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Messages - HK

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51
General Off-Topic Board / Re: LETS GO KINGS!!!
« on: April 24, 2006, 12:58:40 PM »
If Dallas is so good they should relish this opportunity.  They can play Memphis (who NO championship caliber team should be afraid of, especially with a gimpy Gasol), then go ahead and get the Spurs out the way.  Why would they be afraid to play the Spurs in the 2nd round?  If they're the better team then they should go ahead and get them out of the way and get an easier western finals so they can rest up before playing the east.

Of course, that was if the mavs were as good a team as they think they are.  Its a playoff system, I dont see what theyre crying about.  The regular season proved that they arent even the best team in their own state.  They have a fair shot, if anyone should be complaining, its the spurs.  They have to play the mavs in the 2nd round even though theyre the kings of the west.  Its a wonder why you rarely see any spurs fans complaining or worried about this, but the mavs are squealing like pigs in a slaughterhouse.

The mavs are just going to have to stay what they are, a good 2nd tier team that performs well in the regular season.

Good post. Mark Cuban basically complains when something is not good for the mavs in any way.

52
General Off-Topic Board / Re: grade the bush administration
« on: April 24, 2006, 12:50:58 PM »
Oh, add to the breakdown:
Torture memos/legalese to justify torture
Actual Torture/Lynching all over again is what I like to call it
Erosion of civil liberties (wiretapping, imprisonment without trials)
Secret prisons
Erosion of checks and balances (in a feat unmatched in modern history, he is in his 5th year of presidency without a single veto)

Looking at this list, it does not even seem like I'm referring to America, but alas....

F-

Yes. It's unrecognizable. Even Bin Laden couldn't have dreamed of this kind of success. In soccer, they call that an "own goal".

Great point. If you look at Bush's strategy he couldn't have done a better job of playing right into Bin Laden's plans...

53
General Off-Topic Board / Re: grade the bush administration
« on: April 24, 2006, 09:44:38 AM »
Let us not forget the Katrina fiasco.  Although, there are many to people we can point fingers at, as President it all falls back on his lap, from not taking the warnings serious, appointing an inexperienced cronie as head of Fema, to rejecting the requested additional funding to repair the levies breaking in the first place, having all of our military and financial resources tied up in Iraq so that rescue efforts were delayed for five damn days! ...

He gets another big red F-.

That's why to me at least it doesn't matter what happens in iraq...his presidency was a failure. The hundreds of billions in debt we are taking on to fix iraq unsuccessfully would have been much better spent at home.

F

54
General Off-Topic Board / Re: LETS GO KINGS!!!
« on: April 24, 2006, 09:23:30 AM »
I dont think anyone is arguing that the pistons arent good, just that the east is weak

Good?  GOOD?  Unless you're arguing that they're the best team in the league I have to take issue.

I'll agree with that if they can beat the spurs in the finals...

55
Faster, the weather in Hong Kong is too humid. Can't wait til I get back to LA.

56
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Accents…
« on: April 21, 2006, 10:01:16 PM »
i don't think i have any accent.  :-\

Then your accent must be identical to mine, because I don't have one either.

57
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Accents…
« on: April 21, 2006, 05:06:33 AM »
After being in Australia I can say I don't care for their accent much. Don't like the Kiwi one either...

I think South Africans have the best accent.

58
One cannot look at what has simply happened as a result of violence, but they must look at what has happened as a result of the THREAT of violence.

For example, Singapore's citizens commit very few crimes because the punishments are extremely harsh. I don't think it means Singaporean are innately less prone to crime, it just means that they know they are likely to get caught and punished harshly.

By that same token, having a powerful military can act as a deterrent.

Oh yeah, and just to clear things up, if the US hadn't entered world war 2, the world would have been VERY different. Most of Europe would have spent a lot of time under and would still be under German rule. And Japan would have probably held onto a huge chunk of Asia and continued its atrocities.

59
This is quite the LSAT logic fallacy- you're taking the group and saying that this will be the result with this specific outlier.  That's like arguing that the very places you were discussing earlier- Singapore, Malaysia- as well as the rest of Asia can't be democratic because China is Communist and because most of the other democracies that may exist in the area are corrupt, inefficient or really run by military juntas.  That's not proof- that's implying that a certain type of people are incapable of democratic government.  The Palestinians have already held fair and free elections, and they voted Hamas in specifically because they viewed Arafat's Fatah as corrupt and inefficient.  If that's not democracy in action, I don't know what it is- lord knows it's a hell of a lot better than what we Americans are doing about our own bull politicians.  Furthermore, the ability for people living under military occupation to have a really great and perfectly functioning government is incredibly difficult to do.

How long have they had democracy? You cannot compare having a democracy for a couple years with an ability to run a free state properly, respect the rights of others, respect the rule of law...etc...

The reason I look at the other Arab countries is that their culture is indeed similar to the Palestinians. The reason the Palestinians have formed this democracy is because it was encouraged by the west. However, their culture is still an arab one. So, in order to examine the possibility of them upholding all these western principles in long run, one must look at similar cultures to see how they respect these principles. There are other issues that would concern me too about Israelis freedom. Right now Israel allows freedom of speech, women have equal rights, hell, the high court even allowed a gay pride parade in jerusalem! I highly doubt a Palestinian state would allow these things to take place.


Actually it is that simple, as Jordan and the rest of the Arab world have already agreed at numerous summits that this land is the land of the Palestinians.  They have already given up their claims to it.  Furthermore, "legal" definitions are incredibly difficult to pin down here- every single settlement is "illegal" and yet Israel does nothing to follow those laws.  Suddenly int'l law means something to them?  Palestinians claim a right of self-determination as the indigionous people of that land, something that no int'l body would throw out on the grounds that the land techincally was "owned" by a colonial power.  I highly doubt Britain would take it back.  The Turks aren't stupid enough to try and dominate these people given all their problems with Kurds, let alone their own inner issues.  Believe me, none of these other entities are at issue.  This is a specific problem between Israelis and Palestinains.

Based on that logic Jordan would still be involved. Since people claim that Israel is "occupying territory" that implies that the territory is not theirs rightfully, but someone elses. Israel won this territory from Jordan. The previous sovereign power over the area was the Jordanian government. Therefore Israel would be occupying Jordanian land. Basically, they never took any Palestinian land. Now, as you have stated, by dropping their claim to this land, the Jordanians no longer have the rights of sovereignty. But since they were not in possesion of this land, it was not theirs to give to anyone else. If Jordan really wanted to transfer this land to the Palestinians, they should negotiate with Israel, receive the land and then establish a Palestinian state themselves. The point is that this issue and conflict has its roots in history. This history involves multiple parties, and therefore they should all be involved in the settlement. Furthermore as far as your comment about israel neglecting laws, you will notice with the ridiculous percentage of UN resolutions that have been made to condemn israel, international law has basically been tailored in order to help the palestinians.

"Palestinians claim a right of self-determination as the indigionous people of that land,"

The right of self-determination is a very complex one. Political theorists have speculated for years about what this right really means, or who the "self" is. Some have interpreted it as meaning that any group anywhere has the unilateral right to secede and form their own state. Others have argued that the idea of "self" can also mean anyone who would affected by such a secession. Additionally, do not confuse the right of self-determination with a right of sovereignty. They are not the same. In some situations this right many just mean that people are entitled to a great level of autonomy.

Additionally, there are many who are among the "refugees" that are not "indigenous".

Yes, they have these differences- but you make it seem as if there are absolutely no similarities between these two people at all.  This is also false.

 But it didn't- a people presupposed to form one type of government instead formed another- how come it's possible with the Jews but not with the Palestinians?

1) I never said there are no similarities. It is sad, because in many ways jews/muslims have been closer historically than jews/christians. However, the current differences that exist are definitely large enough to cause serious conflicts. These types of differences have caused ethnic and religious conflicts in other areas and there is no reason to assume they won't do the same here.

2) I think if you look at Israel as a state, you can see that what it's accomplished it quite extraordinary. They don't have the resources of other middle eastern countries, yet they have managed to build a modern/successful country. I don't believe that "any other group" in that place could have and would have done the same thing. I think it's great that the Palestinians are turning toward democracy. Hopefully that change will produce fruitfull results. However, that doesn't make them qualified to take over the Jewish state.

Furthermore, you indirectly support a very contentious issue in Israel: the question of forced majority.  By arguing that Palestinians truly do outnumber Jews in Israel and the OT, it supports an argument which is often made by those who do not support Israel- namely, that Israel is a forced majority, one that utilizes the capabilities of the state to maintain a forced Jewish majority.  This is antithetical to the concepts of democracy itself.  

The people in the OT are not israeli citizens. When a final peace agreement is reached, they will become Palestinian citizens. Arab Israelis that are israeli citizens can vote and have elected members of parliament. They actually did quite well in the recent election.

On top of all of this, it still doesn't address population demographics- if Palestinians in Israel continue to grow at this rate, they WILL outnumber the Jewish population.  What happens then?  Do you kick them out?  When they vote to change policies, to you stop the democratic process?

That is a separate issue entirely and it is another challenge facing israel. However, there are possible solutions in dealing with it. If you want to discuss this issue, you could consider starting a new thread. The demographic problem israel will face in 50 years is not exactly relevant to the current crisis.


I am not arguing that this will all be sunshine and happiness- far from it.  But two states will only foster the hatred and indifference both sides have for one another.  And the Palestinians will NEVER forget 1948.  They won't, whether they have their excuse for a nation-state or not.  2 states won't end terrorism in Israel or Israeli control of the lives of all Palestinians.  It won't.

The goal here is not just to end terrorism. The goal is to end terrorism and set up a system where both parties are satisfied. Like I said before, if the US didn't want to be attacked by terrorists we could all convert to Islam and bring our troops home. We oppose the terrorists because we want to maintain our way of life, our freedoms, our religions. Your one state solution is only effective because it does that. Sure, make Hamas the government and there will be no need for them to use suicide bombers. :)

A two state solution does not need to breed friendship. I don't think practical people believe the israelis and palestinians will be friends anytime soon. What is important is that both sides stop fighting, and that both sides move on.

Now, we have gone over "1948" many times. Some Palestinians were told to leave. Many fled because they feared war. Many fled because arab leaders told them to. They don't need to forget this, they just need to stop blowing themselves up in israel.

60
The Peace Accords, and ESPECIALLY Camp David, are crucial here- they set the tone for what the parameters for peace have been.  As I have already argued, it established a weak shadow of a nation-state for the PAlestinians.  These accords stand as the basic definitions of what a 2-state solution would look like.  So no, I am not "guessing" that 2-states will fail: I am looking at the past 15 years of history to very publicly state that the track records goes AGAINST 2 states working.

Refer to my previous post. Camp david was rejected. We don't know what a final resolution would be. Presumeably when it comes the PA will only allow there to be a solution that they think will allow them to establish a viable state. Plain and Simple.


History is just as much against you as it is me- and your hopes and conjectures are just as strong or weak as mine.  What I have argued is for the future long term stability of the region, for this area to not decay into depravation, there must be equal concessions, equal bargaining and equal stakes placed in the process. I do not believe two states will solve this, because ISrael iwll not forsake its control of the area for "national security" purposes and Palestinians won't, for the most part, accept the injustice of loosing their homeland.  IT's just pushing the current conflict into the future rather than forcing both sides to end it now.

1 state, i believe, solves the above problems better than does 2 states.  Here's your historical argument, HK:

During the times when Jews were settling in Palestine, there were relatively no conflicts between the two peoples.  Jewish "new historians" track much of this time as one of relative peace- yes, there were disputes about land ownership and Palestinian resentment at the money and education Jewish settlers brought with them, but nothin at all violent, controversial or dangerous.  Conflict started to escalate in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, and even then, most of the anger of "the people" was directed at the British, not at one another.  It wasn't until it became obvious that Jewish settlers intended to set up a sovereign state, and that Palestinian Arabs would be forced to loose what had historically been their land, that problems mounted. 

In other words: BEFORE the dichotomy of Jewish Israel/Arab Palestine was established, both peoples lived in relative harmony- to the point that letters found during this time reveal that both peoples addressed one another as "cousins" more often than not.  Furthermore, even today, cities like Haifa and Tel Aviv are examples of the peace that can exist between both peoples.  Having both live as one doesn't seem to be a problem so long as the commitment to peaceful integration and not seperation remains the top priority.

The reality is that 2-state solutions are suggested because we can't break our own reliance on nation-state paradigms- we seem to think that all anybody wants is "their state"- but as both Jews and Palestinians have proven, where that place is is important.  This particular place is important to both- dividing it divides both peoples' aspirations and increases the tensions between the two.  Historically, they did in fact live together in peace- that isn't impossible today.  It only needs leadership with the imagination and courage to stand up and realize that both peoples will never win everything they want, and could potentially loose everything if they continue down the path of seperation and exile.

When you study politics, you can see that there are certain parallels between political situations. Just because there have been times with israelis and arabs have not been killing each other in israel, it doesn't mean dramatically altering the demographics, establishing a muslim majority government, bringing groups like Hamas into power over the jewish population will work. You are talking about small pockets of people. I am sure that in iraq there are some shiite and sunnis who certainly have no intention of going to civil war, who have lived side by side in peace for many years and who don't dislike one another. However, the danger of civil war still exists.

This is why I say history is not on your side. Bringing in the Palestinians from the west bank and gaza, making the jews leave their land, giving them majority power in the government would basically be fundamentally altering...just about everything. What is likely is that there would be conlict over who the Palestinians force out and how many. There would be conflict over who controls what. The state would probably be islamic in nature due to the Muslim majority and this would further increase conflict. Eventually this would probably all break down into racial/religious tensions and riots and war. Yugoslavia had to be broken up. The soviet union had to be broken up. The tibetans and Uyghurs don't want to be under the Chinese...Malaysia didn't want singapore because it would ruin their malay majority demographic. People like to have their own state. The problem with merging the two states is that it would still have a palestinian state, there would just be no jewish state.

We have seen historically what happens when states are artificially created and include people who simply don't want to be with each other in the same country. This is the lesson from the postcolonial period.

It is likely after the failed union there would be two states anyway. Like I said, don't tell me that some Jews and Arabs can get along. I know that. Show me that a Palestinian government over Israel would do all the things you say it will...

2) "The reality is that 2-state solutions are suggested because we can't break our own reliance on nation-state paradigms-"

This is very correct. In the real world, we can't. This is why there are conflicts over issues like sovereignty and we can't just be under one international government.

"Historically, they did in fact live together in peace- that isn't impossible today"

I envision that a Jewish state and Palestinian state can live in peace side by side, just as Israel and Jordan do. That's not farfetched.

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