Speakeasy forum

General discussion

"According to our leading "wise" men, the great contemporary

by Ziks511 / March 28, 2006 6:51 AM PST

moral and political question of the age is: Are we fundamentally a Christian or and Enlightenment culture? ... In editorial pages across the country, ordinary people earnestly debate whether or not it was the intention fo the "Founding Fathers" (whose authority is second only to God's in these matters) to faunda a Christian nation. Although these grassroots debates often seem merely silly and ill-informed (the comical idolatry for these "Fathers"; the failure to understand that most of them were Deists), this division in our character often has deeper and more troubling consequences. For instance, consider the case of the People of Colorado v. Harlan, in which the court threw out the sentence of a man who had been given the death penalty because jurors had consulted teh Bible in reaching a verdict. ... Aside from the obvious difficulty of consulting the Bible for unambiguoius moral guidance (if you read Leviticus your get one answer, if you read Matthew you get another. String him up or turn the other cheek.)...

What's doubly strange is that Americans should follow with such fascination this old dispute over our nathional character while entirely ignoring the dominant ethos of our cultrue for the last two hundred years. It should go without saying that it is Capitalism that most defines our national character, not Christianity or the Enlightenment. (Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations - with its arguments for the good of the division of labor, the good of money, and the preeminent good of free trade - was pulblished, after all, in 1776). As Henfy Osborne Havemeyer, president of the sugar trust, ackonoledged in 1899, " Business is not a philanthropy... I do not care two cents for your ethics. I don't know enough of them to apply them [no Christian he, apparently]... As a business proposition it is right to get all out of a business that you possibly can." At the expense of the public, the natural resources, the government and the workforce.

The "Founding Fathers" would have had no problem with that first question. They considered themselves products of the Enlightenment and were proud of it.

Curtis White teaches at Illinois State Univesity. The article is The Spirit of Disobedience in this month's Harper's Magazine.


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: "According to our leading "wise" men, the great contemporary
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: "According to our leading "wise" men, the great contemporary
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Before we get into that...
by EdH / March 28, 2006 7:02 AM PST

would you mind answering my question from yesterday about HOW exactly the FBI is violating the Constitution by monitoring radical groups? You knowing so much more than the rest of us about the "Founding Fathers" (disrespectful quotation marks noted) and all.

I'll leave it to others to decide whether or not Christian and Enlightened are mutually exclusive.

Thanks ever so.

Collapse -
by John Robie / March 28, 2006 7:16 AM PST

I'm still looking for an answer as to if the RCMP or other law enforcement in Canada monitor groups or individuals, especially those undesirables that go to Canada then worm on down to the U.S.

Collapse -
Yes they do, actually its a separate organization because
by Ziks511 / March 29, 2006 7:33 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmm.....

the RCMP screwed the pooch big-time having studied at the feet of J. Edgar Whoosis, and collected files on everybody. There was an investigation at the end of the 70's and a new organization was set up peopled by most of the same officers from the RCMP. Pity.

The domestic surveillance organization that replaced the RCMP is the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service or CSIS pronounced SeeSis. They don't do very well, and their primary function is preventing foreign nationals from carrying on their former domestic conflicts on Canadian soil.

Sikh extremists blew up an Air India flight over the Atlantic killing more than 300. Since Canada is 1/10th the size of the United States that was exactly comparable to the loss of life of the World Trade Center. The trial took about 12 years and the perps got off because of CSIS bungling. It was a damn shame.


Collapse -
Oh, and
by duckman / March 28, 2006 7:22 AM PST

you'll NEVER get a valid (or rational) answer to your question

Collapse -
I'm willing to give Rob the benefit of the doubt.
by EdH / March 28, 2006 7:25 AM PST
In reply to: Oh, and

It's only fair.

Collapse -
Damn, a lovely, extensive reply nuked by an interruption in
by Ziks511 / March 29, 2006 4:49 PM PST

my internet service, never to be seen again. I will try to cobble together a simulacrum of it, but it is unlikely to be as good as the original. Later.


Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Try for accuracy over sarcasm or fancy dancing
by EdH / March 29, 2006 7:36 PM PST
Collapse -
(NT) (NT) And what about that heater core Rob?
by null. / March 28, 2006 7:32 AM PST
Collapse -
Concentric bends
by JP Bill / March 28, 2006 12:06 PM PST
Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Something I never could do well.
by Roger NC / March 29, 2006 1:15 AM PST
In reply to: Concentric bends
Collapse -
(NT) (NT) I did my pipe bending next to the dumpster.
by JP Bill / March 29, 2006 1:42 AM PST
Collapse -
Pretty good Bill
by null. / March 29, 2006 2:12 AM PST
In reply to: Concentric bends

But this was assigned to Rob.
I will allow Rob to complete the assignment if he doesn't copy your answer.

75% of my work has been building, installing & mostly continued maintenance of food and dairy plants. with the remainder in construction of commercial office buildings and building prison complexes. I've made many more concentrics running pipe in food plants all with rigid conduit.

Don Erickson
Mr. California Republican

Collapse -
assigned to Rob.
by JP Bill / March 29, 2006 3:20 AM PST
In reply to: Pretty good Bill

Excuse me for spoiling your ambush.

Collapse -
Not an ambush
by null. / March 29, 2006 3:29 AM PST
In reply to: assigned to Rob.

Simply trying to understand how Rob is assembled and if any real work went into his artwork, as he shows his condecending attitude of people who work for a living.

Sorry if I offended you as it is not my intent. My appology to you sir.
Exellent reply on the bends though I was impressed.

Don Erickson

Collapse -
Not offended and no problem.
by JP Bill / March 29, 2006 3:47 AM PST
In reply to: Not an ambush

I did enjoy bending pipe, (under 2" rigid, that is) Wink

Collapse -
for me anything over 1''
by null. / March 29, 2006 3:53 AM PST

Rigid is done by machine, and most of the time the 1'' is done in a Chicago bender.

Not enough lead in my a$$ for the big stuff.
Although I've seen guys bending 1-1/2'' rigid with a hand bender (big Guys mind you)

Don Erickson
Mr. California Republican

Collapse -
by JP Bill / March 29, 2006 4:02 AM PST

Oil refinery jobs I've rassled 4" and 6" rigid (with much help)

1" and Chicago bender about my limit also, I just hate lugging anything above 2" rigid.

Never had any luck bending 1 1/2 or larger by hand.

Collapse -
Re: big guys mind you
by jonah jones / March 31, 2006 5:12 PM PST

i was watching a guy i work with bend 12mm stainles steel rods, 10" long 90 degree bend in the middle, with a hand bender locked in a vice...

he had his rhythm and was "doing his thing"...

he's about 5' 10" and weighs about 300lbs Wink

i jokingly said "c'mon oren, you can do better than that"
he said "oh yeah? come show me how"

well, walked over, he put a rod in the bender and said "be my guest"....

what is it they say about "the moving force and the immovable object"?

that rod just lay there and laughed at me (in an "immovable way").....

since then i have "respect" for big guys...


Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Sorry, I don't understand.
by Ziks511 / March 29, 2006 11:49 AM PST
Collapse -
Go here for some clarification
by null. / March 30, 2006 9:00 AM PST
Collapse -
I'm sorry but I'll be no help with the heater core.
by Ziks511 / March 31, 2006 4:14 PM PST

I assume it is the segment of the car's cooling system that allows it to function as the heat source for the interior heater, but I don't really know. Cars are not my strong suit.

I did help rebuild a 1927 Model A Ford in my youth along with my father. I fabricated door panel stiffening from linoleum and covered it with cloth. I fixed the window winding system, and I also helped some with re-wiring the engine but I was a follower rather than a leader. I can do decent carpentry though, I've built tables and chairs for our cottage, and a vanity with cupboards and sink. Laid a large flagstone patio on a bed of sand that's still there and still flat after 40+ years.

I used to be a reasonably good builder of radio control models, including the electrics, and had a business in high school making customized plastic models of WW2 aircraft for vets. But all that is about 30+ years in the past. I still read up on it occasionaly and marvel at the changes. Electric power interests me if I ever get back into it.

My job as a Respiratory Equipment Technician required me to take apart Oxygen regulators and repair them, and to do the same with suction equipment, both things needing re-calibration because they require precision. I didn't do the same with ventilators but only because they had a service contract. My work as an Ambulance Attendant required me to think on my feet and not to panic. I've delivered 2 babies, and have attended innumerable accidents involving broken arms, broken legs, broken backs, and broken faces. Yes I went to school for that, but books are nothing compared to the real thing.

You can believe me or not, but I once ran a cardiac arrest resuscitation in a hospital. The circumstances were these: new staff rotate or start on July 1. The arrest took place about July 3rd at about 2 AM. The interns were straight out of med-school, the residents were either brand new as residents or had never been in charge of an arrest before. Having absorbed the fact that nobody was in charge, I started asking questions in a loud voice of nobody in particular, questions like "What are his blood gasses?" to which one of the doctors said "Has anybody drawn blood gasses? We should do that." Then I'd say "Maybe he needs some Calcium Gluconate." And somebody would decide that was a good idea. I asked a bunch more questions of the walls and things got done but we were unsuccessful in reviving the patient. I got the amazed thanks of the nurses involved "You were just like a doctor !!" I also received a commendation from the Hospital via the Nursing Supervisor who attended the arrest. Whether you believe this unverifiable story or not I care not one iota.

I used to have a home business called the Audible Difference which offered custom audio consulting and cabinetry made by yours truly. That meant I helped people buy decent equipment at a small discount, but it meant that all components were not only compatible but durable. I also did home installations of the equipment including wiring up remote speakers for different areas of the house.

I am a techie for most of my friends who are intimidated by computers, VCR's and the like, but I claim no real expertise, I'm sure virtually anybody here could out techie me. I have successfully recovered lost or corrupted files both at work and for a friend who is an author though, but only once. The second time it happened, neither I nor what turned out to be the Al Qaeda linked Computer place close to him were unable to recover the lost material. I know they were Al Qaeda because they were arrested by the RCMP and CSIS about 2 months after 9/11. All Muslims.

I am currently renovating our house, having demolished a wall and re-wired a lost circuit for lights, but I admit to looking the details up in an old Readers Digest Home Fix It book. I am less good at plumbing but I have installed 2 new sinks here and fixed a plumbing leak. We need to dig out part of the basement because its uncomfortably low ceilinged, and we need a new furnace and central air. I'll help with digging out the basement but the rest is for the pros including the footings underpinning and drainage, but at least I know about those things.

But outside of participation in some anti-war activities, being teargassed in May 1968 in Paris, and just missing the August roll in of Tanks in Prague I did learn most of my history from books the way most people do. I learned to shoot, and to canoe from my father, and I learned to sail mostly by myself, although I have read books about that too.

How'd I do?


Collapse -
Thanks for reminding me Don. Back when I first got together
by Ziks511 / March 31, 2006 6:30 PM PST

with Nancy I built this great bed. We needed our rather large single room to be as multifunctional as possible and besides all the book shelves I build a variety of platform bed to suit a queen size mattress. The way it worked was this. I built an archway of 1x10 set edgwise against the wall. There was a shelf at the bottom about 15 inches above the floor, and the archway itself was about 89 inches tall from the floor to the top crosspiece. Fastened to the shelf about 15 inches from the floor by heavy duty hinges (4) was a piece (well 2 pieces really) of 3/4 inch plywood joined at the center by a long metal strip on each side of the ply bolted together through the ply, and which was overall the size of the queen size mattress plus 4 inches on each side and about 12 inches at the foot. There was vertical framing of 1x4 on both sides to hold the mattress in place, and a foot piece which could fold flat on hinges or be hooked to the sides to keep the mattress in place tightly to the wall within the archway. Inside the archway on the wall was a brass rubbing behind plexiglas about 6 feet tall which I had picked up in England when I had taken a year off after my undergrad degree. There were 2 legs in the middle and a single arched piece at the end all on hinges that folded flat to the underside of the platform when the bed was folded up against the wall, and it was all painted a flat black so that they virtually disappeared. There was a different brass rubbing behind plexiglas on the undersurface of the bed betwee the legs. Just release the bottom mattress brace and pull the mattress down 8 inches or so and then lift the platform up against the arch. You didn't even have to make the bed, just smooth the comforter or blankets a bit and it folded up like a Murphy bed and disappeared held in place by another couple of hooks and eyes near the top. The archway formed the edges of bookcases on either side of the bed, and we both had desks in the room and some chairs so it converted quickly either to study space or to entertainment space with a bed that was invisible. I had a big thing for medieval and renaissance music then so the brass rubbings fit right in.

I have seen similar units recently which are quite professional and expensive and much easier to raise up because they have spring assist. Ours was cheap and worked great if a bit awkward and heavy on the way up and the way down. And the 3/4 ply was nice and bouncy !! Nudge, nudge.

If I ever get round to making a website, I'll include photos of the shelving and entertainment units I've built. Also the wonderful scar on my left index finger where I tried and failed to cut my finger off.


Collapse -
Regardless of the great names of the
by Steven Haninger / March 28, 2006 10:30 AM PST

"Founding Fathers" or whether they had or did not have any sort of religious belief, nary a one of them was more worthy of setting foot on having any say so in in determining the direction of the new country than was the very least "dirt farmer" or other ragamuffin that struggled to leave an old land for a new one.....and the dirt farmers were hymn singin' bible readers. Take that, Rob! Happy

Collapse -
But that's not what has been said here. We have been assure
by Ziks511 / March 29, 2006 12:05 PM PST

d by all and sundry from the Right at SE that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious bible observing fundamentalists who would have posted the Ten Commandments if they had thought of it, despite all evidence to the contrary.

It is also both foolish and wrong to assume that language was used in the 18th Century as it is today. Most students have to spend an extended time learning to decipher what was intended, which gives rise to fascinating little debates over obscure passages among the historian community which rarely come to light outside the specialist community.

While Jefferson refers to God quite a lot, he also expresses severe doubts about religions and their advocates "priests", especially Presbyterians (my childhood heart is bleeding, that's how I was raised). God was more present then but was invoked in a much more casual way than the preachers and politicians of the 21st Century. Had an 18th Century Presidential candidate said "I believe God wants me to be President", he would have been laughed out of the room, out of the County and out of the State. Hubris or Malignant Pride was a recognized failing then, though alas no longer. Bush's subsequent disclaimer would have counted for nothing because the first half of the statement would have been so offensive to the believing congregations and their Enlightenment counterparts.


Collapse -
First of all, that's complete bullpucky...
by EdH / March 29, 2006 12:35 PM PST

NO ONE has asserted such. Secondly, the Founding Fathers were, for the most part religious people.

Spin it as you will

Collapse -
But, are you really searching for the truth

or just wanting to debunk what you feel is a popular thought from those you oppose today? My assertion is that the desires of the "Founding Fathers" is no more (or less) important than that of the common citizen of that day. My assertion goes for, what you might call, "right" or "left" thinking....but these are words/labels that I abhor, Rob. This topic has been hashed and rehashed here ad nauseum and there is no new information to offer. All those of these early days are dead. They cannot speak. Nearly all that was written came from those who had better command of language, higher educations, and access to a pen and publisher. The rest remains in oral traditions and such. You cannot neglect the desires of these citizens but you will be hard pressed to interview them. As such, this arguement has little ability to bring to finality, IMO.

Collapse -
The problem with your posts Rob is that one cannot get past
by Kiddpeat / March 30, 2006 3:56 AM PST

the first paragraph or two before being stopped by a blatant error. Fundamentalists didn't exist in the 1700s. The term originates from the late 1800s and early 1900s with the hot debate between liberal and conservative Christians. One, or more, of the conservatives decided that it would be a good thing to document the basic beliefs that define the Christian church. Hence, a book was written. It is called 'The Fundamentals', and the liberals quickly seized the opportunity to begin caricaturing their opponents with the term 'Fundamentalist'. As is usually the case with liberals, the caricature beared little resemblance to the original statement of belief.

Other, similar terms have been used in the past. For example, a well known Scottish movement was referred to as Covenanters for their adoption of a covenant that spelled out their beliefs.

Back to the issue at hand. There were no fundamentalists at the time the Founding Fathers lived and worked.

Collapse -
Sorry, I was using the word fundamentalists as a descriptive
by Ziks511 / March 31, 2006 4:23 PM PST

not in the way we use it today, it was wrong for me to have used it in this confusing and careless way. It is later people who have attempted to tie the religious beliefs of the late 18th century to what is known as Fundamentalism today. I accept your correction of my sloppy usage, and agree that Fundamentalism is at least a late 19th Century concept if not an early 20th Cent. one.

Thanks for the correction.


Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!