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SoutherDem

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Member since: Sat Jan 22, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 2,306

About Me

I am not an English Major. I do and will from time to time make grammatical and spelling errors. It would be appreciated if those errors are pointed out using DU mail, but if you must show your superior ability to use the English language by posting on the forum, do not be offended if I choose to point out your need to show that superiority on the public forum also.

Journal Archives

How bigotry almost cost America the atomic bomb

I am not making a judgement on the ethics of the atomic bomb nor its being dropped on Japan.


Last night I saw a documentary on Robert Oppenheimer. While I have seen it before two things stuck out which I hadn’t thought of before.

First, although it was a team of scientist who developed the atomic bomb, it was Oppenheimer who made it happen when it did. His intelligence and personality was the driving force which made it possible by August 1945. The scientist may have been able to do it without him but certainly not by that date, some say if ever. He sounds very much like Steve Jobs.

Second, the FBI didn’t want to give Oppenheimer the clearance to work on such a project because of his ties to communism. General Groves insisted on having Oppenheimer in charge of the project. Of course we know once Oppenheimer finished the bigots took over lead by Senator McCarthy he lost his security clearance.

If the FBI would have won the battle and prevented Oppenheimer from being on the project and those who say it couldn’t have happen without him, or at least when it did, are correct, America simply would not have had the atomic bomb to end World War 2.

Bigots have always been around it is just that the subject of hate changes.

I am not making a judgement on the ethics of the atomic bomb nor its being dropped on Japan.

The Founding Fathers Today

From time to time I hear the statement that "If the founding fathers were writing the constitution today would they have written it differently".

We of course have no way of knowing what the founding fathers would do today, if the constitution would be exactly the same or extremely different.

In the 1st Amendment we are give the "freedom of religion" which as I understand it states that there will not be a national church, and we can follow (not-follow) any religion we wish.

So, although I feel the 1st amendment as to religion is very clear, apparently some feel it means freedom of "THEIR" religion. To the point that if the full practice of their religion requires denying the same right to others that is fine.

Although it is not new to see someone want to deny a freedom from another in the name of their right to religion, with the current arguments over gay right I will ask a few of questions.

Do you feel the founding fathers, if they knew how the 1st amendment has been used since 1789, would have written the 1st Amendment different today?

If you were a founding parent and given the task of writing the part of the constitution which give religious freedom, how would you write it?


Questions about oil and gas prices

And they are not about how FOX can, with a straight face, blame Obama for high gas prices yet not give credit when they fall other than to say it is another sign of a poor economy. These are about the industry.

When oil goes up gas usually goes up in real time. I have seen stations change their prices up to three times daily or by ten cents at a time when oil is going up quickly. When someone in the industry is asked why this happens, the answers is they are having to purchase more oil to refine. Think water heater as you take water out more goes in.

When oil goes down gas usually has a delay before going down. I have seen oil to have dropped and it takes a week or more for the gas prices to go down. When asked why, the answer is the gas in the tank at the station, tank farm and even held at the refinery for shipment was purchased at the previously high price so that expensive oil had to make its way through the system before it shows up at the pump. Think of a propane tank, you purchase an amount and use it up before purchasing more.

How can both be correct? I could understand either answer but not both, changing the answer to meet the profits of the industry.

Also, gas prices do not always seem to move in any ratio to oil.

When oil goes up gas seems to go up in a proportional amount e.g. oil goes up 4% then gas goes up 4%. When asked, the answer is oil is the main driver for the price of gas, so a proportional increase would make sense.

When oil goes down gas seems to go down is a non-proportional amount e.g. oil goes down 4% then gas may go down 3.5%. When asked, the answer is oil is only part of what goes into the price of gas and being forced to formulate for the environment is usually specifically used as an example.

While this may not be profiteering from a legal sense it is from an ethical sense. Why are we still giving tax credits and cuts while they are fleecing their customers every chance they can. While making record profit. Of course the oil industry states that they are only making a 3% profit that compared to other industries this wouldn't be considered much. Well, I was told years ago you can't take percents to the bank. They are still making billions!!!

We often hear the market place is the answer. Well, for non-necessities like TV’s the market place may work. For necessities such as gas it doesn't work.

We as consumers seem to have “magic” prices which causes us to change our habits but the industry has learned how to manipulate the consumer. Push prices beyond one of those points knowing we still have a minimum amount we must purchase to still function. Keep it at that point for a while then back off some but not as much as the most recent increase and we are so relieved to have prices a little lower the scale is reset, we have a new magic number. I my area people seem happy that gas is around $3.50 and are talking about how gas is down. Two years ago $3.00 was considered outrageous. I know we may occasionally have an unusual peek or drop but those are not the norm and usually caused by external efforts, also the percents I listed were for example only.

Sorry to revisit this but it keeps coming back like a bad penny

Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation one segment was about political opponent research, those who's job is to dig up every bit of dirt about an opponent. Neal Conan had a Democrat and a Republican researcher on the show.

The Republican at one point said that the Washington Post's story wasn't well researched because it has unraveled. The comment did fit into the context of the current point being made and neither Neil nor the Democrat chose to challenge this claim. It may be because of an off air agreement to not get into a debate on current issues or it may be because it is true.

The only thing which I have heard on the subject was a Fox News claim that according to ABC News, one of the five had said they were not present during Romney's attack. But, from what I understand the person ABC was talking about was a sixth person whom the Romney campaign had contacted to dispute the report. The sixth person said he wasn't there, so he didn't know and wasn't sure if he would help the campaign saying Romney was not that bad in high school. He then added that he felt the campaign would have problems finding many people who would agree that Romney was a good guy in high school.

Has there been any real unraveling of the Washington Post's story? Or is that just Republican wishes which they think if they say it enough it will be true, or at least people will believe it?

Romney's Problem?

The following if from Wikipedia so I will admit the limitations but I thought this was funny.

Who does this remind you of?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights of others and the rules of society. Psychopaths have a lack of empathy and remorse, and have very shallow emotions. They are generally regarded as callous, selfish, dishonest, arrogant, aggressive, impulsive, irresponsible, and hedonistic. Despite this, psychopaths are often superficially charming with an intelligence higher than the average individual.

Judeo-Christian Tradition Vs. Other Religious Traditions

Yesterday Romney spoke of the Judeo-Christian Tradition and how that was how we have achieved our "global leadership".

I often hear conservatives make claims similar to Romney's especially in respect to the "values" our country holds.

I was wondering. What values are present in the Judeo-Christian tradition which are not present in the traditions of other religions.

I am almost certain that things like murder and thief are held by all religions, but just what part of the Judeo-Christian Tradition is so unique. Unique enough that it was what allowed us to be a global leader.

Why do some Americans think Bullying is OK?

When the movie Bully was released NPR on "Talk of the Nation" Neil Conan interviewed Harvey Wienstein who's company is distributing the movie. The interview was half a conversation between Neil and Harvey about the movie and stopping bullying. The other half were callers. One of the callers tells how her son was bullied, attempted and committed suicide. This was very touching to hear this mother who lost her son was now doing all she could to get the word out that bullying does real damage.

The last caller turned my stomach. Rather than putting in my own words here is that part of the transcript, it is longer than I normally would include but I don't feel comfortable editing this (please forgive me for this) I have also included the link to the transcript if anyone wants to read or stream the interview:



CONAN: Let's go to Tom. Tom is on the line with us from Iowa City.

TOM: OK. I think it's all ridiculous, to be honest, really, because I think we need bullying. I know I'm going to get a lot of people who'll disagree with what I'm going to say, but I think we need bullying to build character and build a backbone. Taking your kids out of school because somebody spits on them, you teach them to stand up for themselves. Put all this whining about, oh, my kids being - I was bullied as a kid. My daughter was bullied as a kid, but I didn't take her out of school because I believe you teach them to stand up for themselves. You spit on me, well, you fight back. Don't sit there and take them out of school because of crying. Don't sit there and whine because they come to you and then you're going to fix the boo-boo. You teach them to be independent. You teach them to stand up for themselves. You teach them to fight back. Because what happens is, you give the bully the power, OK? And that's really about it. Jut saw this movie (unintelligible)...

CONAN: So it's the victim's fault, Tom?

TOM: No. That's what I'm saying, you don't become the victim. Either you...

CONAN: Tom, you're right. You're going to get a lot of people who disagree with you.

WEINSTEIN: Oh, yeah, and I'll be one of them.

TOM: (Unintelligible).

WEINSTEIN: And, Tom, this Harvey.

CONAN: Tom.

WEINSTEIN: Isn't it a better idea that we don't need to place - we're not talking (unintelligible) one other thing, but what we're really talking about is, you know, let's not even have it in our culture. Why shouldn't it even be part of what we do? Why should it be part of our actions? Why should we need a knee-jerk reaction, that we have no need to bully?

I understand what you're saying about teaching your kids to stand up for what, you know, what's right, but also standing up for what's right means getting rid of the idea that our culture even allows that.

TOM: Well, I think the issue is, too - I mean, it's animal-based instinct. You look at every other species, they do the same thing. We are sanitizing ourselves to a point where you have to apologize for everything. You have to, I'm so sorry that I said something to hurt your feeling. Grow a backbone. Quite whining about it. You know, for example, the woman who lost her son. I am so sorry to hear that. I had a friend who lost their son, as well, to bullying, however, that friend who lost his son, his son, in my opinion, was weak. How are you going to sit there and let someone bullying caused you to kill yourself? It is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

CONAN: Tom, I'm going to have to stop there because we're running out of time, and I'm afraid I might react. Anyway, thank you very much for the call.


The ignorance shown by Tom is unbelievable and what is sad he isn't alone.

Tom called the one who commit suicide as "weak" suggested "growing a backbone" and fighting back,

Well that is exactly what some have done by taking guns to school and killing the bully. Is that what Tom wants?

It is usually the unpopular position to take but whenever I hear of a school shooting I ask were they bullied, and if they were I feel the shooter was a victim too.

The ignorance shown by Tom is unbelievable and what is sad he isn't alone. Too many people feel as Tom that bullying is actually good and build character. The only problem is when something goes wrong and one or more young people die.

[link:http://www.npr.org/2012/04/16/150732906/the-ratings-controversy-surrounding-bully|

Watched 2 min of Hannity

that was all I could take.
He was talking about Romney the bully.
First he took about 30 seconds to say 1965 as if it were so long ago it was before the big bang.
Then he said according to ABC News the apologizing witness (seed) admitted he wasn't present.
Then he took another 30 seconds to say 1965.
Then he plays part of Obamas book where he talk about two troubled years in high school where he admitted to skipping school, drinking and smoking pot.
Then another 30 second 1965.
At which point I couldn't take it any more.

The Fat Lady is Singing???

Ok, I was able to stomach 5 min of O'Riley. I wanted to see what the lead would be, Romney? NO. Obama backing gay marriage.
But, the spin doctor himself declared Obama will lose because of gay marriage.
He said the election was going to be "squeaky" close anyway, but now he will lose big. Why?

As he put it the liberals were and are going to vote for him anyway, but he just lost the black vote, the hispanic vote and independent vote. When a guest brought up the youth vote he said they were going to get that anyway.

Well, how could it be squeaky close, if he had the liberal, youth, blacks, and the hispanic already, then add to those some of the independents.

I may be wrong but it seems to me those who gay marriage is important enough to sway their vote were already decided. Lets face it Obama with his faults was the more gay friendly candidate anyway.

To hear O'Riley we should start calling Romney the bully President Elect. What a jerk.

Why didn't he ask if Romney lost vote for being a bully?

I am seeking answers.

This is not meant to be sarcastic. And I apologize in advance if it offends anyone. I am honestly seeking an answer.

I have read that the conservatives are saying President Obama, the Democratic Party and liberals in general are "declaring war" on religion and infringing on peoples "freedom of religion".

Also, I was talking to a Christian friend a while back who went into a 5 minute rant on how he was "sick and tired of having his religious freedoms taken away".
When I asked how were his freedoms being taken away his answer was;
By wanting gay marriage, legal abortion, gambling and other social issues.
By not being able to pray at his kids ballgame.
Not being able to read the Bible in school.
The schools couldn't teach creationism.
The city not being able to put up a nativity set.
I didn’t discuss the social issues but did the others.
I clarified with him that each would be geared toward the Christian religion. I then asked what if someone in the stadium, classroom or city weren’t Christians, what about the Jews, Muslims, or Atheist (all of which are very possible to be in our area to name a few). His answer was it wasn't fair he couldn't practice his religion as he wished.
I then asked what if we did all he wanted but there were also prayers of the Islamic faith, or readings from the Koran, or had displays of the Buddha, or taught reincarnation? His answer was no that would infringe on his freedom of religion. "I don't want my kids taught crap like that".
Basically, he see no problem having his religion and it’s teaching in any and all venues while not wanting any other religion also present.
I asked when was the last time the police didn’t let him go to church, or he had to go the the official church?
He of course couldn’t answer because it hasn’t happened.

The exact wording of the U.S. Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

As I understand it that means, "Congress can not create a National Religion, or stop people from practicing any religion they wish (even if it is no religion). But, I am not a constitutional lawyer.

But, why do SOME Christians feel it means, “We are a Christian nation, and I have the freedom/right to practice Christianity but other religions are not allowed.” In other words, freedom to practice MY religion.

To me it seems that to me that SOME Christians feel the only way they can have “their” freedom of religion, is to impose “their” beliefs on all others while not allowing any others the same.

Why should one person’s freedom to practice religion infringe another’s?

Like I said, I am not being sarcastic. I really want someone to explain this to me.
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