Forum posts made by dlizze

Topic Never tolerate the intolerant
Posted 11 Apr 2014 20:14

It was either Voltaire or Evelyn Beatrice Hall. Can't trust wikipedia 100% on something like this.

Still a very appropriate quote.

I didn't check Wiki - I was quoting from my somewhat untrustworthy memory. On further reflection, I think it may have been either stated or repeated by Benjamin Franklin or Samuel Adams.

Topic Never tolerate the intolerant
Posted 10 Apr 2014 20:27

I believe it wasVoltaire who said (I'm paraphrasing) I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

I agree with him. Because of that I may appear to tolerate intolerance. So be it. I have to look in the mirror each morning to shave. I prefer to look at someone whom I like.

Topic Why is the universe so big?
Posted 01 Apr 2014 09:13

Not sure if this is what DLizze is referring to, but the obvious reason why the universe is so big is of course that we're so incredibly small.

Actually, I was making a humorous reference to Doug Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy.

Topic Why is the universe so big?
Posted 30 Mar 2014 21:30

I think this is the wrong place to be asking why the universe is so big. If you want the real answer (and NOT just a simplistic 42), you need to go ask the mice.

Topic Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States.
Posted 30 Mar 2014 20:54

It isn't odd at all. To quote (I forget who - probably Shakespeare - certainly, Mr. Natural - thank you, Robert Crum), " 'Twas ever thus."

I strongly believe Zinn's assessment of why things happened as they did is correct. Throughout human existence, strength has been the deciding factor in what occurs. Strength at least since the reign of Ethelred, has lain with the moneyed. Probably it can be traced back to the origins of money, or whatever passed for it in pre-historic times. That is, of course, not true in all societies, but it certainly applies to all of American history since the Europeans invaded this land.

The New Republic review did not reference the quote fully. (i.e.) chapter, page, etc. I took their word for it that they had correctly reproduced his statement. In general, New Republic is what I would consider "Liberal" in their bias; so I suspect they did not intend to vilify his work, but merely were pointing out what they considered to be scholarly errors.

You are certainly correct about eye-witness accounts; there are plenty of people wrongly incarcerated because of faulty witnesses. People tend to see what they expect to.

Your assessment of Lee and Grant is also correct. They were products of their education (West Point) and neither one believed in attempting new or unused methods. They also both believed, though they said otherwise, that common troops were expendable. In consideration of the carnage of that conflict, some weight must be lent to advances in weaponry as well, though. The Civil War was the first major conflict fought with rifled shoulder arms with an accurate range of about 200 yards. Entrenched troops, faced with a charging line, could aim at and hit individuals. That was not the case with the smoothbore weapons that were standard issue prior to 1835.

I am not discounting his work, though; I am bemoaning that because of those trivial errors, it doesn't force the powers that be to accept it. Mr. Zinn seemed to discount that he was "fighting an uphill battle" in trying to have his views on history and society widely disseminated.

Topic would you let a woman pay for just your company?
Posted 30 Mar 2014 19:33

I suppose I might, though I'm sure I'd feel odd, accepting money just for spending time with someone. I think I'd be picky though: I don't care what she looks like, or even if she has all her teeth, but she'd have to be reasonably intelligent.

Topic Favorite Line You've written
Posted 30 Mar 2014 09:56

From a piece of flash fiction, Shut Out published on the blue site:

“I love you, you know. But I’m in love with her.”

Topic Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States.
Posted 29 Mar 2014 21:10

Here are several examples of what I mean when I say his scholarship is shoddy:

I am , as I said, about halfway through. However, I am in the middle of reading about the Civil War, and just today read that Gatling guns were used in the Civil War. That is not so. Gatling presented his weapon after obtaining a patent for it) in 1862 to General Butler, who was in charge of procurement, but Butler said it was too complicated, and too expensive. He could buy three parrot rifles (field pieces, firing six-pound ammunition) for the cost of one Gatling gun.

Eventually, Richard Gatling convinced the Army t allow him to demonstrate them in battle. Two were brought out and demonstrated at the Battle of Petersburg, but were retired after emptying their hoppers of ammunition (each hopper held 500 rounds of ammunition, and was capable of firing up to 200 rounds per minute). The is no record of whether the fire had any effect on the Confederate troops. Richard Gatling also convinced the Navy to mount some six or eight (accounts vary) on gunboats. There is no record so far as I know of the gunboat-mounted weapons ever being used, except in demonstrations of range firing.
To make the blanket statement that Gatling guns were used in the Civil War is a bit of a sweeping generalization, an misleads the reader into think that was the first war I which rapid-firing weapons were used. (Actually, rapid-firing weapons were used as early as the Seven Years' War, between France and England. Gatling's patent was for the hopper and gravity feed mechanism which allowed for rapid reloading.)

A review in the New Republic says that Zinn states that Nixon and Agnew were pardoned; that is not true: Agnew pled nolo contendere , a plea which was accepted by the courts. Because of the plea, he was removed from office; Nixon was pardoned by Ford. Admittedly, this could be considered a "fine point" but I think it is something that substantially weakens the work.

His description of Shay's rebellion has too many people killed at the Springfield armory. Several years ago, I donated John Hale's Daybook from his general store in Longmeadow, Mass. to the Long Meadow Historical Society (I had inherited it) The Town of Longmeadow is located across the Connecticut River from Springfield. As I remember it, John Hale's entry reads, "Commenced the sivil war this day. Ab't seventy of Shay's men gathered at the armory, intending to arm themselves and their friends. They were met by the militia and fired upon. Seven men were wounded, three of them mortally." Here., agaion, it appears Mr. Zinn has failed to consult primary sources, prior to making his statements.

His descriptions of the factory strike in Lowell is, as I recall, correct, as are many others of his descriptions of uprisings that were put down by the powers that be. My concern ios not that he is telling history from the viewpoint of the "commoner", but that some "facts" are not strictly correct. Because of that, he allows the entire work to be called into question.

I spent the first several years of undergraduate work as a serious student of history, particularly American history. I was fortunate enough to have had professors (surprisingly, at the Community College level) who taught about the on-going class struggles. One course I took was ,"US History, Treaty of Paris to Attack on Fort Sumter". The professor, Ward Eisenhauer, told us that we would have to select and area of research for a term paper. I mentioned to him that I had in my posession, all 52 issues of the Springfield Republican for the year 1835, and was interested in some sort of topic that would allow me to read them. He suggested I attempt to put together two timelines for the year: one based on actions of elected officials, and the monied class; and, one based on reports of what was going on with the lower classes. (This was in 1969, so you can imagine what an eye-opener that was for me as a regular demonstrator against the Vietnam War, Nixon and his policies; and as a recently discharged veteran.)

Topic Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States.
Posted 29 Mar 2014 09:05

When I heard in the news that several elected officials were attempting to have Howard Zinn's book, A People's History of the United States banned from the classroom, I decided I should read it, to see what all the hoopla was about.

Now, halfway through it, I have mixed feelings. I can see why mainstream scholars might not like it. It violates the first rule of scholarly writing, in that Mr. Zinn admits his prejudices at the outset, rather than hiding them behind a veil of supposed unbiased research. That aside though, (in fact I felt tat was a refreshing change) I generally find the work to be unscholarly, and somewhat haphazardly pieced together. There is no clear way a student can place the actions described in the book in the context of a timeline of the world. Consequently, unless one brings a solid background of historical timeline of events to a reading, it will appear to be a hodgepodge of happenings, jumping as it does from the seventeenth century to the twentieth and back again.

I doubt that is why the powers that be are trying to have it banned, though. Rather I suspect they find the continual descriptions of class struggle between "haves" and "have-nots" a bit too subversive. My feeling is that it should be retained as supplemental reading, but should not supplant mainstream texts.

Has anyone else read this work?
Do you care to offer an opinion?

Topic Have you followed the story of Belle Knox?
Posted 29 Mar 2014 08:49

While I applaud her willingness to follow this path in her attempt to empower and legitimize women, and porn stars in particular, I suspect she has dug herself into a very deep hole. One cannot individually and openly flaunt society's rules, and not expect to be quashed. Her notoriety however, may prove to be a means of getting her message out, and could conceivably lead to public speaking engagements. Should that happen, her future is dependent on her ability to articulate her position.

Topic Duty and Desire
Posted 29 Mar 2014 08:41

Just got finished skyping with a friend in Serbia. He's far more pessimistic that I was. He sees wwIII as almost inevitable. If not now, after the Russians take the next country or the country after that.

Is this off-topic, or have I misunderstood something? dontknow

Topic Duty and Desire
Posted 14 Mar 2014 20:38

Duty is external; desire is duty turned inwards. Greed is misdirected desire.

I have a duty to society to be a good person; but I also desire that, because it makes me feel good inside. I want a jillion bucks; but that's just greed.

"Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?" Janis Joplin

Topic The Ukraine Crisis
Posted 02 Mar 2014 18:42

He didn't intimidate the soviets. He drove the cold war arms race at such a fevered pace that he pushed them to near economic collapse before we could get there. If he had any genius it was in that strategy. However, the cold war would have done that to the Soviet Union anyway in an additional decade or two. Reagan merely accelerated the pace. And, the US has been paying the cost of Reagan's Cold War machine since the 1980's.
Ronald Reagan wasn't that smart. Look to the money behind him. President Reagan was merely good at reading cue cards, hitting his spots, and acting "presidentially".

But to come forward to today - This is just a continuation of the old historians adage that the cold Russian bear wants to dip its paw into warm waters.
Ukraine is Russia's gateway to the Mediterranean sea. Vladimir Putin, as someone on here has already said, is merely doing what any national leader would do in a similar circumstance.

Remember, this isn't about people, democracy, sovereignty, or power; it is about money. Always, always, always follow the money.

Topic Have you ever Secretly played with yourself on the phone with someone?
Posted 21 Feb 2014 20:03

I had to say "No", assuming the operative word in that question was "secretly".

Topic Skirts
Posted 21 Feb 2014 20:00

In general, loose and flowing - there's a lot to be said for leaving things to the imagination.
Now, if she wants to be "in charge" that's a whole different story, and severity should be the rule, rather than the exception. It is difficult to argue with a strong-willed woman wearing a severely-cut suit, with a pencil skirt and CFM heels, especially if there's a hint of lace at the vee of her buttoned jacket, her hair is in a tight bun, and she is tentatively swishing the air with a riding crop. a1089

Topic The Superbowl Coke Ad, for those who saw it.
Posted 05 Feb 2014 23:01

I did not watch either the stupor bowl or the ad, but I have since seen the ad, and read many discussions about it. The thing I find most interesting about the discussions is the amount of ignorance showing up. Most people do not realize America The Beautiful was written by a lesbian socialist. I suspect if they did, we'd have heard a hue and cry about that. Rush Limbaugh said something to the effect of Coca Cola better start printing labels in different languages. I guess he didn't know they have been doing that for many years. I have an old-style coke bottle - the kind with the raised letters in the glass - that has Coca-Cola on one side and something I can't read, written in what I think is Arabic on the other. I can't recall offhand what city is on the bottom, but I want to say Cairo. Of course, that could be Cairo, Illinois or Cairo, New York, but I tend to doubt it is either of those.

Topic NFL Football Fans
Posted 03 Feb 2014 10:52

I wonder how much the bookies made on this one. Always, always, always, follow the money.

Topic FAIL Thread
Posted 03 Feb 2014 10:36

This image is NOT photo shopped; it actually happened, when they didn't get the roller completely onto the lowboy trailer.

Topic Poly relationships
Posted 03 Feb 2014 09:58

I lived for seven years, from 1973 to 1980, in a polyandrous relationship. Like any marriage, it had its ups and downs. But as many will tell you, the relationship complications seem to vary as the square of the number of the people involved. A relationship of three people sometimes is more than twice as difficult than a relationship of two.

Topic Canadian Oil and the XL Keystone Pipeline
Posted 02 Feb 2014 20:44

So, this Canuck is inclined to say "might as well let it go ahead" because denying it really fixes/solves nothing and might make things worse through more use of rail to move crude.

Selecting something because it is the lesser of two evils is, IMO, a bad option. I say fight the extraction of tar sands oils altogether. How you ask? Fight for stability in the Middle East, so that the price of oil goes back down to where it should be, thus making tar sand extraction economically unfeasible. Lobby your elected representatives to end the wars in the Middle East. Lobby the UN to declare the United States out of order. Vote for third party candidates. If everyone fought against the constant erosion of politics with corporate money, we could turn that trend around.

Topic What was your most memorable moment of 2013 and what do you most want to forget?
Posted 01 Feb 2014 21:00

Best: A week vacation (the first in over twenty years) that I spent with a very dear friend.
Second best, but darned close: Moving into the house I am renting. I love this place.

Worst: The folding of Rich Rice's Blues In The Night Orchestra, because his cancer flared up again.

Topic Where do you sit on the Kinsey scale?
Posted 26 Jan 2014 21:52

I think I am a 2. I haven't had sex with a male since my very late teens, and that was just mutual masturbation. But I have fantasized about the possibility, and I suspect if the right person came along, I'd be up for it. (all puns intended) That said, I' rather live with a woman. I LIKE having a woman around the house as a friend/partner/sounding board. - and, yes, I'll admit to being sexist and objectifying a bit - I like looking at them. :)

Topic UCSF says sugar is toxic to human body and should be regulated and taxed like alcohol
Posted 25 Jan 2014 16:15

Well put mazza.

A couple of interesting bits:

hyperglycemia makes you feel "hungry" so it's a self serving cycle. You eat to much sugar(of any other refined carbohydrate) your blood sugar skyrockets, triggering responses in your body that make you want yo eat more, so you eat more sugary, carbohydrate laden snacks, causing another spike, leading to more hunger. Is it any wonder we are burn out our beta cells (the bits that create insulin)? (We also build resistance to insulin from this cycle)

Now to understand a little better the role insulin plays in the body, think of your cells like a room. In order to function you need energy in the room (like people coming to a party) insulin opens the door to the cell allowing the glucose to come in. (Like a key in the door) exercise builds more doors to the room/cell. (More doors=more oppurtunities to pull glucose in to the cell and out of the bloodstream) so if we don't exercise and eat to much sugary foods, we are essentially making it extremely hard for the cells to function properly.

Okay, I'll stop lecturing now. But I see the posts in fb all the time "help us find a cure for diabetes." We've got the prevention, we just have to motivate to do it: exercise!


Topic Is cyber sex cheating?
Posted 25 Jan 2014 16:02

Anything you have to hide from your partner is cheating on the relationship. Many people say that masturbation is not cheating, but it is if you deny that you do it. The same with fantasizing (at any time - alone, or with your partner). You don't have to describe your fantasies to your partner, but refusing to admit to having them is cheating. Faking an orgasm is cheating. I guess what I am saying is, if you are lying to your partner, then you are cheating on the relationship. I would go one step further; you are cheating yourself, as well. When you lie or hide things from your partner, you demean yourself. You lower yourself from being someone who can look the world in the eye and call yourself an honest person.

Topic favourite poem
Posted 24 Jan 2014 20:55

actually it's "Miniver Cheevy" ... how come you detest DC and Mariner?

immortal lines, indeed - “The devil is not as black as he is painted.” - DC

Yes, Miniver Cheevy - senior moment there - or brain fart - same thing.

But "Whenever Richard Cory came to town, we people on the sidewalk looked at him. He was a gentleman from sole to crown; well mannered, and imperially slim" That just conjures up such a vivid image for me. :)

I found both Dante and Coleridge ponderous; they spent far too much time flogging the dead horse. beat_deadhorse
I have the same complaint with Fennimore Cooper's prose. Okay, so the trees are large and the undergrowth is dense; move on already.

I like John Cleese's version of the Mariner:
"Albatross! AL-batross! fucking AL-batross!"

Topic Can you really ever stop loving someone after a relationship is over?
Posted 24 Jan 2014 20:45

Put quite simply, the person you loved, (still love?) doesn't really exist anymore except inside your head and your heart. What we truly mean when we say, "I still love Him/Her" is that we love OUR MEMORY of that person and that love.

This nails it.

Topic do you believe in God?
Posted 24 Jan 2014 20:28

It depends on how one defines "God".

If one defines God as the transcendant Creator/Lord/Judge of traditional Christian belief, then I do not believe in God.

If one defines God more broadly, as that which we find fundamental to our existence; as something bigger than us of which we are a part, then I supposed I could be said to believe in God.

In essence, I am a pantheist of a sort. I believe that the Universe itself is a Divine thing which is a part of us and of which we are a part. It is transcendant to the extent that it is bigger than us and exists beyond us. It is our Creator to the extent that we owe our existence to it. However, I do not see that in terms of a personal God who makes conscious decisions and controls our lives, merely as the creative forces of existence personified with the name "God". I remain agnostic on the matter of a personal deity, meaning that for me such a deity is a matter of faith and, perhaps, mystical experience, neither of which I currently possess. In my view, we are, in a sense, the personal aspect of God.

I don't know that this is an exact description of my belief system, but it certainly comes close. I neither affirm nor deny the existence of a supreme BEING. (Either position requires the same acceptance on faith, of which I have little) That said, however, I firmly believe that energy and matter can be neither created nor destroyed. It logically follows then that (a) the universe, while BIG (to paraphrase Doug Adams) is finite; and, (b) we are all a part of the sum total of energy and matter in that universe. So if you define GOD as the sum total of all that is, then yes, under that definition, I believe.

Topic The last person or thing you gave the finger to?
Posted 22 Jan 2014 15:24

I drive the speed limit or slower so I do it a couple times a day for the fucking assholes that tailgate me. I slow down. If you're in that much of a hurry leave earlier asshole because I'll make your trip longer.

I've been known to get down to 35 on the freeway and the dick head stayed on my ass even though there were 2 lanes open for him to go around me. He flashed his lights, pulled out to go around. I just smiled broadly as I kept pace so he couldn't get back over and gave him the finger as he passed his off ramp. He was pounding on the dashboard as I just kept driving away.

I will express my displeasure and my wife will tell me I'm just dragging myself down to his level. I disagree and tell her I'm just using the only language they understand to tell them. I don't care if it's a man or woman. Get on my ass and get the finger and a real delay as I slow down. I have stopped my car too.

At 60 miles an hour your car travels 88 feet in "ONE" second. At 30 it's 44 feet. Most peoples reaction time to surprise is over one second so if you're closer than that you've just hit the car in front. If you do, you're as stupid as it gets.

If you are driving below 45 miles per4 hour on a freeway, during daylight and in dry weather, you are an accident looking for a place to happen. Like the person whop stops several car lengths short at a signal to keep from being rear-ended, you are creating a situation that rapidly approaches being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Trust me on this one. I am a licensed professional civil engineer. I have over twenty years experience years designing and reviewing designs of highways. In the early 1990's, while employed by my local government, I wrote the chapter in their new design manual covering sight distance, horizontal and vertical alignment, and superelevation.

Last time I attended a highway design seminar, there were two speakers there from AAA. One of the things they told us is that 90% of accidents on US Interstate highways involve a vehicle that was traveling more than fifteen miles per hour above or below the 85th percentile speed.

In dry weather and daylight conditions on most interstates, the 85th percentile speed is somewhere between 68 and 78 miles per hour. Vehicles traveling below 53 or above 93 pose a danger both to themselves and to other drivers. That is why, on interstate highways in most states, you can be ticketed and fined for obstructing traffic if you are traveling at less than 15 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. That is also why there are signs (or are supposed to be, under FHWA Guidelines for Signage and Striping) restricting bicycles and mopeds from using interstate highways.

Topic Judge finds cop not guilty after refusing to watch abuse video.
Posted 22 Jan 2014 13:35

This is a symptom of what is happening in America. We have become a Fascist society. We have secret courts determining what our government agencies can and cannot do, basing their decisions on laws that are themselves secret. (NSA,FISA, etc.) The police in this country have always had a slight advantage over the rest of us in the courts, but this particular decision, and those surrounding the 6 officers who committed aggravated assault leading to manslaughter are proof that the system is seriously broken.

Topic After your parents split up, would you want them to ever get back together?
Posted 22 Jan 2014 13:28

My parents married in 1942, almost two years before I was born. They were together until my father died in 2003. There was a period, though, when I was about ten or so, that they had some difficulties. Even then, I would have supported them in whatever decision they had made, and told them that.

I have always believed I don't have the right to judge other people, nor do I have the right to tell them how to live their lives, whether I like it or not.