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Author Topic: New Capital  (Read 3691 times)

Rob C

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2018, 04:41:02 PM »

Much of what has been said in the thread is so dumb it makes my teeth hurt, but I'll try to be as temperate in my comments as I can.

I've spent quite a bit of time in the Middle East -- Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, with brief visits a decade or so ago (as a reporter embedded with the Army) to Iraq and Kuwait. I like and admire the remnants of middle eastern civilizations, especially those of Iran and Egypt. I spent quite a bit of time in Israel, as I worked on archaeological digs there for 15 years (as a dig photographer.) I should mention that I'm not religious, but my heritage is Roman Catholic; and that I'm a political liberal.

1. Israel is not an apartheid state. On the contrary, until recently most of its Jewish population was made up of refugees from Arab states that maintained apartheid as related to its Jewish residents. With the recent arrivals of large numbers of Russian Jews, driven out by the widespread revival of anti-Semitism in Russia and Eastern Europe, Jews of European heritage now have a slight majority.

2. Israel is often thought of as having a relatively small population of Jews, when in fact, there are 6.5 million Jews in Israel, as well as a couple million of the most affluent Arabs in the Middle East. Its Jewish population is about one and a half times that of Ireland. The point being, the Jews aren't going anywhere, any more than the Irish are.

3. American "progressives," who make up one of the most anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic groups in the US, are usually so insular that they equate their ignorant, flower-child feelings of goodwill with the natural state of being of the world. That's because they don't know any better. What the Jews have learned over their history, and particularly in the 20th Century, is that you should listen to what your enemies say, and then, **believe them.** Hamas advocates the elimination of Jews. Period. It's not a secret, it's part of their charter. The Jews believe them, as they should. That's the core of the conflict. Hamas is also an explicitly fascist organization. No secret about that either; it's kind of odd that U.S. progressives and fascists should make such friendly common cause, but there it is.

4. There have always been Jews in Jerusalem and Israel in general, going back to the first millennium BCE. The Jews have very good reason for taking the land they've taken in the recent expansions, and it's not because they wanted to grow grapes on it. Anyone whose been there knows that's laughable -- most of the land they're talking about (that taken over by "settlers") is hard desert. Then why do it? Because the Arabs forever have threatened to invade Israel, and some of the most sensitive land takings have involved defensive/offensive positions. The original West Bank came as close as either 12K or 12 miles to the Med (I forget which), about halfway down Israel. One quick military thrust by Jordan (which controlled the West Bank before the war) would have cut Israel is half. Same with the Golan Heights: If you stand on the wall of the Golan Heights, you are looking straight down on the Sea of Galilee and Tiberius, one of Israel's major cities. And, of course, the first thing the Syrians did, when they controlled it, was fill it up with artillery.

5. Originally, the land occupied by new, incoming Jewish inhabitants of Palestine in the early 20th century was not "taken." They didn't have that power. It was purchased from Ottoman overlords who mostly lived in Istanbul. The Arabs were essentially driven out after what amounted to a guerrilla conflict begun after WWI by the Arabs, continuing through the 20s and 30s, culminating in all-out war after WWII. Even then, the Israelis didn't exactly drive out Arab inhabitants, though they could have. Muslim Arabs still make up 25% of Israel's population; whole towns are dominated by Arabs (including Nazareth) and Arabs sit in the Israeli legislature. It's not in any way analogous to the European settlement of the Americas, which often was an explicit invasion.

6. Americans too often think of the conflict between Jews and Arabs as a "problem." Problems can be solved, but the conflict isn't a "problem." It's a situation. A situation can't be solved -- it just is. If you insist on a "solution," you're going to get a bloodbath. The Northern Ireland/Ireland situation is somewhat similar. So is the Russia/Ukraine situation, and the India/Pakistan Kashmir situation.

7. By the way, the U.S. military didn't actually win the European war during WWII. That was mostly done by the Russians, who had the Germans on the run before the Normandy invasions. We helped, but most of the credit for winning in Europe goes to the Russians.   


John, I'm writing on my iPad and it's not my most flexible of friends, but the computer is in another, depressing room I'd rather not use right now.

So, let me just address lightly, hoping not to increase the pain in your teeth.

#4. You write about land that Israel "has taken in recent expansion" and say that they have good reason. That may be perfectly good and true, but having motivation and reason is not the same as having a legal right to undertake an action. I have good reason to desire another lens, but as I can't justify the cost, does that imply, going by your statement, that I am morally free just to go steal one because "I have good reason" to desire it? Anyway, would you believe that building settlements is akin to building defensive, preemptive military outposts? Strikes me as far more a little matter of civilian expansion via land grab.

I don't think what you wrote there stands anything other than reading by a most sympathetic eye.

On #5, are you suggesting 1948 was a peaceful transfer of lands and ownership and control?

On #6, are you sure you can include the Russia/Ukraine problems? The others are purely religion-based, which has ultimately split communities as long as religion has flourished, just as with the ME fights between different flavours of Muslim. Without religious intolerance, there would have been no partition of India at Independence. But hey, even the Jews have their factions which probably drive much of the troubles, just as the Brexiteers are doing in a fairly non-religious country. People are very good at inciting civil wars, fratricide, if you like. Seems to be in our genes.



David Sutton

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2018, 09:36:48 PM »

As a teenager in 1968 I visited Israel. A month before I'd seen the dreadful death camps in Germany with the photographs of uniformed soldiers and sub machine guns.
In Jerusalem I noted the similar uniformed soldiers and sub machine guns.
It was a young age to realise you become like the people you hate.
David
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Rob C

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2018, 04:35:26 AM »

As a teenager in 1968 I visited Israel. A month before I'd seen the dreadful death camps in Germany with the photographs of uniformed soldiers and sub machine guns.
In Jerusalem I noted the similar uniformed soldiers and sub machine guns.
It was a young age to realise you become like the people you hate.
David

And then when you get even older, you realise, sometimes to your horror, that all of those bleaker options - and more - already reside within each of us.

Only by the grace of circumstance do we keep to the brighter side, the darker left dormant.

Rob

John Camp

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2018, 06:54:11 PM »


John, I'm writing on my iPad and it's not my most flexible of friends, but the computer is in another, depressing room I'd rather not use right now.

So, let me just address lightly, hoping not to increase the pain in your teeth.

#4. You write about land that Israel "has taken in recent expansion" and say that they have good reason. That may be perfectly good and true, but having motivation and reason is not the same as having a legal right to undertake an action. I have good reason to desire another lens, but as I can't justify the cost, does that imply, going by your statement, that I am morally free just to go steal one because "I have good reason" to desire it? Anyway, would you believe that building settlements is akin to building defensive, preemptive military outposts? Strikes me as far more a little matter of civilian expansion via land grab.

I don't think what you wrote there stands anything other than reading by a most sympathetic eye.

On #5, are you suggesting 1948 was a peaceful transfer of lands and ownership and control?

On #6, are you sure you can include the Russia/Ukraine problems? The others are purely religion-based, which has ultimately split communities as long as religion has flourished, just as with the ME fights between different flavours of Muslim. Without religious intolerance, there would have been no partition of India at Independence. But hey, even the Jews have their factions which probably drive much of the troubles, just as the Brexiteers are doing in a fairly non-religious country. People are very good at inciting civil wars, fratricide, if you like. Seems to be in our genes.

Rob: The current taking of the land isn't "legal," but on the other hand, in most cases, there's nobody on it. I urge you to go to Google Maps, type in "Israel," then expand the map until you're looking down at that point, about halfway up the coast line, where the former 1967 lines project west toward the coast. Then click on the satellite view, and check what you see. There are isolated small towns and villages perched on ridge tops, but the land in between populated spots is quite clearly desert. (And most of the towns are Arab.) Those black dots are pine-type desert trees. Then scan east, and look down at the land just above the Jordan Valley. That's some of the hardest desert on earth. There's nobody there. I've driven across it many times, but that's where you find "settlements," which most often are a few shacks and trailers sitting on a mountain top. No one was driven off -- but what the Palestinians don't want is the so-called right of possession ("possession is nine-tenths of the law.") Most of the land (not all) they are "grabbing" to use your phrase, has no one on it -- they are not driving Arabs off. And yes, most of it is taken to force the Israeli government to either leave them there, or to embarrass itself by taking them off it. There are a few places where land that was once open, but is on the former Jordanian side of the line ("The West Bank") is occupied by Jewish cities. Most of those are suburbs of either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv-Yaffa (Jafo.) What I'm trying to say is, in general, the Israelis did not take over Arab villages -- they built their own. There may have been some take-overs, but they were few. You can still see abandoned Arab villages in some places, one near a dig I visited last year, but you also see many many Arab villages all through the country. As far as your camera analogy is concerned, it wouldn't be right for you to take the camera. But what if the situation was this -- (and this is a somewhat realistic situation, which we could talk about in another thread, and which, IMHO, is an outlandish and outrageous situation) -- what if the camera was sitting there, unused and unguarded by anyone, and your family was literally starving to death, and you could save them by taking and using the camera. Would you take it? Or would you let the kids starve? For the Jews, holding onto the land is not an option -- it's an existential choice.

Of course I don't think 1948 was a peaceful transfer -- it was the end of a guerrilla war started by the Arabs, goaded on by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who during WWII was holed up in Berlin and who urged the extermination of the Jews -- and developed into a full-scale war between the Israelis and ALL of the surrounding Arab states, and some not even close. The Arabs lost. The Israelis didn't give the conquered land back. But the families of the Palestinians who didn't flee are still there, and for the most part, doing quite well, thank you.

The Russian Ukraine situation is different and difficult, and I don't know a lot about it, but I will say that Ukraine was absorbed into the Russian empire before there was a United States -- and the US fought a Civil War less than a hundred years after it became a country, when one of its main regions (the South) tried to leave. In other words, the Ukraine was a fundamental part of the Russian Empire for hundreds of years, and its departure was traumatic for Russia. For more than that, I'd have to read a book. I do have a good friend who runs the only English language newspaper in Kiev.

I'll also add that I'm not blind to Palestinian problems -- I once told an Israeli Jewish friend that if he ever wondered what it was like to be black in America in the 1930s, all he'd have to do is see how his Jewish countrymen treat Palestinians. It can get pretty bad. But on the whole, the West Bank and Gaza Palestinians are ruled by vicious, greedy despots who take care of themselves before anyone else, and if they weren't there, I'm pretty sure that Palestine would be a peaceful federation of two states, and Israel would be run by a liberal socialist government rather than the current rightwing crazies. Hamas enables the Netanyahu government, and vice-versa, IMHO.

And for anyone curious, I'd like to point out that Jordan is effectively a Palestinian state -- the majority of its legislature is Palestinian, and the King is married to a Palestinian. His heirs will be half Palestinian. The great nightmare of the Israelis is that the West Bank becomes autonomous, but then voluntarily merges with Jordan, putting a major Arab country right back where it was before 1967, 12 miles from the Israeli coast.



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LesPalenik

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2018, 10:13:12 PM »

Of course I don't think 1948 was a peaceful transfer -- it was the end of a guerrilla war started by the Arabs, goaded on by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who during WWII was holed up in Berlin and who urged the extermination of the Jews -- and developed into a full-scale war between the Israelis and ALL of the surrounding Arab states, and some not even close. The Arabs lost. The Israelis didn't give the conquered land back. But the families of the Palestinians who didn't flee are still there, and for the most part, doing quite well, thank you.

That's how it usually works out after winning a war.

The Sudetenland in the former Czechoslovakia was grabbed by Hitler and relegated to Germany in October 1938. At that time, about 3 million Sudeten and other Germans lived in Czechoslovakia which was roughly the same population as of Palestine. The Czech part of Czechoslovakia was subsequently invaded by Germany in March 1939, with a portion being annexed and the remainder turned into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After the war, the Sudetenland was restored to Czechoslovakia, which expelled most of the German inhabitants and repopulated the area with Czechs.

Soviet Union annexed also most of the territories it had invaded in 1939. For instance, eastern Poland was annexed into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
And much later some parts of Ukraine were annexed by its neighbour unexpectedly even without any war or provocation.

jeremyrh

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2018, 03:38:27 AM »

Rob: The current taking of the land isn't "legal," but on the other hand, in most cases, there's nobody on it.

Tired old excuses trotted out every time Israeli excesses threaten to distract people from the "Jews deserve a homeland" narrative and debunked the same number of times.

I tried your exercise with Google Earth, and when I'd done I zoomed in on your house. Looked like nobody in the yard, and a couple of spare bedrooms. I'm moving in.
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David Sutton

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2018, 05:52:37 AM »

And much later some parts of Ukraine were annexed by its neighbour unexpectedly even without any war or provocation.
Are you referring to the annexation of Crimea by Russia?
I doubt it's the best example to pick.
In the March 2014 referendum 83% of eligible Crimeans turned out to vote and 97% voted to cancel the 1954 edict of the Soviet Presidium and to rejoin Russia. Who knows why Khrushchev decided to give it to the Ukraine in the first place. Some say it was after a night hitting the bottle.
I can't say I blame the Crimeans for wanting to leave. They saw what Kiev's National “there’s nothing inherently wrong with national socialism as a political idea" Militia were doing to the Russian speaking population of Donbas and what they had planned for Viktor Yanukovych. I think in their shoes I'd also have wanted to end the short affiliation with the Ukraine.
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Ray

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2018, 08:55:16 AM »

If everyone were true Christians, there'd be no problem. Love your enemy, and love your neighbours as yourself. Such a pity that so many who claim to be Christians are not true Christians.

The behaviour of mankind, in respect of all the wars and conflicts, confirms the Darwinian view that we are no more than sophisticated apes. We have bigger brains and more sophisticated tools, but we are driven by the same instincts as animals in general, who fight to the death to mate with a female, and kill to protect their territory (except me of course  ;)  )
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2018, 09:09:34 AM »

Are you referring to the annexation of Crimea by Russia?
I doubt it's the best example to pick...

+1

LesPalenik

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2018, 09:38:12 AM »

Are you referring to the annexation of Crimea by Russia?
I doubt it's the best example to pick.
In the March 2014 referendum 83% of eligible Crimeans turned out to vote and 97% voted to cancel the 1954 edict of the Soviet Presidium and to rejoin Russia. Who knows why Khrushchev decided to give it to the Ukraine in the first place. Some say it was after a night hitting the bottle.
I can't say I blame the Crimeans for wanting to leave. They saw what Kiev's National “there’s nothing inherently wrong with national socialism as a political idea" Militia were doing to the Russian speaking population of Donbas and what they had planned for Viktor Yanukovych. I think in their shoes I'd also have wanted to end the short affiliation with the Ukraine.

I agree that Crimea is not the best example of annexation. As David mentions, the 1954 transfer to of Crimea to Ukraine made even less sense. Maybe it was not so much access to "voda" as to "vodka".  I mentioned it only as another example of annexation.

Rob C

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2018, 04:50:06 AM »

If everyone were true Christians, there'd be no problem. Love your enemy, and love your neighbours as yourself. Such a pity that so many who claim to be Christians are not true Christians.

The behaviour of mankind, in respect of all the wars and conflicts, confirms the Darwinian view that we are no more than sophisticated apes. We have bigger brains and more sophisticated tools, but we are driven by the same instincts as animals in general, who fight to the death to mate with a female, and kill to protect their territory (except me of course  ;)  )


But not very: it has always been noted with humans that a standing tool has no conscience.

DP

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2018, 09:13:44 PM »

That's how it usually works out after winning a war.

The Sudetenland in the former Czechoslovakia was grabbed by Hitler and relegated to Germany in October 1938.

please do not forget that Poles and Hungarians who like to whine about being victims in 1939 or in 1956 did promptly join Germans in annexing parts (granted on smaller scale that Germans) of CzS lands back in 1938 (and Hungary did even more land grab in 1939 from puppet Slovakia) under the eternal pretext of protecting Poles and Hungarians  - but they don't teach that in their schools  ;D ...
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DP

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2018, 09:34:36 PM »

(1) Old man winter decimated the German army just as it had the Swedes in 1709 and the French in 1815.

(a) 1812 (b) French were already retreating back since mid October 1812 and (c) winter conditions were always the same for both sides ...

(2) Hitler blundered badly when he diverted the attack toward Ukraine when Moscow was about to go down.

Battle of Moscow was in Dec 1941 (over just after the NY41/42) before anything was diverted to Ukraine and as 1812 shows Moscow or no Moscow the end will be the same.

(3) The US was breaking its neck to supply Russia with the tools to fight the war.

Just like USSR was breaking its neck in human toll to divert Germans from putting all those resources on the England/in Africa instead of Eastern front - it goes both ways
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DP

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2018, 09:43:53 PM »

when they moved in 1999 their German embassy from Bonn to Berlin.

there was already an American embassy in Berlin post WWII... since 1977.
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LesPalenik

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2018, 10:14:00 PM »

Yes, there was a US Embassy in Berlin between 1974 and 1990, but that was an office for GDR in the east section of the city. US operated a US Mission in West Berlin between 1945 and 1990. The official US Embassy of the FRG (BDR) was in Bonn between 1949 and 1990 (as most of the other embassies). I visited both sectors of Berlin in the sixties and both parts of the city seemed rather gloomy.
 

Rob C

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #55 on: May 25, 2018, 09:04:15 AM »

Yes, there was a US Embassy in Berlin between 1974 and 1990, but that was an office for GDR in the east section of the city. US operated a US Mission in West Berlin between 1945 and 1990. The official US Embassy of the FRG (BDR) was in Bonn between 1949 and 1990 (as most of the other embassies). I visited both sectors of Berlin in the sixties and both parts of the city seemed rather gloomy.


It's just the visible part of the Teutonic mindset. Think of Helmut Newton and even of my current favourite, Lindbergh: not exactly flowing over with "magical" colours, either of them! But I'm sure they both lived/live very full lives.

degrub

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2018, 10:49:35 AM »


It's just the visible part of the Teutonic mindset. Think of Helmut Newton and even of my current favourite, Lindbergh: not exactly flowing over with "magical" colours, either of them! But I'm sure they both lived/live very full lives.

i think the Russians were punishing the Germans any way they could. The gloomier the better. The less rebuilding and cleanup allowed, the better. At least that is what it felt like when i visited several cities in East Germany back in the early '80s.
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Rob C

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2018, 02:33:12 PM »

i think the Russians were punishing the Germans any way they could. The gloomier the better. The less rebuilding and cleanup allowed, the better. At least that is what it felt like when i visited several cities in East Germany back in the early '80s.

Also, there probably wasn't all that much money floating about in the east; it took the UK a long time to pick itself up post WW2 too, so the Marshall Plan gave western Germany a great push upwards and beyond what some other parts of Western Europe were able to manage. On top of that, the German work ethic was invaluable, the same ethic that seemed to be lost in eastern Germany and, AFAIK, caused much  financial worry at the time of the falling Wall.

Rand47

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #58 on: May 25, 2018, 04:45:46 PM »

[quoteP.S. Wishing the world without religion is an interesting daydreaming activity, on a par with wishing to be young again. In the meantime, we have to deal with the world as-is.][/quote]

I think you mean "wishing the world without people" . . .   In the same way that guns don't kill, people do, "religion" as a category is on par.  Religion doesn't kill, people do.  Not all people with guns kill.  In fact very few do.   Not all people with "religion" kill, in fact very few do.

I watch these various threads, all with a single common foundational causation... "the evil that men do," and yet it is never mentioned "as such" as the root of all these issues, common to all mankind in varying degrees.  Talking about surface issues of any sort is a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Yet no one much is interested in what lies at the center of real problem - "the evil that men do" - let alone what might actually be done about it.  And, my sense is that with the death of the consensus on anything having the possibility of transcendence, there's not much to talk about, anyway.  So, one sort of hegemony is as good as another, I guess . . . as long as "my ox" isn't the one gored.

Rand
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Rob C

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Re: New Capital
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2018, 04:18:25 AM »

[quoteP.S. Wishing the world without religion is an interesting daydreaming activity, on a par with wishing to be young again. In the meantime, we have to deal with the world as-is.]

I think you mean "wishing the world without people" . . .   In the same way that guns don't kill, people do, "religion" as a category is on par.  Religion doesn't kill, people do.  Not all people with guns kill.  In fact very few do.   Not all people with "religion" kill, in fact very few do.

I watch these various threads, all with a single common foundational causation... "the evil that men do," and yet it is never mentioned "as such" as the root of all these issues, common to all mankind in varying degrees.  Talking about surface issues of any sort is a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Yet no one much is interested in what lies at the center of real problem - "the evil that men do" - let alone what might actually be done about it.  And, my sense is that with the death of the consensus on anything having the possibility of transcendence, there's not much to talk about, anyway.  So, one sort of hegemony is as good as another, I guess . . . as long as "my ox" isn't the one gored.

Rand


I don't think there's any argument against "the evil that men do" just that, well, if you don't let them access guns, they  have to create their havoc with less efficient tools and stand a far better chance of getting stopped.

A class full of teens with chairs not riveted to the floor will stop a guy with a knife, where not with a gun.
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