Post 04-22-2014, 08:48 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Michigan's Affirmative Action Ban Upheld by Supreme Court

It would be great if race weren't an issue in our body politic, but that just isn't the case. Unfortunately, our Supreme Court doesn't agree with me. Justice Sotomayor's dissenting opinion (page 51) was spot on. It is not as simple as saying "racism is over because we have a black President." Racism is alive an well in this country and it is sad we have a Supreme Court who says otherwise. This is just another sad day in our courts rightward shift to force conservative ideology on the entirety of America.
Post 04-22-2014, 05:33 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Did Jesus Consider Himself the Son of God?

Johnny--I was actually trying to stick up for you here. Your argument about how we are supposed to interpret Mark, a cannon written over fifty years after Jesus died, is hardly something that I would accept as fact. A religious scholar who has a mission to tell us what Mark meant to say also proves nothing other than religious people will believe what they want to believe. That is fine for religious people to believe, but non religious people have a hard time accepting facts that are not tangible.
Post 04-22-2014, 04:06 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Did Jesus Consider Himself the Son of God?

Denigrating someone for believing in something that you don't believe in will do nobody any good. A believer will never be convinced there is no God. A nonbeliever will never be convinced there is. I say live and let live.

I believe it's important to respect people of all faiths and non faiths. If you're a Christian, or religious person in general, then conduct your life in a way that would make your God happy. It's just as important to have a moral code to live by if you are not religious. Millions of people in this world do not need a God to tell them how to be a good person. There's nothing wrong with that, as well.

My main issue with the Christian religion is the number of people who have been slaughtered in its name. I'm also looking at the convergence of religion and capitalism with a rising alarm. The savior that Christians worship taught his followers to flog the money changers, to care for the poor, and that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:24) How in the world did that turn into priests being filthy rich? How in the world did that turn into supposedly religious people looking at the poor and blaming them for all of societies ills?
Post 04-20-2014, 01:04 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: PETA's Sad Attempt to Shame First Lady Obama Over Easter Egg Roll

The annual White House Easter Egg roll is set to be held tomorrow, April 21st, continuing a long tradition of young children descending on the South Lawn of the White House to roll their Easter Eggs throughout the grounds. The annual event can be traced all the way back to the mid 1800's, where it used to be held on the grounds of the United States Capitol. It has always been one of the few times during the year that politicians from either stripe can shed their partisan bickering and show young children that there are times we all can get along. That is unless PETA decides to step in and try to steal the limelight.

PETA, formally known as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is very upset that First Lady Michelle Obama is using real, not plastic, eggs for the annual event. The fact they are upset is not surprising, but the fact that the organization used three young girls in a video attacking the First Lady is a little out of bounds.

I fully understand that PETA is against everything that involves animals of any kind, but I wonder if bringing in young children to prove their point will wind up backfiring. This stunt, while shedding light on their organization for a day or two, only goes to show they are so desperate for attention that they will use young children to get their points across.

What does everyone think about PETA's most recent advertising targeting the First Lady? We're they out of bounds for using young children or is this just smart advertising because they got people talking about them again?

CLICK HERE to watch the video and then let us know what you think.
Post 04-18-2014, 11:30 AM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Mt. Everest Hit With Deadly Avalanche

Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain, was struck by a deadly avalanche that has left 12 dead and an unknown number of people injured, making it the deadliest avalanche at the mountain in modern history. Rescuers are searching for survivors under the snow, but face extremely difficult conditions.

Has anyone been following this story? Avalanche's happen all of the time, but this one seems like it was a very powerful one.
Post 04-17-2014, 07:43 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Breaking News From CNN!

jamesn Wrote: Watch PBS, it's not ratings driven like the rest of them.
I would think twice before saying PBS is not a ratings driven organization. They whore themselves out just like everyone else. The Koch brothers invest heavily in PBS and use their status to make sure the company skews their reporting in a way that benefits their line of thought.
Post 04-17-2014, 05:03 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Getting Health Insurance With New Obamacare Exchanges

President Obama just announced that more than 8 million Americans have signed up for health insurance, far exceeding the goal of 7 million individuals signing up for coverage.

We also have concrete numbers that show us the young and healthy are indeed signing up for health insurance. Thirty-five percent of those enrolled are under the age of thirty-five.

The President chastised Republicans for their laser like focus on repealing his signature legislative accomplishment and suggested that they were just going through the "stages of grief" for their inability to derail the law.

I'm sure it's a sad day for Republicans and right wing zealots who don't know what they are angry about, but I can't help but feel a sense of joy for the millions of people who finally have a chance to receive healthcare in this country. Now we just have to convince the far right states to stop denying millions of their citizens affordable healthcare because they don't like our President.


Post 04-17-2014, 04:32 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Breaking News From CNN!

Zach F Wrote: The Titanic Sunk 102 years ago tonight.

Seriously. You heard it on CNN first! The crown jewel of the White Star Line has fell to the ocean floor....102 years ago. It had the "BREAKING NEWS" tag and everything. You're welcome.
CNN's nosedive into incompetence is emblematic of a much larger issue materializing before our very eyes. The fourth estate has morphed itself into an entertainment industry whose sole focus is daily and weekly ratings released by the Nielsen Company. The rise of 24/7 channels coupled with the American public's complete disengagement from anything outside of their own bubble has brought us to where we are now.

The Unfortunate thing is that CNN is only following the lead of all the other 'news' channels out there who have thrown actual reporting completely out the window. It's really sad if you understand what Ted Turner's vision for CNN was and what his channel and so many others have become.
Post 04-17-2014, 04:07 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Russia's Reawakening and the Return of Cold War Politics

It looks like diplomacy may have a chance, at least for the time being, after Western powers and Russia agreed to a deal geared towards easing the rising tensions in Ukraine.

Russia has agreed to help ensure that armed groups who have been occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine will lay down their weapons and withdraw from the buildings and the West has agreed to not move forward with another round of sanctions against Russia as long as they live up to their end of the bargain.

Secretary Kerry expressed hope that Russia will follow through on their commitment and made clear that the Obama Administration and the European Union expect President Putin and Russia to get control over the pro-Russian protests in eastern Ukraine. The agreement that all parties signed on to also provides amnesty to protesters who accept the deal, except those found guilty of capital crimes, and includes a mandate to ensure Ukraine's new constitution is "inclusive, transparent and accountable."

Has anyone been following today's developments? Do you think this is a good step back away from the brink of war or is Russia just buying time until the West stops paying attention?
Post 04-16-2014, 10:00 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: ..."I don't think this was a useless war"... is a funny way of saying that we weren't going to avoid conflict after 9/11. Those mean two different things.
You are correct. That doesn't really make much sense at all. Thanks for pointing that out.

I should have stated: "I believe this was a justified conflict, but feel that it morphed into a quagmire that we as a country couldn't wrap our heads around."
Post 04-16-2014, 04:58 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Russia's Reawakening and the Return of Cold War Politics

The first formal talks between Russia and the Ukraine are set to take place in Geneva tomorrow.

After watching this conflict materialize over the past few months, I have to say that I think these talks will produce nothing more than an opportunity for the Ukraine to publicly shame Russia and give Russia the opportunity to say it tried to solve things peacefully and use all avenues available to them before invading another chunk of the Ukraine. It should be quite a spectacle for all the avid viewers of C-Span.

The problem boils down to this: The EU and USA will not risk war with Russia over the Ukraine. Call it weakness or anything else you wish, but no one in their right mind would risk all out war with Russia over one of their former Soviet states.

Is anyone planning on following the talks tomorrow? If so, do you think that they will produce anything positive or are they destined to fail before they even start?
Post 04-16-2014, 04:11 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: When you say that ..."I don't think this was a useless war"... Why? What good, positive, lasting changes have we accomplished? Just list a few for me and maybe I will change my way of thinking. We made Karzai rich and corrupt which he probably was before we got there. We built some schools and roads and bridges for the Taliban to blow up. We killed a bunch of bad guys, only to see them replaced by even more bad guys.
We had planes fly into two skyscrapers and our Pentagon. Do you honestly think that we were going to do nothing? When I say "I don't think this was a useless war" I mean there was no way we could have avoided a conflict after 9/11. The American people were calling for blood and vengeance. No one wanted to take time and think about what we were getting ourselves into.

Now, we can get into a debate about how the war was conducted, which is a debate I feel you and I would find we agree on just about everything. But the idea that we could have avoided going to war doesn't take reality into account. Our country was calling for blood and we needed to attack someone. It's not like we could have attacked Saudi Arabia, the country that was most responsible for 9/11, so we had to go after the easiest target. The war was an utter failure and I agree that there are no good, positive, or lasting changes that we have accomplished.

In the same breath, I don't blame Obama for each and every thing that has gone wrong regarding this conflict. I blame everyone from George Bush, the Congress from 2001 to now, the military industrial complex that always needs a war to fight, AND President Obama. There's enough blame to go around for everyone. To say that President Obama is solely to blame for Afghanistan's ills is just not correct.

jamesn Wrote: What else have you got?

This country was a quagmire before we got there, is a quagmire now, and will be a quagmire when we leave. Did we not learn anything from Russian involvement there? The Taliban is already taking over and the day our last guy leaves they will own it all. It's a fourth world stone-age shithole and I say let them have it. We have wasted far too many lives and too much money there already.
The problem with your statement about the Russian defeat in Afghanistan is your glossing over the fact that America is wholly responsible for this defeat. We are also wholly responsible for the creation of the Taliban, whose origins can be traced back to the mujahideen fighters that America trained and armed to the teeth. We should have listened to Charlie Wilson back in the 1990's after the Soviet Union collapsed and pulled out of Afghanistan. Instead of stepping up and helping Afghanistan, we pulled out and left them to fend for themselves. The biggest irony in this entire conflict is that we are now fighting a group of individuals we are responsible for creating.
Post 04-16-2014, 11:51 AM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: jared you say ..."I'm lamenting the fact that we no longer fight wars the way we are supposed to"... I agree.

Then why haven't you been leading the charge against the war in Afghanistan? Speak out, man!

Step up! Say the right thing!

President Obama is better than President Bush or President McCain, but why oh why do his supporters just go along with this useless war that he decided to make bigger, bloodier, and more wasteful? Never speak out against his mistakes? Why? What sense does THAT make?

I HATE the war in Afghanistan and am not afraid to speak out against it. Too many of his supporters seem to be afraid to speak out about anything this president does.

President Obama screwed up! This war is a disaster! I said it and now how many die hard Obama supporters on this forum will admit it?

I'm guessing not very many.
We have been steadily withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan since 2011 and are set to have all combat troops out by the end of this year.

I don't think that this was a useless war, but I do feel that it turned out to be a quagmire that we as a country couldn't wrap our heads around. That is for various reasons, but mainly because we asked less than one percent of our country to sacrifice for this war while asking the other 99 percent of the country to continue living their lives and be patriotic by shopping and going on family vacations. "Get down to Disney World in Florida," Bush said two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. "Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed." I wonder what he had against Disney Land in California or the multiple Six Flags theme parks throughout the country. Maybe they aren't patriotic enough.

That foretold how we would fight these conflicts. A limited amount of Americans making the ultimate sacrifice for the rest of the country who are fulfilling their war time duties by going on a family vacation to Orlando, Florida. What a courageous and patriotic thing for our Commander-in-chief to say.

When it comes to President Obama, I can't help but ask what more you want from him. We are out of Iraq, which fulfilled a promise he made to the American people before he was first elected. He caught a lot of flack about that because the country has basically descended into chaos and is light years away from being the free democracy that we promised her citizens when we invaded them. All we have to show for our sacrifice in Iraq is manufacturing the power change from a Sunni ruling class to a Shia ruling class. What a wise investment of a trillion dollars on the American credit card and thousands of American lives.

America is also winding down our involvement in Afghanistan. We must remind ourselves that Obama ran on a platform in 2008 telling us exactly what he would do in Afghanistan. He was calling for more troops and a heavier presence in Afghanistan throughout the 08' election and we resoundingly elected him as our President. Did you expect him to not double down on the war? I'm not saying I agree with it, but I am stating the obvious fact that he did exactly what he told us he would do before he was elected in 2008.
Post 04-15-2014, 09:26 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: jared don't feel left out, you are wrong, too.

..."We as a country have technically been at at peace since the end of WWII"...? Seriously? Technically? That is a useless term to people fighting and dying, and their family members. Korea doesn't count? Vietnam? And the other "conflicts"? Do the surviving family members of the tens of thousands killed and wounded in those "CONFLICTS" alone not count. Do THEY think their loved ones did not die in a war?

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck,...it's a duck. These were wars, no matter what our brainless, compassionless, clueless, useless, corrupt, defenseless politicians call them. Hundreds of thousands servicemembers deployed, tens of thousands killed, hundeds of thousands wounded...what else would you call it?

What would be the word...if not war? Conflict? Police action? Dispute? Argument? Spat? Disagreement?

What other word is there to describe tens of thousands dying for their country?

This thing in Afghanistan is WAR. There is no other word.
We are a constitutional democracy, Jamesn. I read and follow what our constitution mandates. It is not a useless piece of paper to those who want us to go back to fighting wars the way our constitution instructs us to. I'm not writing off the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have been killed in our foreign engagements. I'm lamenting the fact that we no longer fight wars the way we are supposed to. I believe that we would find ourselves in far fewer foreign engagements if we actually followed our constitution.
Post 04-15-2014, 04:09 PM
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jaredsxtn
Portland, OR
Posts: 1994
Thread: Paying my taxes leaves me conflicted

jamesn Wrote: jared I believe you are incorrect when you say ..."we need to reevaluate spending 19 percent of our budget on military expenditures during a time of peace"...

I can agree with you that we need to reevaluate our spending on the military, but why do you say ..."during a time of peace"...?

We SHOULD be at peace.

We COULD be at peace.

But, the fact is we are still at war thanks to President Obama.

It is true that we are supposedly winding down the war in Afghanistan (five years too late), and in March there were no servicemen/women killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan and that is a great thing. But for 133 months in a row before March, servicemen/women WERE killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. So, yes, we are still at war. After 133 months in a row of killings, one month in a row of no killings does not equal peace. Sorry, I am not buying that.

THANKS President Obama! Thanks from all those who love war and waste and needless killing.
I think you may have misread what I said, or I didn't state my argument clearly enough. I'm using the literal definition of peace when it comes to fighting wars. I'm not, nor have I ever, suggested that we do not have soldiers fighting and dying right now.

We as a country have technically been at peace since the end of World War II. The United States Congress, the legislative body that is Constitutionally obligated to declare war, has not made one declaration of war since World War II: December 8, 1941 (Japan), December 11, 1941 (Germany and Italy), and June 5, 1942 (Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania). We have had multiple military engagements since then, but not one declared war. So when I use "time of peace" I'm saying it based off my understanding of how our Constitutional structure is intended to work.

Once we get over the verbiage misunderstanding, I feel that you may understand my thinking more if you reread what I wrote. I fully agree with you that we need to dramatically cut military spending, as I stated in my earlier reply. I also stated that it's insane for our country to continue spending hundreds of billions of dollars fighting an ideology. We will never 'defeat' an ideology, no matter how many trillions of dollars we throw at it.
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