embarrasing the Isrealis to the negotiating table. Violence isn't going to work, if you're willing to die by strapping a bomb on yourself, you should be willing to sit in traffic and die when they run you over.
Possibility 2: A new holy book is found, proclaiming that the 'promised land' is actually Oklahoma. One side moves there. I'm flexible as to which side moves, and which piece of land is declared the 'promised land'... but it shouldn't be anything owned by a third party (no fair proclaiming, say, the eastern 3rd of Canada... unless Canada is volunteering).
Possibility 3: Shoot, there must be something Isreal can do to make a effective compromise happen, but I don't know what. Seems when one side is saying "We just want to live here" and the other is saying "Die, Infidel!" it's hard to compromise...

Markbnj said...

Doug S/Don Quijote: sorry I got the quotes confused...

HawkerHurricane wannabe peacemaker said:
Sucide Bombers (WWII) --obviously, but wasn't that obvious 10 mins ago I guess.
But, you do have to admit that the palestinian sucide bomber did improve it, by strapping plain old dynamite to their chest, and then blowing up a bus... they didn't invent it, they just perfected it?!!!
.. hurricane said...
--->OK, let's play 'what if'. Imagine that some super-powerful alien race shows up and says "disarm or else". They pick a spot, say, Florida, plant a bunch of people on it, and declare it a independent country. What's our response? Would we be hostile about it? Would we try to get weapons so we couldn't be threatened anymore? Would we support leaders who say they would solve the "Florida Problem"? Think about it.

The solution to the problem of Palastine/Isreal/Canaan...

Markbnj: sez:-->
OK. First myth. That Israel did not have a "right" or historical ties to the land, and therefore could be given a home somewhere else.
Strange but true: England first proposed that the jews be given a homeland in another British Administered territory, that is currently the conuntry of Uganda.
Yes. Uganda. This was vetoed.

Second. This Arab/Jew problem DID NOT originate in 1967, 1981, or even 2000. This conflict goes way back.

During the time when the Turkish empire ruled the mideast (until the end of WWI), there was mostly local, mostly "semi-corupt", but mostly efficient local governments of the districts. Also. according to the islamic edicts in effect at the time, Jews were not the enemy, but were tolerated, so long as they knew their position in the "pecking order". At the time of the end of WWI, this all changed, and the "arab-ophile" Lawrence of Arabia mystique type british Clique started to come over to administer the areas.
Forgive me if I seem to feel that these early administrators of the territory were tilted towards the side of the arabs.

It was only in the late 1800's that modern zionism got its start, and its desire to return to its lost land.

I am interrupting myself to tell you a little story.
You own a house. You have a deed.
You are forced, because of the oncoming war with Iran/Iraq/some other power to leave your house, so you take all your possessions you can, you lock the house up, and you pray for the best when you return.

You're gone one year. Is it Still your house? You still have the deed. It's still locked up, and tightly sealed.
You're gone five years. Is it Still your house? You still have the deed. Your entire city is empty, (the war killed a lot of you...) But it's still your house.

You're gone 10 years. Is it STILL your house? Your spouse still has the deed, but she can't go back to check because the Iraq/Iran/others
have taken over the city, and wont let you in, or even verify the deed.

You're gone 25 years. Is it STILL your house? Your children now have your deed. Who knows.


You're gone 50 years. Is it STILL your house? Your great great children now have your deed. Who knows.


You're gone 500 years. Is it STILL your house? Your descendants now have your deed. Who knows. There are new squatters here, they broke into your house, and someone else lives here, despite the fact it's your house.

You're gone 1000 years. Is it STILL your house? Your descendants now have your deed. Who knows. The beautiful garden that used to be here is gone, replaced by sand.

It's finally 1,300 years later. Your descendants return, with their deed, and notice someone else is living in your old city. Is it STILL your house? I say yes... But...In the case of the majority of the Jewish state, we actually went out and (re)purchased a great of the land back from the (then) registered (arab) landowners, as noted by the turkish empire. My original deed to the house was not recognized by them, when they took over my land, so I decided to buy it back from them.

Problem... The owner of the land may have been in Damascus, but the poor tenant ON the land, may NOT have known I actually bought the land back again, and was VERY VERY VERY angry with me when I said get off MY land, and I showed him my NEW deed to my own land!

OK. Question. You've beem on the land 10 years...20 years...500 years, and you do have a right to it... BUT it WAS our land first, and WE BOUGHT it back....and thus WE have a right to it TOO!

Oh. and lets add more realism to the story:
When we came back 100 years ago to our newly (re)purchased land, not only did you try and fight us off, but you actually performed RACIAL GENOCIDES against us (the 1919 RIOTS in Kfar Etzion, where over 900 Jews were murdered.)

And when we were FINALLY granted a LEGAL right to the land by the United Nations, did you accept their ruling? NO.
You chose to mass all your armies against the brand new state, and the grand Mufti (holy person) of Jerusalem told the arab residents of Jerusalem, that they should leave the city for a day, so that the Jews can be erased from the map, then they can return, after we've driven them into the sea.

And THUS began the problem of the PALESTINIAN REFUGEE. Not caused by Jews, or Israelis, but by the MOSLEM Holy cleric's own words of hatred for the Jews!

And, as I said above, the second ARAB or PALESTINIAN state was supposed to be on the EASTERN bank of the Jordan River, RIGHT where Jordan is TODAY!!!! So take back Jordan, and populate THAT!

But in reality, I just want peace. I just DON't want to be thrown into the sea!

Oh yes. We bought (re-purchased) MOST of the land that was occupied during the turkish empire.
And we tried to be hospitital, and NOT throw them off the land like we were thrown off.

And they start to Kill us, and blow up CIVILLIANS (teenagers...) in pizza shops. ANd they claim its because we "OPPRESS" them???
Sorry. Until the FIRST "infadiah"
there was FULL movement, OPEN borders, and ALMOST FULL EMPLOYMENT for the palestinians inside of Israel/

We were FORCED to segregate and separate from your because YOUR Infadiah required children to start to kill themselves to supposedly receive 70 virgins in heaven for killing jews.
THAT is when 95% of the palestinian population became unemployed. WHen we were forced to cut ourselves OFF from YOU, (and from OUR holy sites too!) Because you chose this tactic.

And do we care about the american girl who was killed by a bulldozer tearing down the house of a sucide bomber?

Your actions necessitate OUR REACTIONS.

Sorry again.... I get passioniate when I see people being one sided.

Bottom line is we need peace. The Two state solution is the way to go, just like the UN said 58 years ago.

But sorry, I don't think Jerusalem is negotiable this time.
Just like JORDAN annexed the ENTIRE Arab state and quadrupled its borders in 1948, ISRAEL annexed ALL of Jerusalem in 1967.

Perhaps when Jordan gives up the arab lands, maybe Israel might make Jersualem an "Open City" as envisioned by the UN in 1948.

Sigh... if it's not ONE war, its another!

Markb in NJ-- Gotta go Sleep calls

Don Quijote said...

. Who was it that introduced the greatest weapon of the 21st century? The Palestinian Fanatic.

You make do with what you 've got. I am sure that if the Palestinians had F-16 they would use them to, it's so much cleaner when you can survive the bombing to to it another day and not see the damage that you have done.

And BTW the Tamil Tigers are the ones who have made the most use of suicide bombers.

You're gone 500 years. Is it STILL your house? Your descendants now have your deed. Who knows. There are new squatters here, they broke into your house, and someone else lives here, despite the fact it's your house.

Not yours anymore! Tough sh*t, get over it!

Sometime between 100 & 500 years, you lost it! those whose grandfather & great grandfather are burried in the local cemetary have a far better claim to the land than you do.

And they start to Kill us, and blow up CIVILLIANS (teenagers...) in pizza shops. ANd they claim its because we "OPPRESS" them???

Quit your F****en Whining!

Last time I checked Israel was a democracy, and the goverment is and was pursuing policies that they were elected to pursue by the population. Why should the population be immune from the consequences of the policies that they voted for? They voted for occupation and they are getting the fruits of their occupation.

[completely straight face]
Want to bring over the Palistineans instead? We could do that, too, although I suspect it wouldn't matter which group leaves. Should we start asking for donations or sign a petition or something?
[/completely straight face]


Either group, I really don't care either way. It would be cheaper than what we are doing right now!


MBNJ **Really? Most of the Arab areas in the Mid East SUPPORTED the AXIS powers, I'd have thought he'd be in the Axis Army.

Considering that I am not a jew, nor an Arab, nor a moslem, if you guys want to go kill each other, have fun, just don't involve me in your useless, pointless, idiotic war. No americans, no American Money, no American Weapons, none of my tax dollars, have fun go for it.

Not really. Our predecessors certainly didn't treat the American Indians any worse than we treated the black Africans that we enslaved.

Really, how many American Indians left? Trail of a thousand tears ring a bell?
If we wanted to kill every last Indian, there wouldn't be any Indians around today within the US. The Indians who "chose" to convert to Christianity, learned English, and tried to adapt a more European lifestyle generally weren't murdered.

Tell that to the Cherokees, they could use a good laugh.

If Israel demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment, Iran refuses to comply, and Israel attacks and eventually uses nuclear weapons, Israel is acting as a conquerer, not an exterminator.

Who the f*** gave Israel the right to ask that?

Rob Perkins said...

"'If Iran glasses Israel, eventually, you'll breathe the fallout, politically, socially, economically, spiritually, and environmentally.'

If the US or Israel Nukes Iran, eventually, you'll breathe the fallout, politically, economically and environmentally."


DQ are you really nothing more than a reactive gadfly? You've just contradicted yourself; do you care if a nuke falls and detonates out of malice, or not? Do you really think the moral depravity of an Iranian nuke is less than that of an American one?

Do keep posting, for all the reasons David has already listed.

OdinsEye2K said...

I'm just thinking of David's characterization of the bad guys with "glowing red eyes" when I think of robotic soldiers.

Don't all those really bad cyberpunk movies have the soulless robots chasing our heroes around? Maybe the machines are no more anonymous on the receiving end then a bunch of guys in fatigues. But at least the guys in fatigues can introduce themselves to your fellow villagers and prove that they are normal people just like you and I.

With robotics, I don't know. Surely they would complement the actual soldiers. But, at some level, I am a bit worried about the brave new world where machines are sent out to do the fighting for us. Especially when they can cause mayhem more or less at random because the lives that show up on CNN are no longer at stake.

Stefan Jones said...

Joe Haldeman, who unlike a lot of writers of military SF has actually been in combat, wrote a neat near-future novel -- Forever Peace -- in which the U.S. fights wars with tele-operated robotic "soldier boys."

As many here have suggested might happen, war becomes an cheap and attractive option when the chance of casualties are practically nil.

Doug S. said...

Reminds me of that Star Trek Original Series episode where Kirk "dies" in a virtual bombing, so the people on the planet try to kill him for real. Kirk ends up destroying all the computers running their endless "virtual" war, saying that they need to feel the cost of a real war if they're ever going to actually stop fighting.

Doug S. said...

Here's some interesting news:
Giulani for President in 2008?

David Brin said...

You gotta give Quijote some attaboys, now and then. He may be a pinko and totally tunnel-visioned. But he’s also sharp as a tack and TOTALLY welcome here as a source of CITOKATE. (Note: critics don’t have to be right in order to provide good citokate. In fact, they can ALWAYS be wrong... And yet still be good at spotting YOUR mistakes. When society becomes smart enough to understand this process... To truly grasp it... We’ll have acivilization.)

Anyway he was bright enough to catch the point about the Cherokee.

Indeed, the Cherokee tried to adapt, learning to read and write and have stores and plows and printing presses... and were betrayed anyway. Sent on the infamous Trail of Tears, despite having kept the Great Bargain of learning new ways and living by American law. (They are the only tribe whose principal hero is an intellectual, Sequoia, the genius who made them literate overnight, rather than adulating some tenaciously-obstinate, proudly neolithic warrior.)

And yet... there are levels and layers to this story and depths of irony. Indeed, deeper appraisal proves Quijote to be WRONG, far more than it proves him right. But in thought-provoking ways.

(I know about this. Years ago I created a detailed screenwriteup for a film about the Trail of Tears, working with an eminent screenwriter in LA. It is STILL by far the best “indian picture” that was never made. A stunning reversal of expectations and standard cliches, a rollercoaster drama and a testament not only for tolerance, but also new levels of maturity.)

Yes, the Cherokee were betrayed, but not by the United States of America, per se! Indeed, they fought the right way. Realizing (duh!) that outright war was futile, they took the State of Georgia (which was trying to eject them) all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Only here is the part most people have forgotten.

They won.

The Court ruled decisively in their favor! Their cause was vindicated. Their use of the law was rewarded by the very Constitution that they appealed to. The pact was kept and a new day seemed about to dawn....

Only then, that #%#$#*! Andy Jackson sent in troops ANYWAY! A Native American tribe tested the sincerity of our system... and found that it almost, almost, oh-so-tragically almost worked. (Among their allies? Davy Crockett, Sam Houston and Daniel Webster all tried to help!) And here’s the second tragedy... Far too few people recognize that the “almost” is vastly more dramatic and tragic than cliched movies showing drooling bluecoated cavalry-nazis. It is vastly sadder and more interesting.

What a story!

Yes, we find it hard to believe that Andy Jackson could have done that! Thar a president would and could defy the law and Constitution so outrageously. Of course, the Court’s priority was not yet well established in 1836. By our modern standards, this could never happen! A rogue jerk-president declaring a contrived “emergency” and seizing powers that he did not deserve, committing the country and its armed forces to an inappropriate and poorly supervised application of military force, allowing capricious abuses of power and human rights, turning friends into enemies? Wouldn’t happen today.

Hence, in fact, the round actually goes to Quijote’s opponent. Because the Cherokee came VASTLY closer to achieving justice than any other tribe did. Indeed, to this day, they are known as the tribe that always knew how to play the game. Highest education levels and all that. They have more descendants today (thru interbreeding) than any other US tribe. Oh... and they are the only one tribe who had a WOMAN serve as Principal Chief. I met her. Wilma Mankiller. What a name.

Still, Quijote was sharp and he stimulated an informative rant from me! He exposed a flaw needing correction. Hence, good stuff.

In contrast, naturally, I think Quijote (and the whole left) is toweringly loopy over Israel.

Their reflex?
. To see a nation of 4 million, surrounded by 400 million sworn enemies, and call the 400 million underdogs.
. To see one side ask for diplomatic relations and the other side relentlessly swear genocide, yet call the latter heroes.
. To utterly ignore the sight of oil billionaires leaving their cousins in hellish camps for 60 years, as political pawns, sending them just enough dribbles of aid to maintain the mosques as radicalization pulpits, but never any food or jobs or visas. No, far better to blame refugees from Nazi concentration camps! Yup! That makes lots of sense!

Look, there is a lot of blame to go around and Israel deserves plenty of citokate. But for the REFLEX of the left to be to ASSUME that this situation, which was deliberately DESIGNED by Hitler’s close pal, the Grand Mufti, from the very start, is automatically and by default a problem of 4 million horribly oppressing 400 million - (who have attacked again and again while shouting genocide) is abso-freaking lutely loony.

-

Finally, go see Colbert take on the president at:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/05/01/colbert/

Oh, and yesterday Colin Powel tepidly shyly and tentatively joined the Generals’ revolt...

Let us pray...

Don Quijote said...

Who cares as to what the court said? It didn't do the Cherokees a damn bit of good, they were sent to Oklahoma, their property stolen, and thousands of them died on the trail of tears.

Their reflex?
. To see a nation of 4 million, surrounded by 400 million sworn enemies, and call the 400 million underdogs.


to see a nation of 4 million armed with Nukes and the finest military hardware available at US tax payer expense occupying for the last fourty years another nation, stealing other people's land & property ,killing innocent civilians and attempting large scale ethnic cleansing.


Israeli leaders reach agreement on governing coalition
In other developments Monday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian woman and wounded two of her daughters during a raid to arrest a militant hiding in an apartment house in the West Bank town of Tulkarem, the army and Palestinians said.

The army said that troops called on occupants of the house to come out, using loudspeakers and firing warning shots in the air. After more than an hour in which no one emerged, soldiers shot at the building when they saw someone moving toward a window, suspecting that the person might be a gunman, a military spokeswoman said.

The shots killed Itaf Zalat, 44, and wounded two of her daughters.


No biggie, they were only Palestinians!

the IDF must investigate those responsible for the death in Tulkarm
Between January 2004 and May 1, 2006, 157 Palestinians were killed in what the IDF terms arrest operations in the West Bank . Of these, at least 35 were civilians, whom the military admits were mere bystanders to the operation. An additional 54 of those killed were defined as wanted by the military. However, they were either unarmed or did not attempt to use their weapons at the time they were killed.

35 Civilians, they had it coming, they should have known better than to be born Palestinians.

Two Palestinians killed in Israeli Air Strikes in Gaza Strip

Air strikes in densely populated area, undoubtly because the Israelis care deeply for the well-being of the Palestinian Population.


. To see one side ask for diplomatic relations and the other side relentlessly swear genocide, yet call the latter heroes.


To see one side violate and ignore countless UN resolutions & occupying a neighboring country.

. To utterly ignore the sight of oil billionaires leaving their cousins in hellish camps for 60 years, as political pawns, sending them just enough dribbles of aid to maintain the mosques as radicalization pulpits, but never any food or jobs or visas.

to see people who should know better call for Ethnic cleansing!

David Brin said...

Quijote at his best. Absolutely ignoring all evidence to the contrary. The entire history of behavior by the other side. Not a single statement swearing absolute anihilation makes it onto the radar screen. The direct sequence from Hitler through the Mufti and his SS advisors, ignored.

The implicit racism... that 400 million Arabs can't be expected to understand decent behavior, and therefore aren't to be judged by the same standards, is deeply offensive... to any thinking Arab! But there it is. Only Israelis are responsible because they "should know better".

But above all, ignore the actual topic at hand. The reflex. The reflex that has allowed vicious European antisemitism to be stoked and revived and fired up to new heights.

Oh, but never a recommendation. How would YOU handle a situation in which you are surrounded, 100:1 by countries swearing to kill you? (It didn't have to be this way. The Hashemites under Faisal oppsed the nazi Mufti. But he was backed by the r oils... who to this day want not only anihilation of Israel but of western civilization.

Oh, by all means ignore the last culture on the planet to still practice legal slavery. The one genociding blacks in Africa. The one devoted to denying all rights to women. Give THEM the benefit of the doubt. Ignore all of their acts, never put them on a balance.

Above all, never offer recommendations. Never offer a plausible plan that YOU would bet your kids life upon, if you were in those circumstances.

Feh. As I said before, people don't have to be right in order to be sharp and useful citokaters. In fact, they can be cockeyed and nearly always wrong. But a wise civilization will still find uses for them. And we here can keep benefiting from Quijote.

But I recommend dropping this one. Elsetimes he is interesting and even sharp. But this stance is worse than wrong. It is boring and dumb.

Don Quijote said...

. To utterly ignore the sight of oil billionaires leaving their cousins in hellish camps for 60 years, as political pawns, sending them just enough dribbles of aid to maintain the mosques as radicalization pulpits, but never any food or jobs or visas.

Why should the neighboring countries take in the palestinians? Why not the US, we were rich and could have easily absorbed a few million Palestinians with minimal cost.

problem of 4 million horribly oppressing 400 million

You' ll have to tell me where you find 400 millions.


West Bank 2.5 million (Under Israeli Occupation)
Gaza 1.5 million (Under Israeli Occupation)
Egypt 60 million
Syria 20 million
Jordan 6 million
Lebanon 4 million (invaded & Occupied by Israel from the 80's till a couple of years ago)
Iraq 27 million
Iran 70 million (Never Attacked Israel)
Saudi Arabia 27 million (Never Attacked Israel)
UAE 3 Million (Never Attacked Israel)

That's nowhere near 400 million.


One can disapprove of Israel, it's actions, it's policies without being an anti-semite, you are going to have to get over the fact that people can look at Israel and see something different than you do, not a beacon of enlightenment in a sea of barbarism, but a European colony imposing it's will upon it's neighbors thru the force of arms.

Don Quijote said...

Oh, by all means ignore the last culture on the planet to still practice legal slavery. The one genociding blacks in Africa. The one devoted to denying all rights to women. Give THEM the benefit of the doubt. Ignore all of their acts, never put them on a balance.

What happens in Africa has nothing to do with what happens in the Middle East. It 's on par with blaming the Portuguese for the Poles helping the Nazis kill Jews. After all they are both Catholic and European so they must be at fault to.

P.T. Galt said...

David Brin wrote:

Oh, but never a recommendation. How would YOU handle a situation in which you are surrounded, 100:1 by countries swearing to kill you? (It didn't have to be this way. The Hashemites under Faisal oppsed the nazi Mufti. But he was backed by the r oils... who to this day want not only anihilation of Israel but of western civilization.

It's exceedingly hard (for me at least) to concieve of a good "recommendation" for Israel. As I understand it, the main purpose of the Zionist project was to create a homeland for Jews where they would never be subject to progroms and Holocausts.

Where is the one place on Earth where a major Jewish community is openly hated and faces immediate physical danger, because they're Jews? Israel.

Considering demography and cartography (IOW, look at a map), Israel is (IMO) pretty close to untenable, despite its regional military supremacy. If Israel makes concessions (say, ceding the West Bank/Judea and Samaria and recognizing a Palestinian state), pretty much all of its territory is placed within Katyusha rocket range of a people who loathe it.

Even if the Palestinian government should desire peace, it wouldn't be too hard for a relative handful of malcontents to get their mitts on some Katyushas or RPG's they could fire over the Wall. Naturally, Israel would have to retaliate with helicopter gunships, and the war would go on.

At the other extreme, the Israelis could decide to read the biblical Book of Joshua, and seek to impose a Final Solution. This would put them in conflict with the entire planet, and even the U.S. would probably not support them.

Between these extremes, there's some version of the status quo, where they absorb the costs of an oversized military and an eternal occupation of a growing population of people fanatically opposed to their regime.

The "best" idea I can think of to provide real security for Israelis would be to carve some modest but decent chunk of land from the United States, and offer each Israeli, say, a million bucks to relocate. They could bring their independent government, and their military hardware with them.

Of course, I doubt that Israel as a whole would accept. Other Jews had a kingdom there during the early Iron Age, therefore modern Jews ought to kill and die for the same patch of land. Or at least, that's what many Israelis (especially the militant "settlers") seem to think.

If it were 1967, I'd say "Forget building settlements for Jews in the territory you've just conquered. Build settlements for Palestinians--and more importantly, build and run schools for them. A generation from now, you could have a prosperous and relatively friendly neighbor." Too late for that now though, too much blood has been spilled on both sides.

Maybe the best-case scenario for Israel is to "muddle through" for another 30 years and hope that the West reaches technological Singularity by then.

Best-case scenario for the Palestinians? That's even tougher. Even if they were to "drive the Jews into the sea"--without the Israelis nuking the place from their submarines--they'd still be saddled with a crappy government, and most likely, the threat of conquest by their Arab "supporters."

David Brin said...

I'd be angry, except that you are such a carricature of the very things I say, that you are helping make my point. Oh, yeah, slice away every inconvenient fact. What happens in Africa has NOTHING to do with how the SAME PEOPLE would behave if they ever break through in Israel. Nothing at all!

Let's see. Surrounding nations are noble for standing up for their brethren by saber-rattling and vosing utter genocide... (something you never touch, ever, because you do not dare.) But when asked about how much HELP they have given their brethren... oh! THAT's off topic!

In fact, Israel has given far more aid to those refugees than the Saudis and Iranians and emirates combined, despite the oil gushers they sit upon.

Are the Palestinians pawns, kept in misery deliberately, for their political value? You never once address that issue. Yet, NO other ethnicity is routinesly rounded up and herded back into camps, if they try to emigrate to better lives elsewhere, the way the Arab nations do when people leak out.

Have a hundred million hindu Pakistanis and Muslim Indians made new lives for themselves, after the tragic population movements of 1948? VAST numbers of refugees have moved around in the last 150 years. Sad, tragic tales, in which the Jews were foremost among all sufferers. ALl of these tales deserve deep empathy and help (if possible.) But ONLY the Palestinians were herded into permanent camps... BY THEIR SUPPOSED FRIENDS!

Friends who could have given them all the homes of the Jews who fled Arab lands after 1948. At the time, an equal number! The way Hindus and Muslims swapped in India Pakistan. An honorable solution? Perhaps not! But a solution that lets grandchildren get on with life? History says yes.

No, you are the racist. You find every excuse for slave-holding genocides, because "they ought to know better" doesn't apply to them. They CAN'T be reasonable, so forget asking them to be! Only the Israelis are responsible for their side of the tragedy.

Above all, DON'T look at the long history of human beings re-adjusting, adaptably, to new lives and new opportunities. With a tiny fraction of the oil money spent trying to kill Jews, countless Palestinians could have been doing just fine now. But no, even though that re-adjustment was made a zillion times by others - by YOUR ancestors and mine - you assume they couldn't have done it.

Oh, but again, I dare you. Recommendations! Squint and imagine that you are surrounded by enemies who were DIRECTLY TUTORED by Adolf Hitler and brought his henchmen with them from Berlin in 1945, openly declaring a dedication to genocide. Now offer a plan. We'd love to hear it. But you won't.

Nor am I interested anymore. I'll not return here.

David Brin said...

p.t. you posted while I was drafting, so my remarks weren't aimed at you. Yet I must respond.

The Palestinians are ALREADY by far the best-educated Arab population. While harrassed and imprisoned by their "brethren" they had little else to do. Indeed, they have done their best to rise up, given the circumstances.

Moreover, their women are also among the best educated and liberated in the arab world.

Indeed, the nearest analogs to the Palestinians... in their sad story of hardship and determination and self-improvement and dream for a homeland are...


...the Israelis. No other people has so many parallels.

And, indeed, the New Palestine has great potential to follow a similar story of success, especially if it were at peace with its dynamic neighbor. Israel has repeatedly promised a flood of investment in Palestine, if only peace happens. If that were matched by western aid and sheikdom oil, there could be an unimaginable boom.

But the sheiks do NOT want that. That radicals don't want it. Their dogma is not co-habitation and peace. It is anihilation. Utter. Guys like Quijote don't even try to deny this. They simly shrug it off.

P.T. Galt said...

Some ideas for "victory" in the "War on Fundamentalist Islam" [1]

1) I think it was John Boyd who said that the way to win a Fourth Generation war (aka "asymmetric war" or a war between a State and a Stateless insurgency) is to link up with centers of order while isolating centers of disorder and "rolling up" our enemies against each other.

This would mean seeking to strengthen ties with other States--especially democractic ones--while staying out of "enemy territory" so we provide them no easy-to-reach targets. Our enemies (fundamentalist Muslims) would be as likely to attack their near enemies (i.e. each other, as in Shiites vs. Sunnis, etc.) than to try to reach halfway around the world to attack us.

It wouldn't hurt to end our support for the House of Saud. Perhaps we could go so far as to make a counter-offer to Osama's truce, something like, "We'll stop meddling in Arab countries, but if you attack us again our response will be Roman. Oh, and if you want to overthrow the Saudis, go right ahead." This last might make the Saudis re-think their support of "madrasas" schools that churn out Osama's followers.

2) Scale back and de-porkify our military to what is needed to defend ourselves and our allies, and stop wasting our money on super-expensive weapon-systems without a mission (e.g. the F-22 fighter).

3) To make the above politically possible... Create a "livingry-industrial complex." The companies that have amassed the astounding levels of genius required to create things like the Stealth Bomber can be weaned off the government teat--and benefit the U.S. and the world by putting that genius to the service of life instead of death.

Instead of offering contracts, the government would offer prizes. "Give us an all-electric car that competes with gas-powered cars in terms of price and performance, and is designed to be manufactured and recycled in a 'cradle-to-cradle' loop. Prize: 10 billion dollars" "Give us a source of renewable energy that matches the price of fossil-fuel energy. Prize: $50 billion." "Give us a way to reverse global warming that does not cause other, possibly worse problems. Prize: $100 billion." "Give us a single-stage-to-orbit Neuffer Ring space station that can be mass-produced. Prize: $30 billion." Etc.

This "prize system" would mean that taxpayer money would not be spent until desired results were achieved. Cutting our empire ("defense") budget in half, and eliminating the Space Shuttle program ("Replace the Space Shuttle with a ship that gets passengers and cargo to LEO for under $100 a pound. Prize: $15 billion. What's that, Mr. Rutan? You're already working on it? Great!")

The prize system would induce competition and innovation in the market. Even "losing" competitors (e.g. the guys in "second place") could come up with profitable and worldchanging technologies.

Maybe there could even be a "DARPA" designed to solve humanity's problems instead of figuiring out nifty ways for us to kill each other.

4) Create a Peace Corps or a "Global Rescue Service" as well-equipped and well-funded as a branch of the military. Next time there's a tsunami or a hurricane (in the U.S. or elsewhere) American heavy-lift zeppelins and other goodies ought to show up deploying field hospitals, emergency shelter, water-purification technologies, etc. When there are no "disasters," this agency could assist Third World countries in "leapfrog development" so their people can share in the prosperity of the modern world. Why do this? Goodwill capital. Erode the "Hate America!" meme.

5) Create a comprehensive program of nuclear security. Strengthen the IAEA to include a comprehensive, internationally transparent accounting of all weapons-grade nuclear material on the planet, including ours and that of our allies (e.g. Israel), followed by as much nuclear disarmement as we can manage. It's far easier to keep 100 nuclear weapons from being stolen or launched accidentally than 10,000.

"Impoverish" the fuel from decommissioned warheads under international supervision, for use in nuclear power plants and/or nuclear-thermal rocketry. The latter would enable us to get serious about exploring and settling the Solar System, defend Earth against "dinosaur-killer" asteroids, and dispose of nuclear waste permanently--by rocketing it into the Sun.

6) Employ intelligence, law-enforcement, and military/covert-ops forces when necessary to combat defined enemies, after a Constitutionally-mandated congressional Declaration of War (in the case of rogue States) or Letters of Marque and Reprisal (in the case of non-State enemy forces like Al-Qaeda).

7) Seek international agreement to define international terrorism as a form of Piracy, so that an existing body of international law that works fairly well against non-State aggressors can be applied against them with broad-based support.

NOTES:

1. As others have already pointed out, you can't win a war against a tactic. You have to name your enemy before you can even hope to come up with a coherent strategy, much less win.

P.T. Galt said...

David Brin wrote:

Indeed, the nearest analogs to the Palestinians... in their sad story of hardship and determination and self-improvement and dream for a homeland are...


...the Israelis. No other people has so many parallels.


Too bad both peoples are trying to have the same homeland. Unfortunately, both sides worship slightly-different versions of a megalomaniac "indignation junky" magnified to cosmic dimensions. Religion (especially that of the fanatics on both sides) is, IMO, the main thing that forces the Israelis and Palestinians into a zero-sum game.

It's not possible for both sides to have Jerusalem as an undivided capital, have undisputed control of "holy" sites, etc.

You make a good point regarding the Muslim tyrannies' "support" for the Palestinians. If Saddam Hussein had offered $20,000 to families who wanted to keep their children alive and send them to college, instead of those who used their kids as human cruise missiles, he could have scored a propaganda coup, and even done some good in the world.

As I understand it, Palestinians in Muslim countries are still caged in refugee camps--after thirty years or so. Keeping them miserable and radicalized does apparently serve the Muslim tyrannies' purpose of using them as expendable cat's-paws against Israel.

If they'd wanted to, the Muslim world could have helped turn Palestine into the Hong Kong of the eastern Mediterranean--or made the Israelis look like real "bad guys" if they acted to prevent the flow of aid.

But then, those governments don't seem to value the lives of their own people, so it's no surprise they don't give a tinker's cuss for the Palestinians.

Still, given the nature of the situation, it's more important for Israel to gain and keep the moral high ground than it is for the Muslim tyrannies. Israel can't win through brutality, attrition, or demography. It has to win the battle of ideas, not in Washington D.C., but in Gaza and the West Bank. The Hamas victory in the recent elections says it's losing on that front.

P.T. Galt said...

Oops, in my previous post, I forgot to finish a sentence in this paragraph:

This "prize system" would mean that taxpayer money would not be spent until desired results were achieved. Cutting our empire ("defense") budget in half, and eliminating the Space Shuttle program ("Replace the Space Shuttle with a ship that gets passengers and cargo to LEO for under $100 a pound. Prize: $15 billion. What's that, Mr. Rutan? You're already working on it? Great!") would provide funds for the prize purses. America would still have the strongest military in the world.

Hawker Hurricane said...

p.t. Galt...
"super-expensive weapon-systems without a mission (e.g. the F-22 fighter)."

Unfortunately, the F-22 Raptor fighter does have a mission...
It seems that many countries who have shown that they are not our allies have acquired by nefarious means a fighter plane capable of taking on the best aircraft (save the F-22) in the U.S. Air Force's inventory.

My only question is what idiot decided selling these countries F-15 Eagles was a good idea in the first place.

It's quite the scam: Sell the world's best fighter to potential enemies, then use that as a excuse to force the USAF to buy the next generation fighter...
And twenty years from now, they'll push for buying F-29's so as to maintain our superiority over the F-22's that they're selling...

Don Quijote said...

What happens in Africa has NOTHING to do with how the SAME PEOPLE would behave if they ever break through in Israel. Nothing at all!

It has notthing to do with the Middle East, they are NOT THE SAME PEOPLE!

Let's see. Surrounding nations are noble for standing up for their brethren by saber-rattling and vosing utter genocide... (something you never touch, ever, because you do not dare.) But when asked about how much HELP they have given their brethren... oh! THAT's off topic!

Considering that the Lebanese just finished a three or four way civil war partly caused by the destabizing effects of having so many refugees, that the Syrian government ( as bad as it is) is barely holding that country together and that Jordan is barely holding on (half the population of that country are Palestinian Refugees) and that Iraq is a complete f*cken disaster (our creation) and that we are busily threatening Iran with the same treatment we gave Iraq, you expect these countries to solve the Problems Israel created.

In fact, Israel has given far more aid to those refugees than the Saudis and Iranians and emirates combined, despite the oil gushers they sit upon.

Which is as it should be since they are the ones who created the Refugees.

Are the Palestinians pawns, kept in misery deliberately, for their political value? You never once address that issue. Yet, NO other ethnicity is routinesly rounded up and herded back into camps, if they try to emigrate to better lives elsewhere, the way the Arab nations do when people leak out.

I think that you are forgetting the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza, how are the Saudis responsible for their well being? or the 2.5 million living in the west bank under Israeli occupation, how are the Iraqis, Jordanians, and othe Arab states responsible for the conditions in which they are living?

But ONLY the Palestinians were herded into permanent camps... BY THEIR SUPPOSED FRIENDS!

Considering that over 1.5 million Palestinian Refugees are in Gaza and the West Bank, you must be including Israeli jews amongst their supposed friends.


No, you are the racist.

Wow, when all else fails insult are always a good way to go.

Oh, but again, I dare you. Recommendations!

There are aproximatly 7 million Palestinan Refugees thru out the Middle East, Give each of them an American Passport, a one way airplane ticked to the US and enough money to restart their lives in the US.

Nor am I interested anymore. I'll not return here.
Your loss.



Still, given the nature of the situation, it's more important for Israel to gain and keep the moral high ground than it is for the Muslim tyrannies. Israel can't win through brutality, attrition, or demography. It has to win the battle of ideas, not in Washington D.C., but in Gaza and the West Bank. The Hamas victory in the recent elections says it's losing on that front.

It lost that a long time ago, if it ever had it!