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Originally Posted By: terrytnewzealand
(snip) It's still nice to call the US president George W. Caesar.


Yeah, but where's Brutus when you need him? crazy


When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis
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Soilguy. The trouble with the Brutus solution is that it didn't really improve the situation. I found this at Yahoo when I was checking my emails:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070605/ap_on_el_pr/democrats_religion

Seems any replacement for G. W. Caesar is going to have to prove they're devout Christian. Therefore the problem isn't going to be solved anytime soon.

Look forward to your comments re visit to museum. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I'd love to go.

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Re. the Yahoo comment:
I understand that this of mine comment is probably very cynical, but how on earth would her "faith" have helped Mrs Clinton through the trauma caused by her husband's infidelity? I always thought she showed great pragmatism, after all the Team Clinton is much more powerful politically than each of them individually and there may have been a private accommodation between them regarding such behaviour, we don't know. She must have been very very angry when it all went extremely pear-shaped, through his inability to behave with any discretion. But, really, what could God do? I'm not saying she's not devout-- I don't know anything about it, but really, I think practical politics helped her more than God in this one.

I suppose she could have prayed for strength, but she seems to me to be a woman of great personal strength of character and intellect- certainly enough to deal with a wandering husband, even one as charming, and catastrophic, as Mr Clinton.

The need to ally oneself to a Christian foundation is truly amazing. What would happen if a politician in the US would, as do politicians elsewhere, say that they do not subscribe to any religious belief? Are they really all so devout? Do only Christians stand for Parliament in the US?

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In the US, to say that one does not subscribe to any religious belief is tantamount to political suicide. It is better to have faith, and the implication that one is guided by a higher power is acceptable to many of the more fundamentalist groups. Even if you do not ascribe to their flavor of religion, you'd better at least have some kind of religion if you want to get elected to high office. There are an awful lot of people who actually believe that "under god" is one of the founding tenets of this land. It's on our money, so it must be true.

It's sick, but it's true. The person who gets elected is the one whom the most sheep will follow, and most of the sheep consider themselves to have some form of religion, so they expect some in their leaders. Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and I think there are people who see that as preferable to atheism or nontheism.


If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose

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Rose wrote:

"It is better to have faith".

A Muslim for president, anyone?

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Terry: "Seems any replacement for G. W. Caesar is going to have to prove they're devout Christian. Therefore the problem isn't going to be solved anytime soon"

Ellis: "The need to ally oneself to a Christian foundation is truly amazing"

Amaranth: "It's sick, but it's true. The person who gets elected is the one whom the most sheep will follow, and most of the sheep consider themselves to have some form of religion"
____

May 27, 2007

"But one of the starkest recent displays of creationism's popularity came during a recent debate between the 10 Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential nomination. The candidates were asked which of them did not believe in evolution. Three proudly raised their hands."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,2089322,00.html


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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"But one of the starkest recent displays of creationism's popularity came during a recent debate between the 10 Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential nomination. The candidates were asked which of them did not believe in evolution. Three proudly raised their hands."

GULP!

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"Three proudly raised their hands."

Are the others still candidates or have they now been dropped as having no show?

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Originally Posted By: Ellis
It's probably a silly idea but the comparison of the US with the Roman Empire was popular a few years ago, and the later decay of tthe Romans in the 1st century was resonsible for some remarkable stories of excess and downright craziness! There was a rescue of sorts, and the Pax Romana followed, but such individual power must inevitably be lost. Maybe this is the result of decay, misuse of power and the despair that samwik mentions.


Ellis,
fyi: the 6/7 Colbert Report has an interview with author Cullen Murphy discussing the parallels (Haliburton mentioned re: Barbarians (not Vandals though).

Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America
by Cullen Murphy

~SA


Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.
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It's happened so quickly too. The Romans had 4/500 years whereas the US has had perhaps 50, or less if you count from the fall of the Soviets. Why? Are the foundations shifting, and/or too flimsy to support the top heavy oligarchy?

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Ellis: "It's happened so quickly too."

The patient is sick, but I don't think the condition is critical. At least, I hope it isn't. The US still has the ingredients of a great civilization with a long and healthy future, but this is my personal view:

The danger isn't in belief in God, nor even in many aspects of 'good' religion - there may be an important place for ritual, and there are ethical values that are beyond reproach, be they within or without religion.

The danger is in dogma that is taken to be absolute, unquestionable and immutable truth. It's religious dogma, together with a corresponding politics that is derived from the same mental processes, that have the potential to stagnate American civilization, and could ultimately lead to its death.


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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"People think that epilepsy is divine simply because they don't have any idea what causes epilepsy. But I believe that someday we will understand what causes epilepsy, and at that moment, we will cease to believe that it's divine. And so it is with everything in the universe." - Hippocrates

Today, Hippocrates might ask Why, now that you understand the causes of many things in the universe, are there so many who look away, and cling tenaciously to delusion?

Quote from Ann Druyan http://ffrf.org/fttoday/1998/jan_feb98/druyan.html

Our kids don't have a dream of the future anymore. It's been a long time since we've had one. You ask yourself, well, why would they want to be scientists when everything in their society is telling them you've just got to believe, and it will be true. We haven't had a national political leader in a very long time who was even comfortable with the language and the methods of science.

She actually said that in Dec 1997. Now, ten years on...


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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Thanks Rede. From her speech:

"That's why science is so subversive, so much more subversive than any other methodology that I've ever come across."

Perhaps that's why the powers that be in some countries are so afraid of it.

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I'm sure of it. Abdus Salam (Nobel Prize for Physics, 1979, died 1996) found this during his stay in Egypt, where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to raise the status of science in universities.

What, exactly, is the basis of the fear? Is it the threat of political and social destabilisation? Political religion is a powerful tool for social manipulation even in Thailand, where I think it has little to do with dogma - but that's another story.


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Power- it has to do with power. In countries that are religious by decree the power is held by those who profess and administer belief. Science is, by its nature, open to all. For many of those in power science is hard to understand, and they are not in sole charge of any part of it. They are really really scared of something they do not understand and cannot control. Especially they cannot control the outcome---how scary is that for a control freak?!

And what a threat to everything they perceive as stability.

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Yes. I remember some time ago comments regarding why Darwin took so long to release his idea of continuous evolution. It wasn't because he was afraid of offending his wife, or anybody else. It was because he realised if his theory was true there was no fixed order. This would give ammunition to those who had demanded change during the riots of 1848. And, of course, he belonged to the priviledged class. He was potentially going to suffer the consequences of having his theory widely accepted.

And there's the story of the Bishop's wife who said when she first heard the idea, "Let's hope it's not true, and if it is true, let's hope the lower classes don't hear of it".

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LOL Terry,
That does sound more probable than the romantic story of concern for his wife (or maybe, in addition to...).

So, ...fear for his lifstyle.
...and fear of reprisal from the priviledged class itself, who like the Bishop's wife, could see the implications.

Later, (I have epigenetics homework to catch up on. wink )
~SA


Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.
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why would you not like Bush? he is your leader, firm in his beleifs, and ELECTED <focus on the latter.

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Originally Posted By: Tim
why would you not like Bush? he is your leader, firm in his beliefs, and ELECTED <focus on the latter.

I expect you've noticed that he's not a 'science friendly' president; but taking a balanced view, we can see that concerns about science in the US did not begin with Bush. I think the cancellation of the Superconducting Super Collider in 1993 was a landmark in the decline of American science. At that time, the projected total cost was $12 billion. Nearly $2 billion had already been spent. 23.5 km of tunnel, and 17 shafts to the surface had already been dug. President Clinton attempted to prevent the cancellation by requesting that Congress continue "to support this important and challenging effort" through completion because "abandoning the SSC at this point would signal that the United States is compromising its position of leadership in basic science..." . I think that's exactly what it did signal.

That's all that's relevant to the thread, but it doesn't fully answer your question.

"ELECTED". Yes, incredible isn't it. Still, everyone makes mistakes, and in that case, half of America did. I remember watching the televised election campaign with a sense of foreboding as I read his warmonger character. I kid you not - I felt it.

The purpose of a democratic election is to allow people to choose the person and the political party they think will best serve their interests. It doesn't mean that they must blindly, mindlessly, and without protest, accept whatever that person and party choose to do.

There may be a host of reasons for his domestic unpopularity, but as a non-American, I can tell you that the foreign policies of his administration are extremely unpopular. He is widely seen, particularly in Britain, as a very dangerous man who has resorted to genocidal means***, purportedly to create a "new world order" and to give people a better way of life!!! - and all with full confidence that God is on his side. Yes, Tim, I guess he is firm in his beliefs/delusions. It's so desgustingly grotesque. The WMD argument, having failed, has been replaced by the ludicrous "world democracy" argument. Remember Vietnam?

He's not my leader but, as long we had Blair, who would have known?

*** see: Iraq War Results & Statistics as of June 3, 2007 http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm

Possibly 600,000+ dead, and possibly 5 to 10 times as many maimed.

Spent & Approved War-Spending - Over $600 billion of US taxpayers' funds. President Bush is expected to request another $140 billion for 2008, which would bring the cumulative total to close to $750 billion.

So, Tim, I hope that answers your question. That's why I "would not like Bush", even though he's not (really) my leader, especially since he's "firm in his beliefs", and even though he was "ELECTED".


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Mr Bush is not my 'leader'. My leader likes him, but Mr Bush is not generally well liked in Australia. He is regarded as a bit of a clown, to be honest. I feel this is a dangerous underestimation, though he does not seem to be intellectually acute in most of the TV reporting here. I am sure he must be cleverer in fact. The Iraq War is not popular. The reasons for going there are not widely perceived as truthful. My leader too was elected twice and I am still amazed at both election results.

Sometimes the democratic system as practised in states with a 2 party preferred policy can ensure that the various shades of public opinion can be ignored for most of the time, and only be considered at election time- to disappear again for a few years. Easier to govern, but not truly democratic.

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