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    Missile Defense

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?

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rshow55 - 06:45pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#648 of 652) Delete Message

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 ... 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 today.

The Faithful and Their Faith by TERRY GOLWAY

"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

And this one, from a somewhat obscure source, that I find powerful, credible, and wrenching.

THE UNIVERSALITY OF INCEST by Lloyd DeMause at (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 both those.

rshow55 - 06:45pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#649 of 652) Delete Message

"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 useful.

lchic - 07:10pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#650 of 652)

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 of noise!
And not giving up!
The other side 'caves-in' and gives up
You win!

Moral : No moral!

lchic - 07:28pm Mar 17, 2002 EST (#651 of 652)

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