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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It's not quite telling of much other than the fact that one person that the media interviewed didn't have good answers to their questions. That doesn't say much about those opposed to war in general.

    Also, I think it's a perfectly acceptable position that war is wrong, in all circumstances. It's not incumbent on people with that position to come up with an answer "answer", particularly since this whole goddamn war is a based on the idea that Iraq is a danger to the US, and that's hardly been proved at al
    • Journalists should really stop this annoying habit of asking the man in the street about everything. How can Joe Random, surprised by a camera, possibly come up with a well-constructed opinion ? Moreover, how can his opinion be representative of anything ? Do you like doughnuts ? -- uh, I dunno, that's for the TV ? uh, yeah, yeah. -- Conclusion: The Man In The Street likes doughnuts.
      • How can Joe Random, surprised by a camera, possibly come up with a well-constructed opinion ?

        Because in this case, Joe Random is at an anti-war rally saying that war is not the solution to this problem.

        If someone is going to go out and say "I disagree with this position" then I don't think it's too unreasonable to ask for their thoughts on the alternative.

        I'd have a lot more respect for the protestors if, instead of "BUCK FUSH" and "BUSH = NUCLEAR TERRORIST", their placards read "Disarm Saddam by do

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        • If someone is going to go out and say "I disagree with this position" then I don't think it's too unreasonable to ask for their thoughts on the alternative.

          Woah, this has a big assumption built-in, which is that their is a problem to be solved. I'm really not sure that is the case, since I have yet to see any proof that Iraq is actually a real threat to the US. It might be a threat to its neighbors, but I'm not so sure about that either, since at this point Hussein knows that any aggression on his

          • Woah, this has a big assumption built-in, which is that their is a problem to be solved.

            Understood, and the protestors' rhetoric should have addressed this. Where are the placards that say, for example "Saddam is no threat to the US"? I sure haven't seen any. I saw a lot of name-calling Bush-bashing, though.

            I think a lot of the protesters just don't like Bush, the government, the Establishment, whatever, and get off on bitching about it.

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            • Where did you see this? Were you at a demonstration, or is this just something you saw on TV or in the paper? At the demonstration I went to I saw lots of signs, some of them addressing serious issues, like "How many lives per gallon?", and some of them a bit more tongue-in-cheek, "Duct tape Bush". And of course, some of them were just outright anti-Bush. I don't really see a problem with that, since I think the man is evil, and opposing him on principle is generally a good position.

              But is it any surpr
              • Please note that I am not pro- or anti-Bush. I just would like to hear the sides involved state their cases meaningfully, especially since I'm pretty undecided on how I feel about the impending invasion.

                Demonstrations are not really about communicating an in-depth point, they're about showing that X number of people support or oppose some particular thing.

                Showing that a mob of people support something. I could just read the Neilsen summaries or Billboard charts and follow that if the unwashed masse

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                • Showing that a mob of people support something. I could just read the Neilsen summaries or Billboard charts and follow that if the unwashed masses with nothing to say counted for anything.

                  It counts to people who need their votes. I don't think the general public is the sole target of mass demonstrations, though it's a useful secondary target. In the particular case of the recent anti-war demonstrations, targetting the public is definitely not the point, given that the majority in most countries which ha
                  • Again, if you want to learn more about why people oppose the war, you need to do some reading, and I'd be happy to recommend some good sources.

                    But I'm not interested in learning more about why people oppose the war. I have my own theories: nihilism, envy of the United States, ignorance, desire for rebellion, desire for coolness.

                    What I'm interested in is why I should oppose the war. By extension, why the United States should oppose the war. And that calls not for generalities of why the United States is motivated by oil, or why its citizens are evil, or why its politicians are worse than any politicans elsewhere. I've read those; I don't buy them, and they don't apply.

                    What is needed are reasons why no attack is necessary. The pro-war camp has made its point: Saddam is a too-powerful enemy of the West and of his neighbors. Appeasement of such men is historically a very bad choice. Peaceful means only go so far against men with guns who won't listen to your impassioned plea. The anti-war camp has basically ignored these points.

                    • But I'm not interested in learning more about why people oppose the war. I have my own theories: nihilism, envy of the United States, ignorance, desire for rebellion, desire for coolness.

                      Those are some pretty poor theories, since they all boil down to "people against the war are immature, stupid, or just jerks." I really don't think the million plus people who marched in London are all envious of the US, or ignorant, or nihilistic, or rebelliousness, or want to be as cool as you. Or the two million in S