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  • in reply to: Patrick McGoohan: His career #75888

    I seem to recall reading that, supposedly, it was Patrick McGoohan who suggested Sean Connery for the role of Bond after turning it down himself (because of Bond being such a womanizer).

    Personally, I think Danger Man/Secret Agent was way better than Bond anyway. 🙂

    in reply to: Anybody know any good Apocalyptic/post-Apocalyptic songs? #72622

    Awesome suggestions, guys. Keep ’em coming if you can!

    in reply to: Rant about the Conan O’Brien Show #72564

    That’s a cool site, but what I wanted to know, is does Super Dimension Century Orguss have anything to do with Macross/Robotech?

    Super Dimension Century Orguss sounds alot like Super Dimension Fortress Macross, so I wondered if the two were part of the same literary universe.

    in reply to: Rant about the Conan O’Brien Show #72549

    I never got into Macross or Robotech, but I loved an anime series called Super Dimension Century Orguss.

    Anybody know anything about that one? It seemed sort of related to the whole Macross/Robotech thing, but I was never sure if it was a spinoff or what.


    Nice try, gang, but I don’t think that’s it. Found a pretty detailed synopses on, and didn’t see any mention of an armored truck captured with with guards still inside.

    Plus, unless the movie was redubbed, I’m pretty sure it’s an American movie, and not Aussie.

    Thanks for trying!

    in reply to: Star Wars TV series #72317

    That Kyle Katarn thing sounds like it has the potential to not suck.

    Of course, what I think Lucas SHOULD do, is do a full-fledged animated OR live action series based off some of the books. Specifically, I think the X-Wing series of books would translate quite well into a series. With them, you’d have:

    1. A popular series of stories to build from.
    2. Featuring primarily new characters that are still cool.
    3. With the potential for occasional cameos from the classic characters.

    If Lucas could get Denis Lawson to reprise Wedge (which shouldn’t be hard), and do an X-wing series on the scale of Space: Above and Beyond, I think it would be a HUGE success. Bring in Hamil, Fisher, or Ford for occasional cameos, and we’re talking Star Wars heaven. Fans would be wetting themselves!

    in reply to: McGoohan admits Number Six is John Drake! #70592

    Dang. I failed to April Fool a single one of you turkeys!

    Too smart for me. 🙂

    in reply to: What do you/yours look like? #70567

    I look like my icon. Because… it’s… me. 🙂

    in reply to: Private Space-Race #70541

    I’m rooting for THIS guy:

    He’s building a rocket in his back yard. I wonder if he’s in the competition?

    in reply to: Newbie alert! but, DON’T PANIC. #70521

    Oh, Razer and Hypnodisk do indeed kick arse, but I gotta go for the charm of the underdogs. I love the way Joe, Ellie, and their dad keep pulling off narrow victories. In fact, that semi-finals fight in Robot Wars 5 between Bigger Brother and Hypnodisk was possibly the best fight I’ve ever seen.

    Bigger Brother got the living piss beat out of him until the last possible moment, but somehow kept going, and just barely managed to shove Hypnodisk into the pit. Woooo!!!

    in reply to: Newbie alert! but, DON’T PANIC. #70478

    You like to build robots, Glenn?

    Have you anything to do with Robot Wars UK? Man, I freaking LOVE Robot Wars UK.

    My favorite team is Bigger Brother.

    in reply to: Cult Music Videos #70456

    My favorite two videos are 80s “one hit wonder” classics:

    “Take On Me” by Ah-Ha, featuring evil cartoon motorcycle riders going after this girl who gets magically transported into the cartoon, and rescued by the cartoon lead singer.

    “True Faith” by New Order, featuring fruit-of-the-loom-ish characters fighting each other in a trampoline arena, overseen by this weird character that wears a video screen over his eyes.

    btw, if anybody knows where I can find video files for these videos, I’d really appreciate it.


    “Take On Me”

    We’re talking away
    I don’t know what
    I’m to say
    I’ll say it anyway
    Today’s another day to find you
    Shying away
    I’ll be coming for your love, OK?

    Take on me (take on me)
    Take me on (take on me)
    I’ll be gone
    In a day or two

    So needless to say
    I’m odds and ends
    But I’ll
    Stumbling away
    Slowly learning that life is OK.

    Say after me:
    “It’s no better to be safe than sorry.”

    Take on me (take on me)
    Take me on (take on me)
    I’ll be gone
    In a day or two

    Oh, the things that you say
    Is it life or
    Just to play my worries away?
    You’re all the things
    I’ve got to remember
    You’re shying away
    I’ll be coming for you anyway

    Take on me (take on me)
    Take me on (take on me)
    I’ll be gone
    In a day…
    (Take on me, take on me)
    (Take me on, take on me)
    I’ll be gone (take on me)
    In a day… (take me on)
    Take on me (take on me)
    Take on me (take me on)
    Take on me (fades)

    “True Faith”

    I feel so extraordinary
    Something’s got a hold on me
    I get this feeling I’m in motion
    A sudden sense of liberty
    I don’t care ’cause I’m not there
    And I don’t care if I’m here tomorrow
    Again and again I’ve taken too much
    Of the things that cost you too much

    I used to think that the day would never come
    I’d see delight in the shade of the morning sun
    My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
    To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
    I used to think that the day would never come
    That my life would depend on the morning sun…

    When I was a very small boy,
    Very small boys talked to me
    Now that we’ve grown up together
    They’re afraid of what they see
    That’s the price that we all pay
    And the value of destiny comes to nothing
    I can’t tell you where we’re going
    I guess there was just no way of knowing

    I used to think that the day would never come
    I’d see delight in the shade of the morning sun
    My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
    To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
    I used to think that the day would never come
    That my life would depend on the morning sun…

    I feel so extraordinary
    Something’s got a hold on me
    I get this feeling I’m in motion
    A sudden sense of liberty
    The chances are we’ve gone too far
    You took my time and you took my money
    Now I fear you’ve left me standing
    In a world that’s so demanding

    I used to think that the day would never come
    I’d see delight in the shade of the morning sun
    My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
    To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
    I used to think that the day would never come
    That my life would depend on the morning sun…

    in reply to: Best and Worst Sci-Fi Series Finales… #70447

    Just to be different on purpose…

    Worst, I gotta go with Red Dwarf. I LOVE the show, and unlike most folks, I LOVED series VIII. But I hate it when series end on a cliffhanger. I’m left hanging!

    Will Red Dwarf be destroyed? And if so, WHICH Red Dwarf? (since everyone except Rimmer apparently escaped to the mirror one).

    Did Rimmer really escape Death, after he kneed Death in the bollocks?

    And now, to make myself look like a complete hypocrite, I’m gonna give Best Finale to SPACE: Above and Beyond.

    Yes, another (sorta) cliffhanger, with uncertain futures for all but two of the 58th Squadron. However, somehow the bleakness still seemed to work for me. The heroic tragedy and final stands of the various characters, the quiet contemplations at the end. I want to see more, but even so it was magnificent.

    Rumors are they might finally release SPACE on dvd late this year. Please, let it be so! 🙂

    And hurry the *&%& up with some Blake’s 7 dvds for us Yanks!

    And finish those Lexx Series 4 Reviews!!! 🙂

    in reply to: Survey: Your Favourite AND Least Favourite Sci-Fi Shows #70348

    Here’s my top ten, with 10 being most favorite, as ordered.

    10: Space: Above and Beyond
    9: The Prisoner
    8: Blake’s 7
    7: Red Dwarf
    6: Lexx
    5: Babylon 5
    4: The Adventures of Brisco County Junior
    3: Cowboy Bebop
    2: Doctor Who
    1: Star Trek (any except Voyager

    Edited because I didn’t realize Brisco counted as Sci-Fi! 🙂

    in reply to: Bandwidth Problems #70347

    Logan wrote:

    Wonder how many people have bought DVDs because they were inspired by the guides and info on the shows here?

    Well, I can say that I, for one, probably would never have gotten as deeply into Lexx as I did, if it weren’t for Saddy’s guides.

    I started out as a casual viewer of the show when Sci-Fi started running Season 2 episodes in RANDOM ORDER! I had no idea what the heck was going on, or how it all started. Thanks go Saddy’s guides, I learned that Lexx was more than simply strange, that it had a rich and epic backstory. And now, I own every Lexx DVD there is!

    TheFrey, I think you meant to say that,

    All your threads are belong to FatGuy.


    in reply to: Bandwidth Problems #70336

    Something else you might consider, is to make PART of the site require a paid membership in order to access. Thus the casual visitors of can still continue to come for free, while those who are looking for more features, and are more heavily attached to the site, can enjoy extra benefits as paid members.

    Since your current bandwidth problems seem due to downloaders, maybe that section would make an ideal paid feature. Thus, the problem pays for itself.

    in reply to: You Want Information? Information! Some information… #70280

    Okay, off-topic, but this is something I’ve been wondering about you british guys and your british euphemisms.

    Bog? Bog roll?

    Where does that one come from?

    in reply to: You Want Information? Information! Some information… #70268

    A “Shizoid” man?

    Is that pronounced how I think it’s pronounced?

    Is that when Number 6 gets constipated? 🙂

    in reply to: Paul Winfield (1941-2004) #70267

    I liked his small role on Star Trek II as Captain Clark Terrell, the ill-fated commander of the USS Reliant.

    in reply to: Blake’s 7 #70183

    Wow. How incredibly f—ing awesome!

    And how incredibly disappointing (for me) that the release is only in the UK, and not in the US!

    Anybody know when/if Blake’s 7 will release over in the US?

    I keep hoping we’re going to get that awesome special edition Predator dvd you guys have got, but as Pvt. Hudson would say, “so far zippo.”

    in reply to: LEXX Season 4 Vol 5 & 6 DVDs #70090

    … the entire Lexx series is MINE!!!

    Aah… satisfaction.

    There are only two TV series I have complete collections of on DVD. Danger Man/Secret Agent/The Prisoner (which I consider all the same thing), and Lexx.

    What a long strange trip it’s been.

    Of course, more special features would have been nice, but I’ll take what I can get. The message from Paul Donovan was neat, though I was a little disappointed to see it wasn’t an actual interview, just printed text. It was also nice to finally get a real blooper real. Hurrah!

    Now I’m working on Red Dwarf, getting them as fast as they are released. Now THOSE are some special features.

    Of course, if I had the $, I’d get Babylon 5. Unfortunately I don’t, so for now I just borrow them from my buddy.

    Now if Fox would just release SPACE: Above and Beyond on dvd. THAT would be perfection.

    in reply to: Fantasy Island is The Village #69996

    How about Northern Exposure? Especially the early days.

    Dr. Fleischman gets transfered to Sicily, Alaska, and then the town won’t let him leave, and weird stuff keeps happening to him!

    in reply to: Bab5 ships #69804

    I actually think that the Centauri have the ugliest ships.

    I quite like the looks of the various Earth Alliance ships, especially the destroyers (like Agamemnon), because they remind me of the bad-arse looking USS Sulaco from Aliens. Nothing’s cooler than a ship that looks like a big gun! 🙂

    in reply to: Tremors #69636

    I have to admit, I quite enjoyed the films, and was really looking forward to the series.

    But, in spite of some good actors in it (Doc Brown, Bert Gummer), it just isn’t holding my interest.

    in reply to: Blake’s 7 #69570

    Yeah, what’s more, it looks like this new series stuff is screwing up our chances of getting some kick-arse Blake’s 7 DVDs.

    Now, this new company owns the rights to the title, while the BBC retains rights to the images used in the original series. As a result, no DVDs until both the BBC and this new company can come to agreements with each other on $.

    I personally loved all 4 seasons of Blake’s 7, and while it was a bit disappointing to see Blake mostly absent for the second half, I think Avon made a more interesting leader.

    Blake’s 7 is also one of the few shows I’ve ever seen where the protagonist in the show is a self-professed psychopath.

    Man, Orbit was great.

    in reply to: LotR: Return of the King – Cult or Corny? #69446


    I think I’d read so many orgasmic reviews before I went to see it, that I set myself up for a fall.

    Also, I think that this is the first one of the trilogy that I went to, when I’d recently read the book version beforehand. If I’d been less familiar with the book, I think I would have been less disappointed.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re in the minority, Saddy, but I too found the sentimental bits to be altogether too sentimental. And was I the only one who felt those hobbits were sometimes looking a little TOO longingly into each others’ eyes? 🙂 During the final goodbye scene, I halfway expected somebody to slip somebody some tongue!

    Also, as in the previous films, I was not fond of the silly over-done ExtremeSportsFighting Legolas. Hated the shield-surfing in Towers, and likewise didn’t like Legolas sliding down the Oliphant’s trunk in King. However, after Legolas has used this maneuver to take out an entire Oliphant and it’s crew, Gimli’s response was great!

    That still only counts as one!

    BTW, the lava bits happened pretty much like in the book, so can’t say I was too surprised or disappointed by those. The final Grey Havens goodbye scene happened more or less like in the book too. They just skipped over/left out the Saruman-in-the-Shire part.

    Some more SPOILERIFFIC observations:

    I was sad there was no Mouth of Sauron in the movie. He’s Sauron’s chief spokesman, who (in the book) comes out of the Black Gate and trash-talks Aragorn for a little while, showing him weapons they got off Frodo, claiming Frodo has been captured, and telling Aragorn to give up. He actually CONVINCES Gandalf that they’ve failed, which is neat.

    Also in the book, when Sauron is finally vanquished, and diminishes into the sky, there’s a brief scene where we see Eowyn and Faramir holding hands on top of a city wall in Minas Tirith, watching Sauron diminish in the distance. I missed seeing that in the movie.

    Also in the book, after Eowyn takes out the Witch-king, she lies unconscious next to her dying uncle, Theoden. There is a bad-arse moment where Eomer shows up, too late. First he sees his dying uncle, then he sees his apparently dead sister (whom he didn’t even know was ON the battlefield until that moment), and THEN Eomer goes completely stark raving psycho, and leads the Rohirrim in a kamikazi charge against the remaining enemy forces. I missed seeing that in the movie. ALTHOUGH, to be fair, part of that missing scene has been spotted on some trailers. That means it exists, and likely means it will be on the extended DVD.

    Also missed Gandalf’s brief showdown with the Witch-king, which can also be glimpsed in a few trailers. Another extended DVD scene, I reckon!

    I was disappointed that Saruman got cut from the film. The showdown between him and Gandalf is cool. But it doesn’t bother me too much, since I know for sure that will be in the extended DVD.

    I was also a bit disappointed that we never saw Denethor using his own Palantir (which is what is making him crazy), and predicting (erroniously) that the Black Fleet spelled the doom of Men. Hopefully in the DVD?

    My brother and I (who saw the movie in completely different theaters, with two completely different audiences) also noticed some… err… oddly comical audience reactions to certain scenes. Particularly scenes with Denethor!

    The scene where Gandalf bops Denethor in the nose with his staff got a big laugh. 🙂

    And, a bit more oddly, the scene where Denethor is burning alive, and runs flaming across the courtyard and off the edge of the Tower of Ecthelion also got a big laugh! 🙂

    Side note: From the coronation scene, it looks like that courtyard is as long as a football field! Dude, that is a LONG way to run when you’re ON FIRE!!!

    You gotta admit, Denethor is possibly the ULTIMATE Sad Geezer!

    We also noticed some amusing parallels to Star Wars. During the battle with the Oliphants, when Eowyn is riding between their legs, I couldn’t help but turn to my buddy and say:

    That armor’s too strong for blasters! We have to use our harpoons and tow cables!

    We then wondered if Legolas would swing onto an Oliphant with a Tarzan yell, take it over with two hobbits, then use it to sneak up behind another AT-ST… erm… I mean Oliphant, and take it out.

    And then, during Theoden’s death scene, we were amazed to witness this exchange…

    Eowyn (to dying Theoden):

    I’m going to save you!


    You… already have…

    To which we followed with variations of:

    Help me take this mask off. I want to look at you with my own eyes.

    Tell your brother… you were riiiiiight…<dies>

    LASTLY, don’t think all my snarking means I didn’t like the movie. I still enjoyed it immensely, I still think it was a great end to the trilogy, still hope it gets best picture, really looking forward to the extended version, and already planning to see the movie again in the theater.

    And now, I think we need to start a grassroots movement to pressure Peter Jackson to get to work on The Hobbit, before the two Ians get too old to do it!

    in reply to: Best death? #69432

    Nursewhen wrote:

    Gotta bring up Dark Star, they all die but you get a warm glow as the captain surfs on the solar rays (I believe he got a warm glow too

    [dorkmode]ah-ah-ah… there was no captain in Dark Star. You’re thinking of the XO, Lieutenant Dolittle. The ship’s commanding officer, Commander Powell, floated away in a big chunk of ice. In your FACE nursewhen![/dorkmode]

    Fabulous movie. Hated it the first time I watched it.

    in reply to: Best death? #69431

    I gotta go with Spock’s death in Wrath o’ Khan. That is still one of the most powerful death scenes I’ve seen.

    in reply to: JMS (babylon 5) New Announcement Rumour #69405

    Frankly some of the better news on the Sci-Fi front in a long time, could it be possible that we could see a new BSG series AND a new B5 series? Along with a resolution to the Farscape saga.

    Yeah. Then all we’d need is a reunion movie/miniseries on the scale of BSG to wrap up Space: Above and Beyond. Then I’d truly be a happy man. 🙂

    in reply to: Battlestar Galactica Miniseries #69368

    It was great!

    Not perfect by any means, but really, pretty good!

    I was really impressed with the space battle effects. Possibly the best I’ve ever seen. ANYWHERE.

    Yes, the best way to enjoy the show is to do your best to completely forget the original. But if you can manage that, I think you can really enjoy this new vision.

    I’ve only got two complaints:

    1) we only got to see “real” cylons twice; at the very beginning and at the very end. We wanted more cylon action.

    2) the miniseries was admittedly a bit slow in places. This didn’t really surprise me, as pilots (especially extra-long pilots) tend to be a bit slower, because they have so much to set up. I expect the pacing will be much better, should they make this into a regular one-hour TV series.

    What did the rest of you think?

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68893

    What do you bring to the table? Abxolutlely nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    That’s largely correct. I have openly stated that I am not qualified to pass judgement on Afghanistan. The only thing I’ve argued, is that you’re not qualified either. Ultimately, what you’ve got is an opinion. An informed opinion, to be sure, but still just an opinion. Your sources of information have convinced you that your opinion is fact. They have not convinced me. That’s really the only difference between us.

    I titled this thread Afghanimatrix, because it is the Matrix. In the Matrix, there are two realities. There’s the Matrix, which everyone knows and everyone sees, the matrix that is all around you, and which is a complete lie. Then there’s reality, which is not pleasant, which is not comforting, but which has the regrettable advantage of being real.

    You know, until this moment, I couldn’t figure out why you were making these Matrix parallels. Thank you for explaining.

    The thing is, to use your example, we are BOTH inside a matrix. The difference between us, is that you think your matrix is real. I know mine is at least potentially fiction. Your matrix is affecting the way you view the world. The vision is biased, but you see it as fact. I require a higher standard of proof. Certainly I take in and analyze information, but I treat that information with suspicion. Always with suspicion.

    I don’t trust the opinions of some people who actually live and work in Afghanistan. Why would I trust yours? I don’t trust your sources, I don’t trust your opinion. I don’t ignore your opinion, I do file it away along with everything else I hear. But it’s not the end-all final judgement on the matter.

    At least not on Afghanistan. Certainly you are our foremost authority on Lexx. 🙂

    So yes, Captain Roadkill. I’m declaring victory. You’ve come to the field of battle with nothing, you offer nothing, you got nothing, and you end with nothing.

    Is name-calling necessary? You can declare victory, if it makes you feel better. You are certainly very sure of yourself. But there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

    in reply to: Good…bad…? Ash is back. He’s the one with the gun. #68891

    I really liked the early Phantasm movies. They crossed the lines between horror and Sci-Fi in a much better way than “Alien” or “Insert generic space horror flick here”.

    lol. In a way, I agree. I liked Alien and Aliens a lot too, but I don’t really consider them horror. Or rather, they’re sci-fi first. Alien is sci-fi horror, whilst Phantasm is horror sci-fi. 🙂

    As for the rights to Evil Dead, I’m fairly sure they lost the rights after ED1. Which is why ED2 was a remake of sorts.

    Raimi and his crew have made all of the Evil Dead movies to date, including Army of Darkness. ED2 was definitely all theirs. However, they did say they lost creative control, to a degree, while they were making Army of Darkness. Universal was imposing all kinds of changes on them, since Universal held the purse strings. It was a hard production, with arguments back and forth. However, the ultimate movie was still mostly Raimi’s vision, except for the “S-mart Ending” seen in theatres. The original “Rip-van-Winkle” ending was added back for certain “director’s cut” video releases.

    Not sure if Universal still holds any rights to the franchise, but I’d bet my money that most of the character and story rights are still retained by Raimi.

    For the Phantasm series, Coscarelli lost creative control (to a degree) of Phantasm 2. Many fans also regard that one as the weakest entry (though I am not one of them). Coscarelli got control back with 3 onward, though. 4 looks the way it does primarily due to budgetary constraints. 5 is supposed to be action-packed, I think Coscarelli’s trying to save up the dough to go out with a bang.

    I’ll keep you all posted if I hear anything new, glad to see there’s a few Ash fans out there =)

    I’d like to see Bruce Campbell cast as the Gunslinger, in a screen adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Unfortunately, thus far, King is unwilling to let that series be adapted to the screen. It’s the King equivalent to The Lord of the Rings.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68875

    Yo Sarge. I replied to your post, something glitched so it didn’t appear. With all due respect, it isn’t worth replying to again.

    You’re probably right. As before, this debate is ultimately an exercise in futility.

    Please note: Afghanistan is still massively bunged up. I’ve proven it over and over.

    If all else fails, declare victory, eh? 🙂

    in reply to: Good…bad…? Ash is back. He’s the one with the gun. #68855

    Just curious, but what did you think of the last Phantasm?

    I only saw it once, and that was a long time ago. At the time, I have to admit I was not impressed. I found it convoluted and confusing. I’ve been meaning to give it another chance, though. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Phantasm series. An unusual blending of sci-fi and horror. And hey, they got a bald guy as the hero! 🙂

    And what the hell was it about, anyway.

    Indeed. I’d have to view it again before I even try to tackle that question!

    Who owns the rights to Ash anyway?

    I’d guess Sam Raimi.

    Wouldn’t there be some sort of problem legally, merging it with either the Friday the Thirteenth or Nightmare on Elm Street franchises?

    Well, Friday and Nightmare are separate franchises, but they managed to merge them. Certainly it is tricky. It generally requires the various rights holders to each get their royalties, which tends to add up to more than a production company wants to spend. Case in point, the aborted Aliens vs. Predator.

    Phantasm V wouldn’t have that problem, as Bruce wouldn’t be playing Ash, just a character similar to Ash. Some kind of Marine.

    And what about the continuity issue (gakk, I can’t believe I said ‘continuity’ while talking about Evil Dead)?

    Hey, Evil Dead’s got continuity! Ash just has a crappy memory, so when he flashes back at the beginning of each movie, his memory plays tricks on him. Hence his girlfriend gets hotter and hotter each time he remembers her! 🙂

    in reply to: Good…bad…? Ash is back. He’s the one with the gun. #68852

    Ash rocks. It’s about time Bruce Campbell came to his senses and gave the fans what we truly want. 🙂

    I hear he may also play a similar character in the next Phantasm sequel being planned.

    Mmmmmm. Phantasm.

    in reply to: I’ve got some great may be Lexx News #68851

    I’d like to meet Patricia Zentilli and Brian Downey, but there’s no way I’ll make it to CA.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68849

    My god, but this statement reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where Homer forgets to pick up his son for six hours, finally arrives at the deserted baseball field and goes “All right, let’s not argue about who left who at the baseball park all night, let’s just admit we were both at fault and move on.”

    Maybe, if I were Bin Laden. But I’m not.

    This is where we differ. The world is not a succession of random events. There are patterns, there are causes and effect. Actions have consequences which continue. The past does have bearing on the present and on the future.

    Certainly the past has a bearing. We agree on that. But in this instance, does it solve our problems? Using the history of the situation, what solution to the present situations do you see?

    With all due respect, you seem to be advocating a sort of ahistorical pragmatism which has proven itself a failure over and over again.

    I thought you considered yourself a pragmatist. Didn’t you say “what works, works?”

    Here’s my philosophy: What works, works. Anything else is surplusage.

    Ah yes, I thought you did.

    I wasn’t advocating it as a solution, I was simply making an observation on a situation of terrorism. The point was that in the Sahel, terrorism emerged as a local issue and as a response to a local situation – Morocco’s imperial ambitions and conquest of their country. Did the terrorists win? Looks like it. Were the terrorists in the right? That depends on whether you agreed with the Sahel’s rights to have their own country, or the Moroccans rights to invade it. Were the Sahel’s happy with the outcome? Yes. Were the Moroccans? No.

    Are you then arguing that terrorism is a local issue, in response to imperialism? In some cases that may be true. Some. But terrorists are never in the right. They’re terrorists. 🙂

    And you’re a decade out on the Hitler thing. The doctrine of “appeasement” was the 1930’s, and anyone who studied Hitler and his rise to power back then was of the opinion that it wasn’t going to work. That’s one of those situations I’ve referred to where ‘ahistorical pragmatists’ blew it.

    Whatever. The lesson is the same: appeasement that rewards evil tactics only encourages more evil tactics.

    All too often, however, governments have concluded that the ends do justify the means.

    Sometimes the ends do justify certain means. If I have to spray somebody to keep them from taking a swing at me, the end justifies my means. However, I would argue that terrorism is a means that is NEVER justified, no matter what the ends.

    What about the American revolution, where terrorist tactics were used by the colonists to defeat the British?

    Perhaps we need a clear definition of terrorism. Terrorism is not the same thing as guerrilla fighting. I define it as:

    “The organized intentional killing of noncombatants.”

    Note that an element of intent is required. There are civilians unintentionally hurt and killed in every war. That is not terrorism.

    Note also that it is an organized attempt, not the individual act of a few lunatics here and there, but sponsored by the organization itself. Individual soldiers who cross the line and murder civilians are not commiting terrorism, but individual war crimes for which they should individually be punished.

    Real terrorism is when the group actively targets civilian noncombatants in an organized way. They aren’t breaking their organization’s rules, they are following their overall mission plan. I believe that an organization that consciously uses the tactics of terrorism, the organized intentional killing of noncombatants, forfeits their moral rights to whatever it was they were fighting for.

    That may seem harsh, but I believe it is imperative to NEVER reward terrorist tactics. A victory gained through terrorism perpetuates terrorism as an effective tactic. That in turn perpetuates more terrorism. That is why you don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    And, getting back on track, I don’t believe the colonists engaged in terrorism.

    Still, I agree with you that the ends do not justify the means, and that using terrorist tactics, either as a state or as a group of guerillas voids any moral standing it might claim.


    But I don’t think that the statement, Terrorism is Terrorism, should be taken as the end of the matter. Things are always more complex.

    Not once we agree on a definition of terrorism. What do you think of mine?

    By the way, was that an Ayn Rand reference?

    lol. No, I’m not that sophistocated.

    All right, but that begs the question of what is terrorism and who is a terrorist. Let’s try some examples.

    Example #1 – A Palestinian from the occupied territories straps dynamite to their body and blows up a busload of Israeli’s. Terrorism? Probably.


    But then, an Israeli fighter pilot, acting on orders, based on a rumour that a high ranking member of Hamas might be there, fires incendiary rockets into an apartment building packed with civilians, and kills several innocent women and children. Terrorism? You tell me.

    That’s a tough one, I admit. It’s similar to situations where we have bombed areas even knowing that some of our own troops were being held prisoner there, as hostages, specifically to prevent us bombing. Of course, it was not our intent to kill them, but in bombing we knew that there was a distinct possibility they could be killed.

    Back during WWII, bombs were dropped on Germany to destroy military targets, but were often dropped in areas where we knew there would be civilian collateral damage. And, of course, we dropped two nukes on Japan, and we knew that many civilians would be killed by them. But was the intent to kill civilians, or was the intent to cripple the Japanese war machine? I’m sure we could go back and forth on that one for a while, and I’m not even sure which side I would argue.

    But in your fighter pilot example, I think I would say that it is not terrorism, as the primary target (a Hamas leader) is still military in nature. Civilians know that if they remain in close proximity of military targets, there is a greater chance that they will become collateral damage. Of course, they might NOT have even known the Hamas guy was staying there. But those that did know, knew they were taking a risk.

    Now, while I don’t think firing a missle into a building to kill a terrorist leader is the same thing as blowing up a bunch of civilians on a bus to kill… a bunch of civilians on a bus, I do think that a disregard for collateral damage on that level would be classified as war crimes. Not quite the same thing as terrorism, but still bad.

    The Solution:

    1) Stop subsidizing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip.

    Israel is the only democracy in the region. It is far from perfect, but they are still our strongest ally. We support them, but I don’t think we’re subsidizing their occupation of the WB and GS. Weren’t Bush and Clinton trying to negotiate their removal from those areas?

    Require them to dismantle their settlements, recognize civil rights for palestinians and negotiate a two state settlement… or cut off their money.

    I recall that, back during President Clinton’s tenure, Arafat was offered just about all the territory he was asking for. He walked out of the negotiations. Arafat does not want peace. The struggle against Israel is part of what maintains his power base. Even now he is sabotaging the peace process. There will not be peace while Arafat remains in power.

    Resolving the Palestinian issue will eliminate a lot of breeding grounds for terrorism.

    Agreed. Easier said than done, though. I have heard that the goal of some Palestinians is to ultimately push Israel into the sea, and take it all. And giving up ground while Palestinians continue to engage in terrorist tactics rewards their terrorism, and encourages more of the same.

    2) Hand Iraq over to the UN for rapid transition to self rule.

    I don’t trust the UN. But I might be willing to compromise, and let them try to manage things for a limited time period. Say, give the UN two years. If things are working out after that, great. If the UN proves itself to be as effective as it usually is, then we step back in.

    Pay for the rebuilding (you broke it, you pay for it).

    If you break a man’s leg who repeatedly keeps trying to kick you in the balls, should you pay to have his leg fixed? I don’t think so. Be that as it may, we probably will end up paying for a lot of it, because we want the world to see us as nice guys.

    3) Try a sensible international foreign policy.

    4) Coordinate with international intelligence and law enforcement agencies, for effective police work.

    Subjective generalities. btw, what’s an “international foreign policy?” Kinda redundant, eh? 🙂

    5) Reform airport security, put some real money and effort into cargo inspections, monitor immigration properly, properly train and equip first responders.

    I’m all for these, but specific plans are needed. Especially when it comes to immigration.

    6) Generally do sensible things that are rationally connected to the goals you want to achieve.

    Subjective generality.

    Not a Solution:

    1) Flounder around like a drunk in a bathtub, whining about how everyone hates America.

    Now exiting rational debate, entering the Hyperbole Zone. I’m not going to respond to garbage like this anymore.

    Now, before you go dissecting this, I’d like to hear your solutions.

    You first. 🙂 Specifics please.

    And by the way, it looks like Rumsfield has fallen out of favour in a hard and public way.

    Rumsfeld. Sorry, everytime you spell it like that, it’s like a crooked picture on the wall.

    Iraq and Afghanistan have been handed over to Condoleeza Rice to deal with. This suggests that the Bush administration itself believes that Iraq and Afghanistan are being completely bunged up.

    Or maybe it suggests that tactics are shifting from military, over to the civilian realm of national security. It could be a natural progression.

    Rummy may yet find himself running a frontier outpost after all.

    Maybe, if this were Hogan’s Heroes.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68837

    Anyway, I feel no special need to go all nine yards. But just a few points in reply to SgtDraino.

    Butt of course. 🙂

    I’m not condescending. I’m vicious. Huge difference.

    And you consider this a good thing?

    Hey, if you’re Vicious, does that mean I get to be Spike Spiegel? 🙂

    I like liberals because they’re tolerant.

    Liberals are no more or less tolerant than anybody else. That is just another generalization.

    But I’m not tolerant, I go for the throat.


    You consider yourself media savvy. But, on the other hand, you have no clue as to what’s going on in Afghanistan, apparently?

    That is certainly, most definitely, your opinion. 🙂

    My problem is that there’s been no shortage of coverage of Afghanistan.

    Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

    As to the Christian Reconstruction movement, it is a particularly American home grown movement. There is no corresponding faction in Europe for instance, or Latin America. Likely, Europe got all its bloodthirstiness out during the reformation.

    Oh, I’m sure Europe has its share of crazies.

    As for Fundamentalist Christians not blowing things up and killing people, I do believe that some advocate exactly that for abortion clinics.

    And I do believe that those particular few are individual lunatics who ultimately get what they deserve.

    In fact, there may be evidence to show that fundamentalists have provided material aid and assistance to abortion terrorists.

    Or, in fact, there may not be. 🙂 Unless you’re talking about individual lunatics again.

    There’s a close relationship between extreme fundamentalism and extremist right wing viewpoints that would tend to argue overlaps.

    If by “overlaps” you’re saying that some “extreme fundamentalists” (I assume you mean Christian fundamentalists) hold “extremist right wing viewpoints,” well I can hardly argue with that. But so what? Some ______ hold ______ viewpoints. Fill in the blanks with anything you want. It will almost always hold true for a few people.

    Even discounting McVeigh, for instance, I’d point out that there was an extremist Christian terrorist group who assassinated a radio jockey named Alan Berg in the 80’s, and who robbed banks and killed people. If you’d like I can go searching and get the skinny on this gang.

    Nah. Don’t really care enough. Not seeing the relevence. Certainly there are Christian lunatics, just as there are Jewish lunatics, Islamic lunatics, athiest lunatics, and every other kind of lunatic. BUT, unless you think there’s some kind of huge media coverup or something, terrorism in the modern day and age does seem to generally be perpetrated by Islamic lunatics.

    And as far as Christian terrorism goes, all we have to do is look at Northern Ireland where it is Catholics against Protestants, or Bosnia and Kosovo where it was Christians laying the smackdown on Muslims.

    All true.

    The point is that any religion or religious tradition can produce vile and unpleasant madmen dedicated to the slaughter of their neighbors. Islam, for what its worth isn’t necessarily the bible for terrorists.

    Absolutely agreed. Never argued otherwise.

    But it raises questions. Why is there terrorism now? Why wasn’t there terrorism a hundred years ago? Why weren’t muslims flying their planes into the Empire State building in the 30’s?

    Well, there’s a matter of access. And certainly the tools of terrorism have become more efficient. But one could argue that there WAS terrorism a hundred years ago. It just didn’t take the form it takes now.

    But one might as well wonder why the Nazis came into power when they did, and not at some other time. What matters is the here-and-now. You can’t prevent what has already happened. Knowing how Hitler came into power might prevent another Hitler from happening, but it doesn’t get rid of the one you’ve already got. In other words, knowing how to prevent something isn’t necessarily the same thing as knowing how to stop or get rid of the same thing, after it’s already happened.

    It seems to me that to simply argue its all terrorism, and they’re terrorists because of their religion is extremely reductive and really doesn’t help anything.

    That is certainly true. Thankfully nobody here is arguing that, as far as I know.

    Although I’m not sure what you mean by “it’s all terrorism.” I’m assuming you’re saying that I’m arguing “it’s all terrorism,” but I’m not sure what you mean by that. What’s all terrorism?

    The Spanish Sahara (Sahel) people fought a nasty guerilla war until the Moroccans went home. Haven’t bothered anyone since.

    So, in this case anyway, the solution to terrorism was to give in to the terrorists. Give them what they want and they’ll stop bothering you. Unfortunately, I don’t think that solution will work with our current problem.

    Of course, back in the 40s that was called “appeasement.” They tried it on the Nazis. Didn’t really have the desired effect.

    As someone once said, it’s like Nazi’s versus Vampires, it’s hard to know who you should be rooting for.

    Yes, unfortunately there are altogether too many situations like that these days.

    In the Phillipines the muslim terrorists of the Moro islands just want their independence. They’re muslim islands, the rest of the Phillipines are christian.

    A fight for independence is one thing. Using terrorism to fight for independence is quite another. In my opinion, using terrorist tactics robs a group of any moral standing it might have had. Terrorism is terrorism. The ends do not justify the means.

    In Chechnya, the muslim terrorists are fighting for independence against the Russians.

    If they really are terrorists, then they don’t have a leg to stand on. You can fight for freedom without resorting to terrorism. Terrorism is NEVER justified.

    If you really want to know what the big terrorist theology is, Osama Bin Laden has addressed several letters to the west, setting out his reasons for Jihad. Some of them can be tracked down on the internet. I’m sure you can find it if you look.

    I’m sure he has his reasons, just like the unibomber.

    As nearly as I can recall (its been a while), Osama’s thesis seems to be that he thinks the United States is in a state of war with the Muslim world.

    <clipped for brevity>

    Yeah, that sounds pretty accurate. But what do you think the solution is?

    But there you have it. Their case. Or one of their cases.

    Good summary.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68826

    It looks like you have a good discussion going here. You guys are keeping it fairly civil. Good. However, I have a recommendation for both of you. Whenever someone responds to another’s post with specific responses to specific parts of the latter’s post, it can come across as a bit snippy or nit-picky. Brevity is golden.

    I do apologize for the length of some of these. Don’t intend to be snippy or nit-picky. I tend to post the same way I reply to emails. I always quote any part of an email that I address in my reply, and I always insert my reply immediately after the quoted subject being referred to. I do this simply to maintain the feel of a two-way conversation, and also so the receiver doesn’t have to constantly refer back to older emails to see what I’m talking about. In short, it is done for your convenience, and to minimize miscommunications and/or misunderstandings.

    You see, in this email, there is only one subject being addressed. Ergo I felt no need to split up your quoted material and reply to different sections individually.

    I probably developed this habit from providing rules support for a couple of now-defunct collectible card games. Players would email me with multiple questions and issues, I would break down the email and reply to each section individually, for clarity.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68821

    Doing a little research I see. Very good. All too often, people have this attitude that one opinion is as good as another. Unfortunately, that’s not true. An opinion which is not backed by facts, is worthless. Any idiot can sit back and sneer.

    The fact that you’ve taken the trouble to go post some links, suggests that you may have done a little studying.

    I’m trying very hard not to read any condescension into the above paragraph. 🙂

    On the other hand, it looks like you’re relying upon the Free Republic. I haven’t looked at the other links yet. But I am familiar with the Free Republic site. It’s the home of slack jawed, mouth breathing, incoherent lunatics who couldn’t put two thoughts together for fifty bucks.

    That may have been one of the links. There was one that was clearly closer to propaganda than the other three. I kept it simply because it laid out a bunch of quotes from various Islamic fundamentalists. Slack jawed they may be, but a quote is a quote, assuming the quotes are accurate.

    Unfortunately, in this case, I’m going to consider the source. Hardly helps your case.

    Consider the quoted materials. And then look at the other links. The other three seemed to me to primarily show Islam in a good light.

    As for the Christian Reconstructionists, I said America ‘sports’ as in ‘gives rise to’, it’s also a reference to ‘sport’ as in mutation.

    Okay. I still don’t know what the point is, though. You can find idiots anywhere.

    The Christian Reconstructionists are real, and far more influential than they have any right to be. They represent the furthest edge, but also the leading edge of a corrupt and violent American Fundamentalist Christian movement.

    Yet I am fairly media savvy. If I haven’t heard of them, then I don’t think they’re having much of an impact on anything.

    While I can appreciate the notion that you might think you know everything,.

    Never said I did. In fact, I’ve repeatedly said I’m not qualified to make certain judgements. Obviously I don’t know everything.

    the fact that you aren’t aware of something doesn’t mean its not true or not important.

    Of course. But if these guys are a major threat, it’s news to me.

    Pretending they don’t exist does you not credit. The fact that you don’t like a fact does not make it go away.

    Didn’t say they don’t exist. Just said I never heard of them.

    You might want to do a bit of reading on these people yourself. But don’t listen to their enemies. Listen to what they actually say. And listen carefully.

    Didn’t say they weren’t evil lunatics. Just said I never heard of them, and doubt they have much influence.

    Personally, I have had friends who were involved in fundamentalist christianity, and I’ve heard stuff that would curl your hair.

    And yet when you think of civilians getting blown up or murdered, one generally does not think of fundamentalist Christians being responsible.

    - Attorney General Ashcroft, who has had himself annointed with oil upon taking public office and fears calico cats as satanic creatures. Silly, but disturbing in terms of the irrationality.

    Dunno about the oil thing. Maybe that’s something based on his religion or something? The cat thing sounds weird. What is your source for this “fact?”

    - Stockwell Day, leader of the Canadian opposition, who believed as a fundamentalist, that humans co-existed with dinosaurs, but who was unable to tell which way the Niagara ran.

    Dunno him. But hey, you gotta remember, he IS Canadian. 🙂

    - Then there’s Pat Robertson, a man who on national television, blamed Americans (gays and feminists) for 9/11. And who has lately called for the state department to be hit with a nuclear device. Frankly, if I said any American city or institution should be nuked, you would tear me a new one, and justly so. This lunatic said it on national television, to an audience of millions, including presumably mentally unstable and suggestible people. Anybody care to make excuses for him?

    Nope. But again, what’s the point? On a case-by-case basis, you can come up with individual lunatics that are members of just about any group you feel like attacking.

    - How about those Fundamentalist lunatics who advocate the shooting of abortion Doctors? Who publish names and addresses and photographs. Who picket clinics and harass people attending. I’ve actually seen and met some of these people myself on visits to the United States. Are you going to pretend they don’t exist?

    Nope. Are you going to pretend they represent the mainstream?

    - There’s the ‘Promise Keepers’ movement, which is in synch with the Christian Reconstruction movement. Wanna take a good hard look at those guys.

    I recently heard on the news that the Promise Keepers are likely disbanding, after they lost their founder.

    - Remember Ruby Ridge? I bet you do. Now Randy Weaver, in addition to his lucrative trade selling illegal firearms, was also an extremist traditional Christian, a la the reconstructionists – Daddy is next to god, etc. etc.

    See above. What’s your point?

    - Tell you what. Since you’ve got the research bug, I’ll strike you a deal. I’ll go searching through your Islamic links. Why don’t you spend some time googling the Chalcedon Report, Chalcedon Foundation, R.J. Rushdoony, John Stoos, Gary DeMar, Gary North, Andrew Saldlin.


    - And a little tip off for the future here. If you consider a fact unpleasant, that doesn’t mean its propaganda. It just means its a fact that you don’t like, and it doesn’t care if you like it or not.

    Well, looked like propaganda to me! 🙂

    Okay, I took another look at ’em. The first link, from, actually doesn’t seem that off the wall. Lots of sources cited, so I’m willing to buy that they are accurately representing something called “Christian Reconstructionism.” Still, I’m not sure what the point is. is quick to point out that if Christian Reconstructinists took control of the government, bad things would happen. Could be. If millions of gallons of chocolate pudding suddenly squirted out of the moon and covered Europe, that would also be a bad thing. I don’t picture either of those two things happening.

    On a side note, it has been my experience that the more generically cheesey and P.C. a group’s name is, the more their actual agenda is something completely B.S. “” I’m not saying they’re necessarily a B.S. organization. But any organization with a name that says, “how can you possibly argue against a name like this!” automatically makes me suspicious.

    The second link, an article on, looks like total propaganda to me. A dude talks about Christian Reconstructionism, and then equates it to the entire “Christian Right,” whatever that is. With statements like:

    The significance of the Reconstructionist movement is not its numbers, but the power of its ideas and their surprisingly rapid acceptance.

    Translation: Reconstructionism has very small numbers, but it’s a fringe group, so let’s use it to attack Christians as a whole. If the ideas truly had “surprisingly rapid acceptance,” then the movement would indeed have significant numbers, would it not?

    arguably the driving ideology of the Christian Right in the 1990s.

    Translation: “Arguably” means this is not an agreed-upon fact. It is simply the opinion of some joe who wants to attack the “Christian Right.”

    Many on the Christian Right are unaware that they hold Reconstructionist ideas.

    Translation: Many Christians are Reconstructionist lunatics, they just don’t KNOW that they’re Reconstructionist lunatics. Huh?

    Part of the Reconstructionist world view is a revisionist view of history called “Christian history,” which holds that history is predestined from “creation” until the inevitable arrival of the Kingdom of God.

    This is not specific to Reconstructionism, or even Christianity. Many religions believe that God is all-powerful, and has a specific plan for the world. By labeling this a trait of Reconstructionists, the author seeks to marginalize anybody holding this belief.

    Most Reconstructionists, for example, argue that the United States is a “Christian Nation”

    The author is again taking a view commonly held by many, and attempting to associate it with a fringe group. Many people say that the US is a Christian nation simply because of statistics. Of the US population, the greatest percentage by far are Christian. It is also worth noting that the terrorists also view us as a Christian nation. I don’t think they’re Reconstructionists!

    North’s views are the exception on the Christian Right.

    I think the author meant to say that North’s views are the exception in terms of Reconstructionists.

    The rest of the article is probably a pretty accurate account of Christian Reconstructionism. Allow me to summarize it. Some fringe Christian guys came up with a funny way of looking at things. The end.

    Hmmm. I noticed that SgtDraino referred to “millions” of muslim terrorists. Now, he’s pretty careful with his words. I’ll invite him to back that one up and invite him to identify a minimum of two million muslim terrorists.

    That’s what we call a SWAG. Scientific Wild-Arsed Guess. 🙂 I’m just guessing, I don’t really know. In my completely unscientific opinion, I’d be willing to bet that, in the entire world, there are a minimum of two million Muslims who are willing to engage in terrorist activities. Two million really ain’t all that many, if you ask me. There are a LOT of Muslims in the world. If only a small fraction of them are potential terrorists, it still wouldn’t be all that tough to hit the two million mark.

    All right, I took a look at one of Sgt. Draino’s links. Interesting Facts…

    I’ve got no background on the source of this this link, the people who posted it, or what they were about. The link carries a picture of the WTC in flames, and a short discussion about Jihad.

    Wow. That picture doesn’t load on my computer. I had no idea what it was.

    Thereafter the balance of the article seems to be a series of quotes from the Koran about the subject of war and armed conflict.

    A brief comment or two. First, I suspect the Bible, particularly the old testament might be at least as hair raising.

    You seem to attack this article as if I intended it to support some overblown idea that the Koran supports terrorism. I actually thought this article was one that showed the Koran does NOT support such activity. I felt it showed Islam in a fairly reasonable light.

    Second, I notice the quotes were all out of context. That is, they represented occasional passages, skipping intermediate paragraphs or even whole passages. So I’m not sure that we can say that this accurately reflects the intent and meaning of those passages in the Koran, or in fact, whether it represents the overall intentions of and ultimate meaning in the Koran.

    But the overall meaning of the Koran, as analized by us, is irrelevant. The fact is, regardless of what the Koran “really means,” Islamic terrorists believe they are engaged in a holy war against us. They believe that God commands them to fight us to the death. To kill everyone who is not Islamic. And these are people who have studied the Koran. The Koran may not intend to support terrorism, and I believe it does not. But it is being used by terrorists to support their actions.

    You can sit good Muslims down, and I’m sure they could cite you chapter and verse why the Koran does not support terrorism. But I’m equally sure you could sit an Islamic terrorist leader down, and he could also cite you chapter and verse why the Koran DOES support his actions.

    Frankly, purely out of curiosity, I’d very much like to hear chapter and verse from terrorist leaders. I’d really like to know what makes them tick, what makes them think their actions are justified. And I’d REALLY like to hear the leaders of good Muslims around the world debate more aggressively the bunk espoused by terrorist leaders. I don’t think Islamic terrorism will ever be stopped, until Muslims themselves confront the problem in direct open debate. Not on CNN, but on Al Jazera, in Arabic. In my mind, I haven’t yet seen very much of this.

    But even if we do accept that on the whole, they’re contextually valid, a lot of them don’t seem to be all that fire breathing.

    Exactly. Didn’t say they were.

    Okay, now I don’t pretend to be an Islamic scholar, but here is how I read this passage….

    “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, ”

    The opening line counsels not war, but self defense.

    Right. But apparently “those who fight you” is open to considerable interpretation. The actual reason I went looking for info on Jihad, was I wanted to get inside the terrorists’ heads. I wanted to see why they thought their religion justified terrorism. I really couldn’t find anything direct. The closest I came to an answer, was that quote I posted previously, from that Imam. He says that some Islamics view “spying” or the spreading of “propaganda” as forms of fighting, for which even women and children can justifiably be killed. That’s a pretty loose definition. “Spying” might include a Jewish woman on a street corner, who happens to look at you funny. Spreading propaganda might include a Jewish boy handing out a pamphlet advertising a meeting. Maybe that is how terrorists think.

    ”for tumult or oppression are worse than slaughter;”

    A peculiar sentiment, all in all. Should we take this to mean it is better to kill than to oppress. Or is this a backhanded way of saying that ‘oppression’ and ‘tumult’ are themselves sins.

    From what I’ve read so far, the concensus seems to be that, yes, Islam considers oppression to be a greater sin than slaughter, and it is better to kill your enemy than to “oppress” him.

    9:5 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    Again, lets look carefully.

    “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay
    the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer
    them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war);”

    Now this is genuinely bloodthirsty. Once the time is up, go to war, it seems to be saying. It appears inconsistent with the other passages we’ve looked through. It might be possible to reconcile it with the other passages, which essentially say, when war is made upon you, fight like hell. On the other hand it might be a stand alone passage simply establishing the equivalent of ‘duck season’ on pagans. I suppose we might want to take a look at the preceding passages in this chapter, to see if it sheds any further light.

    “but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice
    regular charity, then open the way for them: For Allah is Oft-
    Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

    This seems to call for conversion of the enemy, not simply execution or death. The reference to regular prayers and regular charity, is probably a reference to Islamic prayers and charity… therefore, in repenting, they convert and follow Allah. I’m not sure what the reference to ‘open the way for them’ means.

    Ah, somehow I actually missed that passage. That’s actually one I’ve heard talked about in general terms before. That is the passage that basically says, “convert to Islam, or be slain.” This is probably one of the passages on which Islamic terrorism is based.

    Again, from the little we’ve looked at, either in here, or on the web site given, it hardly seems like an instruction manual for homicidal loonies.

    Never said it was. But Islamic terrorists obviously seem to think it is.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68813

    Actually, Islam does not advocate the murder or death of nonbelievers. The Koran, I’m told, speaks extensively on the subject. But there are islamic fundamentalist lunatics.

    Obviously the Koran is not clear enough on the subject, otherwise there would be no bombed civilians. And what the Koran actually says is less important than what millions of terrorists actually believe. And what they believe, is that God commands them to kill anyone that does not share their faith. We are unlikely to change their minds anytime soon.

    For what it’s worth, based on what I’ve seen, the Koran does not advocate terrorism. Although, as with other religions, things are often open to much interpretation.

    Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God’s entirely [2:189, 8:39] and God’s word is uppermost [9:40], therefore, according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought. As for those who cannot offer resistance or cannot fight, such as women, children, monks, old people, the blind, handicapped and their likes, they shall not be killed, unless they actually fight with words [e.g. by propaganda] and acts [e.g. by spying or otherwise assisting in the warfare]. Some [jurists] are of the opinion that all of them may be killed, on the mere ground that they are unbelievers, but they make an exception for women and children since the constitute property for Muslims. However, the first opinion is the correct one, because we may only fight those who fight us when we want to make God’s religious victorious.

    Thus, while Islam says you should only fight those who are fighting you, “fighting” can include propaganda, which can include basically anybody who openly expresses a religious belief contrary to Islam.

    Here’s some interesting links I ran across on the subject:

    But on the other hand, America sports the Christian Reconstruction movement. Ever heard of them? They are the only significant religious movement or tradition in North America which openly advocates genocide for minority religions.

    America “sports” the Christian Reconstruction movement? Did you mean “supports?” If you did, I don’t buy it. First off, no, I haven’t ever heard of them, so I can’t believe they’re a significant force of any size. America as a whole certainly does NOT advocate genocide.

    If you did mean “sports,” (which I guess means some of its members are located in the US), what’s your point? Idiots can be found anywhere.

    I took a look at these links. They appear to be complete propaganda to me. I believe approximately 20% of what is espoused there.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68807

    How does humanism work against a person who believes that God commands that they kill you, and everyone else who shares your belief system? To them, you are the embodyment of evil no matter what you do… short of converting to their religion yourself.

    in reply to: Sidewise LEXX #68792

    Hmmm. I don’t know. Tell you what. I’ll ask Mark Asquith.
    Last time I talked to him, they still had it.

    Hey, is that the same guy who co-wrote the DC comic book sequel to The Prisoner?

    Hrrm. I see that guy’s name is spelt “Mark Askwith.” Different guy?

    in reply to: Jumping the sci-fi shark #68764

    I think Babylon 5 jumped the shark with Season 5. It remains one of my favorite sci-fi series of all time, but it was never quite as good after Captain Lockley came on… EXCEPT of course for the last episode of all, BUT that episode was actually made BEFORE Season 5, back when they thought the show was ending at Season 4. So I dunno that it should count.

    My personal feeling is that JMS was pretty sure the show was gonna get killed at the end of Season 4, so he went ahead and wrapped just about everything up. Then, when TNT picked things up for one more season, he had to come up with more story. Thus, to me anyway, the whole telepath thing felt tacked-on.

    On a related note, my friends an I have come up with another term, “punched the shark.”

    A series has “jumped the shark” when it makes a horrible mis-step that renders it never quite as good as it used to be. The term originates from an episode of “Happy Days” when Fonzy literally jumps a shark.

    Alternatively, a series has “punched the shark” when it is bad to begin with, but then does something that makes it THAT MUCH WORSE. 🙂 Our term originates from the movie Tomb Raider 2, when Angelina Jolie’s Laura Croft literally punches a shark at the beginning of the movie.

    Once she punched that shark, we knew we were in for a rough ride. 🙂

    in reply to: Cancellation therapy #68760

    This isn’t really sci-fi related, but back when I was a little kid, long, long time ago, my parents encouraged me to write the TV station when my favorite show, Adam 12, was taken off the air.

    I remember actually getting a reply that the show would be put back on. And it was. Encouraging!

    Now, I was so young, I didn’t even know how to mail the letter. My parents mailed it. I don’t know whether my letter got sent to a network or a local station, and I don’t remember where the reply came from either. I don’t even know if this was during Adam 12’s original run, or if it was being rerun, and the series had already been completed by then.

    But I do remember getting the reply, and even though I probably didn’t really make any actual personal difference, it was a good feeling at the time.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68745

    Thanks for the backhanded admission that Afghanistan has been totally bunged up.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. As I’ve said before, I don’t think I’m qualified to make that judgement. I don’t think you are either.

    Well, the first thing I would do is appoint Rumsfield as commander of an isolated frontier outpost, say in the southwest of Afghanistan.

    Rumsfeld isn’t in the military, so you wouldn’t be able to appoint or order him anywhere. After you replaced him as Secretary of Defense, he would simply be another civilian.

    As for other things, stop stabbing the United Nations in the back.

    Increase the level of aid so that people aren’t starving.

    I believe these areas of policy are generally outside the purview of the Department of Defense. This is State Department stuff.

    Crush the worst of the warlords. Provide adequate security for aid workers. Settle in for a long haul, and pay attention to the place.

    Those are nice generalities. Do you have specific plans on how to accomplish these?

    Make a real investment in rehabilitating and rebuilding a country we helped to destroy.

    PS: We here in the international community have noticed that America has a problem.

    First you count yourself among those who destroyed Afghanistan, then you count yourself as a member of the “international community?”

    It’s ruining your friendships, wrecking your economy, and giving you an ugly black eye. It’s this tendency you’ve got to put your troops in someone elses country whenever you’re feeling antsy.

    I’m not going to debate you again. That would be pointless. I did read your whole post on the history of the situation. I would agree that most of the events are probably fairly accurate, but I also think that a significant amount of your story consists of simple rumor and opinion. Particularly anything CIA-related. But all of your story is obviously colored by the way you view the world, which has been developed via your social interactions with those around you, as you’ve grown up. In short, it is a biased view of events.

    That’s not meant as an insult. I have biases. Everyone has biases. But people don’t always recognize their own biases. You presented your version of history as if it was absolute fact. As if you have full knowledge and grasp of the situation over there. It isn’t, and you don’t. I don’t either, but I do know enough to recognize that you are very smart… but not quite as smart as you seem to think you are.

    Once again, 99% of everything I hear from opponents of US policy is simple negativity. “Oh, that won’t work. Oh, you shouldn’t have done that.” It is easy to play devil’s advocate. It is harder to actually come up with alternative ideas, that go beyond feel-good generalities.

    And in no way do I march lock-step with US foreign policy, or domestic policy, for that matter. Mistakes have been made, are being made, and will be made in the future. But I am unconvinced of utter failure. And even if there ultimately is utter failure, that doesn’t mean action should never have been taken.

    Many battles are ultimately lost, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been fought in the first place. The world is a complicated place, but “stability” is not always the answer. Not when stability includes torture and degradation. Sometimes change only comes about through great pain. Risks must be taken in order to succeed, and sometimes the worst happens.

    I personally believe that Muslim fundamentalist extremism threatens the whole world, and it is a threat that the world has not yet figured out how to deal with. You can’t negotiate with it, and it’s very hard to fight it conventionally. As the world figures out what procedure works, mistakes will inevitably be made. Plans will be tried, and many will fail. But try we must.

    The UN is an organization with a built-in tendency towards the status quo. Keeping things the way they are, good or bad. Stability is everything, and military operations have never been one of the UN’s strengths. The UN has been a very valuable organization in the past, but I believe it is becoming outdated. I don’t think it is equipped to cope with the realities of present day. Perhaps a new international organization should be put together, with a more pro-active mandate.

    Or perhaps not. 🙂 Ultimately, I’m just another joe with an opinion.

    in reply to: Afghanimatrix #68721

    Perhaps we should have a write in contest, “How to save Afghanistan?”

    I like this idea. It seems like too often all I hear is poo-pooing, but no actual new ideas about what action to take.

    To anyone who is interested, consider this scenario:

    President Bush has just appointed you Secretary of Defense, replacing Rumsfeld. Your primary tasks are to come up with operational plans for dealing with Afghanistan and Iraq. The President will try whatever plans you put forth.

    What are your plans?

    No “time travel.” No, “well, we should never have done such-and-such in the first place.” You are replacing Rumsfeld, and must deal with the situations at hand.

    As of NOW, what are your new policies, as Secretary of Defense?

    This question is directed at no one in particular. I’m curious to hear as many different ideas as possible.

    in reply to: Computer problem – help! #68651

    I can’t telnet, I’m not that much of a techie.

    lol. He wondered if you’d say something like that.

    In that case, he says go to:

    This site will (I think) walk you through on how to telnet.

    if you look at the page
    it shows you how to telnet to specific ports
    except it says to use a blueyonder address
    replace the blueyonder address with the sadgeezer IP.

    this mentions their web proxy
    which he should NOT use
    hopefully all his proxy stuff is blank
    if you look at that box on the page that says “proxy settings”
    he should have nothing listed in each of those spaces.

    That help?

    in reply to: Boomtown #68640

    Interestingly, the role of May was originally going to go to Patricia Zentilli. But at the last minute, due to co-production reasons, it was reassigned to Anna Bleuler. Patricia was bounced into the role of Bunny, and the rest is history.

    I’m glad that Patricia wasn’t cast as May. It’s hard for me to envision her playing evil. And think of all that great Bunny action we would have missed out on!

    For anyone who is curious, I have a completely unsupported theory about the character of May.

    Basically, I don’t buy that she was Prince’s agent all along. That seems to require a series of spectacular coincidences and a greater degree of omnipotence than Prince ever actually shows.

    I had the same thought when I recently re-watched those two episodes. Although, to be fair, my buddy (who was seeing it for the first time) thought she must have been evil the whole time.

    So here’s my alternate take. We know from succeeding Gondola that Prince can take forms not his own. We know from Key that he can be female when he wants to be. And we know from Heaven and Hell that he can occupy two bodies/be in two places at once.

    So, here’s my take on it. May dies, that is, the real May dies. But in order to fulfill his bargain with Stan, or trick Stan into thinking he’s fulfilled it, Prince incarnates as May, in order to get Stan to blow up Water.

    I don’t quite take this angle, though. May does not act like Prince after she is captured by Duke, and seems genuinely afraid when Duke is about to burn her. That is uncharacteristic for an incarnation of Prince. We also don’t see any “reincarnating” special effects when May is burned. Whenever any other incarnation of Prince is killed, the body completely vanishes.

    I agree that the real May was gone when she died the first time. My theory is that Prince then put an evil soul into her body. Heh. Maybe May is Priest!

    Watch Prince and May when they’re together. There’s an odd rhythm to them. Only one moves or speaks at a time. When one is speaking or moving, the other remains still, standing and looking.
    It’s as if there’s one mind, switching attention back and forth to operate two bodies.

    Ya know, it just occured to me that this is also a characteristic of the relationship between Prince and Priest. They have a tendency to finish each others’ sentences. This is particularly evident in Season 4.

    in reply to: Political Ravings of Intolerance #68639

    In short, this either verifies, supports or at least fails to detract from anything I said.

    I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or goaded. 🙂

    Now back to my regularly scheduled non-political posting…

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