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Avenger

Terrorist Attack

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Jager, great news about Jordans player, glad to hear he's OK.

Uh, Jack, I think you need to go somewhere, turn out the lights and get yourself deprogrammed. You sound like a poster boy for everything that irks people about America.

P.S. I am not uninformed, a propogandist nor a perveyor of male bovine feaces, although I must thank you for the likening smile.gif

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Jager --

That is it, mate. That it is. Or was, anyway.

So we're not calling each other idiots, we simply disagree. I think there was something a lot more sinister in all this, you don't. S'cool. So long as you realize that I'm right and you're wrong.

Just kidding.

As for Pearl Harbor, I didn't mean to imply that the whole thing was orchestrated by the Japanese and the Americans. Rather that FDR knew it was going to happen and just decided to take the opportunity to let it happen, thus stirring up the country to battle. Sorry if that didn't come through clear.

By the way, as for your social welfare bit. I heard this quote yesterday, apparently by Benjamin Franklin;

"Those who trade freedom for security will end up with neither."

Words to live by.

Kirb --

Like I said, don't take it to heart. I know that shortly after this happened, one of my first thoughts was "Shit, if we had novas, none of this shit would have happened." Gamer mentality, I suppose. It took and will take awhile to sink in. I may have well been watching a move when it first happened. Take heart. Your friends are right. The fact that you care that yo don't care means you care.

--Avenger

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

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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I just want to set things straight about Pearl Harbour. That actually happened because of us British and the Germans. British command sent a message on a transport ship to British forces in the Pacific (before you Americans decided that you wanted to help us keep the world free from tyranny - yes I find Americans shouting at us to help now ironic!) Unfortunately the ship was apprehended by German pirates.

The message went something like this - "The British Navy has not got sufficient power to fight the Japanese when the British Empire is the only powers still fighting against the Nazi's and Italians. If the Russians join their side?"

The Germans gave it to the Japanese. You got pounded. That was when the tide turned in the war. Britain had been baring the brunt of the attack for over two years. The main British cities had been bombed night after nignt. We had had to retreat at Dunkirk.

Sorry about this rant - but alot of what Avenger said, I agree with. But don't let this ignite an argument when we should be mourning Jack, not arguring and laying blame.

Aeon

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I don't want to draw the ire of our Irish and Scottish friends, but I must say, man, I've got a lot of respect for England and Winston Churchill. We're talking about a very small country that hadn't been active in the arms race for decades keeping the Nazi empire at bay. Hitler may have been fighting a two-pronged aggressive at the time (England/France and Russia), but he had a lot of help, even then. I've got love for the British because up until Pearl Harbor, the USA had washed its hands of the matter. If not for the Japanese attack, we would have allowed the British Empire to fall to the Nazi's. And I hate to be a doomsayer, but face facts; Hitler would have won if not for us. Nothing to be proud of. After all, we only got in when Hitler roughed up our gear.

How noble.

--Avenger

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

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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So Avenger..that was much better.

You said what you meant and in specific terms, not broad strokes and catch phrases. Much better...and much clearer. Some of your statments still lack some supporting evidence but its was much much better. And for the record, saying the buildings deserved it WAS stupid, but what you say now you meant by it wasn't.

Oh, and you didn't suprise me with the I love America part..I was just wanting you to admit it instead of acting like someone fresh from a undergraduate "Awareness of world affairs" political science class....

Anyway, Told ya I didn't dislike you.

But there is one thing...

Age hasn't weakened my resolve, its changed my perspective. I've realized that sometimes the axe doesn't work. People who claim the scapel doesn't work have been using it to carve pretty patterns into parts of their ass.

Too often people with very reactionary views are in it for themselves...they want to spike trees or overturn governments because of their own pissy little self-righteous agenda. Sometimes you sound just like em.

Case to illustrate my point.

Gradual incorporation of various tribes and villages into anti-poaching programs in Africa was by all accounts working. By allowing selective hunting on sick or rogue elephants and rhinos, the villages could make money to feed and clothe their pathetically poor villages and were beginning to see those creatures as something they lived in symbiosis with like their ancestors. It was slow going but it was working.

Then the ivory ban came along. Then the black market jumped through the roof. Then all those villagers found they couldn't were taken out of the loop in favor of international efforts. Then they turned into poachers to feed their families.

Pretty cute. A bunch of "radical" actions fucked it all up because some bunch of bastards was more concerned with how cool they'd look on TV burning ivory than how much good it would really do. They wanted to save more animals now and in doing so created a demand a aboriginal support structure that nearly wiped out several species. True, game warden crack downs mitigated some of the losses but end effect is still inferior.

Extremists don't think about that...they don't care. They're selfish bastards, whether they be corporations or activists, left or right, black or white, you name it.

That's cause people are idiots. And loud angry people are dumber than that. They think they're changing the world...and they are. They're making it worse.

Prime reason I don't join causes in fact. The people always mess it up.

Want to save the environment? Let's "liberate" creatures that will never survive in the wild and release them. Want to increase awareness of discrimination? Let's clamor for new laws and legislation rather than getting people to use the prefectly usable laws already in place (which could and should be enforced today..not when Congress gets off their asses).

So many people want change and claim to know what's wrong with this country and the world. Even more want change for change's sake and damn the consequences. Problem is, they are usually wrong. What's worse, oftentimes they cause more harm than good that way. And the really really sick part is that the negative consequences are those that people could have either easily prevented or that they knew would happen but have justified away.

Let's hope that doesn't happen here. It will, but we can always hope and try in our own ways to see that it doesn't.

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Jack, your view about the extremists was an interesting one. On a similar note, is there anyone here that remembers the several times that Animal activists decided to liberate the minks from their farms? And the action everyone took to save wildlife from the vicious little things?

You're right, Extremism is a poor force, regardless of the position. Not that it doesn't have it's place (And, just letting you know, I wish the type that causes death on this scale would rot in hell), but I'm glad that there are so few true extremists.

If only because this sort of tragedy should never be repeated.

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Avenger

I agree with most of what you have just said - but a few clarifications.

1 - The Scottish chose to join with the English. Look at the British flag, it is the English and Scottish flag combined. We sided with the English parliament when they beat the monarchy. An alliance was drawn up, and the UK was born. It beat of the European countries and founded the biggest Empire ever made. Although Wales was conquered by the English, the Scots never fell to them.

2 - Despite my jokes about disliking the English, the Scots and the English do not hate one another. The British are the English, Welsh and Scots as one. We all share our island and Winston Churchill was our combined leader. Some of the most influential men in the war were Scottish, such as the leader of the British Empire in Africa, Montgomery, and one of the best British units, the Black Watch. My grandfather fought with the SAS (when it was being formed - the equivalent of Navy Seals.) The English alone are not the British. And Scots like the English - we just like to beat them at football. There is as much pride about the power of Britain in Scotland as there is in England.

3 - The USA would have lost if you had let them defeat us British, because the Nazi's would control the entirety of Europe and Africa and could consolidate their hold.

4 - A quick salute to the rest of the British Empire, such as the Austrailians, Indians, Nepalese and Sudanese who fought with the rest of the UK to let us survive. We owe them alot and that is why they were mostly granted independence. Austrailia still has our Queen as their monarch!

Sorry to get preachy, but I hate it when foreigners think that the English are the British, when us Scots have an equal share of power. You do know that the current British Prime Minister, Blair, is Scottish? smile.gif

And I am very in favour of the alliance between the UK and the USA. Think of what we have achieved together and how we cooperate -

- The Western countries that founded the UN (along with Russia and China).

- Founded NATO and are the main components of its power.

- Founded G7.

- Won WW2.

I do not know if the USA feels such a strong alliance between us, but when your nose just got bloodied we are ready to help.

I'll stop rambling now!

I hope that this also helps you understand the situation in the UK at the moment that you were inquiring about in a different post! I will post there soon about Scottish universities - I am gathering some info for you at the moment.

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

It is one thing to have a good mind - the main thing is to use it well - Descartes

Aeon

[This message has been edited by Aeon (edited 09-13-2001).]

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Been off line. Condolences to our american crew. Here in Cork we got the story of the woman and kid who were on one of the planes to hit the WTC while her brother(who survived) was actually in the building at the time. Those people being Corkonians and all. Lets just pray for the dead, or honour them in whatever way seems appropriate to you and see what the outcomes are. I personally had to stop watching CNN as after a while it didn't seem real, too filmic for real life. As one of the Irish Crew, and I'm sure the English and Scots guys may agree, we grew up hearing seemingly endless reports on bombings and terrorism and so on, and after a while, it can be numbing, you ignore it, it becomes a constant background noise, only noticable when it ceases. I'm not sure what point I was trying to make there now that I re read that, anyway. Stay safe people. i'd like to think that we have a little community here and I don't want any of ye shuffling off your mortal coils yet.

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

Bast protect us all.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Coriolis:
As one of the Irish Crew, and I'm sure the English and Scots guys may agree, we grew up hearing seemingly endless reports on bombings and terrorism and so on, and after a while, it can be numbing, you ignore it, it becomes a constant background noise, only noticable when it ceases. I'm not sure what point I was trying to make there now that I re read that, anyway. Stay safe people. i'd like to think that we have a little community here and I don't want any of ye shuffling off your mortal coils yet.



I would agree about the terrorism, although I am younger and the peace process in Northern Island is being pushed through rather quickly. However, the enormity of this incident - and in a country that has never had terrorism on a mass scale before - I watched the images for FOUR hours on BBC News 24 - and I eventually just switched it off and now I feel slightly empty.


Kirby - do not worry, I am also struggling with the event - that many people dying makes it feel like a statistic - though it is certainly nothing of the sort.

Coriolis and everyone - I would also like to think that we have a little community. Stay safe everyone!

------------------
It is one thing to have a good mind - the main thing is to use it well - Descartes

Aeon

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The Japanese can count ships too, ya know? By mid-'41, the British Empire's commitment to Asia had been so reduced that the Japanese felt that they had a chance of stealing it all, even India. The two main problems were that while the US population was reluctant to get involved even when the Japanese bombed some of our boats in China, our government wanted to stop the aggression. Two, the British with their Commonwealth allies were too stubborn to throw in the towel.

In the first six months of the war, the Japanese devestated the US Pacific Fleet, smashed the Combined Asiatic fleets of the British, Aussies, Dutch and the US. Hell, they were in the Indian ocean.

Folks that want to know about commitment should recall what the British Isles endured. Constant air attacks, unrestricted submarine warfare, devestating loss of life.

By the end of the war, Britian was drafting men out of the coal mines (an essential war industry) and they remained on rations until 1952. Recognizably the wealthiest country on earth was brought to its knees, but they refused to give up. If America has the grit to see this thing through, we don't have to look far to see where it comes from.

In case anyone wonders, I am part-Scottish, Welsh, English, German, and French. My Scottish parts are McCain (not McKane, that's my wife's family) and Bannerman (Campell Clan). Morgan is my welsh part, Mauney is my German, Blackwater and Butler are my English, and I get my last name from my French line.

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Its a crazy fucked up world we live in with some very sick people who need their heads examined. And I'm not talking about anyone here smile.gif

Avenger, no ire drawn. You gotta admire a group of people who head off a nutter like Hitler for so long.

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Quote:
Originally posted by The Ranger:
Its a crazy fucked up world we live in with some very sick people who need their heads examined. And I'm not talking about anyone here smile.gif

Avenger, no ire drawn. You gotta admire a group of people who head off a nutter like Hitler for so long.


Sorry to ask, but was the Rep of Ireland formed by that point? If so what did they do in the war? Sorry to ask - but there are a few gaps in my knowledge here and there!

Aeon

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The ROI was formed in 1932, when Eamonn DeValera (charming man, really) decided we needed a new constitution and all that.

What did Ireland do in the War ?

Well, we were supposedly neutral. Of course, British airmen who crashed in Ireland were given a nice breakfast and sent off home to Blighty, while German airmen who crashed in Ireland were interned in the Curragh. (The Curragh is a big flat place...)

This is why the idea of Irish "neutrality" is a bit of a joke, and why Guiness is so popular in Germany.

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

There are no stupid questions.

Only stupid answers.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Stheno:
This is why the idea of Irish "neutrality" is a bit of a joke, and why Guiness is so popular in Germany.




once again my theory of Beer bringing people together and solving many of the worlds problems is validated.

this is a joke guys, laugh or something. after the last couple of days we need something.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sidious:

once again my theory of Beer bringing people together and solving many of the worlds problems is validated.

this is a joke guys, laugh or something. after the last couple of days we need something.



If there is interest, I can post a good recepie for a stout ale inspired by the Guiness Brother's product. I think we could all use a draught.

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Kirby...

Strangely enough the mink situation was the other example I didn't use.

The whole things messed up. It will continue to do so. Now I've heard people say that these attacks are God's punishment for our wickedness...

Avenger..I apologize..after that even the unqualified/unexplained building statement seems sane and rational.

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Aeon, thanks for clearing that bit up about Scotlands involvement in the war. I never claimed to be a true WWII officianado, but I have made it a point of study for myself, and I was glad to finally find out what part the other countries in the UK played in the "Great War".

Anyway, getting to you, Jack. A few points I'd like to address.

Continuing the scalpel and axe metaphor, I would add that what you said is mostly true. Many are too quick to pick up the axe because "extremism" gets more attention than subtlety. However, there will always be circumstances where the axe is the only tool for the job. You cannot convince me that Che Guevara should have used political maneuvering to take back Havana, nor will you convince me that the Zapatistas should be marching in protest and staging sit-ins. Peaceful protest has its place, as does the alternative.

"How many liberators really want to be dicators?", was a question that Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy's fame asked once. And it is an unfortunate question that must be asked, for many people who would lead a "revolution" do so in the interest of the seizure of power when they succeed. It is an unfortunate thing that a mans motives need not be laid bare for all to see.

I don't believe in any cause but my own. No pre-established group or set of dogmatic laws appealed to me, so I made up my own. I think that everyone should do the same. This is reason numero uno why I hate religion so much. It provokes herd mentality, just like every empty cause. I say find your own cause, and band together with those of a like mind. But be malleable. Theres no reason to flock together, blindly following the leader when cooperation gets better results than hierarchy.

However, you seem to take this "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" attitude towards global reform, as if enforcement of all existing laws would make everything hunky-dory the world (or at least the country) over. I don't believe that. Yes, I favor the enforcement of old laws instead of new legislation in many cases. But the truth is that things still are broken in some places, and they do need fixing. Don't shut your eyes to the horror of the situation; it isn't regression to the "old ways" that is going to make this right. It is a combination of evolution and reform.

And even if you're right, don't shut your eyes to the possibility that you may be wrong.

--Avenger

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

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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But here's the problem Avenger. You say things and point to situations that make your points seem sensible and backed up by facts.

I don't trust you. No offense, I don't trust most people. Its not even you, its just that your truth is just as skewed as everyone elses. I don't claim mine's right either, but I try to keep myself open to the idea that if it is wrong then I need to be careful about what I do.

Course I believe in chaos theory. I think it works. In fact, I think that if you try to nd think about the possibilities, you can affect great change by smaller personal actions. The nice thing about that is that you have a) some control (ironic for chaos I think) B) personal accountability (which can suck if you make the wrong choices but is generally I think a good thing).

It swings both ways. You can do a lot of harm and a lot of good too. And while we're trading impressions, I feel that you have a "well ya can't make an omelet" approach to many problems.

And you're right. Sorta. Cept people have to think and be aware of possible consequences before they act. And they have to be aware of them by thinking about them and looking into them personally, not by trusting what others say. After all, no body's gonna tell you the truth...the best you may get is the facts...maybe. You have to work the reasons out for yourself.

After all the best and worst question anyone can ever ask you about your views, solutions, or opinions is "So What?". If you've a real personal answer (and not what someone else told you) then corgrats..yer a real person. If not..yer a puppet of someone else's will (regardless of how rebellious a puppet you may think you are).

Course discovering all that takes time. And its not very fun, nor very flashy. I'm not old and tired Avenger, as I think you want to believe....I'm treacherous and patient.

(Which means you definitely shouldn't trust me. Hell, for all you know I'm sixteen and just writing all of this to get a rise out of you.)

I have no problem with "pulling out the axe" when you've tried the scapel. But most people whip it out dance around with it and then say "see, didn't work!" and proceed to do things that make people go "gee yer kewl!" and take their picture a lot. That's not trying...that's covering your ass with a flimsy excuse for posterity's sake.

So before you judge me (not that I particularly care) let me say I've actually taught people something before. I've helped people realize when they were being scammed, realize they have no right to hate someone for what someone else told them, and sometimes, just sometimes, help people end up better than they were before. It's not flashy..In fact most of the time nobody even notices. But then, that's not the point, is it?

Or says me anyway. Course you can't trust me...and why should you? You don't know if what I'm saying is me of some asshole who wrote a book or gave a lecture that brainwashed me into saying whatever he wanted me to...

But then I could say the same for anyone else I don't know personally. For all I know, Avenger...you're 45, have three kids and live in Beverley Hills. And that's why I don't trust you.

Tell ya what though...In a few years Gen Con's moving to my neck of the woods (Indianapolis). Why not drop by and we'll have a talk. Then you'll be a person and not some electronic nomme de guerre and a pile of rhetoric gleaned from a bunch of shit I've read too (tell me honestly, did you read Preacher first or listen to Bill Hicks first?). Maybe we'll even get along.

And that's the real reason I tried to keep your age and personal info seperate from what you say online (till recently I when I took a chance it was fact and not fiction)...cause it could all be lies. That's why I am skeptical of what you say...cause it could be lies even you don't realize are lies. A lot of "in yer face" people I've known are full of shit...in fact they often tell me the biggest lies of all....

"I care more than you."

"You're a tool of the system."

"You don't realize what's really going on."

"I would never do somethin like that."

It all sounds so good. Until you realize its built on a foundation subcontracted out by a bunch of college professors, writers, media figures, and historians telling them things that they fit together in the most seamless non-conflicting way possible so as not to go insane. Course that artificial ideological structure is the biggest falsification of all.

But maybe you arne't like that. Maybe you can take the conflicting opinions and values of aware and decent people and keep them together in some ever-evolving mass by tempering them with an askewed sense of awareness that manages to pass for a value system.

Maybe you can. Maybe you'll even tell me you can. Maybe I'll even believe it.

But I wouldn't trust it till you know me....

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Well Jack, while this is certainly getting steadily further away from my original intent, that's fine. Even threads can evolve, you know, and far be it from me to let such worthy debate go unbattled because it deviates from what this thread was for to begin with.

For the record, it was Preacher that came first. Bear in mind that I was all of sixteen or fifteen when it first came out, so I hadn't yet heard of Bill Hicks. At that age, my counter-culture god was George Carlin. If you'd care to expand on exactly what prompted you to make that comment, though, I'd be willing to listen.

I readily admit that I sometimes parrot the words of those that I think made worthy judgements and careful observations who have gone before me. To disregard everything that everyone has thought so as to make sure that my own world-view was completely pure of outside influence in some egotistic attempt to be able to claim complete and total mental autonomy seems more than a little silly to me. You may as well ask every child born to disregard all of history so that they can live their entire life working out a cohesive value system instead of giving them a rough outline and letting them figure out the details.

I do not, nor shall I ever, I think, simply parrot all the ideals or dogma of another person, institution or group. Ever. I am nobody's puppet. There is nobody, none of my 'heroes', none of my influences, whom I have not had disagreements with. Sources like DesCarte, Henry Rollins, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Dennis Miller, Dennis Leary, Nietzsche, Noam Chomsky, the Bushido, the Odinic tribes, Genghis Khan, Winston Churchill, Vlad Tepes, Hunter S. Thompson, Divis Mal, Emma Goldman, Greg Graffin, Robert Anton Wilson, Fat Mike and a myriad others serve as the mortar that fills in the gaps between the bricks of my own idealogy. At the core of my being, I have certain very basic things that I hold true to. Not necessarily that I believe in -- but tenets that I adhere to as a personal code. I collect bits of information and ideas from sources as varied as people, I try to learn something from everyone, and I never accept all of what anyone has to say, no matter how much I like or respect them. In this, I puppet nobody. But I will heartily admit that I stand on the shoulders of giants from time to time.

I digress. No offense taken on the issue of trust. Theres one person that I trust implicitly, and I see him every day. There are many different kinds of trust. I would trust my friend Mike to shoot someone without hesitation if they were going to shoot me. I wouldn't trust my fiance Joanna with that. She hasn't the stomach for that kind of decisive action. Likewise, where I would trust Joanna always to come through for me if she made a promise, time has shown me that I can't always trust Mike to live up to his word. Shit happens, and when it does, Joey is more likely to make whatever sacrifice to come through for me than he. Theres nothing wrong with that. It's just different kinds of trust.

What I'm getting at with all this is that I trust different people with different things, but there are very very few people I trust anyway. I may seem trusting, as I rarely press too hard on certain issues. When somebody tells me they can speak Japanese, I generally accept it. But one of my strongest rules for life is "Accept the truth when you hear it, but be prepared for lies." In the above mentioned example, I'd accept that you know Japanese. But I'd be prepared with my Japanese translation guide any damn way just in case you turn out to be a filthy fucking liar.

For now, I have no reason to accept that you are not who you say you are. Until I get evidence to the contrary, I'll go with that. But I don't believe you in the strictest sense of the word. Don't be offended. I don't believe that the sun will come up tomorrow. I don't believe that I'm typing right now. It just seems the most likely explanation, so I'll go with it until I'm shown otherwise, and as always, I'll be prepared in case I'm wrong.

You're right about one thing. I take an 'omelets and eggs' approach to many things. This is deeply rooted in the fact that I think so few things have any true value. Even a lost human life, by my reckoning, is no great tragedy. Either the person has gone to their eternal reward (if you believe they deserve eternal damnation, they probably fucking deserve to be dead anyway) or they get another cycle through life. Some of us may believe nothing happens after you die -- if that's true (and I hope it isn't), then what does it matter? So one could say that I take a very 'omelets and eggs' approach to everything. Nothing angers me for longer than a day or two. Theres only one thing, one despicable act that can keep me angry for a good long time. It's a fire that was lit under my ass a long time ago that hasn't gone away yet, nor will it ever, I think.

You know...it's funny. It's true what they say, about how there are no disagreements, only misunderstandings. Although I don't think it's patently true, I lend it a lot more credence than most. Oft have I disagreed with someone vehemently only to find out, after discussing the finer points, that there really isn't much of a disagreement to begin with, and that on those few points of friction, the issue isn't truth or belief, but opinion -- that is, personal truth. It's happening here, I see it already. We may have dismissed each other to begin with, but already do I see the fractures filling in...

I share your latest comments regarding the axe and the scalpel. Both have their place, and far too many confuse the two. It's tragic, but all one can do is try to educate. Try to help. Many people don't want it, because they want the axe.

For the record, I've helped people, too. It's slow going. Many people don't want help. They're so stuck into their microcosm existence that (as I've said time and time again) they don't even notice a world that exists outside the proximity of their own fat asses. First, people have to want to change and improve, to evolve. After that, the rest is a fucking cake-walk.

I don't suppose my assurance that I am who I am would make any difference. No? Didn't think so. Ah well. Suppose you'll have to meet me to know for sure. And even then, how can you be sure that I'm not, say, my son? My nephew? Some dashing, revolutionary young lad I picked up off the internet to serve as my concubine?

Should I ever find myself in Indianapolis, I'll be happy to have a chat. Though I don't see myself going to GenCon anytime soon. Likewise if you ever find yourself in New York, or in awhile...well...I'm not rightly sure where I'll be going...but you feel free to stop in, wherever it is.

On to the "lies":

"I care more than you."

You might. Them's fightin' words between two revolutionaries, or any two empassioned people. But it isn't hard for me to say that about my roommate and the current NY situation. He genuinely doesn't care.

"You're a tool of the system."

We all are, in varying degrees. The only lie here is that you didn't add "And so am I."

"You don't realize what's really going on."

By both yours and my admission, this is one of the most universally true statements ever uttered. According to me, you can never realize what's really going on, because -- hey, guess what? -- the whole world just might be laughing behind your back. For all you know, the universe might cease to exist when you blink.

"I would never do something like that."

Yeah, that one is bullshit, according to my system of personal truth. As far as I'm concerned, I know one thing for absolute certain, and that's me. And I couldn't say that. In the end, you do what you fucking have to and that's all there is to it. Phrases like "I couldn't" and "I can't" are bullshit. One does what they must.

Wrapping this up now. Honest.

My mind evolves and changes, molding to the world around it. I've been struggling with the idea of codifying my personal ethos, my personal truths into a book. On one hand, I have taken great pains thus far to illustrate an attitude of "This is what works for me. If it works for you, great. Let's talk. If it doesn't, hey, fine. It doesn't mean we're enemies, it means we're different. I'm cool with that if you are." I think that's noble. I won't hold anyone to what I think, nor would I encourage anyone to believe everything or even anything I say. Rather, my aim with this is to dilineate the core of my philosophy in an attempt to find brothers and fellows, and in strengthening them, they will strengthen me. And perhaps we'll do something great together. The reason I wrestle with this is because my ideas are always changing, always fluid. Which is why I've resolved to simply dilineate the very, very basic nuts-n-bolts strata of my value system. That way, more people can identify with what I have to say with no quibbling over details. I'll make suggestions, but I am trying to be cautious to make it abundantly clear that these ideas I have are just ideas, that they are not "right", that they are not perfect, and that they are not immutable.

I try to take the best of what I see around me, what works for me, what I can relate to, and weave it into a singular vision that works for me. I call it a 'value system'. And I am reasonably sure I'm nobody's puppet. In all this confusion, I found a beacon of stability -- myself. I am a shamelessly solipsist presumably-human creature.

And even when and if you ever know me, I still wouldn't believe me if I was you. After all, I could be wrong.

--Avenger

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

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Before everyone jumps at my throat with crucifiction on their minds because I don't consider human lives worthwhile, just let me clarify.

It is a difficult thing to explain. People label you as heartless when you tell them that peopley dying doesn't really faze you. But I've lost a goodly number of people despite my young age, and even when I lose my friends or my family, even when I lose them to murder and accident (which I have, in all permutations), I don't get weepy-eyed, cry, scream and curse the heavens that their time was cut short. It makes me disappointed that the person won't get a chance to fulfill their potential, but allowing yourself to be overcome with grief doesn't do you or the deceased one bit of good. I didn't cry at my closest comrades' funeral. This is not an ethos of hypocrisy, I promise.

But when a person dies, I consider it unfortunate. It's a waste of potential, and I'm sure it's going to hurt a lot of people who quite simply aren't me. That is equally sad. But death simply doesn't affect me the same way it does most people, because right now my best guess says that they come back anyway.

I know a man -- a Buddhist -- who committed suicide in Junior College. The pressure on his life was simply too much for him to bear. He couldn't handle all the stress being put on his life. He left a note that contained no bitterness, no anger, no sadness. It was as simple to him as "I don't like the way this is going, so I'm going to hurry up and move on to my next life." Was he a quitter? Undoubtedly. I don't advocate what he did. We do, however, take a similar attitude towards passing on.

Of course, the exception to all this is Joanna, my fiance. If she died, I would fall apart, possibly literally. Not because I would consider it a "tragedy" that she died -- it would be a personal tragedy, to be sure -- but because I have a personal vested interest in her health and well-being, and losing her would have a profound impact on my life. If I lost her, I would feel personally horrible for her and everything that she won't get to do. I'd feel personally horrible for me because I love her dearly and need her presence in my life. But she's a special case. The same thing could happen to my mum, who I also love dearly, or my best friend, who is the only person I trust, and you'd garner the same reaction as one would if you told me that person 'X' on the other side of the world died, with the additional difference that as I have a personal vested interest in the lives of those people, I would feel personal loss.

Make no mistake. I consider it a bad thing when people die. As John Donne put it, "Every mans death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind." But I simply do not put such a high value on life that I will break down, unable to deal with a tragedy like this, or due to the death of any one person. I'd also have no problem shooting someone who's going to shoot me. I also advocate abortion. Life is a temporal thing at best, and I don't think that because your shell dies, theres nothing left of you. When you consider that, why should anyone fear death?

No, by the way, I don't want to die. Not because I love life. But because I've got too much shit to do before I die. I'd grieve anyone who died on a quest. I'd grieve anyone who died and shouldn't have. I grieve the people who died in the attack, I really do. But I don't place death -- even megadeath -- on par with even a singular act of what I do consider a tragedy.

After all, kill a man and his misery is over. Rape, on the other hand, is an act of torture that requires a single application and lasts a lifetime. That's a goddamned tragedy.

I'm sure there's still much to say on the matter, and doubtless people will lunge at any chink they happen to see in my armor. Rest assured, the chinks are not in my philosophy, but in my explanation thereof.

--Avenger

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

Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.

avengingcrusader@hotmail.com

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Avenger, I won't lunge for the chinks in your armour. I know at least one person who feels absolutely nothing when she sees death (not me, a FOAF). I feel sad for her, but I don't for you. To me, I feel that every life is important. You obviously feel the same way (in some permutation anyway). I can't fault that. I wouldn't even try.

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We all see life in our own way. We really can't help it. Even when we try to empathize with someone, we do it through our own experiences, not theirs.

A friend once told me that when you go about saving a friend, don't forget to save yourself. A drowning man saves no one. Nor, in fact do we save others. We allow them to save themselves.

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I ended up breathing in too much of that crap and spent a week in the hospital starting 12 September...

God I'll never forget feeling the ground shake as the towers fell...

All I want to know is why?

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"Why"? "Why" what? Why did terrorists plow jet planes into some of our national landmarks? Why did they attack at all? Why are we at war? Or maybe Why the hell don't we do this right, instead of carpet-bombing civvies?

Well the first answer is pretty obvious; it was fucking well effective. The second answer is the tough one. If I had to guess, I'd say it's because we're the Great Satan, a badge for the opulence and pigfucking greed that leaves the rest of the world in rags. I'd hate us if I lived in Afghanistan, too. You can hardly blame these people. Even the ones who aren't under the impression that they most destroy foreign devils in the name of the almighty Allah (a majority, I assure you) live in huts and bathe in the urine of their own cattle. Meanwhile, what'd you have for dinner last night? It doesn't help that the guys in charge are religious zealots who are mad as fuck and have been gathering weapon caches for decades.

As for the last two, the answer is pretty much the same; because war is profitable.

-- Avenger

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Also, if you do it right, War gives near unlimited Political Points. I really hate this, because finally the Australian population was ready to Ditch PM John Howard this election. Now it looks like he's in for another 3 years.

And of course the great hypocrisy? We attack the nation, but don't accept the Refugees. Sickens me, really does.

Err, sorry. A little angry at the Australian PM for being good at what he does. Carry on.

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Well Avenger, I think you're sort of right about America being the Great Satan...but you forgot to ask why.

Israel is a large part of it, if in many cases it's only an excuse. The US supports Israel, Israel occuppies territory that up until 1947 was Palestine.

When the Palestinians get unhappy and throw rocks at Israeli troops, the Israelis shoot them. This for some reason tends to bring up a lot of rancour on the Palestinian population, and also in their fellow Muslims.

There's a political dimension to it as well, but this is already a long answer.

To put it briefly, US foreign policy is partly what is responsible for so many of these countries being fucked up. Afghanistan is currently being ruled by a group of psychoes who were originally supported by the Pakistani government...and who were given arms and training by the US to fight the Soviets way back when.

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