A different spin on things.

Sorry, I may have misunderstood your message. At first it was kind of unclear what you were trying to say because it started talking about the situation in the ME and then moved to talking about the war in Iraq and how it has been forgotten about.

Just out of curiosity…what “whole picture” do you want people to see? what is your standing about the situation in the ME?

(I apologize for any spelling mistakes. For some odd reason I am unable to open the spellchecker.)

Everything for what it is.

Israel is claiming they are after Hezbollah - yet screwing EVERYONE there, INCLUDING AMERICANS.

How is this even 1/2 fair. IMHO, now if any Arab country did that to Israel - you’d see all hell breaks loose and the US would get involved w/o any hesitation.

After reading this post - I DO want to say that yes, I am 1/2 Palestinian but that has NO BEARING WHAT SO EVER on my views. I was born an American and I have very good friends that are of Jewish Decent. THIS DOES NOT CLOUD MY THOUGHTS before it becomes a huge flame on my part.

Ever watch the Arab network news via Satellite? You should, that’ll give you both sides of the story…

What I find stupid is that this is really all over a patch of barren desert, just because both sides say that their god gave it to them. Perhaps they should consider the following:

  1. Isn’t it possible that if their god gave it to both of them that they are supposed to share it?

2.It’s desert. IMHO, if god gives you a big patch of barren desert, he doesn’t like you too much. Why couldn’t it have been a lush forest, or a prairie?

(please note that I am only looking at this from a logical standpoint, and not in any way insulting these people’s culture or religion. I also do not have any religious bias, because I am not religious. So please don’t neg or flame me. I am only speaking my mind)

Ya know, that’s the truth - but religon is a powerful thing. I guess it’s eather all or nothing, and it’s not so much that god gave them a desert - it’s what happened there that sacred…

I will ask that all keep this thread civil and continue the discussion. No matter how you look at this thread there is a mixture of religion and politics. There have been reports to the mods. I will continue to monitor and as long as all remains civil the thread will remain open. Thanks in advance

maybe we can turn this thread into a historical review.

For as long as I can remember, I have never heard any representative of the nation of Israel state the land is theirs because God gave it to them. From what I have read only a small percent of the Israeli people could be classified as extreemly religious (the ones who want to rebuild the temple, re-institute ritual animal sacrifices like the days of Moses and David…) 95% of the Jewish people in Israel hold their religious beliefs much like we do here in the US - People believe in God, and have religious convictions, but we dont start killing people because of our religion.

Before it was Israel (1946? 47?) it was Palestine. Not the nation of Palestine, the British colony of Palestine. The UN took control of the land away from the British, and formed a new independent nation: Israel.

and everyone lived happily everafter… Ok, it was not all cut and dry - there were many Palestinian people who lost land and homes when this happened in the late 40’s AND the surrounding (Arab) nations banded together and immediately attacked the new nation of Israel. It was a mess from day One.

To say that this part of the middle east is a barren desert is absurd. You mostly only see video of the desert on TV news, or the ancient parts of the cities like Jerusalem - but modern day Israel is one of the most advanced, most agriculturally cultivated, most productive nations in the world. Its not because God made it one way or another, its because the people living there made it that way.

With water and energy you can turn the desert into a resort. Need a local example: Las Vegas.

Having said all this, I believe 99% of the people in the middle east, on both sides of the conflict, would be happy to live together in peace. Its the 1% who can only stay in their positions of power and control and self-importance, who keep pulling the situation down to the lowest denominator. People like the leaders of Iran, who publicly call for the nation of Israel to be wiped off the map - the extremist who think that strapping a bomb to yourself and murdering men, women and children is what God wants you to do.

As long as people keep listening to these lunatics, the conflict will never end. This conflict has nothing to do with God, or what God wants

you got a bunch of people running around who are not interested in being students, or business people, or engineers or farmers or production workers - not when they can be the leader of “freedom fighters” or do-it-yourself religious leaders, or you can become a martyr in a glorious “religious” war.

Extreme nationalism by itself is extremely dangerous because of it’s pseudo-religious qualities. In the Middle East, where nationalism and religion are almost one in the same, a particularly volitile situation is present.

Any time you get two factions who believe with all of their hearts and souls that their viewpoint is unequivocally the *right *viewpoint (a result of extremism and nationalism), it is inevitable that the conflict between those two groups will be long, drawn out, and bloody - as has been the case in the Middle East for hundreds of years.

Going back to the time of the Crusades, you will find that the motivation behind those conflicts was extremely similar to those of today’s. Each side vehemently argued that the Holy Land rightfully theirs to own, too caught up in their ideological fervor to consider reality. And the reality is that no matter how hard you fight - even if you win - the opposing side will feel disenfranchised and disrespected, and will eventually want to reclaim what was once theirs. Even with a percieved “victory”, the conflict is far from over.

This cycle continues to this day. It is fueled stronger than most cyclical conflicts because religious extremism is more enduring and deep-seated than the personal vendetta. An unfortunate aspect of religion is it’s pervasive psychological power - which is easily abused and turned into a form of brainwashing by extremists.

It is simply incredible how people can be stripped of their humanity to such an extent that they feel motivated to die violently, killing innocent people in the name of God. The fact that anyone would have such a death wish indicates severe psychological damage - it goes against every human evolutionary instinct.

This cycle reminds me of a childhood game I used to play - many of you probably did this too - when every time a certain person said something, you would ask them, “Why?” - and when they responded, you would ask them “Why?” again, and this would continue over and over again until the person was mentally exhausted (most likely scenario), or you got tired of asking.

In that game, someone had to give in and let go. So do the people who are involved in a cyclical conflict. The only way to break such a cycle is to reach a point of compromise. Each faction has to give a little, but they are motivated to do so because they desperately want to end the conflict.

This is the only thing which will end the struggle in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this will be a difficult point to reach. There will always be someone who wants to keep on fighting. Ideological fervor continues to make them ignorant of the mutual relief that peace would bring.

But peaceful coexistance is not fundamentally impossible between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. In the Middle Ages (beginning in around AD 912), all three religions were allowed to coexist under Moorish rule in Spain. While non-Muslims weren’t given completely equal status, they were not targets of violence, and were allowed to practice their religion privately. This tolerance allowed intellectual and cultural exchange to flourish. It didn’t last forever, but it is at least a small beacon of hope - if only people were to compromise in the name of peace.

– Jaine

I dont think its a simple matter of abuse or brainwashing. Religion is the trump card over all other things. Everyone has priorities in their lives, and the highest priority takes precidence over everything else. We have seen religious extreemists here in the US: Charles Manson convinced his followers he is Jesus, and they were more than willing to murder for him. Same with David Korey, Jim Jones, that guy with the comet/alien cult - mass suicide…

It is simply incredible how people can be stripped of their humanity to such an extent that they feel motivated to die violently, killing innocent people in the name of God. The fact that anyone would have such a death wish indicates severe psychological damage - it goes against every human evolutionary instinct.

I dont think you realize how close to home all these stuff is - these people are not all mentally ill, they are regular people who have bought into something that is not true, is not real. As a result what looks logical to them is lunacy to everyone else. How can you stop it? Ban any form of extreme religious teachings? Monitor and control religious leaders?

Again, we have them here in the US. Should Pat Roberson be jailed for inciting violence? Falwell and others who demonize groups of people for not behaving the way they think God wants them to?

I dont have an answer to the problem, but we should at least understand that much of what is happening in the Middle East is similar to things happening in our country as well.

I think that the “God gave it to them” viewpoint (especially among outsiders) is more of a misunderstanding of the poetic licence that is used when describing the area as a Semitic ancestral homeland. Whether or not some divine bequest took place isn’t really relevant—the rationale is that because the old Jews were native to this region, it follows that the Jews of today are entitled to reclaim it.

This is a bit problematic, of course, because of the centuries that Jewish groups spent spread throughout Europe and Asia (not necessarily of their own will). While the Jewish principle of maternal descent ensures that (typically), present-day Jews have old Jewish ancestry, it’s not immediately evident that proof of ancestry represents sufficient cause to reclaim dominion over the ancestral lands. Indeed, in most other situations, displaced groups are not returned to their homelands to goverrn themselves.

Indeed, the fact that the Palestinians (also Semites) were not granted the opportunity to return to a specific ancestral homeland of their own is a major source of the tension. Among ardent supporters of the Palestinians, it’s sometimes viewed as an injustice orchestrated by the West, to place Jews above Muslims. Of course, in the West, we typically view the creation of Israel as a gesture of goodwill offered to the Jews in recognition of their plight during the Second World War.

It wasn’t so much that the UN seized it from Britain, though. Britain had been subjected to criticism for restricting Jewish emigration from Europe into Palestine, and was not well-regarded by the Palestinian populace in general. After the war, they therefore granted the UN the authority to administer the region, and a proposal was accepted by the General Assembly to create a Jewish state from some of the lands.

Much of the problem was due to that impression that the West was coddling the Jews by granting them the best land in the region, and leaving the Arabs to subsist in the desert. So much of that mess might have been avoided, if the UN had divided the land more evenly, or better still, refused to segregate the region on ethnic and religious lines.

In all fairness, the Israelis share some of the blame. Destroying infrastructure, and occasionally killing civillians in the process? That’s no way to fight fair. Isreal, as a developed, presumably principled nation has a greater responsibility to behave in a way that promotes co-operation and trust, not mutual hatred—even if the suicide bombers do the worst possible job of returning that decent behaviour in kind. Someone has to grow up, and take a principled stand. Israel is the only party capable of this, thanks to the general disorganization and squalour endemic in the Palestinian territories. I’m not suggesting that they drop their guard completely, but by inconveniencing the Palestinians at every turn, they’re systematically and deliberately preventing any sort of order from developing in Palestine. With checkpoints, no trade can be successful. With bombings of infrastructure, industry and agriculture are paralyzed. With tanks in the streets, and bulldozers knocking down houses, they epitomize the instillation of terror. Only Israel can stop their own madness—Palestinian reprisals can’t possibly damage the Israeli state in any great fashion, despite the damage that they inflict to individuals, and in fact, only serve to harden the resolve of the fools who orchestrate the Israeli campaigns of destruction.

Israel needs to do less, not more. Lasting peace and successful co-existance can’t be achieved by striking into your enemy’s cities; these things require unpopular compromises. But when the alternative is perpetual combat, the loss of face that may be incurred is meaningless.

…I don’t really see where we disagree here… could you explain what the difference is between my point and yours? All of those people you listed are examples of religious brain washing, and they are very similar to the Islamic extremists who encourage people to commit acts of terror.

I dont think you realize how close to home all these stuff is - these people are not all mentally ill, they are regular people who have bought into something that is not true, is not real. As a result what looks logical to them is lunacy to everyone else. How can you stop it? Ban any form of extreme religious teachings? Monitor and control religious leaders?
But isn’t believing in something that is not real a form of mental illness? Of course it seems logical to them - people who are mentally ill are usually not aware of the problem behavior, and if they are aware of it, they don’t percieve it as being abnormal. Brainwashing is a mental illness - the psychology of that individual has been altered in such a way that their sense of morality or judgement may be affected, among other things. In this way, nationalism is a form of brainwashing, and I am aware that it happens in places “closer to home”. Wouldn’t Hitler’s manipulation of the German people be classified as such? Or, as a less extreme example, the nationalistic fervor that drove hundreds of thousands of young men to a pointless war in WWI?

And I didn’t propose any means of controlling it. In the United States, banning books or religious cults would be an infringement upon our constitutional rights (unless they were infringing on the rights of others). But in places such as Iraq, monitoring people like Al-Zarqawi would probably be a good idea - his intent was to kill people, depriving them of their human right to life.

Again, we have them here in the US. Should Pat Roberson be jailed for inciting violence? Falwell and others who demonize groups of people for not behaving the way they think God wants them to?
No, I never proposed that they be jailed for exercising their freedom of speech. But I do believe that people who commit hate crimes should be jailed, because like Al-Zarqawi, they have infringed upon human rights.

Brainwashing is a term that is often used loosely. Actual brainwashing is a process in which you take a person, usually who has some shared interest or goal, and you:

cut them off from all contact with their friends and family
control all aspects of their life - micro manage the clothes they wear, their hair, their food and drink
keep them busy to the point of exhaustion
deprive them of sleep

and most importantly, control the situation so that you are the only positive point of human contact they have, making them feel that you are the only person who is on their side, their only friend

its very rare that this happens in our society - some cults still use these techniques. Interestingly, military bootcamp rides right on the boarderline of genuine brainwashing.

My point is that the extreemist who make life impossible for everyone else are not all that different from any of us. Somewhere, someone convinced them that God has a personal mission for them, or that God expects them to perform a specific task, or that God has given them special knowledge and insight (a gift…) that no one else has

and in many cases, that is all it takes. Once a person believes they are on a mission from God, everything else becomes trivial. Months of actual brainwashing is not required.

On a simplifed level, there are only a few options to end conflict in the Holy Land region/ Middle East.

  1. (Sounds harsh, but would likely work quite effectively.)

  2. Unite the entire region with one driving, non dogmatic goal towards which all people in the region must work as one to achieve. (Alien invasion?)

And the most difficult and interesting way…

  1. Transcend paradigms.

I love Wikipedia.

12 Leverage Points

I don’t care one way or the other about the politics being discussed here, or whether the conclusions are justified, supportable, or pure hogwash.

What I do care about is that the thread has been started by illegally posting copyrighted material. This is a violation of the law, and a violation of CD policy.

Once again (we have had this discussion before - see this thread and this thread for prior examples), posting copyrighted materials for which you do not have redistribution permission from the copyright owner is a violation of the law. You may want to start an engaging discussion on Middle-East politics. That is fine. But doing so by posting copyrighted material is not the way to go about it. The fact is, making a copy of a copyrighted article posting it for public download is an illegal act, no matter how well intentioned you may be.

Someone else owns the material that has been posted here. In this case, you have blatantly copied an article authored by Lou Dobbs and owned by CNN. CNN owns all the content, intellectual property, and reprinting rights. It is their article, and they have not given you permission to make it available to anyone else. CNN retains all the rights to that article, and we are honor-bound to respect those rights.

In your later post, you blatantly copied an article authored by Richard Curtiss and owned by WRMEA. The copied material is the intellectual property of someone else, and you have no right to copy or redistribute it without their permission.

To top it off, by posting the material here on CD, potentially you have made CD complicit in the act. You put Delphi and Innovation First (as the sponsors) and Chief Delphi, two organizations and a team that have gone out of their way to make this forum available for the improvement of the FIRST community, at risk. That is both inappropriate and a violation of CD policy.

There are going to be those that say this is an over-reaction to a minor issue. However, I believe that part of our purpose here is to set an example for the teams of professional behavior. Part of being a professional includes a respect for the law - including copyright law. As mentors we should be demonstrating the highest ethical standards possible. Particularly when presented in the course of a FIRST-related activity (such as posting on CD), honoring the law - even in matters as simple as copyright law - shows appropriate respect for ourselves, the students we mentor, professional standards, and the values that we purport to uphold as part of the FIRST community. And, it is just plain good manners.


Not that I want to disagree with you Dave, but does reprinting now include reposting? Just curious. I too have not only posted articles in the past here on CD, but also linked to the original for reference sake… That said:

I agree with you completely and wished that everyone who posts things of this nature (references from external sources) would read and understand MLA format for citing works. Even though we are not in a college English class, it’s just common courtesy to give credit (or blame, whatever the case) where it is due.

Matt seems to be getting a lot of heat from an article that was not his original though, and that’s wrong to me. Now, getting heat for what he said after that in his own posts, is wrong by nature, but that’s the nature of the beast of a public forum. We come here to exchange ideas, beliefs, and opinions and as the famous saying states… “Opinions are like brains*. Everyone has one”.

*Sure, we’ll go with brains for this G rated example.

sorry to be a bummer on this
but really now guys
science news and news relating to FIRST and their people is cool
however… I come on here to hear about FIRST - not politics. In fact, I avoid politics sites. more often than not they can make people hate each other. I’m not opposed to discussion but please don’t ruin my CD

I might respond later with a post on the topic but before I forget, With Matt’s recent threads I realized that although many people do not want to see politics discussed here there are some benefits to it (I am sure that the CD community offers some perspectives that differ greatly from those held by many other groups) However I don’t like having to go through the political threads to get to every thing else. I am sure this Idea has been suggested before but would it be possible to put a sub-forum in the Chit Chat section dedicated to politics, perhaps even removing the ability to give rep for those posts (to prevent some people from getting severely inflated or deflated rep points).

I had the same feelings as Dave. I am moving to a moderated thread until the people above rule on its legality.

Politics and religion have always been topics that generate many points of view and cause the moderators and leadership of chiefdelphi.com the most problems.

Printing copyrighted material and stuff for hacking software are easy issues to deal with. They are just not allowed and are not tolerated. True there are fine lines on use of copyrighted materials and view points as to their legal use but we can usually sort thru the issues and make good decisions.

As much as we discourage the Politics and Religion issues they pop up depending on the state of the world and current events. Some posters think this is their place to vent opinions and some enjoy causing reactions as a way to get attention to them personally or to their cause. Attention seekers are the hardest to deal with as when we react it just fires them up to do more - they get attention.

The simple side of me says - go away, stop posting religion and politics stuff leave the forums alone. The complicated side says be a little tolerant of the posts, wait and see don’t over react deal with this in a case by case setting.

Clearly we need better wording of the forum rules. This is in process at this moment and should be done soon. When changes are made they need to be applied firmly and fairly to all posters.

It is important that the chiefdelphi.com forums remain a comfortable, safe location for the community of FIRST to come and share ideas regarding Math, Science and Technology and this great program called FIRST. We work very hard and ask for your assistance in making this happen.

So all of us need to take a deep breath, pause and consider your comments before you engage in activities that may be questionable.
Remember what FIRST is all about and keep your eyes on the great opportunities it is providing.

Being a part of FIRST and posting on CD makes us all part of a unique global community. We all have common interests in science and technology, and we are all people who function in the same world.

Almost every year something happens in the world that affects us profoundly. The Columbine shootings happened during the build/regional time of year in 1999. The shuttle Columbia was lost on a saturday during the build season. 911 had a tremedous effect on FIRST (travel, funding…). SARs affected some teams who had plans to goto the Canadian regional.

When these things happen people need to talk about their feelings. They need to talk to the people they connect with on a daily basis. That includes the CD community. Many of these things make us feel uncomforable, they’re hard to talk about.

But banning discussions is not the answer. I rememeber back in 1988 there was a book that came out, something like “88 Reasons why Jesus will return in 1988”. I knew a guy who read that book and came completely unglued. He more or less had a nervious breakdown and was hospitalized. He believed the world was coming to an end. Who knows, if he had someone to talk to, instead of keeping all his fears bottled up until he snapped, things might have been different.

Sometimes life really sucks. Telling people they cannot discuss it doesnt make it any better. Letting people express how they feel does give them a sense of connection and community, even if no one is able to fix the problem.