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  #1  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:32 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

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  #2  
Old 08-03-2010, 10:47 AM
thprop thprop is offline
 
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Default Operation Tiger

Josh mentioned the training accident that his father's unit was involved in. The biggest training disaster in the lead up to D-Day was Exercise Tiger at the end of April 1944 with 1st Engineer Special Brigade in Lyme Bay on the southern coast of England. 638 men died that day. They were attacked by German E-boats and everything went wrong - leading to many last minute changes in the month before D-Day. Those men were to land at Utah Beach. On June 6, 1944, 200 men died at Utah Beach, less than a third of the losses during Tiger.

Jim mentioned the fictional US Army First Division. I assume he misspoke - otherwise stay away from Fort Riley, Kansas, home of the Big Red One. I believe he was referring to the FUSAG, the First United States Army Group.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:09 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Operation Tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by thprop View Post
Josh mentioned the training accident that his father's unit was involved in. The biggest training disaster in the lead up to D-Day was Exercise Tiger at the end of April 1944 with 1st Engineer Special Brigade in Lyme Bay on the southern coast of England. 638 men died that day. They were attacked by German E-boats and everything went wrong - leading to many last minute changes in the month before D-Day. Those men were to land at Utah Beach. On June 6, 1944, 200 men died at Utah Beach, less than a third of the losses during Tiger.

Jim mentioned the fictional US Army First Division. I assume he misspoke - otherwise stay away from Fort Riley, Kansas, home of the Big Red One. I believe he was referring to the FUSAG, the First United States Army Group.
Also the title of Sam Fuller's masterpiece, about a mostly fictional unit the eponymous Army Division.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080437/
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:18 AM
thprop thprop is offline
 
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Default The "Mosque"

I agree with Josh on the Mosque/Cultural Center issue AND I don't want to see it built. As an atheist, I would like to see us stop wasting money on things with imaginary purposes. I realize that I am in a small minority. But I would like to see an end to the hypersensitivity toward Islam - and no more "religion of peace" crap.

Religion in general is not compatible with an open, tolerant, democratic society. Much of xianity has contorted itself into making its peace to a certain extent with the Enlightenment. Clearly not all - just look at the dominionist movement.

Islam - all of it not just the fundamentalists - is not yet ready to come to terms with Enlightenment values. I think we should be open about that. Islam has to figure out a way to work with us - not the reverse. Wanting to build an Islamic facility of sorts named after a symbol of past Islamic triumphs over the West close to the site of a horror inspired by the religion shows how far Islam is from being able to function in our society. We should make them aware of this fact.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:27 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Let your enemy identify himself

We have it on the solemn word of President Bush and President Obama that Islam is not the enemy. Does the Ground-Zero "Mosque" represent Islamic triumphalism? One way to find out is to allow it to be built. Public curiosity about this question is very high, and if there is any symbolic message here, it will come to light. The best argument against this building is a public safety argument: that it may attract conflict. The best argument in favor of the building? Let your enemy identify himself. Let your friend identify himself.

American Muslims must get along with the rest of us, and for the most part, they want to. This leads to a question: Regardless of the intentions of the building's sponsors, is there any chance that intense public scrutiny will turn the center into a symbol of Islamic contrition?
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:28 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default the Pinkerton/Gingrich approach does not apply

We are no longer a united country. Whoever "we" are, we cannot protect ourselves by taking the fight to the foreigners. Better to wall our selves off from the world. Better for states to be allowed to set their own immigration and trade policies. Gingrich wants the US to attack Iran. Jim wants the muslims identified, tracked and expelled. Let's consolidate what we still have. Observe from afar as the rest of the world spirals out of control, its populations growing at unsustainable rates, its economies hopelessly imbalanced because working class people no longer have the open space land necessary for them to produce what they need.

Be good.
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:29 AM
cognitive madisonian cognitive madisonian is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

A few thoughts on the Mosque issue:

I disagree with Josh's total rejection of calling the culture center a mosque. Since it includes a mosque, I don't think it's incorrect to refer to it as a mosque.

That being said, I don't buy James' argument. Suggesting that our cultural closed-mindedness during WW2, which helped lead to the internment of Japanese citizens, is to be admired or imitated, ignores the philosophy of multicuturalism in our society.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:29 AM
thprop thprop is offline
 
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Default Re: Operation Tiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
Also the title of Sam Fuller's masterpiece, about a mostly fictional unit the eponymous Army Division.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080437/
Fuller actually served as a rifleman in the Big Red One from North Africa, to Sicily, Omaha Beach and on into the Czech Republic. He knew what he was directing.

West of Chicago is the First Division Museum. It is in Cantigny on the old estate of Colonel Robert McCormick. McCormick, the right wing publisher of the Chicago Tribune, served in the division in World War I - in its first action at Cantigny on France.
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:42 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post
That being said, I don't buy James' argument. Suggesting that our cultural closed-mindedness during WW2, which helped lead to the internment of Japanese citizens, is to be admired or imitated, ignores the philosophy of multicuturalism in our society.
Yeah, I thought that was weird -- he was using as his examples things that only he (okay, an exaggeration) would think were things to be defended, as opposed to things we've regretted.

Josh made the point I've wondered about -- isn't the "oh, it's scary, some people will claim victory" side arguing from weakness? I think he's absolutely right on that, and that there's no reason to think we have anything to worry about. Who cares what stupid and irrational thing some radical in the Middle East might think about the cultural center's existence. Even if true, why does that hurt us or matter in the slightest? What is important is that we stick to our values, and giving them up in the fear that someone else might misunderstand why is, as Josh said, basically allowing a heckler's veto.

Also, of course, Jim seemed to be phrasing this as if we were at war with Islam, which we are not. But nothing Jim said on this topic surprised me given his past arguments.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2010, 01:08 PM
jcohen57 jcohen57 is offline
 
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Default Re: Operation Tiger

Thanks VERY much for the posting. Here the the relevant passage from my father's memoir: "the company commander ... called us together [and] explained that German “E Boats” had sunk three LSTs (Landing Ship Tanks) with a loss of over 800 lives and all our barracks bags. Further under pain of immediate court marshal we were not to mention this loss to anyone. The first press reference to this disaster that I read appeared in Newsday in or about 1983; 39 years later. It was a very well kept secret. We were all very upset at the loss of so many men from unit. We were further upset by the implications of this tragedy; if this is happening on an exercise, what will happen when it’s the real thing?

We were grim-faced and silent as we boarded the trucks for our return to St. Austell. On arrival home my hosts [an older British couple] commented that they had heard that “your chaps had had some trouble with practice”. Under threat of court marshal, I did not respond except to say that combat training is always miserable. How did they know? I remember wondering at the time. The answer was heart-breakingly simple. Friends who lived on the shore had observed the large number of bodies being washed up."
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2010, 01:12 PM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

My reaction to building a mosque and/or Islamic cultural center near ground zero at this moment in history is not a reasoned one. It comes straight from the amygdala: no fucking way!
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2010, 02:05 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat View Post
My reaction to building a mosque and/or Islamic cultural center near ground zero at this moment in history is not a reasoned one. It comes straight from the amygdala: no fucking way!
Why haven't you followed that up by working your way to a reasoned reaction? Why should the religious freedom of others be subject to your irrational impulses?
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2010, 02:13 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Why haven't you followed that up by working your way to a reasoned reaction? Why should the religious freedom of others be subject to your irrational impulses?
And, by the way:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-0...anel-vote.html
Quote:
Plans to build an Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site moved forward after New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to allow the demolition of a building that would be replaced by a mosque.

The panel denied landmarks status to a long-vacant 152- year-old lower Manhattan building on Park Place, formerly a Burlington Coat Factory department store. The unanimous vote cleared a hurdle for the site to be torn down and the mosque, recreation and cultural center to be built.
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  #14  
Old 08-03-2010, 02:32 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
This is a tempest in a teapot if there ever was one. I can't believe that Americans like Jim Pinkerton are making a big fuss about this. Paris has had a mosque and Islamic cultural center since the 1920s where non Muslims are welcome. It is a very pleasant place. There is even a restaurant and a hamman open to the general public.

The New Yorkers I know are laughing at this debate.
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2010, 02:33 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cognitive madisonian View Post

I disagree with Josh's total rejection of calling the culture center a mosque. Since it includes a mosque, I don't think it's incorrect to refer to it as a mosque.
\
what the hell? it probably has a bathroom in it, too -- should it be referred to as the Ground Zero Restroom?
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  #16  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:15 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Paris has had a mosque and Islamic cultural center since the 1920s where non Muslims are welcome. It is a very pleasant place. There is even a restaurant and a hamman open to the general public.
Can you rent it for a Bat Mitzvah?
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:17 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Paris has had a mosque and Islamic cultural center since the 1920s where non Muslims are welcome.
Yes, and there are, of course, mosques and Islamic cultural centers in the US too. Also, Jim Pinkerton has plenty of wacky ideas, so that he's taking the view he is here seems hardly surprising or especially representative of America vs. France or whatever.

Last edited by stephanie; 08-03-2010 at 03:19 PM..
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:21 PM
Lyle
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Default A contrite center would be nice

Someone, somewhere made a interesting point a while back about the Cordoba center dedicating some of its space to become like a memorial/museum to Islamic inspired violence. I don't know of many religious institutions that do this. Holocaust museums tend to be separate and apart from any synagogue or church (from my knowledge). It would be nice to see them holding up a mirror to their own religion though... cause it squarely needs it.

They might change the name from the Cordoba center as well, since it is a reminder of the Islamic invasion and occupation of Spain. Yes, medieval Muslim Spain had some nice things going on... but it was all part of the illegal and belligerent occupation of a Christian European country.

I jest about the last paragraph. Who really cares.

Last edited by Lyle; 08-03-2010 at 04:39 PM..
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:55 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
Yes, and there are, of course, mosques and Islamic cultural centers in the US too. Also, Jim Pinkerton has plenty of wacky ideas, so that he's taking the view he is here seems hardly surprising or especially representative of America vs. France or whatever.
On the contrary, it is highly representative of a certain kind of American.
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:57 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
Can you rent it for a Bat Mitzvah?
Can you abstain from making idiotic remarks? I know the Boston suburbs well, so I also know the answer to that question. No.
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2010, 03:57 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

I think he meant it as a joke.
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:01 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I think he meant it as a joke.
And what exactly is the joke?
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  #23  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:08 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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And what exactly is the joke?
I didn't say it was a good joke, but I took it to suggest that a Bar Mitzvah in an Islamic center would be humorously incongruous.
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  #24  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:15 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I didn't say it was a good joke, but I took it to suggest that a Bar Mitzvah in an Islamic center would be humorously incongruous.
Incongruity is one aspect humor, but it takes real wit to perceive interesting incongruities. The incongruities of religious practices are not funny.
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  #25  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:17 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: A contrite center would be nice

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Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Someone, somewhere made a interesting point a while back about the Cordoba center dedicating some of its space to become like a memorial/museum to Islamic inspired violence. I don't know of many religious institutions that do this. Holocaust museums tend to be separate and apart from any synagogue or church (from my knowledge). It would be nice to see them holding up a mirror to their own religion though... cause it squarely needs it.
Would you consider it reasonable to demand that YMCA's include a memorial/museum section to commemorate the victims of Christian violence? I'm getting pretty sick of hearing non-Muslims constantly declare that only they know the true violent nature of the religion, and that Muslims should all atone for this fundamental violence that they've discovered. There's nothing here but ignorance, opportunism, and often bigotry.
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  #26  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:18 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: A contrite center would be nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
Someone, somewhere made a interesting point a while back about the Cordoba center dedicating some of its space to become like a memorial/museum to Islamic inspired violence. I don't know of many religious institutions that do this. Holocaust museums tend to be separate and apart from any synagogue or church (from my knowledge). It would be nice to see them holding up a mirror to their own religion though... cause it squarely needs it.
My use of "contrition" was a bit strong. You are right that institutions, churches, for example, don't do this, and I wouldn't expect it. Yet, there are indirect ways to address the injury. Liberal Christian and liberal Jewish groups in this country do have a history of making gestures of friendship and accommodation to groups with whom there has been past conflict. So, what I'm suggesting is that the specific activities at the Ground-Zero center can have an effect in one direction or the other, and these things will be amplified by the press and public curiosity.
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  #27  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:20 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Incongruity is one aspect humor, but it takes real wit to perceive interesting incongruities. The incongruities of religious practices are not funny.
Florian, we need to have a beer. Meet me at the Old North Bridge in Concord. I'll bring the Sam Adams.
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  #28  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:28 PM
Lyle
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Default Muslims aren't above being criticized

Excuse me... but I can be as critical of the center as I want to be. Just like they have to freedom to believe and espouse whatever they want. They don't have to be contrite at all. I just think it behooves them to be contrite.

I mean, they picked the location to purposefully put it near ground zero and on property where debris fell. Therefore, I think they should be open about the Muslim world's failures... like for example 9/11. I mean, it's akin to teaching about slavery and segregation across America. As Americans, we're critical of ourselves and I don't think Muslims should be any different.

Is it really that difficult for you to understand the value in criticizing Islam and Muslims? Have you not ever criticized Christians or Jews? I mean, I'd still be a Catholic today if I never criticized myself or Catholicism.

Last edited by Lyle; 08-03-2010 at 04:36 PM..
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  #29  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:28 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
Florian, we need to have a beer. Meet me at the Old North Bridge in Concord. I'll bring the Sam Adams.
It's a deal. I love old Concord. But who knows when? I left Cambridge and environs in 1992, and all my Boston friends have since moved on to greener pastures.
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  #30  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:35 PM
Lyle
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Default Yes to the YMCA

... if it were intentionally built near say a concentration camp to show that Christianity is really only about being "good" and to distance Christianity from the atrocities that took place in the camp. Christianity and the Holocaust aren't like Islam and 9/11 though... I mean the Nazis hated God.

The YMCA isn't a really good example to bring up as well, cause there is nothing really comparable to the events of 9/11 and its nexus with Islam, with regards to contemporary Christian violence.

Last edited by Lyle; 08-03-2010 at 09:35 PM..
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  #31  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:48 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
On the contrary, it is highly representative of a certain kind of American.
I don't agree, but I suspect this is an argument not worth having. There's no particular problem in America with our Muslim population or between Muslims and non-Muslims, contrary to what your recent comments seem to suggest.
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  #32  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:55 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

Why didn't we think of this before?

Pinkerton just sounds like an idiot in his rant about our supposed low-tech fetish in counterinsurgency. Hell, he sounds like an idiot with selective amnesia at that. We tried techno-fetishism and the conviction that we're fighting World War II with more sand already, and it didn't work. To hear him discuss Afghanistan, I have a hard time believing that he's ever read an article about COIN, much less an actual book.
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  #33  
Old 08-03-2010, 04:59 PM
listener listener is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Why didn't we think of this before?

Pinkerton just sounds like an idiot in his rant about our supposed low-tech fetish in counterinsurgency. Hell, he sounds like an idiot with selective amnesia at that. We tried techno-fetishism and the conviction that we're fighting World War II with more sand already, and it didn't work. To hear him discuss Afghanistan, I have a hard time believing that he's ever read an article about COIN, much less an actual book.
Wow. I can only watch Pinkerton if I'm in the mood for comedy, and that bit was a corker! These should be collected and made into a "Best Of" video.
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  #34  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:01 PM
Rathertired Rathertired is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

Well, the model ostensibly is The 92nd Street Y. A Jewish cultural institution and great promoter of secular humanist values and culture.

(Quickie reference for millennials and proud atheists living west of the Hudson River: it was affectionately parodied in film 'The Royal Tenenbaums' as "The 357th Street Y", a warm - if admittedly not particularly witty - tribute from a Texas Christian auteur to Manhattan's Jewish cultural accomplishment and interests.)

Click on its webpage and you'll find a picture of, of all people, famed rebbe Christopher Hitchins! He'll be participating in an upcoming debate. He's there all the time.

He's between pictures of Tony Blair and, um, the guy from Green Day, all of who will be appearing at other educational functions.

http://www.92y.org/default.asp

You're then one click away from programs, lectures and classes featuring, among others, Tony Kushner, Maragert Atwood, Paul Muldoon and V.S. Naipaul. All appearing in coming weeks or months.

Pretty much an all-world, All Star team of secular humanist values and artistic accomplishment! (Well, okay, except for the Green Day guy and the bit about "artistic accomplishment.")

You write "Religion in general is not compatible with an open, tolerant, democratic society." The 92nd Street Y is clear refutation. In any month it promotes more of an open, tolerant, democratic society - alongside culture, high and low - than all but a few purely secular institutions in the world are able to do in years and years.

An Islamic equivalent would be unprecedented in history. If it was 1/20th what the 92nd Street Y is, it would be.

Whether that's possible - well, that's another debate.

But, yeah, few things on earth promote your beloved "enlightenment values" more than The 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association in Manhattan.

(Oh, ask around, if you don't believe me. Google. Whatever.)

Last edited by Rathertired; 08-04-2010 at 01:12 PM..
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  #35  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:04 PM
listener listener is offline
 
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Default Re: The "Mosque"

All very true about the "Y." Well put.
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  #36  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:04 PM
Lyle
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Default What did Bill Clinton try to do with bin Laden?

Pinkerton has a point, and it's exactly what Bill Clinton wanted to do. Woo... you boys need a lesson in history.
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  #37  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:20 PM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)

This diavlog is technically challenged. Mr. Cohen speaks too softly, while Mr. Pinkerton is too loud. It is going to be difficult to listen to the entire thing.
Mr. Pinkerton is onto something when he says we have been at war with Islam...excuse me, radical islamo fascists...since 1979. That was when Mr. Hussein came to power in Iraq, while we had a little problem with Iran. Iraq soon invaded Iran, possibly with the encouragement of the USA. Hundreds of thousands of young men died in that war,& Iraq ran up a huge debt with Kuwait. That debt led to the war of 1991. When we did not conquer Iraq in that war...
Mr. Cohen is mumbling about something, while Mr. Pinkerton is calling wikileaks another Pearl Harbor. Maybe it is time for the latest celebrity news.

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  #38  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:35 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Splitters and Lumpers (Josh Cohen & Jim Pinkerton)


chamblee54

Quote:
Mr. Cohen is mumbling about something, while Mr. Pinkerton is calling wikileaks another Pearl Harbor.
-Chamblee

Last edited by look; 08-03-2010 at 05:39 PM..
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  #39  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:35 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default For the record

I love Josh and Jim.
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  #40  
Old 08-03-2010, 05:47 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: For the record

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Originally Posted by look View Post
I love Josh and Jim.
Yeah, actually, I think this diavlog works surprisingly well, given the level of disagreement between Josh and Jim. They are both good at listening and interacting intellectually. I would come back for another Josh/Jim face-off.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 08-03-2010 at 05:49 PM..
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