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Libya is just between tyrants.

By _Papa_ ·
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So in the countries, where belief in human rights is not a given,

by _Papa_ In reply to Libya is just between tyr ...

There will always be violence until they find a tyrant they can live with. That's the way it has been throughout history. Kings were tyrants in Merry Old England. Uprisings, insurrections, beheadings and confrontations between Lord's armies with sword, pike, bowmen, canon and flintlock took their toll on the royal powers. Eventual result after hundreds of thousands of deaths, were the Charter of Liberties then the Magna Carta, leading England on the path toward recognition of Human rights, And the eventual relegation of Royalty to figurehead status. Guns, only recently becoming reliable enough to be effective, played as much a roll as swords and scythes.

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The problem is cultural...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to So in the countries, wher ...

Gandhi did a lot to stabilize Indian culture after achieving freedom. The feudal structures of pre-british eras would have done little good.
Similarly, President Kekkonen of Finland's post war era (He sat as undisputed leader of the country for over 25 years), did a lot to destroy the militaristic culture which had seen Finland through independence struggles, civil war, foreign invasion and which had led to the counter-invasion folly, partnering Finland with Hitler in order to retake territories lost to the Soviets during the soviet 1939 invasion.
That culture had begun with 1890's shooting clubs, from where had been recruited volunteers to be sent to germany preceding and during WW1 for training (the so-called finnish Jaegers). These played a role in the independence declaration going as it went, since Finland then had a military when they declared... and because Russia was spent from WW1 and in the middle of the bolshevik revolution.
Russia of course answered by helping to arm and direct the red uprising in Finland, leading to an all-out civil war across the country.
The Finnish culture was highly messed up after that, full of really harmful macho/militaristic ideas and crazy violent criminal groupings (alcohol prohibition helped fund that).
When Kekkonen took control after WW2, he systematically crushed those old structures... helping to stabilize the country and let it successfully balance on the border of the soviet union.

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The one thing I know and love about Finland

by DelbertPGH In reply to The problem is cultural.. ...

is Sako rifles. Best designed and made hunting weapons on the planet, and exquisitely accurate. The company was donated to the International Red Cross, I believe, following a peace treaty with Stalin, since terms forbade the country from operating any armaments industries.

I bought two of those guns when I was in the Air Force, and sold them to finance obstetricians when my first and third daughters were born.

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by dogknees In reply to Libya is just between tyr ...

It basically took Europe 1,000 years (middle ages) to realise that running your country/society on the basis of religious law is a dumb idea.

Now we just have to wait for the rest of the world to figure it out.

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We're still debating that here

by DelbertPGH In reply to History

Keeping religion out of intellectual and public life liberated Europe from its traditional political miseries. Lots of politicians and lazy-minded voters in this country are behaving as though they think the Enlightenment was a dumb notion.

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Additional confusion on religion

by Rick Lowe In reply to We're still debating that ...

We do have lots of lazy-minded thinkers behaving as though the US somehow or other excludes religious belief from political life.

They are outraged when they read speeches containing references to individual religious beliefs by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, JFK.... oops, sorry, they did too, of course. I meant to say they're outraged that people like Michelle Backman, Rick Perry, etc make references to religious belief in speeches, just like those earlier presidents did.

With these folks, those previous presidents would be dismissed out of hand if they were running for office today.

"Separation of church and state" is expressed clearly enough - it means government can neither establish an official national religion (as was done in England which America had just freed itself from), nor prohibit religious expression and belief. It doesn't exclude belief in a God/Creator from our governance - last time I checked, there were at least five references to God in our constitutional documents and "In God We Trust" is still part of our nation. None of that ever stopped, so it's not like it "started again".

Somehow or other, with many lazy-minded voters the limited areas of separation of church and state has morphed into the idea that politicians have no business expressing political beliefs as predecessors such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, JFK did.

It's rather interesting.

I'm trying to think of a successful, free nation that was founded by secular individuals without any religious beliefs. Somebody help me out with that?

Personally, I'm an agnostic.

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I'm sure you'll bring up their recent economic troubles...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Additional confusion on r ...

But Iceland was founded by secular individuals who didn't bring their religious beliefs into the government, on the whole they've been pretty successful.

It's not a problem that they may have religious beliefs. It's a problem if they let religious or other dogma take precedence over their own deliberation (if they're capable of such).

All the historical presidents you mentioned have proven themselves capable of individual thought.

Not so the rest.

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Not to mention their enormous population and influence on the world

by Rick Lowe In reply to I'm sure you'll bring up ...

Rewriting history again? The first settlers worshipped various pagan gods. Iceland was ruled under assorted kings - and along the way adopted Christianity and later Lutheranism. The Reformation - remember? The modern Iceland was formed via referendum - put forward by the Allies who were occupying the country and wanted to move on. It wasn't "founded" by any secular group. And yes, they do have current economic woes. Always have had - except for the period when they were making fortunes from their Allied occupiers. Once that money was spent, it was back to the same old, same old.

And yes, we all know Iceland has a very large population, is a moderate economic power, and a long list of accomplishments that have made the world a better place. Why, they invented... hmmm... well, there was... Okay, help us out Ansu... what has Iceland invented? A vaccine? technology? machinery?

Very nice place I'm sure - population about the size of a small American city, correct - but not exactly proof of a successful country created on secularism.

Thanks for yet more incisive commentary on the US from Finland, Ansu. Your scholarly insight into the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is always particularly valuable. Having finished with the Second Amendment, if you wish to lecture on the separation of church and state, please do go on.

Other than that, your very thinly veiled dislike of the Republican candidates is duly noted. It is hardly a surprise that a statist and socialist like yourself probably wouldn't much like anything related to conservatism.

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Ah I see the trap you laid...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Not to mention their enor ...

You actually meant it literally that you would accept as exception only states founded by people without religious beliefs... which is a foolish expectation as there are no cultures in existence without such beliefs, even the French revolutionaries worshipped Knowledge.

I also note that you feel that "separation of church and state" somehow is a US concept, and not one based upon contemporary European philosophies - I'm not allowed to write about that, huh?

And, as a conservative I am horrified that you think your neoconservative media groupies can stand up in comparison to the makers of your nation. Neocons are not conservative in any way or form - they are concerned with tearing down and digging trenches, not with building up and bridging gaps. A better word would be disruptionsts, goes for you, too.

You're just a troll. A nasty one perhaps, but with no substance.

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Ansu - bringing Euro Ad Hominum to a discussion near you

by Rick Lowe In reply to Ah I see the trap you lai ...

You're just a troll. A nasty one perhaps, but with no substance

Cool. "Troll"? About three posts and you've already fallen to insults - is that a new personal best record for you?

So, can we expect to see you also add "spammer", "psycho", "murderer", "stalker", etc as you've been carrying on about me elsewhere?

Going to be pleading "don't talk to Rick" here as well?

I don't mind your doing that, you understand - it puts you in context.

You may well be a conservative in Finland, but you definitely fall far short of that definition in America. Here, you're just a muddled blend of statism and socialism. Where you fall on the right/left line in very socialist Finland I have no idea, and I don't much care.

your neoconservative media groupies can stand up in comparison to the makers of your nation.

Is that some sort of socialist, statist phrase? When you rush to throw in the word "neocon", is that supposed to be the automatic trump card, ending all further debate? Sort of like calling people "trolls", "spammers", "brownshirts", "psychos" like you do - if you post the accusation against another first, you automatically win?

And I assume you're referring to The Founders with the reference to "the makers".

First, a "neoconservative" is a new conservative. As in, a liberal who has realized the error of their ways and adopted conservative principles. As in neo=new + conservative. I realize it is supposed to be a magic word for use by the left that automatically demonizes anyone it's thrown at, automatically assigning the person who uses it the moral high ground. But it is a word that actually has a meaning, it's not just a socialist identification phrase. Anyone who works with language as their profession should understand that language has meaning.

I've always been a conservative, so I'm definitely not a "neocon". So who - given your close following of the US political scene - in the Republican party is a reformed liberal that you're applying the "neoconservative" label to? As best I can figure out, the last neoconservative was Ronald Reagan, reformed Democrat.

Your confusion about neoconservatives dispensed with, can you identify even ONE of The Founders (you know who they are, you know what The Federalist Papers are without resorting to Google, right?) who wouldn't fit right in with Tea Party political philosophy?

Can you give us just one name and an example of where they'd be more "progressive"? I know you'll have to resort to Google and do a lot of reading, but can you come up with just ONE name? It should be easy if the "neocans" are so radically different than The Founders and their philosophies as you claim with your invective.

This will be interesting. More progressive on federal government power and size? Taxation? Gun control? Capital punishment? Where will Ansu lead us where the Founders would have said - "Whoa! Those right wing conservative Tea Party types are way too far to the right!"

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