[ExI] The mosque at Ground Zero

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 8 22:14:54 UTC 2010

On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 2:53 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> Think for a minute. Realistically, how can a bunch of bandits living
> in caves in the Middle East really 'threaten' a huge nuclear powered
> nation like the US on the other side of the world?

well... if they get enough followers on Twitter....

> Yea. I know, once they crashed planes into buildings. The US (as a
> nation state) never even blinked. More people die in car accidents.
> Since then the fear publicity machine has caused the US nation to
> damage itself far more than a few terrorists ever could. Foreign wars,
> the TSA, etc. is causing the US to panic spend and waste resources
> into economic destruction. That's how those few bandits will destroy
> the US.

They might take credit, but the US is disintegrating without help from
abroad.  I don't expect to be able to make such comments without being
a suspect soon.  Freedoms erode pretty quickly when there is no
protection against wear.

> The name-calling 'threats' from the Third World are really just a
> demand for the US to get the hell out of their countries and leave
> them alone. Unfortunately the US needs their oil and other resources,
> so the US has to use propaganda to justify their foreign wars.

You know, I'd demand we get out of foreign countries and spend that
money rebuilding our own.

> (And the US military industrial complex is now virtually unstoppable.
> If the US wasn't fighting wars they wouldn't need all these armies and
> all that expensive equipment, would they? And we can't have that can
> we?).

What else would we spend money on if not armies and equipment?
Education?  Do you really think government wants to deal with an
educated public?  Please.

The threat I was imagining was not cave-dwelling terrorists.  It's the
ideals of groups of people with beliefs that are fundamentally
different than those truths that "we" hold to be self-evident.  The
only war that we stand to lose these days is a war of memes and
ideology.  The front lines are not drawn geographically.  Just as the
quickening pace of technology has made the stock market too volatile
for mere mortals, the competition between opposing memes (religious,
political, etc.) takes no prisoners; the noncommittal are either
enlisted by one side or a resource for the other.  I believe John's
point about excuses and apologetics for antithetical (un-American,
un-Western, un-Educated, un-WhatHaveYou) ideas is an observation that
tolerance, acceptance and defeat are closely proximal on the losing
end of the spectrum.

* we:  the "us" in us-v.-them.  Whether it's atheists v. theists,
transhumanists v. unihumanists (?), western vs eastern, left v. right,
good v. bad, whatever.  The enemy of my enemy is my friend... at least
until our enemy is eliminated; then we'll decide who becomes the new

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