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Missile defense, civilian casualties, Ramsey Clark, etc....(53 posts)

Missile defense, civilian casualties, Ramsey Clark, etc....Starliner
Dec 16, 2001 9:20 PM
Sorry to start a new thread on some ongoing subjects, but I just don't know where to properly interject some further considerations on these issues, give the threads have grown so many branches...

MISSILE "DEFENSE"...... Remember the Maginot Line. A lesson from history that seems to be ignored. Great expense poured into a state-of-the-art defense system which the enemy easily bypassed. Caused a deadly complacency which led to the country's defeat.

Another thought- if you were a country who wasn't exactly on buddy-buddy terms with the US (i.e. China), how would you feel if suddenly you found yourself at a strategic disadvantage with the US? Wouldn't you try to counter that disadvantage in some way?

And if the US had such a system up and running, what would the possibility be for some cowboy President coming to power and, given our unmatched system of defense, deciding to, say, take control over the Middle East oil fields? Or some other equally bold yet world-peace threatening move such as revamping China's government with the premise of protecting our domestic economy and business interests?

CIVILIAN CASUALTIES..... Whether it was 408 or 1500 I don't think it makes a difference in the big scheme of things. The bottom line is war is a pretty sh!tty event, and it's somewhat of a stretch to think you can expect war to be fought cleanly and to make sense. If there was ever any sense at all, war should never be fought in the first place.

What we do have to understand is that whatever sh!t that happens during a war can have repercussions later on. It has been said that what happened in Iraq turned bin Laden against us. So, could it be that what happened in that building in Iraq was a motivating factor for bin Laden killing innocent men women and children of America? (Not a justification, mes amis, just an attempt to understand what it all might be about)

The difference with Iraq and Afghanistan is that the hit we as American people took on 9/11 has given us a sort of justified immunity for our actions in the eyes of the Arab world. However, this magical aura will dissipate quickly if we don't clean up the messes we will have made in Afghanistan as we didn't do in Iraq.

RAMSEY CLARK...... Poor Ramsey. What follows is solely my opinion based upon non-scientific data; strictly my intuition based upon what I've seen and heard from him over the years and his timing... he lacks credibility for the issues he professes; his effectiveness as a spokesman, his respect as a statesman are both low. I think he operates out of personal motivation as much as for noble reasons; his gain would be to rid himself of personal guilt over his past associations with power. I simply don't trust people who operate from personal guilt.

BIN LADEN TAPE........ it's real. I just don't think this new administration is competent enough to create such a perfect forgery as people might suspect it is. They don't deserve such credit.

RIGHT TO LIFE vs. CHOICE.......... I think the father and the mother of the unborn child (up to a certain time period) should equally have the right to make the decision to abort or carry through.

Oh, sorry, this last thing just slipped through...
$60 billion to beat $1.29 boxcutter technology.cory
Dec 16, 2001 9:26 PM
Ah, MAN, don't let me start...Why would anybody go to all the trouble of building a missile when they can bring a nuclear bomb in a suitcase from Toronto? I'm still waiting for Bush to explain how the defense system would have stopped the planes from crashing into the WTC. But you have to love the family...my dad just got to realize his dreams of football through me. Bush Sr. gets to realize his dreams of world domination through HIS son.
goofy reasoningDog
Dec 17, 2001 6:49 AM
"I'm still waiting for Bush to explain how the defense system would have stopped the planes from crashing into the WTC."

This is goofy, sorry. You may as well also say, "I'm still waiting for Bush to explain how the (take you pick)[B1 bomber][tanks][infantry][nuclear arsenal][submarines] would have stopped the planes from crashing into the WTC.

By your reasoning, we now have determined that the ONLY threat to our nation is the box cutter and hijacked planes. Well, that's a load off! Now we can disband the military, scrap the ships, and never lose another military person. Thankfully, all of our enemies have made it abundantly clear that they have given up on all forms of attack except the boxcutter aided hijacking. Just think of the billions we'll save!

The family thing is equally silly. It shows your bias. Don't attack substance and rationale, but rather someone's family status. You can do better than that. You said you are a journalist -- you print that?

Dog
goofy reasoningACE-
Dec 17, 2001 11:59 PM
Just think... if we had sufficent Box Cutter control laws in place, none of this would have happened!
re: Missile defense, civilian casualties, Ramsey Clark, etc....Me Dot Org
Dec 16, 2001 10:56 PM
MISSILE DEFENSE: In a world where tons of drugs are smuggled into the United States every year, why would anyone need a missile to attack us? I don't really see missile defense as doing anything. Countries that do have missiles will MIRV them to confuse missile defense systems. A waste of money, and it is not going to add any security.

AMARIYAH: I would agree that the killing of civilians at the Amariyah Shelter was a tragedy. War is a horrible way to for nations to settle their differences. The arguments over the numbers killed at Amariyah had more to do will the veracity of the sources than the tragedy of the event.

As far as Bin Laden using the events of Amariyah as the reason for September 11, I think it's a little more complicated than that. Hussein's government has hardly been a champion of the kind of fundamentalism that Bin Laden supports. Bin Laden still sees the west as infidels, and U.S. bases in the land of Mecca as an abomination.

RAMSEY CLARK: This is your post. I won't go there.

BIN LADEN TAPE: A lot of people say "Wag the Dog", "The U.S. has the technology"...It seems pretty unlikely that it is a fake. If YOU were the U.S. government, and YOU could produce a tape, would it look like that?

Has anyone seen an interview with someone at a digital production house about this tape? I'd be really interested to hear what they say. People have talked about Forrest Gump or Contact, but those were inserting people into a scene and not (as far as I know) changing the image of someone to have them saying something they never said before. What about Bin Laden's voiceprint?
re: Missile defense, civilian casualties, Ramsey Clark, etc....janet
Dec 16, 2001 11:13 PM
As a member of Californians for Peace and Physicians for Human Rights I was one of the 84 people who went to the Middle East in 1998 with the the Iraq Sanction Challenge. This effort was made possible and led by both Ramsey Clark and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Catholic Diocese of Detroit. Most of the group were Physicians, Clergy and Human Rights workers.
I have known Ramsey Clark for over 6 years now. I don't know if you have met or talked to Ramsey, Starliner, but I can assure you he isn't doing what he is because of guilt. My talks with him have been about his concern with the relationship between the rich and poor nations, disease, hunger and malnutrition, Aids in Africa, sanctions that cause the death of children, peace and Human Rights issues and agricultural self-sufficiency in Third World countries. These are the things he spends the majority of his time and work on.
The Gulf War had a big impact not only on him but a lot of us. To see a running commercial for militarism on television and shoots of glee with every Tomahawk missile launch from the Persian Gulf was disconcerting for many around the world. The sanctions that followed that war have caused more disease, misery and death to the children of Iraq.
I want to add one note for Met Dog Org. Ramsey Clark has lots of contacts in the U.S. government. In Agriculture, in Health and in State that I know of. I know that during our trip to the Middle East he and Bishop Gumbleton talked to numerous people in both State and Defense, some close friends.
Ramsey Clark is a principled manMe Dot Org
Dec 17, 2001 1:53 PM
...it is just that sometimes his principles translate into strange politics. Being principled doesn't necessarily lead to correct decisions. Just look at John Walker. I would again remind you that Mr. Clark is allied with the Workers World Party, who supports the "crushing of the counterrevolutionary Tiananmen uprising", and characterized Kim Il Sung of North Korea as "the great leader of the Korean people" (quotes from the Workers World website).

Interestingly, I have found some mention on some sites that Mr. Clark is a deep cover infiltrator whose aim is to discredit the left. Paranoia knows no bounds.

I would recommend to you (and to others who are interested) an article on Mr. Clark:

http://www.maykuth.com/Projects/clark91.htm

i The sanctions that followed that war have caused more
i disease, misery and death to the children of Iraq.

I agree: the sanctions against Iraq have done much more to hurt the Iraqi people than change the mindset of the Iraqi leadership. Paradoxically, the ineffectiveness of sanctions has done much to dismantle the pre-war argument that sanctions should have been used instead of military force. It is clear that sanctions would not have been effective in convincing the leadership of Iraq to end its annexation of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein is perfectly willing to see his people suffer mightily for his own political ends.
Ramsey Clark is a principled manMe Dot Org
Dec 17, 2001 3:27 PM
...it is just that sometimes his principles translate into strange politics. Being principled doesn't necessarily lead to correct decisions. Just look at John Walker. I would again remind you that Mr. Clark is allied with the Workers World Party, who supports the "crushing of the counterrevolutionary Tiananmen uprising", and characterized Kim Il Sung of North Korea as "the great leader of the Korean people" (quotes from the Workers World website).

Interestingly, I have found some mention on some sites that Mr. Clark is a deep cover infiltrator whose aim is to discredit the left. Paranoia knows no bounds.

I would recommend to you (and to others who are interested) an article on Mr. Clark:

http://www.maykuth.com/Projects/clark91.htm

i The sanctions that followed that war have caused more
i disease, misery and death to the children of Iraq.

I agree: the sanctions against Iraq have done much more to hurt the Iraqi people than change the mindset of the Iraqi leadership. Paradoxically, the ineffectiveness of sanctions has done much to dismantle the pre-war argument that sanctions should have been used instead of military force. It is clear that sanctions would not have been effective in convincing the leadership of Iraq to end its annexation of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein is perfectly willing to see his people suffer mightily for his own political ends.
Ramsey Clark is a principled manJason H
Dec 17, 2001 7:50 PM
Intellectual dishonesty rears its head again. Your attempts at linkage, Tiananmen, Kim Il Sung, John Walker are absurd.
You seem content with yourself in using misrepresentations
Ramsey Clark is a principled manMe Dot Org
Dec 18, 2001 10:37 AM
Mr. Clark associates with, yet refuses to criticize, people who applaud the Chinese Government for crushing the uprrising at Tianamen Square, and people who believe Kim Il Sung was a great leader.

My comparison with John Walker is only in the sense that I believe John Walker was an extremely earnest and principled young man who was looking for some strong values in life. Unfortunately, I think he found them in the wrong place.

In an interview, Mr. Clark was asked why he continues to associate with the Workers World Party. He responded:

"If you believe that we're all human, you don't exclude people. I've had more problems with the people I've been working with trying to exclude people than any others. They don't like to see the LaRouche people. I don't think you can think a democrat with a small 'd' can be afraid of that. If you agree on the issues, you agree on the issues."

Is Mr. Clark saying that criticism equals exclusion? By refusing to criticize the Workers World Party for applauding the brutal oppresion of the Chinese Government or the despotism of Kim Il sung, you are somehow acknowledging the humanity of the people you work with?

To me, THAT is intellectual dishonesy.
Ramsey Clark is a principled manharlett
Dec 18, 2001 9:01 PM
so with a few sentences of an answer to one question you have looked into the soul of ramsey clark and pronounced him guilty by omission and association-- didn't this country try that in the 1950's ? did it ever occur to you that he may let his actions speak for his beliefs? that he may not feel the need to respond the way every reporter or reader wants? that maybe he is too involved in his work to worry what you or anyone thinks about him? that those who know his work don't need to ask if all the views of the workers world party are also his? just maybe ramsey clark knows his actions have answered that question many times over-- have you looked at all his interviews and speeches and statements and writings and found no criticisms the of things your so piously objecting to?
in his speeches and statements for caritas internationalis, a network of 154 national catholic relief, development and social work agencies, he has, many times, been harshly critical of both the human rights abuses and the death penalty in china-- in his essay in "acts of aggression" he eloquently talks about the chinese violations of the universal declaration of human rights-- he has also been a critic of human rights abuses in china in a number of other speeches-- some of those speeches were given in south korea-- one such speech when the chinese were pressuring south korea to not let the dalai lama visit the country--
of course since you, evidently, haven't read that book or heard or read those speeches, you have no idea of what he said-- but here you are...making false assumptions because of your limited knowledge--
if you knew of ramsey clark's ties to south korean president kim dae-jung would you still think of him as an apologist for kim il-sung and his abuses?
at the nobel lecture given by the noble peace prize laureate for 2000, kim dae-jung, the president of south korea, ramsey clark was the invited guest of kim dae-jung-- the two men have known one another and worked on human rights issues since the late 80's-- ramsey was one of the people kim consulted regarding the pardoning of two of kim's political enemies and past presidents of south korea, chun doo-hwan and roh tae-woo, who were serving long sentences for corruption-- roh tae-woo, while president, had tried to imprison and condemn kim to death-- kim pardoned them in the spirit of the human rights activist and visionary he is--
ramsey also worked with kim on the unprecedented north korea-south korea summit in june of 2000 and a number of other initiatives--
both of these men recognize the commitment the other has to defending universal human rights against attempts to limit their relevance-- because of kim's work on reunification plans since the 1970's and ramsey's principled stands, even when those go against the u.s., both of these men have been held in contempt by many of those in their respective countries-- that also is one of their bonds--
as jason h said: you are being intellectually dishonest in your attempts at linkage-- maybe you don't have a sufficient base of knowledge in what ramsey clark has written and said and done-- maybe it's out of your need to be critical of ramsey clark regardless of the facts-- in reading the threads on this i tend to think it's the latter--

i applaud zzz for taking the principled position of not continuing the conversation.i will follow his example
What an articulate postjanet
Dec 18, 2001 11:15 PM
I wasn't going to respond anymore to this. Thank you for saying ALL of that so WELL !
life is a verb.......Len J
Dec 19, 2001 4:51 AM
and it's good to have you back amongst us.

Len
Holy Shmoly, Daaahhhling...Jon
Dec 19, 2001 4:41 PM
You're baaack! Is our contract still in effect? And does choline still work?:-) The liberals around
here really need you. They're outnumbered!
vérité et feu...
Dec 19, 2001 12:49 PM
Je voit vous toujours a l'esprit de vérité et feu
McCarthyism Revisited?Me Dot Org
Dec 21, 2001 3:10 PM
i so with a few sentences of an answer to one question you
i have looked into the soul of ramsey clark and pronounced
i him guilty by omission and association-- didn't this
i country try that in the 1950's ?

Geez, talk about putting words in someone's mouth. I don't pretend that I have "looked into his soul". It is not my place to judge his soul. But in the realm of politics, when Ramsey Clark grants an interview and makes a statement, I don't feel that it is a McCarthyesque crime to examine that statment and say that I think it reflects intellectual dishonesty.

Ramsey Clark can do what he wants and say what he wants. But to take the analogy back to the 50's, if someone were to condemn McCarthyism, yet refused to say anthing negative about the Gulags and Stalinist purges, would you say that person had a balanced perspective about human rights abuses?

Or walk the analogy down the other side of the street: If the Republican Party shared office space with the John Birch Society, and the head of the Republican Party refused to criticize the John Birch Society, how would you feel? I know I would feel nervous, even if there were people telling me they had met George Bush and he was a really good man, and was far too busy about global issues to worry about whether or not he was sharing office space with the John Birch Society.

i did it ever occur to you that he may let his actions
i speak for his beliefs? that he may not feel the need to
i respond the way every reporter or reader wants? ? that
i maybe he is too involved in his work to worry what you or
i anyone thinks about him?

Are you saying that he has too much on his mind and we shouldn't take the man at his word? If he doesn't care what anyone thinks about him, why is he giving interviews? If he didn't want to give an interview, perhaps he shouldn't have allowed the reporter come to his office.

It is precisely because I assume that he answered the question the way that he (not you or I) wanted to that I raise the issue at all. This wasn't a Sentate hearing. Mr. Clark was free to, or not to, grant an interview, answer or not answer the question. He answered the question in a way of his own choosing.

It's interesting how some people's principles will allow them to stick around to make an argument, but force them to leave when it's time for the refutation.
me dot org, len, jon, janet, zzzharlett
Dec 21, 2001 6:43 PM
your remark."I would again remind you that Mr. Clark is allied with the Workers World Party, who supports the "crushing of the counterrevolutionary Tiananmen uprising", and characterized Kim Il Sung of North Korea as "the great leader of the Korean people".with no acknowledgement or apparent knowledge of his actual thinking on these two subjects reminded me of, that species of nihilist, senator mccarthy. furthermore your statement "Mr. Clark is a few peas short of a casserole" also made me think you were being a bit unfair in portraying him. my only hope here is that a few of the people that responded to you have enlightened you to a few of your errors of judgement and fact regarding ramsey's life, work and commitment to human rights. of course you may hold whatever view you want of ramsey clark. i do, however, think it important to view a persons work and life in an fair way. ramsey is being demonized by many in the u.s. because of his work in the middle east. that work just happens to call in to question the wisdom and courage of many of the u.s policies and actions in that area.
..peace to you.
Len.life is surely a verb and you're a good example of how that kind of understanding and thoughtful life is led.
Jon.1..it has no expiration.2..yes..3..from reading a few of these threads I would say "badly" outnumbered ..perhaps you should shed that pragmatism every now and then and be that principled radical your know you are deep down inside.*S*
janet.you're an articulate women yourself and your two posts concerning this were a pleasure to read..
zzz.vous êtes un bon ami
the best to all of you this holiday season.may we all be able to feel peace in our hearts and minds and compassion and love for ALL our fellow humans where ever they be on this earth...and of course tailwinds and kindred spirits to ride with..

life is a verb...
...zzz
Dec 21, 2001 7:51 PM
comme vous sont. vous apportez la paix à nous tous mon ami.
The argument shifts...Me Dot Org
Dec 22, 2001 1:39 PM
Let's review:

You said:

i so with a few sentences of an answer to one question you i have looked into the soul of ramsey clark and pronounced i him guilty by omission and association-- didn't this
i country try that in the 1950's ?

To which I replied:

i ...when Ramsey Clark grants an interview and makes a
i statement, I don't feel that it is a McCarthyesque crime i to examine that statement and say that I think it
i reflects intellectual dishonesty.

To which you replied:

i your remark "...I would again remind you that Mr. Clark
i is allied with the Workers World Party, who supports
i the "crushing of the counterrevolutionary Tiananmen
i uprising", and characterized Kim Il Sung of North Korea
i as "the great leader of the Korean people"...with no
i acknowledgement or apparent knowledge of his actual
i thinking on these two subjects reminded me of, that
i species of nihilist, senator mccarthy.

It is difficult to have a discussion when the subject matter is subject to subsequent revisions.

If, as you suggest, Mr. Clark "may let his actions speak for his beliefs", I would say that his actions in refusing to criticize, sharing office space with and choosing for an ally an organization that supports the crushing of opposing voices at Tianamen Square and thinks that Kim Il Sung was a great leader, speaks volumes about his principles and beliefs with respect to human rights.
The argument shifts...Jason H
Dec 22, 2001 3:03 PM
Maybe instead of a shift she was just giving you another example of your spurious attempts at the same type of misrepresentation and telling you that it reminded her of the same thing. That is how I read it anyway.
Either you are not reading and understanding the responses to your posts or your tenacious in ignoring what has been in them.
agreejanet
Dec 22, 2001 10:42 PM
Jason your so right. Each of the following was answered and corrected by a response. He must not be reading the responses.
I have a feeling that ZZZ knew before any of us where this was going regardless of what any of us said.
Happy Holidays to all of you.

1. By the way, if you doubt the connection between the World Worker's Party and the Internation Action Center, go to their respective websites and compare the addresses for their offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Must be pretty cramped in there if they are separate organizations.

2. he has never stood up in the United States and decried Iraqi (Saddam Hussein and Bathist Party) human rights abuses.

3. My point is that Mr. Clark has consistently verbally attacked the U.S. Military while rarely (if ever) criticizing the wars and human rights abuses of its enemies.

4. So you must understand that it appears highly unlikely that Mr. Clark would have "sources...within the Pentagon". Such a statement is, without corraboration, counterintuitive.

All the attempts at linkage without acknowledging the facts and actions that Harlett pointed out. Especially the question about your reading ALL of the things that Ramsey Clark has written or knowledge of all of what he has said on this.
As she said one interview and one question is your basis for all of this.

1. I would again remind you that Mr. Clark is allied with the Workers World Party, who supports the "crushing of the counterrevolutionary Tiananmen uprising", and characterized Kim Il Sung of North Korea as "the great leader of the Korean people"

2. Mr. Clark associates with, yet refuses to criticize, people who applaud the Chinese Government for crushing the uprrising at Tianamen Square, and people who believe Kim Il Sung was a great leader.

3.By refusing to criticize the Workers World Party for applauding the brutal oppresion of the Chinese Government or the despotism of Kim Il sung, you are somehow acknowledging the humanity of the people you work with?

4. But to take the analogy back to the 50's, if someone were to condemn McCarthyism, yet refused to say anthing negative about the Gulags and Stalinist purges, would you say that person had a balanced perspective about human rights abuses?

5. if, as you suggest, Mr. Clark "may let his actions speak for his beliefs", I would say that his actions in refusing to criticize, sharing office space with and choosing for an ally an organization that supports the crushing of opposing voices at Tianamen Square and thinks that Kim Il Sung was a great leader, speaks volumes about his principles and beliefs with respect to human rights.
BogusJeffery Sachs
Dec 22, 2001 6:59 PM
I have been following these posts since the first thread of them. I can't stand it any longer. You wrote:
>>>"By the way, if you doubt the connection between the World Worker's Party and the International Action Center, go to their respective websites and compare the addresses for their offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles."<<<<

Your WWP-IAC office connection is so bogus that I can't help but think you are either being deliberately misleading or have not even taken the time to check out the facts on this. According to their web sites the WWP has 20 offices around this country and the IAC has 9. Just speaking for the Los Angeles address I can tell you that there are at least 6 organizations using that address. WWP, IAC, Latin American Solidarity Committee, SavePacifica, A.N.S.W.E.R. and I am sure many others are too. Any organization that any individual working there cares to represent a chapter of and give a mailing address to. I'm sure the San Francisco address is the same way. If you don't realize that in the activist community office space and people are shared you don't know much about this. Because there are some activists in San Francisco and L.A., or any other place, that want to work for a number of organizations doesn't mean that each of those organizations are linked on everything they do and say. That just means that there is a group of people that have "some" common goals and wish to save some money on office space and be around one another. The office space here in Los Angeles is actually an entire floor in a building that has many many activist organizations. I would assume the Mission Street office in San Francisco is the same.
If each of these organizations had their national offices linked that may be different. But as you probably know in the case of WWP and IAC the national offices are completely separate and have no linkage. That fact would not serve your argument well though so I can see why you wouldn't want to bring it up. Even to give your arguments a sense of fairness.
You really should do a little better research on, or be more honest about, what you write.

On your link in your principled man post there is this explanation of why he takes on some of his more controversial clients>>>"He says he took those cases because high legal principles were at stake - he objects to the government's willingness to throw its weight at organizations with unorthodox political philosophies. "If you can't protect the right to a fair jury trial for somebody who's unpopular," he says, "you can't expect to have one where it's needed the most."<<<< Your right he is a principled man.
BIG SMILE @ HarlettGail
Dec 23, 2001 9:42 AM
Girl it's good to see you again. I hope this means we get some of those great bicycle posts from you too!!!
BIG SMILE back @ youharlett
Jan 2, 2002 12:58 AM
just stopping by for a few days while on the holiday break-- i hope all is well with you and sarah this holiday season-- between your sarah and david's jordan i have more email about cycling from young girls than i would ever had thought possible-- *S* they really need to meet one another!!!!!!!!....a warm hug my friend----
me dot org, len, jon, janet, zzzpeloton
Dec 22, 2001 6:06 PM
I just re-read the choline thread, and I still have three questions.

1) How does the body metabolise choline once in the body to increase blood plasma choline levels?

2) What are the long term effects of choline?

3) Would choline really be effective for the average cyclist, or even racer? I know what it has been shown to do in runners and swimmers.

Harlett- This was all I really wanted to know. I have read a lot about the subject, and the accusation of a 'cut and paste', and subsequent drift and tone was what really annoyed me. I've spent far too much time studying to be accused of that. Merry Christmas :)
yeah, I'm pro-choice too - nmMJ
Dec 17, 2001 2:20 AM
A questionmickey-mac
Dec 17, 2001 6:09 AM
"RIGHT TO LIFE vs. CHOICE.......... I think the father and the mother of the unborn child (up to a certain time period) should equally have the right to make the decision to abort or carry through."

How are you proposing that this would work? For example, if the woman wants to abort and the man wants the baby, is the woman forced to carry to full-term? Would a man be able to force a woman to abort if he didn't want a baby?
it should always the man's choice :-) nmMJ
Dec 17, 2001 6:23 AM
responseStarliner
Dec 17, 2001 9:28 AM
Fathers must have equal rights to the fetus in this matter - after all, he is half responsible for its creation. If the man wants to abort and the woman wants to have the baby, should the man be sentenced to a lifetime of child support obligations and second-rate or no visitation/custodial rights?

In the event of a disagreement, I think the bottom line should be whichever side wants to have the child should be able to prove to a court that they have the means to support the child independent of the other parent, and that they agree to do so. The other side would be relieved of future support obligations, but also would have no recognized visitation or custodial rights with the child.

Grey-area factors such as age, health, state of mind of each person at the time of intercourse, etc. should all be considered as well.
responseGail
Dec 17, 2001 9:54 AM
Instead of thinking you have any control over a women's body and what she does with it, you should think about the consequences and responsibilities of intercourse before you engage in it.
agreeDog
Dec 17, 2001 10:41 AM
"...you should think about the consequences and responsibilities of intercourse before you engage in it." I agree.

A man has no choice in the matter after the intercourse. My view, though, is that the woman does not, either. Her "choice" has already been made. Assuming voluntary sex, people must live with the consequence of having created a human life.

Dog
agreeGail
Dec 17, 2001 11:08 AM
I happen to be pro-life. That doesn't mean that I have the right to tell another women what to do with her body. If asked I would give my heartfelt opinion and support to a friend trying to make a decision. It is legal for her to decide for herself.
agreeDog
Dec 17, 2001 11:29 AM
I agree it's legal. I also agree that we don't have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

My view, though, is that some decisions are irrevocable. Her moment of choice occurs at the time she has sex. If that sex results in a pregancy, then that decision cannot be revoked.

There are lots of examples of similar legal restraints, where decisions cannot be revoked, and one must live with the consequences. The best example may be actually having the child. One may not "terminate" a child once born. Yes, you can allow adoption, but the child is not harmed.

Yes, it is legal. The law can be wrong, though. This is one of the most difficult issues facing the human race, no doubt. While the legal and even moral aspects can be seen as quite clear, reality clouds the issue. Very difficult to balance the rights of the unborn with the rights of the mother. Very difficult.

Dog
have you...gtx
Dec 17, 2001 11:48 AM
seen this study done at Stanford Univeristy? -- The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime. Pretty interesting.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=174508

just thought I'd throw some gasoline on the flames...
I've heard the argumentDog
Dec 17, 2001 12:00 PM
Generally, the argument goes something like "we should be in favor of abortion. Many abortions are of inner-city (code for black, usually) mothers. Those otherwise aborted children likely would have grown up in poverty, fatherless, and would have committed a disproportionate share of crime. Therefore, abortion is good."

I reject the argument. Aside from the unacceptable racism involved, I think it is wrong regardless of the "good" consequences. With the same argument, someone could argue that giving police the right to shoot to kill any crime suspect is good, as it eliminates crime, or that the death penalty for all crimes is good (no repeat offenders, and potentially a successful deterrent).

We aren't Nazi's or the Taliban, though. This idea should offend people's sense of justice and morality.

Dog
I've heard the argumentgtx
Dec 17, 2001 12:27 PM
I don't think they had an agenda--it's a statistical analysis. My understadning is that they were trying to find statistics that might be seen as a factor in the lowering of the crime rate over the last few decades, and just happened apon the abortion thing. I tried to cut and paste the last paragraph or the paper but couldn't from the Acrobat text. You can read it if you're interested. I agree that there are some possibly dicey overtones in the study, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call them racist. And how does the saying go?--"There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics." Anyway, just thought it was an interesteding study--it's made people on both sides of the issue somewhat uncomfortable.

more on the study

http://lawschool.stanford.edu/alumni/lawyer/56/news.shtml

http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/990812/abortion.shtml

http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Jan2000/Editorial.asp

http://www.virginia.edu/topnews/releases/levitt-oct-13-1999.html
yesDog
Dec 17, 2001 1:28 PM
While I was about to attack the study and conclusion on the basis of causation, I think I'd be wrong. Here, I think intuitively and statistically, it can be said the abortion does, indeed, reduce crime. If there are fewer people available to commit crime, then there should be less crime, right?

Not so sure it makes some abortion opponents less comfortable. I have actually heard (but I disagree with them) abortion opponents say something to the effect that "well, at least abortion gets rid of potential criminals." I don't like that.

What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" This is the extreme opposite. You kill people before they even have a chance of committing a crime! The study, while merely reporting the crime statistic, implies in it's conclusion that but for the abortions, those aborted would have grown up to commit crime, right? That's an erie proposition, and smacks to me of Nazi-ism.

I suppose the cold reality is that for many arguably unacceptable activities, there may be beneficial results. I can think of lots of ways arguably to benefit society in unacceptable ways: sterilize to control birth defects; ban alcohol; death penalty for minor crimes -- all unacceptable.

I think in issues such as this, we must examine our First Principles -- those rules of life that apply universally, and guide all of our other thinking.

One of my first principles is "never permit the taking of a human life unnecessarily." I am anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, yet not pacifist. A corollary is that we all have a right to self defense, or to defend others' lives. In such cases, it may become necessary to take life to preserve others. The death penalty is unnecessary, and therefore not permitted. We certainly have the ability to keep killers locked away for life. Similarly, the right to live supercedes a woman's right to abort, unless the mother's life is threatened. Rape introduces a very difficult choice, however, which I have not resolved. Fortunately, that choice is required in only extremely rare occasions. Regardless of the consequences, I'll be guided by my first principle.

Dog
gtx and Dog, well said.javagenki
Dec 17, 2001 1:48 PM
All of my rhetorical antics aside, I have appreciated this exchange. I find myself falling line with Dog's last paragraph almost word for word. Very thought provoking, both of you.
yesgtx
Dec 17, 2001 1:59 PM
Though I don't share your anti-abortion view, I appreciate your reasoning--especially regarding the death penalty and rape.

I think ultimately RU-486 is the 10,000 pound elephant in this debate.
this is the difficultyDog
Dec 17, 2001 2:51 PM
RU-486 introduces a few more difficulties. First, it makes it easier to argue that it is not "taking" life, for it prevents, as I understand it, the fertilized egg from implanting or "inpregnating" the mother. Plus, it it not a surgical operation, although I understand it will require a prescription (which you'd probably obtain by internet these days). Of course, it must be used very early on.

Here is the supreme dilemma. There are millions of women, and men, who are religiously and/or morally against abortion, yet they still have them. The fear, cost, shame, and inconvenience of bearing an unwanted child is so extreme that even people firm in their principles will abandon them, or at least suspend them. If you cannot expect people who are firm in their beliefs to avoid it entirely, what hope do you have of convincing the others?

Throughout history there have been wrongs that people have tolerated or condoned by a majority of people at the time. For the most part, majority rules. Slavery was once approved, or at least tolerated. It was widespread. Today, we see it as evil and archaic. Not so at the time. Did that make it right? No. I suspect that hundreds of years from now abortion will do the way of slavery. Of course, more certain and practical means of contraception should make issue moot.

Human life is the most precious thing we have. Without it, what else is there? We should do everything we can to preserve it.

Dog
no rights for fathers??Starliner
Dec 18, 2001 8:56 PM
i "...we don't have the right to tell a woman what to do with her body."

In fact, laws exist that tell people what they can (cannot) do with their body. Where do you stand on the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana?

Abortion is not a selfish, it's-my-body-so-bug-out issue. This is a life or no life issue concerning a fetus created by two people. Whether or not its eventual entrance into this physical world will be met with happiness or with hardship.

Any decision whether or not to carry through must be weighted equally between the two people responsible for the fetus, the mother and the father. Courts may have to jump in to ensure the rights of each are protected in the event of a dispute. Unfortunately, there will be mothers who might have to go against their wishes in the end; just as there are fathers who won't get their way. But the final decision must be fair, and can only be fair with the father's involvement as well as the mother's.
well saidnm
Dec 17, 2001 11:30 AM
On the Maginot Line and how it applies todaymr_spin
Dec 17, 2001 9:28 AM
The Maginot Line has gotten a bad rap historically. It worked perfectly, exactly as designed. The real problem with the Maginot Line was that France only built it on the German border. They refused to build it on the Belgian border because they didn't want to upset the Belgians. Does that sound familiar? Great nation sacrifices its security to placate a weaker one.

Politically, it was probably the right thing to do, especially at that time. But militarily, it was about as wrong as you can get. The Maginot Line scared the Germans enough that they did not want to take it on, so they simply went around.

It turns out that the Maginot Line wasn't as strong or complete as French propaganda suggested. The Germans didn't know that, however. Fact is, the Maginot Line worked. It was a shortsighted French government and a terrible Army command structure that failed.

That leads to a nice segue into CIVILIAN CASULTIES...It's never nice to kill civilians, but your line about stuff that happens during a war can have repercussions later on is so shortsighted. Even if it is true. I am tired of worrying about pissing people off. The French worried about pissing off the Belgians. We worried about pissing off Islamic fundamentalists and the Arab world in general. Look what happened in both cases.

The only thing that matters in this world is strength and the resolve to use it. That means no more "measured response" to terrorist actions. No more cruise missles into shacks. Now it is you mess with us, we will kick your ass, slap you silly, and if we deem it necessary to maintain the security of this nation and our allies, kill you. Let the word go forth.
good points nmDog
Dec 17, 2001 10:08 AM
missle defenseDuane Gran
Dec 17, 2001 10:29 AM
I'm not very happy about this new plan of a missle defense system. I hate that we live in a nuclear age, and unfortunately there is no real solution short of mutual disarmament. This is a hard road to take. When multiple nations own nuclear weapons it is like holding a gun to each other's head. Each is listening for the barrel to move and your only defense is the proof that you too can kill. Mutual destruction for over 40 years has been the glue that keeps the peace, but I don't think it will work in the future. It barely worked in the past.

The problem is that we are living with this legacy and like it or not, people feel better knowing that we can destroy each other. So what does it mean if the US builds a missle defense system? Our allies get nervous and our enemies realize that they have to attack us in covert ways where no credit is taken for the action.

I find it hard to believe that any missle defense system will be effective. For all we know, having a nuclear warhead explosion in the high atmosphere may be the exact wishes of a suicidal enemy. This initiative will offend our allies and do little to deter our enemies. I'm sure they will be delighted that we throw $60b in a hole while they employ low tech measures to destabalize our infrastructure.
should be warhead defensemr_spin
Dec 17, 2001 11:36 AM
It can't be effective. Missiles don't just carry one warhead anymore. They haven't since the mid-1970s. One modern missle can carry up to eight independantly targetted warheads, not all of which are real. So we better make sure we have a defense system that has enough whatever (missles, energy, rocks, etc.) to get them all, or at least get the real ones. Figuring out which warheads are real and which aren't is basically impossible in the time given, because the dummys will fake a radioactive signature just like a real warhead would. So we have to get them all, and incredibly hard thing to do. If whatever provides the missile defense runs out, everything else gets through. So an intelligent strike would come in two waves. One with all dummy warheads to exhaust the defense system, the second with real warheads to fly right through the smoke. The greatest light show ever will end with a rather large bang.
hypo / MERV'sDog
Dec 17, 2001 2:24 PM
What if, hypothetically, the system were proven to work? Would that change your mind? That changes discussion focus from "can we do it," to "should we do it."

ICBM's can have MERV's, but it's my understanding that the multiple warheads separate fairly late in the missle's journey. Could be wrong, but if so, the system would need to intercept prior to MERV separation, I'd imagine.

Dog
OK, let's say it worksmr_spin
Dec 17, 2001 2:37 PM
All I have to do now is determine the limits of the system and exceed them. If the system only has enough resources to destroy 100 missiles, I'll make sure I send 101. Only one has to get through to drop eight warheads somewhere in the USA.

If you come up with a limit, we will build enough to exceed the limit. And if you increase the limit, we'll build even more. That was the whole point behind the ABM treaty. If we avoid a situation where a limit is established, we don't have to build enough missiles to exceed it.

That's what I think is so absurd about this whole thing. It risks a return to the arms race. Who needs that?
not my pointDog
Dec 17, 2001 3:04 PM
My point is, assume it works completely. Does that upset the balance of power enough to make war more likely? Tough issue.

Can we build this system (assuming it works, again) and actually deter a power such as Iraq from even trying to get their hands on ICBM's? Can we force those such as them to limit their attacks to more defensible tactics? Understand it now, that we cannot defend against ICBM's. They are rockets that go into outer space and then re-enter with warheads capable of obliterating not only a few buildings, but an entire metro area and millions of people, not thousands. I'd like to think we'd at least try to be able to defend against such a threat.

Also, I think the genuine fear now is that some rogue sub-superpower, like Iraq or a former Soviet Union state, with ICBM's, will obtain the ability to launch a few missles, or maybe just one. Do we want to risk be indefensible against that scenario? No, it may not be able to defend against hundreds of warheads; but remember this, every warhead potentially could have killed millions of people; even if it works just one, single time, you may have saved literally millions of lives. Sounds like a worthy objective.

My biggest fear is an attack by someone with no fear of death or destruction of himself or his own people, a Bin Laden. MAD theory won't work.

Yes, I believe "the Russions love their children, too," to quote Sting. Not so sure about some other lunatics out there, though.

Dog
let's agree to disagreemr_spin
Dec 17, 2001 4:50 PM
One last comment. You say:

"My biggest fear is an attack by someone with no fear of death or destruction of himself or his own people, a Bin Laden. MAD theory won't work."

This brings us full circle to Sep 11. How would missile defense have prevented it? How does missile defense help fight against lunatics? Wouldn't the massive amount of money be better spent on improving internal security (i.e., better detection and screening equipment at airports)?

I ask all this rhetorically. We obviously will never agree on this subject!
I agreeDog
Dec 17, 2001 4:57 PM
I agree that missle defense would not have prevented 9/11.

The missle defense system has nothing to do with 9/11. It's aimed at preventing a different sort of attack by the same sort of people.

The argument to utilize the money for other things assumes that there is insufficient money to do both. I don't know they are mutually exclusive.

I agree that we disagree, but we do agree on some things. Just want to clarify.

Dog
interestingDuane Gran
Dec 18, 2001 5:58 AM
You bring up an interesting point that I had not explored very well. Dog also makes a compelling argument that this could save lives, but I would like to draw an analogy from the computer networking field.

With computer networks it is very popular to setup a firewall for your company network. The idea is to protect the data and systems from outside attacks. This is a good idea, but the problem is that people inside the LAN get a false sense of security and from my observation they let down their guard (use weak passwords and plain text protocols) because they are fenced off from the Internet at large. It is a natural tendancy to get lazy about security when you perceive a veil of security around you, but if that veil is penetrated you are in big trouble. I've witnessed terrible computer vandalism after a firewall product was compromised.

There are certainly differences, but one of my concerns about missle defense is that it can make us lazy.

It seems like the administration is going to build this thing anyhow, so it is a moot point. Given that fact, I think the best approach is to build it on an international basis and set it up to defend all nations who want to participate. If the technology is proven and sound, every civil nation should want to join in. If the concept is a crock then it would be easily revealed as other nations decline to fund it. Of course, we could save ourselves $60b by simply getting rid of nuclear weapons, but in the spirit of government programs it is more attractive to build an elaborate system. It looks like a collosal waste of money to me.
I'm wearing asbestos underwear.javagenki
Dec 17, 2001 10:46 AM
Here's a fire starter for you.
The mom and/or dad rights arguement is simple selfishness. I was going to say "intellectually dishonest" but the phrase is getting a bit worn. You have sex, you mix egg and sperm, and voila, you get a life. How much more simple or logical do things get? Don't believe me? Leave it alone for about 9 months and see what happens. If you wish to choose self over other, fine. Do so. It is legal, for the moment. But realize that the choice you make is either for life or death. You gave up the right not to choose when you chose to have sex. Why not just say, "the baby was a problem for me, so I killed it"?
Okay, that should get the ball rolling. And before all you "liberals" get your banned assualt rifles all loaded up, I should warn you, I have a hypenated last name.