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Chimps aren't people

Robert Heinlein wrote a short science fiction story, Jerry Was a Man. It was about a genetically-engineered ape. Someone sued on his behalf, and the court ruled that he was human. The story quite obviously raises the question of "What makes a human being a person?"

Christians would probably say it's the soul (or whatever the eternal but invisible part of us is) - and has little to do with the body. I wonder if an article on mind and brain would be good to have. --Ed Poor Talk 17:52, 17 January 2008 (EST)

Yeah, these clowns want to argue that chimps are persons, but they typically are the same people who deny that beings with 100% human DNA that is completely their own are not human because they are small and are growing in their mothers' wombs. Jinxmchue 13:06, 18 January 2008 (EST)
Not this again...For one, I have to commend Ed Poor. At least he has good taste in authors. But this echoes the cry of many stories before and after it's printing, that deal with what makes humanity so human. Some other Heinlein to ask this question would be Friday and Stranger in a Strange Land.
But what makes us human? Why are we the only ones? What is your definition of people?
Homo Sapiens is a species. But Jerry can be a person, because he became more than his peers and was elevated to human sentience.
So, good job, Jerry. Next, we'll see if the talking dog coalition will become the next people. CodyH
Humans are human because that's the way God made us. We are the only ones because God didn't need a second lot. My definition of "people" is anybody descended from Adam and Eve. Philip J. Rayment 20:27, 20 January 2008 (EST)
That is a horrific definition of "people", it, by definiton, excludes any being who is not a member of Homo sapiens, regardless of intellectual capacity. --MakeTomorrow 12:20, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Intellectual capacity? As Jack Benny might say--am I missing something here? I had not heard any credible statement that any species of beings other than human beings were sentient or self-aware.--TerryHTalk 13:42, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Evolutionists like to talk up the intellectual capacity and other characteristics of animals, including claims of intelligence, self-awareness, etc., but despite the emphasis on the similarities, there's an enormous difference.
But to reply to MakeTomorrow, yes, it excludes any being not a member of Homo sapiens. That's the point: God made animals, and God made people, as two distinct categories. And your counter-argument is argument by outrage, nothing more.
Philip J. Rayment 21:22, 23 January 2008 (EST)
I think I have to side with Philip et al on this one. I'll call a monkey a person when it does more than learn sign language, create tools, or outstrip college students in tasks involving numbers. Barikada 21:26, 23 January 2008 (EST)
I think that might be a little too subtle for direct translation into text, Barikada :).
So, Philip, would you characterize a conscious AI as "not a person"? A genetically altered non-human creature? I wouldn't, and I hope that you wouldn't, either. --MakeTomorrow 22:08, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Are you serious, MakeTomorrow? Are you honest-to-God serious? Do you really think that anyone can build a self-aware and conscious machine? Why, we should have been able to build such a machine a long time ago--and maybe ended in fighting a war against it, as is depicted in quite a number of motion picture and television projects. Long ago we have built machines with more logic gates than the human brain has neurons. Why have we not had our own Cylon Revolution, and why do we not now languish under a Dictatorship of the AI?--TerryHTalk 22:17, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Because we haven't constructed a device that even approaches the complexity of the human brain? And why do you feel the compulsion to link every word? --MakeTomorrow 22:30, 23 January 2008 (EST)
Seconding MakeTomorrow. We won't hit The Singularity for a long time yet. A decade or two at the absolute least. Barikada 23:08, 23 January 2008 (EST)
You never will "hit The Singularity," whatever that means. Your vision of "conscious AI" is the modern equivalent of the making of idols of wood, stone, or in this case, metal, that can neither hear nor see nor walk.Revelation 9:20 --TerryHTalk 09:58, 24 January 2008 (EST)
That was absolutely nonsensical, Terry. --MakeTomorrow 10:53, 24 January 2008 (EST)
MT, please be polite :-/ he's essentially saying that making an AI would be like making an idol. And the last part was a Bible quote.-MexMax 21:37, 24 January 2008 (EST)\

I think regardless of whether something ever becomes as intelligent as humans - that is, capable of passing the Turing test - it would still fail to be human, since it would lack the essential qualities of being human: having a soul, and being created in God's own image. To quote the modern remake of Battlestar Galactica - to which I was glad to see a reference, Terry! - it'd be a glorified toaster. The sanctity of human life derives from God the Creator; since humanity is not God the Creator, our creations are not human life.-MexMax 10:18, 24 January 2008 (EST)

So you believe that a conscious being would lack a soul? Where do you get that? That's entirely theologically unsound. --MakeTomorrow 10:53, 24 January 2008 (EST)
He said intelligent, not conscious. MakeTomorrow, are you trying to argue that a computer (made of metal) which is indistiguishible intellectually from a human is therefore a human, even though it is distinguishible physically? Are you arguing that intelligence is the only thing that defines a human? I'm just trying to clarify your point here. HelpJazz 11:36, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Not to put words in Make's mouth, but I think it's more of a rights issue. That is, if something is as smart as a human... Does it deserve the same rights?
Also, on idols, can we please refrain from comparing science to mysticism? And The Singularity is the point where we can understand the brain so intimately we are able to mimic t hought patterns in code. Barikada 22:03, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Your question about "rights" is absurdly hypothetical. It's a totally moot point. You're not going to get a machine like that. If it were possible, it would have been done already. And then one of three things would have happened: a Cylon Revolution even bloodier than the French Revolution, a Dictatorship of the AI (Colossus: The Forbin Project), or the machine as mass murderer (the Terminator franchise).--TerryHTalk 22:26, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Do not worry, my technophobic friend, we are nowhere near the technlogical level to create a self-aware artificial intelligence system. Barikada 22:28, 24 January 2008 (EST)

I don't agree with the argument that if we could make a truly intelligent robot, we would have done so already. Some technology is clearly still in the future. On the other hand, I believe that we don't really even come close yet to understanding just what it means to think. That some people believe that we will one day be able to make a machine as "intelligent" as humans (whatever precisely that mean) is pure speculation, and from a biblical point of view, arrogant speculation. We can already make machines that can surpass humans in certain specific ways (stronger, faster, do more calculations per second), but being able to do certain things that they are specifically designed to do does not mean that they are even remotely close (is that a contradiction?) to being equivalent to humans. And animals have always been able to beat humans at certain tasks (faster, stronger, ability to fly), so beating college students at a particular task is not an Earth-shattering matter either.

For one thing, humans have free will, which we no doubt could simulate in a computer, but wouldn't have the faintest idea on how to actually give to a computer. And what about wisdom, which is far more than just knowledge?

So asking "what if" something else were to be as smart as a human is an extremely hypothetical question, and one that, in my opinion, presumes a worldview that I don't hold anyway. That is, I don't believe that it will ever be possible for anything non-human to be equivalent to a human, because even though I wouldn't rule out scientists in the future possibly creating a living thing, I don't believe that humans have the capability of creating something equivalent to humans, if for no other reason that we don't have the ability to create souls.

As for extremely intelligent robots or similar, a good comparison is angels, which are in many respects as good as humans, albeit lacking free will (or lacking a full dose of free will), yet are not considered human, and are actually considered less than human.

Philip J. Rayment 03:46, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Indeed, it is unlikely that we'll have full AI any time soon, but given that we have robots that can lie I'd say we're well on our way. As for the rest of your post... That's quite possibly the best edit in this thread. Barikada 15:43, 25 January 2008 (EST)
Aw, shuck, but thanks. I've long ago learnt not to pay too much attention to anthropomorphic descriptions that put a spin that favours the view that humans aren't that distinctive. Did the robots really say something they knew to be false in order to deceive other robots, or was it simply a case that a particular set of actions brought a better result? Did their consciences bother them? Oh, wait ... Philip J. Rayment 05:20, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Either way, giving them the ability to deceive is quite an accomplishment. Barikada 14:34, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Agreed, excellent work Phillip :)
Sorry to be a bit of a spoilsport, but you say that: "I don't believe that humans have the capability of creating something equivalent to humans, if for no other reason that we don't have the ability to create souls." Obviously that is a strong argument, but it rests on the assumption that souls exist (with which I disagree). Without going into an argument as to the existence or not of a 'soul', would you care to hypothesise as to how you would treat an AI who was able to behave exactly like a human in every single way, including free will, etc? Whether it has a soul or not would be sideline to the fact that in every scientifically provable way it was identical to a human.
As another aside, I am halfway through reading "The ethics of what we eat" by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. How do you regard the treatment of animals, none of whom are human or have human souls yet are capable of feeling pain and emotions? Surely they should have some basic rights even if they are going to become food? Bolly 12:07, 28 January 2007

How can you cite Peter Singer as an authority on the ethics of meat consumption, when he is already on record as saying that a mother ought to be allowed a window of up to a month during which she can order the summary execution of her child if that child has anything wrong with it? Do you not realize that he has forfeited all claim to any ethical authority by such statements?--TerryHTalk 20:26, 27 January 2008 (EST)

I don't believe the soul has no effect in the physical world. This being the case, the soul is a necessary part of who we are, and therefore, without creating a soul, no artificial intelligence will be able to fully replicate a human being. I also doubt the ability of scientists to compare a human and AI in every single way. As such, the question still presumes a world view I don't hold, so is too hypothetical to answer.
I agree with TerryH's comments on Singer, but to answer your question, we are supposed to care for God's creation, keeping in mind that it all belongs to Him, not us (even though it has all been provided to us for our use), and the Bible tells us that even a sparrow will not fall to the ground without Him allowing it. But God did tell us (via Noah) that we could eat meat.
Philip J. Rayment 02:14, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Well no, if thats what you think then yes it would be impossible. When I said evey single way, I meant in every single testable way but you do have a point. Personally I love dealing in hypotheticals but I won't try and force you to!
Oh so the fact that you don't agree with some of his view means that you then won't even consider his opinion on unrelated subjects? Sounds rather narrow-minded. I disagree with Phillip over religion issues, but I still agree with him on other things. And if I agree with what he says, and think that it is ethical then he does have a claim to ethical authority. Considering the way so many animals are treated in both Australia and the USA, euthanasia and abortion are practically mother's kindness itself!
Thats cool, so you would agree then that we have a duty to make sure that the animals we use are cared for correctly? Bolly 9:58 29 January 2008
Just because a person is wrong on one thing doesn't mean that they are wrong on everything, but TerryH's point that I agreed with is that his views give him no authority (which doesn't mean that he's wrong) in the area of ethics. So we are talking about related areas, not unrelated topics.
Yes, I agree with the principle that we have a duty to ensure that animals that we use are cared for correctly. Precisely what that entails in practice you and I might differ on (or I may not have an opinion). It was, I believe, this biblical principle that led William Wilberforce, the slavery abolitionist, to also be involved with starting the predecessor of the RSPCA.
Philip J. Rayment 21:23, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Answer me this, Philip: If humans did, indeed, create a conscious AI, do you believe it would have a soul? --MakeTomorrow 22:19, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Well there we disagree, because I agree with what Singer advocates I believe he is an excellent moral authority. You are correct that they are related under ethics however they are seperate because of the difference between animal rights and human rights.
Thats interesting. Well I'm going to throw my opinion out there and say that if everyone lived on a vegan diet then a lot of problems would be solved(that is a proper balanced vegan diet mind you). Bolly 14:46, 29 January 2007
MakeTomorrow, that depends on just what is meant by "conscious". In the full sense of the word, I don't believe that it would be possible for AI to be made conscious, so is too hypothetical to answer. If you mean it in a more limited sense, then no, I don't believe that it would have a soul. I believe that only descendants of Adam and Eve get souls.
Bolly, is there any difference between animal and human rights according to Singer?
Philip J. Rayment 04:05, 29 January 2008 (EST)
Interesting debate - well argued. Getting slightly back on topic but within the broad sweep of the conversation, I think it less than likely that we'll be able to create, even in principle, a computer with anything remotely resembling human intelligence and consciousness in the near to medium term future. As Philip points out, it may well be impossible because of the lack of either a defined supernatural soul or an as yet undefined "something else" that is missing from our capacity to understand.
The more likely scenario in my humble opinion would be the creation of a closely related animal cousin - one of the great apes for example - with intelligence (and consciousness and empathy, etc.) on a par with humans through the application of genetic engineering. (Reminds me of that "Gerald" sketch on Not The Nine O'Clock News many years ago although non-Brits will probably be unfamiliar with it!)
If, again hypothetically, this was achieved, what would be the status of these new beings? Would they have the same "human" rights as the rest of us? Ajkgordon 09:53, 29 January 2008 (EST)
Ah, so desu ka. Now we move from Colossus: The Forbin Project to Planet of the Apes. Which is to say that that story also has been told. We'd be more likely to achieve hyperluminary travel and make contact with a desert-dwelling space-faring race with whom we would write a charter for a United Nations writ large--very large. Of course, I don't think any of those scenarios is very likely--though the third might form the basis for some darkly inspired, politically motivated fakery.--TerryHTalk 10:19, 29 January 2008 (EST)
Was that an answer? If so, I'm afraid I don't understand it. Could we return to the topic? Ajkgordon 10:22, 29 January 2008 (EST)
Well, Mr. Schlafly can certainly correct me if my understanding of legal terms is flawed. But the above was not so much an answer as it was an objection to the question as lacking in foundation.--TerryHTalk 10:39, 29 January 2008 (EST)
OK, thanks.
Perhaps someone else might find some hypothetical foundation in my question and like to continue the debate. Ajkgordon 11:59, 29 January 2008 (EST)
You are of the view that anything we create in the way of Artificial Intelligence would be missing a soul or "something else" that was critical, yet if you genetically engineer an ape, you would still be missing a soul. I suppose you can't say that it would be missing the "something else", given that we don't know what that "something else" is, but given that it's presumably something that makes us human, then presumably it would not exist in the ape. In any case, I would see the soul, not an undefined "something else", as being the vital missing ingredient (or one of them), so a genetically-engineered ape won't have that, so the answers are still the same as before: it would not be like a human, and it would not be descended from Adam and Eve. Philip J. Rayment 20:24, 29 January 2008 (EST)
I don't have a view at all, Philip. I'm merely curious as to how, if this hypothetical animal were created, people would view its rights. It wouldn't be human and it wouldn't be descended from Adam and Eve - there is no debate about that. But how would you treat it if it had an intelligence and consciousness that was objectively indistinguishable from that of a human? Ajkgordon 06:52, 30 January 2008 (EST)

This discussion somehow assumes that we know what a soul is, and how to recognize it when we see it. But that is just an unfounded assumption. Order 21:57, 29 January 2008 (EST)

I agree with Order. I don't think such a thing as a soul exists, me being the evil materialistic athiest that I am. If such an animal is created in the future then I doubt that most people would be able to tell the difference, assuming they were interacting without direct contact. But that is rather hypothetical. It would be an interesting experiment. Bolly 15:36, 30 January 2008
Ajkgordon, I should have said that you are of the view that anything we create could be missing something, rather than would be, as you agreed with my suggestion that this is possibly the case.
I question whether this invention could be objectively indistinguishable from a human. It may appear to be in some tests, but I doubt that we could say with any certainty that it was indistinguishable; it may be that we simply haven't applied the right distinguishing test yet.
But it would be essentially a machine, biological or otherwise, and would have no more rights than that.
Order, this discussion does not assume that we know what a soul is, nor that we know how to recognise it. However, my comments are based on some idea of what the soul is, and that we will recognise the effects of the artificial intelligence not having a soul, because I assume that the soul is an integral part of who we are, without which we would not be as we are. But I have stated my assumptions. But by the same token, the questions being put assume that either the soul does not exist, or that it has no discernible effect. So there's assumptions on both sides. I've been up front with my assumptions, but the questions have been assuming a view opposite to mine yet been asking "what if", with those unstated assumptions that I don't agree with.
Philip J. Rayment 08:23, 30 January 2008 (EST)
But can you not see the potential problem with that line of thinking, Philip? An analogy, although I have to be really careful with this, is perhaps when many people considered that blacks couldn't have the same rights as whites because they were less than human and yet others claimed that they didn't have a soul. This argument was used to justify all sorts of things including slavery. Consider then the possibility that one day some sufficiently advanced animal such as a primate or dolphin or whatever is genetically modified to give it at least the semblance of a comparable level of intelligence and consciousness currently exclusive to humans. It even claims, using our language, that it thinks and feels and moralises in the same way as we do. Even though you personally, through theological ideology, believe that it cannot have a soul, why shouldn't it have the same rights as a human? What is the difference in that approach to the approach used by those in earlier times who believed that some human "races" were less human than others and concluding therefore that they were not entitled to the same treatment, dignity and freedom? What would be the advantage of not affording them those rights? (I know that the analogy is potentially offensive - it is not meant to be - but perhaps comparisons can be drawn for the sake of this hypothetical situation.) Ajkgordon 08:52, 30 January 2008 (EST)
The problem with considering that blacks didn't have the same rights because they were less than human and/or didn't have a soul was that they are human and do have a soul. Your hypothetical creations would not be human and would not have a soul, not being descended from Adam and Eve. And it is on the basis of descent from Adam and Eve that we have the God-given rights that we have. As I mentioned above, even angels don't have those rights. If you reject that we have a soul, then you are effectively rejecting that God created us, and if God didn't create us, then we have no rights anyway, because our rights are derived from God granting us rights. If we are the accidental products of evolution, then there's no basis for any of us having any rights anyway, because there's nobody over us to grant us rights. Philip J. Rayment 09:15, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Cheeky, Philip! I don't consider that at all but many people back in the day did to justify racism and slavery through theological argument. In no way am I condoning it and I hope no-one on here would ever do so.
I think we are talking at cross purposes when it comes to the question of rights. If you believed that these creations had no souls, then your logical conclusion would probably be right in assuming that they had no "God-given" rights either. I'm talking about your basic simple everyday earthly man-made human rights (suitably renamed) rather than anything divine. Would your assumption that they didn't have souls preclude you from agreeing that they could have the same legal rights as humans? Ajkgordon 09:23, 30 January 2008 (EST)
If you are talking about the right to drive a car, for example, then I don't have a problem with that. But many so-called man-made human rights are based on God-given rights, such as the right to marry, the right to life, etc. Even some that hypothetically could be granted to such creatures, such as the right to own property, are based on God-given rights (we do, after all, extend that particular right to companies). Philip J. Rayment 09:30, 30 January 2008 (EST)
OK, thanks, I think that answers the question. Yes, I know that many human rights are derived from religiously based rights - "God-given rights". That is of course to be expected. So you wouldn't in principle, even though you would feel these creatures were soulless and therefore inferior, deny them some or all of the same human rights that we currently enjoy. Eminently reasonable. Ajkgordon 09:37, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Three Little Pigs 'too offensive'

Now here's something you don't see every day: the story of the Three Little Pigs is apparently offensive to Muslims, Asians, and get this -- builders!

"Judges at this year's Bett Award [fundend partially by Becta, a UK government agency] said that they had 'concerns about the Asian community and the use of pigs raises cultural issues'.... [The judges] 'could not recommend this product to the Muslim community'.... [and] they also warned that the story might 'alienate parts of the workforce (building trade)'.

The judges criticised the stereotyping in the story of the unfortunate pigs: 'Is it true that all builders are cowboys, builders get their work blown down, and builders are like pigs?'".

What a world we're living in, eh? HelpJazz 14:51, 24 January 2008 (EST)

Owww, my faith in humanity. Barikada 15:54, 24 January 2008 (EST)
The part you obviously missed is that the reason it would perhaps be offensive to builders is that it is a modern retelling of the Three Little Pigs - it's now the Three Little Cowboy Builders, who are depicted as pigs in the CD-ROM. I don't really agree with the judges' reasoning, but it does actually make sense if you include that part. Zmidponk 22:52, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Seems to be about on a par with the film 'The Golden Compass', which was celebrated as a great novel and film by most, but by a select few was viewed as an 'anti-Christian' response to The Chronicles of Narnia. You have to swing both ways, because you can't ban one thing for being anti-Christian and then lament people of other faiths for being offended by another story, it's the equivelent of being hypocritical, even if towards people of other faiths. Entheogenicorder 12:09, 29 January 2008 (EST)

That's a very valid point, but I think that the reason why Christians get hot under the collar about these things is that the liberals make so much effort to prevent people of other faiths being offended by eg, The Three Little Pigs, yet don't bat an eyelid when eg, Jerry Springer the Opera is released. In fact, they then claim that it is a freedom of expression issue! That's the real hypocrisy, Entheogenicorder. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 07:25, 30 January 2008 (EST)
You make a sound couter-argument, and I have to accept that the 'Politically-Correct' culture we have created does seem to present a bias against Christianity in issues like this. However, it is important not to group all people who have a liberal opinion under one umbrella, and I don't necessarily think that you do this, but undeniably some people do. It is obviously a sensitive issue and I think people take advantage of some of the cultural differences involved; in most Christian countries there is a quite liberal culture, so for instance, a muslim could wear their veil openly in public. In many countries of other faiths there are more authoritarian rules and laws and you can be persecuted for wearing a cross, for example. However, as the'Developed World' or 'Enlightened states', I feel we should be trying to bring some of these Liberal values to other cultures so that they accept us in the same way that we (usually) accept them. Entheogenicorder 13:01, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Rowling

Pandering to liberals by declaring Dumbledore is gay? Sure, it may have been entirely arbitrary and more ship-bait than anything, but still. It's her series, she should be free to do whatever she wants with it. Barikada 15:50, 24 January 2008 (EST)

(Below was originally written to be a section opening post, but I'll merge it into Barikada's post since it came first.)

Ugh, just... UGH. Words fail me. Well, almost.

Let's see... JK Rowling wrote seven bestselling books (400 million books sold, apparently) which are now being turned into seven widely popular movies, and she is being credited for making children interested in books again.

And now she got invited to Harvard because... oh, let's just forget all of the above! She made a character GAY! Only that counts!

And regarding "Does anyone think she would have been given that had she stood up for a conservative position?"... if she had turned "a conservative position" into a widely successfully book series, yes. Then again, I find it somewhat hard to imagine a book series that preaches how Christianity is the only religion that really counts (because it's the one with the historical proof), how the Earth is most definitely young, and that we should all have guns to protect ourselves against atheist liberals who try to use deceit in order to lure us in with their homosexual agenda.

...actually... scratch that. That sounds like a pretty awesome plot ;)

Seriously, though, this "News" entry is extremely short-sighted. That woman triggered a worldwide reading wave, and the books and movies got plenty of attention, long before she made a character gay. --Jenkins 15:51, 24 January 2008 (EST)

That series has already been made. It's called "Left Behind." Barikada 15:53, 24 January 2008 (EST)
I'm still waiting to see the "Left Behind" series consistently appear on the NYT Bestseller List, and turn into a series of high-grossing movies. --Jdellaro 17:11, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Wait all you want, but you're in liberal denial if you think a liberal college like Harvard would ever invite the author of "Left Behind" to deliver a commencement address. No amount of commercial success would lead to such an invitation. Nobody seriously doubts that.--Aschlafly 17:39, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Why should the "Left Behind" author get invited? How many hundred million books did "Left Behind" sell in just seven volumes? How much of a success was that series worldwide? How well did the movies go?
Actually, let's check out that last one:
Left Behind: Opening weekend (USA): $2,158,780
Harry Potter (1): Opening weekend (USA): $125,000,000
Seriously, there is no comparison. There is a factor of almost 58 for the USA alone. And when was the last time you saw thousands of people camping in front of book stores to get the latest Left Behind novel? Your "argument" is purest speculation because "Left Behind" doesn't even have a tenth of HP's popularity. If "Left Behind" had somehow become a super-mega-seller that triggered an era in which kids actually pick up books again, I'm pretty sure that the author would get a few invitations, too. But your speculation about fictional scenarios is as good as mine.
It would be news if a university chose the Left Behind author over JKR. But Rowling's success was incredible (and it was worldwide - quick, how well is Left Behind selling outside the US?), long before any character suddenly turned gay. How many book series by new authors instantly score seven movie contracts? Inviting her is Not News. Nobody would seriously assume that she was invited because of Dumbledore being gay. Even you have to admit that JKR wrote a stunningly successful series.
Trying to spin this into a story about liberals inviting her because a character is gay... really, I'm amazed. It's hilariously silly to deny that she was invited because she's one of the most popular living authors on the planet. --Jenkins 18:23, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Jenkins, your comments illustrate liberal denial. If you don't think politics plays an overriding role in whom liberal universities invite to give commencement addresses, then you need either to look around more than you have or, more likely, trying opening your mind. Nobody seriously doubts the role of politics in selecting commencement speakers, and I doubt as much as 5% of the commencement speakers at Harvard over the past 30 years have been conservative.--Aschlafly 18:34, 24 January 2008 (EST)
And it's denial to say that it was that comment that got her invited. Do you think that JKR would not have been invited if she hadn't made that comment? If so, you need to explain to me why not. Simply waving your hand accusing more and more people of liberal denial won't be enough. Also, I'd ask for sources for your made-up statistics, but since you will get to decide who deserves to be called a conservative, that would be futile.
Do you deny that she is one of the most popular authors on the planet? Do you deny that her books were anticipated all over the globe? Do you deny that she is famous enough to deserve an invitation? --Jenkins 18:41, 24 January 2008 (EST)

Actually, of the speakers that are easily quantifiable, I would put as conservative speakers Alan Greenspan, Colin Powell, C. Douglas Dillon, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, John Foster Dulles, and Henry Cabot Lodge. --Jdellaro 19:08, 24 January 2008 (EST)

Jdellaro, you have a lot to learn about what a conservative is. None in your list is even close. Please spend some time reading entries here ... with an open mind. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 22:00, 24 January 2008 (EST)

John Foster Dulles and Henry Cabot Lodge not conservatives?? They must be spinning in their graves with a comment like that!!.--Nik77uk 11:48, 25 January 2008 (GMT)

No, I'm confident they are not "spinning in their graves" over that. For example, do a search on "Henry Cabot Lodge" and "liberal Republican" on Google and immediately see ample proof. Better yet, read and learn here with a more open mind. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 07:43, 25 January 2008 (EST)
Just so I understand, Aschlafly---you consider Harvard a liberal institution?--Jdellaro 07:48, 25 January 2008 (EST)
Heh, funny, exactly what I predicted: Andy gets to decide who is conservative. :)
Also, the statement on the front page still claims that she got invited because she made a character gay. When will this be corrected, or do I have to assume that Conservapedia's official position is that JKR wouldn't have been invited if she hadn't made that decision and that being one of the most popular living authors on Earth didn't wasn't the deciding reason? --Jenkins 09:26, 25 January 2008 (EST)

I did a google search with 'Henry Cabot Lodge' and 'Liberal Replublican' and mostly got sites about his son (Henry Cabot Lodge Jr). When I did a search search on 'Henry Cabot Lodge' and 'Conservative' I got several sites talking about how he was part of the conservative wing of the Republican party. Am I missing something? I try and keep an open mind by reviewing several sites (including Conservapedia). Nik77uk 15:08, 25 January 2008 (GMT)

"Jr." is who we're talking about. The father died over 80 years ago! Wow, if that's how far one has to go back to find a conservative commencement speaker at Harvard, then that really proves the point.--Aschlafly 10:19, 25 January 2008 (EST)
Let's assume for a moment that Harvard is an evil den of Liberal Alchemy where they conjure up potions on how to elimintate God in a big black cauldron. If this were to be fact then wouldn't you suppose that they would have a 'liberal' speaker at their commencement speech? Would it make sense to have someone come in and critisize everyting they belive in? By extension, i doubt we'll ever see Jeffree Star or Bill Maher saying anything at Trinity College or the like. But that's just me.--Iconoclastbeggar 21:29, 25 January 2008 (EST)

I notice that Aschlalfy has not answered any of Jenkins questions on Rowleys invitation to Harvard. Why is this? Are you, Andrew, unable to answer or just unwilling? MetcalfeM

The answer is obvious. The people at Harvard who choose the commencement speaker are very liberal. If you doubt that, identify a conservative picked in the last 40 years. Good luck. Because the selection committee is liberal, of course liberal comments by candidates help them get selected. That's simple logic.--Aschlafly 17:36, 27 January 2008 (EST)

So, are you stating then that the fact she is a best selling author (and everything else listed by Jenkins) has nothing to do with it and it was because of her liberal comments only? MetcalfeM

I've not taken a lot of notice of this discussion, but I'd say that her being a best-selling author has a lot to do with it, but her liberal comments would also. That is, they would invite best-selling authors making liberal comments, but not unknowns making liberal comments, unknowns making conservative comments, nor best-selling authors making conservative comments. That last one would be the one that you would most likely dispute, to which I'd reply that it would depend on how prominent they were and how "conservative" their comments were. If their comments were favourable to young-Earth creation, for instance, I wouldn't expect them to get invited no matter how well they had sold. But a mildly-conservative comment may not prevent a really-well-known person from being invited. Philip J. Rayment 19:28, 27 January 2008 (EST)

Giuliani; almost sad

I just saw Andy's post to the main page about Romney leading in Florida; I know Giuliani was banking almost entirely on Florida, and while I can't say I have tons of compassion for a pro-choicer "republican" politician, it almost makes me sad to see his bid vanish so easily, and especially with all the work he's put into it.-MexMax 21:42, 24 January 2008 (EST)

It was inevitable. We're talking about a guy who falls behind Dr. Paul fairly often, and has even fallen behind Hunter on occasion. Barikada 21:46, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Well, he hasn't really campaigned in any of the states where primaries or caucuses have occurred thus far. Moreover he's been relying primarily on name recognition and 9/11 to get him elected. I haven't heard him speak substantively about policies he would support. He's a bit of an empty suit. SSchultz 21:49, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Yeah, more or less. One trick pony. Barikada 21:50, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Giuliani has always been merely a creation of the liberal media, and nothing more. By the way, MexMax, I think you meant to say a "pro-choice" Republican rather than "pro-lifer" Republican. Giuliani is pro-choice, or simply pro-abortion.--Aschlafly 21:55, 24 January 2008 (EST)
No, I'm pretty sure that Rudy Giuliani is, in fact, a real person... Barikada 21:56, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Oh my... that was an embarrassing mistake to make. Thank you Andy... but what he means is that his candidacy, and the idea that there was anything to it, was a creation of the liberal media. That's a good point.MexMax 22:00, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Wait... So at no point did Rudy Giuliani hope to run for president? Dude... That's absurd. Barikada 22:04, 24 January 2008 (EST)
You're deliberately misinterpreting my words. What I was saying is that the public perception that he had a shot was a creation of the liberal media.MexMax 22:07, 24 January 2008 (EST)
Oh. That makes more sense. Thanks for clearing that up, then. Barikada 22:08, 24 January 2008 (EST)
So, when this poll was taken, one third of republicans were lying? Or this poll? Or this one? Simply put, the nomination was Giuliani's nomination to lose and he seems to have managed to do it. SSchultz 22:19, 24 January 2008 (EST)

Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned

An interesting study, although more details would have been good. Simply comparing opinions of Clinotn/Gore and Bush/Cheney begs the question of equivilence. IIRC, Bush's general popularity has been below what Clinton's was, for much of his time in office. A few anecdotes fill out the article, but I would like to know how the "extreme" groups viewed a wider variety of people, not just the repective presidents.

Other than that, this is an opinion column that cits a few anecdotes, before making a sweeping generalization. I am amused, however, that CP would post the line "Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned", when more often, on CP, liberals are considered anything but open-minded, they are demonized about as thoroughly as anyone could be. This belies the very point that the columnist was trying to make. Boomcoach 14:38, 25 January 2008 (EST)

While the news section contains the direct quote from the article, I'd have to correct the presumption that the writer makes. Liberals don't think conservatives, in general, are really, really bad people---even according to this "study". Rather, liberals held negative opinions regarding two SPECIFIC conservatives, Bush and Cheney. To go further, I've heard conservative talk-radio hosts state that Bush isn't a conservative, but merely a Republican. But that's an aside. The main point is that liberals in this study didn't use a broad stroke to paint all conservatives as bad, only the two they were asked about--Bush and Cheney. --Jdellaro 17:27, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Also, the wide-spread use of the phrase 'liberal deceit' plus quite a few entries on this very site (see Placement bias, Photo bias and Liberal Style, for three classic examples) seems to utterly disprove the assertation made by the item - certainly the conservatives who use 'liberal deceit' so freely and write these pages obviously believe liberals are evil, conniving and hypocritical, not merely 'misguided'. An examination of many pages of this site, most notably history pages of several articles, seem to underline this. Zmidponk 21:25, 25 January 2008 (EST)
From user AmeriCan's userpage:
"Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant." Ann Coulter
Appears some conservatives don't hold liberals as "well-intentioned". --Jdellaro 08:13, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Australia Day

Happy Australia Day everyone! -- Ferret Nice old chat 07:14, 26 January 2008 (AEDT)

And to you too! Philip J. Rayment 05:06, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Accusations of Romney wearing a wire

Was Romney Wired? Barikada 22:11, 25 January 2008 (EST)

Seems far-fetched. Even MSNBC, no friend of Romney, dismisses the rumor.--Aschlafly 08:30, 26 January 2008 (EST)
No, MSNBC says that a mic was left on that let the whisper through. That's entirely different from dismissing it. Barikada 14:32, 26 January 2008 (EST)

So... the Whisper isn't newsworthy? Barikada 18:26, 31 January 2008 (EST)

US Presidential Odds

Latest odds from William Hill (note, I'm not encouraging gambling, but these things are usually more indicative than polls)

Clinton 1/1
McCain 10/3
Obama 4/1
Romney 6/1
Giuliani 16/1
Bloomberg 20/1 (!)
Huckabee 66/1
Paul 100/1

McCain and Clinton are both odds-on (ie better than 50/50 chance) of winning their respective nominations.

If I was a betting man (which I'm not), I'd be looking at a couple of dollars on Mr Huckabee -- Ferret Nice old chat 03:00, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Clinton's a definite winner now (1/1)? TheGuy 08:34, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Just even money to be the winner.--Jdellaro 08:35, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Are these the odds to win the nomination, or to win the presidency? FredWest 10:24, 26 January 2008 (EST)
It appears from these odds (as well as the comment following them) that these are odds on winning the presidency. --Jdellaro 10:26, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Correct in both your responses, Jdellaro. 1/1 means even money, which would be quoted as $2.00 in Australian odds TheGuy. And they are odds for winning the overall prize. McCain is 4/5 ($1.80) to win the Republican nomination. -- Ferret Nice old chat 15:19, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Are there any other Americans like myself who find it extremely worrying that in the event of Hilary Clinton winning the Republican nomination and then the main election, the last four Presidents of the USA will have been Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton?

I find it so very worrying because in a democracy power is not supposed to be centred around a small clutch of people, and yet for 20 odd years, the presidency would have been in the hands of the same two families. To me this is not a democracy, especially given the suspicious circumstance of G.W Bush Jnr's two election wins. I just want to know if anybody feels this way as well? Entheogenicorder 12:19, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Well, I'm not an American, and I'm probably not like you, but it would be an interesting result, perhaps showing that America has gone into an never-ending circle like a stuck record. But it wouldn't be the Republican Party that she won the nomination for, although the party wouldn't matter; it's the presidency that is the key point.
As for it being democracy, why not? Democracy is the people having their say, and if they say they want to go in circles, that doesn't mean that it's no longer a democracy.
Philip J. Rayment 08:28, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Okay, the Republican bit was a terrible mistake, sorry. I should have also emphasized the contentious election result(s) of G.W Bush Jnr in my thinking that it no longer represents a democracy. However, I would personally point to the two party system as un-democratic anyway, as it only represents a limited variety of opinions. Also I am worried by the recent activities and legislative changes made by G.W Bush.Entheogenicorder 15:00, 30 January 2008 (EST)
As someone who enjoys a voting system better than the American one, you have my agreement on the shortcomings of the two-party system! Philip J. Rayment 20:41, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Hi

Hi, I'm new here, and I was wondering, why did you found this website? Sitbasrolt 13:30, 26 January 2008 (EST)

To help inform those with open minds. Does that include you?--Aschlafly 13:41, 26 January 2008 (EST)
He means "to help indoctrinate youth". He has a slightly different mode of speech than most people. --MakeTomorrow 13:57, 26 January 2008 (EST)
It is more like this: If you want to learn, then this site is trustworthy and clean. MakeTomorrow is a little sarcastic. :P ~BCSTalk2ME 14:01, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Well, that was slightly different than what I expected, thanks for restoring some of my faith in humanity. However, "trustworthy" I could take issue with. --MakeTomorrow 14:02, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Maybe you have different beliefs and I do not judge you by them. I have friends of all kinds and who believe many different things than I do. I believe in judge by the heart not the shirt. --~BCSTalk2ME 14:14, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Is this real?

Is this site real? Seriously? That's not a loaded question, I just really, really can't tell. Is it meant to be a joke of some sort?--Ticktock 14:07, 26 January 2008 (EST)

This site is quite serious. Why would it be a joke and not real? ~BCSTalk2ME 14:24, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Some of the articles seem a little... stereotypically, over-the-top conservative, that's all. I even asked some conservative friends to look at it, and even they came to the conclusion that it probably wasn't real. --Ticktock 15:31, 26 January 2008 (EST)
We've got somebody up above claiming that if AI was possible, it would've been done already. Of course it'll look a bit goofy. Barikada 15:35, 26 January 2008 (EST)

File under stupid...

The news item commencing with the above pejorative phrase appears to have entirely missed the point. Did the author actually watch the clip referred to?

Quite clearly the clip was tongue-in-cheek. It was attempting to make a point about interconnectedness, but in a humorous way (albeit including some quite edgy subject matter). It would be quite clear to those of even a moderate intelligence that it is not intended as a serious assessment of the connection between chicken dinners and terrorism.

Just because Fox News don't get it doesn't mean that this site must also look silly. --GDewey 17:13, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Why not give some useful information instead of ranting?RobertK 17:30, 26 January 2008 (EST)
He seems right on to me. Barikada 17:33, 26 January 2008 (EST)
I watched the clip and didn't think it was trying to be humorous, unless something was seriously lost in translation. I also showed it to a friend who thought it was just entirely bizzare, but funny? No way. People actually make arguments like that, you know. Probably the only link in that whole chain that I've never actually seen anyone claim is that refugees will wind up in terrorist training camps. HelpJazz 17:57, 26 January 2008 (EST)
And the tango music wasn't a clue? --GDewey 18:02, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Unless you have an official statement from the creator of the video as well as the Arabic television network which broadcast it that it was in fact "tongue-in-cheek", we just cannot accept your explanation of it, GDewey. Karajou 18:40, 26 January 2008 (EST)
This is the reason they have to print retractions every April 2nd... Barikada 18:44, 26 January 2008 (EST)
You see people? Karajou understands the concept of saying something "tongue-in-cheek". --GDewey 19:14, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Sorry Barikada/GDewey/HelpJazz but Karajou is quite right, the fact that the creator hasn't gone to the substantial trouble of translating an official statement into english and publicising it so we can read it, and the fact that the television network hasn't bothered to identify the video as a hoax clearly indicates that it must be real, and only serves to support our suspicions that the aggressors against the free world are ill informed (if not ignorant) and quite happy to lie to the international community in order to justify their actions.
I strongly suggest that we continue this offensive in order to demonstrate the difficulties we will have in bringing freedom and liberty to countries once we overthrow their governments. Perhaps with the next article we could kill two birds with one stone, the video not only showing the volatility of terrorists to a small "irritant" (this happens to the Pope all the time, but he doesn't get upset) but also the liberal deceit in labelling the video a "spoof", clearly demonstrating their ignorance about the situation overseas and their willingness to let political correctness cloud their judgement when approaching these issues.
GDewey, perhaps you could actually acquaint yourself with a tounge in cheek video before making false accusations. This video for instance is clearly a spoof of the news, drawing on the fears of its viewers (computer crime, bullying, domestic terrorism etc) in order to produce a comic masterpiece. If you cannot tell the difference between that and the original article then you obviously do not possess the level of comprehension required for this site. TheGuy 19:35, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Clearly, Anonymous does, in fact, blow up yellow vans. How can you argue that such a thing is a spoof? How can you argue against the safety of America's yellow vans against hackers on steroids from secret websites?
HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?! Barikada 19:39, 26 January 2008 (EST)
You are obviously a deluded troll, that video was clearly a spoof. If there was a terrorist organisation such as Anonymous it would have been found and shut down by now, the FBI/CIA make up the top intelligence community in the world. If there's something to be found they would have found it, if you want proof of their skills just consider that even if there is nothing to be found they still manage to find it. The only thing which they don't do is fail to find something that is there to be found. So please, stop being a parodic troll, we have better things to do than sit around and explain to someone why a video is so clearly a spoof. TheGuy 19:46, 26 January 2008 (EST)
You're arguing against the integrity of Fox News! They would never grossly exaggerate, flat-out lie or overblow small issues! Barikada 19:53, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Oh, so now you're trying to criticise the top news organisation in the world in order to promote your liberal ideologies? Sure some of their stories may go against your beliefs, but that is only because they are "fair and balanced", unlike most other main stream media outlets which only ever allow one side of the story to be shown.

And there is nothing wrong with a network airing an occasional spoof, it helps to lighten up the otherwise somber nature of the news caused by the terrorist aggressors and the liberal deceit, and I think that any intelligent person is able to see it for what it is. It's a good thing that unlike you conservatives have a sense of humor, otherwise we'd start vilifying people for their beliefs and the like. TheGuy 20:01, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Wow. You honestly think Fox News is 'fair and balanced'? Really? I am genuinely stunned. Well, in reference to the three items Barikada linked to above, here's a few facts - in the first item, 'Anonymous', as an organisation, simply does not exist. Period. 'Anonymous' is the name that many forums and bulletin boards give to anyone that posts without first registering an account. The phrase, 'we are Anonymous, and we are legion' is a tongue in cheek reference to how many posts you can see in those forums, apparantly all by the same poster named 'Anonymous', and also to the fact that the way the internet works, it is, in fact, fairly easy to remain anonymous, so, of course, any time anyone hacks someone else's website, it's done by 'an anonymous hacker', or, if someone posts someone else's personal details online, it's done by 'an anonymous poster', etc, etc, etc.
In the second item, the categorisation of Mass Effect is, basically, utterly wrong. I know because I've played it, unlike the journalist doing the interview, or the 'psychology specialist' on the show. The item portrays it as a game that is full of hardcore porn from beginning to end. In fact, it has a single, two-minute long sequence of partial nudity in the 30 hours or so that it would take you to play through the game, that isn't even as bad as what you might see in a tabloid newspaper, and you may not even see at all, depending on what actions you have taken previously in the game. Bearing in mind that this game is rated as 'M', which, according to the ESRB, means 'suitable for those 17 and older', I don't see the problem.
As for the third item, well, for a start, PSPs are not exclusively for kids, as Fox tries to make out. Secondly, the 'access to porn' that the PSP can easily be turned off - there is a setting that simply makes the PSP unable to open an internet browser, and this setting can be locked using a four-digit combination. Thirdly, if, as in the example given in the item, the kids are accessing this porn by using their PSP through the school network, surely it's the school's responsibility to block access to such sites from their network? After all, if a PSP can access these sites, so can the school's computers. Fourthly, if the children concerned cannot be trusted to NOT go out of their way to find porn using their PSP, then the parents have a very direct solution - take it away from them.
In short, even trying to look on Fox as favourably as possible, the best that can be said is that Fox are completely ignorant of certain facts in these 'news items'. However, it only requires a basic knowledge of the subjects being discussed in these 'news items' in order to NOT be ignorant of some of these facts, so it seem clear to me that Fox are either being grossly incompetent or deliberately biased, or maybe even a combination of both. Zmidponk 16:49, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Poe's law strikes yet again. --GDewey 16:51, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Yes, it did, I admit it. I can only defend myself by pointing out that this IS Conservapedia, after all. ;)Zmidponk 17:43, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Personal rant removed Barikada 20:02, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Pah, so this is how you argue, chosing to vilify others whilst repeating the same mantras over and over again ("tongue in cheek"). I have no doubt that you will continue to defend your position no matter how much evidence is presented against you, as that is the mark of a liberal deceiver.
What you have to understand is that on this site we don't allow political correctness to rule, unlike wikipedia we do not censor other's views no matter how trivial they may seem, and we don't actively search for reasons to block a person who holds a different ideology to us. What you need to understand is that you must do the same, and accept that there are some people who hold an ignorant view of the world (such as the belief that eating chicken leads to global warming and terrorism) and that sometimes a news organisation will run a spoof article for the amusement of its viewers. The sooner you embrace these facts the better. TheGuy 20:15, 26 January 2008 (EST)
But by learning to accept others, we let the terrorists win! Barikada 20:19, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Both of you need to turn down the attacks - don't let this get over heated.--IDuan 20:25, 26 January 2008 (EST)

10/10. Spectacular. --Ihop 21:10, 26 January 2008 (EST)
Poe's Law strikes again. Feebasfactor 21:16, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Newspapers

The breaking news item about newspapers is a bit misleading. While yes, the Chronicle is declining (and as I have never read it I cannot comment on whether or not it is particularly liberal), the article does not specify whether or not the other newspapers are liberal. The relevant passage is "Then recession struck, and readers and advertisers shifted to the Internet. The Chronicle, like most newspapers, has struggled ever since: its weekday circulation fell to 365,000 last year from 513,000 in 2003, a decline of nearly 30 percent." This passage does not mention the political orientation of the newspapers at all.--Phillipps 21:57, 26 January 2008 (EST)

Well, according to CP, all newspapers, with the exception of the New York Post and the Washington Times, are liberal. And the Post and the Times rarely, if ever, turn a profit, so they're not even worth mentioning.--Jdellaro 10:57, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Nobody, not even liberals, seriously deny that big-city newspapers are almost entirely liberal. Just look at whom they endorse if you really doubt it.--Aschlafly 11:29, 27 January 2008 (EST)

How does that happen when most are owned by large corporations? (I not doubting that - I truly don't understand) Spinnydizzy 16:56, 27 January 2008 (GMT)

From where I sit, the Nashville Tennessean, and Murfreesboro Daily News Journal are the two major papers in this area. Both support Democrats every election; both have a clear majority of liberal-leaning columnists and editorials; when letters to the editor are sent and published, more than 80% of the writers are liberal; at the yearly Tennessean Forum Banquet in Nashville for those writers, less than 30 individuals out of more than 300 invited are conservative. Both newspapers are owned by Gannett, which also owns USA Today. Although I don't know the up/down circulation rate of the DNJ, the Tennessean lost some 35% of it's subscribers over the past five years. They, of course, don't have a clue as to why, but they'll accept any excuse for the decline in circulation except the liberalism pervading the paper. Karajou 12:03, 27 January 2008 (EST)
So being a liberal newspaper is what's contributing to its decline, karajou? --Jdellaro 12:19, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Well, what do you think it is? Lack of good comics? Karajou 12:22, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Actually, it's been fairly well-documented as many readers have gone over to reading their news on the Internet, through services such as Google News and Yahoo News, or via individual newspaper's websites. This has led to a major decline in circulation, despite the fact that those two sites (as well as most "news sites") derive their stories from newspapers. Not because the paper is liberal, but newspapers as a whole have declined in readership. If newspapers are "liberal", and it's not a recent trend towards "liberalism", then circulation would've remained somewhat constant. Rather than newspapers suddenly becoming liberal and their numbers declining, the option to view news for free on the Internet has led to the change. --Jdellaro 12:38, 27 January 2008 (EST)
You just confirmed exactly what I said: any excuse but the liberalism. And all I did was cite the two papers from where I live. Karajou 12:41, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Because the liberalism reason doesn't work within the facts. Have more conservative newspapers cropped up to replace the circulation numbers? No. Have conservative newspapers been dropping in circulation as well? Yes. Have newspapers suddenly, within the past five years, become "liberal"? From a conservative standpoint, I'd guess you'd probably say No, they've been liberal for some time. If liberalism is the reason, then it would stand that one of the preceding questions would be answered in the reverse. Now, as I showed above, the answer I provided---the rise of the Internet, seems to satisfy the necessary questions regarding a drop in circulation. Explain to me, using circulation numbers and other facts, how liberalism has caused the decline. I'd accept that reasoning, except it seems that my questions above seem to poke holes in that reasoning through the use of circulation numbers. --Jdellaro 12:54, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Newspapers have not become more liberal, but the general public has become more conservative, is what I think he's trying to say. Turning to internet news doesn't make sense because the internet is even more liberal than the newspapers! On the contrary, people who have cancelled their subscriptions have probably turned to fox news or stopped reading the news completely.
"Have conservative newspapers been dropping in circulation as well?" Please show this with facts.
"Explain to me, using circulation numbers and other facts, how liberalism has caused the decline." Is that not what I just did? --Ihop 13:20, 27 January 2008 (EST)
To start, I disagree that the general public has become more conservative. Looking at recent voting numbers, it seems that Democrats aka liberalism, are on the increase. Registration numbers seem to indicate lately that more people consider themselves Democrats than Republicans. So I would question if the general population is becoming more conservative. Also, despite your claim of the liberalism of the Internet, news readership on the Internet has grow exponentially. Which would seem to indicate that it is picking up some, if not most of the readers that are no longer purchasing newspapers.
As for the drop in newspaper circulation amongst conservative newspapers, see the graph from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and see the drop in readership for the WSJ and the New York Post, both owned by Rupert Murdoch. Circulation Numbers--Jdellaro 13:39, 27 January 2008 (EST)
There is some correlation with the drop in circulation for particularly liberal papers, like the Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution and Chicago Sun-Times, which became an Obama cheerleading paper and now may be going out of business, or so I heard. Less liberal papers, like the USA Today and WSJ, are holding their own.
But even if there isn't a correlation between liberal views and decline of the papers, there's no doubt that newspapers as a whole are declining quickly and that, as a whole, they are liberal. A cause-and-effect explanation for the declined is not essential to noticing the phenomenon itself.--Aschlafly 17:12, 27 January 2008 (EST)
And yet you insist on making the assumption that, because people are moving to more modern media for their information, liberalism is on a decline. Barikada 00:18, 28 January 2008 (EST)
I have to agree that most major newspapers have a liberal slant, but as far as endorsements of candidates go, in the last presidential election, the major papers went about 50/50 Bush/Kerry.RobertK 10:40, 28 January 2008 (EST)

Is There A Role For Wikipedia?

Not sure where to put this, so if it's in the wrong spot, let me know and I'll move (or you can move and just tell me where it went) :--) Is there a role for Wikipedia? While adding the 2000 NFL Draft results here yesterday, I wondered if it was really necessary. Are there certain fact-based topics that really don't bare repeating? For things like results of NFL drafts, or baseball seasons, that are statistical and unarguable---should CP repeat those articles? If you were to look at the formatting of the NFL drats for Wikipedia, they objectively do a good job. They just have more information on the results of the draft. I wouldn't think, for the most part, that those kinds of things have a liberal or conservative bent. Things like creationism, obviously there are different viewpoints and CP has a legitimate discussion. But for how the 1998 Yankees did, that's not something that's really up for discussion. It is what it is, end of argument. Should CP look to duplicate those types of entries, or rather focus on items where a difference can be seen? Are people coming here for the winner of Super Bowl V, or are they coming for information that can be presented in different (POV) ways?--Jdellaro 13:18, 27 January 2008 (EST)

The object of this game would be to make the page better than Wikipedia's in terms of layout and presentation; the write-up can be original, and don't worry about the stats. If you're a die-hard Yankees fan, go for it. Karajou 13:28, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Wikipedia is useful to see how radical secularists are thinking, and to see what kind of useless trivia they are obsessed about.RobertK 13:29, 27 January 2008 (EST)
RobertK---should inherently-fact based items be reposted here then? Would that be necessary or functional here? --Jdellaro 13:40, 27 January 2008 (EST)
I'm new, but it depends on what you mean by "inherently fact based". Even if something is an "undisputed fact", the fact that it was reported and not something else can lead to liberal bias. RobertK 13:42, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Absolutely correct about fact-based. What I meant as inherently fact-based are statistics in sports, for instance. The Chicago Bulls won three championships in a row twice. That is what I meant by inherently fact-based. There's no questioning that statistic, it happened and it has no liberal or conservative bent. Is that something that you think should be included on Conservapedia---who won each of the NBA championships since its creation, for instance.--Jdellaro 13:48, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Absolutely yes those facts should be here; NBA Championships; NHL Championships; the list goes on. Karajou 13:52, 27 January 2008 (EST)

I may or may not be invoking Poe's Law here, but... seriously? The darn dirty evil liberals are going to skew DRAFT RESULTS?!

Even the libs know the phrase "Don't mess with football!" Barikada 15:40, 27 January 2008 (EST)

HPV Vaccination

You missed this: "Neither U.S. nor European health officials have directly linked the deaths or miscarriages to Gardasil." TheGuy 20:42, 27 January 2008 (EST)

And from the article FoxNews linked to: "No causal relationship has been established between the deaths of the young women and the administration of Gardasil." TheGuy 20:43, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Public officials almost never admit they erred, and thus such denials of connection are to be expected. Don't expect Merck to admit it hurt anyone either. Those denials are meaningless. Healthy young women don't unexpected drop dead without a cause.--Aschlafly 21:00, 27 January 2008 (EST)
I think it would be prudent to acknowledge that not all public servents are liberals, and that many would stop and consider the fallout from the scandal that would result if they were found to be knowingly lying, as opposed to admitting that further tests showed that their initial conclusions were incorrect.
I will also remind you that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. If you believe that the HPV vaccination is responsible for these deaths please present some evidence other than a flimsy correlation. Sure, young women don't drop dead for no cause, but there could easily have been other causes unrelated to the vaccination that have not yet been reported. I understand that it would be extremely dangerous to simply pretend that vaccinations and the like do not have negative side effects, however when we have two, very large independent health authorities presenting a different view to the less knowledgeable minds of us, at least in this area (an engineer/lawyer and 1st year medical student don't hold much authority against a large group of scientists and doctors) then perhaps we should consider whether we are correct in our accusations. TheGuy 21:10, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Drug company and government watchdog cover-up GlaxoSmithKline distorts studies Merck and Schering-Plough have been concealing the negative results of their study of the cholesterol drugs Vytorin, Zetia and Zocor since April 2006 Ritalin - The cover-up of suicides Drug Companies Cover Up PPA Dangers WHO report says "Most of the panellists on the FDA committee had financial ties to the manufacturers "TheGuy": you are woefully mis- or under-informed. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 05:24, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Fox, I don't think i've seen one of those that deals with the HPV Vaccine. Should we chalk it up to the truthiness of the matter, or shall we find something that works?
My views...it's how many people lost, over how many saved? Sometimes there must be sacrifice to aid the greater good. If fifty people die, and ten million are saved by this vaccine, how can I let those millions of lives die, simply for those fifty? The choice is clear in my mind. CodyH 07:47 28 January 2008 [CST]
Are you going to be one of the fifty, CodyH? Karajou 08:50, 28 January 2008 (EST)
If need be, then yes. I've already sworn to defend my Constitution, it's not much more of a stretch to defend the people under it. I'm willing to be one of those fifty if ten million are saved by my actions. Now, to reverse the question: How about you, Karajou? You've served the constitution before. Do you serve the people? CodyH 07:53 28 January 2008 [CST]
So by "serving the people" do you mean that I have to be put in a line to test a questionable vaccine because you won't? Do not start putting words in my mouth, CodyH. Karajou 09:03, 28 January 2008 (EST)
I simply asked would you be one of those who was sacrificed. I never put the words in your mouth, I merely asked the question. And who said I wouldn't take part? I already stated that I would gladly give my existence so others may live, and I asked if you would do the same. The least you can do is respond in kind. CodyH 08:07 28 January 2008 [CST]
I have answered it, and unfortunately, one of the many millions of people that myself and others like me who've put their lives on the front lines to defend chooses to come here and not only question my motives, but to give a back-handed accusation of not doing enough for his kind, such as standing in a line to get possibly killed by a quack's vaccination. I suggest you cease it now. Karajou 09:15, 28 January 2008 (EST)
I never questioned your motives. I never accused you of anything. My own posts absolve me of the accusations. I simply asked the question you asked me, and expected a Yes or No rsponse, as I gave. But I will cease. I did't want a simple question to become such a heated issue. CodyH 08:18 28 January 2008 [CST]
The HPV Vaccine is $450 for three doses, and racks up big marginal profits for Merck. We can expect Merck and the people it lobbies in government to avoid admitting the harm. The vaccine is given to young girls, only 3% of whom could ever possibly benefit, and that benefit (if any) would be decades down the road for them and almost certainly would require booster shots that they would need. The vaccine itself may cause cancer: Merck pointedly refrained from testing for that. No, unsuspecting victims should not be dying for this.--Aschlafly 09:27, 28 January 2008 (EST)

The CDC study on the HPV Vaccine [1], which includes cost, effectiveness, and side effects. Andy, may I ask where you recieved your information? I would like to check and verify this source myself, to be better informed CodyH 08:35 28 January 2008 [CST]

Read our entry on the HPV vaccine. The CDC promotional information downplays but confirms some key points (e.g., likely need for a booster) and artfully omits other points (e.g., Merck did not test to see if the vaccine itself causes cancer).--Aschlafly 09:40, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Read, studied. The only signifigant part was a link that did not work, to the JAMA study. The MSNBC story was interesting that out of all the people who recieved it, only 180 fainted from the vaccine. The pain reported sounds much like that for the Anthrax vaccine [Painful, burning sensation lasting less than an hour]. As for the 3%, that does not cover any future improvements to the vaccine, that may cover different strains. CodyH 08:58 28 January 2008 [CST]
Actually, Andy, the original CDC study states that vaccinated women were challenged with HPV after 5 years and the vaccine was still effective and that there's no reason to believe it would cease to be effective over time.
Additionally, the main page headline is somewhat misleading about the deaths and miscarriages. During the clinical trials involving over 21,000 subjects there were 17 deaths: 7 in the placebo group and 10 in the trial group, none of which were considered to be vaccine related. Additionally, there were about the same number of pregnancies in the trial and control groups, and about the same number of miscarriages (the control group actually had a few more). The vaccine clearly doesn't increase the chance of death, nor the chance of miscarriage. Quite unusual, Andy... Conservapedia keeps pushing this anti-vaccination POV without any data, except for JPANDS, of course. SSchultz 20:10, 28 January 2008 (EST)
A little anecdote, every year innocent people get killed by ambulances which are racing to save somebody's life, and yet we still allow this practice because it saves people's lives. The article that CP linked to (throught the FoxNews article) states that the vaccination will save 1000 lives per year, and we're sitting around discussing fives deaths which have not been linked to the vaccination by two major health bodies!!!. Anyone else see the problem here? TheGuy 03:41, 29 January 2008 (EST)
Also, if this vaccine were to protect against an illness that wasn't an STI (of sorts), would Conservatives be so against it? Or is it because it's free for everyone? Really. I'm curious.--Iconoclastbeggar 20:19, 29 January 2008 (EST)

Gordon B. Hinckley-President Of The LDS Church

The Prophet and President of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints died at the age of 97 this evening. Patricia 23:21, 27 January 2008 (EST)

Jerry Springer the Opera

Ya' know...While JStO is, by all accounts, profane and likely blasphemous garbage, it's a bit of a stretch to claim it's the work of the liberal elite, unless by "liberal elite" you mean "a couple of half-wit Brits". On top of that, it's old news--this thing's been around for almost five years now....--RossC 08:14, 28 January 2008 (EST)

I don't think it's a stretch at all. Karajou 08:50, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Indeed not: it was screened on television by the BBC. See Christian Voice - they tried to prosecute the BBC and the [promoters for blasphemy. MatthewHopkins 08:56, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Ah! Okay, then. The video link isn't working for me; didn't know that it'd been given an official media impramatur, as it were. I thought it was still a back-woods stage production--RossC 08:58, 28 January 2008 (EST)

Misdiagnosed hearing problem

A story about cotton in the kid's ear should not be heralded as a cure for deafness. First of all, he could hear out of the other ear. Second, "wax in the ear" is not something you grow out of; a nurse can remove wax with a softening agent and warm water. Let's save the main page for more serious stuff. --Ed Poor Talk 19:06, 29 January 2008 (EST)

Ed, you're missing the point. The story is an indictment of the run-down socialist National Health Service in the UK and the failure of several left-wing doctors to spot a simple problem. MatthewHopkins 06:39, 30 January 2008 (EST)
MatthewHopkins, do you have any evidence that the doctors who dealt with this case were in fact left-wing? Do you know which way they voted in the last election, perhaps? Or are you suggesting that, because they work for the NHS, that they are, in fact, socialists? Because I have to tell you, the report that inspired the creation of the NHS, and the rest of the Welfare State in the UK was commissioned by Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Second World War. It is true, he was head of a national unity government, but he was a member of the Conservative party. And one final point; do you really think that one case of misdiagnosis by NHS doctors is really grounds for suggesting that The UK's health service is run-down? I can give you many examples just from my own family of succesful treatment on the NHS. I myself can testify to the quality of their ENT care. Plus I am sure there are many other service-users who will agree with me. The NHS has its problems, but service quality really isn't one of them. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Liberalnproud (talk)
The NHS was the creation of the left-wing socialist Aneurin Bevan. To pretend that it does not provide socialised medicine and is an organisation with fundamentally left-wing ideological roots is perverse. And please sign your posts - four tildes (these ~ things). MatthewHopkins 08:56, 30 January 2008 (EST)
There is private health care in the UK as well as the NHS. This article did not mention if the family used private or NHS care. Doctors make mistakes all the time both in the public and private sectors - this in itself does not mean the system is inherently bad.Nik77Uk 14:00, 30 January 2008 (GMT)

In a socialist culture there is no concept of personal responsibility - and so in the NHS, as in other socialist organisations, the making of mistakes, and the failure of the organisation to rectify errors, becomes systematic and institutional. I very much doubt that this family used private healthcare. MatthewHopkins 09:21, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Thank God that no private healthcare system makes any mistakes, has no systemic problems, and always takes personal responsibility! --Jdellaro 09:32, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Forgive me, I thought the signature would appear automatically. Nik77UK is right, none of the articles I have read on the subject have said that the consultants worked for the NHS (and I have read articles from both left- and right-wing papers). Even if they were NHS doctors, I don't think you can argue that they were 'left-wing'. The institution may be based on left-wing ideology, but that is no reason to assume its employees are in any way left-wing. You are not required to be left-wing to work for the NHS. I think it is a little over-the-top to describe my belief that the NHS is not inherently left-wing as 'perverse'. Not all support for the NHS is left-wing: my grandmother was as conservative as they come, yet she was an ardent supporter of the NHS all her life. And, a little off-topic perhaps, I think it is rather presumptuous of you to assume I don't know what a tilde is. Liberalnproud 09:33, 30 January 2008 (EST)

"I very much doubt that this family used private healthcare" = "I don't have proof that it was the NHS but I will blame them anyway!!". Also there are systemic and institutional problems in private industry as well or the talking points about the HPV vaccine (above) are meaningless. .Nik77Uk 14:3630 January 2008 (GMT)

My apologies to Liberalnproud - but worse, surely, to patronise by usingthe term undefined to someone who doesn't know? As for the NHS employees: they may not feel themselves to be leftists, or vote leftist, but they are totally imbued in the socialist culture of the NHS. The so-called 'welfare state' has a lot to answer for in eroding the morale of the British people, including, seemingly, your own. MatthewHopkins 09:44, 30 January 2008 (EST)
There is no serious drive from the right wing in the UK to replace the NHS with a private system such as that which exists in the US. Even Mrs Thatcher never proposed such a thing, although she did enable a more open market for private healthcare hoping that it might bring some beneficial market pressure to the NHS.
While there are undoubtedly criticisms of the NHS (it would truly bizarre if there weren't in such a huge organisation), many of the problems associated with the NHS are often linked to private companies particularly in the area of IT services. Blaming all NHS problems on a spurious accusation that it is inherently socialist is a very weak argument.
Do you have examples of an eroded British morale? Ajkgordon 09:46, 30 January 2008 (EST)
The lazy acquiescence in the many manifestations of socialism in British public life, and the featherbedded 'let Jack do it' culture - shared, to my dismay, by a number of Conservapedians. The boy's father is a single-parent lorry driver: scarcely the core market for private medicine in the UK. MatthewHopkins 09:50, 30 January 2008 (EST)
How do you know that any Conservapedians share this asserted "lazy acquiescence" you so describe? Ajkgordon 11:12, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Just take a look at some of the apologias for socialism, your own in this section included. MatthewHopkins 11:23, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Which apologies for socialism would those be? Ajkgordon 11:43, 30 January 2008 (EST)
While there are undoubtedly criticisms of the NHS (it would truly bizarre if there weren't in such a huge organisation), many of the problems associated with the NHS are often linked to private companies particularly in the area of IT services. for example. Making unfounded criticisms of the very limited private contractors in the NHS while ignoring the red elephant in the ward and the socialist beam in your own eye. Your posts, such as they are, boil down to Liberal deceit. MatthewHopkins 11:52, 30 January 2008 (EST)
LOL! That only works if you accept the assertion that the NHS is socialist, which I don't. Sure, it was born from left-wing principles and is still considered the pre-eminent achievement of any Labour government. But to assert that the NHS is, in itself, socialist is to ignore the fact that no Conservative government has ever tried to dismantle it even during its weakest and most unpopular periods. The chances of David Cameron replacing it with a US-style private system are as likely as the same being done by Gordon Brown. That of course doesn't deny its socialist roots but it does deny that only socialists support it. And, to be realistic, there aren't that many socialists in the Labour party any more anyway. Bringing up the subject of private enterprise NHS problems (of which there have been many) is not to excuse the myriad of other NHS problems, only to highlight that NHS problems are not necessarily caused by the NHS's asserted socialism.
And please, your accusations of deceit are simply that - accusations. If you want to discuss this then that's great. But dismissing someone's argument as deceitful is neither helpful nor polite. Ajkgordon 12:12, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Does the 77 in your name refer to your date of birth, Nik77Uk? If so, you will not remember the state of affairs in the UK, and the chaos and incompetence in its nationalised industries, before Margaret Thatcher attacked our problems with partial success. MatthewHopkins 09:58, 30 January 2008 (EST)

I'm sorry, did I give the impression I was suffering from low morale? Rest assured, I am feeling pretty good about myself. Tho, I must agree with you, MatthewHopkins, I don't believe the private healthcare system's key demographic is single-parent lorry-drivers: that is what the NHS is for. To provide treatment for those who cannot afford to go private.Liberalnproud 10:15, 30 January 2008 (EST)

The 77 refers to something else – I am actually a fair bit older and remember the mess Britain was in before the Thatcher revolution. An interesting discussion would be how much of this was due to socialism and how much was due to the rigid class system – both which stifled the entrepreneural spirit within the UK. I think Mrs T went a long way to sorting both out – and made Britain great again!! Nik77Uk 15:15 January 2008 (GMT)

Ed, it was a high news item and it is considered a cure for this boy's deafness. It never stated that it is a "cure" for deafness, merely that it is a cure for this boy's deafness. The doctors obviously did not remove the ear wax because they thought it would just come back. Also, the main page title say partially deaf. Please actually read the title and article before you make ridiculous comments. ~BCSTalk2ME 11:56, 30 January 2008 (EST)

The most worrying thing about this is that not a single doctor carried out otoscopy on this child for nine years! And if they did, they were woefully negligent. If they were unable to visualize the tympanic membrane, they should have treated the ear as blocked - whether by waxy detritus or a foreign object - and continued until the membrane could be observed! I'm jumping to conclusions,I know - but this smacks of the NHS, not private healthcare. Were it a private clinic, they would have tested and tested and tested, racking up their fees :D 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 12:21, 30 January 2008 (EST)
There is that! Although I have to say that my experience of the NHS has always been outstanding. ANECDOTE ALERT! Ajkgordon 12:26, 30 January 2008 (EST)

The NHS has been a godsend to me. I didn't have to worry about health coverage while I set up my business. I have also been able to employ 2 people mainly because I haven't had to worry about providing them with healthcare either. I had private coverage for a while, but found that wasn't worth the extra money. Spinnydizzy 17:06, 30 January 2008 (GMT)

I live on a road where there are a lot of retired people who do not have the income required for private health care. The NHS is all they have and it does them proud. This 'socialized healthcare' controversy genuinely baffles me. Surely it is the duty of any government to provide healthcare to those who are in desperate need of it? Darkmind1970 19:01, 31 January 2008 (EST)

Breaking news section

The 'descriptive' titles that accompany most Breaking News items - are those an interpretation by Conservapedia of plainly-stated data in the article, or meant to capture the bias (if any) of the article? For example, the "Welcome To Airstrip 1" headline relates to an article about increasing surveillance in the U.K., but why isn't the headline something along the lines of "Take that, Osama!" or something even more in line with the Conservative viewpoint? Repub236 13:21, 30 January 2008 (EST)

Its Conservapedia, not Ameripedia :D What does it have to do with Osama anyway? Unless he is living in Britain and using the dog and bone to call up his mates, or sending them letters. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 13:32, 30 January 2008 (EST)
The front page is often used to highlight UK-based stories. With a common language and somewhat similar culture, but a comparatively left-wing approach to things, it can help to demonstrate how a more left-wing approach differs from the US conservative outlook. Gun control, universal healthcare and a left-wing government are all good and recent examples. Ajkgordon 13:38, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Since when isn't it Ameripedia? Have you seen the logo? What I mean is that, as a new user, it's kind of discomforting to see that splashed across the top of the Breaking News section, especially when this article praises the kind of people who, oh, vote for the Patriot Act and call dissenters "traitors" and "liberty-haters". I consider myself a right-wing conservative, alright? But it seems like this website disregards being "right" about anything and is only concerned with conserving the placement of whatever crawled up it's own *** and died.Repub236 13:44, 30 January 2008 (EST)
using the dog and bone to call up his mates And to think CP used to be criticised for hostility to British-English! ;-) MatthewHopkins 14:30, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Fox is right: this is Conservapedia, not Ameripedia. We welcome our British friends and look forward to the day when Britain can return to conservative values that exist in the United States, such as the meaningful right of self-defense, a recognition (as in Washington's Farewell Address) that religion and morality are essential to long-term success for a society, and the bankruptcy of socialism.--Aschlafly 14:59, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Socialism is bankrupt, in Britain as elsewhere. We just haven't had the receivers in yet. MatthewHopkins 15:25, 30 January 2008 (EST)

What exactly do you mean by 'socialism is bankrupt'? What does socialism lack?Liberalnproud 17:30, 30 January 2008 (EST)

This is nothing to do with patriotism, treason and so on, Repub236. Its about totalitarianism. Its about the socialist government that wants complete control of every aspect of our lives. If the national intelligence services, MI5, MI6, or similar want to spy on me and the population of Britain in the interests of the oft-touted "national security", that's one thing. But this is different - this is about a state where even the Post Office and the Ambulance Services (!) have the right to spy on you! To pull a line from the Animal Farm article: he is demonstrating the formal power of the state, and that socialism is no longer just a generic belief in equality made by everyday common animals, but is a greedy force for oppression run by the government. The truth turns out to be stranger than fiction. Oh, and to explain the Ameripedia comment a little better: it doesn't always need a Wild West-style "Take that, Osama!" headline; a reference to Orwell's novel is perfectly well understood by the majority of conservatives :) 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 18:06, 30 January 2008 (EST)
Long time coming: I was KIDDING about the Osama thing. As far as most Long-term Offensive Strikes against Terrorism (known alternatively as the war on terror), he's pretty much old news. Let's bury the hatchet, the hammer, and the sickle; this wasn't meant to turn into a debate on the bankruptcy of socialism nor any other subject. I was just saying it's pretty lame that the title didn't say something congratulating the U.K. on finally taking the steps necessary to keep it's rampant Muslim-extremist constituents under the surveillance required to prevent another 9/11, 7/7, or some other euphemism for "mass-media moneyshot". That's all. Piece. --Repub236 20:42, 30 January 2008 (EST)
These measures do nothing to combat terrorism. I realise that you are taking a swide-swipe at media-driven panic being used as an excuse to introduce ever-more invasive legislation, and I think that is a subject deserving of an article in its own right. However, as the majority of this legislation was not introduced on the back of the "War on Terror", I believe you are completely missing the point; my "angle" on the news report is that this Orwellian Britain is ultimately what socialism is really all about: government oppression. The Earl of Onslow famously addresed David Cameron thus: "...what the government has done to the liberty of the subject is far worse. Note that I say liberty of the subject, not the rights of the citizen. That is because liberties are boundless unless circumscribed by law and rights are, by their nature, circumscribed. It has repealed the law on double jeopardy. With Asbos, it has sent to prison some of the young on hearsay evidence for things that are not even criminal. It has created a centralised register held by the government on all citizens and proposes to force them to have ID cards. It has formed a police force with unprecedented powers of arrest - the Serious Organised Crime Agency - over which the Home Secretary has authority no predecessor has previously enjoyed. Through its control orders, it has introduced a system of deprivation of liberty without trial on the say-so of the executive. It has passed the Civil Contingencies Act that allows a minister to override any statute after the calling of a state of emergency and now there is the Regulatory Reform Bill, which has been described as 'the abolition of parliament bill' and against which our party did not even vote at second reading. This gives gauleiter-like powers to ministers which we are blandly told will not be used. The government has allowed the retention by the police of DNA details of thousands of innocents and it has given us section 81 (6) of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claims) Act 2004 which amends the Nationality, Immigration and Asylums Act 2002, creating a single-tier appeals procedure which Lord Steyn, in a recent lecture, described as, in effect, ousting the jurisdiction of ordinary courts. The government has introduced anti-terrorism stop-and-search powers that are constantly being misused, such as when the elderly Walter Wolfgang was ejected from the Labour conference..."
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever... 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 08:30, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Fox, I am absolutely in accordance with (almost) everything you say above. The attack on personal liberty in the UK, in some cases eroding freedoms that were painstakingly built up over centuries and were a beacon of civilised democracy, has been one of the outstandingly awful legacies of this Labour government. Tony Blair should be remembered for this more than Iraq.
But I question whether this is an outcome of socialism or something else. I wouldn't describe Labour as socialist anymore. It hasn't been truly socialist since Michael Foot's day. It is now liberal democrat and has been for the last fifteen years or so, since John Smith's leadership.
My view is that this unprecedented failure of government of the people for the people by the people has been a combination of essentially three things.
1. The left's irresistible urge to meddle - to tell everyone what's best for them. To centrally control, to set targets, to micro-manage - the personification of this being, of course, Gordon Brown himself, the ultimate micro manager. Reduction of freedom is, in this case, simply a corollary of the "government knows best" attitude rather than a desire to diminish freedom per se.
2. The blind following of American policies such as the Patriot Act in the wake of 9/11. Throwing its lot in the with the US rather than having the courage, however misguided, of the French and Germans and saying "Hang on, is this really the only option?" By following the US's headlong rush in accepting that the price of security is freedom, the UK has become no more free than most of its European neighbours - a status that was unthinkable even a decade ago when we were one of the most free countries on the planet.
3. The scent of government weakness and desire for quick fixes by the security services, particularly the police, and their persuasion that everything from street crime to terrorism can be cured by speed cameras, CCTV and surveillance. Aided of course by the security industry and their hard sell tactics to chief constables.
Simply by blaming socialism, a political stance that hardly exists now in the UK, is to miss the real danger. That an outwardly reasonable government supported by a feckless opposition has managed to persuade much of the electorate that all this stuff is good for them. A sorry state of affairs indeed. Ajkgordon 09:13, 31 January 2008 (EST)
I agree with most of what you've pointed to as being failings of the current government, particularly with regard to the moral cowardice they have displayed these last ten years; but I also think you're being too easy on socialism. Perry says of it: "Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery... In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery... The temptress of socialism is constantly luring us with the offer: 'give up a little of your freedom and I will give you a little more security.' As the experience of this century has demonstrated, the bargain is tempting but never pays off. We end up losing both our freedom and our security."
While I acknowledge that the socialism as practiced by New Labour has drifted from the pure ideology expounded by Marx, I would contend that this is the inherent nature of socialism, and that it will always drift away from its founding principles. Socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore always doomed to fail. Again from Perry: "The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn't work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism. If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, any economic or political system -socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism - would work perfectly."
As for the opposition, the British Conservative Party are an absolute disgrace. They have stood by idly while Blair and Brown dismantled everything that worked and everything that made Britain great. Our Ancient Liberties were stolen on their watch, and if ever there was a reason to dismantle the party and rebuild it completely, that surely is it. 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 10:05, 31 January 2008 (EST)
While you may be right on your views of socialism above, I don't recognise socialism in the current Labour party. While there are undoubtedly many Labour party members who hold many socialist views, there are no discernible major socialist policies that have been put into effect since Tony Blair became Prime Minister. New Labour simply isn't socialist. Social democrat maybe, but even that description is at odds with the fact that New Labour has been consistently more right-wing than other European social democrats and more right-wing than the traditional conservative parties of countries such as France and Germany. Again, I don't see the failures of Blair/Brown as socialist failures but failures of a media and image obsessed, personality driven, short-termist, populist, knee-jerk, meddling Labour government. Ajkgordon 10:55, 31 January 2008 (EST)

Nader story

The external link in the frontpage story about Naders run for president is to the general CNN political ticker page, which has new stories very frequently and does not mention Nader anymore. Could this be replaced with the more specific link: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/01/30/nader-takes-steps-towards-another-white-house-bid/ HermanH 10:14, 31 January 2008 (EST)

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