• I don't think East Jerusalem will wind up being part of Palestine, but who knows.

    I don't think that Palestinians should be denied permits in areas that are likely to be conceded to them - nor should Jews in areas which are likely to remain part of Israel proper.

    In other cases, expansion and settlements should be discouraged - Palestinian or Jewish - in areas which are unlikely to remain under Jewish or Palestinian control - including East Jerusalem.

    Of course, if Israel is going to concede East Jerusalem as part of a peace deal, then strike everything I just said!  I think Israel holds more of the cards as to who is ultimately going to get what land....

  • on a comment on Allah-U-Akbar ! over 5 years ago

    If I wanted democracy and freedom and I lived in an Islamic Republic or Fascist state, I would hope that anyone would help my people.  The United States does not need outside help (although you could say Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 could have used some help) - but the same cannot be said for other repressed areas of the world.

  • Yes, in whatever winds up being the Palestinian state - so long as it does not infringe upon whatever winds up being the Israeli state. But for now I think the issue is that you have nearly 500,000 Israelis in these communities - and the reality is that any peace deal is going to leave them alone.  If Israel completely withdraws from settlements in the West Bank, I will be as shocked as if the Nationals win the pennant, or if the RNC finally succeeds in deporting all "illegal immigrants".

  • comment on a post THE TEXAS SECESSION over 5 years ago

    You all do realize that Rick Perry is about as popular right now in Texas as Blagojevich was in Illinois, and was elected with something like 35% of the vote?  And that here in Texas, we take him as seriously as Blago is taken.  Not to mention, he is known as Governor Good Hair, coiffure being another interest he and G-Rod must surely share in common...

    Since Gov. Good Hair seems certain to lose to Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primaries, he is getting almost as outlandish as G-Rod as well, trying to attract the most right-wing followers in a desperate bid to keep his job, by invoking Texas' right to secede and other such BS.  Ain't gonna work.  Please ignore him - like George W. Bush aka Shrub (born in Connecticut or something), he does not represent our great state.

  • on a comment on Smackdown! over 5 years ago

    No - I meant that the Christian influences of our founding fathers were mainly Protestant influences.  I did not mean that Jews are Christians.  

    Hey here's a thought - Try thinking before posting!  My grammar and sentence structure may not be perfect but it looks like it is better than yours, and if you think for just a moment you should be able to grasp the meaning...

  • on a comment on Smackdown! over 5 years ago

    Yes, we also owe our history to ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the Enlightenment and many other contributing factors.  I am not saying we are "Judeo-Christian" above all else, but I do think that to say that the US exists independent of history and has no religious or historical foundation also misses the point.  As I have pointed out in my examples of failed states, and contrary to your beliefs, these are not universal principles.

  • on a comment on Smackdown! over 5 years ago

    True, but I still agree with the idea that our foundation of the United States was based on Judeo-Christian principles.  If we derived from a belief system that was truly utilitarian and did not come from religious principles we could have ended up with something similar to the USA, of course, but it is also easier to see how we might have ended up with something more similar to forms of government where individual human life is not held with such sanctity - for instance Fascist Germany or Communist Russia - or fundamentalist Saudi Arabia.  I think Hitchens tends to miss this larger point because he is so focused on specifics and whether we are explicitly a "Christian nation".  I would never say that we are a Christian nation, and I fully support separation of church and state, but I can still see the point also that we were founded by a Judeo-Christian (protestant) culture, we were not created in an atheist vacuum - although certain founders may have been atheists or had misgivings about religion.

  • comment on a post The best news you didn't hear about yesterday over 5 years ago

    Thanks for the update!  This is great information.  Keep the updates coming...

  • All I'm saying is that I think if you let people vote things down as well as up, I think most of your diaries would not end up on the rec list.

    I am not saying I completely disagree with you, but I find your analysis a little too facile for my taste.

  • Yes, you are right, there is only one side to this issue.  Problem solved.  Can you solve the issues of health care and the economic crisis for us too while you are at it?  I'm sure there is only one side to all issues!


  • I would appreciate it if I was at least able to thumbs down diaries.  I don't think MainStreet represents the community as a whole which is why he / she has 100 comments for every diary which are basically flame wars.  I would prefer to just give them a thumbs down so at least they stay off the rec list.

  • The reality is that the Arab world has launched 3 major wars against Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and then the Palestinians specifically have used whether by choice or not the leadership of terrorist organizations such as the PLO and Hamas and tactics such as asymmetric violence such as we have witnessed here in the US on 9/11 in order to attempt to get back land which they lost in 1967.  Having said that, I think that most Palestinians are innocent bystanders in all of this just as are most Israelis.

    FWIW, I don't think you are helping matters by being completely oblivious to the feelings and history of the other side.  Even your posts with signs of "I was raped, murdered, driven off my land...etc" all end with "I fired rockets back."  So, even your side is acknowledging more than "we are victimized" - they are acknowledging that they are actively and voluntarily engaged in asymmetrical warfare.  I don't think that is a wise choice for them...

  • Do you honestly believe that the Palestinians have never done anything wrong?  They are God's gift to mankind?  Please.

  • on a comment on Tax per mile over 5 years ago

    Let's concentrate on getting alt energy cars/fuels instead of making families pay for moving into a home they can afford

    I think we need alt energy cars, mass transit, denser affordable developments closer to the city, AND increases in gas taxes / tolls / mileage taxes.  It's not an either / or, and I'm not trying to punish anyone.  But forcing poor / middle class families to live 50 miles from the city is crappy public policy that needs to change.  We should be discouraging these types of exurban developments as much as possible.

  • on a comment on Tax per mile over 5 years ago

    Well, I think mass transit users should benefit because they are taking a form of transportation that could really benefit the environment and cut down on road development / parking structure / gas infrastructure costs.  Mass transit also allows denser development which will allow the US to grow to 450 million people by 2050 without exurbs that grow to be 100 miles from the city center.

    Ideally, I think mass transit should be what 70+% of the people use in our major cities - as in Europe.  And it should basically be a public service where the vast majority of the cost is subsidized by taxpayers, with slightly greater fees for different zones as some cities already use.  Perhaps you could come up with an unsubsidized system (where only the poor are given free rides) but I really think that things like transportation (mass transit), education (public schools), and healthcare (universal healthcare w/ preventive care focus) are areas that government should subsidize for all of its citizens.

    As for practicality, I think mass transit can become practical here even in places like LA, Houston, and Phoenix if we build it.  People will have to make different decisions about where they live and work based on where the subway line is, just as a highway location may influence those decisions today.  Of course it will take time, perhaps several decades, for the true impact to be felt - but you have to start building what you want at some point.


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