MirageRe: Reflections on the latest blunder ....Sun Mar 11, 2012 09:07188.8.131.52I've been seeing people burning our flag on TV and YouTube for years. Sometimes they are our own citizens, sometimes they are people we are fighting or their allies, and sometimes they are protesters from other countries, protesting various things they don't like about America. That does tend to upset us. Really, for reasons I can't actually explain, I don't think people would get too upset if someone burned a copy of our Constitution or Declaration. Years ago a guy stood in a shopping mall with a "petition" he wanted people to sign. It was a copy of the Declaration, and not one person signed it. This was filmed; it was performance art. I imagine that the few people who read part of it, didn't recognize it. It probably looked awfully radical if so, because it once was.
We do have to study both documents in school, but while people often cry that something is unconstitutional, fairly commonly whatever it is they think is in the Constitution isn't actually in the Constitution, nor even by implied. It does have a certain holy aura to it, but it's like the Bible in that way. A lot of fairly religious Christians have not actually read the Bible all the way through. They are told what it says by their preacher. They are told what the Constitution says by their teachers and professors. There are probably people here who would die protecting the Bible or the Constitution, who haven't read them.
Believe it or not, this doesn't necessarily mean we are stupid or don't care. A professor I had who came from Kenya told our Third World Literature class that Americans are "post-literate." I think he was correct, though I was offended at the time. His argument was that due to the overwhelming media, we have become more audio-visual and our textual skills he felt have eroded. The average American supposedly reads 3 books a year, but I think most of them are reading the same 3 books, and at least one of them in recent years is generally about a sympathetic traditionally monstrous creature. It doesn't actually take much to get on the New York Times Bestseller List.
"In 1995, the authors of a book called The Discipline of Market Leaders colluded to manipulate their book onto the best seller charts. The authors allegedly purchased over 10,000 copies of their own book in small and strategically placed orders at bookstores whose sales are reported to Bookscan. Because of the ancillary benefits of making The New York Times Best Seller list (speaking engagements, more book deals, and consulting) the authors felt that buying their own work was an investment that would pay for itself. The book climbed to #8 on the list where it sat for 15 weeks, also peaking at #1 on the BusinessWeek best seller list. Since such lists hold the power of cumulative advantage, chart success often begets more chart success. Although such efforts are not illegal, they are considered unethical by publishers."
Obama was right to apologize, and undoing it by saying he apologized only for the sake of American soldiers's safety is not a good idea and will probably increase attacks on our soldiers instead. I am not at all happy about this. He's hoping for re-election and I suspect that's what motivated it, but you either apologize, or you don't. Apologizing and then apologizing for apologizing pretty much leaves everyone angry. Every time I think I am starting to understand the President, he does something really weird I don't understand at all. Maybe this is just more of him not being sure which party he is.
Once in awhile but not often I have seen images of Bibles being burned. Since we were already in wars at the time, I can't tell you whether there was a violent response. I haven't heard of one happening here, but it would be hard to know because things like that don't always make national news. I don't know about other Christians, but if I were present, I would try to put the fire out. I'd basically turn the other cheek past that and I think many Christians probably would. The Bible is certainly deeply holy to Christians, however for most of us, when we refer to the Bible, we are not really referring to the physical Bible. It would be potentially idolatrous to mistake the physical Bible for the content of the Bible. Burning a Bible does not burn the words or the concepts. What the Bible is is a container for those words and concepts. This is not to say that we don't respect the physical Bible and try to take good care of it, or that people wouldn't be outraged about it, but I think it's just not quite the same to us as how Jews and Muslims feel about disrespect to holy texts. Also while fire is associated with hell, there are positive associations with fire contained in the Bible, too, and in the US, burning something to dispose of it is generally considered one "clean" way to dispose of something. I'd be far more upset if someone desecrated a Bible by doing something disgusting to it. However, even then, when Serrano used a taxpayer supported grant to make the artwork called Piss Christ, many people protested, but nobody harmed the artist, museum workers, or anyone else here. It even won an award. He probably did receive the usual threats because any time anyone does anything that upsets people there are threats, but nobody even vandalized the work. In France, protesters poked holes in a print of it.
Obama has said that the burning of the Qurans and other texts to dispose of them was a mistake rather than hostile intent. That is entirely possible. I think this is probably how Bibles are standardly disposed of by the military. Our military tends to burn stuff. The proper means of disposing of a worn out or torn flag, according to US Flag code, is to do so "in a dignified manner, preferably by burning." I got to wondering, what IS the right way to dispose of a bunch of Qurans and you might be personally interested in one of the reasons burning is considered improper by many but not all Muslims.
Fire is associated with your faith.
- Reflections on the latest blunder .... Frashavan, Sun Mar 11 06:27The only thing I think he got wrong was the bit about how Americnas would react if a bunch of Mulsims, who happened to be stationed on US soil for the duration, happened to burn some copies of the... more
- What this showed sai ram, Sun Mar 11 09:53the burning of the Quran whether intentional or not and the resulting violent protest afterwards...showed really one thing...that islam isn't a religion of peace.....rather just the... more
- No one has a monopoly of peace; no one has one of war (nm) Frashavan, Sun Mar 11 18:57
- Vike: How is your ex doing? Mirage, Mon Mar 12 17:00I hope she is feeling some better.
- Her ankle is mending nicely Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 17:24Her Bell's Palsy will take longer because they were slow to strat treatment, plus having fibromyalgia is a complication.
- Re: Her ankle is mending nicely Mirage, Mon Mar 12 17:30It's unfortunate that a lot of times diagnosis is tricky enough that by the time the diagnosis can be made, the treatment should have started earlier. I've had that experience myself. She will remain ... more
- Thanks so much Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 17:47I really appreciate it. The neurologist refused to answer the pages from the Emerg and the Internist for 3 days.
- The First World is superior ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 20:46only because it has superior means of war. This was not so apparent in the days of Great Khan the Mongol Horde, or the Janissaries of the Sultan. The irony of the West, is because of amnesia, we... more
- Amen to that MN_Morgan, Mon Mar 12 14:00Though, we certainly have a propensity for pissing people off with our big mouths and even bigger foreign policy stick.
- Arrogance leads to a bad end ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:07just ask the French aristocracy. Shalom
- But the Wall Street bankers.... Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 18:13...keep ignoring the sound of guillotine blades being sharpened in the shadows.
- That's because they think they are safe Mirage, Mon Mar 12 18:59Swiss bank accounts in case of emergency.
- The ultimate arrogance ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:20is that the aristocracy will pirouette on a dime when necessary, and assume the role of revolutionary cadre ... the people never noticing. The whole point is to remain in power, no matter the... more
- It's easier for the faceless middle and lower aristos Frashavan, Tue Mar 13 18:36The people at the top, the Kohn brothers, Trump and the like, are too obvious. Phillipe L'Egalite also managed it, at first, but he was not in the direct succession. He lost his head, too, before the ... more
- Tit for Tat ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 09:26http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17330205 But I don't think this is ordered from the top, a guy simply broke down over there from PTSD, when they usually break down when they get over here.... more
- Wonder how many Qurans sai ram, Sun Mar 11 09:55have been burned up in missiles strikes?.....sai ram
- That is the irony ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 20:49the value of even one human being, who are routinely killed in those strikes, is worth a million Qurans. Shalom
- But there's no point protesting the deaths of innocents! Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 16:18No one cares...now, if they were fetuses, maybe. :(
- All part of on-going White supremacy ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:05see my post above to our new visitor ... history doesn't pass, it layers. Ask a geologist. And yes, quite a few of our drone victims are innocent as defined in a court of law. Collateral damage of... more
- History is always layers Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 18:15It's a good analogy.... and, since everything isn't fossilized, all interpretations of history are, necessarily, fragmentary.
- We wish some people were innocuous fossils ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:18but alas, the T-Rex still walks among us, in a stylish and expensive three-piece suite from Italy. But I shall never be a sloth, though my wife accused me ;-) This also means that history is like an... more
- That's why some people get eaten alive by history (nm) Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 18:19
- This is going to sound weird but... Mirage, Tue Mar 13 02:29I am not sure what you mean by people being eaten alive by history, but for some reason, that sounds like a really beautiful death to me. I don't want to be remembered. What did you mean by it?
- We all do ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:23all fall into the gaping maw of Kali aka Chronos/Saturn. All end up the same, but all struggle to do so with more pride than others. With reincarnation, this is a bad bargain, because you always have ... more
- Somewhat related... Mirage, Mon Mar 12 17:11http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/07/subject-for-debate-are-women-people/ Jessica Winter argues that women are not always considered people. Rather bitter humor.
- Empowering... MN_Morgan, Tue Mar 13 12:17Now, I've considered myself one with all beings, all space, all planets, and the trees, the land, and the rocks, but I would not call myself a rock.
- As a geologist, and fan of the Horta ... Baruch, Tue Mar 13 12:56I find that rather prejudiced ;-) Shalom
- Oh great, I'm racist against rock-based people. :( (nm) MN_Morgan, Tue Mar 13 15:37
- "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor not a bricklayer!" (nm) Frashavan, Tue Mar 13 14:41
- Pregnant women are people ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:16but are special people, because of the baby. And unfortunately if you open the door a crack, a whole semi drives thru. Thus the move to declare all women of a certain age, pre-pregnant ... that at... more
- Re: Pregnant women are people ... Mirage, Mon Mar 12 19:16I've always had difficulty categorizing things or people. I remember when we learned about the caste system my sister and I tried to figure out what caste our family would be but we got confused... more
- My joy is great ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 21:34my foolishness, has caused a ring to radiate outward ;-) My splashing about has not been the mere vanity of a self important rain drop, who thinks it caused the thunderstorm. Well we don't have as... more
- More like the Incas Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 20:46There are the Children of Gold, and the rest of us.... :(
- I would say there is more than a little turth to that Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 17:25It makes me very sad...
- Me too (nm) Mirage, Mon Mar 12 17:39
- Re: Reflections on the latest blunder .... Mirage, Sun Mar 11 09:07
- Re: Reading, Learnings, and Burnings MN_Morgan, Sun Mar 11 12:03When I first converted, I read the whole thing from cover to cover before going back into the nitty gritties...but it's so easy to listen to the guys in the pulpit who inflate one or two verses for... more
- I have told my students not to read the textbook, too Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 15:32Not joking though. I find many of the textbooks are written in an way that discourages students from finding anything easily, and they lack the skills to find things when it's difficult... when I try ... more
- Textbooks, like war, are a racket ;-( Baruch, Mon Mar 12 21:48A real teacher knows and understands their material, and simply uses what is at appropriately at hand, to do whatever needs to be done. The goal of textbook publishers isn't to educate, but to simply ... more
- Don't blame you Mirage, Mon Mar 12 16:52My textbooks were so riddled with political distortions they were ridiculous sometimes. Feynman managed to get himself on the committee that selects textbooks at one point, and wrote about that... more
- Yeah, I could see that MN_Morgan, Mon Mar 12 15:54Luckily, our school was pretty good about keeping up the science books. My teacher kept a fire under their butts, though (hooray for Bunsen burners ;D). Now, he never used the questions or the labs... more
- Re: Reading, Learnings, and Burnings Mirage, Sun Mar 11 16:27When I was in grade school, a lot of the teachers would show us the movie after we read the book. I was never sure if that was a reward, or if the teachers felt kids wouldn't understand the book... more
- What? A dull tome of epistemology doesn't inspire? Pshah! (nm) Baruch, Sun Mar 11 20:48
- A sad truth you speak ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 14:54they have the ability to read, but don't, not even their own scriptures. Was too busy watching Waisting Time With The Stars on TV. Shalom
- An interesting fact Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 15:54Most native English speakers find it easier to read a passage from the King James Bible, with comprehension, than to read a passage from Shakespeare with comprehension -- even though the two texts... more
- Wow, that's fascinating. (nm) Mirage, Mon Mar 12 16:53
- Some theorize that... Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 17:29... it is because, for so long, the Bible was the only book most people had access to, and read, that the cadence and turns of phrase have become the subtext of all English with any kind of... more
- Re: Some theorize that... Mirage, Mon Mar 12 17:54That actually rings true to me on a gut level. There are also studies that show that music heard in the womb is strongly preferred later in life, so if the mother is a churchgoer, perhaps the words... more
- My youngest son... Frashavan, Mon Mar 12 17:59...is autistic, and very sensitive to sound. He has an almost unerring sense of good music, reacting well and strongly to classics of all genres, and wanting anything he doesn't like "off!" as soon... more
- Re: Austism MN_Morgan, Tue Mar 13 12:47That's not uncommon. The boy I watch after school loves certain genres of music, and some things just overstimulate him to the point where he will get aggressive.
- I wonder if this is related Mirage, Mon Mar 12 18:06My mother had perfect pitch, but certain harmonies were literally painful to her. For example several songs by The Who hurt her ears. We tried to figure out a pattern so as not to cause her... more
- Religion can be an inducement to read, though. Mirage, Sun Mar 11 16:48The people who can quote chapter and verse have generally read the Bible many times. In the days when laypeople were discouraged from reading or translating the Bible, vernacular Bibles emerged... more
- True enough ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 20:43that was once the great purpose of Sunday School. It was for adults, not children ... to teach the illiterate to read. Of course the Quran and Torah have served that same purpose for centuries. The... more
- More on Reading MN_Morgan, Mon Mar 12 13:52I read in National Geographic that some Scottish towns that solely spoke Gaelic would learn English from the Bible and from the church. This is the problem I have with crooked clergy. They take... more
- This is a universal problem ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 18:38800 years ago, the Japanese nobleman, Dogen, who was already a Buddhist monk, went to China to find someone who could teach him "real" Buddhism. He didn't think he could find it in his own country,... more
- Re: More on Reading Mirage, Mon Mar 12 14:31Abraham Lincoln also taught himself to read from a Bible. I can understand that depending on the beliefs of the people at a church, there might be candidates those people tend to prefer, but yeah, I... more
- More so ... Baruch, Mon Mar 12 21:45G-d, charity and spiritual work, are what life is supposed to be about. This is why materialism and egotism will always fail, because they are what death is about. Shalom
- post-modern = 2nd stone age Baruch, Sun Mar 11 09:31Post-literate is a good description of the US. Just look at the drop in books (hard, soft, electronic). The drop in readership of newspapers ... isn't as indicative, since I think they were always... more
- Re: post-modern = 2nd stone age Mirage, Sun Mar 11 09:36You never know where great art will come from.
- In history it has come from institutional religion ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 21:00sponsoring it, and royal courts sponsoring it ... because it takes a great expense to make it, or to keep a lot of artistic talent hanging around. Our secular mechantilist plebian age is anti-art.... more
- Re: In history it has come from institutional religion ... Mirage, Sun Mar 11 21:47Don't forget the incredible beautiful things which have been created by outsider artists, such as the Watts Tower. If I had a choice between visiting either the Sistine Chapel or Don Justo's... more
- Deliberate, not a blunder ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 08:32after being in Afghanistan, for over 10 years now, they didn't do this, without knowing what they were doing, from the White House on down. All an act, designed to pressure Karzai ... in the midst of ... more
- It may not be, but it's stupid Frashavan, Sun Mar 11 18:55Was today's massacre of sleeping women and children an order or just someone running amuk? I would like soldiers to disobey such orders, or at least, creatively implement them. It won't happen,... more
- Re: It may not be, but it's stupid Mirage, Sun Mar 11 22:01US soldiers are required and expected to refuse and report improper orders. Doing so takes a great deal of courage, but some have done it, and paid whatever price resulted. I think this is someone... more
- He had already toured in Iraq ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 22:08and this was his first time in Afghanistan. If we were doing the Vietnam war style rotation, he would never had had to go to Afghanistan. Our professional forces are overtasked, to the destruction of ... more
- I am thankful for the assistance of the ... Baruch, Sun Mar 11 20:56Canadian military. But it seems mostly our interaction has been friendly fire that killed Canadians, early in the Afghan war ;-( Saw a Youtube this past week, with ground troops (British?) having a... more
- Well mybe not sai ram, Sun Mar 11 10:00while maybe we have been there for 10 years the soldiers haven't been.....don't know their background but some might have been there only months andmore than likely late teens......and having been... more