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Bloggingheads 10-19-2011 03:53 PM

Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 

BornAgainDemocrat 10-19-2011 06:39 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
I would be curious to know how Prof. Singer (and Bob, too, for that matter) would react to a line of blogging being pursued by an anonymous female in the Mid-West somewhere who goes by the name of hbd* chick. She's only been on the web for a year or so but already has managed to change the way I understand the world, which is saying something seeing as few before her have and I am nearly 70 years old.

Ironically hbd* chick builds on the same idea of kin selection (aka inclusive fitness) Singer and Wright emphasize, but with different conclusions. She sees "the expanding circle" of our moral universe to be in large measure a function of the degree of in-breeding vs. out-breeding practiced in various societies around the world. In particular -- and here she is building on insights previously remarked by Steve Sailer and Stanley Kurz -- the kinds of clan-based, tribal societies we have been encountering in the Middle East over the past ten years, in the course of our so-called War on Terror, seem to be correlated with the prevalence of cousin marriages within them.

One of her posts in particular really took me aback. She showed a map of Europe showing the tribal zones that existed as recently as a thousand years ago, and pointed out the important role the Catholic Church played in reducing the rates of consanguineous marriage throughout Christendom.

One of her tentative conclusions is that modern liberalism (as in liberal democracy, not liberals vs. conservatives), with its emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of the individual, is only possible in societies that have systematically suppressed cousin marriages over a period of centuries and many generations.

In other words, what ails the Muslims world (and to a lesser extent large areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America) is to a considerable extent bred into their bones, and there may be no shortcuts to setting them straight. Corruption, nepotism, putting family before society as a whole, indeed the very existence of anything approaching what we think of as a state and a people, may have stubborn biological as well as cultural (and the two interact) reasons for persisting. The West really may be a world like no other?

Obviously this question is of more than mere philosophical interest.

opposable_crumbs 10-19-2011 06:53 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Your 'in other words' summation seems to making claims that I don't think she makes, based on the initial post anyway. Maybe it's just poor phrasing. It's an interesting link and the hypothesis is ripe with plenty of exceptions to play with.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 09:46 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
actually, i have made pretty much those claims, opposable crumbs, just in later posts.

stop by the blog sometime and see what you think. there's usually cookies and milk in the fridge, too. (^_^)

opposable_crumbs 10-19-2011 09:48 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228869)
actually, i have made pretty much those claims, opposable crumbs, just in later posts.

stop by the blog sometime and see what you think. there's usually cookies and milk in the fridge, too. (^_^)

I will have to check with my tribal elders, after all I might have be lactose intolerant, bad genes you see.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 09:59 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
i'll pick up some soy milk next time i'm at the grocery store. (^_^)

Ocean 10-19-2011 10:25 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 228847)

One of her tentative conclusions is that modern liberalism (as in liberal democracy, not liberals vs. conservatives), with its emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of the individual, is only possible in societies that have systematically suppressed cousin marriages over a period of centuries and many generations.

In other words, what ails the Muslims world (and to a lesser extent large areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America) is to a considerable extent bred into their bones, and there may be no shortcuts to setting them straight. Corruption, nepotism, putting family before society as a whole, indeed the very existence of anything approaching what we think of as a state and a people, may have stubborn biological as well as cultural (and the two interact) reasons for persisting. The West really may be a world like no other?

Obviously this question is of more than mere philosophical interest.

I haven't watched this diavlog and certainly haven't checked the chick's blog, but if I interpret the above rather literally, it is indeed one of the most ridiculous hypothesis that I've heard about in a long time. I guess I partly base this reaction on the fact that I was born, raised and got most of my education in Latin America, so I have first hand knowledge. Again, perhaps this person hbd may be referring to Amazonian tribes or something like that, and I'm not too knowledgeable about those.

If I change my mind after finding out more what this is about, I'll let you know.

And no, I'm not interested in milk or cookies.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:03 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 228873)
I haven't watched this diavlog and certainly haven't checked the chick's blog, but if I interpret the above rather literally, it is indeed one of the most ridiculous hypothesis that I've heard about in a long time. I guess I partly base this reaction on the fact that I was born, raised and got most of my education in Latin America, so I have first hand knowledge. Again, perhaps this person hbd may be referring to Amazonian tribes or something like that, and I'm not too knowledgeable about those.

i only know about mexico and what i know is: both mayan and aztec societies practiced regular inbreeding (i.e. married close family members like first- or second-cousins) and it is likely that native mexicans did not start to regularly outbreed until the 1500s or later after converting to christianity.

even then, up until very recently, mexicans have had a tendency to marry very locally -- within the barrio. in such a situation, it's likely that mexicans were still marrying cousins, albeit more distant than first- or second-cousins (both prohibited by the catholic church until fairly recently -- first-cousin marriage still is).

the corruption levels in mexico are very similar to greece, and the mating patterns are also similar -- an avoidance of close cousin marriage but a tendency to marry very locally (and, therefore, likely cousins of some sort).

(north)western europeans have had a one thousand year head-start on outbreeding over mexicans (not to mention almost everybody else on the planet, in different ways). you may think it a ridiculous hypothesis, but it is merely apply the idea of inclusive fitness to human societies and behaviors.

eeeeeeeli 10-19-2011 11:05 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 228873)
I haven't watched this diavlog and certainly haven't checked the chick's blog, but if I interpret the above rather literally, it is indeed one of the most ridiculous hypothesis that I've heard about in a long time. I guess I partly base this reaction on the fact that I was born, raised and got most of my education in Latin America, so I have first hand knowledge. Again, perhaps this person hbd may be referring to Amazonian tribes or something like that, and I'm not too knowledgeable about those.

If I change my mind after finding out more what this is about, I'll let you know.

And no, I'm not interested in milk or cookies.

It doesn't sound very original to me. Not really any different than our average racist/racialist bile at complete odds with history, sociology, science, or pretty much any form of study you could throw at it.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:08 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 228876)
It doesn't sound very original to me. Not really any different than our average racist/racialist bile at complete odds with history, sociology, science, or pretty much any form of study you could throw at it.

why don't you try reading what i've said before drawing that conclusion. (hint: it has nothing to do with races or racism.)

uncle ebeneezer 10-19-2011 11:23 PM

Re: 30 Years
 
Not to raise the the prospect of your earthly tenure, Bob, but 30 year commemorations aren't THAT far away:)

TwinSwords 10-19-2011 11:30 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228877)
why don't you try reading what i've said before drawing that conclusion. (hint: it has nothing to do with races or racism.)

Whoa. Lots of Google results for a search of "Steven Sailer" on hbdchick's blog. 1830 of 'em!

Sailer is a white supremacist, and a minor conservative icon.

Of course many or most of those 1830 hits may be in comments left by hbdchick's fans. Or they could be disapproving references. I haven't dug into the results. But I did click one link, to a post of hbdchick's titled "best two sentences from steve sailer… evah."

The post links to what looks like a Sailer review of this fine piece of scholarship:

http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/7...1taylor001.jpg

Every day I am reminded again why I am glad I am not a conservative.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:33 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
in "The Expanding Circle," peter singer said:

Quote:

"So the shift from a point of view that is disinterested between individuals within a group, but not between groups, to a point of view that is fully universal, is a tremendous change -- so tremendous, in fact, that it is only just beginning to be accepted on the level of ethical reasoning and is still a long way from acceptance on the level of practice. Nevertheless, it is the direction in which moral thought has been going since ancient times. Is it an accident of history that this should be so, or is it the direction in which our capacity to reason leads us?"
the shift towards a universal morality is tremendous -- and extraordinary -- and requires explanation because it is so very odd. it is true that this is the direction in which moral thought has been going since ancient times -- but only in western europe. morals for all is something that western europeans "invented," and while some other peoples around the world are starting to adopt the idea, it is with great struggle. the normal way of being moral for most humans throughout history, and for many today, is a particularist morality -- morals apply to me and my people and not to those others who are unrelated to me.

europeans used to be this way, too, until the coming of christianity. but it wasn't religion or reason that made us more universally moral -- it was that we outbred. our circles definitely expanded, but it was the circles of our relatedness that expanded.

st. thomas acquinas understood this. in his "Summa Theologica" he explained why he believed the church should ban close relative marriage (which it did) [pgs. 56-58]:

Quote:

"The third reason is that incest would prevent people widening their circle of friends. When a man takes a wife from another family he is joined in special friendship with her relations; they are to him as his own. And so Augustine writes, 'The demands of charity are fulfilled by people coming together in the bonds that the various ties of friendship require, so that they may live together in a profitable and becoming amity; nor should one man have many relationships restricted to one other, but each single should go to many singly.'"
close marriage keeps the range of social connections small, distant marriages enlarge the range.

st. thomas acquinas (or even st. augustine) did not understand the mechanism underlying this phenomenon: inclusive fitness and altruism.

inclusive fitness predicts (quite accurately) that individuals will be more altruistic towards others with whom they share the most number of genes, usually family members. doing so increases their fitness.

when people (or animals) inbreed, the drive to be altruistic towards family members increases because they share a greater number of genes with them. conversely, the drive to be un-altruistic towards unrelated individuals increases. robin fox discussed this at some length in "The Tribal Imagination."

(north)western europeans have been actively outbreeding since around the 400-500s, which is why moral universalism originated in the west. we are not driven so much to be moral to close family members. due to outbreeding, western genetic ties are quite broad, and so are our morals.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:35 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228879)
Sailer is a white supremacist....

that's absurd. you've obviously never read what he's written.

Don Zeko 10-19-2011 11:36 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228881)
that's absurd. you've obviously never read what he's written.

I think it's safe to say that this discussion will not return to a productive place.

TwinSwords 10-19-2011 11:38 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228875)
i only know about mexico and what i know is: both mayan and aztec societies practiced regular inbreeding (i.e. married close family members like first- or second-cousins) and it is likely that native mexicans did not start to regularly outbreed until the 1500s or later after converting to christianity.

even then, up until very recently, mexicans have had a tendency to marry very locally -- within the barrio. in such a situation, it's likely that mexicans were still marrying cousins, albeit more distant than first- or second-cousins (both prohibited by the catholic church until fairly recently -- first-cousin marriage still is).

the corruption levels in mexico are very similar to greece, and the mating patterns are also similar -- an avoidance of close cousin marriage but a tendency to marry very locally (and, therefore, likely cousins of some sort).

(north)western europeans have had a one thousand year head-start on outbreeding over mexicans (not to mention almost everybody else on the planet, in different ways). you may think it a ridiculous hypothesis, but it is merely apply the idea of inclusive fitness to human societies and behaviors.

So, I guess you're kind of like a Charles Murray for Latinos, then. Is that about it?

With all the nested quotes, and your generally careless use of punctuation, grammar, and formatting, it's hard to say for sure if these words can be attributed to you, but did you really write this?:

Quote:

most hispanics are not ready to assimilate into american middle-class society simply because they do not possess the evolutionary history during which they might’ve developed the traits to enable them to do so.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:41 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228883)
With all the nested quotes, and your generally careless use of punctuation, grammar, and formatting, it's hard to say for sure if these words can be attributed to you, but did you really write this?:

yup.

TwinSwords 10-19-2011 11:45 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 228882)
I think it's safe to say that this discussion will not return to a productive place.

LOL!

But yes, hbdchick, I've read quite a bit of Sailer's work.

Such as:

Sailer Strategy Supplement: Rebrand Democrats As The Black Party

Are you proud to defend the author of that, chick?

Or how about this one:

Michelle Obama's chip on her shoulder

In which Sailer writes:

Quote:

Newsweek has a long article on the wonderfulness of Mrs. Obama, but she sounds like she's got a log-sized chip on her shoulder from lucking into Princeton due to affirmative action. For predictable reasons, being admitted into one of the Big Four super colleges and being given lots of financial aid didn't instill in her a feeling of gratitude toward the benevolence of white people. Instead, it just fed her adolescent self-consciousness and racial paranoia. The bad news is that she doesn't seem to have gotten over it yet.

[...]

One reason diversicrats want to bring all the black freshmen to campus before everybody else is so they'll bond to each other, not to random whites and Asians during the regular orientation week. During the first few days of a new phase of life, you are very emotionally open to bonding with the other people who are going through the experience with you. So, the diversicrats can build a constituency by holding special pre-orientations for blacks.
Not just racist, but crazy!

TwinSwords 10-19-2011 11:46 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228884)
yup.

And you can live with yourself?

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:47 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228886)
And you can live with yourself?

i don't understand your question. what's the problem?

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:49 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 228882)
I think it's safe to say that this discussion will not return to a productive place.

yes, it's a shame when people resort to name-calling and slander rather than engaging in a discussion, isn't it?

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:52 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228885)
LOL!

But yes, hbdchick, I've read quite a bit of Sailer's work.

Such as:

Sailer Strategy Supplement: Rebrand Democrats As The Black Party

Are you proud to defend the author of that, chick?

Or how about this one:

Michelle Obama's chip on her shoulder

how are either of those posts supremacist?

steve sailer's main platform is Citizenism. i fail to see how that's white supremacist. unless you have a really unique definition of the term?

Wonderment 10-19-2011 11:56 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

i only know about mexico
No, you don't.

hbdchick 10-19-2011 11:56 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 228890)
No, you don't.

ok. you tell me about the history of mating patterns in mexico then.

Wonderment 10-19-2011 11:57 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

what's the problem?
That you're a purveyor of racist nonsense.

TwinSwords 10-19-2011 11:58 PM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228888)
yes, it's a shame when people resort to name-calling and slander rather than engaging in a discussion, isn't it?

I wish I could stay up 'till the wee hours discussing the unsuitability of Latinos and blacks for life in White society, but I have to work tomorrow. Shouldn't be long before someone else comes along, though.

For anyone else reading: I did notice that on hbdchick's "about" page she specifically cites Steven Sailer as one of the writers who sparked her interest in this subject.

opposable_crumbs 10-20-2011 12:01 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
From what I understand, you are saying that Mexicans are genetically incompatible with living in the middle class of a liberal democracy, and out breeding is the only hope for their offspring.

Surely, you must be able to see why someone might find that position controversial if not offensive.

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:06 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 228892)
That you're a purveyor of racist nonsense.

what's inclusive fitness got to do with race? who even mentioned race? i sure didn't.

opposable_crumbs 10-20-2011 12:06 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
How do you explain the failure of western morals to include genetic outsiders, be they Jewish, Black or Irish, until very recently indeed, despite the west's superior breeding?

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:06 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228893)
I wish I could stay up 'till the wee hours discussing the unsuitability of Latinos and blacks for life in White society, but I have to work tomorrow. Shouldn't be long before someone else comes along, though.

For anyone else reading: I did notice that on hbdchick's "about" page she specifically cites Steven Sailer as one of the writers who sparked her interest in this subject.

all i've seen so far here in this "discussion" (and i use the term loosely) are nonsensical attempts at guilt-by-association and one-syllable claims that i don't know what i'm talking about.

why don't you try reading -- and perhaps even thinking -- about the issue for a minute. or bring forth some evidence that inclusive fitness doesn't apply to humans, unlike all other creatures on the planet.

put up or shut up, fellas. quit with the stupid name-calling already. it's old. really old.

TwinSwords 10-20-2011 12:07 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 228894)
From what I understand, you are saying that Mexicans are genetically incompatible with living in the middle class of a liberal democracy, and out breeding is the only hope for their offspring.

Surely, you must be able to see why someone might find that position controversial if not offensive.

Jesus. Check out what she wrote:

Quote:

“hispanics, on average, have a long way to go before they will have the capabilities needed to assimilate to our middle-class society — and, yes, the presence of too many of them in the united states is an existential threat to our society.”

TwinSwords 10-20-2011 12:09 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hbdchick (Post 228897)
all i've seen so far here in this "discussion" (and i use the term loosely) are nonsensical attempts at guilt-by-association and one-syllable claims that i don't know what i'm talking about.

why don't you try reading -- and perhaps even thinking -- about the issue for a minute. or bring forth some evidence that inclusive fitness doesn't apply to humans, unlike all other creatures on the planet.

put up or shut up, fellas. quit with the stupid name-calling already. it's old. really old.

Well, you're going to have to get used to it, because for as long as you traffic in hate speech and white supremacy, there will be people who call you out on it. You will never escape accountability for your hate mongering.

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:12 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 228896)
How do you explain the failure of western morals to include genetic outsiders, be they Jewish, Black or Irish, until very recently indeed, despite the west's superior breeding?

first of all, it's not the "west's superior breeding." it's the west's (in particular northwestern europe's) practice of outbreeding. that's all. i'm not talking about actual genes here. all i'm talking about is genetic relatedness.

and the reason it has taken western morality to become as universal as it has is because that is apparently how long it takes, i.e. a good one thousand years or so of outbreeding. forty generations (really not all that long in biological terms).

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:16 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228899)
Well, you're going to have to get used to it, because for as long as you traffic in hate speech and white supremacy, there will be people who call you out on it. You will never escape accountability for your hate mongering.

i'm not trafficking in hate speech nor white supremacy. that's just something you're saying because ... well i honestly don't know why you're saying it. i think it's just a knee-jerk reaction to reading something you personally don't like for whatever reasons (probably because your morality is so univeral (~_^) ). however, if you read more of what i write, i can assure you you won't find any hate speech and definitely not any white supremacy!

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:21 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 228898)
Jesus. Check out what she wrote:

look. if 40 million japanese people were to move to mexico tomorrow i would say the same thing. japanese people behave differently from mexicans, in part because they have different, historical mating patterns -- different from mexicans, that is -- and those japanese would be an existential threat to mexican society.

it's not rocket science. it's just biology.

opposable_crumbs 10-20-2011 12:24 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
I understand the thesis. I think Bob Wright has mentioned something related regarding group selection in a discussion with Mickey Kauss, and I also recall some controversy over an anthropologist who filmed a violent melee among an Amazonian tribe, and claimed that the victims of the assault where determined by their genetic distance from the assailant. I'm sure you know the details better than me.

But what I don't understand is how such vivid failures in morality by the west are explained in light of your earlier statement. Take the holocaust for example or slavery and racism in US society. Are they viewed as blips? Maybe out breeding just expands the in-group, at the expense of the obvious genetic out-group (those with darker skin)?

opposable_crumbs 10-20-2011 12:27 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
But a boon to the neocons with an eye on Mexico I take it?

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:30 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 228894)
From what I understand, you are saying that Mexicans are genetically incompatible with living in the middle class of a liberal democracy, and out breeding is the only hope for their offspring.

Surely, you must be able to see why someone might find that position controversial if not offensive.

no, i did not say that mexicans are genetically incompatible with middle class liberal democracy.

what i said was that, due to the fact that mexicans have a long (like most peoples in the world, including europeans up until the arrival of christianity) and recent history of marrying close family members, this means that they will be more altruistic towards those family members, and less altruistic towards non-related individuals, than a group of people who do not inbreed.

this idea comes straight outta biology and it is related to inclusive fitness.

i also did not say that outbreeding is the only hope for mexicans. i think you may be confused: by outbreeding i do not mean that mexicans need to marry europeans in order to do well in middle-class society. they just need to quit marrying such close relatives. at least, that would be a good place to start.

hbdchick 10-20-2011 12:32 AM

Re: Values Added: Expanding the Circle (Robert Wright & Peter Singer)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 228908)
But a boon to the neocons with an eye on Mexico I take it?

how should i know? i'm not a neocon.

but it wouldn't be great for the mexicans (and it's certainly not something i would advocate for them). why would they want to give away their country?

Cincinnatus 10-20-2011 12:33 AM

Re: 30 Years
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 228878)
Not to raise the the prospect of your earthly tenure, Bob, but 30 year commemorations aren't THAT far away:)

But was it so profound as to warrant commemoration?


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