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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's
war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars"
defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make
the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an
application of science be successful? Is a militarized space
inevitable, necessary or impossible?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(647 previous messages)
- 06:45pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#648
A bunch of self satisfied, cocksure, hate-filled primates just
walked into a church, that happened to be in Pakistan, and killed
some people. I've been impolite to Mazza about Hobbsian stances - -
but sometimes one can see why people come to them. President Bush
was angry, and I am, too. I don't have to ignore any other wrong to
feel so. This was ugly.
Moral indignation comes easy - - but there's MORE than enough
grounds for indignation. Almarst , sometimes, even with my
sympathy fully engaged, I find yours tiresome. Even when I find your
points fully justified, from where I stand, they are still tiresome.
Pardon me - I just felt like saying that. You want to maintain
dialog -- not cut it off. I find the example of diplomacy offered by
Khaled Al-Maeena , set out in From bin Laden's Native
Land, a Voice to Calm the Angry America http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/17/weekinreview/17WORD.html
... useful. The example is about the continuation of dialog, and of
tolerance -- even when certain harsh kinds of "logic" would cut it
off -- and with the cutoff of dialog, cut off hope. It is
easy to pick a fight (I used to be something of an expert on
the subject). Peace is hard. Khaled Al-Maeena knows things
that are necessary (alas, not sufficient) for making peace. Friedman
knows some other things (alas, not all.) Sadly, there are other
things that nobody knows workably - that we have to find out.
Though there's reason for hope, too. We are animals, and
sometimes especially terrible ones. Even people who try, and try to
do good, often fail and betray their better selves terribly. We are
animals, dispite all our virtues. We are often selfish, weak and
carnal -- and limited. And there are reminders, some in the news
The Faithful and Their Faith by TERRY GOLWAY http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/17/weekinreview/17GOLW.html
"Dozens of Catholics from the Boston area,
representatives chosen by the archdiocese's 300 parishes, gathered
on March 9 in South Boston, where they were allowed two minutes
each to tell Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston what they thought of
his handling of the archdiocese's pedophilia scandal.
As Scandal Keeps Growing, Church and Its Faithful Reel by
LAURIE GOODSTEIN and ALESSANDRA STANLEY http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/17/national/17PRIE.html
And this one, from a somewhat obscure source, that I find
powerful, credible, and wrenching.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF INCEST by Lloyd DeMause at http://www.psychohistory.com/
(scroll down to article)
THE UNIVERSALITY OF INCEST makes bracing reading, but if it is as
credible as I suspect it is, ought to give people sentimental about
the "inherent goodness or mankind" pause.
When I read DeMause, I thought this --- if what he says is true,
the catalepsy of some countries and cultures - - including Islamic
cultures - their inability to show the economic growth one would
expect, may be in large part due to having such a huge framework of
lies and brutal usages, that there is just not the common ground,
and respect for truth, that the complex cooperation of modern
economic life takes.
There are muddles and deceptions involved with nuclear weapons,
and with missile defense. There are moral failings. But fictions,
and webs of lies, are common in human affairs. When I pointed
out that opinion, last year on a Guardian thread, a poster I've
sometimes suspected was lunarchic said this:
"Bracing indeed rshowalter. I had to go away and
recover from that one.
"I'm not sentimental about the 'inherent goodness
of mankind', but I do think most of its evils spring from
ignorance and a lack of love. This is an excellent illustration of
- 06:45pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#649
"Nobody can wave a magic wand and make the whole
world better, but if those who have that level of awareness in
their own hearts take it upon themselves to decrease ignorance and
increase love in what they do and how they interact with the
world, things will slowly get better - slowly, as in generation
upon generation, being the operative word. "
We don't have all that much time. But maybe the problems before
us aren't that hard or time-consuming, either.
To make a lot of things much better (including missile defense,
as a clear and relatively simple example) we need to establish facts
- need to be "reading off the same page" -- about enough facts that
when we "connect the dots" we do so in patterns that are at least
right enough to keep us from killing ourselves and others.
Getting straight on the questions of MD634 rshow55
3/17/02 9:04am - - which we CAN get to closure - would be
- 07:10pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#650
From the notebook:
Question : How did Bush get elected ?
Answer : Had the biggest bullies who made the loudest NOISE on
his side ! Thought : Being a 'winner' is about
making a lot
And not giving up!
The other side 'caves-in' and
Moral : No moral!
- 07:28pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#651
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