• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Tim Cooke
Sheriffs:
  • Knute Snortum
  • Junilu Lacar
  • Devaka Cooray
Saloon Keepers:
  • Ganesh Patekar
  • Tim Moores
  • Carey Brown
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • salvin francis
Bartenders:
  • Ron McLeod
  • Frits Walraven
  • Pete Letkeman

The liar in chief  RSS feed

 
Trailboss
Posts: 22870
Firefox Browser IntelliJ IDE Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have only a few minutes to spare today and will be on the road for the next two days, so forgive me if I don't respond until Wednesday ...
I browsed about seven messages on page 7 of this thread and I thought "This is great! People are talking about serious issues and being quite civil!" and then I went on to page 8. Ug. The word "you" was in almost every message. And through one, two or three levels of indirection, people were implying that other members of JavaRanch were less than perfect. I was disgusted. I started deleting messages and then I realized I was deleting all of the messages. I ended up moving the thread to the trash can. If a sheriff wants to edit out ALL of the ickiness and move the thread back, that's okay with me. But if this turns into a lot of work for staff (because you guys just cannot fathom what I mean by "be nice" or you don't care to try) then we're just going to have to ban this sort of thing or delete this forum.
Here is an important key: People are allowed to say what their opinion is and not be required to defend it. You may politely ask questions about their opinion, but you may not accuse them of being ignorant until they can prove otherwise. That is not only rude, but it implies that the person is less than perfect.
Y'all can argue with me if you want about how this is or is not fair. But the rule here is that if I don't like something then I won't publish it. I want to encourage a community where the little guy will not be afraid to express an opinion. And from what I've read here, I would be afraid to express an opinion.
In other words, if somebody posts "The world is flat!" I don't want to read "Only idiots think the world is flat!" I think an acceptable response is "I think the world is round!"
And on another note. I read a few messages that said something about anti-american stuff. I think the only "American view" of something is where every last American has exactly the same view. And I think there is nothing like that. Therefore, there can never be an american view. There can be views that the american government is exercising at the moment. Or that the American government exercised at some time. But to say that a view is an american view and that anybody that does not share that view is anti-american is, in my opinion, rude, wrong and oppressive.
I demand respect for members of JavaRanch. If somebody is undeserving of respect, then I, and only I, will take steps to exclude that member from this community. I will not tolerate unkind words on my site about any member of JavaRanch unless it is written by me.
 
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Indeed, I was about to post on that thread about how we might benefit from banning the word "you". OK that's a bit extreme, but really too many people in that thread were focusing on the other person rather than on the arguments made. Yes, arguments were addressed too, but increasingly it sounded like "your argument sucks (and you're an idiot)". Not literally, but that was the feeling I got. If just one party were doing this I wouldn't mind editing out those comments, but when two or more people are doing it consistently, it gets to be too much work to separate out the signal from the noise. Which is too bad because there was a lot of good signal in that thread, even some at the end. In the future, if you want a serious discussion here, try to focus on the subject of the discussion, not the people involved in it. If enough people do that, it will be easier for us to weed out the exceptions, and keep the serious conversations around.
[ February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
paul wheaton
Trailboss
Posts: 22870
Firefox Browser IntelliJ IDE Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jim, thanks for the support here.
My thinking is that if folks can discuss this sort of thing in a civil manner (like the posts I read on page 7), I think allowing this sort of discussion is a good thing. But the sort of thing I read on page 8, I just don't ever want to see here. And at the same time, I don't want staff time spent in editing and deleting. If people cannot control themselves, then we need to come up with a different way of doing things.
Would you agree with this?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 196
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
In other words, if somebody posts "The world is flat!" I don't want to read "Only idiots think the world is flat!" I think an acceptable response is "I think the world is round!"


Can somebody present me the scientific proof that the Earth is in fact NOT flat? I only ask because currently the Vatican has not in fact acknowledged that they were wrong about the Earth being flat. The official standing is that they may have been wrong and are looking into it (this was in the mid 1980s). Wondered if anyone had anything we could send them
 
Morgan Bath
Ranch Hand
Posts: 196
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, bringing the thread back to the title I do in fact have a question:
In the state of the union speech I believe I heard that government grants will now be allowed for religious institutions. My understanding of your constitution is obviously not as good as an american citizens, but it did seem to me that this is in violation of the concept: Seperation of Church and State.
Did I misunderstand the President or have I misunderstood your constitution?
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Would you agree with this?
Pretty much. I probably would set a higher tolerance for what's acceptable than you would, and I don't want to imply that no staff time should be spent on editing. But we agree on the key issues: we don't want this forum to be a place where people get upset (we've seen that in the past; no thank you), and we don't want staff to spend a lot of time micromanaging threads worrying about exactly which comments were acceptable and which weren't, and who is at fault, and how to explain this to everyone in a way that ensures they all feel they were treated fairly. We can edit out a few bad comments, but when it's happening frequently it's much easier to either close the thread or delete it. Which is unfortunate for that thread, but hopefully encourages people to restrain themselves in the future so we won't feel the need.
 
Sheriff
Posts: 9087
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is nothing in the constitution of the US that requires separation of church and state.

The closest item is
Amendment I (1791)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Constitution of the USA
[ February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Marilyn de Queiroz ]
 
Morgan Bath
Ranch Hand
Posts: 196
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ahhh, ok. Why is it we get that impression regarding the USA?
 
paul wheaton
Trailboss
Posts: 22870
Firefox Browser IntelliJ IDE Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't watch the state of the union program, and I pretty much ignore political stuff anymore. But in a feeble attempt to answer your question: a majority of the U.S. population is Christian. So when we elect folks, they are usually Christian. And lots of times those guys will make decisions and they will back their decisions with their faith. But I think if they are gonna use tax money to support religious schools, I suspect that the parents can use the money for Christian schools or any other religious school they want. It won't be limited to just Christian schools.
 
Morgan Bath
Ranch Hand
Posts: 196
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is no seperation here yet, but its one of the things we think the USA has built into it at the constitutional level. Actually on reflection it is unlikely considering the founding fathers. It also explains why that comment in the speech got applause and NO head shaking from the guy on one side the camera kept focusing on. Disagreeing with anything with words charity and christian in it is possibly not a good idea in a religious nation I guess.
BTW who was he and why did he feel we needed a visual cue to note a comment the democrats would disagree with? Im an outsider and I can figure that out pretty much by myself. Was it a polite way of saying "You are a butthole" the whole time? I prefer the British system of dissent. They just boo, stamp their feet, scream abuse and wave stuff in the air. Have you seen the house of commons during a debate? Totally entertaining I keep waiting for paper aeroplanes to go sailing by and people to start mooning.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
[Marilyn]: There is nothing in the constitution of the US that requires separation of church and state.
[Morgan]: Ahhh, ok. Why is it we get that impression regarding the USA?

Because the text isn't really all that clear, and there's some disagreement as to how it should be interpreted, and "separation of church and state" is the shorthand for a popular and (currently? still?) dominant interpretation of this. Really, what the heck is "respecting an establishment of religion" supposed to mean? Maybe this was considered clear in the language of the day over 200 years ago, but today it sounds appallingly vague. Does "respecting" mean "showing respect to" or "having anything to do with"? Is "an establishment of religion" a religious establishment? A decree that a certain religion is the official state religion? Any law which favors one religion over another (or no religion) thereby "establishing" that religion? Something else? Really, it seems like very poor and muddy phrasing to me.
Anyway, the interpretation that's used to justify separation of church and state is that any law which would in any way favor one religion over another would in effect be "establishing" the religion. Or at least, tending to. and that ill-chosen "respecting" may or may not have been chosen to allow just this sort of interpretation.
Unfortunately in withholding favoritism it's also possible to go to far, and end up penalizing the followers of a religion, e.g. denying them funding opportunities available to nonreligious organization, or limiting their freedom of speech in federally funded and sanctioned institutions like schools. (Partly federally funded that is.) Of course many of us disagree about exacly what is "too far" and what's not. Morgan, you may find some interesting discussion of a specific example of separation of chrch and state here. Also a good example of how even we moderators sometimes get too wrapped up in an argument and need to be reined in. Nope, we're far from perfect ourselves; we do the best we can though. Enjoy.
[ February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
BTW who was he and why did he feel we needed a visual cue to note a comment the democrats would disagree with?
Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Have you seen the house of commons during a debate? Totally entertaining I keep waiting for paper aeroplanes to go sailing by and people to start mooning.
The house of commons is quite a spectacle, indeed. The US senators are much more subdued than their British counterparts. This is somewhat puzzling, considering the British manerism and the American simplicity. One would think that you would see fist fight in US congress, and unexpressive faces in UK house of commons. But it seems the other way around.
 
Morgan Bath
Ranch Hand
Posts: 196
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Because the text isn't really all that clear, and there's some disagreement as to how it should be interpreted,


Similar to the second ammendment I guess. From what I gather on one side people believe the first part is the key, and on the other the second part is key. Like the first commandment, it can be read however you want it to be read, and both sides are convinced they are the only ones with the truth.
Makes a good argument for a simpler constitution.... something like...
"Be excellent to each other!"
But then we would spend the next two humdred years arguing what that meant too
[ February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Marilyn de Queiroz ]
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1759
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sadly, the so-called "mother of parliaments" can be a sexist bear pit.
Jane Griffiths Labour MP : "When I made my maiden speech in June I was interrupted by mocking laughter and rude gestures from the Conservative Party benches," she recalls.
Other women complain that remarks they have made during House debates on serious topics such as breast cancer have been greeted with guffaws.
For centuries the House of Commons was an exclusive male club.
The seating plan in the House of Commons doesn't help. Unlike members of the horseshoe-shaped chambers of the US Congress, British MPs of the two main parties face each other in eye-to-eye confrontation, and have a long tradition of heckling each other. Quentin Letts say the women MPs he calls "Blairs CryBabies", have misread the humor of the House and have been intimidated by the customary bombast of the chamber.The House of Lords in contrast is well mannered.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"Helen Thomas" - now why does that name sound familiar?
 
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1759
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First Lady of the Press, White House ?
Known for the grumpy wit and fierce precision that gave her reporting on American presidents Kennedy through Bush II such an edge.
"I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter," said Helen Thomas. "Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'"
[ February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Morgan Bath
Ranch Hand
Posts: 196
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
"Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'"
[ February 01, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]


Love it
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, that must be it.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
...though if you're not careful one of the other moderators will now cite you for your "obviously fictitious" name.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2823
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You just did Jim.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well no, I don't think it's fictitious at all, and I'm not citing her. I know Helen, and I'm aware there's a sorta-famous person with the same name, but it's not her. But of course Helen's comment doesn't exactly make that clear.
 
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1759
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Jim. I was beginning to think I may have to cite the journalist for identity theft and have a helluva problem succeeding. Back to the main topic,if you please, gentlemen.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1865
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Marilyn de Queiroz:
There is nothing in the constitution of the US that requires separation of church and state. The closest item isAmendment I (1791)


Let's not forget Article VI.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
 
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff
Posts: 7292
Netbeans IDE VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You knew this was coming...
 
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff
Posts: 7292
Netbeans IDE VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and of course this
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
.. and that
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!