• Announcements

    • Editor

      Civil Discourse is Back!

      Civil Discourse, established in 2000, is up and running again after a hiatus. Ours is a boutique web site with a tight group of enthusiasts dedicated to substantive, amicable discussion. We are always happy to welcome like-minded contributors to the forum, regardless of their political, religious or philosophical leanings. Please join our effort to bring civility to online conversation. Click here to learn what CD is all about, here to see our master forum page and here for tips on starting or joining discussions. Register as yourself or under a pseudonym, and you'll soon be eligible to start new conversations, plunge into current debates, and jump-start dormant topics on which you have fresh ideas. If you're not receiving our weekly updates, click your name at the top of any page and be sure you've entered your e-mail address correctly. Send questions and suggestions to EditorCivilDiscourse@yahoo.com. Tell your friends about us, and let's all get Civilized.

ALIGermany

Members
  • Content count

    35
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About ALIGermany

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 05/12/1935

Profile Information

  • Gender Female
  • Location 50 miles or so south of Berlin, germany
  • Interests varied
  1. Good vs. Evil

    The answer is, "IT ALL DEPENDS!" Each of us can be influenced by outside events in many different ways, resulting in many different possible reactions from us.. If you rob my house...I will be upset with you, if I know it is you...but even that depends.....Do I know you already? Then betrayal comes in the affect my reactions, along with sense of loss...for the objects...loss for the friendship, anger at self cause I trusted you.....and so on Each of those feelings affect how I react to you with my anger....all the way from forgiving you because I understand the needs you had and how bad you felt betraying me...I might let my good side rule my behaviors to you in the future...Or I could end up wanting to beat you to death , whether or not I try.. IT ALL DEPENDS. A good teacher, might change a young child from becoming a psychopathic killer in the future... recognizing his good side, helping him understand his feelings, giving him better ones about himself at least...or even going so far as to remove him from his school, and or home environment...thus enabling him to be a good person as an adult. A teacher could also make his feelings grow a lot worse, thus leading his behavior to be evil and violent later in his life.. or hers,,,,,there are evil women as well...IT ALL DEPENDS on prior incidents, and prior reactions... ALIGermany
  2. Waterboarding

    I am responding to the idea of what one might feel aboutthe use of waterboarding or torture of prisoners... A long time ago, I went to a Catholic school, but since I was not Catholic , I went to a moral guidance class. There ,we had a lovely little sister Rosemary, who greeted us with a humorous statement that she would try to teach us heathens some morals, but it might be difficult. We discussed the early Christians and the lions in the Amphitheater etc, and she asked us what we thought we might do. I replied that I would have denied my belief in God, and I did believe then, so as to live. She responded that one never really knows what they might do until faced with the fact or very close to the possibility. Now, I have spent 10 years living in the former east Germany, and gotten to hear a few stories, and gotten to know a few persons quite well, who lived under a dictator. I am sure that most victims of any pain induced procedure, whether we label it torture or not, will react in many different ways. Some will lie to help further their initial cause , that is mislead the interrogators, some will tell the truth so as to maybe even curry favor and some will die as quickly as they can. For example, breathe in deeply if they are waterboarded and think the horrible experiences will continue. Most of us grew up with the idea that one should try to treat others as we wish to be treated...even agnostics and atheists have some morals...the question then arises, how can we do anything to another human that would cause great amounts of pain, and still consider ourselves as normal American humans? I do admit that there might be emergency times when one is in such a hurry for information that waiting and using more normal methods might not work, and then I too would give a good swift kick in the .....ahem pants..There must be more persuasive methods, if we are so sure that we are in the right....I am a female.. ALIGermany
  3. I live in Germany, and have private insurance which costs me about 725$ per month. My husband pays about 20 $ now. WE are both retired. He has what many Americans think of as socialized medicine, but I don't think it is. He has the state insurance, but this state or gov. insurance is offered by many different companies. The differences in his and my insurance start with a certain level of income. Above one salarylevel, one is allowed to purchase private ins...once started it is mandatory to stay with the company you choose. The premiums increase with age. My husband has the most common insurance - AOK, and it is very similar, in my opinion, to medicare. There are several different companies which offer this form of insurance as well and they have some little differences. He must pay a 10 euro quarterly fee to his house Dr. and will be given a reference to a specialist as needed..and he must pay a small fee for each prescription needed. Dental insurance is also included...with some additional fees for individual services...sort of like an HMO I think. When one is working, the price of the insurance is deependant upon the earnings of the insured. It can vary a great deal. Does that sound like socialized medicine? IN England, I don't know how they pay for their insurance, but all visits to a Dr. or a hospital are totally free....even for foreign visitors. I think maybe that is socialized medicine, but am not sure even of that. ALIG
  4. Homophobia: Bigotry's Last Stand?

    Well, of course you are right that marriage is an institution, and a social one at that, but in our country it is regulated by the states.. One cannot legally marry without the permission, license, given by the state, Many homosexuals want marriage over a civil union, because they also attach a bit more to the idea of marriage than they do to just a civil union. Marriage carries with it a connotation of love, and some blessing by a higher power, or at least acceptance. If one is not homosexual, or does not know someone quite well who is, the distinction may be hard to grasp...I was married in my home with a civil license. It was technically only a civil union, but my son in law , who is a Lutheran minister, also read a more or less regious service to my husband and me, and he read it in German,so my husband could better understand. He did not read the license, but the typical marriage ceremony words. I appreciated that little extra....and I am sure that gays who truly love each other may also appreciate it...And it hurts no one and does nothing to destroy the institution of marriage, so it is hard for me to understand why so many people are so vehemently against allowing it. Are they so insecure in their beliefs in their own religion? ALIG
  5. Notes From a Former Republican

    Hi, I want to officially change my registration from republican to independent too, but I live in Germany so it is not so easy to get it done...my registration is from Fla. At any rate,I think I vote independent any way as I don't vote a straight party ticket...at least I check names of different parties..my absentee ballot is marked on the outside somewhere, I think , with republican though. I am hoping I am right to think they count what I checked however. I am disgusted with so many things about so many people in congress now, and even more so with the Bush gang..How they feel that they can just do as they darn well wish with Haliburton and their millions of profits, with Gonzales and his lies and evasions and power surges, Cheny and his behind the scenes manipulations to get all done that he wishes done his way, with Bush changing his words to fit his new wishes and trying to make everything that went wrong, everyone else's fault and then all the individual wrong doings...well, I find it just awful. I am cursed by seeing two sides to so many things that I can't make myself simply take one side of an argument and stand by it with no reservations. I see that others can, and sometimes admire it, and sometimes fear for their lack of flexibility...still I enjoy seeing the debate instead of the apathy that most show...keep on trucking!!! ALIGermany
  6. Notes From a Former Republican

  7. Deadly Consequence of Gay Bashing

    I have just been delivered news that has broken my heart…......I am needing to write something about a friend… to share my feelings and hope that what I write makes at least one person think less harshly about gay and lesbian people. This letter is going to people that I don’t know..the ones I do know are not people that I think are ugly to non heterosexuals. This is also a tribute to my friend. I had a girlfriend, distant cousin , call her Mary, who had a live in girlfriend for 25 years, call her Jane. Due to the awful treatment that many straight people direct at gay people, Mary and Jane kept their relationship totally secret from everyone except for a very few people. They, like you and I though, often heard the ugly statements about those “damn queers,, stupid fags” and other ugly epitaphs…and it bothered both of them, but it caused some emotional problems for Jane. Last month, after 25 years, a million memories, a couple of years of Mary helping Jane care for elderly relatives till their deaths ,a house bought together and a thousand other shared experiences, Jane decided that she had to break up. Mary moved to the home of a relative, shared her pain only a little with just two people and hoped desperately for a reconciliation. I tried often to reach Mary by telephone, but had to leave messages as I never seemed to get through…emails were unanswered….I worried. Then last week Mary went to visit some of her relatives, seeking some comfort I guess. She also tried again to speak with Jane and see what they might do. Jane made it clear that it must be over, she needed to try to be normal and had met a man she wanted to try that with. Mary was devastated. She was by now , far from her home, on her way to visit family, perhaps get some consolation…but very few people knew her orientation…..the shame you know, not being “normal.” Hell, she was not normal, they were right, she was brighter than normal, kinder than normal more patient than most, forgiving of others when they hurt her, helpful and kind to everyone…dependable , reliable and so on with many high quality traits……she was in no way normal….and I thank God for that ….It made her life meaningful to most people that she came in contact with. By now, you may have guessed where this is leading. My friend is no longer with us Her pain was so deep and heavy that it was unbearable and she took her own life. Now, my readers, think about this. Have you, or your friends ever simply condemned all non heterosexuals simply because of their sexual orientation….? Then have you in any way contributed to the emotional problems that disallow many gay people from trying to live what we refer to as a nearly normal life style with their same sex partners. If so, then maybe you had some influence on Jane that she had to seek the more acceptable style. I’d just like you to think that maybe it is wrong to simply condemn all homosexual persons and make them feel so different and rejected. These two women never hurt even a fly due to their orientation. Now, we have one dead, and the other one probably so emotionally upset with some feelings of guilt, that her emotional state has little or no chance of becoming what you may define as normal…I am angry with her for being so apparently cruel with a break up after so many years, and I also have great pity for her and the guilt feelings she may now have. I did not know her as well as I did my friend…..she stayed in the background, but if she has no feelings of guilt, then she is made of stone,….and I don’t think that could have been the case if my friend loved her so much for so long. Now, I have gotten it out, at least some of it….but I will miss my friend, and I feel like I should have made more phone calls to her, even if I didn’t reach her, I should have sent more emails, even if she was not answering… and I wonder what I could have done that I didn’t do…..and the tears flow and the sobs continue….. ALIGermany.
  8. Rules of Engagement

    Awhile back, I had an ongoing email conversation with an ex military man who told me that while in Somalia, his son had orders not to shoot until first shot at..I forget the name of that policy, and I admit I can understand that we, the American government that is, does not want its soldiers shooting willy nilly into the night, but in the link below, the soldier is speaking over a telephone link I have copied only the part I am curious about. Start:"SGT. RONN CANTU: Yeah, but I’m scared out of my mind right now. [inaudible] over here. AMY GOODMAN: Why are you scared? SGT. RONN CANTU: I don’t really want to go into that. All I really want to say, because I shouldn’t be doing this -- all I want to say is, right now American soldiers are dying in a Sunni-Shiite civil war, a sectarian civil war -- that’s a fact, based on my personal observations. Soldiers’ hands are tied to defend themselves. Every time a soldier fires his weapon, he has to sign paperwork making sure it was justified. I want to stress that soldiers want to go on the offensive, but everything we’re doing here is on the defense. And it’s a belief of the soldiers I’ve talked to that any troop increase over here, it’s just going to be more sitting ducks, more targets. Everything we’re doing is reactive. People go out on patrols, and they're sitting ducks until somebody strikes first. There was a story relayed to me by somebody I know -- I don’t want to give his name -- a soldier was shot in the face, and nobody fired back, because they couldn’t see where it was coming from. That’s what this has come down to, and that’s just plain fact. I’m sorry, [inaudible] :" Now, I am only asking if someone ex military can explain to me how this is supposed to get anything done. I know a lot will feel that the soldier above should not be making a petition to get the war, I know the link is probably a way out left link, I know that some will feel the soldier is a coward and all that…but please tell me how can we win anything if we can’t shoot back? Can’t they just decide to stop the shooting awhile, let us all withdraw and then start up again? Isn’t that in fact what the enemy has done a few times in different towns, so that we look like a puppy chasing its tail? Isn’t that partly what led to our humiliation in Somalia? Is the soldier who is making this petition just simply a liar? Should he be keeping his mouth shut and not letting this info out of the bag? Are the 1000 other soldiers who signed the petition also all wrong? It was to have been delivered today. Is this a reactive action on the part of the US as there have been some “incidents” that we are not so proud of? Are our boys having to act in a more “politically correct manner?” Is this to avoid some of the problems that our Nam vets faced on return home? Can one shoot first if you see someone with a gun pointing at you? Can I shoot him in the legs? If not allowed to do that, then if I were there, and felt threatened, I’d still shoot first and then write down lies. I hate lies, and liars, but also don’t like the idea that I have to be shot before I can defend my self…they just took out a famous Iraqi Dr.. I saw them look around as they did so, waiting for someone to shoot them…the GIs I mean. Why had they not gone there before CBS mentioned this one famous family under such heavy fire and violence. There were a lot more folks living on that street. It sure sounds one hell of a lot different than WW11 and I think the American public would go even more bananas if they felt as I do at this moment. We need more clarification… To anyone who might go to this site. I have to repeat here that I too agreed that the war was necessary at first. A lot of what is said in the rest of this article is not in line with my sentiments, nor is the style of speaking, but what the soldier is speaking of, is of interest to me. He sounds most sincere, and not mutinous . I am also not looking for a partisan argument about whether Bush was right in sending more troops. Just what about this restriction about shooting back. I know also that one needs to see someone in order to be able to shoot back….his little speaking part, most assuredly left something out…ALIGermany www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16142.htm
  9. I feel that the following two sites ought to be viewed by every American, including Muslims , Mexicans and other immigrants who care about our country....and it should be understood by us all. Also, I feel we should let our representitives know how we feel and what our concerns are.. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=40...q=roy+beck& This video is a must see for every American, it is a discussion of immigration and what is REALLY happening as the consequence. It is not a rant against illegal persons, it is not a hateful inflammatory discussion. It is a logical well phrased, well researched and proven piece of information which you and everyone should know about, think about and then act upon. He uses gum balls to illustrate quite vividly the effects of our efforts to help the world too, and they make it easy to understand the futility of continuing in the present direction. Watch it, even it is 15 minutes long and let your congressman know what you feel and think.. The second link below, explains what is happening in Europe because they did not think about it this way. It also is a bit scary. After seeing each of these, you may want to have a nice stiff one, or take a tranquilizer. .. http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1183 And last but not least, Registering on this site will allow you to be able to send the President and your congressmen a free fax on various issues that are presently are of ongoing Interest….For American citizens of course. Vote, and let your voice be heard on immigration, social security for illegal aliens and so on. Spread the word.. http://www.numbersusa.com/LOGIN ALIG an Americna living in Germany
  10. Iraq: Should We Go Big, Long or Home?

    I think that we should immediately make it possible to pull out all of the people WE have working in iraq, such as the security guards, the electricians, and any other NGO that is there now and earning money....and we should in the same movement hire iraqi men and women to take over these jobs... They would then be busy enough taking care of their own interests that perhsps our soldier could do a better job of getting rid of those who do not want to work and b a part of the country. We know that the men there are desperate for work, they even apply to be inerpreters, soldiers and police even though they know that to do so will set them up for assissintion by the so called insurgents. We need something to stop and change things as fast as possible...then let the military do what needs to be done. They could then come home a lot faster. Charlotte, ALIG
  11. Homophobia: Bigotry's Last Stand?

    Sorry I can't see his name now and forget it but he had written that: "The government didn't create the institution of marriage. The historical fact is that the institution of marriage predates our nation and its statutes and Constitution." I beg to disagree with this statement. The union between and man and a woman and the bbonds hat bound them together had nothing to do with the government when it starting occuring. it had to do with the helplessness of a woman when she was pregnant and had tiny children, way back in the cavemen days. The division of labor began then too, when the men usually were involved with hunting land the womena with so to say housekeeping. If the men did not stay with a women she she was pregnant and lactating, the species would not have survided and multiplied , so it was a necessity of nature. Homosexuality was and is not necessary to the preservation of our species, but has nontheless been around in this world, also since pre bibicval times. I am speakng of both types of homosexuality as well, that of choice, as in ancient Greece, and that of a biological drive within individuals which they had to learn to hide as best as they could after religious ideas egan to speak out against it. Whenever, marriage became a law or a function of the government, it was done so to begin to regulate what happened if the couple split up and the dependant woman needed help. When they bean to regulate marriages then, it was mostly to protect the woman's state and there was no reason to include same sex unions in the law....and there was prejudice against even thinking of them as humans. That is no reason to continue this injustice. What is a shame is that many homosexuals want the blesings of a religious ceremony as well as the legal party. They can obtain just a religious ceremony if they choose, with no legal ties, if a kind minister is willing to officiate just so that the couple feels accepted by their God. The rest of us have a choice, but the choice is eithr having BOTH the legal permission and the church or miniser led ceremony, and they don't. sharii law allows men to have as many as 4 wives I believe....without any civil ceremony but it is the only relgions that I know of that can allow such a thing. You say that one man one woman is fundamental. but it is not to all faiths. what iinthe world is it that straight people fear if some people whom they probably don't even know or have contact with get married? The lesbians have it a bit easier than gay men as two women living together does nt cause as much speculation and the possible build up of hate as does two men living together. Psychology suggests that it is fear of one's own desires and the need to keep temptation at a distance.By the way, I am a straight woman, 71 almost 72 years old. Homosexuals have never threatened me. ALIGermany
  12. Homophobia: Bigotry's Last Stand?

    You are aware , are you not, that one man one wman is not and was not the only form of marriage that was or is acceptable to the culture in which it occurred? I have forgotten the exact places but somewhere in the Himilaya mountains I believe, women had more than one husband.. In the early Morman times, the man had more than one wife...in bibical times, I believe early Jews also had extra wives, wasn't it Solomon with a thousand wives...of course, in some Muslim countries the kings had hundreds of wives as well, as today Muslim men are still allowed more than one wife...so one man, one woman is not th only form of approved or accepted marriages. Next point, some of these marriages are just religious forms, some are not...but the religious form is what most americans think about when they discuss marriages, and they also think one man and one woman, as you say. But, if it is a one on one relationship, it is the religious part that means of opposite sexes. it was only the religious view that led us to feel that marriage is a sacred institution not to be "defiled" by same sex marriages. Well, that means then that in effect, the church is encouraging promiscuity for those folks who prefer same sex partners and wants to actively deny them the rights to a blessed union. That is not very Christian like in my way of thinking. Ifone wants to come fromthe religious side, God made homosexuals just as he made heterosexuals and they are perfect as are other humans. Now, take out the knowledge that some homosexual behavior is by choice and curiousity or due to the lack of opposite sex partners in the presence of a high sex drive, and think only of the true homosexual. They are definitely not interested in an opposite sex union. Why must some uninformed people have such fears if two other people want to join in at least a civil union. How do they think that will corrupt hetereosexuals, if heterosexuals can't "corrupt|" homosexuals. After all, if a gay person can convince your son or daughter to become gay, should it not follow that your straight child might entice my gay child into becoming a heterosexual? Get real. End this crusade against same sex unions and let those who want to legitimize their love do so. ALIGermany
  13. Republicans v. Democrats

    Can someone try to explain the main overall differences between the two parties according to the party platforms or plank or whatever they call it? I mean also without using conservative or liberal nouns. My basic idea has been that the republican party philosophy was more closely aligned with the interest of big business and companies and the democratic party was more aligned wtih making the running of the country more beneficial to the populace..but not at the expense of the businesses. Nowadays, it seems as all I hear of the differences are that Reps want to lower taxes and they say Dem will raise them, and Dems say the Reps are antilife and religion ....I don't want to hear this kind of difference because I think that there must be pro life reps and anti abortion Dems . I don't think these divisive differences are the main differences of the party. Can someone try to give a factually oriented, not so biased explanation. i am living in Germany now, and hear only negative things about each party. Thanks in advance to anyone who will try. ALIGermany