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as i'll probably be dead by then, i could care less department...

Discussion in 'The OT' started by jrjcd, Jul 7, 2002.

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  1. Aug 4, 2002 #41 of 104
    Bogy

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    But Jon, haven't you heard, God picked the U.S. as his special blessed nation. God loves us more than any other nation, so that means we have a God-given right to exploit the whole world and everyone in it. It just doesn't make any sense that the rest of the world doesn't get it. They should feel honored to be our doormats. Not that any of this has any kind of scriptural basis, but it sure does make us feel good.
     
  2. Aug 5, 2002 #42 of 104
    jonstad

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    Oh yeah. I forgot!
    :bang :bang :bang
     
  3. Aug 5, 2002 #43 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    At least we can tell that Bogy and jonstad see things
    much differently than I do. They can't see my viewpoint
    clearly at all, as evidenced by the sarcasm directed toward
    things I haven't even said or intended to imply. I can't see
    their viewpoint too well, either. Sources credible to them
    are unreliable to me, and vice versa.

    I can readily agree that there is too much arrogance from the
    wealthy toward the poor, and from the autonomous (free)
    toward the restricted (enslaved). I would add, however, that
    this kind of arrogance can take many subtle forms. It seems
    clear (to me at least) that unwelcome population control
    programs constitute just another (particularly odious) form
    of this arrogance. YMMV. I'll continue to try to remove my
    blinders as I learn. I hope y'all will do the same.
     
  4. Aug 6, 2002 #44 of 104
    jonstad

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    Without being too presumtuous and with apologies, I think I can speak for both of us by stating we feel you are addressing the symptoms rather then the disease. China has taken the virtually unprecedented step of officially acknowledging their overpopulation problem and taken pro-active steps to address it. Nearly every other country actively seeks, encourages and rewards population increase, including USA. Instead of taking our ball and going home because we find some of their methods distasteful, perhaps we'd be better advised to engage China and offer aid, assistance and advise on how they might more humanely administer their programs, and possibily learn something ourselves in the process.

    It's highly unlikely that China will change its policies because America has yanked our funding from a UN program that probably has tenuous ties to or influence on the offending policies. It's also unlikely that the number and frequency of forced or voluntary abortions and sterilizations in China will change one iota because of our action.

    Without endorsing the Chinese methods, we should be encouraging and promoting the recognition of the all too real problems of overpopulation and over consumption in countries around the world, including our own. Too many people is a problem everywhere. Anyone who's been on a freeway lately, or to a stadium concert, or to the DMV, or TO A LANDFILL, should know what I mean!
    :nono:
     
  5. Aug 6, 2002 #45 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    You have actually bothered to reason with me.
    Of course, I consider some of your reasoning
    to be flawed...

    Yes. This is what I see as the disease: Tyrrany and Coercion. This is what I see as a local symptom: The apparent willingness of many people to fund and wink at the disease, as long as it is practiced in foreign lands, doesn't immediately affect our own way of life, has the advantage of plausible deniability, and above all, holds out the promise of accomplishing something deemed a greater good. The remote symptoms run the full range of very very bad things; death, disease, starvation, murder, corruption, injustice, etc.

    You apparently have identified the disease as: Too Many People On This Earth, Consuming Too Few Resources. I'm not certain about all the things you might think of as the symptoms.

    Doctor, I must respectfully disagree with your diagnosis, as I presently understand it, based on all of the information available to me. That is at best too simplistic.

    Draconian steps, I might add. Then they lie about it, and forbid any candid interviews with their victims. Any means to an end.

    ...and you're thinking this must necessarily always be a very bad thing, given your diagnosis, right?

    That might work, if we were dealing with a reasonable government, which truly wants to accurately represent the aspirations and hopes of all its people. I rather suspect this is not the case at this time in China.

    Yeah, that's the plausible deniability kicking in. You're right. We can't materially influence China's internal government policies. The best we can hope to do is avoid contributing to the most draconian of them, and try to establish a presence and example of mutual regard within China. Oops, I forgot. Foreign missions (other than embassies) are forbidden in China, and are forced to operate underground and illegally, or not at all. So I guess the best we can do is have McDonald's give them more contracts to produce plastic toys for our kids' happy meals, and other cheap "goods" we can no longer produce cheaply on our own. They don't allow slave wages and working conditions here (yet). Responsible US corporations don't allow them in their contracts with China, either. Oops, I forgot; how are they going to monitor effectively for violations in a closed country, when the government conducts (orchestrates) the tours? Oh well, at least we don't have to know any of this for sure. We just have a murky suspicion, that's all, brought on by the clandestine testimony of a few malcontent ignorant peasant troublemakers, who should have learned by now to keep their big mouths shut.

    When and why did we cease to formulate policies based on principle, not pragmatism?

    Again, that's way too simplistic in my view. We do unfortunately tend to be overcrowded into densely-populated urban areas,
    leading to freeway and concert congestion, road rage, and
    other insane behavior in the USA, and leading to aggravated levels of poverty and disease worldwide. Of course, it's generally a voluntary choice for us, but not always so for others.

    We do tend to consume too heavily (food, petroleum, forests,
    etc.), especially in North America and Europe, and we are often too lazy or greedy to clean up after ourselves, providing a very unsustainable, irresponsible model of growth to the rest of the world.

    By the way, did you know that (if it were not for the obvious religio-politico-cultural problems) the entire current population of the world could live very comfortably in an eco-friendly suburb the size of Texas, and be comfortably seated at a concert half the size of Rocky Mountain National Park? Imagine the size of those speakers!

    Anyway, you and I do see things very differently.
     
  6. Aug 6, 2002 #46 of 104
    Bogy

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    RJS1111111, you are right in that we all tend to think a little simplistically. If I understand you correctly, you want to boycott China until China is a member in good standing of the world community, with the same values we have. If I am too far off, I am sure you will let me know. But lets look at our longest running boycott of a nation whose leadership we don't like. Cuba. How have we influenced the government of Cuba over the span of all these years of boycott? This is a small island nation, with whom we used to have a very good relationship. In fact, we probably had too good a relationship with the previous administration. Most of the citizens of this nation would love to have us be friends again. But out of spite for their leader, and because of the feelings of exiles from Cuba, we still boycott them. On principle. This is a tiny, virtually insignificant country, just a few miles from our shores, and we can't influence it by a decades long boycott. China is huge, both in geographical size as well as population. The rest of the world is anxious to trade with them. They are the largest untapped market of consumers out there. They have a heritage that is millennial old of rule by divine right with serfdom/peasanthood a large and well established part of the culture. We are upset because this culture has not changed rapidly enough to suit us. But in actuality, they are showing rapid change. As the nation becomes more industrialized, with technology, communications, education, the growth of capitalism, the government is hanging on by a thread. They are not going to give up easily, but their time is short. Do we really want to give up any presence there at all? As I said before, Jesus came to a world ruled by Rome. In many ways a cruel, unjust world. But fortunately, he didn't wait until we deserved his coming and presence. He came and worked with what he could. Jesus, and Paul after him, encouraged the Church to work within the Roman government as best they could, even after it put Jesus and many of the early Christians to death. So tell me again about how China doesn't deserve our presence.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2002 #47 of 104
    jonstad

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    I think you've generally identified one of the major symptoms here, perhaps THE major symptom. I think you're being a little too charitable in using the verb "tend" though. It's also a little unfair to drag the Europeans into this. At least they seem to have a sense that the resources of the planet are finite. I've seen European visitors here laugh out loud at mainlanders complaining about the price of gas here, $2.25/gal. Or maybe they realize they must conserve what they have before America burns up all the reserves. I don't remember the exact figures but from what I recall, Americans use something like three times more resources then the average Canadian, twenty times the average Mexican and one hundred times the average Indian(east). And I think I'm being conservative.

    There would be much less controversy if we were only burning up our own resources to feed our gluttony. But we don't. We burn up everybody's. And, we view it as a right and privilage that we, and only we, are entitled to. Anyone not passively handing over their resources ON OUR TERMS is labeled a terrorist and a threat to our national security.

    Bogy brings up Cuba. But I disagree with him. Cuba is not a failure of our policies. It's an unqualified success. We're told to believe Cuba's relative poverty is because Fidel's a ruthless communist dictator. Might have something to do with it. However, the main reason is more likely that he flatly refused to play lap dog for Washington, American sugar companies and Miami mobsters like his predecessor. And so he's being punished and made an example of. This is what will happen to anyone who refuses to play ball with US or is dilusional enough to believe that the people who actually live in a country should decide on their own how to allocate their resources, human and/or material. Silly Cubans!

    "When and why did we cease to formulate policies based on principle, not pragmatism?"

    See above. Or Nicaragua, or the Shah's Iran, or Guatamala, El Salvador, Chile, The Phillipines? How about Saddam, pre-Kuwait? Was he a peace and freedom loving swell fella who suddenly turned into a latter-day Hitler? A better question might be, when were our policies EVER formulated on principle, not pragmatism?

    "By the way, did you know that (if it were not for the obvious religio-politico-cultural problems) the entire current population of the world could live very comfortably in an eco-friendly suburb the size of Texas, and be comfortably seated at a concert half the size of Rocky Mountain National Park? Imagine the size of those speakers!"

    I thought most of the third world was already in Texas. Who else does their house-cleaning, gardening and cab driving?;) I haven't heard the statistics you cite although it sounds plausable. If we have to sacrifice Texas for the sake of the rest of the world, well, goll dang it, we'll just have to do it.:rolleyes: A few questions though. Is it considered the seven billion could be sustained from the resources of an area the size of Texas or would food, fuel and other raw materials still need to be imported? And eco-friendly? I don't know. The prairie dogs and sage brush might take a different view. And you already know I have the solution for at least a third of the "religio-politico-cultural problems". And it might go a long way in uncomplicating the remaining two thirds.:D
     
  8. Aug 7, 2002 #48 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    I don't intend to keep responding point-by-point indefinitely.
    You probably already know which of your points would provoke
    agreement from me, and which would tend to rattle my cage.
    Same here.

    :D Well, okay, if you insist. I don't think I even suggested a boycott, did I? What I had intended to convey was how very exceedingly complicated, difficult, frustrating, and seemingly futile it is to try to deal with a government like the one currently in power in China, while at the same time promoting human rights for its people (or at least not doing anything to erode them). At present, every well-intentioned thing we try to do, seems only to do harm, propping up a paranoid tyrannical government and giving them the means to purchase, steal, and develop offensive weapons. They may go beyond just threatening to nuke LA someday, and actually use these weapons against us.

    I believe that positive engagement is the way to go. It is an idealistic policy whose implementation completely eludes me at the moment. But I think I can say that this goal has not been attained very effectively so far.

    I haven't advocated that we continue to boycott Cuba, either, now have I? I think we ought to lift the complete boycott. Allow both donation and sale of US food, medicine, building materials, and other necessities, for distribution within Cuba, without limitation. Allow the Cuban government to sell us just enough sugar, cigars, etc. to finance their reciprocal trade with us. I think we ought to welcome qualified Cuban refugees to our shores, and treat those who are already here with more respect than we have in recent years. I think our government should speak freely and often against human rights abuses, wherever and whenever they occur, and even take action against them, as appropriate. This presupposes that our government should not continue to commit human rights abuses, as it has in the past.

    Friendship between governments is a two-way street. Friendship between peoples endures, even in the face of enmity between governments. The enemy of a people should be the enemy of our government, even if it happens to be their government. Making friends is not an exact science. Mistakes are often made.

    Yes. Why do you suppose this market is largely untapped? It is not because investors and corporations have not been trying to tap it. It is a closed market, because the government does not consider opening it wide to be in their interest. It is a somewhat similar situation with Japan, Inc.

    No, as I stated above. Ignoring China would be at our own peril. The people of China are changing their attitudes, yes. They are hoping to be as free as we are someday, and they hope to be our friends and not our conquerers.

    Communism was touted as the ideal replacement for the emperor/peasant mentality, but somehow has never lived up to anything like the potential for good that it seemed to have.

    Hmmm? :shrug: That's quite a stretch, isn't it? When and how did I imply that China doesn't deserve our presence?

    You realize, of course, that the Roman Empire came to view Christians as subversives, because they refused to burn incense and do homage to the Emperor as a god. Their religion was banned and driven underground for centuries. The current situation in China is very similar. Everyone who wishes to assemble for worship must register with an officially recognized Three-Self government-run church, or face imprisonment, torture, or death.

    There were secret Christians in Rome; even in Caesar's palace. They were salt and light. But I seriously doubt they would have cooperated with their government in doing evil (simply on principle, by the way). That kind of collaboration would have had to wait until Constantine made Christianity the official state religion. That became a greater subversion of Christianity than it was of the Empire.
     
  9. Aug 15, 2002 #49 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    Subj: Friday Fax/Girl Scouts Honor Noted UN Abortion Proponent
    Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 10:23:10 AM Eastern Standard Time
    From: "Austin Ruse -- C-FAM"<c-fam@c-fam.org>
    To: user@domain
    Reply-To: austinruse@c-fam.org
    Sent from the Internet (Details)

    Dear Colleague,

    Oh, I miss former UNFPA head Nafis Sadik. I miss her so. She always spoke her mind and always in that kind of charming ham-handed way. Well, she's baaaaack. She was recently feted and awarded by the Girl Scouts! - an outfit that is rapidly becoming an adjunct to International Planned Parenthood Federation. We report on Sadik's remarks to the Girl Scouts convention in the Philippines. Anyone connected to the Girl Scouts ought to take a close look at their connection to and promotion of radical feminism and abortion.

    Spread the word.

    Yours sincerely,

    Austin Ruse
    President

    ___________________________________________________________________________


    FRIDAY FAX

    August 16, 2002
    Volume 5, Number 34

    Joining China, Girl Scouts honor former UNFPA chief Sadik

    At its world conference held this summer in the Philippines, The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS) celebrated the achievements of the former head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the agency recently defunded by the US government for supporting forced abortion in China. The WAGGS invited former UNFPA Executive Director Nafis Sadik to deliver the keynote address, and also presented her with its "World Citizenship Award."

    In her speech, Sadik touched on themes familiar from her tenure at UNFPA, including her belief that "traditional" morality disguises a male power structure and must be transformed. Sadik stated that the policies advanced by UNFPA and now apparently endorsed by the WAGGS "may not reflect the narrow traditional moral boundaries which some people would draw around sexual behaviour. In that case, I would suggest that the boundaries need to be redrawn. In many cases I believe that restrictive morality is being used falsely, as a means of asserting power, over women in particular." Sadik also accused those who disagree with her of holding "that women in general, and female sexuality in particular, are to blame" for the spread of HIV/AIDS, and that "girls are immoral and in some ways deserve their fate."

    Sadik repeated her call for increased access to reproductive services, saying "we must make male and female condoms far more widely available; and we must demand that men use them." She also criticized international aid agencies that are "squeamish" about distributing the morning-after pill, which destroys already conceived human embryos and therefore causes abortions. Under Sadik's watch, UNFPA was a pioneer in promoting and distributing the pill to nations worldwide.

    According to the WAGGS website, delegates to the convention "enjoyed listening to keynote speaker Dr. Nafis Sadik." The website also reports that "for the first time ever, young women from each of the regions formed a panel to discuss the prevention of adolescent pregnancy."

    This is not the WAGGS' first brush with controversy, as the group appears to embrace the radical feminism and reproductive rights agenda of the United Nations more openly. In October 2001, the Friday Fax reported that WAGGS UN representative Leslie Wright publicized a job opportunity at "Catholics" for a Free Choice (CFFC), a pro-abortion lobbying group that has campaigned to have the Vatican kicked out of the UN.

    In honoring Sadik, the WAGGS joined the company of the People's Republic of China, which presented Nadik with its own "Population Prize Award." In that acceptance speech, Sadik called herself "China's old friend," and praised China's coercive One-Child Policy, saying "China has made an indelible mark in the global population community. It is to be congratulated on its successful programmes." Sadik also said she felt "a great sense of pride" that UNFPA made the wise decision to resist external pressures and continue its fruitful cooperation with China." "I am confident that the cooperation between UNFPA and China will not only continue, but will also be further strengthened in the future," she said.

    Copyright - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

    Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute
    866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 427
    New York, New York 10017
    Phone: (212) 754-5948 Fax: (212) 754-9291
    E-mail: c-fam@c-fam.org Website: www.c-fam.org


    ---
    You are currently subscribed to fridayfax as: user@domain
    To unsubscribe send a blank email to mailto:leave-fridayfax-5324583V@lists.c-fam.org
     
  10. Aug 15, 2002 #50 of 104
    dlsnyder

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    Those Chinese peasants working for slave wages don't have much spending power. What good would it do to open up that market? Sure we could slap American labels on the stuff they make, then send it back to them with a 100% markup. But who would have the money to buy it?

    And unless I am mistaken the US is the only country who has an embargo against Cuba. Every other nation in the world can trade with Cuba at their discretion. Why is it that the US boycott is responsible for their poverty? I'd be willing to bet Castro has a nice nest egg put away for retirement.
     
  11. Aug 15, 2002 #51 of 104
    jonstad

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    Retire? What makes you think he's ever going to retire? He's what, seventy five or eighty now? He's still popular with the Cuban masses and despite the wishful dreaming of most of south Florida, he'll die in his current position. And if the CIA had had it's way, this would already be recorded history.:lol: And just as the casinos in Las Vegas would be hurting if Californians were not allowed to legally visit Nevada, so is Cuba damaged when it is prohibited from trade and contact with it's closest neighbor, most natural, traditional trading partner, and richest nation on Earth. It should also be noted that our embargo theoretically extends to other nations under certain conditions. For instance if Belgium or France should use for profit any real estate or resourses that may have been nationalized from US companies after the revolution. As you might expect, this places a considerable damper on any investment opportunity save for totally new facilities.

    China's economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Despite the reality that millions of Chinese are still dirt-poor peasants, you're unlikely to dissuade Nike or Microsoft or Pat Robertson(who wants a contract to produce children's programming there) that there's not many fortunes to be made in China. Even factoring in the peasants, there's plenty of disposable income in China and much more promised.

    From the fax forwarded, it would seem that Ms. Sadik is not up for "Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute" person of the year award.;) It also appears that their answer to China's population problem would be to put it into the hands of an aging, celibate priest in Rome.:confused:

    As has been stated, regardless of how oppressive China's birth control policy seems to us, or in fact may actually be, it has been relatively successful. China also has managed to maintain an incredibily low crime rate through similar draconian measures and a penchant for capital punishment. It is likely a close examination by any westerner would conclude the Chinese justice system has very little to do with truth, justice or concern for the actual guilt or innocence of those accused. However, there doesn't seem to be much discussion of this equal affront to the notions of western human rights and liberty.

    As Bogy pointed out, we are dealing with a 3-4 thousand year old society that we only poorly understand. Traditionally, the rights of the individual in China has been subserviant to the state. And in spite of how contrary to our ideals of human liberty we might think this is, it is generally accepted as a natural condition by the population.

    I should like to think that eventually our ideals of individual liberty(and responsibility) will eventually take root and blossom in China and elsewhere. But until that happens, China and other societies have more immediate problems that need addressing. Under whatever constraints afforded by the minimal rights of the average Chinese, the government of China is addressing their overpopulation and crime issues in as an effective, and by their laws legal, a manner as they can. It also appears that both these general policies are supported by many if not most Chinese citizens.

    We can, and should, express our concerns about their methods, but in the end, it is China's choice, not ours. And, the Chinese have at least some grounds to be indignant about our temerity to boldly criticize, especially without offering viable, equally effective alternatives.

    China holds a general judgement of abortion not uncommon outside it's borders, mostly in "advanced, western democracies", that a fetus is not a complete human entitled to rights that supercede the rights of others and therefore that abortion is not murder or necessarily immoral. Until you can effectively convice otherwise, abortion will remain a legal option in many parts of the world. Perhaps you prefer a legal system that would condemn anyone who even contemplates this procedure, or demands "stoning to death" anyone who becomes pregnant outside of marriage whether they intend to carry the child to term or not, or where female genital mutilation is a common practice to lessen female sexual desirability and enjoyment. They usually all go hand in hand you know. Oh, that's right. These are all religiously based and inspired practices and therefore beyond criticism and reproach
     
  12. Aug 16, 2002 #52 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    jonstad, this is probably the last time I will consume bandwidth trying to get this point across to you, so please, listen carefully!

    That doesn't necessarily follow, although it seems plausible.
    The statement they actually issued is what I'm agreeing with, not all the things that may be on their agenda that they haven't mentioned here. Selective alliances on specific issues are often necessary.

    So, it's truly "the tyrrany of the urgent", eh? Whatever means are necessary to acheive the desired result (fewer peasants, and less peasant crime). Crime and punishment in China isn't the topic of this particular thread, but we can open another if you like. What I'm specifically disagreeing with here is tyranny, oppression, and coercion, in the name of whatever cause.

    Generally accepted by the population? How can we be sure of that, since we so poorly understand the society? Do you think the Chinese government allows candid interviews with anyone other than hand-selected "representatives" of the population? What a credulous, western viewpoint!

    See my comments above, regarding "the tyrrany of the urgent",
    "whatever means necessary", "generally accepted by the population", and "supported by many if not most". Are we to suspend even our most basic logical understanding of the situation, simply because of our much-ballyhooed ignorance of the "society"?

    Ah, there's the rub. Whose choice is it in China? It's the government's choice. The peasant's choice is considered irrelevant. That's the problem. Sure; let the government be indignant, especially if helps some of them to realize that they are wrong, and will eventually have to change their ways, step aside, or be overthrown.

    But, in your view, how can any of us ignorant western outsiders offer any viable, effective alternatives? Voluntary use of non-abortifacient contraception, voluntary sterilization, etc. are okay with (nearly) everyone (okay, not with the Vatican). In fact, China does not need much of any funding, assistance, or training from us to service existing or growing popular demand for these things.

    Elective abortion is something you and I disagree on. I simply believe that it's wrong to exclude the unborn child, the father, the grandparents, anyone else who disagrees, etc. from that election, before taking (what for me is clearly) a human life.

    We should be able to agree, though, that the use of force, torture, confinement, fines, coercion, or even excessive pressure to enforce anything that should at the very least be completely voluntary (e.g. contraception, sterilization, abortion, place and manner of worship) is always wrong, everywhere.

    Huh? "China" holds this judgement? You mean the current government regime in mainland China, right? You don't mean the massive numbers of "illegal" Christians in China, do you? You can't know their opinion, because the expression of any opinion contrary to that of the government is forbidden.

    That is another topic for discussion. The point is that abortion isn't an "option" at all for many people in China. It is simply a purported solution for the purported "population problem", which has been imposed on them (i.e. they have been "convinced") against their will.

    Perhaps NOT! :eek: Perhaps you are not even trying to recognize my true preferences, but would rather cloud the issue by characterizing my imagined preferences as anachronistic, cruel, and anti-woman, since you have already exhausted any intellectual ammunition you might have had to win this argument your way, eh? You tell me. :shrug: Or, perhaps it is merely your sarcasm, running off at the keyboard.

    Certainly not in my book! No, I am not advocating that our society trade in its current bad laws and court edicts for an even worse set, such as any kind of strictest Islamic Sharia. But, thanks for asking, I guess!

    It is true that abortion (whether by personal demand or by government order) is now the law in many countries, except where religious objections (whether popular or governmental) are exceptionally strong; heavily Islamic or Roman Catholic.

    So, are we to assume that seldom-witnessed, abysmal, anachronistic practices, usually all go hand in hand with Islamic and Roman Catholic faith, or what?

    There you go, putting words in my mouth again. When and how did I ever say, or even imply, that all "religiously based and inspired practices" must be by definition beyond criticism and reproach? Have I not joined with you in criticizing and reproaching many of them? Please try to stay on-topic and on-point. These gratuitous personal recriminations should end.
     
  13. Aug 18, 2002 #53 of 104
    jonstad

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    Lots to chew on here. I don't mean to condone or approve coersive abortions or birth control as practiced in China or anywhere else. I am merely stating that China is an entirely different culture with an entirely different history and codes of moral/societal behavour and subserviance to the state. And though we like to think that imposing western morality and ideals, religious or political, on other peoples is some noble, altruistic exercise, the truth is that it's almost always more rewarding for the imposers then the imposees. You may consult for opinion virtually any native, indigenous peoples around the planet from the Incas to South Africans to Palestinians, or even the Canaanites and Philistines.

    China has been resisting the imposition of these western values with varying success for thousands of years. The multitudes of Chinese Christians you mention is one of their failures. And while I agree completely that anyone should be allowed to freely exercise their faith, I also understand the rationale of Chinese leaders in suppressing them. Understanding is not necessarily agreement.

    Are Chinese leaders policies "Generally accepted by the population"? I think so. And the reason I do is that history shows that citizens of any nation generally support their leaders no matter how brutal and oppressive they might be. If they don't, the regimes are almost always thrown out. Germans generally supported Hitler, Italians Il Duce and Japanese the Emperor. Ancient Greece, the Romans, the Huns, people like a winner, especially if it's their winner. Sometimes a regime is overthrown by a small minority of the privilaged. Normally, the new regime will inherit supporters rather then antagonize them.


    "Ah, there's the rub. Whose choice is it in China? It's the government's choice. The peasant's choice is considered irrelevant. That's the problem."

    Mr. Spock's recalling of the quote "The needs of the many ourweighs by the needs of the few" probably rings home with Chinese philosophy more then western thought. Just as citizens of Canton and Bejing probably would choose to retain draconian laws that keep their annual murder rate in single or double figures and make bicycle theft a major police concern, they probably accept strict measures that, whether the paradigm is true or not, allow them to feed their own population. Should we try to convince them of the inequities of forced abortion, banning the sale of Bibles and retail executions? Yes! Should we, can we, and most importantly, do we have the right to dictate to them the morality of their internal policies? I'm not so sure.


    "So, are we to assume that seldom-witnessed, abysmal, anachronistic practices, usually all go hand in hand with Islamic and Roman Catholic faith, or what?"

    Your words, not mine. :D I would never say THAT! :rolleyes: I would say these practices ALWAYS go hand in hand with religious fanaticism whenever it gains undue influence over civil law and authority. Certainly religion may not be the only motive that spawns these activities, however they are disturbingly more consistent with radical theocracies then secular western democracies. We now have proudly admitted religious fundamentalist President and Attorney General, and who knows how many other appointees in high government office, who don't appear shy about infusing their theology with policy. Am I worried for our republic? You bet I am!:(

    BTW-I apologize for intimating that you agree with the the abhorent practices of genital mutilation etc. I think it's obvious though that I don't casually accept the notion that theological rather then secular rationale should be employed to formulate our laws and/or morality, or that doing so somehow makes us better citizens or a morally superior nation.
     
  14. Aug 18, 2002 #54 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    I would agree that attempting to impose westernized values from outside generally results in less, not more, freedom for the oppressed.

    Imposition is not what I'm advocating. What I am advocating is giving dissidents at least as much voice as their grievances merit, and not allowing oppressive regimes to obfuscate the issues, especially by re-defining the meanings of terms. Speak the truth, boldly, but in a caring and careful way.

    Since you don't agree with the suppressive methods used by the Chinese "leaders" (another euphemism), even though you do understand them, you should then feel free to speak out against them.

    There is a kind of resigned acceptance by the oppressed of their "fates". This can be both a good and a bad thing. It prevents revolutionary bloodbaths from occurring all that often, but it also helps to keep oppressive regimes in power, long after they have worn out their welcome.

    You also make a good point that nationalistic sentiment toward a successful conquerer often popularizes undeserving brutal regimes.

    We do have the right and duty to criticize the internal policies of another sovereign national government, as appropriate. We also have the right and duty to take appropriate, proportionate, corrective action, wherever possible. This does not include any right or duty to wage war, however, which today would inevitably lead to overwhelming death and destruction.

    Well, frankly, some of the anti-terrorist measures advocated by our new AG disturb me, as well. Not because he is openly Pentecostal, however. Janet Reno only ignored the laws to accomplish her dirty deeds. John Ashcroft is taking the time to change the laws, and ignoring the constitution. Yes, that really bothers me, especially when he gets so much cooperation from the congress and the courts. There go the checks and balances.

    If the President and AG would only follow the dictates of the consciences that should be awakened by their theologies, they wouldn't be subverting the republic so badly. There is no need, AFAIK, to throw out their personal theologies, which should not be in conflict with this nation's founding principles.

    What would make us better, as citizens, or as a nation, is to be better advocates for the poor and oppressed, wherever we find them. Do we all have a looong way to go? You bet! Let's get started, though.
     
  15. Aug 19, 2002 #55 of 104
    jonstad

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    I think we can agree to disagree here. Should a high Chinese government official(or even an average Chinese citizen) request my opinion, I would gladly state I consider their systems of population control, crime prevention and lack of religious tolerance to be often barbaric, repressive and contrary to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as many other international treaties and conventions to which China is a signatory. Since I haven't been officially contacted lately, I am a member of Amnesty International and support other human rights groups to the best of my meager ability.

    As for the Apostles George and John, I am offended by their pious sanctimony. I don't know if you are old enough to remember but in 1960 JFK felt compelled to repeatedly state that his theological beliefs would NOT influence his public policies or decisions. Considering the razor-edge of his victory, it's logical to assume that without such declarations he would have been defeated. I find it quite ironic and troubling that in forty years this paradigm appears to be completely reversed. In 2000, it often appeared to be a contest over who could out-holy the other, who could refer to their religious faith and upbringing the most often and pepper their speeches most often with God, Jesus and "God Bless America".

    I find it sad, and ominous, that both major parties have apparently decided that no candidate for national office can be elected by making similar pronouncements to JFK's, violating at least the spirit of our Constitution which mandates that "no religious test chall be required for public office". I suppose I should point out too that the main reason JFK felt compelled to make such statements was because of his Roman Catholicism, after Jews, the traditionally most hated, feared and resented religious minority. Perhaps you can relate?

    I care little who, what or where public figures credit their sense of morality and ethics to as long as they apply them consistant to the Constitution, including strict adherence to the Establishment clause. Between pandering politicians, sectarian special interests, misguided court rulings and an uninformed, easily manipulated electorate, our freedom of(and from) religion is in serious jeopardy. And with it, many of our other freedoms as well.
     
  16. Aug 19, 2002 #56 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    Yes, I think you've heard what I'm saying by now,
    and I've heard what you're saying, and we both
    know where we agree and disagree.

    Overall, it has been a helpful discussion, I think.
     
  17. Aug 19, 2002 #57 of 104
    razorbackfan

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    Ridgway,...
    Hmmmmmmm I'll be 101 by then and plan to stick around. Take care of my planet people!
     
  18. Aug 19, 2002 #58 of 104
    bogi

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  19. Aug 27, 2002 #59 of 104
    RJS1111111

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    Subj: [infonet-list] Chinese Are Leaving Unwanted Baby Girls for Dead
    Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 10:38:45 PM Eastern Standard Time
    From: Steven Ertelt <ertelt@prolifeinfo.org>
    To: Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
    Sent from the Internet (Details)
    --------------------
    From: The Pro-Life Infonet <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
    Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <infonet@prolifeinfo.org>
    Subject: Chinese Are Leaving Unwanted Baby Girls for Dead
    Source: ABC News; August 26, 2002

    Chinese Are Leaving Unwanted Baby Girls for Dead

    Beijing, China -- In garbage dumps on the outskirts of Beijing, scavengers occasionally uncover the unthinkable -- newborn baby girls, abandoned and left to die.

    Chen Rong has managed to save five little girls she's found. "Innocent children are being killed," she says, "because they are girls, not boys."

    Historically, Chinese culture has valued male children over females, especially in rural areas, where peasants want boys to help in the fields.

    Today, as ultrasound machines have become readily available, China has seen an epidemic of sex-selection abortions -- so many, that the ratio of males to females in parts of China has been thrown wildly out of kilter.

    For every 100 girls born here, there used to be about 105 boys. Now, roughly 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. It's an imbalance that some believe will have dire consequences for the future.

    "You're going to have millions of men who have no stable family life of their own," says Adrienne Germain of the International Women's Health Organization. "And the frustration and the alienation that comes from that situation can lead a lot of boys and men into broader community violence."

    Already, there are so-called bachelor villages cropping up in rural China, populated almost entirely by unemployed men.

    Officials say millions of female births have probably gone unreported in recent years. No one knows how many of those babies may have been abandoned or killed.

    Chinese leaders are well aware of the problem. They have recently relaxed the one-child coercive abortion policy to allow some in the countryside to have extra children. They've also banned doctors from revealing the sex of a baby during ultrasound screening. And they've launched campaigns that emphasize the important status of women in Chinese society.

    Mao Tse-Tung once said, "Women hold up half the sky," but from China's imperial past to its communist present, it has remained a male-dominated society, and no decree or law is expected to bring immediate change.
    --
    You can help women make positive, life-affirming choices when confronting an unexpected pregnancy. Please provide a link on your web site to Pregnancy Centers Online at http://www.pregnancycenters.org
     
  20. Aug 27, 2002 #60 of 104
    Bogy

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    RJS1111111, thanks for providing the article that shows how its not necessarily the government in China which is forcing abortion, but the long held cultural standards. People in China have been abandoning baby girls from long before communism was developed.
     
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