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politics: Paul doesn't believe in evolution either. So why isn't he 'certifiably insane' like Huckabee? (downmod if this is inconvenient for you) on 2008-01-03
Well, any political issue would probably make his list of "issues of the day" before evolution would. Not believing in evolution most certainly does not make you certifiably insane, since "insanity" is only an official term in legal courts, not medicine. Also, the only political issue involving it is whether or not it should be taught in public schools (disregard for a moment the fact that Paul doesn't think we should have national public schools). There IS debate over whether macroevolution is true, but there ISN'T debate over whether it's the current scientific consensus. Since it is the scientific consensus, it should be taught in science courses, if for no other reason than that to do otherwise would not equip students with the knowledge they'll need in that field. Paul's response definitely isn't a cop-out. It IS a cop-out on your part for saying basic scientific concepts should be universally accepted and should be a major part of the qualifications for political office, since consensuses have been wrong before AND there's no constitutional or sensical reason to have that as a qualification for political office.
He doesn't tell me how to feel, I have made up my own mind on abortion. I am merely pointing out the fact that he has a lot of experience with born/unborn children and his opinion on the matter should be respected... not agreed with by everyone. The guy is an expert when it comes to bringing babies into this world and the whole build up to it. Pro-life or pro-choice, I think it's unfair to say his opinion is invalid because it doesn't match your own.
ignorant fool? I am an anthropology major and we studied in depth for six weeks the facts supporting we evolved from primates and evidence suggesting we didn't. Perhaps you should shut the fuck up and read your own comment. Science has proven 100% that if your head is cut from your shoulders you will not survive. But let's take your dipshit comment and run with it for shits and giggles. If science can't prove 100% we came from primates then that leaves room for counter agruements. Because of this I can see why some people may not be completely convinced in evolution. My information is not from political pundits its from one of the best anthropology professors in the country, Professor Kerr. Now I am going to reiterate that I do believe in evolution, while there are a few parts I have problems with. Holes that need to be filled with continued research. I don't understand why you feel the need to attack me on my beliefs in evolution, I never once said I didn't accept it. I simply stated that I am not going to run around calling people ignoramus' for not completely buying into evolution at it's current state.
I can handle someone having different beliefs than mine, especially when they don't really matter.
Evolution is not "a" theory. It's a huge set of theories; some very solid, others debatable. The all-or-nothing debate is 100% dogmatic bullshit.
Evolution is not "a" theory. It's a huge set of theories; some very solid, others debatable. The all-or-nothing debate is 100% dogmatic bullshit.
This is nonsense with a big of sensible frill. You are playing word games to avoid the obvious. And if Paul was playing this kind of game then he is just as dishonest a politician as the rest of them. Evolution is the cornerstone of biology. As Theodosius Dobzhansky, a devout Christian, said: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". Evolution is a fact, a process, and a theory. There are disagreements about details of that theory, but the general theory is rock solid. To put it shortly, and I can expand on this, evolution says that all life on Earth descends from a common ancestor by a process that involves mutation, selection, and drift. If Paul meant that he is not sure how big a role drift plays he said it quite badly.
This is nonsense with a big of sensible frill.
I'd respond to this, if I could decipher it :).
You are playing word games to avoid the obvious.
What I seek to "avoid" is judgment without sufficient fact. As a scientifically minded person, I'm sure you can understand that. It may be a surprise to you, but not many people - doctors and politicians included - know enough about evolution to put it so eloquently "in a nutshell" as you did.
If you survey a few people, you will quickly find that evolution is a vague term, with many different meanings to many different people. It is therefore highly subject to misunderstanding. To assign such a specific meaning to a term so incredibly subject to interpretation is politically divisive. I.e. it's dogmatic bullshit.
Perhaps the issue here is a poor assumption: Those who know evolution well wrongly assume that their knowledge is common or that "the public's" definition is in alignment with their own. That's a very wrong, surprisingly ignorant assumption for a seemingly educated group of people.
Evolution is a large body of knowledge, some right and some quite possibly wrong. It's the "possibly wrong" parts that those who "disagree" with evolution often define it by.
It's important to note that such ignorance is typically innocent and has little or nothing to do with choosing religions faith over scientific knowledge. It takes ridiculous assumptions to turn it into such a debate.
Evolutionary biology is a scientific field. It is based [obviously] on the model [or theory] of evolution which entails what was described earlier, organisms mutating, common ancestry, gene drift and flow, all of which basically falls under the notion of "survival of the fittest [though it's not quite that simple]." Evolution is not a large body of knowledge, it is a model. There are many hypotheses that take place within the model, many of them have been and will be rejected; these do not detract from its overall accuracy rather they reveal that specific attributes, histories, or whatever it may be are not supported or downright wrong. There is a tremendous amount of data supporting the theory of evolution, as someone pointed out earlier, nothing makes sense in biology without evolution. I would go even further and add that nothing makes sense about humanity without evolution.
Anyway, I think the definition of evolution for every layman in American is at most as simple as "we come from monkeys???" So, when RP says he rejects it, it's pretty clear what he's getting at. There aren't theories of evolution to reject, there's only one. There is data within evolution he can reject, fine, but that's not what the phrase means, and that's not what the word "evolution" generally refers to, as in "i don't believe in evolution."
thank you for finally stating the obvious. I'm tired of people accepting "evolution" in it's entirety as stone set law. It's an ever "evolving" theory that is working towards a solid answer to how life has changed over time. (At least thats what my anthropology and biology professors told me).
Strictly speaking yes, but there is a powerful constituency in this country that are challenging some of the most solid sub-theories of evolution, the parts over which there is very little genuine scientific debate these days.
It also happens to be a constituency that holds a lot of sway over Ron Paul's chosen political party.
Paul could easily have said that there is still debate over the details of evolution, but he believes in the broad concept, but instead he started to waffle about god.
You need to be pretty blinkered to interpret that as anything other than pandering to those who believe evolution is incompatible with their religion, and is therefore wrong.
Baseless. He DID say there's still debate, that it was a "theory" and he doesn't "accept" that it explains everything. As you pointed out, it doesn't. If you think this man Panders then obviously you didn't catch his comment on the Civil War and Abe Lincoln. Baseless.
You would be ignoring this entire tree of comments if you insisted there is no debate on evolution.
Evolution is the key to understanding biology:
There is nothing in this video that says he doesn't understand genetic diversification and inheritance? He worked as an OB, which necessitates the understanding of genetic inheritance on a daily basis.
So by his choice of verbiage, like the word "origin", he was talking about the origin of life most likely and not genetic diversification. I think considering the importance you have assigned to the topic, it behooves you to follow up and determine what distinction he is making.
Because a presidents willingness to accept scientific evidence over his ideology and religion is rather significant.
How have you determined the acceptance of evolutionary theory in the other candidates? I hope you're not ignoring the topic for the other candidates or willfully ignoring their positions! You have attached a great amount of importance to this topic as it relates to the president, I hope you're not being hypocritical and applying it to solely one candidate?
Macroevolution (common descent, speciation) vs. Microevolution (natural selection, adaptation), buddy. Creationists don't believe species can't adapt, as much as you wish they did (since it would be so easy to prove them wrong).
So on one side of the scale we have a continuation of the Iraq war, drug war and loss of civil liberties....all outweighed by his belief in god. Wow this issue must weigh upon you a great deal.
I think there might be a conflation of evolution and natural selection here.
And I'd venture a guess that Paul doesn't deny that evolution happens on a microscale (e.g., finches' beaks adapting to certain foods, bacteria evolving resistance to anti-biotics).
And when you think about, it is far from obvious that random mutation and survival of the fittest can account for the development of life as it exists. Criticizing Paul for failing to understand evolution and natural selection is like criticizing him for failing to understand three-dimensional vector calculus.
And if someone asked him about three-dimensional vector calculus, would he say "it's just a theory and I don't agree with it"?
He might not elaborate on the spot, but he might question the basis on which a given approach is built. In the case of modeling space, we have at least two somewhat diverging systems, namely the Euclidean geometry and that of the hyperbolic variety. Some of the postulates of the former do not hold in the latter, but both are accepted, widely studied, and even doubted by mathematicians and as it applies to natural phenomena, physicists.
That of course is the rational, unbiased conclusion from watching this video. However, the people that continuously bring this up are progressive democrats. This is a typical smear tactic to ignore the good and focus on the bad.
Question them if they choose their politicians on these views and they come up with some excuse. Yet you never see them questioning why the democrats aren't voicing their religious beliefs publicly. Its a double standard they ignore because of cognitive dissonance it might result in if their candidate believes in god.
Eh but a lot of people don't want to vote for an evolution denier they are single issue candidates in that regard.
thats fine, but their willfully ignorant on this issue that is important to them. I don't think a single Democrat has stepped forward in support of evolution. So these one issue voters give a wink and a nudge to their chosen candidate and say they understand why they don't publicly denounce religion in this regard.
I'm an atheist and I consider Paul honest for his answer. I didn't really care about it to begin with, but at least he told the truth.
Paul supporters typically know a lot more than a single issue. They can disagree with him on trivial issues, but they will back him on issues that truly matter to america, especially when you look at his record.
Its easy of course to criticize and try to tear don't a candidate when you have no intention of voting for him. Yet this topic has been repeatedly been brought up over and over. It'll take more than this video to get someone to give up on restoring pride to america.
It does no such thing. Listen to the video and see that he says its inappropriate to ask this question of a president. He then finishes this video by saying that if this was an important question, he wouldn't be running.
For a historical perspective, when Thomas Jefferson was asked about his religious preferences, he replied by saying that it was also not an important question, because the federal government and religion are seperated by a wall. If that is not what you heard Paul essentially say in this video, then you have selective hearing and you only heard what you wanted to hear.
If it's not an important question, why do so many redditors jump on Huckabee, Romney, et al for their denial of evolutionary theory? If religion isn't important, why not just overlook the Republican crowd's religiosity?
I don't give a rat's ass what they believe if it doesn't effect their governance. I don't care if Kucinich has seen a UFO either; it would have zero effect on his Presidency.
why do so many redditors jump on Huckabee, Romney
is that your best and honest assessment? Please point out a reddit article in the past two days criticizing them for their denial of evolution. I can point to this video being submitted on a daily basis for the past 3 weeks.
It would appear to me that Paul is so flawless on the issues or that people don't understand them enough, that this is the only critical thing that people can bring up.
Plus put this into focus for a second. Which other candidate is advocating pullout from Iraq? Ending the drug war? Restoring civil liberties? Kucinich is I believe the only one and he rides in UFOs. So does it really matter if we elect these guys if they actual accomplish what everyone wants?
lease point out a reddit article in the past two days criticizing them for their denial of evolution.
I'm not going to waste my time searching through them (especially since it's not an easy task with the search functionality on this site...), but the link to the video of the Republican candidates raising their hands for not believing in evolution comes to mind, along with its incredulous commentary. Also, there have been numerous angry blog posts and comics lambasting creationism that have made it onto the front page within recent memory.
It would appear to me that Paul is so flawless on the issues or that people don't understand them enough, that this is the only critical thing that people can bring up.
That's your bias, as a Ron Paul supporter. Personally, I find his ideas of radically destructing vital government agencies (department of education, etc.) absolutely insane. In fact, I find the whole libertarian philosophy of government to be rather antiquated and simplistic.
The search works just fine now and if you don't like reddit's search you can use google and produce any website discussing other candidates evolutionary views.
but the link to the video of the Republican candidates raising their hands for not believing in evolution comes to mind,
Paul didn't raise his hand there. There must be some significance there. Likely he recognized that you can't answer such an emotionally charged issue like this in a raise of the hand or a sound-bite. People don't like associating with others that don't believe the way they do after all.
Also, there have been numerous angry blog posts and comics lambasting creationism
This is reddit, so anti-religious cartoons are to be expected. However, the question is why is this the only thing that people can produce to criticize Paul about? Is his economic and constitutional ideas so sound that this is the only attack available against his ideas?
I find his ideas of radically destructing vital government agencies (department of education, etc.) absolutely insane.
you would seem to be in the minority, because this and his abortion position is the only thing I ever see criticized.
I find the whole libertarian philosophy of government to be rather antiquated and simplistic.
I don't like communism either, but Paul is neither a libertarian nor a communist, he's a Republican.
The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.
That is his statement, he believes in God, its that simple. If you think he would inject his religion into his decision, then you have two options. You can look at his record of voting or watch the unedited video and see when he says that he won't inject religion into politics.
The question is, do you even care, because you probably never planned on supporting him anyway. If a trivial religious point is indeed not trivial, then it would behoove you to seek out this evolutionary stance in your chosen candidate.
yet denies evolution
He doesn't deny evolution. He holds an educated view on evolution that the theory as taught now at introductory levels has some evidentiary holes in it. Not acknowledging this view as probably reasonable only demonstrates your ignorance.
Ron Paul is only guilty of being unqualified as a politician because he gives subtle and qualified answers to questions that don't really deserve such answers in the context of an election. I mean this seriously; the guy is a bit of an idiot at this campaigning thing. Alluding to the finer points of biological theory and blathering about Lysander Spooner on the Confederacy? It just doesn't fucking matter. Say something reasonable and popular that you don't outright disagree with, but mostly emphasize your policy points. Don't go for the complex exposition.
My only real concern with Ron Paul is that he appears to be a free market Cornucopian. He does not appear to be aware of the true dire ramifications of the brewing energy crisis. He thinks population growth is good. But this only puts him in the same boat as every other politican, Roscoe Bartlett excepted. It is only his ignorance on these subjects that bothers me as I believe his policy of returning power to the states and promoting TRUE free-market economics is the appropriate way to deal with the energy crisis and the population/immigration crisis. I just think we are entering a time when a politician will have to tell The People "Economically, things are going to get worse for a long time and your cost of living will rise a lot. We have serious fundamental problems sustaining our lifestyle given resource supply peaks and ecological destruction." RP only seems to think "Free market makes us all rich!"
Evolutionary biologists have provided irrefutable evidence in favor of evolution.
The veracity of Evolution as a basic theory, as explained by Darwin, is not under dispute. The mechanisms of the origins of life and the mechanisms of speciation and mutation are murkier than is let on. That's all anyone is saying. Darwin: right. Introductory biology text: somewhat misleading in its statements of certainty.
His stance on abortion is another example.
His stance on abortion is "States Rights." His personal beliefs are against it, but that's irrelevant. With Ron Paul as King, you could make abortions free on every corner in your state. Try that now.
Actually the Supreme Court, with the decision of Roe V Wade can't be considered "pro-choice". It only allows the mother to choose abortion for herself within the first trimester. What it is really is a regulatory decision by the court, essentially judicial legislation.
Most moderate people on both sides of the debate accept this as a reasonable compromise. The fact still remains that the court are meant to adjudicate on law and not write law. Properly the legislation should then take this compromise and make it into law. Of course, politics being what it is, nothing will get accomplished and the best way to treat this is to either ignore it and pretend we're still a democracy or send it to the states to be argued over there.
Why wouldn't he act upon it? He's said publically that he strongly disagrees with Roe vs Wade, so why would he not do anything about it if that is his personal belief?
I think you could all use a healthy dose of scepticism. We have here a strongly devout pro-life republican, who has the support of a large amount of pro-choice atheists. Do you think he is an idiot? Or that all the time spent in Washington has made him an especially honest man?
Don't get me wrong, the last thing americans need is yet another election based on abortion and gay marriage, but sweeping it all aside and saying that it's irrelevant because Paul is such a nice guy strikes me as very naive.
He's said publically that he strongly disagrees with Roe vs Wade, so why would he not do anything about it if that is his personal belief?
Because people perceive him as honest, trying to do what's best for the country instead of what he thinks is best.
Mind you, he probably would try to overturn Roe vs Wade because like most things he probably doesn't think it's an area of Federal jurisdiction, and it should be left to the states.
I think that's dreadfully ignorant, but out of all the evils available to pick from in the Republican race, that's probably the least bad. And in my (libertarian) opinion it's mostly outweighed by Paul's plan to cripple the Federal government, which would be a far more permanent and massive positive change.
Me, I'd still vote for Kucinich, though.
Anyways, I don't think Paul advertises the fact that he does. Like abortion. He has his beliefs but he leaves the decision of such to the State.
Ron Paul advertises this quite loudly. He has said he will try to get Roe v. Wade overturned. Yes, he has said he will leave the decision to the States, plural. He wants to remove federal protection of this right.
However, this is not acceptable to me. I consider the right to abortion a fundamental human right, just like the right to be a free man (not a slave). You would not consider it acceptable for a presidential candidate to say "Well, I'd remove federal protection and let the States decide whether to have slavery". We already fought a war about this.
Similarly, it should not be acceptable for a president to say, "Well, I'd remove federal protection for the human right of abortion and let the States decide".
Ron Paul is a strict Constitutionalist. According to his own views, he should not become involved in this issue.
Why? The Supreme Court already decided that abortion is a right afforded by the Constitution. They have the final say on the matter, not him. He should not try to become involved. A lot of his rhetoric and campaign platform suggest he might though.
I will probably vote for him, because his other stances are more important to me. However, I sincerely hope that he stays away from the abortion issue and does not take action. I will react the same way to him removing federal protection of abortion rights as I would to him removing federal protections against slavery.
Indeed, a very strong argument can be made that the right to abortion is responsible for massive decreases in crime around the country. The book Freakonomics performs a very careful analysis, differentiating other variables (in the process concludes Rudy Giuliani had no effect on NY crime himself) and concluded that abortion itself reduced the number of delinquent youths and, overall, massively reduced crime.
Ron Paul will probably do a lot of good things for the world if he becomes president. But we should not look at his stance on abortion as anything less than a small evil. An evil, perhaps, countered by the powers of the States, but evil nonetheless. Just read about what happened to Romania as a result of its dictator's banning of abortion and you will see one of the reasons why it should be a right.
The Supreme Court already decided that abortion is a right afforded by the Constitution.
No the Supreme Court created law that says that a women has a right to abortion only during the first trimester of pregnancy. The other two trimesters its up to her doctor and state legislature. Don't pretend that this was some "right" granted to the citizens, because what it amounts to is federal regulation.
Without Legislative action, the Supreme Court could change their mind tomorrow. They are even testing the waters to to go back at the issue some more in the near future. The Judiciary was never meant to write legislative law for us, we deserve to determine our own laws and not leave it to a bunch of self-absorbed lawyers.
Sending the controversial issues back to the states is the only way to ever get them resolved. If we want an end to the drug war, states will have to take control of their own drug laws. The issue of drug laws isn't going back to the states without abortion going with it. Plus don't think a Democrat is ever going to be able to push a legislative measure to legalize drugs, that would make them look weak and therefore won't happen.
When it comes to the federal government, we as individuals are powerless to change it. Many of this long debated issues like healthcare, abortion and drugs will never pass at the federal level. They will only be resolved at the local level, where we as citizens go to the ballot box and make a choice.
He has already 'taking action', and is in effect trying to remove the protection. He authored HR 1094, the Sanctity of Life Act, which declares life to begin at conception, and declares such life a 'person'. This at the federal level. I'm not going to pretend to understand what the state's courts would do with this (the act removes federal court jurisdiction), but it would seem to make abortion tantamount to murder, at a federal level, and in effect outlaw abortion. If any Paul supporters out there can square this with his insistence on getting the federal government out of these issues, I'm all ears.
Though this has all been covered before, he was asked two completely different questions, and only the ignorant are under the impression that they are the same question. He has stated before and after that he believes in evolution. As for the current theory of evolution, he does not accept it as accurate. For those who stay current with evolutionary theory, you will know that the current dominant theory very possibly may be toppled by one of several up-and-coming competing theories.
Though I had never realized that this was anything more than simple 5th grade genetics, I have found that, on Reddit, there seems to be no differentiation between evolution and the theory of evolution. For this reason, I realize that there must be hand holding and, thus, a Wikipedia link showing that this differentiation is real, normal and not some sort of semantic game.
Anyone else, no matter how otherwise great or qualified or respected, who says they don't believe in evolution is regularly skewered on Reddit. Paul is always given a pass.
I suspect that you have missed a painfully vital key point about the man. It is well known, for example, that he is a Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian. So why, then, would it be that people are alright with him actually being a "FEC", despite lampooning everyone else in politics?
The key, you see, lies in the fact that Paul has demonstrated an iron principle of eschewing his personal views from his political views.
Hence his statements about how the 1st Amendment guarantees that there shall be no one state religion, despite his agitation for permitting the exercise of religious beliefs when in the employ of the state. I, personally, disagree with this -- but I recognize that his interpretation is a valid one.
So -- at the end of the day; Paul's views are his personal views. And we have an assurance that his personal views will remain personal.
In anyone else, however, that would not be the case. Note, for example, that there is nowhere that you will find an example of Paul attempting to demand that ID or Creationism be taught alongside evolution in public schools.
It is a strong cognitive dissonance, and I -- at least I -- understand this; we are so used to politicians who speak in 'code' for what they're going to do that when we find someone who honestly believes these things and has acted as his rhetoric indicated, we no longer -- on a psychological basis -- know how to handle him.
Paul, for all his faults -- for all his flaws, is such a person.
I certainly agree that nobody, Ron Paul or otherwise, should ever be given a free pass for trusting blind dogma over the scientific method as a means of discerning natural truth.
But I object to this cry of "hypocrisy": Reddit is not a collective, it isn't really fair to generalize that the same people vocally criticizing Huckabee's stance are the ones turning a blind eye to Ron Paul's scientific ignorance. (I don't think that's broadly the case, but feel free to prove me wrong.) If we catch a few individual users doing this, then we should call out those specific users, and not accuse a diverse group of individuals of the strictly anthropomorphic fault, hypocrisy.
It strikes me that accusing a forum of individuals of hypocrisy is tantamount to insisting upon groupthink, the offending implication being that all of us should have the same opinion about any give subject. For my part, I'm glad Reddit is a place where dissenting voices can typically be heard (even if not necessarily upvoted).
You're going to have a lot of states who opt to enforce abortion laws and drug laws even more harshly than they have been at the federal level.
And you're also going to have states that simply eliminate the teaching of ID in them, as well as opening up abortion laws and perhaps even -- gasp -- FINALLY enacting Right to Die laws (such as Oregon).
This is what we call the "social laboratory" that is effectively viewed as the introduction of the market mechanism -- giving people choices and letting them vote with their feet -- to teach our society and culture what succeeds and what does not.
Will it be painful? Yes. Will it be unpleasant? Yes. But can it do better than what we have now? Ask yourself this: what happens when Roe v. Wade is not merely overturned, but an actual law is passed that explicitly defines abortion as an act of murder, on the federal level? You can move from one state to another rather easily. Can you do the same with countries?
Ya' know, this seems so fucking simple to grasp, and yet so many people seem to short circuit at the thought of competing governments.
"What?! We can't give the rights to the states because then a couple states might enact laws I don't agree with"
Well, then don't live there dipshit. Christ.
Actually to me it makes perfect sense. Let states act like a business. The states that have the best set of laws and policies will naturally attract the higher amount of people, thus generating more tax revenue etc. The states that have terrible policy will cause it's members to move away making them change these policies to attract people back. States can benefit from competition just like any other institution or business.
Yeah, and nevermind the people living there who have to put up with that. Nevermind that little insignificant thing called civil rights. Something every state who voted against gay marriage and abortion would be violating. Nevermind that that in and of itself is unconstitutional. It's best that we just run this nation like a business, right? If people get hurt along the way, who cares?
then those people could move to a state that held their beliefs. There is no law stating you have to stay put. And how is abortion a civil right? Many people believe a fetus is a human life, what about that childs civil right to life?
I'm actually one of those people...kind of. I see both sides of the issue and am at this point entirely undecided, but that doesn't deny the fact that it is an essential human right, no matter which side of the argument you take.
As for just up and leaving a state because you feel like it...things aren't that easy for most people in this country. There may not be a law against it, but it's very impractical and ignorant to assume that everyone can just leave their job and family on a whim
impractical yes, impossible no. If you are unhappy with your location, you move. People do it every day. Perhaps competing states would pay your way to their states. They would earn it back over time through taxes. Consider it an investment.
Well, I've been reading through the comments and here's my two cents:
Ron Paul votes against any kind federal intervention whether it contradicts his own personal beliefs or not
He doesn't vote to regulate porn (Kucinich does however)
He doesn't vote to regulate prostition
He doesn't vote to regulate drugs
He doesn't vote to regulate television, radio, or the internet no matter how righteous the cause may seem
What I see here are a bunch of escapist responses, on both ends. On the left we have people who are already against Ron Paul using this as some kind of scapegoat to validate their otherwise uneducated opinions of the man using terminology like "scientific ignorance". These people are completely clueless when it comes to economic policy, and intermediate U.S. history, and yet feel they are totally justified in discriminating against a candidate who hasn't studied the differences between homo-sapien, and homo-erectus because reading the 911 Comission Report seemed a little more important.
Then, of course, there are the Paul supporters who are denial. Hey friends, I feel ya' - I once thought he was perfects too ;) but believe it or not his stance on evolution (which is more than likely guided by his religious beliefs) is a non-issue. He knows his political history, he knows the constitution, and he knows how to distinguish his personal beliefs from his political ones (as evidenced above) That's more than I can say about any self-touting evolutionary experts (most notably those on this thread).
Happy Hunting :)
The huge difference is that Huckabee is a Young Earth Creationist and Biblical Literalist and Fundamentalist.
Ron Paul made one statement where he said he didn't necessarily believe fully in evolution, but that he didn't know all the details...
To compare that to someone who believes as absolute fact that the Earth is a few thousand years old and that the story of creation in the bible is the inerrant literal truth... that's "nuts" on your part.
Either this article was written by someone with no clue and no critical thinking skills, or it's an intentionally malicious and deceptive smear piece to try to compare Ron Paul to someone who really is completely off the deep end (and holds beliefs that are a paradigm shift removed from those of Ron Paul).
The thing about this is that Ron Paul's position would be no different if he did believe in evolution. Ron Paul wants the federal government out of education and does not want it influencing whether kids learn evolution or not. As a graduate student in biology I obviously believe in evolution. However, Ron Paul simply does not believe this is the federal government's domain and I agree. We need to keep the focus on accomplishing HUGE and more consequential goals than this. Sometimes I wonder if issues like this and gay marriage are put out there to keep the people from doing anything TRULY useful like getting rid of the IRS.
First of all, Ron Paul made it a point to say that it didn't matter what he believes because it should be up to the states.
So far, states trying to force "intelligent" design into our school have not succeeded very well, and generally been FAILING at their goal. That's right, its not working.
So essentially if left up to the states, we'll have ensured that in the long term, evolution is indeed taught in every school.
Regardless whether Ron Paul believes in Evolution or not, his ultimate action benefits science and not the quack intelligent design crowd.
I am still waiting on where he said he doesn't believe in "EVOLUTION". Big difference from not siding with EVOLUTIONARY "THEORY" in which you aren't 100% on the entire details on how human beings arrived here today.
I am anti-god/anti-religion; life long person of science. Lets understand evolution as fact and push everything else away. But I can understand how a Christian can be confused about the origins of life; how some out of the 6 billion people can be confused about the origins of life.
If you can give me the video where Ron Paul says the following "I DO NOT BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION AT ALLL, WILL NEVER BELIEVE EVOLUTION" or "I AM A CREATIONIST FROM THE DAY I WAS BORN TILL NOW"
Yes, I saw the youtube video mentioned earlier, but you can play all kinds of "Bill Clinton wordisms with that Ron Paul video.
Also, here is the difference between Evolution and Evolutionary theory.
Edited: F**king "Redditards"; We want freedom for all but we can't give this man his personal beliefs. Seems like hypocrisy to me. Beliefs that don't have anything to do with the office he is running for.
"BUT HE DOESN'T accept a Darwin's or Gould theory of evolution, he can't reason on complex issues."
Cut that bull-shit. If a former Air force surgeon with a medical degree from Duke Medical school can't reason complex situations over a fucking-tard living off dad's Oil money (Bush) than god help us. Call your representatives, asking to introduce a bill that all persons running for the presidency must have a PHD in Astrophysics.
In the mean-time, lets go with these requirements:
U.S. citizen, 35 years of age, 14 years resident of U.S. Must have an absolute majority in the ELECTORAL COLLEGE – 270/538.
Personally, I am not really THAT big a Ron Paul supporter. He has interesting ideas that might possibly work. So do the other candidates. I am just tired of this internet journalism where we take 30 second sound bites and ignore a person's 70 years of life experience.
That is fine, be an media idiot just like Bill O'Reilly. Personally, I would like to hear criticism or favoritism of Ron Paul's plans for the country. Will his plan to eliminate the IRS get passed? Will it work? Is it a long term strategy? Will it rejuvenate the economy?
Someone who agrees with me on roughly 85% of the issues isn't my enemy and is a far better candidate than his competition. You're myopic if you rule out Ron Paul because he's skeptical about evolutionary theory. If you applied that same strict scrutiny to all candidates, ruling out everyone you don't agree with on 100% of the issues, you'd end up sitting at home on election day praising yourself for your uncompromising politics.
They're saying that his personal beliefs bring his sanity/intelligence/wisdom into serious question"
We don't know ALL of his personal beliefs. We do know what he said in a 1 minute clip. He could hate crazy creationists like Huckabee for all we know. But have some doubts about the various theories of Evolution. Maybe he accepts a blanket, some glowing guy in a beard was playing intergalactic bowling and the ball got started.
"They're saying that his personal beliefs bring his sanity/intelligence/wisdom into serious question"
I would be more concerned about his sanity if I were shot and Ron Paul were operating on me when he was a surgeon. Since he has made it up the ranks in our system, I am assuming that he wasn't put under investigation and or committed for performing Exorcisms while operating on people.
Since I am not versed in all of Darwins's, Sagan's, Gould's. My belief on evolution is that two sexy stars were trying to make love, billions of years ago. A lot of stuff happened from that time to now and POOF, here we are.
What is yours, so I can make fun of you. You better quote some of the noble prize winning evolutionary theorists or PHD level research papers or I will make fun of you.
We do know what he said in a 1 minute clip. He could hate crazy creationists like Huckabee for all we know.
True enough, but unless more info comes out, that 1 minute clip is the data we have. Speculation could go either way, and really is no basis for decision making.
I would be more concerned about his sanity
Sure, but this isn't about you. "Evolution" is a very powerful litmus test for some.
What is yours, so I can make fun of you.
Fine by me, but you see, I'm not running for public office.
Belief: natural selection changed life from various forms to others.
politics: You people that keep calling Ron Paul a nut....which "un-nutty" Republican candidate do you support in his place? Why? Upmod to start a meaningful debate. on 2008-01-02
IRS - After centuries of paying regressive taxes, the vast majority of America realized that progresive taxes were more fair.
In 1862, during the Civil War, President Lincoln and Congress created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses (see Revenue Act of 1862). The position of Commissioner exists today as the head of the Internal Revenue Service.
The organization created to enforce these taxes was named for the internal revenue to be collected (and was formerly called the "Bureau of Internal Revenue"), in contrast to U.S. government institutions that collected external revenue through duties and tariffs.
First one does not check out. IRS was created to help pay for the war, and then like anything else, it just gets greedier.
Energy - This started as way to regulate nuclear energy. I don't think anyone back then or today is stupid enough to think that nuclear technology should just be in the hands of the highest bidder. (Except RP, I take it.)
Formed in response to the 1973 oil crisis (basically OPEC + egypt/syrica cutting off the West for supporting Israeli wars against arabs). How did it help? It didn't. It didn't go into operation until 1977, 3 years AFTER the embargo lifted. It didn't solve any issue, and is now used mostly to facilitate new design and implementation of nuclear weapons, and suck down taxpayer money. Weeeeeeee!
Labor: This one may have done some good in the past. As for right now... How many folks living on minimum wage are doing alright? Labor sucks for the lowest-paid. Anyone paid above that, is paid above the minimum in proportion to their skills. DOL mainly helps the lowest-skilled, and they're doing horrible with it. I'm not against this 100%, but I don't see it doing much good anymore. I'll concede it was useful in the past, though.
Education - Most countries have centralized education systems which work a lot better than our decentralized system. Hard to imagine a historical argument that says having national standards and a slight amount of planning at the top is better than nothing at all.
I've never heard of anyone choosing a school based solely on the DOE's blessing (accreditation). People choose (secondary) schools because of the reputation they have. It would be the same with public schools. Since you seem to agree that our education system already sucks, why would you be in favor of the department that helps keep it that way? Also, the argument was supposed to be past issue that the department rectified... I don't see any of that with the DOE.
Income tax - Ok, here's my wiki link. "The Pollock ruling made imposition of an income tax politically unfeasible from 1895 until the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment." Yeah. Americans had an income tax, lost it, and demanded it back with such fury they changed the Constitution.
Huh? The 16th Amendment came into being in 1913, the IRS in 1862, 51 years earlier. We're discussing the departments that came into being because there was some issue that needed to be fixed, couldn't be fixed without them, and was fixed properly with them. Why are you citing changes that came around 50 years later? Am I missing something?
Energy Dept. - technically named such in 1973, but its true beginings were earlier. Didn't hear any arguments that we shouldn't regulate nuclear power, so I take it you agree that this Dept. should still exist in some form.
While actually no, I'm not super concerned that the government be the only keeper of nuclear power, that's a bit off topic. The topic was about whether or not the Dept came on the scene to fix an issue properly. Is there an issue for justification of the DOE's creation?
Labor - your point is that since this department should be doing more, get rid of it.
No, that it's not doing the job, perhaps get rid of it.
Education - You don't see Walmart saying each store should just do what it likes. No, centralized planning is a better business model. No clue what the argument is that a school in BF Egypt wouldn't be better off with increased resources going toward planning.
Again, I'll have to request that you figure out what the original issue that the DOE solved and is solving today...
politics: You people that keep calling Ron Paul a nut....which "un-nutty" Republican candidate do you support in his place? Why? Upmod to start a meaningful debate. on 2008-01-02
Or just because he's against separation of Church and State?"
To a degree. He doesn't want to force church on to state, but he doesn't want church OUT of the state, either. We should be free to bring our church into whatever state we're in. It's when we start forcing our church on others where it gets bad. BTW, I am an athiest (actually a polyentheogenpantheist, but you won't find many of those), but I still agree with his position. It's freedom of religion -- and religion isn't something that's kept inside a church building, it's the way people act in their every day life.
"Or just because he thinks Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a good policy?"
How many other candidates have offered a different policy, and what are they? (serious question, I don't know.) To the best of my knowledge, just about any other policy would end up with gays getting the shit beat out of them behind closed doors. Hell, with the abuse that goes on in the army already, we don't need any policy that picks out the gays.
"Or just because, as a self-identified "Constitutionalist", he mistakenly believes that the Constitution is replete with references to (the Christian) God, and thus the US is fundamentally a Christian nation?"
Although many of the founding fathers were not christian, many were. But he's smart enough to not impose those christian morals on us, unlike so many others who would base all of their descisions on their faith.
"Or just because he's a radical idealist with untested ideas and little regard for opposing ideas?"
All ideas are untested at first. The tested ones don't seem to be doing so well.
"Or just because he doesn't have a clue what effects his foreign policies will have?"
Hardly matters, but for the sake of argument... From his longer interviews (not the 5 minute clips they like to keep him to), he shows a much stronger historic understanding of many different policies and their effects. I think he has shown to be the best candidate in terms of actual knowledge on this subject in particular.
"Or just because, relatedly, he doesn't give a shit about our diplomatic relations with other countries?"
Isn't he always talking about how we should talk with and trade with other countries peacefully? So... Sounds like good diplomatic relations to me! :)
"Or just because he's so ignorant of science as to reject the just-a-theory of evolution?"
This one is hard to counter -- except that since he wants to get rid of the department of education anyway, it doesn't matter what he thinks, it'll become the choice of private schools, and the parents. Those schools that lead to kids getting shitty jobs due to their horrid curriculum won't last more than couple generations.
"Look, he has a few good policies, but his ignorance and radical religiousness and idealism break him as a candidate."
Sadly, the only smart famous people I know who aren't ignorant and full of radical religiousness are dead. :(
@Digeratus I love when people become indignant about a subject that they are ignorant about. I love it because then I get to fairly assume you operate w/ a fair amount of hubris, and can therefore safely further assume that you aren't that bright because you'd be too proud to correct your thinking.
a recent example:
Or just because, relatedly, he doesn't give a shit about our diplomatic relations with other countries?
-IMHO he has the best policy for diplomacy og ANY candidate - he wants to bring all of our troops home. ALL OF THEM. Do you think that might make countries alittle happier with us ? Why are their international pro-Paul videos on you-tube ? Are there any for Barak or whomever you support. I bet not.
Or just because he's a radical idealist with untested ideas and little regard for opposing ideas?
That's somewhat the definition of being liberal ( being open to new ideas ) ; I assume you consider yourself one ?
Also calling him a radical idealist is immature; I think you'd agree that relative to the current administration that we NEED a radical, and what is wrong with an idealist again ? Finally, I think he has MUCH regard for opposing ideas, this is his platform. Certainly more regard than any of the front runners. He will allow states to make much more decisions themselves; likely creating a country where many people are allowed to do what others disagree with- something we used to believe in.
Look, he has a few good policies, but his ignorance and radical religiousness and idealism break him as a candidate
His ignorance? Example ? please look at what he has authored on wikipedia , also he is an MD. Also he was a flight surgeon and obstetrician, can you or your candidate deliver a baby or save a life ? ... ridiculous statement. Also watch him debate Bernanke on C-span.org; your candidate DOES NOT know nearly as much about economics as Paul does. If you think he/she does, please, please debate me on this point, I'm drooling.
"radical religiousness" ... well here we go again, another exaggerated attack ? Who sounds like the radical or the fascist, you or paul ? . Please allow me to remind you the primary tenant of his platform is constitutionalism via de-federalization. period.
Or just because he's against separation of Church and State
See above. this is boring. Evidence he would abuse this seperation at a federal level please ? I haven't found one.
Or just because, as a self-identified "Constitutionalist", he mistakenly believes that the Constitution is replete with references to (the Christian) God, and thus the US is fundamentally a Christian nation?
Um, look i'm a betrand russel atheist buddhist if anything. Seriously. But, I hate to tell you that all those white guys from England probably weren't talking about Mohammed or Vishnu. I still have yet to see any evidence that he will impose even religious favoritism on ANYONE. Nearly everything I have read tells me the opposite. He will de-federalize. This is how this works: If your state or city government decides to make a crazy religious law then get involved in your local government ( as you should as a citizen of a republic ) or simply move and hurt them economically. Don't you think states will be constantly competing for industry and under Paul would have to compete much more giving the working person much more power over the laws THAT AFFECT HIM/HER.
Paul is simply about the people having more power than government period. You completely miss the point.
Given a choice, we pick "none"; there are better Democrats to choose from.
This is why argoff said your opinion shouldn't be listened to. Paul is not only the best candidate on the Republican side, he's miles ahead of the Democrats.
Who instead of Paul? Clinton, Edwards, Obama...none of these candidates have done anything to make us believe they're trustworthy, and the last time we had a president who betrayed the trust of the people, we got Bush. Most of what these Democrat candidates have said they would do if elected, pales in comparison to what Paul has said. But more importantly, unlike Paul, who is the very definition of honesty and integrity, none of the Dem candidates (except Kucinich) have even shown they're trustworthy. None of them have shown they actually represent the people rather than the corporations.
Also speaking of the Democrats, who you point to as being better than that "steaming pile" of Republicans, how do you defend the disgusting enabling of the Bush administration that the Dems have engaged in since they gained majority in the 2006 Congress?
The truth is both "parties" have betrayed us, the people. It's time to put our trust in individuals, not parties. People like Paul, Kucinich, Gravel, Nader, etc, are clearly people of integrity. What makes Paul the standout, whether you agree with him on everything or not (I happen to agree with 90% of his positions), the reason Paul has such tremendous support is that we actually think he can win if we all get behind him. That, in large part, is why Paul has raised $28 million in 2007, while Nader floundered as a "protest" candidate in 2004.
The republican party's blind allegiance to their president led to the travesty that was 2000-2008. Now the "gag reflex" that's causing everyone to swear allegiance to the Democrats is just repeating the same mistake. It is a show of the population's stupidity that, in response to their hatred of the republican party, they would blindly assume the Democrats must be angels, the yin to to the republicans' yang, despite the fact that Democrats' own voting records and stump speeches strongly suggest otherwise. That's why Clinton/Obama/Edwards are trying to appear ambivalent about their positions on the war. They're afraid of alienating the republican refugees. Trouble is, it also means voters can't tell if, behind their veil of ambivalence, they're antiwar, or pro-war.
Can this country afford another Corporate President? Can it afford four more years of war? Hopefully Americans will wake up on Jan. 3...
See, this is what I'm talking about. Nobody will cough up an actual candidate. I don't understand how people can complain about government corruption and Bush lying us into war but not be willing to accept a non-mainstream candidate as a solution to the problem. All they do is nitpick and regurgitate MSM character assassination talking points.
Don't just bitch about my candidate. Tell me why yours is better.
You can't really compete with Ron Paul in a debate. He crushes all by philosophy alone. The original constitution was about U.S. sovereignty. "Good Government" and "Bad Government" - are all 100% moot ideas and moot points. All other candidates have to rewind their platform stance because of Ron Paul. They should, theoretically, have to qualify themselves as "progressive constitutionalists" - which means all the other candidates - both Republicans and Democrats - have to go back and READ the constitution.
Ron Paul is basically enforcing the written contract, and all the other candidates are assuming there's some sort of invisible "verbal contract" with the public out there. But in all courts of law, the written contract is the contract that stands - not the "he-said-she-said" verbal contract.
Neo-cons have hijacked the original Republican agenda by adding gross amounts of religiosity to an otherwise libertarian and constitution-minded platform. Hence the neo-con influenced Republican platform is "International Imperialism." Democrats want to be the do-gooders - but nowhere in the Constitution is "doing-good" supported without heavily amending the constitution. Both parties are guilty of trying to amend the constitution to somehow fulfill their agendas and it hasn't worked for either agenda for either party. And it's screwed the American people.
But as a consequence, all 2008 presidential candidates by now have learned political jujitsu techniques to get through the political processes with platforms they don't even know are "prog-constitutional" at their rudiments. I.e.: the CIA, the IRS, and the Fed are all "prog-constitutional" entities and not one of the Democrats even know it.
So here comes Ron Paul, the master at constitutional CHECKERS, and he's saying, "This prog-constitutional jujitsu you've all learned is irrelevant. I am going to beat every one of your asses at checkers because I've stayed up late many nights memorizing the constitution."
Give Ron Paul the Republican nomination, and he will mathematically and philosophically crush, destroy, and raze any Democratic nominee in any debate. And all he had to do was study the constitution, which he's been doing his entire career. No other candidate "has," "is," and/or "does" the homework. Democrats ought to be petrified out of their minds if Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination.
I had no idea how many democrat homers we had on this site before today. I just don't understand how people can think the party actually matters. I've seen the same policies my whole life no matter which party was in charge. Maybe it's time we admit that neither party is in charge. The power structure is not hinged on republicans vs. democrats. That's why nothing ever changes.
I support Ron because I agree with him on just about everything. I guess that makes me a nut, but in all honesty everyone on this earth is considered a nut by someone. We're all insane. What's awesome is that 300 million insane people live together in this country yet the whole nation functions quite well. The free market has let us each work at what we're sane enough to accomplish. That's why I support Ron Paul. I admire what we've accomplished as a result of our freedom, and I want to see more.
His views on gun control, i.e. it should be virtually non-existent. I believe there should be some modicum of gun control, such as a ban on assault weapons, like the one that expired a year or two ago in Illinois I believe.
Assault weapons bans don't work. Outlawing something to prevent crime doesn't work in general. They're criminals. They don't have a problem with breaking the law. Individual states and cities should be able to impose reasonable limits on gun ownership, such as the assault weapons bans, though I doubt they will ever be effective.
His views on evolution/creationism. This is a biggie for me.
I agree, it's faulty logic, but I don't think that would have any effect on the country. Just in case you saw the edited version of the evolution video, this article links to the original and shows what was edited out. He points out how much of a non-issue evolution is since it has nothing to do with the real problems in our country.
The fact that he will try to disband the DoE. This wouldn't be such a problem in my mind if it wasn't for issue #2. I believe that if he was able to this, it would, coupled with his disbelief in evolution, allows states to much more easily teach creationism on an equal footing with evolution.
States can already teach "intelligent design" if they choose to. It is the right of the people to teach their kids any backwards crap they want to, as long as it's not pure religious indoctrination.
Let's take a step back. Why should the federal government have any say in what my kids should be learning? Government power should be held as closely as possible so when the people in power do something wrong, it's far easier to fix it. If No Child Left Behind was mandated at the state level, it probably wouldn't have lasted four years. Nobody likes it, but changing things at the federal level is a difficult thing to do.
You seem to want to use the government to force other people to teach their kids a certain way. In this case, you happen to be correct. However, if you give government a certain power, it's likely that the power will be used against you as well. Sure, everyone gets taught evolution, but they also are only taught how to take tests instead of actual useful information since people at the federal level think that's the best way. That's silly.
The Department of Education is also unconstitutional. When faced with the specter of a constitutional-sized government, many progressives usually say that the Constitution was written a long time ago, and plenty of things have changed since then that necessitate large federal programs that aren't explicitly allowed by the Constitution. Even if that's the case, there is a process to change the Constitution. It should be used. Ignoring what the Constitution says is the same thing the Bush administration does to take away habeas corpus and ignore laws by writing signing statements. You can't ignore some violations of the Constitution while getting angry at others.
There is a reason the Constitution was written the way it is. The Framers just finished dealing with a government that didn't respect the will of its people, so they wanted to create a government that kept power as closely held as possible, but placed power at a high level when it was useful, like defense and foreign policy. We are again dealing with a government that doesn't respect the will of its people, and in almost all of those cases, it does so using powers that were never given to the federal government in the first place. The solution now is the same as it was then: return power closer to the people.
The massive differences in view on topics like gun control ans evolution in different parts of the country would only cause the states to create friction among themselves and create a huge morass of different laws that would change from one state to the next.
What is the inherent virtue of uniform policies between states? I don't care if the next state over doesn't teach evolution. I'll just make sure to interview potential employees that were educated there more closely. There are already massive differences in gun policy between states. America is still doing pretty okay. If the citizens of my state and I agree on a certain way of doing things, you have no right to force us to do otherwise unless our laws are unconstitutional.
You say that "Before 1971, the dollar was basically a certificate representing something of real value." What is 'real value?'
You make an excellent point about "value" being subjective; a thing is worth whatever other people are willing to trade for it. I make that point myself in discussions on other topics :-)
In the world before government-printed money, people would trade items and services directly for other items and services. Commonly-used items that people know they'll be able to re-trade basically take on the role of a voluntary currency. For several millenia, gold, silver, and other precious metals performed this role pretty well. Printed currency was just a short-hand to keep people from having to carry all that metal around; the metal was stored in a safe place somewhere else and the folks who printed the money would give you the metal if you turned in the paper certificates.
In 1971, the government decided to abandon that idea. That means that the government can pick any amount of dollars to print (or any interest rate for the Federal Reserve to charge, which accomplishes the same thing) without tying the value of the dollar to anything concrete. Now dollars are backed only by the "full faith of the United States government." This seemed like a pretty good idea to some (not to Ron Paul - this is actually the issue that spurred him to run for Congress in the 1970s), but now only 36 years later, it's kind of falling apart. Inflation is high and the dollar is plummeting against most foreign currencies. Basically people are deciding that the full faith of the U.S. government isn't worth all that much.
So your point is well taken - as long as people accept the paper, it has "value". But Ron Paul knows that the political temptation to just print more money will ultimately cause this 36-year experiment to fail, and that we'd be better off with the system that worked well for 2,000 or 3,000 years. We tried hard to make the Federal Reserve "independent" but in doing so we also made it completely unaccountable. Paul acknowledges that just using gold and silver is a bit limiting, so all he wants to do is allow private currencies backed by precious metals to compete with the dollar, and let people pick what currencies they want to use. That's currently illegal, because you know the government hates competition.
Every major foreign currency is fiat. How can you blame fiat money for causing a decline in the US dollar against currencies that are also fiat?
Good question, but I think it still makes sense. Fiat currencies are based on nothing more than faith in the issuers. For a couple of decades, people had a lot of faith in the U.S. government - more faith than they had in most other governments - and things worked out ok.
Today internationally folks are losing faith in the U.S. government for a wide variety of pretty understandable reasons - they have more faith in other governments and their fiat currencies, so the dollar is plummeting relative to these other currencies. If the dollar were backed by gold or any concrete item of value, then the dollar wouldn't be plummeting against other currencies.
Hmmm. Let us see. You work hard all you life and save some money out of your earnings. And one day you come home and find that a burglar has stolen half your life savings. And then, a keynesian economist walks by and asks - "Why is half your money being stolen such a bad thing?"
Dollar is a unit of currency and as such, it losing value is bad for anyone who earns their income in that unit, lives within his means and saves money in that unit.
On the other hand, you are right, dollar losing its value is good for those who speculate, live beyond their means and recklessly borrow and spend because the future value of the money he borrows today is actually lower.
No wonder Americans have low savings and Americans chase one bubble after the other. Brainwashing and propaganda has worked very well over the last many decades.
The Fed's role in the depression would vary depending on who you ask. Socialists who want to believe government propaganda will say that the mythical "free market" caused it and the Fed saved the country. Chicago school economists would say that the Fed made the recession worse and turned it into a depression (Milton Friedman being one of them.) Austrian school economists, like Dr.Paul, Hayek and Mises, would argue that the Fed and federal government were directly responsible for it. I agree with them.
I don't want to rehash the same arguments here.
Executive appointed , congress approved chairman...Bernanke ( former CEO of goldman sachs, and Stanford Phd. Get's to along with his "board" decide the price of money. i.e the rate at the government will lend money- which in turn affects the rate of almost every type of loan or interest bearing accoutn etc. It's all very secret and is often harder to know if he has to answer to wall street or the president. This a reason why people are in favor of getting rid of this process. Bernanke is must be very diplomatic but has recently been "complaining" of the Fed's "dual mandate" - that to both control inflation and "stimulate" the economy ( make stocks go up . )
Recently he has been lowering rates which is inflating our currency at a time when we are already having problems with the dollar. Most people would say that he is clearly going to continue to cut rates in favor of wall street/ big corporations / hedge funds - as opposed to staving off inflation... affecting the buying power of the dollar ... hitting the poor first.
I swear to god Ron Paul is the ONLY member of congress fighting this atrocity, fighting for things that will REALLY affect the POOR. check out C-span for yourself. Please get educated about these things people. Paul may be on the best candidates we have seen in years.
The Federal Reserve is the principal reason we have mild recessions instead of bank runs. Ron Paul wants to return the United States to its 1920s economic system, which is about as smart as returning to our 1920s medical system. The internet may be the worst place in the world to learn about macroeconomics. Get ready for some crazy.
Total nonsense and typical baseless keynesian/socialist propaganda.
Ron Paul stands for a currency backed by hard assets and the abolition of the fractional reserve system. And the fractional reserve system is directly responsible for bank runs.
There have been plenty of bank runs in the modern era, including during the great depression (which was after the Fed was established, not before.)
Just last year, there was a bank run in Nepal.
In the current era, a bank run will happen every time there are malinvestments. The only thing a central bank can do is to steal money from the prudent and give it over to the reckless gamblers, like it is doing today with the mortgage credit crisis. The Fed is happily hurting the people with fixed incomes and retired people who depend on interest income and bail out its banker friends.
Sure it could be argued that the Fed prevented Countrywide and Citibank from going under, but you don't need complicated economics to make that happen; you could just legalize burglary! Banks could hire goons to steal money from people and bring it back to the banks, that would "prevent" bank runs too.
Ok, what you're saying makes sense, but wouldn't abolishing the fractional reserve system hobble our economy?
No, free market provide enough of a platform to generate wealth. But not enough to play loose and fast and speculate.
The American economy managed to survive for a long time without the Fed, remember. Socialists today try to paint that era as awful because that is the necessary propaganda.
This was the exact problem that bankers had and led to the creation of the Fed.
The Fed's effective policy and practice is this - "Privatize profit and socialize risk." When things go well, the fed will do whatever it can to make sure that wall street folks and bankers get wealthy. Yet, when things go bad, the Fed will (indirectly) steal money from honest taxpayers and people on fixed income to bail out the same bankers.
Socialists (democrats) claim to stand for the little guy and oppose big corporations. Can anyone reconcile that with their blind support for the Fed, which does exactly the opposite?
Fractional reserve banking existed long before the Fed, and before America itself. You can't just say everything will be fine after getting rid of it without backing that up with some facts. Has Ron Paul even said anything about outlawing fractional reserve banking? I hope not.
Economic depressions are already a socialized risk. The Fed's role as a lender of last resort succeeds in mitigating that risk. The Fed shouldn't be for profit (I don't even really know how that works), but I like the idea of a lender of last resort. However, I don't agree with their role in regulating the money supply.
...OK, science is an ongoing and continual process. That being said. Dr. Paul being a very well read man has, and I am sure of this, read many books on the subjects of evolution v creationism/intelligent design. So he can therefore say what has said with truth and great understanding that there is no solid 100%, concrete with no holes, no missing links, bonafide answer to our existence.
I also like how you people who call others nut, cook, etc., etc., etc. have no real valid arguments and the ones you do use have been proven wrong. Yet you keep on and keep on and lie and lie and lie. But since you don't know the difference between facts and lies, this really dose not surprise me.
The Founders knew what they were doing when they wrote the Constitution and they were very clear and unesoteric in their intent with how the Nation was to be run. Dr. Paul has studied them in-depth and I really don't hear too many politicians these days quoting them as much as he does. He knows he can't change everything overnight, he wants to do things in a transitional manner AND he actually wants to work with Congress..how novel. But you detractors fail to mention that, because you also take quotes out context and use partial clips to make invalid and false claims.
Those of you enjoying all this big government/corporate fascism need to wake and see whats going on around you. The Constitution is pretty much dead now. I now you'll say no it isn't, we're still free. Really?? No Habeas Corpus, Warrantless, Wiretapping, No-Fly List, Torture, Renditions, Free Speech Zones? i can go on and on. We aren't free, we're just being goaded along like sheep to the slaughter. We are the frog in the boiling water.
Until you begin to shake off the shackles of the lies you've been fed all this B.S. will continue. Maybe you have forgotten about We the People, I know I did. We should put aside petty differences and focus on getting our country back together. Left/Right...it's all a fucking sham. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see something ain't right in America.
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BS' Blog: Filesystem Fundamentals and Practices on 2007-11-10
- Microsoft (MS) DOS 1.0
MS-DOS 1.0 was a direct (and illegal) port of Digital Research's CP/M from the 8080 to 8088. There is a long history on that (MS bought it from Seattle Computer Products, the original piraters, for $50,000, which IBM later settled out-of-court with DR for $800,000). But the limitations of CP/M were clear, no directories, only 1,024 files in the filesystem, and filesystem reference was by drive letter (e.g., A:, B:, C:).
The File Allocation Table (FAT) approach was simple, but effective. The filesystem was a simple set of sectors, with two (2) file allocation tables, one original, one backup. The allocation tables were to track allocation of sectors. If a file was allocated space, if it only took up one sector, then the relative FAT entry for that sector would be noted as the end of the file. If the file took up more than one sector, then the initial FAT entry would note the next sector of the file. Each file is a chain of entries in the FAT referencing the next sector.
The FAT references were 12-bit, allowing up to 4,096 sectors to be addressed. With sector sizes of 512, 1,024 or 2,048 bytes, FAT12 could handle up to a 8MiB device. With up to 1,024 filenames, the FAT of a FAT12 only took up 1.5KiB (12,144 bits) of space.
NTFS is, in essence, a modified version of FAT. It still uses a FAT design, but has far fewer limitations (e.g., no more 8.3 limitations), uses a more intelligent approach. One is that the FATs are located closer to the middle of the filesystem, to reduce seek times (FAT filesystems allocate them at the start). And there are now formal approaches to discover which copies of the FAT are correct when they differ. Lastly, like HPFS, NTFS marks and forces filesystem integrity checks when the system is not properly shutdown and the filesystem taken off-line (and uses the same CHKDSK.EXE program, although radically different than the legacy DOS program of the same name). NTFS one-ups HPFS by adding journaling, which reduces the recovery time requires for brining the filesystem on-line as consistent.
Windows Millenium Edition (ME) was a Microsoft experiment to remove a lot of the legacy DOS 20-3Fh services and various interface options to force its own software application developers and indepenent software vendors (ISVs) to stop using the legacy DOS interfaces and start using the native NT/Win32 filesystem interfaces (among others). It was an utter-failure as it did little to force change, all while destroying compatibility.
Most people think it is lack of filesystem journaling (i.e., recording transactions and ensuring they are completed, somewhat like the "Atomicity" -- the first part of ACID in a good database design -- in a filesystem) is the issue, but it's actually not at all. Because even non-journaling filesystems in UNIX have at least a mechanism to not only ensure consistency, but force a check to make the filesystem consistent. All of Microsoft's FAT filesystems, even in NT5 (200x/XP), never force the user to fully check a filesystem for consistency before mounting. In UNIX, we only allow filesystems to be mounted "read-only," if at all, until they are checked for consistency -- so no changes could occur on a possibly inconsistent filesystem.
NT systems have no concept of a "read-only" mount. During start-up, NT expects everything but the "System" volume (the "System" volume is BIOS fixed disk 80h with the MBR, NTLDR, BOOT.INI, optional NTBOOTDD.SYS 3rd party disk driver, etc...) to be read/write, including the "Boot" volume (the "Boot" volume, which ironically comes after the "System" volume/stage, is the volume with \WINNT or \WINDOWS). This is due to the fact that many NT services expect the filesystem to be writeable during boot, including before any filesystem integrity check and/or journal replay of NTFS is made -- which could result in corruption.
Adding insult into injury, NTFS is very, very aggressive in its journal playback. Unless forced by explicity user option, NTFS often replays its journal. In rare, but eventually probable cases over extended usage and time, NTFS will self-destruct and leave itself unable to recover from a manual CHKDSK. Therefore, it is important that NT system administrators regularly force a manual CHKDSK at next boot to enforce regular, full filesystem integrity checks and minimize the chance of a future, improper journal replay.
- inode filesystems
UNIX systems use inode filesystems. Each filesystem entry, typically a directory or file, has an inode that stores both meta-data, and points to the data blocks. A key difference and mindshift from a FAT design is that FAT has a dedicated allocation table with a 1:1 reference to data blocks -- whereas inode filesystems actually use two different data block types, the data blocks and the inode blocks that point to them. FAT uses a dedicated allocation table of all possible blocks that could be allocated, inodes do not -- in fact, some filesystems (that pre-allocate inodes) could "run out of inodes" when a filesystem contains lots of small files and there is not a 1:1 inode to data block (e.g., run "df" and "df -i" and note the actual data blocks and inodes used).
Pretty much every data block in an inode filesystem has an inode pointer using it, or reserving it (although designs differ), except the rare Superblocks. The Superblocks contains the core filesystem information (basic filesystem values, location of key inodes, free blocks, etc...) and only type of a few kilobytes (typically one data block, 4KiB is commonplace), and several, redundant copies are spread all over the disk (typically at fixed locations that are easy for experienced administrators to find in case a filesystem can and should be mounted with an alternate superblock).
A FAT filesystem makes it easy to check for free blocks. Inode filesystems are more arbitrary, and a filesystem consistency check is always recommended on a regular basis to ensure the number of free blocks, as well lists of blocks that are available or have been freed, are consistent. A FAT filesystem also makes it much easier to check for cross-linked files, whereas all inodes need to be inspected to see if multiple data blocks are referenced by different inodes (although there is an interesting bonus to this, as we'll discuss). Inode operations definitely make checks longer and more involved, although there are bonuses to this in consistency (which we'll discuss).
A big one to start is actually a surprise to many. Most Windows users assume that the "root inode" makes an inode filesystem more suseptible to corruption than a FAT filesystem, because it points to everything else. In recovery, it's actually the opposite, a major benefit. FAT filesystems separate the allocation entries (in the fixed FAT) from the directory references (in special data blocks) which means there are 2 different points where a failure could destroy the same data. Again, this is because the FAT design comes from MS-DOS 1.0 before directories were added in MS-DOS 2.1. Although NTFS improves somewhat on this separation, by allocating directories separate from files, it's still 2 points where either can cause the same, severe damage. Anyone who has had even a CHKDSK on a NTFS filesystem result in unknown "FILE####.CHK" files that no one knows about has experienced this issue first hand.
In an inode filesystem, if directory links are severed between the root inode, or any parent directory inodes below, at least the inodes below that inode are now their own tree. This is because inodes store both the directory tree and pointers to data blocks in one structure, the inode itself. If a filesystem integrity results in the portion of the tree being "severed," the portion of the tree typically shows up a its own, self-contained tree under the typicaly "lost+found" directory -- names, directories, subdirectories, etc... intact. It all depends on the locality of the corruption or other fixed inconsistency, but if there was only a few points of actual "corruption," inode filesystems tend to be much easier to "piece back together" than FAT designs as a result of the "reference and allocation information as one" inode design.
Most UNIX/Linux filesystems do many things to reserve usage of a filesystem. A big one is the common 2-10% (Ext2/3 use 5% by default) reservation of a filesystem. When a filesystem reaches 90-98% full (95% full on Ext2/3 by default), the kernel will prevent any further writing to the filesystem by anyone but root. Not only are the regular users, but most processes, are not running as root, so the disk stops allowing writes at 90-98%. At first this seems foolish and, in fact, many people complain about it, but it is for one very big reason -- fragmentation.
Fragmentation exponentially increases as a filesystem fills up. This reservation is a long taught, long learned lesson for UNIX/Linux administrators that should be very respected. Anyone who has filled up a Windows server volume should appreciate this given how poorly a Windows server performs afterwards, which is the same problem a UNIX server would suffer if it allowed it too. But unlike Windows servers, almost all UNIX/Linux distributions and filesystems (with a few, notable exceptions) enact this reservation -- to combat sudden and horrendous fragmentation that occurs as a filesystem becomes nearly full.
I never make just one data filesystem, I make at least two. That way, if a full fsck is required on one, I can bring the server up and let half my users work while the other half waits 15-60 minutes, instead of having all my users wait on the 30-120 minute fsck required on one, big data filesystem.
I leave it up to individual sysadmins to decide for themselves, but I encourage you not to avoid learning LDM and LVM/LVM2 because there are sound reasons for doing so.
In fact, the common physical volume (pv), volume group (vg), logical volume (lv) 3-level approach i Linux's LVM is basically ubiquitous across a host of UNIX flavors and their various platforms. Learning the elementary terminology, and how to do basic, harmless operations like allocation new space, is highly recommended. If you don't know your way around any UNIX LVM, then learn it so you are ready to deal with most implementations.
I absolutely and positively will not tolerate /tmp and /var on anything else. If I am absolutely hurting for space, I will symlink /tmp -> /var/tmp. I like to avoid putting even /tmp on the root filesystem. When implementing these "bare minimum" Linux filesystems, I assume /home will be mounted remotely. If not, then a separate /home filesystem is of great consideration, although there are one or two workarounds (see /usr/local below).
ReiserFS continues to builds a revolutionary filesystem that lacks traditional UNIX inode layout and interfaces, which is why ReiserFS lacks a lot of kernel feature compatibility, and not all of the Linux Virtual Filesystem (VFS) layers can abstract these features to ReiserFS that just isn't of the same, traditional design. This prevents me from using ReiserFS. As an additional consideration, by his own admission, Hans Reiser has stated that filesystems should be redesigned every 5 years. As much as I've seen ReiserFS handle dynamic changes without incident, as much as I've never seen ReiserFS make a journal misplay, the fact remains that with a continually fluid design, or significant changes on a regular basis, the off-line tools continue to lag the on-line kernel implementation. So while I might be okay as long as a ReiserFS filesystem is matched against the proper kernel, the second ReiserFS does properly not trust its journal replay, I'm at the mercy of the off-line tools. And so far, I've had horrendous luck when that happens.
I adopted Ext3 in early 2000 for kernel 2.2 when it was still only the "[full data] journaling" mode. It was little more than simple "double-buffer" commit. It was easily converted to Ext2, as well as back, and it did the job to drastically reduce fsck times. Probably the biggest sell for Ext3 was the ability to drop into a full fsck when necessary -- something that saved me dearly when a physical disk error occured (and my RAID card firmware and driver were not compatible -- long story). To use a trusted fsck of 10 years on a filesystem whose structure had not changed in the same period of time was convincing enough.
Since then, I have only trusted my "essential" filesystems to Ext3 without reservation. I have never lost a Ext3 filesystem, and I have had no unexpected data loss with either "journal" or "ordered writes" mode. I purposely avoid "write back" mode due to its inherent issues that it could affect files that are not being modified. With newer directory indexing features, I find the performance of Ext3 to be more than adequate for filesystems under 100GB. It should be noted that I purposely avoid using Ext3 on filesystems greater than 1TB (even though newer versions support up to 8.8TB/8TiB).
The Ext3 base feature set -- full NFS compatibility, most other, standard Linux features in mid-to-late 2.4 (quotas, POSIX EAs/ACLs, etc...) were sufficient for most operations -- especially in the early days of Ext3 back in kernel 2.2.
the major, key differentiation of XFS is built upon its existing, proven, stable structure on Irix. That included the full suite of off-line tools with 5+ years deployment -- xfs_repair, xfsdump/xfsrestore, xfs_growfs, etc... The off-line repair tool was very trusted. The dump/restore , combined with the native inode storage of any EAs/ACLs info directly in the inode**, but it could be safely run against a mounted XFS filesystem and did not require a snapshot or other volume management "freeze" (unlike Ext3). It already had the ability to be grown, managed, reorganized (defragmentor), etc... with the existing suite of off-line tools that pre-existed, not what was being promised to be developed, etc...
For data filesystems, I was sold on XFS and started using it immediately. I tested XFS for other filesystems as well, but quickly stopped considering it after both the performance of "temporary" filesystems was not optimal combined with the fact that I had two /var filesystems get hit by the XFS 1.0 bug. The bug was an oversight in the design of the one additional requirement for the Linux port, the paging facility that was previous tied to Irix -- something that has been long fixed and is now trusted (especially in 2.6 where the paging facilities are part of the stock kernel code).
The only issue of major concern with Ext3 is the pre-allocation of inodes. The ratio of inodes to blocks is typically 8-16 or so (one inode for every 32-64KB on the typical filesystem with 4KB blocks). On the /var filesystem, or another temporary filesystem with lots of small files -- possibly a mail or news spooler (although not nearly as much in the case of mail these last few years with MS-TNEF flying around ;-), this is not ideal. It is very often the case that a "df -i" will result in twice as many inodes used than actual blocks -- although newer logging defaults in most distributions/services are not nearly as bad as of late. So using the "-i" or "-T" option to "mke2fs" when creating /var or a /var/"spool" directory is recommended for Ext3 /var and /var/spool filesystems. E.g. (1:1 inode-to-data block assuming a default data block is 4KB):
# mke2fs -i 4096 -j -L var /dev/vg00/lv04
# mke2fs -j -L var -T news /dev/vg00/lv04
See "man 8 mke2fs" for more information.
However, I typically deploy XFS on user data filesystems, and the rare, large service directory (e.g., database, IMAP spool, etc...). On user data filesystems, I typically wish to take full advantage of Extended Attributes (EAs) like Quotes, ACLs, SELinux, etc... support. The default 256 byte size of a XFS inode is not ideally suited for storing POSIX ACLs, as less than 64 bytes are typically left for EAs. Should an inode need more space, a full data block (typically 4KB) would be allocated, which is not always ideal, plus it means not all of the meta-data is stored in a single inode. So when using ACLs and/or SELinux, increasing the inode size in XFS to 512 bytes (possibly 1024 bytes when using both heavily) is recommended, at only a small disk penalty overall (a tad more noticable with 1024 bytes). The option to use a larger inode size when creating a XFS filesystem is "-i size=value" such as follows:
# mkfs.xfs -i size=512 -L engr_unclass /dev/vg01/lv01
# mkfs.xfs -i size=1024 -L engr_secret /dev/vg02/lv01
1. Kernel 2.4
I have _never_ used the XFS backport to kernel 2.4. Frankly, I don't trust it. Not because of XFS, but because of kernel 2.4, and because it doesn't come directly from SGI, tested and blessed.I have only used the official XFS releases for kernel 2.4, largely XFS 1.2 for Red Hat 7.x, with limited use of 1.3 on Red Hat Linux 9. In fact, I kept deploying only Red Hat Linux 7.3 and, to a lesser extent, Red Hat Linux 9 with XFS until late last year (once Fedora Core 3 came out), tapping FedoraLegacy.ORG for updates. Again, this means I'm back at kernel 2.4.20 -- and I really never trusted newer 2.4 kernels anyway! I have not had the NFS issues others have complained about, and I've had a real crutch on xfsdump for backups includingACL information, as well as quota support.
3. LVM/MD Usage
I limit my use to LVM to volume slicing. Let me start by saying that I'm a huge fan of volume management. I use both LVM and LVM2 for flexible, on-line additions/modifications of logical volumes. In a nutshell, Ilargely use it to slice my disks with more flexibility -- reserving space, create new volumes as necessary and theoccassional expansion (although I typically try to stick to new mounts/symlinks).
But with that said, let it be known that I don't trust LVM and especially not LVM2 with snapshots, more complex resizing and definitely not any RAID operations. I do not trust DeviceMapper (DM) with either LVM2 or EMVS right now. Why? All I keep reading is about is race condition after racecondition after race condition. And in each case, it's not limited to XFS.When it comes to MD, I really avoid it. I always have. I've seen a lot of people talk about how software RAID is better, faster, etc... I've seen people state that it allows them to use different disk controllers and other hardware, and not be tied to a vendor. They also claim its more flexible and gives them more options. While I believe they are sincere, I can quickly and easily point out they are not comparing software RAID to solid, proven hardware RAID products from select vendors. I've just had a different set of hardware RAID experiences.
First off, I've limited myself to only 3Ware and select LSILogic (including former Mylex) products over the last 5 years. 3Ware uses an ASIC-driven "storage switch" and I have only deployed LSI Logic (and former Mylex) products thatare XScale (which is based on StrongARM). These are very, very high performing -- able to move a lot of data with not only little CPU overhead, but more importantly, without the extensive use and duplication of data streams through the CPU-memory interconnect. I.e., it's not the XORs that get you, but the duplicated data streams tying up the interconnect that data services could be using. It's the same reason why hardware switches/routers are better networking equipment than PCs -- these "storage switch - I/O processors"are the same. Their on-board RAID intelligence is self-contained meaning their drivers are simple, GPL block drivers. Even Intel is moving to put its XScale I/O Processors (IOP) on Xeon mainboards, possibly in the I/O Controller Hub (ICH), directly -- to off-load these unnecessary operations for today's network/storage (RAID, layer 2/3/4 frames/packets/transports, iSCSI overhead, etc...) off of the CPU-memory which it is not designed for (and only unnecessarily duplicates data streams taking time away from actual data processing).
- The Linux Information Project (LINFO) Home Page on 2007-11-10
Kinnison's review of The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche on 2007-11-09
In his own lifetime Nietzsche observed that in most cases "whoever thought he had understood something of me had made up something out of me after his own image (Ecce Homo III I)," and such is the case of Mencken.
one might find this book worthwhile for a number of reasons; as an example of how Nietzsche was often understood when his influence was first making itself felt; as one of the earliest works of an exceptional man in his own right; and there are even parts which do serve their intended purpose quite well (I think Nietzsche would have entirely approved of the chapter on Education). Finally I myself found Mencken useful here as a sort of intellectual sparring partner; having read a good deal of Nietzsche, I wanted to sort out my own thoughts by putting them up against those of another intelligent but non-specialist reader. So the book does have its uses, just not the one it claims to.
Say what you want of Mencken; he never levelled the guns of his criticism at anyone who could not fire back. By contrast; in our gallant Christian country, when some helpless nonconformist is set upon by a mob, it is usually with odds of ten against one, or more--something Mencken never ceased to scorn.
Concerning Frau Foerster-Nietzsche, as her brother's literary executor she certainly did him no service by adulterating his ideas with vile antisemitism and lending his name to Nazism. Not that antisemitism is such a bad thing in the eyes of some.
As for "Prometheus'" remark about Nietzsche's face "covered... in drool"; is this not Christian lovingkindness at it's finest? This sort of thing merely helps prove the point of Nietzsche's unwatered contempt for Christianity.
Stephen King´s Top 7 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer on 2007-11-07
Wanted to share Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for fiction.
Eight rules for writing fiction:
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
George Orwell: Politics and the English Language on 2007-11-07
It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.
5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion's roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as ‘standard English’. When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o'clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma'amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens!
DYING METAPHORS. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically ‘dead’ (e. g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a ‘rift’, for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.
PRETENTIOUS DICTION. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler, banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i. e., e. g. and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in the English language. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers(1). The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one's meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.
MEANINGLESS WORDS. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning(2). Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, ‘The outstanding feature of Mr. X's work is its living quality’, while another writes, ‘The immediately striking thing about Mr. X's work is its peculiar deadness’, the reader accepts this as a simple difference opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning — they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another — but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying.
A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. The will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:
‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’
The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one's elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he ‘felt impelled’ to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: ‘[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe.’ You see, he ‘feels impelled’ to write — feels, presumably, that he has something new to say — and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one's brain.
I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin where it belongs.
Effective Writing - George Orwell on 2007-11-07
By following Orwell’s 5 rules for effective writing, you’ll distinguish yourself from competitors and clearly communicate your ideas.
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
This sounds easy, but in practice is incredibly difficult. Phrases such as toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, an axe to grind, Achilles’ heel, swan song, and hotbed come to mind quickly and feel comforting and melodic.
For this exact reason they must be avoided. Common phrases have become so comfortable that they create no emotional response. Take the time to invent fresh, powerful images.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
Long words don’t make you sound intelligent unless used skillfully. In the wrong situation they’ll have the opposite effect, making you sound pretentious and arrogant. They’re also less likely to be understood and more awkward to read.
Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree (Ezra Pound). Accordingly, any words that don’t contribute meaning to a passage dilute its power. Less is always better. Always.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
This one is frequently broken, probably because many people don’t know the difference between active and passive verbs. I didn’t myself until a few months ago. Here is an example that makes it easy to understand:
The man was bitten by the dog. (passive)The dog bit the man. (active).The active is better because it’s shorter and more forceful.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
This is tricky because much of the writing published on the internet is highly technical. If possible, remain accessible to the average reader. If your audience is highly specialized this is a judgment call. You don’t want to drag on with unnecessary explanation, but try to help people understand what you’re writing about. You want your ideas to spread right?
6. Break any of these rules sooner than saying anything outright barbarous.
This bonus rule is a catch all. Above all, be sure to use common sense.These rules are easy to memorize but difficult to apply. Although I’ve edited this piece a dozen times I’m sure it contains imperfections. But trust me, it’s much better now than it was initially. The key is effort. Good writing matters, probably more than you think.
I hope you find these rules helpful, and through their application we’re able to understand each other a little bit better. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to read Orwell’s original essay. It contains many helpful examples and is, of course, a pleasure to read.
I read this essay over 10 years ago. It changed the way I viewed the writing process. Lazy (’foolish’ according to Orwell) thinking if allowed to become lazy writing encourages even lazier thinking.
I think it was C.S. Lewis who said (echoing Einstein), and I paraphrase: If you can’t explain it to a 12 year old then you have not understood the concept. And how better to know you understand, than to put fingers to keyboard!
Strunk & White is more accepting of passive voice. It recommends the passive voice when the object of a sentence is, more broadly speaking, the subject. For instance if you are writing an essay about acorns, you could rightly say, “Acorns are buried by industrious squirrels.”
asdf is missing the point. Writing well is not always about writing original, compelling prose. It is just as much the need to communicate effectively. If you write a memo or an email or a blog entry, you want to follow this advice. This isn’t the kind of writing that wins raves, yet is written every day.
These rules are universal like the fact that all of us should speak truth. Still, they are repeated time and again just because we tend to ignore it.
This is for the simple reason that we ourselves do not understand what we are perceiving through our senses.
And everytime we need some big name to tell us small things! This is the irony of the situation. You used Orwell to tell the simple truth with big name.
Thanks for this interesting reading. I wish people really follow it rather than using it as a quote to show their intelligence.
If you want to be proven right: do better. If you cannot: read better material. What use is a life spent lamenting the poor quality of others’ work when your own cannot match them?
Here is worthwhile advice to you:
Don’t use the word ‘quite’ in every other sentence, especially when you are criticizing someone. It looks snobbish and stupid.
When you communicate a point, be direct.
Throw out all the quites, almosts, evens, pretty muches and their friends too. Write with authority and people will believe you.
See rule #3.
My 2 cents:
Avoid the use of automatic and superlative adverbs - these words (ex from the article - ‘incredibly’, ‘highly’), break rules #3 and #1, adding unnecessary and meaningless mass to your writing.
A personal rule: never describe something as ‘ironic’ or refer to ‘irony’ unless you take A FULL 30 SECONDS to evaluate the truth of that description. Actual irony is rare - paradox, coincidence, and the unfortunate are far more often the true circumstances to be thoughtlessly given the ‘irony’ title. This last sentence was brought to you by the passive voice.
This reminds me of David Bourland’s work on E-prime (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-prime). Bourland suggest that we should drop the verb “to be” in all its forms. This removes the passive voice and force the writing to be more precise.
For example, writing “the rose is red” lacks clarity. Roses don’t inhibit “red” in themselves. Color is an experience in the mind of the observer. To sharpen your message you can instead write “The rose appear red to me”. This gives information that we talk about a subjective experience.
Be sure to check out the link I provided for more details.
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