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Posts by BeauBo

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  • Who Would Win A Conflict In The South China Sea: The Infographic

    05/27/2015 12:41:53 PM PDT · 26 of 60
    BeauBo to Michael.SF.

    “That is the entire Chinese team vs. our one strike force.

    How quickly could we transfer other ships to the area?”

    That graphic is definitely not the whole picture, but it does indicate how the balance has been rapidly shifting.

    The Chinese Navy is in the midst of buildup akin to something out of WWII - 50 100 ships per year.

    They have fielded hypersonic missiles which were specifically designed to defeat our carriers, or keep them out of range. Their goal is to exclude the US and claim control of wide areas through the numbers, without actually having to fight. They will likely be installing missile batteries soon, if they are not there yet.

    During the Clinton Administration, they got extensive intelligence on US vulnerabilities, and the specific technologies to attack them. They revised their investment strategies exactly against US weaknesses, and have now fielded a lot of that capability.

    Clinton also got them admitted into the World Trade Organization, so that they were able to make the money to fund their massive buildup.

    We can expect similar, or probably worse, sellouts of our National interests under a Hillary Administration. The Clintons may have grown rich like Ferdinand Marcos through public corruption (a few billion), but I believe that they want to become rich like Vladimir Putin (tens of billions).

  • Silicon Valley’s Eating Up Super Ritalin. I Got the Best of It.

    05/27/2015 12:17:48 PM PDT · 32 of 41
    BeauBo to dynoman
    "I don’t know what “Poke” is."

    Pokeweed is a common weed in the South. It is poisonous to eat as food, but people sometimes use it as a medicine for particular ailments.

  • Buried Truths About Nazi Mass Murder and the Allied Victory

    05/27/2015 8:50:32 AM PDT · 38 of 38
    BeauBo to T-Bone Texan

    “Pentecostals: the only religious groups specifically singled out by Hitler for extermination.”

    Besides Jews.

    And Gypsies.

    And Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    And Freemasons.

    And Seventh Day Adventists.

    And Catholics.

    And “people who opposed the Nazis on religious grounds”.

    And actually not Pentecostals explicitly as a group, just any individuals who who showed anti-Nazi tendencies.

    Under the Gleichschaltung process, Hitler attempted to create a unified Protestant Reich Church from Germany’s 28 existing Protestant churches.

  • Silicon Valley’s Eating Up Super Ritalin. I Got the Best of It.

    05/27/2015 7:56:26 AM PDT · 15 of 41
    BeauBo to PROCON

    The article is about Provigil (generically known as Modafinil). It is a prescription drug in the US, but available over the counter in other countries.

  • The Hidden Hand Behind the Islamic State

    05/18/2015 7:34:46 PM PDT · 73 of 163
    BeauBo to Kenny Bunk

    Prior to the Gulf War, the coalition got UN approval to go in, but only on the condition that they restrict the operation to liberating Kuwait, and not conquer Iraq.

    Immediately after the Gulf War however, there was a a massive and suspiciously well-coordinated anti-Regime uprising. Iraqi Shia militias, notably SCIRI/Badr Brigades, which had been sheltered in Iran for a decade, attacked en masse from Iran. Groups came in from Syria and down from the Kurdish areas.

    The Ba’ath managed to suppress this revolt. Most attribute this to their ability to use helicopters (a loophole in the no fly zone restrictions, sometimes pinned on GEN Swartzkopf), and more surviving Republican Guards than planned, because the slaughter was called off a bit too early (like a day or less), sometimes attributed to Colin Powell.

    The Ba’ath regime survived, and the CIA Director coincidently resigned within months.

  • The Hidden Hand Behind the Islamic State

    05/18/2015 3:45:45 PM PDT · 65 of 163
    BeauBo to Kenny Bunk

    “.......the disbandment of the Iraqi army after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 ....

    Dumbest thing we did in Iraq.”

    A large part of the “Army” was not the Army of Nation of Iraq at all, but was actually the Army of the Ba’ath Party. The best units (seven Divisions) of Republican Guard reported to Saddam Hussein through a Ba’ath Party command, and not to the Ministry of Defense. The paramilitary Fedayeen Saddam also were not a National asset, but a personal asset of the President.

    The “regular” Iraqi Army itself was highly politicized like that of a Communist regime. All the Generals were highly political appointments, of party loyalists (literally more than 10,000 individuals held flag rank, so they could reconstitute Ba’athist command easily, no matter how high their losses). The whole officer Corps was extensively politically screened throughout their careers, and during evaluation for promotion. The regular Army itself was regionally organized, with a strong role in politically monitoring and suppressing the local population.

    The Ba’ath Party seized power twice in Iraq through coups - the last time with only about 5,000 people. The Army had extensive plans and preparations to regroup and re-seize power, if the country was overrun, in addition to the separate and well developed plans of the Republican Guards, Fedayeen and intelligence services. Seizing power by coup was a major part of Ba’ath Party lore, and contingency preparations for it consumed a significant percentage of its training and budget. Their plans and preparations increased significantly after their near collapse in the Gulf War, and through the decade-long siege of sanctions and no-fly zones.

    They were always public that this was their plan, and they used the prospect of their return to intimidate those who might collaborate with the Americans. They named their initial terrorist organization “The Return”, shortly after the American liberation. Elements of the military intelligence are in fact now conducting this operation, under the false flag the Islamic State.

    We knew for a fact the Ba’athist Army was prepared to rebel and conduct a coup - probably more so than other military on Earth. They simply could not safely be left in place, armed and organized. It was never a feasible option.

  • Islamic State claims full control of Iraq's Ramadi

    05/17/2015 5:34:07 PM PDT · 31 of 58
    BeauBo to mandaladon

    Well I guess that liberating Mosul from ISIS is off the table for this year.

    First they will have to make a Mad Max pile of rubble out of Ramadi and Fallujah. They are to close to Baghdad to leave in enemy hands, while attacking Mosul.

  • 9 Confirmed Dead in Biker Gang Shooting at Twin Peaks (Waco, TX)

    05/17/2015 5:05:36 PM PDT · 130 of 172
    BeauBo to BeauBo
  • 9 Confirmed Dead in Biker Gang Shooting at Twin Peaks (Waco, TX)

    05/17/2015 3:48:30 PM PDT · 73 of 172
    BeauBo to VanShuyten

    “Which gangs were these?”

    Another thread reported Vaqueros, Scimitars and Cossacks.

    Drudge had a picture with Cossacks.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/15/2015 2:37:12 PM PDT · 702 of 719
    BeauBo to Springfield Reformer

    You are very considerate and thoughtful, which engenders my respect and affection.

    Nonetheless, I really want to back out of this conversation. My fear is that by criticizing the basis of the behavior I found objectionable, I could end up undermining someone else’s faith. I am not a professional, and have no authority to speak for any Church.

    You can’t keep a Church together, without a common basis of understanding, so there pretty much has to be some agreed upon dogmas or fundamental beliefs. Having a Church accomplishes so much in helping people, that they need to be preserved.

    But ultimately, our limitations can’t encompass everything, and earthly Churches or dogmas are limited tools. When you lock in some fundamental dogmas, there will be some inevitable unintended interpretations and conflicts from that. People will understand things differently, despite the best intentions.

    You say that the Eucharist is a metaphor, but that Jesus saying that he is the only path to God is literal. These are human opinions about the divine. By adopting these interpretations and attributing them to be absolute, you can build a certain set of conclusions, to structure a particular kind of Church. If that Church helps people to be better, great. If I undermine someone’s faith in one of these fundamental assumptions, I fear that it might do more harm than whatever good.

    As you point out, faith is what brings the message into the real lives of people. I don’t want to attack someone’s Christian Faith, in a way that is a disservice to them. The standard which you seem to propose for determining when this would be appropriate, is when it varies from one of your fundamental assumptions - heresy, essentially. The standard that I propose is to assess the effects on moral behavior and spiritual fruits like patience, forgiveness, kindness, and so on.

    As long as someone’s interpretation is comforting or helpful to them, and they are not being immoral as a result of it, I am going to leave them the benefit of the doubt. For example, I really admire the righteousness of the Mormons that I have worked with (I love me some Mormons, in fact), even though I find little doctrinal agreement. My own understanding may change by next year. The Lord works in mysterious ways, as the saying goes.

    So even within my own Church, I don’t throw down the gauntlet any time something doesn’t seem to make perfect sense to me, as I believe that they are basically trying to do the right thing - I just carry over a set unresolved issues for future study.

    So my argument is not “If it hurts, leave it alone”, but rather, “Don’t get so carried away with ideological certainty, that you become harsh to good people”. You are not harsh, but others were. In describing the the role of Marian practices to soothe pain and fear among those suffering, I was trying to highlight or inform how some of this missionary zeal could be perceived by the audience, not that they should be immune from analysis. Included in such analysis should be the tangible comfort provided to untold millions of suffering people.

    I’ll throw in some added mystical commentary, at no extra charge:

    The practice of Communion is a mystical practice, which is the main point of the Catholic Mass. Whole Religious Orders have existed for centuries, focused on contemplation and prayer, to draw closer to God in actual experience. In my experience, it is such mystical practices which have moved me most deeply. Perhaps that is just my bent. I personally have no direct experience with the brown scapula, but my experience with the Eucharist has been profound for me.

    From a mystical interpretation, the Eucharist, or sayings like “I am the way” “None come to the Father, except through me” can be understood as guidance toward the experience of communion.

    It is my observation that many Evangelicals also engage in mystical practice, interpreted as the Holy Spirit, despite ideological objection to words or forms associated with the Eucharist. For me, the experience is kind of outside of the realm of words and concepts.

    Anyhow, even though it has been a pleasure chatting with you, it takes a lot of time (I am a slow writer), and I need to get back to work and get some exercise. So please forgive me if I stop posting on this thread, it is not intended to be rude to you. I do feel better about Evangelicals/Fundamentalists after your considerate attention, so I offer a prayer for your health and happiness, and that of your family.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/15/2015 12:44:58 AM PDT · 690 of 719
    BeauBo to Springfield Reformer

    You asked so kindly, and I respect your thinking, so I’ll respond.

    You don’t assert literal interpretation - others did.

    You don’t rely (absolutely, perhaps somewhat) on direct revelation - but others did.

    You espouse an Historical-Grammatical method, which is basically what I was advocating. It is essentially the method used by the Catholic Church, which maintains lots of scholars with a long formal vetting process, augmented with lots of prayers for guidance. It is imperfect, as any human system will be, although with with checks and balances built in.

    When you rely on such an approach (Historical-Grammatical), different scholars may still reach different conclusions (interpretations). New facts may be discovered, which would alter earlier conclusions. For example, you mentioned Heliocentrism in a earlier post, where thinking changed over time. Some points may simply not be decisively resolvable based on the limited information known.

    The bottom line, is that such an approach (Historical-Grammatical) does not provide the absolute inerrancy claimed by the other approaches.

    Please note that this is (inherent) imperfection in human understanding, not to accuse imperfection on the part of God.

    Without an absolute certainty of divine understanding, I believe it wise to be circumspect about passing judgement on others. That is what I found lacking on this thread, and why I spoke up. The absolute certainty that many seem to claim is expressed as intolerance and bigotry, disrespect and derogation of others - a quickness to declare heresy, akin to takfiri muslim fundamentalists.

    So whether folks rely on literal reading, or a priori agreement on a fundamental set of dogmas that they assert to be absolute certain truths (as you propose), or acceptance of absolute rules for interpretation (as do takfiri muslims); by emphasizing the aspect of absolute certainty of understanding, they will naturally engender a higher degree of such intolerant hubris in their followers. That is an inherent downside of Fundamentalism. Not necessarily a fatal flaw, just something to guard against.

    Folks have argued that we should discount certain things in the Old Testament, because God can change the terms at different times and different people - yet they deem it out of the realm of possibility that God might provide Mary or a brown scapula to benefit certain people of a certain time.

    Devotional and mystical practices are more emotional and experiential, rather than analytical or logical. Yet they can powerfully move some people and benefit them greatly. Throughout history, and around the world, people have engaged in such practices. Some percentage of any population will have a naturally greater attraction to, or talent for such religious experience.

    It seems to me that, like muslim fundamentalists, Christian fundamentalists tend to take particular exception to much of devotional practice as superstition or magical thinking, while being ambivalent about mystical practice.

    Every human, and probably every mammal, has deep feelings and instincts concerning their mother and being mothered. Maternal love has special ability to calm fears and soothe pain. So many people in this world are subjected to horrible pain and terrifying prospects - we are all going to face death and the deaths of our loved ones at some point, and God only knows what other horrors we may experience in this world - there are plenty.

    In my experience, some people are naturally attracted to Mary, but many more are helped with Marian practices when crushed with pain (e.g. mourning) or facing great fear (e.g. combat deployments, terminal illness).

    Probably the biggest Catholic Marian practice is praying the rosary, which is akin to the “worry” beads which other religions use to count repetitions of prayers or mantras. In Hindu, Buddhist and muslim traditions, such repetition practice is considered particularly suitable for the the same kinds of challenges (pain and fear), as well as for people who are not intellectual by nature or lack high intellectual capability. I don’t know Jewish practices well enough to compare them.

    But there is an emotional reaction to dogmatic/intellectual/legalistic attacks on Marian practices, that is not so much due to intellectual disagreement. Marian practices are often associated with very sympathetic situations, such as with people who are dying and in pain.

    The Hail Mary (Ave Maria) is traditionally offered at funerals - it includes the request to “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death” So when people attack these practices, the association is with sensitive memories, like saying goodbye to Grandma, where these practices are the main balm that is shared to soothe the pain. It comes off as really harsh, cold hearted - even cruel.

  • New laws to target radicalisation (UK)

    05/13/2015 2:07:39 AM PDT · 4 of 9
    BeauBo to kingattax


  • Exclusive: Greece taps IMF reserves to pay IMF debt - sources

    05/13/2015 1:37:38 AM PDT · 9 of 9
    BeauBo to aegiscg47

    Many Contractors have not been paid by the Greek Government since January. The Government has spent all its cash reserves, and plans to continue spending more than they take in. As such, you could say that they are bankrupt now, but Governments have a special power to take.

    They are looking to new sources for cash - finding things that can only be done once - and burning through them quickly.

    They have ordered the confiscation of the cash accounts of local governments, and have already spent what was collected.

    What they did with the IMF was way over the top (seizing the IMF’s own emergency money as a “loan” without asking, to make this month’s payment to the IMF on other loans). But they can’t do that again - that account was totally spent.

    They are pretty much out of Government money to spend, so they will soon either have to default on some more obligations, or expropriate private money - unless foreigners trust them with freight trains worth of perfectly good new money.

    If they can make it through May without a default, massive seizures of private property, or a bailout; that will be the last month where it is possible. They are running on fumes now.


    05/12/2015 11:23:09 PM PDT · 13 of 65
    BeauBo to South40

    Is this attacker a psycho, drug-crazed, or did he know the victims?

    The report shows no sign of going after money.

    Also, this took place about an hours drive from the Mexican border, on one of the two main Interstates heading North from the border. The perpetrator has a Latino name and appearance.

    Was he in the country legally? That is another point on which the press tends to keep silent, if it might hurt the agenda.

  • University Report: A Room Full of White People Is a Microaggression

    05/12/2015 11:08:30 PM PDT · 3 of 64
    BeauBo to 2ndDivisionVet

    So being white is a microaggression, as blacks will have to see that, and feel bad.

    Is wearing blackface the cure?

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/12/2015 10:51:06 PM PDT · 661 of 719
    BeauBo to Faith Presses On
    I keep getting jerked around here.

    I am told that the Bible is inerrant and must be obeyed as written.

    I point out that there are things that don't work out with a straight literal reading, and say you have to interpret.

    Then it is either A. No you don't, that is blasphemy, or B. No there are no problems with literal reading (hundreds of examples are posted on line, starting with the order of creation between Genesis One and Two) or C. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth and resolves apparent conflicts, or my favorite, D. You just have to "Rightly divide God's Word", like that is not interpreting the meaning, like that is somehow substantially different.

    When I say that relying on revelation is not literal reading, you say "Many Christians would disagree.", like that somehow makes it literal reading? No, it is avoiding the issue and pretending that it has been refuted. It is a glaring inconsistency.

    I point out the potential downside of relying on revelation rather than literal reading, with the example of Jim Jones, who claimed revelation over literal reading. You seem to discount this by pointing out that he didn't adhere to the letter of scripture, as if that absolves the revelatory approach that he did use. It is the opposite.

    Then others will chime in with statements like, "I am a Fundamentalist, and I don't know where you get the idea that we use a literal interpretation of scripture". That is kind of the common definition of the term. When I google it, the first thing I get is:

    fun·da·men·tal·ism, noun; "a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture."

    I am sick of the circular run-around, and the angry bigoted bashing of Catholics, and don't really want to keep being dragged back into these same loops over and over.

    I have long wondered why Jews aren't Republicans, and why they don't see Christians as some of the strongest supporters of Israel (which I believe they are). I have heard from Jewish friends about their discomfort with evangelicals, but I did not understand it until now, I had not felt it myself until this experience, despite knowing many over the years in the military.

    I think that faith is one of the main aspects that distinguish Christianity from other major religions. Every major religion has faith, just as all will have some strains of philosophical intellectualism, some fundamentalists, some devoted to social service, some devotional practices, and so on. But in my assessment, Christianity has some particular excellence in the development of faith.

    It can do great things, but it can have some negative expressions as well (just as love can have negative expressions in possessiveness or jealousy). I see over zealousness and closed mindedness, when folks seem quick to abandon logic, reversing themselves or resorting to absurd sophistry, and triumphantly conclude that they have logically proven their case. Nothing will be allowed to get in the way of the predetermined conclusion.

    It has been interesting to discuss things, but in total I come away turned off that it typically boils down to a sudden shift in argument, waving a "magic wand" like I have the Holy Spirit and you don't, or simply total non-sequiturs (unrelated statements, personal attacks, unrelated attacks on other things like the Catholic Church. or simply re-asserting whatever was challenged without refuting the challenge).

    I come away with the expectation that if I attempt to reason with Protestant Fundamentalists online concerning religion, I will encounter unkind, unfair, and ultimately inconsistent argumentation; and that there will be no admission of a lost point, no matter what (which feels pretty creepy).

    I had long since come to a similar conclusion about debating fundamentalist muslims, although their ultimate bottom line is so much worse - violence and censorship. One other thing that I have found both muslim and Protestant Fundamentalism to share, is an above average degree of bigoted disrespect for the practices and beliefs of others. I come away with the feeling that this whole thread was basically bigoted Catholic bashing to reinforce a sense of superiority (absolutism, actually).

    I really want to back out of this discussion, and feel bad that I may have injured anyone's faith. I got drawn in trying to quell what I saw as inter-Christian hostility, and ended up engaged in it. I don't feel nearly as bad arguing politics. So please pardon me if I don't respond to future questions, and feel free to take parting shots.

    And may God bless you all with kindness and wisdom and love all around.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/11/2015 2:06:13 PM PDT · 481 of 719
    BeauBo to metmom

    “So what are you saying then? That relying on the Holy Spirit leads to that sort of behavior?”

    Not necessarily, but as a method for establishing doctrine, it leaves the door open to to subjective error, or willful fraud. Clearly it did in the case cited (Reverend Jim Jones). Many false preachers or hucksters have made such claims.

    I am saying that doctrines (interpretation) need to be objectively assessed against a consistent moral standard, and thoroughly analyzed intellectually.

    Doctrine and practice are somewhat different, like the letter vs. the spirit of the law. Establishing doctrine requires great cautiousness to guard from error. In practice there is huge value to having absolute faith.

    That is the big reason that I kind of regret getting into this whole thread - I don’t want to undermine anyone’s faith in their dogma (e.g. fundamentalism), if it is being helpful to them. I know that it is greatly helpful to many, and have met fine people who live holy lives as a result of their fundamentalist understanding of scripture.

    I got caught up in highlighting the potential downsides of fundamentalism (closed-mindedness, bigotry, irrationality, cementing errors in interpretation), in defense of good religious people who practice with a brown scapula, or are moved to a relationship with Mary. Such views and practices comfort and strengthen many, and are helpful to them.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/11/2015 12:47:37 PM PDT · 466 of 719
    BeauBo to Springfield Reformer

    I am in agreement with your description.

    You describe a process of investigation to interpret the deeper spiritual purpose of text, that on its literal surface seems problematic. To do that, you have to be open to the possibility that you do not already have a lock on ultimate truth (which is a common situation among fundamentalists).

    I use the example of Biblical conflicts, Old Testament vs. New Testament and so on; simply to highlight the problems of such an approach to scripture, not to try to invalidate scripture.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/11/2015 12:31:49 PM PDT · 460 of 719
    BeauBo to daniel1212

    Wow. Right up front, I’d like to say that I appreciate your thoughtful response, and the time that you took to prepare it. Also, that I feel sincerity and concern in your thinking which I admire, and which I believe reflect a Christian spirit.

    We don’t have full agreement, and sometimes I believe that some of your points are unfair or descend a bit into ill will. But I fall prey to to the same shortcomings, so it is not difficult for me to forgive these, in light of what seems to me to be your basic goodness of character and intent.

    Whenever we deal with people, we can’t realistically expect perfection, and that goes for Church leaders, Popes and such as well. I would offer that Pope Leo may personally have had a stronger tendency toward authoritarianism, or a more decisively judgmental habit of mind than average.

    The current Catholic Church catechism on the inerrancy of scripture is artfully vague. That is probably the best that anyone can do, if you are motivated by the goals of helping the most people, but still protecting against an “anything goes” descent into chaos, and maintain an ongoing organizational authority to avoid schism and in-fighting. I don’t find it unusual that the Catholic Church has not been consistent concerning the inerrancy of scripture - we are talking about billions of people over many centuries.

    By the same token, Protestant denominations have not been consistent. Positions have changed, schisms have occurred, and individuals have expressed varied opinions.

    Some Catholics have adopted a concept of absolute inerrancy, as have some Protestants, some Muslims, some Jews, etc.

    It can help many people, by giving them a firm feeling of certainty, which strengthens their resolve and commitment. It has a powerful effect in keeping an organization together over time, which itself has great value.

    But there are major downsides to adopting such a doctrine. Disintegration of the Christian community, even to the point of civil war, has occurred. Bigotry and condemnation of essentially good things that don’t conform to a particular rigid interpretation can get carried to hurtful and destructive extremes.

    In some cases, your arguments supported non-literal interpretation of scripture, that reason and morality may temper explicit text, that there are some things that are to be applied always while others are not, or that translation is very good (but imperfect), and so on. In other instances, you didn’t refute a point itself, but instead criticized some historical Catholic doctrine or statement for doing the same thing. In other instances, you seem to simply re-assert inerrancy.

    I think that is a natural outcome of struggling to reconcile all the great mass of scripture against a consistent doctrine and moral standard. In my view, we are all ultimately in that same difficult position, and would be wise to be kind to each other, as our knowledge and comprehension improves over time.

    Again, I appreciate you taking the time to explain things. Although I do not agree with everything that you said, I did find some of it informative and helpful. So I offer a prayer for your health and happiness, and for God’s grace to increase your wisdom and kindness further.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/11/2015 12:30:57 AM PDT · 423 of 719
    BeauBo to Faith Presses On

    “you are saying you don’t believe the Bible to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God?”

    I believe the Bible to be full of inspiration and wisdom and the most important things for human lives - but not to be inerrant.

    For the many reasons that I mentioned earlier, such as different versions, multiple translations, the many different people involved in writing and editing, with their different cultural outlooks and agendas.

    If it were inerrant, no conflicts or discrepancies could be found - but hundreds can be. If inerrant, there would be only one version - magically kept inerrant. And so on. That is why I argue that people are ultimately responsible to use their heads and exercise judgement, rather than wish it away by waving a doctrine of inerrancy to relieve them from complexity and ambiguity.

    The claim of inerrancy is the sound of a mind snapping shut.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/11/2015 12:00:52 AM PDT · 422 of 719
    BeauBo to metmom

    “Do you even understand what the new covenant is all about?”

    I have some understanding. Of course, it is not perfect. Since the New Covenant is described only in broad terms, the details are left open to analysis, moral judgement and interpretation. I am not so conceited as to believe, or so full of hubris to claim, that I know it all, with certainty (and thereby pass certain judgement on other humans, such as those who practice with a brown scapula).

    My argument is against fundamentalist literal reading of scripture, as it can lead to tragically detrimental results. I highlight some flaws of that approach, by specifying significant moral conflicts, which a literal reading can not resolve (slavery, etc.).

    Do you mean to imply that the Old Testament has been removed from scripture by the New Covenant? Totally overwritten? Or only some things in the Old Testament? If only some, how can you determine which? Literal reading does not cover each point.

    If you leave it to the Holy Spirit (as subjectively experienced by individuals) to make all judgements, you are no longer using a literal fundamentalist approach at all. A major problem with either approach, is that it leaves no check on extremism. If the text says to kill, a fundamentalist must OBEY. If the Spirit reveals that everyone should drink the Kool Aid, then the individual would have no moral authority to do otherwise. Reverend Jim Jones claimed guidance from the Holy Spirit when he had hundreds killed, and instructed parents to poison their children.

    There are many things prescribed in the Old Testament, which are not specifically addressed in the New. Therefore, a literal, fundamentalist reading cannot but OBEY whatever heinous and barbaric practices were codified a few thousand years ago in the Old Testament, unless they are literally and explicitly revoked.

    I gave some examples of explicit rules for conducting slavery, and for punishing rape by forcing the rapist to marry the victim. You apparently cannot or will not address these specific concrete points. Slavery is God’s will - yes or no? Rape permissible after military conquest? Torture? Genocide?

    The Catholic approach is to have a body of scholars study the scriptures, and to form a consistent moral basis for judging - to produce reasoned and well-vetted guidance and interpretation, to resolve conflicts, and to promote the spirit and intent of the New Covenant. Common sense, and loving compassion for others can override literal compliance with a text, where there is good reason, and avoid the unlimited possible deviations of relying on subjective individual revelation.

    What I have been hearing from this fundamentalist argument on this thread, mirrors the same points that I have argued with fundamentalist Wahhabi Muslims. Sunni Islam made a decisive shift in the 11th century toward blind obediance to the written scripture. The book, “The Incoherence of Philosophers” by al Ghazali, has been credited with convincing many muslims that it was wrong to try to to figure out matters of religion on your own - a fundamental error. They argued against attempting to to apply any intellectual or moral check on what the individual accepts from scripture as God is greater than anyone’s limited intellect - the only defensible option in their view is to simply OBEY (submission, as they say).

    As a result, there is no consistent morality left in their interpretation of Islam - except what is in the interest of Islam. For example, it is considered wrong to kill - unless it is in the interest of Islam. It is generally wrong to lie, unless it is in the interest of Islam (where it becomes a duty), and so on, with with theft, rape, more killing, etc.

    If you exclude intellectual analysis and moral judgement as checks on what you accept (as in either literal fundamentalism or subjective revelation), you open the door to violent extremism at the worst, but pretty much guarantee closed-mindedness as a constant.

    I can see how the certainty and simplicity of a fundamentalist approach can comfort and support people people in their efforts to do better, avoid doing evil, and to draw closer to God. As such, I can see that it can be a helpful practice for a lot of people (as is the brown scapula).

    There can be negative aspects to almost everything, even love can result in jealousy and possessiveness and other negative manifestations. With fundamentalism, you must guard against extreme conclusions that exceed normal bounds of reason or morality, and a rigid certainty that causes bigoted condemnation of others as heretics or fools.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/10/2015 1:47:12 PM PDT · 403 of 719
    BeauBo to metmom

    “Scripture that are confusing or ambiguous, to be OBEYED, not “interpreted.”

    Well by that logic, the rules concerning slavery should be OBEYED. And rapists should be forced to marry their victims. And a hundred other Old Testament conflicts with morality and the modern world.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/10/2015 1:34:51 PM PDT · 402 of 719
    BeauBo to metmom

    “Ealgeone can refute every point you made and has tried”

    That is just an empty assertion. Baseless. Read the written record of the exchange. Points were raised (e.g. the Old Testament conflicts to demostrate literal reading is inconsistent) - he criticized making such points (as you do) and criticized me (as you do) but did not (I assume could not) refute the points themselves - except to claim the authority of the Holy Spirit to support his opinion.

    This whole thread was about imperiously deriding those who practice religion in a different way (brown scapula). I argue that this is based on a closed-minded (bigoted even) interpretation of scripture. If practices are helpful to people to improve or draw closer to God, they are good.

    Initially, the argument was made that such religious practice (brown scapula) is wrong or foolish , because it does not comport with a certain interpretation of scripture. The argument was that there is one right way to understand scripture, and they have a lock on it.

    The claim was that the text is explicit and authoritative, denying the need for interpretation. I was basically called a blasphemer for using the word “interpretation”. But when confronted with the obvious conflicts of a literal (Fundamentalist) reading, the argument suddenly flips 180 degrees, to a purely revelatory authority - I have the Holy Spirit’s right guidance and you don’t, therefore I invoke divine authority on setting doctrine.

    This is the same argument made by Muhammed, in establishing his religious authority. It is the same claim that can be made by any fraud, or impressionable personality. In fact, the same basis could be claimed by those practicing the brown scapula - that their good vibes indicate that the Holy Spirit is leading them. It makes it purely subjective.

    That is all the argument boils down to. On this basis, schism among Christians is promoted.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/10/2015 10:31:24 AM PDT · 366 of 719
    BeauBo to ealgeone

    “I will no longer address your questions on this thread.”

    Unable to refute a single point on substance.

    Resorting to personal attack.

    I accept your surrender.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/10/2015 10:24:10 AM PDT · 363 of 719
    BeauBo to RnMomof7

    Like “rightly divide the word of God” is substantially different from “Make moral judgements about what to accept and how to interpret conflicts”

    Fudamentalist literal reading doesn’t work, unless you actively participate in denying the obvious.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 11:58:23 PM PDT · 337 of 719
    BeauBo to Resettozero
    "Lighten up Francis. Who ya talking to? The pope? Your mule? Who be Francis in your discourse that led nowhere?" It is from the movie "Stripes".
  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 10:32:41 PM PDT · 335 of 719
    BeauBo to Lonely Bull

    Yes, this is mainly what I have been arguing - that the Bible must be interpreted to be consistent, and ultimately, if it is to serve its purpose of helping people come closer to God.

    Conflicts must be resolved, and a consistent moral and logical framework constructed based on its intent, rather than an intellectually blind, literal reading of each word.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 10:17:22 PM PDT · 333 of 719
    BeauBo to ealgeone

    Allegory: a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.

    ALLEGORY: the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; also : an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression

    Wikipedia extracts for Parable: ...may sometimes be distinguished from similar narrative types, such as the allegory ...Like the parable, the allegory makes a single, unambiguous point. An allegory may have multiple non-contradictory interpretations ...the object of both parable and allegory “is to enlighten the hearer by submitting to him a case in which he has apparently no direct concern, and upon which therefore a disinterested judgment may be elicited from him ...Medieval interpreters of the Bible often treated Jesus’ parables as allegories ...

    Concerning the many morally ambiguous items in scripture, which a doctrinaire, literal (Fundamentalist) reading would have to accept as divine will, you state that there is nothing in the New Testament to suggest that such practices should be reinstated, which again raises the point that you did not resolve. Do you reject the old testament?

    You avoided addressing my previous point (saying “I have no reply” is no real reply - except to an extreme literalist, unconcerned with substance)- Is the Old Testament no longer scripture in your view? It explicitly prescribes rules concerning slavery practices. Jesus did not specifically address slavery in the New Testament, except to use cases of slavery to make other points, as I cited previously.

    If you are being literal, it is right there in black and white. Exodus 21:20-21, When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are (this is elsewhere explained to only cover Israeli slaves, foreigners are kept indefinitely). This rule is not specifically rescinded in scripture - people changed this practice based on their own moral judgement, informed by the broad sweep of the New Testament teaching, rather than literal reading. Slavery continued in the Christian world long after Christ. Slavery practices are explicitly defined in scripture but not revoked, so to a fundamentalist they should still be in place, no?

    Genocide is repeated in the Old Testament - God does it (Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, Plague of the Firstborn of Egypt) and he commands that it be done to the Canaanites in Dueteronomy, and the Amaklekites in 1 Samuel 15 (utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling).

    Rape has many prescriptions: If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman Deuteronomy 22:28. If you want to a literal fundamental reading of scripture, then either you do away with the old testament, or you carry over a bunch of war crimes, tortures, stoning, slavery and so on. A lot of it reads like the Quran.

    It was not the New Testament itself that literally did away with these many archaic atrocities - people later moved beyond literal adherence to elements which were morally indefensible, based on a new moral standard promoted in the New Testament - love your neighbor as yourself, for example.

    So it boils down to these choices:
    1. Reject Old Testament outright.
    2. Accept the Old Testament prescriptions as scripture - therefore they should be reinstated.
    3. Make moral judgements about what to accept and how to interpret conflicts - therefore reject fundamentalism.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 7:26:01 PM PDT · 300 of 719
    BeauBo to metmom

    “The only ones calling others *heretics* are the Catholics who throw that label around with reckless abandon”

    I said that I was accused of blasphemy. It was in post 119 by editor-surveyor, where he quoted me, and then leveled the charge - extracted for your convenience:

    >> “To be rigidly certain of an interpretation of something written thousands of years ago...” <<

    Those that speak of “interpretation” blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 7:19:14 PM PDT · 299 of 719
    BeauBo to ealgeone

    Without quibbling further over the definition of “allegory”, it is interesting that you have “no reply to this statement (all of the Old Testament genocide, slavery, rape and torture) that has no support in the New Testament.”

    Is your view the New Testament completely supersedes the Old Testament, and that it is therefore not scripture? There goes the ten commandments. Including the tenth commandment, which warns not to covet your neighbor’s slaves. Perhaps you missed that, due to one of those translation/interpretation errors that we discussed, because the politically correct term “manservant” might have been used instead of slave. Both there are many references to how slaves are to be distinctly legally treated in the Old Testament.

    Oh, and lots of matter of fact references in the New Testament as well, typically translated as Maid or servant or such, but context often clarifies their ownership or being sold. Ephesians 6:5-9: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters” 1 Timothy 6:1-3 “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor. And in Luke 12:45-48, Jesus presents an allegory (oops, Parable) of a slave and his master to demonstrate the relationship between a person and God.

    And that is just a passing examination of slavery. There is plenty of scripture on genocide, rape, torture and such; far too much to list - literally thousands of morally questionable references. You just have to have your own moral compass, guided by the principles of Christian teaching, rather than by literal adherence to every word.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 5:43:37 PM PDT · 287 of 719
    BeauBo to editor-surveyor

    “So then you believe that the Holy Spirit does not impart the correct meaning of the scriptures?”

    I believe that is possible, but that we must be responsible for making reasoned judgements, based in consistent morality.

    If we rely solely on the Holy Spirit clarifying meaning, then what happens to those for whom it is not doing so? Is the scripture then useless? Does God pre-determine who will receive correct guidance, and the rest be damned? Does the Holy Spirit always give perfect clarity? To everyone? How can one be sure that one’s feelings of the Holy Spirit’s guidance are valid? Won’t unscrupulous people falsely claim the Spirit’s guidance to benefit themselves?

    Others on this thread criticize the brown scapula as a talisman or amulet, implying that it is a base regression to magical thinking. Well relying on an external spirit for guidance (control even) could similarly be compared with non-Christian beliefs and practices.

    My argument is that we (endowed with intellects and free will) are responsible for our own actions, and the development of our own characters. Scripture has a wealth to offer in this endeavor, but it is not a simplistic or mechanistic process of either literal fundamentalism, or completely subjective revelation.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 5:17:39 PM PDT · 282 of 719
    BeauBo to ealgeone

    Sounds like you are wedded to a fundamentalist, literal reading of scripture, and that you have a version which you believe to be infallible. You deny that there are conflicts within scripture. Try Google.

    Do you know why Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the synoptic gospels? Because John is so different.

    If parables are not allegories (despite the generally accepted definitions of theses words), do you believe that Jesus was actually concerned with raising grain, grapes, fishing and sheep herding, rather than making (allegorical, non-literal) teaching points about human behavior? And if you insist on literal fundamentalism, isn’t there all of the Old Testament genocide, slavery, rape and torture to reinstate?

    People absorbed by such dogmatic interpretation are likely to get sidetracked into quibbling over doctrinal differences of interpretation and generate schisms within the Christian community, rather than focusing on bringing everyone together and improving their holiness and happiness.

    The point is the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law, when it comes to spiritual realm - a very central message of Jesus to the legalistic and ritualistic religious leaders of his days on Earth.

    The fundamentalist muslims of ISIS and al Quaeda are derisively called takfiri by other muslims. Takfiri means “those who declare others to be heretics”. Anyone who varies from their reading of scripture (and the rules they use to interpret it) they attack as heretics - kind of like another apparently fundamentalist poster accused me of blasphemy, for using the word “interpret” in reference to understanding scripture.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 4:36:38 PM PDT · 266 of 719
    BeauBo to editor-surveyor

    >> “There are conflicts in scripture” <<

    To an unbeliever, not led by the spirit, that is so.

    >> “You (anyone) must interpret words to comprehend their meaning.” <<

    Again, for the unbeliever this may be so, if he is not led in the spirit.

    Following that logic, anything goes - it does not matter what the words in scripture say. Anyone can claim, or imagine, guidance from the Holy Spirit to do anything. Scripture itself loses all authority, and only (subjective) revelation is valid.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 2:08:36 PM PDT · 208 of 719
    BeauBo to editor-surveyor

    “Those that speak of “interpretation” blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

    The word of God tells us that it is to be read, not interpreted. The Holy Spirit (if he is with you) interprets as the word is read.”

    This is fundamentalism. It is an intellectual position shared by the Wahabbis - that scripture is divinely protected from alteration, and that every word is literally true. It is an act of faith, in defiance of easily demonstrable facts. It can lead to extreme conclusions, when logic and judgement are suspended, or deemed to be overridden by divine authority.

    There are conflicts in scripture. There are varied versions. There are non-literal allegorical statements in scripture, like the parables told by Jesus. Translations between languages are less 100% accurate (Aramaic to Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English). There are timelines (like the flood) which don’t hold up to archeological evidence. Councils of people selected what was to be included and excluded. Meanings and usage change over time. If I were to note in my journal in 1970 that someone was cool, by 2570 a reader might think it miraculous that their body temperature was abnormally low.

    You (anyone) must interpret words to comprehend their meaning. If you insist that you absolutely understand the scripture correctly, you are claiming to know God’s mind - quite a bit of hubris in that.

    What if that bit about scripture is to be read, rather than interpreted, was added by a doctrinaire cleric hundreds of years after Christ, who was in tiff arguing with someone over meaning, and wanted to shut down debate? It is a circular argument to say that you must accept the absolute authority of a document, based on the document itself. So if that one element is not valid, than the whole fundamentalist approach to forming conclusions from scripture (AKA interpretation) would be without basis.

    Ultimately, if your conclusions (interpretations) are not based sound judgement rooted in consistent morality, you can arrive at many harmful conlusions

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 10:17:38 AM PDT · 83 of 719
    BeauBo to ealgeone

    “Would you say the same thing if people were facing Mecca five times a day to “improve their lives”?? “


    If someone is sincerely trying to be a better and holier person, I think that is good.

    If however, they rigidly adhered to a dogma that set them to violence or hatred, or even unkindness, against others; I would think that to be a bad practice.

    Many people are born into muslim families or societies through no fault of their own, and yet are moved spiritually toward God. Muhammed co-opted many of the religious best practices of his day from Christianity, Judaism and the local Pagan practices. Those practices can be spiritually fruitful. Regular prayer can change people for the better.

    I think it is clear that Muhammed himself was a false prophet, who used religion to assume dictatorial power, and indulge his petty desires for power, sex and wealth. But prayer itself is still a good practice, it the intent is pure.

  • What Is The Brown Scapular

    05/09/2015 9:15:44 AM PDT · 40 of 719
    BeauBo to RnMomof7

    “The picture... is Mel Gibson, the director of the Passion of Christ, wearing a brown scapular as he smokes.”

    One of my favorite anecdotes about polling, is that a majority of people surveyed will approve of praying while smoking, but if the the question is phrased as smoking while praying, the majority will disapprove (true story).

    People’s understanding of things is subjective and changing - even the most brilliant and educated. Human minds are limited. Our concepts can not fully encompass divinity, and words are just limited placeholders for concepts - themselves subject to imperfect understanding from one person to another.

    To be rigidly certain of an interpretation of something written thousands of years ago in a very different context, and translated through several different languages in many different contexts; strikes me as a poor risk in practice. Fundamentalism, by definition.

    To get at the heart of religion is to help people live holier lives, and guide them to the divine. With as many people as there are, with all their varying levels of ability and comprehension, variations in explanation and practice are needed to benefit all. You don’t explain things to a small child the same way, for example.

    With a billion Catholics, and a long history, some variation is to be expected, to meet the needs of different people and changing circumstances. Some folks are very intellectual and are focused on philosophical explanations, while others are more emotional and are moved by compassion to help others. Everyone has some changing mix of such tendencies.

    If millions of people practice using a small brown scapula to try to improve their behavior, that is a great thing.

    Lighten up Francis.

  • George Galloway, critic of Israel and Iraq war, ousted in UK election

    05/08/2015 7:43:01 PM PDT · 26 of 29
    BeauBo to JustaCowgirl

    From the story:

    During a visit to Iraq in 1994, Galloway was filmed telling Saddam, “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.”

    He was criticized for taking money from Saddam when his country had its military committed against Saddam enforcing the no-fly zones.

    He is apparently currently openly on the payroll of Russia and Iran

  • Jon Stewart Panders to Liberals: 'Let's Get Rid of Ted Cruz'

    05/08/2015 12:34:07 PM PDT · 5 of 20
    BeauBo to drewh

    I thought Jon Stewart was retiring. Retire already.

    He’s hanging around like toenail fungus.

    Even after he’s gone though, his staff of writers and producers will just fall in behind another talking head, and keep actively misleading people.

  • Landslide: British PM Cameron, Tories trounce Labor party

    05/08/2015 12:04:30 PM PDT · 51 of 63
    BeauBo to Auslander154

    “I fear this is what the rhinos here are banking on. They calculate that our electorate will be so turned off by the far left democrat party that they ... will fall in line with another Bush or Romney to throw the dems out.”

    Both the (”Conservative”) Tories and the (Socialist) Labour Parties hired Obama’s campaign folks to run their campaigns this time around.

    The bases on both sides are being divided. Labour and Lib Dems lost base voters to the (Socialist) Scottish National Party. UKIP’s 12.8% of the vote should be part of the Tory base.

    The total vote count on the right, seems to have grown, but if they are divided enough next time, they could hand it to the left, like Ross Perot draining enough from the Republicans to put Clinton into office.

  • One Political Party Increased Its Seats in the British Parliament By 800 Percent!

    05/08/2015 10:27:08 AM PDT · 23 of 28
    BeauBo to Yashcheritsiy

    “The only thing they seem to be able to think of to do with “their” oil money is to convert it over into the Scottish equivalent of EBT payments.”

    And oil prices are way down since they had their last referendum. There is a good chance that oil prices will structurally stay lower for a long time, due to technology improvements and American production. Couple that with risks to future North Sea production ability, and Scotland may be suckling at the English teat for quite some time to come.

    Their big issue is keeping the National Health Service “free”, while the rest of the UK is trying to move toward a more sustainable model. It is financial suicide, but they are wedded to it. If they pursue independence in a similarly ideological manner, they could wind up destitute and looking for an EU sugar daddy to pay their EBT bills.

  • ISIS POSTS WARNING: “We Have 71 Trained Soldiers in 15 States” – NAMES 5 TARGETS

    05/08/2015 9:35:08 AM PDT · 179 of 180
    BeauBo to xsmommy

    There has been a figurative explosion of headscarves in Northern Virginia in the last ten years.

    Fairfax County schools have gone from supporting Spanish language instruction, to supporting 22 foreign languages.

    The All Dulles Area Muslim Society ( ) is a major Muslim Brotherhood front, as is the Islamic Society of North America, which has offices next to the US Capitol.

    It is pretty much impossible for the many recent muslim immigrants to find a mosque in the area which is not a front for extremist organizations, as there were virtually none until these organizations started building them with Gulf Arab oil money.

    They are factories for terrorists, and they are in a construction boom. Most of their product is still in the pipeline - a gusher to come..

  • One Political Party Increased Its Seats in the British Parliament By 800 Percent!

    05/08/2015 9:18:21 AM PDT · 11 of 28
    BeauBo to goldstategop

    “the UK may well leave the EU before the decade is over.”

    ... and Scotland may make another run at leaving the UK.

  • ISIS POSTS WARNING: “We Have 71 Trained Soldiers in 15 States” – NAMES 5 TARGETS

    05/05/2015 8:39:38 PM PDT · 121 of 180
    BeauBo to GOPJ

    Anyone know what “ bithnillah” is?

    “with the permission of Allah”

    Bismillah - God wills it.

    Inshallah - If God wills it.

  • ISIS POSTS WARNING: “We Have 71 Trained Soldiers in 15 States” – NAMES 5 TARGETS

    05/05/2015 8:20:06 PM PDT · 97 of 180
    BeauBo to Sarah Barracuda

    “Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan

    All states run by liberals”

    Virginia has a Democrat Governor right now, but the legislature is Republican, and the Governor position is relatively weak in Virginia. It historically leans more Republican than Democrat, but is a swing state.

    Maryland has been solidly Democrat-run for some time. However, last election, they voted in a Republican Governor (who quickly flooded Baltimore with thousands of National Guard and Police from around the state, once the fires started). The Maryland Governor is considered to have the strongest powers of any US Governor, under their State constitution.

  • Space radiation may harm astronauts' brains

    05/05/2015 4:34:08 PM PDT · 39 of 39
    BeauBo to Telepathic Intruder

    Hollowed out asteroids would require high power to create, propel and control (e.g. spin for gravity) - we will probable need lots of nuclear reactors. Asteroids could make nice long term facilities, or shields for long term voyages - if you have huge power sources.

    Robots could do the work - even creating optimized structures from the material of asteroids, rather than just tunneling into them. Early settlements (like on Mars or our Moon) will probably find caves, tunnel or bury structures.

    I have been loosely following the Mars One Project (who plan to send people on one way trips to Mars in about ten years). They plan on using solar panels for energy. Probably they just don’t have access to nuclear reactors, but I just don’t see settlements thriving without ample power for machines to move and process heavy mass.

    We really need small modular reactors for expanding into space.

  • Extreme secrecy eroding support for Obama's trade pact

    05/05/2015 12:10:16 PM PDT · 13 of 18
    BeauBo to The South Texan

    It is for granting the President fast track authority to negotiate a trade treaty, which would then be voted on by simple majority, rather than the full majorities required for treaties.

    I fully expect Obama to abuse whatever power he is granted, but the fast track authorization likely includes some bottom line constraints which must be met - so negotiators on the other side would be helped to drive a harder deal, if they know what the American’s real bottom lines are.

  • Extreme secrecy eroding support for Obama's trade pact

    05/05/2015 11:42:13 AM PDT · 9 of 18
    BeauBo to cookcounty

    “WHY would this be CLASSIFIED?”

    Perhaps because it is still being negotiated with other countries, and they don’t want to show our cards.

    Not that I trust them, but I can see a reason for secrecy during treaty negotiations.

  • Space radiation may harm astronauts' brains

    05/05/2015 11:35:02 AM PDT · 37 of 39
    BeauBo to Telepathic Intruder

    Well thanks for keeping me straight on the physics.

    I was trying to brainstorm on the engineering constraints for travel to Mars and beyond - what is the minimum essential shielding? All source radiation shielding is needed, and the humans need more than most equipment and cargo.

    Rather than shielding the whole structure to human standards, you could shield small portions like the bunk and workstation. Maybe you could reduce weight with a movable sun-facing shield, rather than wrap-around protection for such shelters.

    Perhaps you could layer protections with some clothing/helmet, small hardened shelters, and exterior shielding. Maybe even a magnetic shield, like the Earth’s magnetic field deflects radiation away. Sometimes a mix of different materials can complement each other for a synergistic effect.

    Ultimately, better propulsion would allow lots of improvements - more mass, shorter transit times. Electromagnetic drives (, if they work out and scale up, powered by nuclear reactors (freeing up lots of fuel mass for other uses) could radically improve the budget for shielding.

  • Saudi Arabia sends ground forces into Yemen

    05/05/2015 8:16:11 AM PDT · 24 of 24
    BeauBo to drbuzzard

    “They (Saudis) did an intervention in Yemen a few decades back and it didn’t go well for them. Rather a quagmire from what I understand.”

    Egypt went in with them back then. It was a quagmire for the Egyptians too. Egypt is the big military in the coalition with the Saudis this time. If they go in, they can bring a lot of guns to bear, but they are already committed in Eastern Libya and the Sinai.

    This will likely be a big family reunion for the elite Special Forces of the Sunni Nations, on the Saudi expense account. There are probably a bunch in there now. The Jordanians and Moroccans have some good Special Forces that could use some good training, and a few new ribbons on their chests.

  • Harvard Student Regrets Her Abortion: “On the Inside the Screaming Hasn’t Stopped”

    05/04/2015 9:12:11 PM PDT · 2 of 25
    BeauBo to kathsua

    You would have to be a sociopath to have an abortion and not have regrets.

    When you see other children, sometimes you will wonder what your child would have been like. When old, you will long for the company and comfort they might have provided.

    Losing a child is always a tragedy. Having killed it, is a special shame - hard to see yourself as fully good after that.