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A Strategy of ‘Subversive Rationalization’ for a post-Abrahamic Africa

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  • Jacques L. Hamel
    Dear All, Some members of the group may be interested in the blog below on a strategy - a strategy of `Subversive Rationalization - to pull Africa toward some
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 4, 2008
      Dear All,

      Some members of the group may be interested in the blog below on a
      strategy - a strategy of `Subversive Rationalization' - to pull
      Africa toward some form of post-enchanted / post-Abrahamic region and
      toward some form of distinctive modernity. Any comment?

      Jacques L. Hamel
      jachamel@...
      http://jachamel.googlepages.com



      "The world we have created is the product of our thinking. It cannot
      be changed without changing our thinking" Albert Einstein

      "Science is a way of thinking much more than a body of knowledge"
      Carl Sagan


      The objective of this blog is to share ideas on a strategy - a
      STRATEGY OF SUBVERSIVE RATIONALIZATION - for uncovering modernity in
      Africa. The strategy emphasizes the internalization of the scientific
      method and rational modes of thinking as well as the assimilation of
      crucial scientific knowledge, as the epistemological foundation of
      any kind of modernity. It also stresses the necessity of renovating
      conformist, traditionalist or totalizing belief and knowledge
      systems, worldviews and cultures, that stand in the way to essential
      changes on the road to modernity - a mega-project of autonomization,
      individuation, rationalization, demystification and feminization
      processes (less patriarchal forms). Modernity is also a project of
      democratization, liberalization, secularization, trans-
      nationalization, systematization, technocratization and humanization
      processes.

      The strategy relies on scientific knowledge, which offers only
      incomplete and patchy theories of the real but nonetheless possibly
      the best models of reality, for reordering and reconstructing the
      African reality and for engaging it with up to date, robust and
      economically efficient technical know-how. More generally, it relies
      on calculative thinking and on the scientific tradition as the most
      viable civilizational horizon of a budding region, whose tortuous and
      uncertain transition to modernity may necessitate an imaginative
      strand of thinking and a complementary strategy. Triumphant techno-
      scientific dogmas need not lead inevitably to the devastation,
      excesses and wastefulness of post-industrial consumerist cultures.
      They need not to be a model for an African modernity, which can avoid
      being exceedingly obsessed, enframed or ordered by technology.

      Humans, knowledge and technology are co-emerging, co-evolutive and
      mutually co-constitutive of each other. And as soon as we are born we
      enter into a corrupted reality: corrupted by ancient customary
      thinking, viewpoints and taboos; corrupted by ancestors' tyrannies,
      norms and ideals; corrupted by the veiling visions of pre-
      contemporary cosmologies, revelations and prophecies; corrupted by
      inherited alien religious canons and credos – including those of
      Constantinian Christianity and Imperial Islam, which from a
      scientific perspective can be assimilated to blind lotteries
      (confirmed by statistics) of self-confirming systems of medieval
      prejudices; corrupted by lies, mis-information and deceptions;
      corrupted by spirits, divinities and other similar cultural
      paradigms; and, more universally, corrupted by conventional modes of
      thinking, knowing, understanding and being.

      The strategy of Subversive Rationalization aims at
      freeing, `uncorrupting' or modernizing mentalities and mindscapes,
      thus opening the way to the emergence of some brand of original
      modernity on the African continent, going further than the simple
      ownership and display of modernity's most visible technological
      signs. It aims at reforming the technological code with key
      technologies: of the self, of sign, of freedom, of change, of
      creativity, of power and of truth. These technologies are fundamental
      for guiding the `rebirth' of the self, or for cultivating
      the `reborn' Afro-self as a more modern self; for enlarging the
      freedom necessary for the required societal transformations; for
      evolving effective technological symbols and meanings, such as those
      of a generous and mobilizing vision of a modern Africa; for designing
      and manufacturing appropriate material artefacts; for innovating in
      processes of change, including technologically-induced socio-cultural
      change; for reordering power configurations; and for uncovering,
      producing or reconstructing truth – an essential technology in a sea
      of lies, half-truths, self-delusions, clichés, cock-and-bull stories,
      and an important constitutive element of modernity.

      If `ideas shape the course of history' (Keynes) or if `imagination
      shapes history' (Napoleon) then access to modernity entails going
      past inflationary rhetorical discourse, utopian dreams and ceremonial
      entertainments. It requires subversive ideas and actions and a
      methodology that can engineer radical and terribly complex
      adjustments in the intricate inner working of African communities.
      It calls for critical thinking, dialogue, self-examination, `self-
      exorcism' and outright `war' against the conservative supremacy of
      the status quo and the authority structures that maintain it. This
      cannot be achieved through somewhat academic, elitist and
      reductionist policies. The basic choice facing the region is between
      customary religio-mythic, idolatrous or astonishingly over-religious
      rules established on pre-modern methods, on the one hand, and
      enlightening development regimes substantiated by controlled
      experiences, on the other hand.

      The relative bottom position of most African countries in the techno-
      scientific global order is beyond dispute and current STI strategies
      may leave half the region as deprived as ever, blown by the fierce
      winds of technologization and globalization, locked into scientific
      and technical dependency and unable to meet key MDGs. In these
      circumstances, a strategy of Subversive Rationalization may be
      helpful for putting in place new foundational power-knowledge
      frameworks and configurations, and for improving the African
      condition.

      The African problematic of low exploitation of science and technology
      is well known in details and is often understood as the main reason
      behind the region's poor socio-economic performance. In this low
      techno-scientific environment, attempts to give substance to the idea
      of an African Renaissance and comparable initiatives, such as
      Nyerre's Ujamaa, Mobutu's Authenticité, Sengor's Négritude, Nkruma's
      Conciencism, Kenyata's Harambee, Wade's Omega, Bouteflika's Ennahda
      Movement, Mbeki's `Call to Rebellion' (1998) - let alone the vision
      of the Commission for Africa and other similar initiatives - have
      mostly been successful at developing, justifying and communicating
      specific ideas of modernization. But they also all have been
      failures because they have not only under-estimated the colossal
      effort required for achieving the necessary makeovers but they also
      ignored the most important changes to bring about: the painful
      modernization of the mythological landscape, including pre-modern
      Abrahamic, Shamanic and Animist mythologies. That means a shift
      toward scientific ways of observing, questioning, analyzing and
      knowing or toward science as the latest myth or the new religion of
      the time that can propel the continent into some kind of modernity.

      Rationalization refers to a maturation process guided by the
      scientific method and by instrumental reason, more than by fairy tale
      legacies, superstitions, revealed or divine knowledge, as
      historically envisioned by prominent Enlightenment philosophers and
      scientists of the 16th and 17th centuries. This rationalization
      enables better control and more accurate calculation of means to
      achieve precise ends, resulting in superior technological or
      technical effectiveness and flexibility, and in greater industrial
      advance. Modernizing nations are more ideologically open or keener
      to mathematize and channel the forces of nature for their own
      benefit. And they are more oriented toward the corrosion of doubt -
      believing in things that can be empirically supported -- and toward
      improving lives in this world (rather than in the after-life). In
      these mindsets, there are no place for Jonas-in-the-whale type of
      spellbound stories, amazing archangels, absurd limbos, far-fetched
      miracles, occult forces and providential intrusions. Reality is what
      is perceived through technological means. This results in developing
      societies being progressively subverted into essentially
      more `advanced', enlightened or disenchanted ones.

      Subversion refers to a process of overthrowing or overturning systems
      of principles and convictions as well as forms of dominance, control
      and power that are incompatible with or are not sustained by
      instrumental rationality and renovation processes. These processes
      result in the uprooting of totalizing, oppressive or terror
      structures that obstruct the way to modern manners of grasping
      reality - from terrorizing gods and demons, authoritative
      governments, phallocratic ecclesiasts, polygamous masters, mystifying
      medicine men to cloistered women, domestic slaves, mutilated girls
      and abducted brides. A strategy of Subversive Rationalization,
      therefore, means clearing the way toward more pragmatic, empirical
      and mechanical worldviews and at critically challenging pre-modern
      systems from un-enabling governance structures, including commanding
      husbands, as well as from constraining cosmological and ideological
      formations, whether home-grown or alien.

      The strategy of Subversive Rationalization intends to probe the
      knowledge-power–technology gaps with modern / scientific modes of
      perceiving. Filling this gap necessitates not only acquiring new
      types of information, such as scientific, technical and business, but
      also abandoning some habitual or pre-scientific types of knowledge
      that stands in the way to progress and modernity. As much endeavour
      may be required to unlearn or deconstruct a pre-modern reality
      acquired through acculturation and socialization, than to learn new
      scientific and technical knowledge and a new version of reality.

      Scientific proficiency is by far the trickiest to achieve since it
      often comes in conflict with long-established traditional knowledge
      edifices, which may not be seriously altered without social and
      political struggles. Undeniably, pre-modern spiritual constructions,
      including those originating from the Middle-East and ancient Arabia,
      tend to mesmerize, domesticate or subjugate African societies,
      leaving little room for true scientific ways of viewing, judging,
      behaving, existing and living. These scientific ways must gain
      ground over non-scientific ways.

      In a strategy of Subversive Rationalization, medieval faith-based
      representations, infrastructures and institutions, such as the
      institution of Heaven / Hell – amongst the most powerful
      establishment regulating the lives of Africans – are superseded or
      supplanted by new thinking, unleashing the power of efficient
      systems, such as successful innovation systems. Indeed, Evangelical
      and Qur'anic models, although of relatively recent human
      construction, may lack decisive values for accessing modernity, such
      as democratic governance; the complete utilization of feminine
      talents and aptitudes; affection and care for nature; a concern for
      the future; superiority of scientific methods and hypotheses
      over `gaseous' or prophetic knowledge; a strong focus on life before
      death and a less fatalistic attitude toward the lifeworld and
      poverty – all indispensable preconditions for uncovering modernity.
      In many circumstances mytho-religious texts and documents - promoted
      by a pervasive and expanding physical and human infrastructure (not
      exactly a hotspring of fresh worldviews) - may constitute a virtual
      owner's manual for one's life. This is especially so for Africans-of-
      one-book, which under certain conditions may not be conducive to
      paradigmatic innovation. Only techno-scientific knowledge can sustain
      the deep transformations to modernity.

      Subversive Rationalization requires pushing back fabulous or pre-
      scientific beliefs formations in order to clear a space or a pathway
      for more scientific views and practices. The central tussle is being
      played between various categories of knowledge - from scientifically
      founded to unfounded. This could be the crucible where a meaningful
      African modernity could emerge, through a redefinition of cultural,
      social, economic, ideological, mythological and political
      relationships with science and technology.

      Technology is more than a tool or an instrument at our disposal. It
      is also an organizing activity in which humans themselves are
      organized. The more technologies evolve and become ubiquitous the
      more humans are themselves transformed into resources, raw material,
      system components, toys, cogs and devices (if not sex organs) and
      optimized for the sake of system efficiency – the essence of
      technology. The outcome is easier and more secure and prosperous ways
      of life, but dominated and regulated by the rigorous disciplinary
      order of technical systems. In this framework, the African youth
      struggles to become `efficient' resource in the global job market,
      while technology mainly reveals Africa as collection of folkloric
      curiosities, and an immense fuel station coveted for powering the
      global technological engine.

      A techno-scientific renewal through a strategy of Subversive
      Rationalization could be helpful in promoting Pan-African integration
      and in responding to the special needs of the region. It could be
      supportive in revitalizing, refreshing, unifying and integrating
      knowledge systems in African territories. These systems are greatly
      fractured, compartmented, `medievalized' and largely unscientifically
      founded (Muslim / Christian division and exclusive possession),
      balkanized (by six colonizing powers), fragmented (+ 1000 idioms and
      worldviews), and mythologized (with indigenous and foreign
      superstitions). Knowledge is also sometimes monopolized (non-sharing
      knowledge practices and ethos), atomized (not part of advanced
      international knowledge networks), decontextualized (uprooted,
      transplanted from the technologically-advanced areas), unused or
      underused (scientists as taxi drivers), misappropriated (by power
      hungry sources), under or mis-professionalized (shamanic knowledge),
      misapplied (ecocidal), misinterpreted or ignored (disregarding
      scientific revolutions). African knowledge is also somewhat being
      eroded (extinct or dying knowledge), canned (ready-made shipped in a
      pre-packaged fashion), drained (brains seeking greener pasture),
      rarely rented (against royalty payments) and always plagued with
      Western and phallo-centricity. A strategy of Subversive
      Rationalization would provide an enhanced ordering of knowledge and
      reality.

      Current science, technology, innovation and knowledge policy
      approaches remain hopelessly naïve and basically adjunct to the
      actual working of knowledge economies. They do not address the issues
      specifically related to a region a bit `stained' with pre-modern
      habits of mind, languages and views of the universe and life. They do
      not put enough emphasis on the structural-constitutional issues that
      have stabilized many African spaces into pre-modern technological
      ways of life (with some growing islands of imitative modernization).
      These spaces can graduate into some sort of modernity through a more
      intensive, rational, unfettered and popular use of avant-garde
      science, technology and knowledge and with the requisite mental or
      intellectual costumes of modern times.

      Free-thinkers, scientists, policymakers and stakeholders could be
      influential in contextualizing and supporting a strategy of
      Subversive Rationalization in the African region. In line and in full
      support of NEPAD, they could commit themselves to building
      competences for acquiring and incorporating vital techno-scientific
      knowledge in strategic areas and to encouraging and utilizing science
      as a way of thinking, which fortunately or unfortunately, is highly
      injurious and detrimental to time-honoured traditional or pre-modern
      myths, prejudices, doctrines, tenets, precepts, credos, faiths or
      fantasies.

      A strategy of Subversive Rationalization could entrust opinion makers
      and the scientific and entrepreneurial communities to sound courses
      of action such as strengthening capacities for converting or
      revamping existing traditional knowledge systems, including faith-
      based systems, and for restructuring or recreating reality. These
      could include Africanizing, decolonizing, indigenizing, liberating,
      re-cosmologizing, re-mythologizing, re-charlatanizing, re-
      prophetizing, re-sacralizing and re-deifying processes for a
      different African adventure, driven by thriving methodical ways of
      thinking and scientific practices.
      .
      In summary the strategy of Subversive Rationalization uses the power
      of scientific thought to launch a counter hegemonic offensive for
      subverting disabling traditional and repressive knowledge-power
      orders that stand in the way to a new realism, or to the rejuvenation
      and reconstruction of reality. The strategy may be valuable for
      bringing about a post-totemic, post-enchanted, post-Abrahamic, post-
      phallocratic, post-colonial and post-fragmented regional space and in
      moving Africa forward into a distinctive, creative, secular and
      authentic form of modernity.

      Details regarding the strategy can be found in a draft website -
      http://jachamel.googlepages.com - (600 pages).
    • bestonnet_00
      ... Just wait and they ll move away from religion and towards science in the same manner the rest of the world has done (and is currently doing). I suspect
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 4, 2008
        --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Jacques L. Hamel"
        <jachamel@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear All,
        >
        > Some members of the group may be interested in the blog below on a
        > strategy - a strategy of `Subversive Rationalization' - to pull
        > Africa toward some form of post-enchanted / post-Abrahamic region
        > and toward some form of distinctive modernity. Any comment?

        Just wait and they'll move away from religion and towards science in
        the same manner the rest of the world has done (and is currently doing).

        I suspect that they'll do it faster than we have as well.

        The western world already is becoming more secular with younger
        generations tending to be less religious than older generations (and
        this is something stable with the religious cop out that young people
        get religion later in life more than they lose it later in life shown
        to be wrong) with the US behind Europe but is following the same path
        (they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their next
        election and have a populous that is fed up with the theocrats). This
        process does not appear to have an ending other than massive majority
        atheism though non-religious theism, deism, generic spiritual
        bullshit, etc often appear in the intermediate stages (they're pretty
        harmless though, at least compare to the large religions).

        Special privileges for religion do need to disappear and will probably
        do so although it may take some time for that to happen since it'll
        probably require a massive majority of atheists to happen (since the
        religious that are left are going to cry out that they are being
        persecuted if you remove their right to persecute others) as well as
        the taboo about criticising religion completely broken (Dawkins, et
        al. seem to be doing a good job of that).

        The loss of special privileges (especially tax exemptions and special
        treatment for individuals in a faith) will probably hurt a lot of
        religions since it is sometimes those special privileges that cause
        people to join in the first place (and even if not the reason for
        joining they do tend to make membership in a religion less costly,
        besides, most of the ones that would cause a person to join are pretty
        much gone from western society). Missionary organisations whilst
        wealthy would be hit hard by being taxed like they should and probably
        won't have much luck at getting money (especially if the media takes
        an interest in what they do).

        In the meantime the missionaries will target those places that haven't
        been Christian (or Muslim) and attempt to convert the mostly Pagan or
        Animalist populations to their religion and they'll manage to do it,
        eventually, though not through very moral means (the AKM comes to mind
        but charitable bribes are more likely (e.g. "If you want food to eat
        you have to accept baby Jesus") and actually work on those who are in
        poverty). Sadly they'll have western technology as one of their
        bribes (in fact it's pretty much the only thing they have that would
        actually interest their targets).

        Thus we can expect the developed countries to continue secularisation
        and the undeveloped to move away from traditional beliefs towards
        Christianity and Islam. Whilst that is happening however the
        undeveloped countries will be developing and moving towards becoming
        developed countries following the path that the developed countries
        have already followed (I suspect if you compared things that living
        conditions are improving in Africa faster then they improved in
        Europe). Eventually the undeveloped countries will be developed and
        as that happens the economic advantages of religion will fade and
        people will drop out of religion, having a bunch of other countries
        that have already gone through the process will probably cause it to
        occur faster in the newly developed countries.

        Not sure whether I have predicted the future though.

        > Triumphant techno-scientific dogmas need not lead inevitably to the
        > devastation, excesses and wastefulness of post-industrial
        > consumerist cultures.

        Be careful here, a consumerist culture is probably what they are going
        to want.

        To actually get people to care about the environment you have to make
        them rich enough to afford environmentalism.

        > They need not to be a model for an African modernity, which can
        > avoid being exceedingly obsessed, enframed or ordered by technology.

        How can that happen when technology pretty much determines society?

        > Scientific proficiency is by far the trickiest to achieve since it
        > often comes in conflict with long-established traditional knowledge
        > edifices, which may not be seriously altered without social and
        > political struggles.

        Actually the overuse of rote learning is probably a bigger problem in
        developing countries right now.
      • Richard Godwin
        ==(they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their next election and have a populous that is fed up with the theocrats). I suspect you would be
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 4, 2008
          ==(they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their next
          election and have a populous that is fed up with the theocrats).

          I suspect you would be proven wrong. Undoubtedly Obama will be the Democrat
          candidate. Judging by his spiritual advisor, I suspect he, leader of the
          Democratics, will then be the theocrats, while McCain does not favor
          religion, although he does use all sources for election support, such as the
          Evangelicals who are a very large voting group. Add to that about Obama is
          his tendency (as his spiritual advisor) toward racism, that tool the blacks
          use for special priveleges. Look out nation!

          The special privilege I have for a long time hoped to be corrected is the
          tax exempt status for the all sorts of religious organization. Churches
          should pay taxes just like the rest of us. After all it is a
          well-established fact they are businesses in the common definition of money
          makers.

          Richard.




          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
          To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 9:37 AM
          Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
          for a post-Abrahamic Africa


          > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Jacques L. Hamel"
          > <jachamel@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> Dear All,
          >>
          >> Some members of the group may be interested in the blog below on a
          >> strategy - a strategy of `Subversive Rationalization' - to pull
          >> Africa toward some form of post-enchanted / post-Abrahamic region
          >> and toward some form of distinctive modernity. Any comment?
          >
          > Just wait and they'll move away from religion and towards science in
          > the same manner the rest of the world has done (and is currently doing).
          >
          > I suspect that they'll do it faster than we have as well.
          >
          > The western world already is becoming more secular with younger
          > generations tending to be less religious than older generations (and
          > this is something stable with the religious cop out that young people
          > get religion later in life more than they lose it later in life shown
          > to be wrong) with the US behind Europe but is following the same path
          > (they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their next
          > election and have a populous that is fed up with the theocrats). This
          > process does not appear to have an ending other than massive majority
          > atheism though non-religious theism, deism, generic spiritual
          > bullshit, etc often appear in the intermediate stages (they're pretty
          > harmless though, at least compare to the large religions).
          >
          > Special privileges for religion do need to disappear and will probably
          > do so although it may take some time for that to happen since it'll
          > probably require a massive majority of atheists to happen (since the
          > religious that are left are going to cry out that they are being
          > persecuted if you remove their right to persecute others) as well as
          > the taboo about criticising religion completely broken (Dawkins, et
          > al. seem to be doing a good job of that).
          >
          > The loss of special privileges (especially tax exemptions and special
          > treatment for individuals in a faith) will probably hurt a lot of
          > religions since it is sometimes those special privileges that cause
          > people to join in the first place (and even if not the reason for
          > joining they do tend to make membership in a religion less costly,
          > besides, most of the ones that would cause a person to join are pretty
          > much gone from western society). Missionary organisations whilst
          > wealthy would be hit hard by being taxed like they should and probably
          > won't have much luck at getting money (especially if the media takes
          > an interest in what they do).
          >
          > In the meantime the missionaries will target those places that haven't
          > been Christian (or Muslim) and attempt to convert the mostly Pagan or
          > Animalist populations to their religion and they'll manage to do it,
          > eventually, though not through very moral means (the AKM comes to mind
          > but charitable bribes are more likely (e.g. "If you want food to eat
          > you have to accept baby Jesus") and actually work on those who are in
          > poverty). Sadly they'll have western technology as one of their
          > bribes (in fact it's pretty much the only thing they have that would
          > actually interest their targets).
          >
          > Thus we can expect the developed countries to continue secularisation
          > and the undeveloped to move away from traditional beliefs towards
          > Christianity and Islam. Whilst that is happening however the
          > undeveloped countries will be developing and moving towards becoming
          > developed countries following the path that the developed countries
          > have already followed (I suspect if you compared things that living
          > conditions are improving in Africa faster then they improved in
          > Europe). Eventually the undeveloped countries will be developed and
          > as that happens the economic advantages of religion will fade and
          > people will drop out of religion, having a bunch of other countries
          > that have already gone through the process will probably cause it to
          > occur faster in the newly developed countries.
          >
          > Not sure whether I have predicted the future though.
          >
          >> Triumphant techno-scientific dogmas need not lead inevitably to the
          >> devastation, excesses and wastefulness of post-industrial
          >> consumerist cultures.
          >
          > Be careful here, a consumerist culture is probably what they are going
          > to want.
          >
          > To actually get people to care about the environment you have to make
          > them rich enough to afford environmentalism.
          >
          >> They need not to be a model for an African modernity, which can
          >> avoid being exceedingly obsessed, enframed or ordered by technology.
          >
          > How can that happen when technology pretty much determines society?
          >
          >> Scientific proficiency is by far the trickiest to achieve since it
          >> often comes in conflict with long-established traditional knowledge
          >> edifices, which may not be seriously altered without social and
          >> political struggles.
          >
          > Actually the overuse of rote learning is probably a bigger problem in
          > developing countries right now.
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • bestonnet_00
          ... Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two being the vice president). ... I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 4, 2008
            --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
            >
            > ==(they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their
            > next election and have a populous that is fed up with the
            > theocrats).
            >
            > I suspect you would be proven wrong. Undoubtedly Obama will be the
            > Democrat candidate.

            Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two being
            the vice president).

            > Judging by his spiritual advisor, I suspect he, leader of the
            > Democratics, will then be the theocrats,

            I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem to realise
            that religion should be kept out of government and that laws should
            not be made unless they serve a secular purpose.

            > while McCain does not favor religion, although he does use all
            > sources for election support, such as the Evangelicals who are a
            > very large voting group.

            Hard to say, he's attempt at becoming presidential candidate in 2000
            was destroyed because he didn't pander to the nut cases but he sure
            seems to be doing a lot of pandering to them now. Should he get in
            it'll probably be just like another term of Bush.

            There is also Congress which should become majority democrat.

            > The special privilege I have for a long time hoped to be corrected
            > is the tax exempt status for the all sorts of religious
            > organization. Churches should pay taxes just like the rest of us.
            > After all it is a well-established fact they are businesses in the
            > common definition of money makers.

            That's the big one that we need to see corrected (though I wouldn't
            have a problem with religious organisations which provide charity that
            isn't intended to convert people nor restricted to only their members
            getting tax exemptions) although there are others that I'd like to do
            away with (about the only one I'd keep would be exemptions from voting).
          • Richard Godwin
            ... From: bestonnet_00 To: Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 10:23 PM Subject: [Death To Religion]
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 5, 2008
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
              To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 10:23 PM
              Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
              for a post-Ab


              >> I suspect you would be proven wrong. Undoubtedly Obama will be the
              >> Democrat candidate.
              >
              > Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two being
              > the vice president).

              We'll see, but I think it is 99% probable to be Obama, and about impossible
              that the loser would be the VP candidate.

              >
              >> Judging by his spiritual advisor, I suspect he, leader of the
              >> Democratics, will then be the theocrats,
              >
              > I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem to realise
              > that religion should be kept out of government and that laws should
              > not be made unless they serve a secular purpose.

              Not so much that he is religious, which it might not even be, but rather his
              racial prejudice plus his (and his wife's) basic anti-Americanism due to
              whitey. He brings up the slavery and marginality past and connects this
              with the black Christian religion. Not directly to government, but
              indirectly in perspective and emphasis.

              >
              >> while McCain does not favor religion, although he does use all
              >> sources for election support, such as the Evangelicals who are a
              >> very large voting group.
              >
              > Hard to say, he's attempt at becoming presidential candidate in 2000
              > was destroyed because he didn't pander to the nut cases but he sure
              > seems to be doing a lot of pandering to them now. Should he get in
              > it'll probably be just like another term of Bush.

              Not even a possibility. But just which part of Bush do you think? Yes to
              conservative, free market economy, strong military, finish the Iraq war and
              get out while keeping a military force stationed there as in S. Korea and
              Germany.

              > There is also Congress which should become majority democrat.

              Is now, probably will continue.

              >
              >> The special privilege I have for a long time hoped to be corrected
              >> is the tax exempt status for the all sorts of religious
              >> organization. Churches should pay taxes just like the rest of us.
              >> After all it is a well-established fact they are businesses in the
              >> common definition of money makers.
              >
              > That's the big one that we need to see corrected (though I wouldn't
              > have a problem with religious organisations which provide charity that
              > isn't intended to convert people nor restricted to only their members
              > getting tax exemptions) although there are others that I'd like to do
              > away with (about the only one I'd keep would be exemptions from voting).

              There is no practical way to distinguish those, and too controversial to do
              that. Simply, all business entities should pay taxes. All business
              entities do contribute to charity to some extent. Generally churches don't
              contribute much outside their own organizations, and on the whole less than
              secular contributions (government and business entities).

              Richard.
              >
              >
              > ------------------------------------
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • bestonnet_00
              ... It s still close enough for Obama to lose. ... He doesn t actually seem to be racist to me (though he probably will support affirmative action) nor does he
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 6, 2008
                --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "bestonnet_00"
                >
                > > Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two
                > > being the vice president).
                >
                > We'll see, but I think it is 99% probable to be Obama, and about
                > impossible that the loser would be the VP candidate.

                It's still close enough for Obama to lose.

                > > I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem to
                > > realise that religion should be kept out of government and that
                > > laws should not be made unless they serve a secular purpose.
                >
                > Not so much that he is religious, which it might not even be, but
                > rather his racial prejudice plus his (and his wife's) basic
                > anti-Americanism due to whitey. He brings up the slavery and
                > marginality past and connects this with the black Christian
                > religion. Not directly to government, but indirectly in perspective
                > and emphasis.

                He doesn't actually seem to be racist to me (though he probably will
                support affirmative action) nor does he seem anti-American.

                > > Hard to say, he's attempt at becoming presidential candidate in
                > > 2000 was destroyed because he didn't pander to the nut cases but
                > > he sure seems to be doing a lot of pandering to them now. Should
                > > he get in it'll probably be just like another term of Bush.
                >
                > Not even a possibility. But just which part of Bush do you think?
                > Yes to conservative, free market economy, strong military, finish
                > the Iraq war and get out while keeping a military force stationed
                > there as in S. Korea and Germany.

                The situation in Iraq is probably unsalvageable thanks to the
                incompetence of the Bush administration (the peace may have been
                winnable had competent people been in charge of it).

                But what I basically meant by that was that Bush not being as
                religious as some of the idiots who voted for him would have liked
                tended to give the religious right only half-measures instead of
                exactly what they wanted (e.g. banning federal funds from being used
                for stem cell research but otherwise not banning it when they wanted
                it banned outright).

                And almost 50% of the global defence spending with about 16% of the
                global economy is really not sustainable.

                > > There is also Congress which should become majority democrat.
                >
                > Is now, probably will continue.

                Not the senate (at least not strictly).

                > > That's the big one that we need to see corrected (though I
                > > wouldn't have a problem with religious organisations which provide
                > > charity that isn't intended to convert people nor restricted to
                > > only their members getting tax exemptions) although there are
                > > others that I'd like to do away with (about the only one I'd keep
                > > would be exemptions from voting).
                >
                > There is no practical way to distinguish those, and too
                > controversial to do that.

                It'd require a lot of oversight although it might make it easier to
                get the necessary legislation passed (and the oversight would probably
                mostly be following up complaints, assuming anyone could be bothered
                to make them). Then again, the religious bodies could always just
                donate to secular charities and get a tax write-off that way, just
                like any other business.

                > Simply, all business entities should pay taxes. All business
                > entities do contribute to charity to some extent.

                Much of the reason businesses give to charity is for the tax-breaks
                they get out of it.

                > Generally churches don't contribute much outside their own
                > organizations, and on the whole less than secular contributions
                > (government and business entities).

                Agree. Secular charities tend to be more efficient as well.
              • Tim
                Obama probably will be the offering for the Dems. He is for sure a racist that has very little to offer except the ability to spend money like he s mad at it
                Message 7 of 22 , Apr 7, 2008
                  Obama probably will be the offering for the Dems. He is for sure a
                  racist that has very little to offer except the ability to spend
                  money like he's mad at it and line of marxist rethoric that,
                  typically, makes no sense at all. He offers less hope than the
                  Lottery. He might make a good, smooth talkin' Secetary of State if he
                  didn't have such a disdain for everything American.

                  He would accomplish as much as the do-nothing Dems in the do-nothing
                  Congress. Sadly, this is a time when we could use a little leadership
                  but there's little chanch of that.

                  I'm mixed about religion in politics. It's a great tool for keeping
                  the sheep in line but sometimes the sheep want me to jump over the
                  cliff with them. Religion might be with us forever- humans might need
                  it to replace whatever we lost in the way of instincts when our
                  brains got big.

                  Isn't socialism just another religion?

                  Tim

                  --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 <no_reply@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@>
                  wrote:
                  > >
                  > > ==(they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their
                  > > next election and have a populous that is fed up with the
                  > > theocrats).
                  > >
                  > > I suspect you would be proven wrong. Undoubtedly Obama will be
                  the
                  > > Democrat candidate.
                  >
                  > Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two
                  being
                  > the vice president).
                  >
                  > > Judging by his spiritual advisor, I suspect he, leader of the
                  > > Democratics, will then be the theocrats,
                  >
                  > I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem to
                  realise
                  > that religion should be kept out of government and that laws should
                  > not be made unless they serve a secular purpose.
                  >
                  > > while McCain does not favor religion, although he does use all
                  > > sources for election support, such as the Evangelicals who are a
                  > > very large voting group.
                  >
                  > Hard to say, he's attempt at becoming presidential candidate in 2000
                  > was destroyed because he didn't pander to the nut cases but he sure
                  > seems to be doing a lot of pandering to them now. Should he get in
                  > it'll probably be just like another term of Bush.
                  >
                  > There is also Congress which should become majority democrat.
                  >
                  > > The special privilege I have for a long time hoped to be corrected
                  > > is the tax exempt status for the all sorts of religious
                  > > organization. Churches should pay taxes just like the rest of
                  us.
                  > > After all it is a well-established fact they are businesses in the
                  > > common definition of money makers.
                  >
                  > That's the big one that we need to see corrected (though I wouldn't
                  > have a problem with religious organisations which provide charity
                  that
                  > isn't intended to convert people nor restricted to only their
                  members
                  > getting tax exemptions) although there are others that I'd like to
                  do
                  > away with (about the only one I'd keep would be exemptions from
                  voting).
                  >
                • Richard Godwin
                  Nothing really to comment on there. Another reason for withdrawing the special legal priveleges of religious organizations is exemplified in the just now
                  Message 8 of 22 , Apr 8, 2008
                    Nothing really to comment on there. Another reason for withdrawing the
                    special legal priveleges of religious organizations is exemplified in the
                    just now court case initiated by the fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints
                    polygamists to prohibit continued police investigations in their Texas
                    compound, due to religious exemptions. It's completely ridiculous and
                    clearly showing the necessity for revising these laws protecting religions.

                    I am not against religion and I do believe in God. I am against the
                    excesses of religious organizations.

                    Richard.

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2008 1:17 AM
                    Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                    for a post-Ab


                    > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> ----- Original Message -----
                    >> From: "bestonnet_00"
                    >>
                    >> > Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two
                    >> > being the vice president).
                    >>
                    >> We'll see, but I think it is 99% probable to be Obama, and about
                    >> impossible that the loser would be the VP candidate.
                    >
                    > It's still close enough for Obama to lose.
                    >
                    >> > I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem to
                    >> > realise that religion should be kept out of government and that
                    >> > laws should not be made unless they serve a secular purpose.
                    >>
                    >> Not so much that he is religious, which it might not even be, but
                    >> rather his racial prejudice plus his (and his wife's) basic
                    >> anti-Americanism due to whitey. He brings up the slavery and
                    >> marginality past and connects this with the black Christian
                    >> religion. Not directly to government, but indirectly in perspective
                    >> and emphasis.
                    >
                    > He doesn't actually seem to be racist to me (though he probably will
                    > support affirmative action) nor does he seem anti-American.
                    >
                    >> > Hard to say, he's attempt at becoming presidential candidate in
                    >> > 2000 was destroyed because he didn't pander to the nut cases but
                    >> > he sure seems to be doing a lot of pandering to them now. Should
                    >> > he get in it'll probably be just like another term of Bush.
                    >>
                    >> Not even a possibility. But just which part of Bush do you think?
                    >> Yes to conservative, free market economy, strong military, finish
                    >> the Iraq war and get out while keeping a military force stationed
                    >> there as in S. Korea and Germany.
                    >
                    > The situation in Iraq is probably unsalvageable thanks to the
                    > incompetence of the Bush administration (the peace may have been
                    > winnable had competent people been in charge of it).
                    >
                    > But what I basically meant by that was that Bush not being as
                    > religious as some of the idiots who voted for him would have liked
                    > tended to give the religious right only half-measures instead of
                    > exactly what they wanted (e.g. banning federal funds from being used
                    > for stem cell research but otherwise not banning it when they wanted
                    > it banned outright).
                    >
                    > And almost 50% of the global defence spending with about 16% of the
                    > global economy is really not sustainable.
                    >
                    >> > There is also Congress which should become majority democrat.
                    >>
                    >> Is now, probably will continue.
                    >
                    > Not the senate (at least not strictly).
                    >
                    >> > That's the big one that we need to see corrected (though I
                    >> > wouldn't have a problem with religious organisations which provide
                    >> > charity that isn't intended to convert people nor restricted to
                    >> > only their members getting tax exemptions) although there are
                    >> > others that I'd like to do away with (about the only one I'd keep
                    >> > would be exemptions from voting).
                    >>
                    >> There is no practical way to distinguish those, and too
                    >> controversial to do that.
                    >
                    > It'd require a lot of oversight although it might make it easier to
                    > get the necessary legislation passed (and the oversight would probably
                    > mostly be following up complaints, assuming anyone could be bothered
                    > to make them). Then again, the religious bodies could always just
                    > donate to secular charities and get a tax write-off that way, just
                    > like any other business.
                    >
                    >> Simply, all business entities should pay taxes. All business
                    >> entities do contribute to charity to some extent.
                    >
                    > Much of the reason businesses give to charity is for the tax-breaks
                    > they get out of it.
                    >
                    >> Generally churches don't contribute much outside their own
                    >> organizations, and on the whole less than secular contributions
                    >> (government and business entities).
                    >
                    > Agree. Secular charities tend to be more efficient as well.
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Richard Godwin
                    The human brain would have to get much bigger, like such a big head as to preempt natural childbirth, until the woman adapts (a problem mentioned by some
                    Message 9 of 22 , Apr 8, 2008
                      The human brain would have to get much bigger, like such a big head as to
                      preempt natural childbirth, until the woman adapts (a problem mentioned by
                      some evolutionists): big enough to have the capability of limiting the
                      control of emotions (need, desire, fear, wishful thinking) over cognition.

                      Socialism is not a religion. Reminds me of the prominent theologian
                      defining religion to be broad enough, but so broad as to elicit the response
                      of a reporter: "and that would include the IRS?"

                      We wouldn't have been saddled with Bush is the Dems had a reasonably viable
                      candidate. Gore?--uks. Kerry?--worse uks.

                      Racist is one of those very ambiguous words. I think Obama and his wife
                      have just alligned themselves with the black perspective that they still are
                      considered inferior to whitey and still are under a kind of bondage, albeit
                      it not slavery. Maybe he could have Sharpton or Jesse for VP. Farakon
                      (sp?) wouldn't fly.

                      Richard.


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Tim " <timothydj@...>
                      To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 8:08 PM
                      Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                      for a post-Ab


                      > Obama probably will be the offering for the Dems. He is for sure a
                      > racist that has very little to offer except the ability to spend
                      > money like he's mad at it and line of marxist rethoric that,
                      > typically, makes no sense at all. He offers less hope than the
                      > Lottery. He might make a good, smooth talkin' Secetary of State if he
                      > didn't have such a disdain for everything American.
                      >
                      > He would accomplish as much as the do-nothing Dems in the do-nothing
                      > Congress. Sadly, this is a time when we could use a little leadership
                      > but there's little chanch of that.
                      >
                      > I'm mixed about religion in politics. It's a great tool for keeping
                      > the sheep in line but sometimes the sheep want me to jump over the
                      > cliff with them. Religion might be with us forever- humans might need
                      > it to replace whatever we lost in the way of instincts when our
                      > brains got big.
                      >
                      > Isn't socialism just another religion?
                      >
                      > Tim
                      >
                      > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 <no_reply@...>
                      > wrote:
                      >>
                      >> --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@>
                      > wrote:
                      >> >
                      >> > ==(they do look set to kick the Republicans out of power at their
                      >> > next election and have a populous that is fed up with the
                      >> > theocrats).
                      >> >
                      >> > I suspect you would be proven wrong. Undoubtedly Obama will be
                      > the
                      >> > Democrat candidate.
                      >>
                      >> Him or another Clinton (and probably the loser between those two
                      > being
                      >> the vice president).
                      >>
                      >> > Judging by his spiritual advisor, I suspect he, leader of the
                      >> > Democratics, will then be the theocrats,
                      >>
                      >> I suspect not. He is religious to be sure but he does seem to
                      > realise
                      >> that religion should be kept out of government and that laws should
                      >> not be made unless they serve a secular purpose.
                      >>
                      >> > while McCain does not favor religion, although he does use all
                      >> > sources for election support, such as the Evangelicals who are a
                      >> > very large voting group.
                      >>
                      >> Hard to say, he's attempt at becoming presidential candidate in 2000
                      >> was destroyed because he didn't pander to the nut cases but he sure
                      >> seems to be doing a lot of pandering to them now. Should he get in
                      >> it'll probably be just like another term of Bush.
                      >>
                      >> There is also Congress which should become majority democrat.
                      >>
                      >> > The special privilege I have for a long time hoped to be corrected
                      >> > is the tax exempt status for the all sorts of religious
                      >> > organization. Churches should pay taxes just like the rest of
                      > us.
                      >> > After all it is a well-established fact they are businesses in the
                      >> > common definition of money makers.
                      >>
                      >> That's the big one that we need to see corrected (though I wouldn't
                      >> have a problem with religious organisations which provide charity
                      > that
                      >> isn't intended to convert people nor restricted to only their
                      > members
                      >> getting tax exemptions) although there are others that I'd like to
                      > do
                      >> away with (about the only one I'd keep would be exemptions from
                      > voting).
                      >>
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • bestonnet_00
                      I m going to have to very strongly disagree with the crap you just posted. ... The Democrats realise that capitalism is the only economic system that actually
                      Message 10 of 22 , Apr 8, 2008
                        I'm going to have to very strongly disagree with the crap you just posted.

                        --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Tim " <timothydj@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Obama probably will be the offering for the Dems. He is for sure a
                        > racist that has very little to offer except the ability to spend
                        > money like he's mad at it and line of marxist rethoric that,
                        > typically, makes no sense at all. He offers less hope than the
                        > Lottery. He might make a good, smooth talkin' Secetary of State if
                        > he didn't have such a disdain for everything American.

                        The Democrats realise that capitalism is the only economic system that
                        actually works and that includes Obama.

                        He is not in anyway Marxist (government funded healthcare is used by
                        most prosperous capitalist economies and it works pretty damn well).

                        > He would accomplish as much as the do-nothing Dems in the do-nothing
                        > Congress.

                        Right, so Bill Clinton who did more to deregulate the US economy was
                        do-nothing.

                        > Sadly, this is a time when we could use a little leadership but
                        > there's little chanch of that.

                        No, it's a time when the US could use someone who isn't a Republican
                        theocrat.

                        Though it does amuse me that libertarians that claim to care the most
                        about civil rights often vote Republican despite it being the
                        Democrats that would be the better match.

                        Oh well, US politics is so stupid I'm glad I don't live there.

                        > I'm mixed about religion in politics. It's a great tool for keeping
                        > the sheep in line but sometimes the sheep want me to jump over the
                        > cliff with them.

                        Exactly the problem.

                        But why the fuck do you want to keep them in line? Can't you accept
                        people thinking for themselves?

                        BTW: Do you know who it is that all those religious people are going
                        to follow and be in line with?

                        Won't be someone you'll want making decisions.

                        > Religion might be with us forever- humans might need it to replace
                        > whatever we lost in the way of instincts when our brains got big.

                        We don't seem to lost anything in the way of instincts and whilst we
                        may have to deal with religion forever I don't think it'll be the
                        majority viewpoint forever.

                        > Isn't socialism just another religion?

                        No, neither is communism or libertarianism.

                        Though all three beliefs can be taken to an extreme like religion (and
                        often are) and when they become quasi-religious they tend to be very
                        dangerous if they get power (look at what the communists managed to do
                        and what some of the right-wing dictators managed).

                        Social Democracy though is quite well proven (though not strictly
                        socialism since the means of production are mostly privately owned).
                      • bestonnet_00
                        ... I can t see them winning that case, religious exemptions can t get you out of violating secular laws (otherwise people would be starting religions that
                        Message 11 of 22 , Apr 8, 2008
                          --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Nothing really to comment on there. Another reason for withdrawing
                          > the special legal priveleges of religious organizations is
                          > exemplified in the just now court case initiated by the
                          > fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints polygamists to prohibit continued
                          > police investigations in their Texas compound, due to religious
                          > exemptions.

                          I can't see them winning that case, religious exemptions can't get you
                          out of violating secular laws (otherwise people would be starting
                          religions that require their adherents to rob banks).

                          > It's completely ridiculous and clearly showing the necessity for
                          > revising these laws protecting religions.

                          I'd be more inclined to bring up faith healing and denial of real
                          medicine to kids, that's probably the worst of all religious
                          exemptions still existing in developed countries (and the polygamists
                          aren't likely to win).
                        • bestonnet_00
                          ... Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been doing elections the way it should have been he would ve won but the stupid electoral
                          Message 12 of 22 , Apr 8, 2008
                            --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > We wouldn't have been saddled with Bush is the Dems had a reasonably
                            > viable candidate. Gore?--uks. Kerry?--worse uks.

                            Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been
                            doing elections the way it should have been he would've won but the
                            stupid electoral college still exists).

                            OTOH Bush and his republican friends in congress have done a lot to
                            show the US and the world why religion should stay out of politics.
                          • Richard Godwin
                            This really is humorous. It shows how prejudice and emotional involvement in politics is displayed in argument, same as religious discourse. Richard. ...
                            Message 13 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                              This really is humorous. It shows how prejudice and emotional involvement
                              in politics is displayed in argument, same as religious discourse.

                              Richard.

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                              To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:15 PM
                              Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                              for a post-Ab


                              > I'm going to have to very strongly disagree with the crap you just posted.
                              >
                              > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Tim " <timothydj@...> wrote:
                              >>
                              >> Obama probably will be the offering for the Dems. He is for sure a
                              >> racist that has very little to offer except the ability to spend
                              >> money like he's mad at it and line of marxist rethoric that,
                              >> typically, makes no sense at all. He offers less hope than the
                              >> Lottery. He might make a good, smooth talkin' Secetary of State if
                              >> he didn't have such a disdain for everything American.
                              >
                              > The Democrats realise that capitalism is the only economic system that
                              > actually works and that includes Obama.
                              >
                              > He is not in anyway Marxist (government funded healthcare is used by
                              > most prosperous capitalist economies and it works pretty damn well).
                              >
                              >> He would accomplish as much as the do-nothing Dems in the do-nothing
                              >> Congress.
                              >
                              > Right, so Bill Clinton who did more to deregulate the US economy was
                              > do-nothing.
                              >
                              >> Sadly, this is a time when we could use a little leadership but
                              >> there's little chanch of that.
                              >
                              > No, it's a time when the US could use someone who isn't a Republican
                              > theocrat.
                              >
                              > Though it does amuse me that libertarians that claim to care the most
                              > about civil rights often vote Republican despite it being the
                              > Democrats that would be the better match.
                              >
                              > Oh well, US politics is so stupid I'm glad I don't live there.
                              >
                              >> I'm mixed about religion in politics. It's a great tool for keeping
                              >> the sheep in line but sometimes the sheep want me to jump over the
                              >> cliff with them.
                              >
                              > Exactly the problem.
                              >
                              > But why the fuck do you want to keep them in line? Can't you accept
                              > people thinking for themselves?
                              >
                              > BTW: Do you know who it is that all those religious people are going
                              > to follow and be in line with?
                              >
                              > Won't be someone you'll want making decisions.
                              >
                              >> Religion might be with us forever- humans might need it to replace
                              >> whatever we lost in the way of instincts when our brains got big.
                              >
                              > We don't seem to lost anything in the way of instincts and whilst we
                              > may have to deal with religion forever I don't think it'll be the
                              > majority viewpoint forever.
                              >
                              >> Isn't socialism just another religion?
                              >
                              > No, neither is communism or libertarianism.
                              >
                              > Though all three beliefs can be taken to an extreme like religion (and
                              > often are) and when they become quasi-religious they tend to be very
                              > dangerous if they get power (look at what the communists managed to do
                              > and what some of the right-wing dictators managed).
                              >
                              > Social Democracy though is quite well proven (though not strictly
                              > socialism since the means of production are mostly privately owned).
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------
                              >
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • Richard Godwin
                              ... From: bestonnet_00 To: Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:34 PM Subject: [Death To Religion]
                              Message 14 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:34 PM
                                Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                                for a post-Ab


                                > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                                >>
                                >> Nothing really to comment on there. Another reason for withdrawing
                                >> the special legal priveleges of religious organizations is
                                >> exemplified in the just now court case initiated by the
                                >> fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints polygamists to prohibit continued
                                >> police investigations in their Texas compound, due to religious
                                >> exemptions.
                                >
                                > I can't see them winning that case, religious exemptions can't get you
                                > out of violating secular laws (otherwise people would be starting
                                > religions that require their adherents to rob banks).

                                On the whole you are right, but in many specific cases you are wrong.
                                Catholic priests practicing child abuse as pediphiles show where you are
                                wrong.
                                >
                                >> It's completely ridiculous and clearly showing the necessity for
                                >> revising these laws protecting religions.
                                >
                                > I'd be more inclined to bring up faith healing and denial of real
                                > medicine to kids, that's probably the worst of all religious
                                > exemptions still existing in developed countries (and the polygamists
                                > aren't likely to win).

                                Agreed, except the polygamists HAVE BEEN winning. Why wouldn't they
                                continue to win? But agreed there is some small progress in the direction
                                of beating them. Fear of the Waco incident holds back progress though.

                                Richard.
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • Richard Godwin
                                ... From: bestonnet_00 To: Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:37 PM Subject: [Death To Religion]
                                Message 15 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                  To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:37 PM
                                  Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                                  for a post-Ab


                                  > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                                  >>
                                  >> We wouldn't have been saddled with Bush is the Dems had a reasonably
                                  >> viable candidate. Gore?--uks. Kerry?--worse uks.
                                  >
                                  > Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been
                                  > doing elections the way it should have been he would've won but the
                                  > stupid electoral college still exists).

                                  Yep. But you're not an American, right? By hindsight though, it would have
                                  been better if about anyone would have won compared with Bush's war
                                  mongering.

                                  >
                                  > OTOH Bush and his republican friends in congress have done a lot to
                                  > show the US and the world why religion should stay out of politics.

                                  Agreed, but the Bush war thing is far more complex.

                                  Richard.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------
                                  >
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • bestonnet_00
                                  ... Usually when some idiot legislator puts a specific exemption in the law stating that it isn t a crime if done for religious reasons, usually not included
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                    --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > From: "bestonnet_00"
                                    >
                                    > > I can't see them winning that case, religious exemptions can't get
                                    > > you out of violating secular laws (otherwise people would be
                                    > > starting religions that require their adherents to rob banks).
                                    >
                                    > On the whole you are right, but in many specific cases you are
                                    > wrong.

                                    Usually when some idiot legislator puts a specific exemption in the
                                    law stating that it isn't a crime if done for religious reasons,
                                    usually not included in marriage laws.

                                    > Catholic priests practicing child abuse as pediphiles show where you
                                    > are wrong.

                                    That is still illegal, just that the Catholic Church has tended to be
                                    very bad at actually dealing with them.

                                    > > I'd be more inclined to bring up faith healing and denial of real
                                    > > medicine to kids, that's probably the worst of all religious
                                    > > exemptions still existing in developed countries (and the
                                    > > polygamists aren't likely to win).
                                    >
                                    > Agreed, except the polygamists HAVE BEEN winning.

                                    In court?

                                    > Why wouldn't they continue to win? But agreed there is some small
                                    > progress in the direction of beating them. Fear of the Waco
                                    > incident holds back progress though.

                                    Sounds to me like the only reason that they might appear to be winning
                                    is because the government is too scared to confront them (although
                                    given what religious fanatics can do one does need to be careful).
                                  • bestonnet_00
                                    ... Of course not. ... Yeah, say someone who would put competent people in charge of the CIA and FBI and therefore actually figure out when terrorist attacks
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                      --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > From: "bestonnet_00"

                                      > Yep. But you're not an American, right?

                                      Of course not.

                                      > By hindsight though, it would have been better if about anyone would
                                      > have won compared with Bush's war mongering.

                                      Yeah, say someone who would put competent people in charge of the CIA
                                      and FBI and therefore actually figure out when terrorist attacks are
                                      going to happen before they happen in which case none of this mess
                                      would've happened.

                                      > > OTOH Bush and his republican friends in congress have done a lot
                                      > > to show the US and the world why religion should stay out of
                                      > > politics.
                                      >
                                      > Agreed, but the Bush war thing is far more complex.

                                      Yeah, that's going to be hard to deal with.
                                    • J_E_N_O_V_A_s_witness
                                      ... Gore DID win, you can t just blame the electoral college. Sure, Bush won more big states while Gore had more individual votes (Gore won the popular
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                        --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 <no_reply@...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been
                                        > doing elections the way it should have been he would've won but the
                                        > stupid electoral college still exists).
                                        >

                                        Gore DID win, you can't just blame the electoral college. Sure, Bush
                                        won more "big" states while Gore had more individual votes (Gore won the
                                        popular vote; most of the states he won by large margins, while most of
                                        the states Bush won were close calls). But there is massive evidence of
                                        voting machines being tampered with, write-in votes for Gore being
                                        thrown out as being "illegible and uncountable", absentee and oversees
                                        military votes not getting being counted in time due to mysterious
                                        delays, large numbers of votes by black democrats being thrown out
                                        because their names had slight similarities to those of felons, and
                                        ballots being found dumped in the woods.

                                        Dubya, his brother and buddies did a lot of work to steal the election,
                                        the way the electoral college is set up just made it a little easier for
                                        them. Bush broke the system, the US supreme court and voting public
                                        seem to be too apathetic to fix it. Why is it that, despite this
                                        evidence being known for a long time, only now in Bush's last year in
                                        office (286 days left) that talk of impeachment has gotten truly
                                        serious? Even still, most of that talk is concerned with impeaching
                                        Cheney for his masterminding the Iraq invasion under false pretenses.


                                        I'm sure by "had the US have been doing elections the way it should have
                                        been" you mean having each individual vote counting equally. Maybe Gore
                                        would have won if this was the case, or maybe the Bush camp would've
                                        just cheated harder to win.



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Richard Godwin
                                        No not in court. They just haven t been forced to that after all these decades. Now they got the big guy, and he might get off. Now they might be arresting
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                          No not in court. They just haven't been forced to that after all these
                                          decades. Now they got the big guy, and he might get off. Now they might be
                                          arresting more of these guys in Texas. In other words, they have been
                                          getting off scott free all this time. Why? Simple: political pull,
                                          primarily locally. Even local law officials have been Mormons. They also
                                          have been assisting in keeping outsiders from nosing in.

                                          Richard.

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "bestonnet_00" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                          To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 8:23 AM
                                          Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                                          for a post-Ab


                                          > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...> wrote:
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >> ----- Original Message -----
                                          >> From: "bestonnet_00"
                                          >>
                                          >> > I can't see them winning that case, religious exemptions can't get
                                          >> > you out of violating secular laws (otherwise people would be
                                          >> > starting religions that require their adherents to rob banks).
                                          >>
                                          >> On the whole you are right, but in many specific cases you are
                                          >> wrong.
                                          >
                                          > Usually when some idiot legislator puts a specific exemption in the
                                          > law stating that it isn't a crime if done for religious reasons,
                                          > usually not included in marriage laws.
                                          >
                                          >> Catholic priests practicing child abuse as pediphiles show where you
                                          >> are wrong.
                                          >
                                          > That is still illegal, just that the Catholic Church has tended to be
                                          > very bad at actually dealing with them.
                                          >
                                          >> > I'd be more inclined to bring up faith healing and denial of real
                                          >> > medicine to kids, that's probably the worst of all religious
                                          >> > exemptions still existing in developed countries (and the
                                          >> > polygamists aren't likely to win).
                                          >>
                                          >> Agreed, except the polygamists HAVE BEEN winning.
                                          >
                                          > In court?
                                          >
                                          >> Why wouldn't they continue to win? But agreed there is some small
                                          >> progress in the direction of beating them. Fear of the Waco
                                          >> incident holds back progress though.
                                          >
                                          > Sounds to me like the only reason that they might appear to be winning
                                          > is because the government is too scared to confront them (although
                                          > given what religious fanatics can do one does need to be careful).
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------------------
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Richard Godwin
                                          Baloney: SOS: same old stuff. There are two sides on that as you should know. Just live with it. Richard. ... From: J_E_N_O_V_A_s_witness
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                            Baloney: SOS: same old stuff. There are two sides on that as you should
                                            know. Just live with it.

                                            Richard.

                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "J_E_N_O_V_A_s_witness" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                            To: <deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:15 PM
                                            Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive Rationalization'
                                            for a post-Ab


                                            > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 <no_reply@...>
                                            > wrote:
                                            >>
                                            >>
                                            >> Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been
                                            >> doing elections the way it should have been he would've won but the
                                            >> stupid electoral college still exists).
                                            >>
                                            >
                                            > Gore DID win, you can't just blame the electoral college. Sure, Bush
                                            > won more "big" states while Gore had more individual votes (Gore won the
                                            > popular vote; most of the states he won by large margins, while most of
                                            > the states Bush won were close calls). But there is massive evidence of
                                            > voting machines being tampered with, write-in votes for Gore being
                                            > thrown out as being "illegible and uncountable", absentee and oversees
                                            > military votes not getting being counted in time due to mysterious
                                            > delays, large numbers of votes by black democrats being thrown out
                                            > because their names had slight similarities to those of felons, and
                                            > ballots being found dumped in the woods.
                                            >
                                            > Dubya, his brother and buddies did a lot of work to steal the election,
                                            > the way the electoral college is set up just made it a little easier for
                                            > them. Bush broke the system, the US supreme court and voting public
                                            > seem to be too apathetic to fix it. Why is it that, despite this
                                            > evidence being known for a long time, only now in Bush's last year in
                                            > office (286 days left) that talk of impeachment has gotten truly
                                            > serious? Even still, most of that talk is concerned with impeaching
                                            > Cheney for his masterminding the Iraq invasion under false pretenses.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > I'm sure by "had the US have been doing elections the way it should have
                                            > been" you mean having each individual vote counting equally. Maybe Gore
                                            > would have won if this was the case, or maybe the Bush camp would've
                                            > just cheated harder to win.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > ------------------------------------
                                            >
                                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                          • bestonnet_00
                                            ... Probably true although without the electoral college it would have been much more obvious. ... Source for that? The votes that were thrown out were invalid
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Apr 9, 2008
                                              --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, J_E_N_O_V_A_s_witness wrote:
                                              >
                                              > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been
                                              > > doing elections the way it should have been he would've won but
                                              > > the stupid electoral college still exists).
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              > Gore DID win, you can't just blame the electoral college.

                                              Probably true although without the electoral college it would have
                                              been much more obvious.

                                              > Sure, Bush won more "big" states while Gore had more individual
                                              > votes (Gore won the popular vote; most of the states he won by large
                                              > margins, while most of the states Bush won were close calls). But
                                              > there is massive evidence of voting machines being tampered with,
                                              > write-in votes for Gore being thrown out as being "illegible and
                                              > uncountable", absentee and oversees military votes not getting being
                                              > counted in time due to mysterious delays, large numbers of votes by
                                              > black democrats being thrown out because their names had slight
                                              > similarities to those of felons, and ballots being found dumped in
                                              > the woods.

                                              Source for that?

                                              The votes that were thrown out were invalid votes that should never
                                              have been counted in the first place. Both sides attempted to steal
                                              the election, it's just that only one side was actually stopped from
                                              doing it.

                                              > Dubya, his brother and buddies did a lot of work to steal the
                                              > election, the way the electoral college is set up just made it a
                                              > little easier for them. Bush broke the system, the US supreme court
                                              > and voting public seem to be too apathetic to fix it.

                                              The US Supreme Court did exactly what it should have done and said not
                                              to count invalid votes.

                                              What Bush did to steal the election was count postal votes that should
                                              not have been counted (and had they not been counted Gore would've won
                                              Florida). The Democrats made a mistake to try to get invalid votes
                                              counted would have been better off trying to make sure that all
                                              invalid votes were discarded.

                                              > I'm sure by "had the US have been doing elections the way it should
                                              > have been" you mean having each individual vote counting equally.

                                              Yes, which is how pretty much every other presidential system works.

                                              > Maybe Gore would have won if this was the case, or maybe the Bush
                                              > camp would've just cheated harder to win.

                                              There's a limit to how much you can cheat (and the rules set up before
                                              the election must be followed).
                                            • J_E_N_O_V_A_s_witness
                                              ... should ... What d I tell ya? Apathy, man. People nowadays let shit slide too easily, under the assumption Noone could do something that underhanded, there
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Apr 10, 2008
                                                --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Godwin" <meta@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Baloney: SOS: same old stuff. There are two sides on that as you
                                                should
                                                > know. Just live with it.
                                                >
                                                > Richard.

                                                > Just live with it.
                                                > Just live with it.
                                                > Just live with it.
                                                > Just live with it.
                                                > Just live with it.
                                                > Just live with it.

                                                What'd I tell ya?

                                                Apathy, man.

                                                People nowadays let shit slide too easily, under the assumption "Noone
                                                could do something that underhanded, there must be another side to the
                                                story!"

                                                Consider how Enron's top execs committed fraud all throughout the 1990s.
                                                In 2001, when a wall street analyst complained that Enron was the only
                                                company that could not release a balance sheet along with its earnings
                                                statements, he was mocked for his perceived meddling. Enron would've
                                                gone down a lot sooner if people had been a bit more inquisitive, rather
                                                than assuming everything's on the up and up.

                                                Sometimes you have to rock the boat, to knock the shit overboard.



                                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                                > From: "J_E_N_O_V_A_s_witness" no_reply@yahoogroups.com
                                                > To: deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 12:15 PM
                                                > Subject: [Death To Religion] Re: A Strategy of 'Subversive
                                                Rationalization'
                                                > for a post-Ab
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 no_reply@
                                                > > wrote:
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >> Uh, you do realise that Gore almost won (and had the US have been
                                                > >> doing elections the way it should have been he would've won but the
                                                > >> stupid electoral college still exists).
                                                > >>
                                                > >
                                                > > Gore DID win, you can't just blame the electoral college. Sure,
                                                Bush
                                                > > won more "big" states while Gore had more individual votes (Gore won
                                                the
                                                > > popular vote; most of the states he won by large margins, while most
                                                of
                                                > > the states Bush won were close calls). But there is massive
                                                evidence of
                                                > > voting machines being tampered with, write-in votes for Gore being
                                                > > thrown out as being "illegible and uncountable", absentee and
                                                oversees
                                                > > military votes not getting being counted in time due to mysterious
                                                > > delays, large numbers of votes by black democrats being thrown out
                                                > > because their names had slight similarities to those of felons, and
                                                > > ballots being found dumped in the woods.
                                                > >
                                                > > Dubya, his brother and buddies did a lot of work to steal the
                                                election,
                                                > > the way the electoral college is set up just made it a little easier
                                                for
                                                > > them. Bush broke the system, the US supreme court and voting public
                                                > > seem to be too apathetic to fix it. Why is it that, despite this
                                                > > evidence being known for a long time, only now in Bush's last year
                                                in
                                                > > office (286 days left) that talk of impeachment has gotten truly
                                                > > serious? Even still, most of that talk is concerned with impeaching
                                                > > Cheney for his masterminding the Iraq invasion under false
                                                pretenses.
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > I'm sure by "had the US have been doing elections the way it should
                                                have
                                                > > been" you mean having each individual vote counting equally. Maybe
                                                Gore
                                                > > would have won if this was the case, or maybe the Bush camp would've
                                                > > just cheated harder to win.
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > ------------------------------------
                                                > >
                                                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                >



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