+ 0 Votes ? PurpleSkys Moderator 2 years ago ? i suppose someone may as well ask... + 0 Votes It sure feels like global warming around these parts AV . 2 years ago Care to share? Inquiring minds want to know. . . .AV + 0 Votes Sorry. CharlieSpencer_Palmetto 2 years ago I refuse to indulge this attention-getting device. + 0 Votes They're both wrong. boxfiddler Moderator 2 years ago I'm always right. And if I'm always right the only time either one of them is right is when they agree with me. + 0 Votes For those who chose to have a hissy fit about my "cryptic" message maxwell edison 2 years ago With all due respect, my friends, just because this is a public forum (hosted by a private Web Company), it doesn't mean that everything any given person might post is necessarily intended for you. (You being any given person who might be reading this.)Maybe it was intended for only one person - in this case, perhaps that one person is Neil, perhaps someone else. And for those who've suggested a peer mail to Neil would be more appropriate, how do you know? And how do you know I don't keep in contact with Neil via email? (Which I do, by the way, if it's any of your business.) Or perhaps it was some silly bet between Neil and me, that I had to post such a message. Or maybe.......Maybe it was intended to rekindle some old magic this site use to have. I look back at some of the discussions we've had around here over the years, and so many of them were most compelling and provocative.Or maybe it was intended to try to get some of the old gang back. I must admit, since the downfall of TR's Water Cooler (and what a significant downfall it's been), I am experiencing somewhat of a void. I really do miss those compelling discussions. But try as I might to rekindle something, the effort always fails.Or maybe it was all of those things - and more.I've tried several times to start something up again, but it seems to be an effort in futility - for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the site redesign. And we still have the usual suspects assuming the worst and jumping to a conclusion based only on what they think they know, not what they do know. I suppose reserving judgement in such cases never crosses the mind of some people.Okay, maybe I was somewhat inconsiderate to the few people who still are around for posting such a "cryptic" message. Well slap my wrist with a wet noodle. On the egregious scale of 1-10, it might reach a one. But if anyone is offended by it, or feels put-out by it, or feels left out, or whatever, you've made the wrong choice. I keep in contact with a handful of long-time TR members, some of whom I know for certain lurk, but don't show themselves; the following is what I wrote to one of them about this discussion:Re: Neil was right about the middle-east, in general, while Maxwell was wrong. One of the pervasive thoughts regarding the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam (WMD question aside) was the theory that when freedom and democracy were introduced in one formerly oppressive nation, that the nations around it would soon follow suit. Kind of like the thought process of the 1950s and 1960s about Communism spreading - the domino theory is what it was called - except in this case, it would be applied to democracy. Added to this theory, was (is) the fact that I personally knew, back in about 1979, a couple from Iran. They fled Iran and came to the USA when the Shaw was overthrown, the ayatollahs took over, and Americans were taken hostage at the US Embassy. They were young, in their 20s (like I was at the time), and were among those who wished for Iran to reject Islamic rule, instead steering towards more of a democracy. (Samia, the young lady, was SO PASSIONATE about it.) Moreover, over the past twenty, or so, years, we've all heard talk about the young faction in Iran that longed for a replacement to Islamic Law, preferably replaced with democratic rule. There was even talk about supporting them in an overthrow effort, etc. This young, freedom loving, faction in Iran was always painted in an "Arab Spring kind of way, although that particular term wouldn't become part of our lexicon until years later. Well, I pretty much bought into the theory, thinking that Iraq, aided by America's efforts, would find a way to do just that in this particular corner of the middle-east. No way, Neil would say. To think that you can transform the entire middle-east to anything but what it is - and what it has been for hundreds, or even thousands of years - is nothing but a pipe-dream. It'll never happen, Neil said. It's quite possible, I might have replied. After all, Egypt is already friendly to the west, Libya is pretty well contained, and ....... blah, blah, blah. And after all, they WANT freedom and democracy, don't they? Fast forward to 2011 and 2012, when the media was PUSHING the notion of an Arab Spring uprising in the Arab nations of Northern Africa. SO MANY PEOPLE bought into that pipe-dream, lock, stock, and barrel. Even you, my friend, bought into the romantic image that was being painted by the media about the Arab Spring uprising of young people seeking freedom and democracy. No way, I said to you. We have NO IDEA who these people are, and they could be, for all we know, terrorists, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, or whomever Islamists who've grown weary of puppet rulers who've capitulated to the west and have more of a secular government instead of an Islamic one. It's quite possible, you told me, that they really are a movement of democratic loving young people, who long for freedom, and ....... blah, blah, blah. And after all, they WANT freedom and democracy, don't they? I suddenly realized that I'm saying the things to you about the Arab Spring that Neil was saying to me about the "democracy domino theory" in Iraq. (Domino theory my a$$. Egypt and Libya just went the other way!) I just did flip-flop - a total 180 degree turn-around - regarding those two opinions, which are separated only by a few years. And I had just heard an interview on the radio that morning with Robert Spencer about the latest developments in Libya and Egypt - and Iran and Syria, who are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts to institute Islamic rule in the middle-east from Pakistan in the east to Morocco in the west. An Islamic swath so large that it would rival the influence of the super powers of the world. I guess I've always had, somewhat, contradictory outlooks about the middle-east. How many times have I suggested that the USA should tell the despots of the middle-east to shove their oil up their tailpipe? Too many to count. (Assuming we harvest our own oil.) So I've flipped, or I was wrong, on the middle-east - regardless of the nation in question. Freedom and democracy in the middle-east? Only in our pipe-dreams. And we should establish policy - both domestic and internationally - on reality, not pipe-dreams. P.S. I read once that it was not only common place, but almost expected for Arabs, Muslims, etc. to LIE in negotiations and such. I wonder if that's true?-----------For some reason, I keep looking for a reason to post again at TR, even though I also keep saying no more. Consider this. Of the last few discussions I started, one was censored and didn't get posted; a second discussion questioning why the previous was censored disappeared after a day; any and all inquiries as to what's going on fell upon deaf ears; "Moderator" Tammy said she would look into it, but she never felt obliged to either post what she discovered and/or contact me about it; an email to "Moderator" Nick went unanswered; and another post was most rudely criticized by .......Kind of reminds me of beating one's head against the wall. Note: The preceding email was posted here, in this discussion, upon the suggestion of the person to whom I wrote it. There ya' go. + 0 Votes Oops - posted in the wrong place maxwell edison 2 years ago Yet another "conspiracy". + 0 Votes I was hoping to be wrong neilb@uk 2 years ago But I think how long it took us to get the approximation of democracy that we have and we started in 1295 when Edward I set up the first parliament. No women in it, though, and it took WWI to get women the vote but then only for the over 30s as their brains take longer to mature, bless them...US civil rights? Hmmm. The last bit of the British Empire, Ghana, was given back - for want of a better term - in 1957.And we should give the Arabs lessons in democracy? Gah!The European Union is in the process of rolling back democracy. It is one of the most anti-democratic organisations that there possibly can be. I suppose the way that "leaders" have been imposed on the Greeks and Italians is about on a par with our actions in Irag, though. I could go on. Having broken my duck (Cricket metaphor) with my post some weeks ago, I am doomed to **** for breaking my holy vow of non-posting but the chance to score an "I TOLD YOU SO" on Max was too good to miss.Neil + 0 Votes Neil was right and Maxwell ADMITTED that he was wrong neilb@uk 2 years ago about the ability of present-day USA to send a man to the Moon - and bring him back.There almost certainly are other subjects (MMGW is still up for grabs) but for this, and the Middle East, I have the admission.But I did lose a bet on a steak supper, which you have yet to collect.