Send a Message
to Stygian

Comments

486

Joined

Jan 2, 2008

Stygian Profile

Forums Owned

Recent Posts

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Again, thank you, Jeff. Permit me, if you will, to tell you my underlying motivation and reason for participating in these forums. I consider them to be an educational experience, they permit me the opportunity to learn not just more about a topic, but also about the various sides from which a topic is discussed/debated. ..and in so doing, I also learn a little more about what I refer to as the "Human Experience". To me, which side of a topic a person is on is not nearly as important as WHY they are on that side and their ability to explain/defend/rat ionalize it. In fact, I sometimes find myself arguing both sides of a debate as part of my process of learning and making a determination of my personal stance on an issue. I agree with you regarding blind faith and assumptions/stereo types...they can be destructive and inhibit the exchange of ideas because they are most frequently underpinned by decisions rather than information, and decisions are exceptionally resistent to change. But it is important to realize that faith and assumptions also play an important, if not necessary, part of the human decision making process by allowing us to bridge gaps that would otherwise bring the journey to an abrupt and permanent halt. It is also important to realize that almost all sides of any issue will have their irrational adherants who cannot be persuaded by any argument no matter how unassailable the logic/facts...and also that they are not necessarily automatically wrong. Of course "acceptance " is the preferred status over "tolerance ", but acceptance implies an ideological embracement that may well be impossible, so tolerance becomes the next best thing. Knowing what I know about people in general, tolerance isn't just a good start, it's a GREAT start...and even if acceptance never occurs, tolerance nurtures civility in which amicable cooperation becomes the norm. To me, that is where we ought to be as a species. We don't necessarily accept and/or embrace everything, but neither do we need to. For example, I may not necessarily embrace a person's faith in their Lord And Savior Jesus Christ, I am willing to accept that it works for them and makes them happy...I feel no need to debate their faith nor require that they not pray on my behalf as their faith may compell them to do. To me, that is tolerance...it's not the begrudging "allowance " for others to think/feel/believe differently than I do, it's KNOWING that they do and there's nothing that can or should be done about it because that's their business to think/feel/believe as they see fit, it's their life and they're welcome to it.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #296)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Perhaps now you can understand a small dark part of my personal philosophy: People Suck. I'm optimisitc and give individuals every opportunity to prove to me that they are not part of the problem, but it is likewise impossible for me to ignore the myriad examples in the world that prove my philosophy correct. Does that give me a reason or justification to be a Sucky Person? No. But it does remind me that I ignore that basic truth at my own peril. My point to you personally is that when you resort to their tactics, the tactics of the haters, you are personally contributing to reinforcing their opinions/beliefs and you undermine your own credibility. That is all. I wasn't opining about how right/wrong your beliefs may be, just your choice of tactics. I know a little something about struggle with regard to one's beliefs and lifestyle...imagin e what life is like for a fiscal/Constitutio nal conservative, socially moderate, Gothic, openly Pagan, Mensa candidate in the United States Marine Corps.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #294)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Just a quick note, my world is Planet Earth, and while I am on it, my head is not stuck in it (know what I mean?) Anyway, while it is true that women in the military have changed a number of the dynamics without undermining it's primary purpose/function, you're leaving out the fact that American woman are still forbidden from front line/combat operations. While this may initially sound like unfair discrimination, it is for a very good and undeniably human reason. When on the front line, your purpose is to fight, to kill, to destroy. If your buddy takes a hit, it's part of the normal scenario of combat...you do what you can and then you move on. The problem with women on the front line is that certain lizard-brain instincts, even more primitive than "KILL KILL KILL", will tend to overtake the male mind when they observe harm brought to their female colleague. A man who can see one of his male buddies flash blasted into meat paste and fight on could be incompacitated by witnessing a female take a round...his instinct would be to assist and protect her to the exclusion of all else. A man who will not surrender when threatened with the imminent execution of another soldier just might do so to prevent a woman soldier from being executed...or worse. Women may serve on the front lines for the Israeli Army, but their culture and circumstances are WAY different than those here in America and it engenders within their people different attitudes/reaction s to situations, but even they have observed quite a bit of the lizard-brain behavior that I've mentionedThat tradition exists for a number of reasons that simply cannot be overlooked. Personally, I have no issue with gays serving openl...but I would be a fool if I ignored that there are people in this country, and in our military, who would be very adversely affected by serving with a person who is openly gay. I've served with gay men and women who were great people and great Marines/Soldiers/S ailors, but the vast majority of them understood why it was best that they keep that aspect of themselves private because it did not enhance their performance nor the performance of those around them for it to be out and open. The purpose of the military is not to "open the minds" of those types who are ignorant/intoleran t/fearful, it's to maintain good order and discipline and be the pointy end of America's Foreign Policy. To that end, the American military may not be ready for gays to serve openly. And yes, I am aware that I've addressed only a very small aspect of the complex issue, but it is indicative of the complexity of the other facets and isn't necessarily well suited for additional discussion in this thread.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #293)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Thank you for your compliment, Jeff, I am gratified by your response to my post. My post are infrequently appreciated by those with whom I may not be in 100% agreement, your response proves to me that I am justified to maintain my optimisim that even in the midst of what may be a debate between diametrically opposed viewpoints that rational people *can* find common ground. If it is true that the Civil Union does not provide for all the right and privileges, then perhaps the focus of the movement should be to remove that inequity and leave to the churches (and others) the traditional definition of the word "marriage "...would that really be so ignoble a compromiseWhile true that by widening the definition of marriage to include same sex couples does not "take away" anything from a traditional marriage, it does effectively dilute the meaning and provide a means by which further expansions may also take place. Now before you respond to my use of the word "dilute" consider the following: American Citizenship is granted to those persons who have filed their paperwork (and paid their fees), done their studies and successfully passed the tests, received their background/health checks, demonstrated their sincere desire to be an American Citizen, and taken the oath of allegiance to America. It is not a quick and easy process to become an American Citizen when one is foreign born. So could it not be considered an insult to the efforts of those people and a dilution of the status of Citizenship to grant amnesty and American Citizenship to 8-20 million people who are demanding it because they're here already and shouldn't have to be bothered with the whole naturalization process (for whatever reason)??? And again I bring up what seems to be the missing point: If all the rights/privileges can be acquired through civil unions (and again, perhaps civil unions need to be fixed as well), then why the big fight over the word "marriage "? It seems to be that alot of efforts and passions are being misplaced, unless there is some underlying motivation that is being obscured and will only come to light later on...like it has in other States and Countries where similar laws HAVE passed to codify same sex marriages.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #292)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

I have an ideological problem with "Hate Crime" legislation on several levels. If something is wrong, it is wrong regardless of the underlying motivation. Exercise of "hate crime" modifiers puts the government in the position of having to determine a person's thoughts and making a determination that certain thoughts are more wrong than others and therefore deserve to be punished more harshly. Exercise of the "hate crime" modifiers by the government then becomes a tool by which the government attempts to mould society in a manner that the government determines is more proper than it may currently be. Right now the sentiment is to "protect " certain classes that the goverment determines need additional protection, but in so doing it is in effect saying that everyone else isn't deserving of such protection. That, by definition, defeats the very concept of "Equal under the law", not to mention the particularly disturbing idea of the government having a "thought policing" tool...am I the only one that is disturbed by this? Justice is no longer blind, therefore it is no longer JustThere are many ways to respond to insults, including options that don't make one the other side of the coin that issued the original insult. I will be the first to admit that I have a temper and something of an acerbic wit, but oftimes answering in like kind reduces the level of the debate to the lowest common denominator and effectively makes one a participant in diluting their own credibility...the effect is exacerbated when one attempts to defend their actions by pointing out that they've been the perpetual recipient of such, whether as an individual or a self-recognized member of a group...it's too much like "wull, he did it FIRST!" I've made a point to make the observation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the hope that the intended recipient would realize how he/she is playing into the argument against their own point by playing the part of their own enemy. One cannot be the Perpetrator and the Victim at the same time, nor can one decry hate/ignorance through displays of hate/ignorance. Nonsense happens, at that point the decision becomes whether one will choose to participate in the nonsense or rise above it and elevate the debate.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #291)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

I wouldn't necessarily go that far. All generalizations are wrong, including this one. In my experience, being part of any defined "minority " doesn't make anyone any less likely to be anything, especially ignorant. After all, we're talking about PEOPLE and people are capable of anything...there are going to be exceptions to every "ruleBut why should any organization be exempted, voluntarily or not, from participating in any debate? Every opinion has a little something to add to the discussion, even if you feel like you have to take a long long shower after hearing it? There is either a free exchange in the arena of ideas or there is tyrrany, there's virtually NO middle ground here. As for the "Separation of Church and State", that is a famous misconception about America. There is nowhere within the Constitution nor the Amendments anything about the "Separation of Church and State". It was mentioned in some of the writing of one of the Founding Fathers, and there's that bit in the First Amendment about "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" but that isn't what people are talking about when they refer to "Separation of Church and State". When people commonly refer to the "Separation.. ." they are thinking in terms of religion staying out of politics, but it's almost impossible for any human being to be entirely objective with their most sincerely and deeply held beliefs. Plus one must also consider just how significant an effect religion has already had on our laws...The Ten Commandments, the Code of Hammurabi, and what is universally referred to as "Common Law" bear a very strong mutual resemblance and it's not entirely accidental. While I am all for keeping the Churches (all of them) out of my personal life and my bedroom, I believe that anyone who doesn't take into account the role that religion plays in the lives of the vast majority of the human race does so at their own risk. Like it or not, religion is here to stay and those who try to stick their thumb into the eye of religion through the democratic process have been dealt some serious blows, particularly of late. As for being paranoid, it's hard to call the Church(es) paranoid when churches have been sued and priests have been jailed...in fact, I think it was in Norway that a priest was jailed for a "hate crime" for reading from the Bible while standing behind his pulpit in his church during church services passages relating to homosexuality. With so many people calling for a more multinational approach to law, and wanting America to emulate more and more the Old World, it's simply a matter of time before that kind of thing comes here. It is smart for any organization to fight a law that will open the door to potential lawsuits that could result in the destruction of that organization. That is simple self-preservatino, a very basic human motivation.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #287)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Once again Jeff, you resorting to distortion or outright lies to support your incorrect conclusions. Are you really going to attempt to deny that you made, on the very same page, a statement in which you say you abhor violent actions like burning things on someone's porch and that you would like to have the opportunity to shove your fist down the throat of someone who has a different opinion than your own? Now *that's* interesting, and very telling. I defy you to cite a single instance where I have written that I believe/think/susp ect/know that homosexuality is a choice. You won't be able to because I NEVER HAVE. I have made a very specific point to never write that because I do not know/think/believe /suspect that homosexuality is entirely a matter of choice. I have many gay friends and a number of them have told me that if homosexuality was a matter of choice that they would have chosen to NOT be gay if for no other reason than to avoid the problems/issues that it has caused in their lives...that to me is compelling enough evidence against the idea that homosexuality is a choice. And I have never once endorsed "gay bashing". What I said is that if you are truly in favor of "equal rights" and "equal protection under the law" then you should be in favor of the elimination of "Hate Crime" legislation because such legislation effectively creates "specially protected" classes which is entirely antithetical to the concept of "equal protection under the law" and creates divisions within the law that didn't previously exist. And on the few threads that I've visited (which you have no way to track at all except through my responses) I've felt no need to shout down any of the obviously stupid commentary made by mindless bashers because there's already plenty of people speaking out against it and I don't feel compelled to jump on the obvious bandwagon. Obvious garbage is just that, obvious garbage. You, on the other hand, like to wrap yourself in a veil of logic, and a desire for simple "equality ", and you try to cite "scientific evidence", then you lose your mind when someone takes a skeptical approach to your postings. I take exception to your "shoveling the scheisse" approach because if your arguments are as strong as you pretend they are then you wouldn't need to shovel die scheisse...I take exception to you talking out of both sides of your neck simultaneously, decrying the ignorance and hate from your lofty perch on the Rainbow Colored High Horse and then employing those same techniques with the justification of "well they did it first!" You're either better than that (rolling in the muck, hatemongering, etc), or you're not. Either you can engage in rational debate of the topic or you can't. Either your points can stand up to skeptical analysis and you have counter-points to make, or you do not. By all means, pick one.  (Nov 19, 2008 | post #286)

NBC San Diego

Prop 8 Rally

That remains to be seen, but it is not atypical of those who are unable to use the democratic process to do what they feel they must in order to subvert itI have actually never say anything of the sort and I DEFY you to prove that I have. As for pleasing me, nothing would please me more than for you to be accurate when you are making references to what I have and have not said. While it is true that you don't HAVE to please me, making easily refutable statements undermines your effort to persuade people to your point of viewAgain, I have actually never say anything of the sort and I DEFY you to prove that I have. You are the one lying when you say that I have made such statements. Point in fact, I have made a specific POINT to never make such statements because I do not know, nor do I believe, that sexual orientation is entirely a matter of choice. On a personal basis, a person's sexual orientation is a matter of supreme indifference to me. What matters to me is a person's character, not how they express their sexuality...unless it happens to involve universally distasteful things like children, animals, corpses, or unwilling participants. You see, you've made all manner of judgements about me based upon false assumptions. You appear to be every bit as intolerant and judgemental as those against whom you rail so passionately. You've become very much like those against whom you fight, the only difference is that you're riding the Rainbow Colored High Horse.  (Nov 18, 2008 | post #284)

NBC San Diego

Union-Tribune: Tijuana Police Under Fire In Separate Attacks

ROTFLMAO} You can't even take the "hart" out of the drug cartels, how you can even dream of taking the "hart" out of the "demon" United States? You want to refight the Mexican-American war? Fine. America chased your armies off with Gatling guns and repeating rifles back then, and we've improved our war fighting technology a little in the 100 years since we had the Marine Corps camped within artillary range of Mexico City... ...or maybe this is all part of a clever tactic. You declare war, lob a few rounds at us, then when we roll over you like a wave of fire you surrender en masse and then demand War Reparations and money for Reconstruction?  (Nov 18, 2008 | post #23)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Except when you are implying that you would like to shove your first down someone's throat: http://www.topix.n et/forum/state/ca/ TRFNOVP810RDF7747/ post268So is the threat evidence of blatent hypocrisy, or merely an angry empty threat in direct conflict with this current statement? Either way, which is the truth?  (Nov 18, 2008 | post #273)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

I'm part of a historical reenactment group whose focus is Landsknechts, specifically during the time of Charles III. During that time, Landsknecht Fähnleins were selling their services as mercenaries all over Europe. As we understand the history and writings, Fähnleins were usually at least a full pikeblock (20x20 or 400 fighting men) plus officers and "baggage train". What were hoping to do sometime is to visit one of the Landsknecht festivals that are held in Germany each year...we're told that there are a number of competitions that we just might be able to win (including live weapon tournamentsOne would think that...but I've lost track of the number of times that I've heard people justify their intolerance/hate/v iolence because they have historically been on the receiving end of it...the old "two wrongs don't make a right" argument does little to sway the hearts/minds of militant victimsOr it could be that they were voting to uphold a "traditional definition" and feel that if the argument is over rights/privileges then "Civil Unions" brings an end to the argument. Plus, there have been instances where churches have been sued and/or lost their tax exampt status because they refused to marry a gay couple. No matter how some people would say it won't happen, we all know that it will. In the interest of "stamping out discrimination, " it'll become a tool to stamp out churches and religion(s).  (Nov 18, 2008 | post #272)

California

Criticism mounts among gays over Calif. ban

Without naming names, I just want to say that some of the responses that I have seen here have about given me migraines with the overwhelming arrogance overload readily apparent within them. Yes, I mistrust large organized churches/religions also, but I don't automatically assume that it makes me somehow intellectually superior nor more "evolved " than anyone who is a participant/practi tioner thereof. How nice it must be for you to be the smartest and most evolved person within every room you deign to grace with your presence. Deconstruct the churches, educate the people, assist them in their own evolution...sounds familiar, like Italy and Germany in the '30s and '40s. One must be careful about what they hate so that they don't become the very thing they hate, or employ the same tactics as those that they claim are on the "wrong" side of an issue/belief. History is rife with examples...some of what is going on now looks frighteningly familiar. As Mark Twain once said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes."  (Nov 14, 2008 | post #22)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

It wasn't my intent to imply that you personally were a coward. My intent was to make an observation regarding the cowardly tactics of those who are employing them. The voting statistical analysis clearly shows that the California minority community, African-Americans and Latinos in particular, voted heavily in favor of Prop8 to codify into the State Constitution the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. The activists have been staging their protests, which includes quite a display of sundry "intolerant " words and deeds against the churches and their respective congregations (in fact, one could go so far as to say that there's quite a bit of "hate speech"), at churches that are not primarily composed of African-Americans and/or Latinos. I was also making an observation that they tried very hard to tie their fight for their definition of "equality " to the Civil Rights movement, a maneuver that apparently wasn't well received by communities that were fighting against such outright discrimination as "Whites Only" drinking fountains and whose marches were subject to violent physical attacks by riot police. It is my opinion that such tactics failed them before the vote and now they are doing a GREAT disservice to their community by CONTINUING to fail them and AGGRAVATING the problems with these protestsI understand what you are saying, but it is my opinion that this fight wasn't so much about rights (which exist in the form of "Civil Unions") but about an unspoken ulterior motive behind the effective highjacking of the specific term "marriage ". Apparently, the majority of the People of the state of California felt strongly enough about the traditional definition of "marriage " to codify it as part of the Constitution. No "right" was taken away by adopting Prop8. Gays still have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, but they choose to not do so. If they are concerned about all of the rights/privileges that married couples acquire, California still provides the "Civil Union" to meet those needs for same sex couples. California has demonstrated it's tolerance of same sex couples by providing the means by which they can acquire all of the same rights/privileges as a heterosexual couple...apparentl y that's not good enough for some and they are not demonstrating any tolerance whatsoever for a traditional definition for the term "marriage ". Apparently tolerance is *not* a two-way street for some people, and it strikes me as ironic that it happens to be people who've been preaching "tolerance " for decades.  (Nov 14, 2008 | post #242)

California

Exit poll: Blacks, Latinos backed ban

Fahn is flag. Fahnlein is a term that refers to an organized military unit and loosely translates to "Company ". What I was shooting for, and perhaps missed a bit, was "I assure you that my Company is for hire." My Company is Die Kriegshunde Fahnlein, a Landsknecht reenactment and historical reenactment group.  (Nov 14, 2008 | post #241)

NBC San Diego

Prop 8 Rally

Legally defining and including in the constituion of California that a "Marriage " shall consist of one man and one woman DOES NOT eliminate the right of a gay person to marry, they still have every opportunity to "marry" a person of the opposite sex and it is their personal choice to not exercise that opportunity. California has very strong "civil union" laws that grant all rights and privileges as marriage except that it is not formally titled a "marriage ". Because that option exists, it covers those who choose to not marry, effectively eliminating any claim whatsoever that marriage grants any kind of "protected class" status to heterosexual couples have that is not available to homosexual couples. If the fight is to have all the same rights and privileges, then it was over a while ago...so why fight so fiercely over the term "marriage " unless there is some unspoken ulterior motivation? It was taken to ballot and the People have spoken. Had the People spoke to shoot down Prop8 then the GLBT Community would be partying to high heaven and celebrating it as the law of the land. The recent protests and disruptions/attack s on persons and churches clearly demonstrate that the Community doesn't respect the concepts of Democracy except, unless, and until those concepts reinforce THEIR interpretation of right/wrong. In my humble opinion, *that* is incontrovertible fascism. It is also my opinion that the whole affair was most likely a means by which an outspoken militant segment of the GLBT Community wanted to stick their thumbs in the eyes of the various religions and others that may be less than embracing/acceptin g of the various values/beliefs of the GLBT Community...an act that is in and of itself demonstrative of the intolerance of those same outspoken militants within the GLBT Community. It smacks of Thought Policing... Civil Unions exist to meet the needs that were advertised as the heart of the matter, but there was something more that was demanded. The issue got pushed and the People pushed back. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that if the pushing gets harder then the pushing back will also get harder. There comes a time when any person or organization has to take a good hard look at what's important and pick their battles more wisely. The battle that is shaping post-Prop8 is unwise and will inevitably result in unintended consequences.  (Nov 14, 2008 | post #282)

Q & A with Stygian

Headline:

Landsknecht Zu Vermieten

Hometown:

San Diego

I Belong To:

NRA, American Legion, Kriegshunde Fahnlein, Forlornehoffnung, S.D.Goth, USMC Veteran

When I'm Not on Topix:

Working Single Parent, Historical Reenactment, XBox Live

Read My Forum Posts Because:

My mind, ethics, and experience are my foundation.

I'm Listening To:

Talk Radio, Goth/Industrial

Read This Book:

"The Dilbert Principle", "How to own a gun in California (and stay out of jail)", "The Watchmen"

Favorite Things:

History, Sciences, Gaming (PC, Board, Console, Tactical/Strategic), Movies (SciFi/Fantasy, Horror)

I Believe In:

Common Sense, Critical Thinking, Facts before Feelings, The Truth Will Out, Pragmatic Solutions. Smith & Wesson made all men equal, but sword & pike never run out of ammunition.