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Quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism...A hyphenated American is not an American at all. Americanism is a matter of the spirit, and of the soul. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans...each preserving its separate nationality. The men who do not become Americans and nothing else are hyphenated Americans. There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American."




Now read this article:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,27883,00.html

Excerpt:
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But at a growing number of colleges, challenging the status quo begins not after graduation, but during — with several groups choosing to segregate themselves on the big day.

The University of California Los Angeles, for instance, hosts several commencement ceremonies, and there's a growing trend to hold separate celebrations that divide students not by academic discipline but by color, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

"We don't feel they are exclusionary," said Bob Naples, an assistant vice chancellor to the UCLA dean of students. "We do believe they are celebratory."

Several universities — including UCLA, Iowa State University and the University of Oregon — hold a "Lavender Graduation" for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. A number of schools also have special ceremonies for blacks and other racial and ethnic groups.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ShelbyBoy
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<A number of schools also have special ceremonies for blacks and other racial and ethnic groups.>

I suppose I'm missing something here, but I never cease to be amazed that when it comes to blacks or Asians or anyone else seeking to celebrate their own particular heritage, only if they celebrate it in conjunction with the existing Eurocentric traditions are they considered to be "real Americans." Then when they try to join the local country club, suddenly they are not quite so "real American."

I wonder how many golf clubs in the country would not accept Tiger Woods as a member.
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I suppose I'm missing something here, but I never cease to be amazed that when it comes to blacks or Asians or anyone else seeking to celebrate their own particular heritage, only if they celebrate it in conjunction with the existing Eurocentric traditions are they considered to be "real Americans." Then when they try to join the local country club, suddenly they are not quite so "real American."

Maybe you can help me understand why it is okay for a group of Blacks (women, homosexuals, Hispanics, Orientials, etc.) to set up an organization, function, or activity where you have to be Black (etc.) to participate, and that is celebrating their heritage, yet if Whites, Males, Heterosexuals, or Christians do it, it is considered racist or sexist.

Anyone should be able to associate (or not associate) with whomever they wish. But no government agency should endorse or encorage such segregation, regardless of the group doing the segregating. As long as a significant part of our country describes themselves or others as a <fill in the blank>-American, we will continue to have problems with discrimination based on whatever was filled in the aforementioned blank.

FF
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FF ~

Maybe you can help me understand why it is okay for a group of Blacks (women, homosexuals, Hispanics, Orientials, etc.) to set up an organization, function, or activity where you have to be Black (etc.) to participate, and that is celebrating their heritage, yet if Whites, Males, Heterosexuals, or Christians do it, it is considered racist or sexist.

The problem is that you are just not with it. Don't you know that you have to suffer like the others did? You must learn how they feel/felt.
;-) <sarcasm>

Well, to be perfectly honest, it isn't okay. Same for all is my motto.


Robyn


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Maybe you can help me understand why it is okay for a group of Blacks (women, homosexuals, Hispanics, Orientials, etc.) to set up an organization, function, or activity where you have to be Black (etc.) to participate, and that is celebrating their heritage, yet if Whites, Males, Heterosexuals, or Christians do it, it is considered racist or sexist.
----------------------------------
What are all these groups you're referring to that you have to be black or gay or a woman to join?

And "Oriental" is an offensive word to use when you're describing people.

hc
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< yet if Whites, Males, Heterosexuals, or Christians do it, it is considered racist or sexist.>

It's racist and sexist no matter who does it, but that doesn't prevent it from happening. From the Elks to the KKK we can find instances of discrimination. Why does every white male become so incensed when handed a dose of the same medicine?

<As long as a significant part of our country describes themselves or others as a <fill in the blank>-American, we will continue to have problems with discrimination based on whatever was filled in the aforementioned blank.>

I don't agree. I'm sure TR was a fine politician and rhetorician as well, but he was wrong about this IMHO. I think the underpinnings of this nation are precisely that we can be "blank-Americans" because we identify ourselves primarily as Americans, with any other appellation attached as an adjective.

I hardly need remind you that discrimination did not begin with celebratory gatherings in the 20th century. No small number of the folks who founded this nation were slaveholders. We've got a lot of history to overcome before we can start pointing fingers.

The white male heterosexual Christians in this country have discriminated against the blacks, the Irish, the Poles, the Chinese, native Americans, women of all races, and various other groups throughout our checkered history. Now we lampoon and marginalize the Hispanics, Asians, Russians, gays, Muslims, or anyone who does not think Dale Earnhardt was a demi-god. Oh well, whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger.
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What are all these groups you're referring to that you have to be black or gay or a woman to join?

Black: There are several AMA "parallel" organizations that limit membership to blacks. I don't recall the exact names, but it is something like the Black American Medical Association.

Homosexual: Don't know. Don't care.

Woman: The American Association of University Women (as of several years ago). The Junior League (ditto).

And "Oriental" is an offensive word to use when you're describing people.

Since when? And why? What do they want to be called?

FF
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It's racist and sexist no matter who does it, but that doesn't prevent it from happening. From the Elks to the KKK we can find instances of discrimination. Why does every white male become so incensed when handed a dose of the same medicine?

I become incensed for two reasons:

1. I have never descriminated against anyone because of race, religion, sex, etc.; I have only judged them on their character and abilities.

2. I dispise hypocracy. And it is the ultimate hypocracy to say "I have been discriminated against and that was wrong. You need to give me all of this payback. I, however, should be free to discriminate against you." Once discrimination against any group is allowed, or even encouraged (as is the case with "affirmative action") it sets up a divisive vicious circle. Example: Blacks get into medical school due to quotas, but are not as qualified. Since it is not known who was selected because of race, all of the blacks are tainted. This creates resentment among the whites who did not get in, and creates concerns about the competency of black doctors. This leads to a division between the races, which as time goes on, results in open hostility.

I don't agree. I'm sure TR was a fine politician and rhetorician as well, but he was wrong about this IMHO. I think the underpinnings of this nation are precisely that we can be "blank-Americans" because we identify ourselves primarily as Americans, with any other appellation attached as an adjective.

This is turning the "melting pot" into a "brunswick stew". A person can be either an American, or a <fill-in-the-blank>. But to claim to be both just drives a wedge between themselves and others. This wedge results in problems for both sides, as described above.

I hardly need remind you that discrimination did not begin with celebratory gatherings in the 20th century. No small number of the folks who founded this nation were slaveholders. We've got a lot of history to overcome before we can start pointing fingers.

Name me any living person who was either a slave or a slave holder in the United States. If you can't, then there is no one to point fingers at, and the history should have been overcome. True there are still racists out there - Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson, multiple members of the Black Congressional Caucus, and the head of the Black Muslim movement (whose name escapes me at this point). And they get a lot more airplay than all the white racists put together.

The white male heterosexual Christians in this country have discriminated against the blacks, the Irish, the Poles, the Chinese, native Americans, women of all races, and various other groups throughout our checkered history.

You left out the Jews. We have been discriminated against since we were slaves in Egypt. The Christians of 500 years ago forcably converted us or killed us. Most country clubs would not admit Jews for most of the 20th century. Many teaching hospitals would not give interships to Jews in the first half of the 20th century, which is why Albert Einstein Medical center even exists. The Catholic Church had anti-semitism as a doctrin until 1959. I am Jewish. I have been the victim of discrimination as a result. I have friends who believe that I have been subjected to legal harrassment due to my religious beliefs. (I think it was just stupidity, personally.) However, I don't believe I am owed any special treatment or repariations by those who did not mistreat me, even if they have the same religion, skin color, sex, or sexual orientation as those who did. Nor am I owed anything from the descendents of those who discriminated against me or my ancestors. As for those who did, they are the only ones who owe me anything, but it is not worth the drain on my life to pursue them.

Now we lampoon and marginalize the Hispanics, Asians, Russians, gays, Muslims, or anyone who does not think Dale Earnhardt was a demi-god. Oh well, whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

"We"?? I don't lampoon or marginalize anyone simply because they are a member of a particular race. I will lampoon or marginalize someone because of the actions they take or the causes they support, though. For example, I wouldn't hire a member of the KKK.

FF
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<"We"??>

The white male heterosexual Christians in this country. If you are truly without prejudice, I salute you. You would be the only human being I know who is. I know lots who claim to be, but none that is.
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GeneWilliamson: If you are truly without prejudice, I salute you. You would be the only human being I know who is. I know lots who claim to be, but none that is.

Then you travel in limited circles and would do well to expand your horizons. I know many people who are not predjudiced.

InParadise
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<Then you travel in limited circles and would do well to expand your horizons.>

Actually I travel in rather broad circles and I know any number of people who claim that they are not prejudiced. I far prefer people who are honest.
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If you are truly without prejudice, I salute you.

Thank you.

You would be the only human being I know who is. I know lots who claim to be, but none that is.

Could it be that you wish you were without prejudice, and since you are not, you assume no one else could be either?

FF
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<Could it be that you wish you were without prejudice, and since you are not, you assume no one else could be either?>

It could be, but I seriously doubt it. I am prejudiced and I battle against it as best I can. That's good enough for me. I think prejudice is part of the human condition. It's how we handle it that is significant.

BTW, are you unprejudiced with regard to Liberals? Anti-gun folks? Pro-choice? Do you ever assume that because a person is anti-gun that he/she simply does not understand the Constitution? Would that constitute prejudice? I only ask because of the minute possibility that I may have misinterpreted some of your earlier posts on those and other topics. ;-)
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BTW, are you unprejudiced with regard to Liberals? Anti-gun folks? Pro-choice? Do you ever assume that because a person is anti-gun that he/she simply does not understand the Constitution? Would that constitute prejudice? I only ask because of the minute possibility that I may have misinterpreted some of your earlier posts on those and other topics. ;-)

To disagree with another's thought processes does not make one prejudice. Prejudice is to prejudge someone on the basis of their religion, skin color, sex, or some other irrelevent issue. (If it is relevent, like whether or not to test for Sickle Cell disease, it is not prejudice, IMO.) I disagree with those who which to substitute their judgement for mine with regards to my personal activities. If someone is anti-gun, I assume that he does not understand the Constitution, or does not agree with it. But I would still let him ride in my car, eat at any resturant, vote (though I might discourage it ;^), have an equal chance at a good education (yes, he could get school vouchers, too), etc. I would not let him teach my children though, just as I would not send my children to Catholic mass each week, or encourage my children to usurp their friends rights. I would let my children play with practicing Catholics, etc. In the same way, I would not appoint a member of Green Peace to run an oil company. But that is not prejudice. That is choosing the best person for the job.

In short, not hanging around people with whom you share little or no common interest is not prejudice.

However, given that you seem to believe that to be the case, can I assume that you are attempting to modify your attitudes so that you would support a pro-defense, pro-second amendment, pro-life, pro-voucher, pro-homeschooling, anti-tax, anti-big-government person to be your congressman, senator, governor, president, etc.? I mean, otherwise you would be continuing to further your prejudice ideas (as you defined them).

FF

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<Prejudice is to prejudge someone on the basis of their religion, skin color, sex, or some other irrelevent issue.>

Aye! And now we are really caught on the horns of a dilemma because who gets to define what is an irrelevant issue? I believe that one might well show prejudice in how one defines "irrelevant." N'est pas?

<can I assume that you are attempting to modify your attitudes so that you would support a pro-defense, pro-second amendment, pro-life, pro-voucher, pro-homeschooling, anti-tax, anti-big-government person to be your congressman, senator, governor, president, etc.?>

You may assume it, but it would be a mistake to do so. As I said, I am generally at peace with my prejudices and I try to keep them under control. . .most of the time. However, in the case of the president I'll just let it all hang out. Aside from previously aired differences, I also take exception to turning our backs on the Kyoto Accords, to an obviously pro-nuke energy agenda (as a doctor I would hope that you prefer conservation to nukes), and to what appears to be a total disregard for the environment. I'll admit to being totally prejudiced against the bloke. The tax program is a laugher that is going to cost me a lot more than money in the long run. . .shall I continue? I think not. Until the Republicans move back toward the center I prefer to remain an Independent who registers as a Republican only because that is the only way I get into the primary elections. Sounds unconstitutional to me.
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Aside from previously aired differences, I also take exception to turning our backs on the Kyoto Accords, to an obviously pro-nuke energy agenda (as a doctor I would hope that you prefer conservation to nukes), and to what appears to be a total disregard for the environment.

As a doctor, I have looked at the evidence. There is no significant global warming (or cooling as was thought just 20 years ago). There are normal fluctuations, and the world has been both much warmer and much cooler than it has been in the last 100 years. Life thrived in spite of the changes, so I am not too worried. Kyoto was just a means of getting the wealthier nations (e.g. the U.S.) to subsidize the poorer ones. Look at Europe. Only one country in Europe has ratified the treaty - Romania.

Then there is the problem of nuclear energy. Name me one person who has been harmed by nuclear energy, as used in the West. No one. Nada. The Chernobyl type of reactor was cheap, but highly dangerous, and there has only been one such reactor built in the West - and it was very small, and has been shut down. Nuclear energy is safer than coal. It is safer than gas. It is safer than oil. It is also cleaner than coal. Cleaner than gas. And cleaner than oil. Other than the hype and the concern of a whacko turning a nuclear power plant into a nuclear bomb (not possible), there is no reason not to use nuclear power.

As to being a doctor, I realize that we will never be 100% safe. While that should be our goal, we have to look at the costs, too. If we, as a country, spend $1 Billion to reduce the arsnic in the water (a trace element required by the body), in order to save 10 lives, we have necessarily not spent that $1 Billion on improving the roads, which may save 50 lives. Or developing an AIDS vaccine which would save 50,000 lives, or on a new Carrier Group which deters some petty dictator from starting a war which saves 100,000 lives.

We don't have unlimited resources. We must allocate them in the way that has the best results. And preventing us from drilling for oil in Alaska because of the Caribou is stupid. Especially since the Caribou population has increase four-fold since Prudoe Bay and the Alaskan Pipeline was opened.

FF

FF
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<Then there is the problem of nuclear energy. Name me one person who has been harmed by nuclear energy, as used in the West. No one. Nada. The Chernobyl type of reactor was cheap, but highly dangerous, and there has only been one such reactor built in the West - and it was very small, and has been shut down. Nuclear energy is safer than coal. It is safer than gas. It is safer than oil. It is also cleaner than coal. Cleaner than gas. And cleaner than oil. Other than the hype and the concern of a whacko turning a nuclear power plant into a nuclear bomb (not possible), there is no reason not to use nuclear power.>

I don't think anyone seriously believes that a wacko could turn a nuclear power plant into a bomb. If they do, they need a bit more educating. At the same time, one cannot ignore how close we came to disaster at Three-Mile Island. We are acutely aware of the problems locally since Hanford is leaching God-knows-what toward the Columbia River. We shut down our one nuclear plant because it was sitting on a fault line. Also I love the reference to "cleaner" in your defense of nukes. Where, exactly, do you propose that we would bury the waste products from hundreds of nuke plants? I have an idea. . .there is this ranch down in Texas. . . .

<As to being a doctor, I realize that we will never be 100% safe. While that should be our goal, we have to look at the costs, too. If we, as a country, spend $1 Billion to reduce the arsnic in the water (a trace element required by the body), in order to save 10 lives, we have necessarily not spent that $1 Billion on improving the roads, which may save 50 lives. Or developing an AIDS vaccine which would save 50,000 lives, or on a new Carrier Group which deters some petty dictator from starting a war which saves 100,000 lives.>

Agreed. We have to spend our money wisely, but that does not give us the right to make stupid or self-serving decisions in others venues. We have to use energy wisely. I set my heat to 66 in the winter and my cooling to 82 in the summer, though I actually won't use the cooling unless the temperature exceeds 90 for several days. It's a mite uncomfortable at times, but it's a hell of a lot more comfortable than what my ancestors lived with. Most Americans are flat spoiled, and Dubya, in his avowed effort to maintain the "blessed" American standard of living, is as spoiled as the rest.

A native American (I know, x-American) friend of mine puts it this way. "We can have all the salmon we want," she says. "We just have to be willing to eat it in the dark."

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I don't think anyone seriously believes that a wacko could turn a nuclear power plant into a bomb. If they do, they need a bit more educating.

Yep, lots of people link the two. So yep, we need a bit more educating.

At the same time, one cannot ignore how close we came to disaster at Three-Mile Island.

Agreed. No one was hurt. No one was in danger of being hurt. The total radiation that escaped was less than that used in a single X-ray. It never came close to being a disaster (except to TMI Owner's Balance Sheet).

We are acutely aware of the problems locally since Hanford is leaching God-knows-what toward the Columbia River.

I can get you a listing, if you want.

We shut down our one nuclear plant because it was sitting on a fault line.

Stupid place to build it.

Also I love the reference to "cleaner" in your defense of nukes. Where, exactly, do you propose that we would bury the waste products from hundreds of nuke plants? I have an idea. . .there is this ranch down in Texas. . . .

The common solution is a salt mine. However, another solution is the mine where they got it from. WE DON'T CREATE RADIATION!!!! We can only accelerate the rate of decay. There is less radiaion in spent fuel than there is in unspent fuel. That is why it is spent. (Exception: Breeder Reactors which are not in use here, create Plutonium which can then be burned in a reactor also. The end result is the same, though.)

FF
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We have to spend our money wisely, but that does not give us the right to make stupid or self-serving decisions in others venues.

If I earned the money, I have the right to decide how to spend it. You have no right to decide for me what is "stupid or self-serving".

We have to use energy wisely. I set my heat to 66 in the winter and my cooling to 82 in the summer, though I actually won't use the cooling unless the temperature exceeds 90 for several days. It's a mite uncomfortable at times, but it's a hell of a lot more comfortable than what my ancestors lived with. Most Americans are flat spoiled, and Dubya, in his avowed effort to maintain the "blessed" American standard of living, is as spoiled as the rest.

You're right. We are spoiled. Because we have been so badly spoiled, over the last 100 years our longevity has gone from an average of 45 years to an average of 75 years. Because we have been so badly spoiled, we have increase the number of acres of trees. Because we have been so badly spoiled, we have reduce the amount of air and water polution. Because we have been so badly spoiled, we now have a standard of living beyond that anyone had dreamed of in 1900. If you don't like it, you are more than welcome to give up your car, your air conditioner, your computer, your electricity (completely, not just during blackouts), refridgeration, indoor plumbing, potable water, antibiotics and other medicines, surgery, and all the other things that spoil us. If you are unwilling to give them all up, don't presume to pick and choose for the rest of us.

FF
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<Stupid place to build it.>

My point exactly! Don't build them west of the Rockies or in Missouri.

<WE DON'T CREATE RADIATION!!!! >

MAYBE NOT, BUT WE SURE AS HELL CONCENTRATE IT!!!! If y'all want to take the waste in Georgia, be my guest.

Unless you think we can create a brotherhood of druids who will guard the "spent" wastes until the end of human existence, which will probably come sooner than you think if we start letting nukes proliferate, then you are going to have problems with waste disposal. This is not to say that we cannot solve this problem some day. It's just that at the moment we don't have the answers, and I prefer to reduce my consumption rather than to leave a legacy of nuclear waste.

Final note: You've heard it from me before. None of this would be a problem if we simply got human population under control. We do have the technology for that, but not the good sense.
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<If you don't like it, you are more than welcome to give up your car, your air conditioner, your computer, your electricity (completely, not just during blackouts), refridgeration, indoor plumbing, potable water, antibiotics and other medicines, surgery, and all the other things that spoil us. If you are unwilling to give them all up, don't presume to pick and choose for the rest of us.>

You know Doc, it is good to see that you are at least predictable. Every time I get close to the quick, you react with the "My rights are my rights because they are my rights" defense. If you will look back at my post you will see (at least I can always hope that you will see) that I did not advocate giving up any of the things you list. If fact I didn't mention most of what you list. I simply suggested that we need to make intelligent decisions about how we use energy, much as you insist that we need to make intelligent decisions about how we use money. Both are limited resources.

It seems to me that if your life is so well thought out that no one has the right to question your actions or your beliefs, then it would make abundant good sense for us to all just adopt your lifestyle and get on with it. Actually, having spent my life with and around the medical profession, I understand that this is part and parcel of being an M.D. It was only late in his life that my father began to appreciate that there were others ways of seeing the world that had validity even though they challenged many of his most cherished illusions.

I thoroughly enjoy our "thrust and parry" repartee, but don't make it so easy for me. Admit that other people may just have rights that supercede your perceived rights. To do so will not only weaken my position; it will strengthen yours.
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You know Doc, it is good to see that you are at least predictable. Every time I get close to the quick, you react with the "My rights are my rights because they are my rights" defense.

That's because you don't seem to recognized that anyone else has any.

If you will look back at my post you will see (at least I can always hope that you will see) that I did not advocate giving up any of the things you list. If fact I didn't mention most of what you list. I simply suggested that we need to make intelligent decisions about how we use energy, much as you insist that we need to make intelligent decisions about how we use money. Both are limited resources.

You implied, to my reading, that since you gave it up, everyone else should also - If that reading is incorrect, as you now state, my appoligies. However, I can agree that we need to make intelligent decisions about how we use energy. But "we" should be able to make the decisions for ourselves as individuals, not have it thrust upon us by government fiat.

It seems to me that if your life is so well thought out that no one has the right to question your actions or your beliefs, then it would make abundant good sense for us to all just adopt your lifestyle and get on with it.

This is why I keep harping on individual rights. You still don't get it. No one should adopt my lifestyle. It works for me, and it would work for anyone who was in the same position as me, with the same values as me, with the same goals as me, etc. But since there is no one else quite like me (of which I am sure you are pleased to know), my lifestyle is not right for anyone else. Each person should be free to choose for themselves, so long as it does not violate someone else's right to make choices for themselves.

Actually, having spent my life with and around the medical profession, I understand that this is part and parcel of being an M.D. It was only late in his life that my father began to appreciate that there were others ways of seeing the world that had validity even though they challenged many of his most cherished illusions.

It is a shame that you have not learned what your father did late in his life. Fortunately, I have learned it early on. It is a sign of maturity that you accept that the right choice for you may not be the right choice for someone else. Allowing everyone the freedom to make their own choices is all that I am arguing.

More on point: You have the right to conserve or waste as much energy as you wish to. So do I. The caviat being that I have contributed to others sufficiently that I have the money to spend on energy. If I have insufficent money, then I cannot demand that someone else pay for my energy - whether I choose to conserve or waste it. You want to conserve, great. Just don't demand (either individually, or through supporting government action) that I do the same.

I thoroughly enjoy our "thrust and parry" repartee, but don't make it so easy for me. Admit that other people may just have rights that supercede your perceived rights. To do so will not only weaken my position; it will strengthen yours.

They do not. They have rights that are equal to mine. I do not claim any rights that would trample on the rights of others. No one else has any rights that will trample on my rights, either. While it is true that others may have some desires that, if fulfilled, would trample on my rights e.g. someone does not want to be offended, therefore I should not be able to voice my views; no one has a right not to be offended. They have the right to leave, to ignore me, to argue, to offend me back. But not to censor me. At the same time, I don't have the right to force them to listen to my views and arguments to support them.

FF
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What the heck does any of this have to do with education?

InParadise
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What the heck does any of this have to do with education?

Some people need to be educated about the subject??? (He says as he meekly proposed moving the discussion to a more appropriate venue, e.g. ShelbyBoy's board.)

FF
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< Each person should be free to choose for themselves, so long as it does not violate someone else's right to make choices for themselves.>

And you see no natural contradictions here?? Any decision you or I make impinges the the right and/or ability of someone else to make their free choice. The minute you decide to smoke a cigar in a restaurant you destroy my right to a smoke-free atmosphere. If I buy a Volvo instead of a Ford, I limit the choices for workers in Detroit. The only way your argument makes sense is if you define which choices you are going to allow, and in doing so you will violate someone else's choices. It just won't wash!

<You have the right to conserve or waste as much energy as you wish to. So do I. The caviat being that I have contributed to others sufficiently that I have the money to spend on energy. If I have insufficent money, then I cannot demand that someone else pay for my energy - whether I choose to conserve or waste it. You want to conserve, great. Just don't demand (either individually, or through supporting government action) that I do the same.>

This is totally fallacious reasoning. If all your money and power allow you to buy up excessive amounts of energy while taking it away from someone who will freeze to death in North Dakota because they can not out-compete you for that energy, and if you can do that with a clear conscience, then you are more of a social Darwinist than I would have expected. You do not have the right to waste energy or any other resource just because you are rich. Wake up and smell the coffee, Doc. This is where revolutions get their start. "Let them eat cake."
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<What the heck does any of this have to do with education?>

I'm glad you asked. I have been thinking the same thing for the last week. We have strayed far from the original topic, but since I refuse to hang around ShelbyBoy's Front Porch, the zealots have tried to corner me here. If we can get agreement across the board, I vote to get back to a discussion of why an education, however one conceives of that term, is important.
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<(He says as he meekly proposed moving the discussion to a more appropriate venue, e.g. ShelbyBoy's board.)>

ROFLMAO. It's not often Doc and I agree on something. Strike while the iron is hot. Let's take it back to Shelby.
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And you see no natural contradictions here?? Any decision you or I make impinges the the right and/or ability of someone else to make their free choice. The minute you decide to smoke a cigar in a restaurant you destroy my right to a smoke-free atmosphere.

You don't have a right to a smoke-free atmosphere, because such a thing has never and will never exist. Fires, and their resultant smoke preexisted mankind. Now, if you are talking about no cigar smoke in your immediate area, you do have a right to that on your personal property (or property which your lease/rent). The owner of the resturant has the right to decide whether or not cigar smoking is allowed in his resturant. If he decides that cigar smoking is not allowed, someone who wants to smoke a cigar can go elsewhere or refrain (his choice). If the owner decides that cigar smoking will be allowed, or even encouraged, you are free to go elsewhere or endure it (your choice). If you don't agree, then you must be arguing that property rights, instead of being enforced by the government, come from the government and, therefore, are not inalienable rights.

If I buy a Volvo instead of a Ford, I limit the choices for workers in Detroit.

And if you buy the Ford instead of the Volvo, you prevent some other person from buying it. So what? It is your money (or property). You should be able to decide how to dispose of it. Again, are property rights inalienable or not?

The only way your argument makes sense is if you define which choices you are going to allow, and in doing so you will violate someone else's choices. It just won't wash!

Anytime you do something, it will have an effect, no matter how minute, on everyone else. Everytime you take a breath, do you worry about sucking oxygen out of the air that someone else could use to breath? No! (At least I hope not.) But unless you can find an unwilling, identifiable, significantly affected, direct victim, your argument is a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

This is totally fallacious reasoning. If all your money and power allow you to buy up excessive amounts of energy while taking it away from someone who will freeze to death in North Dakota because they can not out-compete you for that energy, and if you can do that with a clear conscience, then you are more of a social Darwinist than I would have expected. You do not have the right to waste energy or any other resource just because you are rich. Wake up and smell the coffee, Doc. This is where revolutions get their start. "Let them eat cake."

I hate the smell of coffee. ;^) There is nothing to prevent the poor person in North Dakota from being helped by his fiends and neighbors. Heck, if he were my neighbor, and he was not a parasite on society, I would probably pay his bill. (I have done so many times before in similar situations - though not with a power bill per se.) I would, however, object to being coerced into paying, or helping to pay, his power bill, regardless of the circumstances. As to the situation in California, it was brought on by the stupidity of the people who wanted to use more and more power, yet not allow any new plants to be built to generate it, nor let any more fuel be produced to run the plants, and then wanted to interfere with the marketplace and not allow the price to go up to cover increased costs of production and the purchase of power from neighboring states. For this, I have no sympathy. If I had a friend who lived in California and couldn't pay his power bill, I would ask myself: did he support any of the above? If so, he made his bed, he may sleep in it (and therefore, since he is asleep, not notice there is not electricity). If, on the otherhand, he opposed the above stupidity, I would probably pay his bill for him, annonymously.

FF
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It's not often Doc and I agree on something. Strike while the iron is hot. Let's take it back to Shelby.

I posted the previous post before seeing this response. So I will continue it over there.

FF

<emailed and posted>
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<=Everytime you take a breath, do you worry about sucking oxygen out of the air that someone else could use to breath? No!>=

Not yet, anyway, but the day may come.

As to property rights being inalienable, I would hold that they are not. The holding of property is a uniquely Eurocentric world view, but like so many other things, it does not strike me as a universal right, at least not as it is most often practiced.

< As to the situation in California, it was brought on by the stupidity of the people who wanted to use more and more power, yet not allow any new plants to be built to generate it, nor let any more fuel be produced to run the plants, and then wanted to interfere with the marketplace and not allow the price to go up to cover increased costs of production and the purchase of power from neighboring states. For this, I have no sympathy.>

And so the Californians who insist on setting A/C to 72 and on heating their swimming pools are allowed to siphon off hydropower from the Northwest leaving me, despite conservation efforts, paying higher and higher utility bills and facing the possibility of rolling blackouts later in the year. And my free choice enters into this how??
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I also received posts out of order. Following FF's lead, I declare the discussion of human rights and free choice officially moved and no longer a topic of discussion here. Of course, I wouldn't want my decision to impinge on the rights of any of the rest of you, so carry on as you see fit. :-)
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And my free choice enters into this how??

See my answer at: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15327021
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