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Posts by The_Reader_David

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  • ISIS World Caliphate Going Right to Plan...

    07/29/2014 10:14:18 AM PDT · 10 of 10
    The_Reader_David to Pearls Before Swine
    Q: How is the new caliphate going to unify the Shiites and the Sunnis?

    A: By forcibly converting the Shi'ites to Sunni Islam, and killing those who won't.

    Truth be told, I'm disappointed in the historical accuracy of the map that purports to show the lands Islam had ever conquered -- it shows the route to Vienna which was controlled only during brief military expeditions, and areas in Romania and Hungary that were only tributary to the Ottomans and never directly ruled by Muslims -- but is missing any of Italy. I guess Caliph Ibrahim has forgotten that the Saracens occupied and ruled Sicily and portions of southern continental Italy before the Norman conquest which established the Kingdom of Sicily. (Heck, a Saracen army, lead by a Norman, sacked Rome).

  • Book Publishing Needs Socialism to Save It ("need" to suppress competition like France does)

    07/28/2014 3:41:09 PM PDT · 47 of 47
    The_Reader_David to Anitius Severinus Boethius
    And where is the liberty in taking someone else’s work and making money from it? That doesn’t sound like liberty to me. It sounds like theft.

    That's because you've bought into the notion that ideas can be "property".

    And, your history doesn't go back far enough. Before the Law of Queen Anne, it was normal for publishers to hold exclusive right, and before the Statue of Monopolies, letters patent were granted far and wide to non-inventors. The Constitution specified limits on who Congress could grant monopolies, which are now flouted with publishers, heirs, executors of literary estates holding monopolies when the author has been moldering in the grave for 70 years, and using them to suppress derivative works (e.g. "The Wind Done Gone" -- a retelling of "Gone with the Wind" from a slave perspective), performances of dances (cf. Martha Graham's artistic estate) or use of poems as song lyrics.

    By your reasoning the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, Variations on a Theme of Paganini, and a host of other musical works using other composers' themes as starting points are "theft" (or at least become so if the composer of the new work or an orchestra performing it make money). Rubbish! That's how culture works: it builds on previous culture. Putting a rent-seeking heir or lawyer into the process is contrary to the expressed purpose of the Constitutional provision, to promote progress in the sciences and the useful arts.

    Progress in my own field -- mathematics -- would grind to a complete halt if we had to pay royalties to other mathematicians and get permission from them (or their heirs or publishers) to use their definitions or theorems. To not be a "thief" (of honor for originating the idea, not of the idea, which is not something which can be stolen) consists in putting a citation to the paper the definition or theorem came from, and eventually, when the notion becomes well-known enough, even this lapses as the definition or theorem becomes part of the common patrimony of mankind. (Maybe the discoverer is honored with his or her name attached to the result, maybe not.)

  • What Constitution did President Obama Teach?

    07/28/2014 3:19:07 PM PDT · 27 of 32
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin
    Q: What Constitution did President Obama Teach?

    A: The same Constitution FReepers venerate.

    But that's not the relevant question. The relevant question is how did he teach it, and the answer is through the lens of anti-colonialist ideology and "critical legal theory" (the legal version of deconstructionism and "critical theory" or "theory" as it's known in what used to be humanities departments).

  • Book Publishing Needs Socialism to Save It ("need" to suppress competition like France does)

    07/27/2014 9:39:27 PM PDT · 44 of 47
    The_Reader_David to Anitius Severinus Boethius
    I'm fine with the Constitution on the subject. The Constitution specified a purpose and the notion of "for limited time to authors and inventors", for state-granted monopolies to authors and inventors. It did not grant Congress the power to reify those monopolies as property that could be alienated from the author or inventor and given over to publishers or literary estates or heirs. Life of the author plus 70 years is manifestly unconstitutional under a strict construction of the clause, since once the author has died, the monopoly is not secured to the author.

    Limiting letters patent to inventors and copyright to authors, as reforms in England not long before the American Founding had done, were part of what the Founders were getting at with that clause. I think they would appalled that the clause has in these latter days been used to justify laws under which a publishing house could prevent the use of a 1928 poem by a poet who died in 1968 as song lyrics in 2003. (I cite the case of Robert Frost's poem "Fire and Ice" the monopoly rights to which were held by Henry Holt & Co., who prevented them from being used as song lyrics by the neo-medieval band Unto Ashes, prompting them to replace the poem with a parody about failed royalty negotiations entitled "Flayed by Frost". The track Fire and Ice, which was released in Europe years earlier, finally was released in the U.S. in 2012.) This use of copyright -- the suppression of derivative works by publishers and literary estates -- is the antithesis of the Constitutional purpose of copyright.

    The current state of the law is such that one would imagine the Founders has written a clause "to impede the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for indefinitely extendible times to publishers and other commercial interests the exclusive right to the writings and discoveries of others."

  • Book Publishing Needs Socialism to Save It ("need" to suppress competition like France does)

    07/27/2014 7:04:38 PM PDT · 41 of 47
    The_Reader_David to PapaNew

    And your analysis is accepted by most everyone here at FR until the protection from the government is called a “copyright” or a “patent” or “protection of intellectual property”, when all of a sudden, folks will jump up to defend life-of-author/artist plus 70 years, evergreening of drug patents, business-plan patents, pretending that algorithms are devices (and therefore patentable) rather than mathematical theorem, ... at which point calling something “property” makes it so, pro-business trumps pro-liberty.

  • The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third Less

    07/26/2014 4:43:45 PM PDT · 39 of 41
    The_Reader_David to SamAdams76

    This is data for households — which includes young singles living alone who are scraping by on several part-time jobs and have no real assets, single mothers with children on the dole (likewise on the asset front), each counted as a household, the same as a well-off couple with two children — and is about net worth, not cash-flow, so mortgage balances count against the value of a home, and student loan balances count in the minus column. A newly minted brain surgeon fresh out of surgical residency might be bringing in $300K a year, but still be in the bottom half of the household net worth statistics due to student loan balances and a mortgage.

  • Why do Protestant lay people hate clergy?

    07/26/2014 5:55:44 AM PDT · 34 of 843
    The_Reader_David to greatvikingone

    You seem to be forgetting the Holy Apostle Paul’s plea on behalf of himself and Barnabas in which he appealed to the Mosaic Law’s prohibition on muzzling an ox.

  • Is Detroit's New Light Rail Line America's Greatest Boondoggle?

    07/25/2014 12:08:30 PM PDT · 49 of 75
    The_Reader_David to 1rudeboy

    I can see exactly one use for “light rail”: connecting an outlying airport with a city center and population centers or secondary-business cores on the far side of the city. The El’s blue line in Chicago, the Seattle light rail system (one line just as I described), SEPTA’s train to Philadelphia International,. . . all get a great deal of ridership just as airport links, and I suspect, between that and their ridership as public transit for locals would all be profitable as stand-alone rail lines (unlike most public transit).

  • Is Putin Worse Than Stalin?

    07/25/2014 12:00:22 PM PDT · 29 of 68
    The_Reader_David to Objective Scrutator
    I don't think Putin loves Iran. It think he regards them as a useful pawn in balance-of-power politics vis-a-vis both the U.S. and the Sunni world.

    Russia's problems with Islam are simpler than ours: their Muslim enemies are all Sunnis, so a Shi'ite power is a natural ally against a common enemy. We're stuck with Iranian official hatred as blowback from the Shah having been one of "our bastards" during the Cold War, as well as a pack of Sunni enemies (AQ, ISIS).

  • Faithful John Boehner To Faithless Barack Obama: Checkmate? (interesting read)

    07/25/2014 8:21:39 AM PDT · 18 of 37
    The_Reader_David to SoConPubbie

    Actually, there was no such gap, since at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and even down to the present, there were and are two: impeachment and writs of mandamus. The Founders assumed implicitly the framework of the common law, and at common law, courts could compel government officials to carry out their legal duties with a writ of mandamus. Unfortunately the SCOTUS’s implementation of the Rules Enabling Act has abolished the ability of Federal District Courts to issue writs of mandamus, so a suit seeking one would have to apply directly to the SCOTUS — which I presume a suit by the House against the President would do.

  • “Francis wants to achieve unity also by reforming the papacy”

    07/24/2014 9:31:22 PM PDT · 32 of 37
    The_Reader_David to NYer

    Actually, on the matter of remarriage (the real issue in a divorce) there is a matching problem going the other way: you Latins will permit any number of marriages after widowing, while our limit of three marriages (with increasingly penitential rites for the second and third) applies even when the prior marriage ended in the death of a spouse. I suspect if the doctrinal and ecclesiological matters could be ironed out, allowing different canon law to persist in different rites of a reunited church could smooth out both problems.

    On the matter of grace, the Orthodox understanding is that grace is the eternal and uncreated energy or activity of God in which we are able to participate (again after the fall) by virtue of the Incarnation, Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ and the descent of the Holy Spirit. The clearest formulation of this understanding occurs in the writings of St. Gregory Palamas, and in the decisions of the Fifth Council of Constantinople which vindicated his views against Barlaam of Calabria, who subsequently died in the communion of your church after being consecrated as Bishop of Gerace.

    Aquinas, in contrast, wrote of “created grace”, even considering sanctifying grace within this category, holding that without created grace somehow the effect of grace would not be real (an argument I do not follow, perhaps because I am insufficiently familiar with the niceties of Aristotelian thought). To the Orthodox is absurd: the only holiness is God’s holiness, so sanctification, and thus sanctifying grace, must be a participation in God.

    The critique of the doctrine of purgatory offered by St. Mark of Ephesus in his “Against the Latin Chapters Concerning Purgatorial Fire” also turns on this, and purgatory is seen by the Orthodox as part and parcel of the erroneous doctrine of created grace. (Though if you want, you can separate it out as another, separate, sticking point.)

    You are also right that contraception might be a sticking point — the Orthodox position does take into account the fact that the ancient understanding of conception on which patristic commentary which equated contraception with abortion rested is inaccurate — so that our bishops see little difference in whether the technology used to avoid conception involves a barrier, spermicide and/or hormones (providing it is not abortifacient) or only the minute monitoring of a woman’s fertility and periodic abstinence. Certainly NFP has the virtue of calling couples to a mild asceticism if they wish to avoid children for a time and the poetic virtue of greater intimacy. The argument of the couple being open to God is addressed in our usage by reference to the spiritual father’s blessing — not necessarily their pastor, some Orthodox Christians have a monastic priest, or even a simple monk know for spiritual discernment as their spiritual father — and that of openness to child bearing by the fact that, absent serious medical reasons, a blessing is not given for a couple to remain childless indefinitely.

    As to my preference for the usage of the Fathers at the time of the Western schism (or of all Arabic speakers, regardless of religions) of using Latin as the name for those of your confession, remember that as an Orthodox Christian, I do not credit your communion’s claim to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church since I believe that Church subsists in the Orthodox Church, organized as it has been from the beginning as local churches, each fully Catholic in the original sense, not as universal, but “according to the whole”, each completely the Church even as each offering of the Eucharist is completely the Body and Blood of Christ. “Latins and Uniates” is infelicitous, “papists” is usually thought offensive, so I’ll stick with St. Mark of Ephesus and the folks in my patriarchate’s Old Country. (Honestly, I thought we’d gotten over my insistence on this usage a while back when someone posted an explanation written by a Jesuit of a homily Patriarch +Bartholomew gave on a visit to Rome, in which the Jesuit in explanations written as if in +Bartholomew’s voice repeatedly wrote “You Latins...” You’re the first to complain since then.)

  • “Francis wants to achieve unity also by reforming the papacy”

    07/24/2014 2:40:21 PM PDT · 29 of 37
    The_Reader_David to NYer; defconw; utahagen

    NYer gives a good summary of most of the most salient differences, though we Orthodox would regard his first and third points as part of the same issue — both represent a difference in ecclesiology.

    There is, however, another one, which matters very much to our monastics, who will be the toughest crowd to convince should reunion become immanent: we Orthodox are dubious that you Latins hold a correct understanding of grace. Yes, I know, your latest Catechism shaded toward the Palamite view more than prior documents, but the Thomist notion of “created grace” has hardly been repudiated in favor of the Palamite view of the grace as the Uncreated Divine Energies, and the discussion of grace in the Acta of Trent sounds too much like the Thomist/Barlamite view to Orthodox hearers. (And if the promulgation of a new Catechism somehow overrules the acta of a council you profess to be Ecumenical, as some Latin posters here at FR tried to argue with regard to this point back when East-West religious discussions were much less cordial, prior to the election of Benedict XVI, I think another sticking point would arise on the ecclesiology front.)

    From our point of view, you Latins’ more rigorist approach to marriage (the forbidding of the ordination of married men to major orders in the Latin Rite, and the lack of ecclesiastical divorce) is not likely to be a sticking point, unless you would propose to change our canon law on these points to fit yours, particularly when the pastoral use of annulments has become functionally indistinguishable from our ecclesiastical divorce — a point I realize offends your hard-liners and idealists, but a fact nonetheless. (Incidentally, we too have annulments, but they are exceedingly rare.)

  • Virtuous Pedophiles group gives support therapy cannot

    07/21/2014 11:00:24 AM PDT · 10 of 12
    The_Reader_David to rfreedom4u

    Why don’t you read the story? Pedophilia is a morbid temptation. Acting on it is a grievous sin, and rightly a crime in civilized countries. Virtue lies, in the first instance, in not giving in to temptation (morbid or otherwise), and in the second in doing good. Read the story.

  • Armed rebels take bodies by force in Flight MH17 crash

    07/20/2014 8:21:00 PM PDT · 11 of 13
    The_Reader_David to The_Reader_David

    “corner in Virginia” should have been “coroner in Virginia”

  • Why Tesla Motors can't sell cars in most of the United States

    07/20/2014 8:18:09 PM PDT · 4 of 70
    The_Reader_David to 2ndDivisionVet

    Hmmm... has Congress forbidden the selling of automobiles across state lines? If not, Tesla should just sell cars online from a state where direct sales are legal — state laws prohibiting interstate commerce are prima facia unconstitutional.

  • Armed rebels take bodies by force in Flight MH17 crash

    07/20/2014 7:57:30 PM PDT · 9 of 13
    The_Reader_David to 2ndDivisionVet

    Given that the separatists have constituted themselves as a government for the territory in which the plane came down, even if no one recognized that government, it would be bizarre to expect them not to take custody of the bodies (as a government would normally do), and it is bizarre to characterized the action as “by force”. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy, but it would be absurd to characterize the actions of a corner in Virginia in 1863 in removing bodies from some accident scene or battlefield as “taking the bodies by force”.

  • Which TV series should have gone on?

    07/19/2014 9:57:12 PM PDT · 139 of 335
    The_Reader_David to MNDude

    “The Vision of Escaflowne” (An anime series that was originally slated to run three seasons, but got cancelled after two — with enough notice to paste a hurried and unsatisfying ending into the last few episodes.)

    “Spice and Wolf” (Another anime series that really needed another season — the romance between the main characters, a twenty-something merchant and a six-hundred year old fertility goddess who looks like a gorgeous sixteen to eighteen year old, save for the prick ears and bushy red, white tipped tail, was just getting interesting, but I guess plots driven by commerce and the older than usual male lead didn’t sell in Japan.)

  • M17 crash: Ukraine PM's Anger Over "international crime"

    07/19/2014 10:25:29 AM PDT · 19 of 19
    The_Reader_David to lodi90

    Ah, yes, “unlawful warfare”. I happen to have recently met a (legal) immigrant to the U.S. from Lyuhansk, whose relatives still in eastern Ukraine are separatists. They are not Russian agents. They are people who don’t want to live under the rule of Kiev after the Western Ukrainians overthrew a government they had voted for and still overwhelmingly supported in a (pick one) coup, revolution, uprising.

    If backing the non-government faction in a civil war, ginning up support for it, providing arms and materiel, even to the level of inserting advisors on the ground in support of the faction, is “unlawful warfare” then the U.S. has a lot to answer for back during the Cold War. Again harkening back to the 1980’s, I supported the “Contra War” against the Nicaraguan Communist government, and the support given the anti-Soviet mujahadeen in Afghanistan. More recently, in wars I opposed, the U.S. (and NATO and the EU) provided support for separatist rebels in all of the wars of the Yugoslav dissolution. Should we really run up Pres. Clinton and the U.S. pilots who twice bombed civilians on a bridge in Serbia on the morning of Orthodox Pentecost on war-crimes charges? Or does fog of war somehow cover their sins, but not those of Russian-backed Eastern Ukrainian separatists.

  • Golden Rice: GMO "Super Gruel" for the Masses

    07/19/2014 10:03:43 AM PDT · 56 of 102
    The_Reader_David to artichokegrower

    Actually, patents on seeds, as currently constituted, are different from software patents and from music copyright. Neither software patents nor copyrights claim monopoly rights over the results of natural processes — the generation of seeds by plants grown from patented seed — simply on the basis that the natural process might have produced a copy of the patented product. (Not being in agriculture, but having a flower garden with some reseeding annuals, I find it improbable that the patented gene-insertions will breed true.)

  • How To Run Against ObamaCare. Draw attention to the ACA's pernicious effects on ordinary Americans.

    07/19/2014 9:10:00 AM PDT · 9 of 18
    The_Reader_David to Innovative

    So, evidently, the death panels will not only decree that you die, but that you die in pain.

    Honestly, isn’t that exactly backwards? Once a patient is in hospice care, shouldn’t pain medications be the only thing being paid for?

  • M17 crash: Ukraine PM's Anger Over "international crime"

    07/19/2014 8:57:46 AM PDT · 15 of 19
    The_Reader_David to stars & stripes forever
    The scorn quotes are there because it was only actually an international crime if you believe the airliner, as an airliner, was intentionally targeted. Otherwise, it was one of those tragedies that happen as a result of fog of war.

    No one was ever run up on war-crimes charges in the downing of Iran Air 655 back in 1988, and there the USS Vincennes had not been under attack by an opposing air force, the plane was on its usual route, not hundreds of miles north of its usual route. Nor, although payments were made to the families of those killed, did the U.S. ever formally accept responsibility for the downing of the airliner. Even at the edge of war, fog of war exists and can lead to unintended civilian deaths.

    If Putin's government wants to deny responsibility, they have adequate precedent given them by the U.S. government. In fact, Russia can follow the precedent exactly: wait eight years, make ex gratia compensation payments to the victims' families of $300,000 per wage-earning victim and $150,000 per non-wage-earning victim, will still denying responsibility.

    If international law is not simply to be a bludgeon with which the U.S. (or the winnner in some conflict) beats opponents, it should apply equally to all.

  • Lying Commies

    07/18/2014 7:56:41 PM PDT · 15 of 16
    The_Reader_David to BeauBo

    I have a few more:

    A rumor started that a butcher’s shop in Moscow would actually be receiving a shipment of meat, so a huge queue formed. The shop-keeper, distressed by the queue, came out, and announced, “Comrades! There is less meat than expected. All the Jews will have to go home.” The queue thins out a bit. After a while, the shop-keeper again came out and announce, “Comrades! There is even less meat than we had at first thought. Everyone who is not a Party member will have to go home!” The queue thins considerably. At a loss, the shop-keeper finally announces. “Comrades! There is far, far less meat than we had anticipated. Everyone who is not a veteran of the October Revolution will have to go home.” Three old Bolsheviks hobble up. The shop-keeper is horrified, and confesses to them “Comrades, I’ve very sorry. There isn’t actually any meat.” One of the old Bolsheviks turns to the other two, and says, “See, it’s what I’ve been telling you: the Jews get the best of everything!”

    And, a joke which seems to be the only remnant of the brief tenure of Stalin’s immediate successor Malenkov:

    Three prisoners in a Siberian labor camp start discussing why they are in the camp. “I was denounced and convicted for supporting Malenkov,” says the first. The second replies, “I’m here because I opposed Malenkov.” They turn to their fellow, “What are you in for?” “I’m Malenkov.”

  • Is this the smoking gun? Footage emerges of BUK missile launcher being moved into place in...

    07/18/2014 7:27:09 AM PDT · 17 of 22
    The_Reader_David to C19fan

    What we know for certain is that shooting down a civilian airliner is not a rational act for either side, except as a false-flag operation to blame the other.
    Thus, whoever’s launcher fired the missile, it was either an error or a false-flag operation.

  • Ukrainian Buk battery radar was operational when Malaysian plane downed - Moscow

    07/18/2014 7:26:37 AM PDT · 10 of 33
    The_Reader_David to McGruff

    What we know for certain is that shooting down a civilian airliner is not a rational act for either side, except as a false-flag operation to blame the other.
    Thus, whoever’s launcher fired the missile, it was either an error or a false-flag operation.

  • How Americans Feel About Religious Groups (Pew Research Poll)

    07/18/2014 7:05:15 AM PDT · 9 of 32
    The_Reader_David to NYer

    Well, we at least have some idea how the Pew Center feels about Orthodox Christians: they didn’t even ask about us, even though we outnumber Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims among the U.S. population and Jews world-wide.

  • Your Email to Canada May Now be Against the Law--Storming the CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Legislation)

    07/16/2014 8:10:22 PM PDT · 10 of 19
    The_Reader_David to bunkerhill7

    Odd, United States laws seem to be applied to non-citizens residing outside the United States with surprising frequency. For example, the U.S. is seeking the extradition of Julian Assange, and Australian citizen, for actions taken outside the United States; Manuel Noriega was charged in U.S. court with various violations of U.S. law (drug smuggling, money laundering, among others) even though as the head of state of Panama when the acts took place, he arguable was not only subject to U.S. law, but had sovereign immunity; the folly of treating acts of terrorism as crimes rather than acts of war has produced many other examples.

    Why should Canada not do the same regarding Americans in the U.S. sending e-mail to Canada in violation of Canadian law?

  • Dem Opposes GOP Lawmaker’s Plan for Over-the-Counter Birth Control

    07/15/2014 7:16:15 AM PDT · 14 of 16
    The_Reader_David to Fedupwithit
    How in the HELL is making birth control easier to buy over the counter, RESTRICTING ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL!!???!?!!

    Ah, another English-speaker, I see. Democrats speak Newspeak, not English, and in Newspeak, the phrase "access to birth control" can denote either what it denotes in English, or be equivalent to the English phrase "provision of birth control paid for by third parties" (usually meaning the employer or the taxpayer) or to the English phrase "government mandated access to birth control", and like all Newspeak words and phrases, the meaning is fluid according to what suits the needs of the Party at any moment, and can shift from what it meant when the speaker uttered to phrase to another meaning if it is later politically expedient for it to have a different meaning.

  • Self-described “Liberal” Millennials are Actually Libertarian

    07/14/2014 8:45:37 PM PDT · 119 of 127
    The_Reader_David to ConservativeDude
    just being for “gay marriage” doesn’t make one a libertarian....

    This is true, but it certainly means one is not a conservative. Believing that the state, or even present society as a whole, has the authority to redefine the very nature of a fundamental human institution, grounded in biology, which predates all nation-states and has been foundational to all civilizations throughout history is about as anti-conservative as one can get. Not merely moving the "boundary markers" of the American Founders, but the boundary markers of all heretofore existing human societies.

  • ObamaCare’s next court threat

    07/13/2014 5:43:30 PM PDT · 5 of 20
    The_Reader_David to Perdogg
    The law does not have a severability clause. If any parts of it goes, it is gone.

    That is true, but just as with the Hobby Lobby case, the challenge is not to the statute, but to something the executive has done with or to it. In the case of Hobby Lobby, SecHHS Sibelius directed that abortifacient drugs be considered "basic health care" -- there is no statutory requirement in the "ACA" for them to be covered, the conflict with religious liberty was created entirely by the use of the "as the Secretary shall direct" powers which Congress delegated to the SecHSS. In this case, the challenge is to powers the IRS has arrogated to itself, arguably in violation of both the plain meaning of the statute and its legislative history. If the administration loses on this, the law is still in place, it's just that what's left is an even less workable train-wreck of a law than the thing "fixed" by the IRS's administrative hubis currently is.

  • Land Invasion: Beware the Trap Laid by Hamas [Israel]

    07/11/2014 4:03:19 PM PDT · 29 of 31
    The_Reader_David to Star Traveler

    The analysis of the utility of tanks in urban warfare seems a bit dated. In Iraq, one of the reasons the U.S. took very few casualties in urban warfare was the discovery that tanks are quite effective in dealing with snipers: take fire from a building, bring up a tank and level the building with a shell from its main gun, sniper problem sovled.

  • ISIS destroys shrines and mosques, may be targeting Mecca

    07/10/2014 7:17:47 AM PDT · 57 of 61
    The_Reader_David to Viennacon
    Forgive me for being uninformed on this issue, but why did they destroy the resting place of Jonah? Wasn’t he believed to be a prophet in Islam as well?

    Yes, the Muslims claim all the Old Testament prophets (and St. John the Baptist and Jesus) were "prophets of Islam". However, the hard-end Sunni position is that the veneration of places or relics associated with prophets is worship, and thus idolatry, since worship is due to Allah alone. Not all Sunnis take this position (many Sunnis make pilgrimages to the various sites associated with prophets and the Virgin Mary) but the position is within the bounds of normal Sunni Islam.

    Shi'ites, in contrast, have always had a vibrant analogue of the Christian cult of the saints, and erect many shrines to their "prophets" and notable imams.

    The contrast also extends to art. It is only the Sunnis who insist on absolute aniconism. Shi'ites publish illustrated biographies of Mohammed in which the "prophet' is depicted.

    The Hajj itself is the only real exception universally accepted among Sunnis, and it seems that that universal acceptance isn't so universal any more. "Caliph Ibrahim" may well be taking the hard-end Sunni position to its logical conclusion. The Muslims have a prophecy that in the end-times the Hajj will become impossible. I'd always rather fancied that would be because finally the West had enough and nuked Mecca. It could turn out to be instead because the internal logic of Sunni Islam finally destroys the principal object of material veneration among Muslims -- the Kaaba.

  • How Sex is Derailing Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue

    07/09/2014 6:54:53 AM PDT · 28 of 46
    The_Reader_David to lightman

    Yes. But Met. +PHILIP (memory eternal!) was a modernizer — clergy suits instead of cassocks (blessedly I’m in the Diocese of Wichita, where, except when Met. +PHILIP was actually physically present, clergy still wore and wear cassocks), cutting the ektenia before the Our Father out of the Liturgy, and the like. I stand by my assertion that there is general opposition to any attempt to revive the order of deaconess.

  • HHS Official On Flood Of Illegal Immigrants: "Jesus Was A Refugee"

    07/09/2014 6:48:38 AM PDT · 43 of 55
    The_Reader_David to Biggirl

    The only basis for the assertion was Jesus’ sojourn in Egypt as a child — moved from one province of the Roman Empire to another to get away from danger from local authorities. The Holy Family’s decision was more like moving to another state because the local sheriff has it in for you. If they’d decamped to the Persian Empire to get away for Herod, then Jesus would have been a refugee.

  • How Sex is Derailing Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue

    07/08/2014 8:31:16 PM PDT · 10 of 46
    The_Reader_David to marshmallow

    How perceptive. Yes, for us Orthodox, women’s ordination to the presbyterate is a complete non-starter — even if another body confessed the creed without the filioque, held all the doctrines of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, maintained the Palamite understanding of grace, if they ordain women as priests, the Orthodox will not enter into communion with them.

    The diaconate might be another matter. There plainly was an ancient order of deaconesses, but whether they ever functioned liturgically as deacons is a matter of great dispute, and the affirmative position that they did must be tempered with the fact that ancient canons forbid women entering the altar unless the be virgins over the age of 40 or widows living in chastity over the age of 60. There is also general opposition to any attempt to revive the order of deaconess.

  • Global warming computer models confounded as Antarctic sea ice hits new record high

    07/07/2014 11:45:14 AM PDT · 16 of 29
    The_Reader_David to AU72

    When someone comes up with a computer model of the earth’s climate that, run with data from, say 1970, gets the subsequent time-evolution of mean global temperature, Arctic sea ice extent and Antarctic sea ice extent correct, without basically putting them in by hand, let me know. I might start caring what computer climate models say at that point. (Or I might not — it’s still an open chaotic dynamical system.)

  • How Hobby Lobby Undermines All Americans' Freedoms (They're flipping their lids)

    07/06/2014 8:47:23 PM PDT · 70 of 96
    The_Reader_David to 2ndDivisionVet

    As one of the writers at NRO noted, the notion that not providing a subsidy for the purchase of a product is equivalent to banning the product is one of the more curious tenets of contemporary liberalism.

  • A map of the "Internet" in June, 1970. Wow, pretty simple.

    07/06/2014 3:19:32 PM PDT · 27 of 41
    The_Reader_David to GeronL

    It was. It was an ARPA-funded project (back before they added the D to the acronym).

  • Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Forming Alliances We Never Thought Possible

    07/06/2014 3:14:30 PM PDT · 12 of 19
    The_Reader_David to mgist

    Actually, the general alliance against Sunni revanchism was inevitable, and has nothing to do with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s just surprising that it seems to be coalescing so quickly.

    Had the Shah of Iran not been one of “our bastards” during the Cold War, resulting in Iranian official anti-Americanism, the Shi’ites would have been natural allies against Al Qaeda, who, like “the Caliphate”, regard them as heretics in some ways worse than kuffar as polluters of Islam. Russia regards them as natural allies against their own (all Sunni) Muslim terrorist problem.

  • Does Something Seem Fishy To You In This List of Gov’t Agency Workers Earning More Than $180,000?

    07/06/2014 2:21:31 PM PDT · 21 of 33
    The_Reader_David to PoloSec
    This does not surprise me, nor, except indirectly does it dismay me. The VA, being essentially a miniature NHS for the benefit of veterans (after the scandals I have to restrain myself from putting scorn quotes around "benefit"), unlike every other Federal bureaucracy, employs a great many hospital administrators, and thus, must compete with private hospitals and other public hospitals for their services.

    What is dismaying is first, that we set up a cabinet-level agency to subject our veterans to the "benefits" of socialized medicine, and second that living in The Era of Bad Stewards, hospital administrators -- ostensibly fiduciaries for the general public, or the shareholders, or for a group of physicians -- have, like their counterparts in commerce, finance and academe, contrived to pay themselves vastly more than the people who actually do the job over which the administrators have fiduciary responsibility.

  • Supreme Court ruling signals trouble for state, Chicago (free stuff in the Constitution)

    07/04/2014 6:53:09 AM PDT · 13 of 19
    The_Reader_David to Scoutmaster

    Everything you say is right and sound until you invoke the economically meaningless distinction between employer and employee contributions to pensions.

    Both percentages are fixed in contracts, so it matters not whether the total compensation package is, say $53,500 plus the cost of health insurance and other non-pension benefits, with the salary being $50,000 of which $1000 is required to be contributed to the pension and the extra $3,500 isn’t considered salary and goes to the pension, or the salary is $53,000 of which $4500 must be contributed to the pension, or the salary is $49,000 and there is a non-salary contribution of $4500 to the pension. The first you decry as the “teachers contribute almost nothing and the tax payers cover the rest,” in the second the teachers would be covering the whole cost of their pensions on your analysis, and in the last the taxpayers would be covering the whole thing on your analysis.

    But this is a distinction without a difference. In each case the taxpayers are paying the teacher $53,500 for salary and pension (plus the cost of other benefits), of which $4500 is deferred compensation going into a pension plan. What is more, in each case, the pension contribution is non-taxable income, so in each case the teacher would get $49,000 in taxable income.

  • Armed and mentally ill

    07/04/2014 6:35:34 AM PDT · 15 of 29
    The_Reader_David to DaveA37

    The most important fact the article lays out is the 69% fall in non-fatal “gun crimes”. I’ve heard leftists try to attribute the fall in “gun deaths” to improved trauma care, and while there is some truth in that, the fact that “gun crimes” have dropped precipitously in a period when firearms ownership has become easier and more wide-spread is proof that the left’s analysis of the issue overall is not (as leftists like to claim for their positions) reality-based.

  • Charlie Rangel: It’s hard to distinguish between racist Dixiecrats and the Tea Party

    07/03/2014 4:46:00 PM PDT · 35 of 45
    The_Reader_David to 2ndDivisionVet

    For people whose reasoning ability is limited to reiterating slogans and talking points, distinguishing is a difficult, if not impossible, task.

  • Have Some Fun With Progressives This Independence Day

    07/03/2014 11:03:28 AM PDT · 43 of 47
    The_Reader_David to miss marmelstein

    Ah, but you Latins went soft and started allowing fish and dairy products on fast days. In the East fish is what we put back on the menu to whoop it up when a major feast day falls in a major fast or a Wednesday or Friday, as Annunciation and Palm Sunday always do. (And to think back in the day when we were all in communion you used to be more strict — no katalysis on Saturdays.)

  • Have Some Fun With Progressives This Independence Day

    07/03/2014 6:27:59 AM PDT · 4 of 47
    The_Reader_David to Kaslin

    Actually, this year, Independence Day falling on a Friday will make progressives harder spot. We Orthodox Christians (and the rest of the Christian East, Copts, Jacobites, Armenians, Assyrians and any Uniates who haven’t latinized their fasting typicon) will be off animal products and might be bringing “tofu hockey pucks” to barbeques tomorrow.


    (Orthodox monastic smiley)

  • Fed Biz Opp Posting Jan. 2014: Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children

    07/02/2014 7:52:33 PM PDT · 17 of 41
    The_Reader_David to Texas Eagle

    Don’t feel bad. You got the html correctly copied and posted it well, but the government site was plainly using at least css for styling, if not some sort of scripts, so it rendered differently in the context of Jim Robinson’s programming of the FR environment.

    If it used scripts there’s no way to get it to render the same on FR. If it’s just css, if you could get access to the whole directory, you could contrive to copy the style-sheets into the header (though if it took advantage of the “cascading” feature and the page locally overrode a general style, you’d need to do some reprogramming of the css. Unless, that is, JimRob’s programming suppressed html head environment in posts, in which case, no one could have done better. (A screen shot won’t have live links.)

  • The other side of the Hobby Lobby decision: Are corporations considered persons?

    07/02/2014 12:32:30 PM PDT · 4 of 22
    The_Reader_David to SeekAndFind

    More of this nonsense! Neither Citizens United nor Sibelius v. Hobby Lobby turned on the notion of corporations as juridical persons. They are both based on the principle that the owners of a corporation do not give up their political and religious rights simply by dint of having gone into business and filed incorporation papers.

    It is the owners’ rights that are vindicated by both decisions, not the rights of the corporation as a juridical person.

    Now let’s have a suit by a publicly-traded corporation which happens to have a majority of its equity owned by adherents of religions that object to abortion (or contraception in-toto) to extend the same right of religious freedom to its owners. (Of course at the next shareholder meeting they could vote to cover either if a majority share no longer objects.)

  • Elton John: Jesus Would Approve of Same-Sex Marriage

    06/29/2014 7:05:29 PM PDT · 79 of 119
    The_Reader_David to nickcarraway

    Actually, the expansion of “marriage” beyond the classical meaning shared alike by Jews, Christians, Buddhists, pretty much all pagans (yes, even those who were into buggery as a pastime were scandalized by Nero “marrying” a eunuch), is one of the few things that the left fancies to be mercies Jesus would approve of that we can be absolutely certain on the basis of the plain words of Scripture that He would not approve: Our Lord’s comments on marriage are grounded in biology — “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

  • ISIS Declares New Islamist Caliphate Militant Group Declares Statehood

    06/29/2014 1:43:07 PM PDT · 2 of 28
    The_Reader_David to Enlightened1

    And if this report is true, who have they proclaimed as Caliph?

  • World War I's next phase?

    06/28/2014 9:07:06 PM PDT · 5 of 8
    The_Reader_David to Paladin2
    France would be better off with governance by the Germans. Just sayin’.

    I thought that was the point of European integration. (^_^)

  • Six Californias proposed inititive - details and map

    06/28/2014 5:04:52 PM PDT · 18 of 26
    The_Reader_David to EveningStar

    I think the folks pushing this idea fancy that two of the new states would be reliably Democrat, two reliably Republican and two toss-ups (both as regards the Senate and Electoral College), figuring that this could get the needed approval from Congress.

    I score it as one reliably Republican, two reliably Democrat and three toss-ups. It would definitely be a net boon for the right in Presidential elections, but the effect on Congress would be more dubious.