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Everything posted by Padre5

  1. How Is Everybody?

    IhaveemovedtoPullman,Washington. Ihavermissedmyfriendshere! Howiseverybody? Please excuse the derth of spaces!
  2. How Is Everybody?

    My wife and I are separated, and my family got me to move into a Senior living Community. I am not very hapy, and am not on-line yet. The food here is bland and overcooked, many of the other residents are much more infirm than I am, and I feel like I'm just a burden to my local family. To get a lively discussion started, I'll pose a question and the following comment: The news from the mid-east is awful, and what is happening in Egypt proves that an Islamic government is not the great idea many of you think it is. If the Brotherhood was really smart, they would allow secular leaders to have the first chance to solve the many problems in the country, and, if they cannot, THEN become the savior of the people. Instead Morsey and friends and rushing in to impose an Islamic based solution on a society that is neither used to it or ready for it. Thay are clearly ignoring the resultant mess. What do all my friends here think?
  3. The Bad Situation In Syria

    This article was in The Times. Not a healthy sign! WASHINGTON — A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said. The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so. The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington’s attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who has recently escalated his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. With Russia blocking more aggressive steps against the Assad government, the United States and its allies have instead turned to diplomacy and aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad from power. By helping to vet rebel groups, American intelligence operatives in Turkey hope to learn more about a growing, changing opposition network inside of Syria and to establish new ties. “C.I.A. officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people,” said one Arab intelligence official who is briefed regularly by American counterparts. American officials and retired C.I.A. officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements. The administration is also considering whether to help the opposition set up a rudimentary intelligence service. But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps, like sending C.I.A. officers into Syria itself, they said. The struggle inside Syria has the potential to intensify significantly in coming months as powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters. President Obama and his top aides are seeking to pressure Russia to curb arms shipments like attack helicopters to Syria, its main ally in the Middle East. “We’d like to see arms sales to the Assad regime come to an end, because we believe they’ve demonstrated that they will only use their military against their own civilian population,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said after Mr. Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, met in Mexico on Monday. Spokesmen for the White House, State Department and C.I.A. would not comment on any intelligence operations supporting the Syrian rebels, some details of which were reported last week by The Wall Street Journal. Until now, the public face of the administration’s Syria policy has largely been diplomacy and humanitarian aid. The State Department said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would meet with her Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, on the sidelines of a meeting of Asia-Pacific foreign ministers in St. Petersburg, Russia, next Thursday. The private talks are likely to focus, at least in part, on the crisis in Syria. The State Department has authorized $15 million in nonlethal aid, like medical supplies and communications equipment, to civilian opposition groups in Syria. The Pentagon continues to fine-tune a range of military options, after a request from Mr. Obama in early March for such contingency planning. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators at that time that the options under review included humanitarian airlifts, aerial surveillance of the Syrian military, and the establishment of a no-fly zone. The military has also drawn up plans for how coalition troops would secure Syria’s sizable stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons if an all-out civil war threatened their security. But senior administration officials have underscored in recent days that they are not actively considering military options. “Anything at this point vis-à-vis Syria would be hypothetical in the extreme,” General Dempsey told reporters this month. What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels. The increasingly fierce air and artillery assaults by the government are intended to counter improved coordination, tactics and weaponry among the opposition forces, according to members of the Syrian National Council and other activists. Last month, these activists said, Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria. Turkey has repeatedly denied it was extending anything other than humanitarian aid to the opposition, mostly via refugee camps near the border. The United States, these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers. American military analysts offered mixed opinions on whether these arms have offset the advantages held by the militarily superior Syrian Army. “The rebels are starting to crack the code on how to take out tanks,” said Joseph Holliday, a former United States Army intelligence officer in Afghanistan who is now a researcher tracking the Free Syrian Army for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. But a senior American officer who receives classified intelligence reports from the region, compared the rebels’ arms to “peashooters” against the government’s heavy weaponry and attack helicopters. The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, has recently begun trying to organize the scattered, localized units that all fight under the name of the Free Syrian Army into a more cohesive force. About 10 military coordinating councils in provinces across the country are now sharing tactics and other information. The city of Homs is the notable exception. It lacks such a council because the three main military groups in the city do not get along, national council officials said. Jeffrey White, a defense analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who tracks videos and announcements from self-described rebel battalions, said there were now about 100 rebel formations, up from roughly 70 two months ago, ranging in size from a handful of fighters to a couple of hundred combatants. “When the regime wants to go someplace and puts the right package of forces together, it can do it,” Mr. White said. “But the opposition is raising the cost of those kinds of operations.” Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon. Souad Mekhennet also contributed reporting.
  4. Religion, Science And Evil!

    This YouTube video is by one of my personal favorites, P.Z. Meyers. It starts with the idea that the so-called BTK serial killer, who was (and probably still is!) the embodiment of evil, was also a "good Christian." The question he raises is whether Christianity can lead to real evil. I believe it too often has! Good Christians, throughout history, have slaughtered each other because of religion, butchered "natives" because they wouldn't convert or because they wanted the land where they lived, and still stand silently as their leaders preach hatred for gays, and sometimes others they hate. They also try to pass laws, at least in America, to force the teaching of nonsense to children, and require prayer. To this I shout, keep the heck out of the classrooms of my grandchildren! Most of you believe, as I do, that the treatment of the captive people in the so-called "occupied territories" by the israelis is evil, clearly prompted by religion. Now, I give you all the task of citing the evil caused by Muslims, AND ask yourself how much Islam has CAUSED that evil. Please search your consciences, and try to be really honest!
  5. The 3 Word Story

    of very short
  6. WELCOME! I'm just the old atheist wine guy, but I like new members and will drink a toast to you! Lots of good folks here, and meaty discussions. Are you a real doctor? Of what? I have a Juris Doctor degree, and a doctor daughter.
  7. New

    WELCOME! Read, Post, learn and ENJOY!
  8. Newbie

    WELCOME, from the old atheist. Tell us more about yourself!
  9. I A New

    WELCOME! I'm the grumpy old atheist member, but assure yhou that everbody here is willing to help with whatever it is you need! The guys here are nice, the girls are cute, and the fruit juice is fresh and cold!
  10. Imuslim5 Has Entered The Building...

    Somebody, a human being, made that bottle. As I have made clear several times before, science explains creation far better than any holy text. But, even assuming there is some magical "creator," there is no convincing evidence that he or she or it has done anything since said creation!
  11. She was here for a week, posted some Jewish gibberish, and left. She was a "hit and run" poster! I think they are among the worst kind.... afraid to defend themselves or their ideas. The historical roots of Judaism in the Middle East are a good and valid topic of discussion, as is the history of the so-called "tribe of israel." Where did they come from and where have they been through history? Why are they different from any other Middle Eastern Semites, and why the heck should the United States make the preservation of the modern "homeland (israel) a priority, when its very existence threatens the whole region and the world? Four question marks may not be enough! [????]
  12. Maybe she just hit and ran!
  13. Imuslim5 Has Entered The Building...

    That is a very odd question. Since I don't believe in any god, I never wonder about what the non-existent deity thinks! And I'm neither proud nor ashamed that I'm an atheist; I just no longer believe in god (or Santa Claus, or fairies or the monster under the bed.)
  14. Imuslim5 Has Entered The Building...

    WELCOME TO THE FORUM! Maybe we are related... I'm a 5, too! But I'm an old, atheist American I love Australian wine, however!
  15. Salam

    WELCOME TO A FINE FORUM! The good members here will help you. Ignore me, I'm just an old atheist!
  16. A Troubling Verse

    Verses and ideas like this are at the root of my belief that there is no God. I have tried to lead a good and moral life, and if I am wrong about a deity and an afterlife, I'll just have to accept my fate. Fear is not going to become my major reason to have faith!
  17. Salam

    WELCOME TO YOU BOTH, from the old atheist member.
  18. Perfect Islamic Clothing For Women

    WELCOME TO THE FORUM! I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT HERE, but never have to wear anything you don't want to wear.
  19. But, Sad Clown, Yael has not responded to my post!
  20. I agree, but wanted to point out that modern archeology is proving that the Hebrew Bible really is full of myth. Scholars have agreed for as long time that the creation story in the Bible came from the earlier Enuma Elish , the summarian creation story, [http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Enuma_Elish] And now, the other books of the Torah are being debunked, too. I'm curious as to what Yael thinks about this, too.
  21. WASHINGTON (Reuters)- For those who believe in a clash of civilizations between the Islamic world and Western democracy, the last few weeks must seem like final confirmation of their theory. Even those who reject the term as loaded and simplistic speak sadly of a perhaps catastrophic failure of understanding between Americans in particular and many Muslims. The outrage and violence over a crude film ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad points to a chasm between Western free speech and individualism and the sensitivities of some Muslims over what they see as a campaign of humiliation. There seems no shortage of forces on both sides to fan the flames. The tumult over the video had not even subsided when a French magazine this week printed a new cartoon showing the prophet naked. "It's ridiculous," Zainab Al-Suwaij, executive director of the America Islamic Congress, said of the violence that on Friday killed 15 in Pakistan alone as what were supposed to be peaceful protests turned violent. "Yes, this video is offensive but it is clearly a grotesque over reaction that in part is being whipped up by radical Islamists in the region for their own ends. But it does show you the depth of misunderstanding between the cultures." Starting last week with a few relatively small embassy protests and a militant attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three others, violence has since spread to more than a dozen countries across the Middle East and Asia. Despite the focus on religion, few doubt there are other drivers of confrontation. The war on terrorism, U.S. drone strikes, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Guantanamo Bay prison simply continue, in many Muslims' perceptions, centuries of Western meddling, hypocrisy and broken promises. Meanwhile, many Americans see those regions as an inexplicable source of terrorism, hostage-taking, hatred and chaos. In Europe, those same concerns have become intertwined with other battles over immigration and multiculturalism. "It has always been a difficult relationship and in the last decades it has become even more delicate," said Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University in Washington. "Even a seemingly minor matter can upset the balance. ... What is needed is more sensitivity and understanding on both sides, but that is difficult to produce." Not all the news from the region indicates an unbridgeable gap. Many Libyans, especially young ones, came out to mourn Ambassador Chris Stevens after his death and make clear that militants who killed him did not speak for them. Thousands of Libyans marched in Benghazi on Friday to protest the Islamist militias that Washington blames for the attack. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  22. Hi All

    WELCOME! You can even talk to an old atheist here, if you want to! The members are a good bunch for the most part! They tolerate me and Ashir, who is a young atheist! Do you also visit any atheist forums?
  23. Me

    WELCOME! You can even talk to an old atheist here, if you want to! The members are a good bunch for the most part!
  24. But, .... "Exodus never happened and the walls of Jericho did not come a-tumbling down. How archaeologists are shaking israel to its biblical foundations. israel Finkelstein, chairman of the Archaeology Department at Tel Aviv University, with archaeology historian Neil Asher Silberman, has just published a book called "The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Text." "The israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom." http://freethought.mbdojo.com/archeology.html
  25. Take the test! http://www.areyoumuslim.com/ I was surprised to discover I'm 72% Muslim, even though I'm an atheist!