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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:36 pm 
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Mike

You make good points. My thinking is that Wikipedia is a work in progress. Tomorrow's Wiki will not be their father's Wiki.

I understand your concern, and don't necessarily completely buy into the technology thing. My boys go to private schools, and they don't have or require the technology of the public schools in the county. It's a working experiment, with the results to be determined.

However... More than a few Universities in the state require the student to have a computer, and all dorm rooms are wired. If you went to camp recently, you would note that MMA dorm rooms are all wired. That's how I blogged the camp perceptions in near real time.

I'm a big believer in the power of editing and of peer review. It's important.

At the end of the day, one must cite the source. The reader then can consider the source and determine veracity. Personally what I do is use Wiki as a starting point from which to dig deeper via the references at the end.

Remember though that even primary sources have mistakes as well. For example I find it fascinating to read the works of Jefferson, and note all the grammatical errors. It is what it is. At the end, it's up to future generations to try and figure out what the heck he meant to say. Good luck with that one! :lol:

Students and researchers can't check their brains in at the front desk when doing a literature search.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:33 am 
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Mike said:

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Doesn't your school have a server that they could put something else on that is more reliable?


Absolutely. Remember, I said that Wiki is recommended as a nice place to start, not base everything on.

Here is the resource link that opens as the homepage when Internet Explorer is launched on the laptops:

http://teachers.henrico.k12.va.us/elearning/

When you have some spare months give the site a look see.

Quote:
First of all, I must say it must be nice to have a school system with money.

Sure is!

That would certainly be a welcome change. Tell me, who pays for the PC when they lose it or break it?

All the students pay a $50 up front. So, the system is self insured.


Up here, and I would presume most places, you can't even get them to return or pay for lost books sometimes. It's against the law to hold report cards or transcripts. Is it different down there or does the school force the students to purchase them up front?

All the kids get them with the $50 user fee. It is different here... if a student owes $$ for a lost book or whatever the county will withhold transcripts and diplomas to get their attention.

And what happens when they forget to bring them to class? Are there extras laying about?

They can share them. Also, a set of desktop PCs reside in the library for such problems.

If they are damaged there is a full time and part time tech staff on site for fast turnaround on repairs.

The kids take ownership of the Dells and are remarkably responsible with them.

There are a few knuckleheads that abuse them but not many.

Also, I am in an old school on the edge of the growing and not growing parts of the county so it is likely pretty representative of what goes on county wide.




Quote:
Well, here is the question. How often is the site monitored for mistakes?

We don't. Remember, it is recommended only as a starting point.

Who does the checking? And in the process, are you prepared for students getting wrong information if they access the information before the eiditor does?

Yes. Then we can discuss it. Last week for extra credit I asked for short papers on 'string theory' The kids came up with really good stuff from a myriad of sources. I picked the subject because nobody can prove it to be right or wrong. How about that?

One student had a really nice paper on string theory that had nothing to do with 'string theory', but it was completely correct. He did a paper on the physics behind how a guitar string works. Closed end versus open end. Harmonics. Natural frequencies. Vectors. It was great. Kid is a guitarest and headed in that direction. Wow, what creativity.



Why take the chance? It's not worth it for me both in time and energy, and if my job is to show them the best way to access research material, I'm not going to recommend Wikipedia.

Your choice.



I was somewhat skeptical about the whole technology push in my county but I have been won over. This is a huge commitment and all teachers are relentlessly pushed to use more and better technology in the classroom. No technoduds on the staff... they would not survive.

Even attendance is hot wired. If a student is checked as absent on the teacher's PC, and it is done every class, the automated system immediately launches phone calls to home or office or wherever mom and dad are. The students cannot hide.

Grading is automated and we can slice and dice the stats any which way imaginable. We can see what our students do in every class in real time. Admins also can look at every teacher's results and spot trends, strengths and weaknesses. Being a former long term GE employee I am impressed at the Fortune 500 like attention to detail.

It might be an experiment but higher ed and industry is very interested. Reps from large companies and Universities wil be on deck tomorrow thru Friday to see just what it is we are doing. The students graduating from Henrico County are going to have a very strong technology background whether they are scientists, math majors, French speakers or whatever and that can only help them down the line. Hi-Tech is here to stay in our county.

I like it. And I like Wiki too!

Rich

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:54 pm 
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rich said:

Quote:
That would certainly be a welcome change. Tell me, who pays for the PC when they lose it or break it?


Quote:
All the students pay a $50 up front. So, the system is self insured.



Do you have many insurance claims when the kids lose or damage their computers?


Quote:
All the kids get them with the $50 user fee. It is different here... if a student owes $$ for a lost book or whatever the county will withhold transcripts and diplomas to get their attention.


Just because the school does it doesn't mean it's legal. Is it legal to withhold the transcript or diploma? Who would win if they fought it in court? You teach at a public school correct?


Quote:
They can share them. Also, a set of desktop PCs reside in the library for such problems
.

So they don't use them in each of their classes? Does the students switch rooms each class, and thus tote their PCs with them everywhere they go?

Quote:
If they are damaged there is a full time and part time tech staff on site for fast turnaround on repairs.


How fast? I'm not trying to distinguish who's better, but we have over 2100 students at my high school with a full time tech squad of 4 people, and I would never see myself using the word quick when it comes to repairs. I know it's all relevent, but I'm curious.



Quote:
There are a few knuckleheads that abuse them but not many.


As there are in any school.

Quote:
Also, I am in an old school on the edge of the growing and not growing parts of the county so it is likely pretty representative of what goes on county wide.


I don't know about the hi-tech being representative of the country. We received our technology three years ago and were considered the school to see if you wanted to see what hi-tech and education was all about. We have PCs in every class with computer labs in each section of the building. Internet access of course for everyone. We are voicemail intergrated, we have smartboards, and the projector LCD connected to our PCs in everyroom. But as I look around the state (I volunteer to go around on visits every now and then), I don't see people jumping to add all this stuff quite yet. In the future, sure, but I think towns are still pretty conservative in their spending (unless of courst we are talking about govt. grant money for such a reason).



Quote:
Yes. Then we can discuss it. Last week for extra credit I asked for short papers on 'string theory' The kids came up with really good stuff from a myriad of sources. I picked the subject because nobody can prove it to be right or wrong. How about that?


I can only see a lot of time spent on bad source discussion and less on the curriculum. I know I couldn't get away with the test-driven society in Massachusetts education.

Quote:
Your choice.



I guess I'll take the safe route.


Quote:
Even attendance is hot wired. If a student is checked as absent on the teacher's PC, and it is done every class, the automated system immediately launches phone calls to home or office or wherever mom and dad are. The students cannot hide.



Our attendance and grading are centralized as well. It's good not having to worry about the little things anymore.

It sounds like a great school Rich, and I agree with you regarding technology.


Quote:
I like it. And I like Wiki too!


I like it too, but Wikipedia still *****: :)







mike


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:43 pm 
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rich said:




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quote:
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That would certainly be a welcome change. Tell me, who pays for the PC when they lose it or break it?
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quote:
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All the students pay a $50 up front. So, the system is self insured.
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Do you have many insurance claims when the kids lose or damage their computers?

I really do not know, but probably quite a few since our school has issued about 1,700 of them. Dell handles the $$ and agreed to the $50 per unit to cover repairs.



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quote:
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All the kids get them with the $50 user fee. It is different here... if a student owes $$ for a lost book or whatever the county will withhold transcripts and diplomas to get their attention.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Just because the school does it doesn't mean it's legal. Is it legal to withhold the transcript or diploma? Who would win if they fought it in court? You teach at a public school correct?

It is legal in Virginia. I suppose if a student wanted to fight it in court they could but it would not be very cost efficient for the student. It is nice to have some recourse over lost books etc.


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quote:
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They can share them. Also, a set of desktop PCs reside in the library for such problems
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

.

So they don't use them in each of their classes? Does the students switch rooms each class, and thus tote their PCs with them everywhere they go?

The students carry them from class to class. All teachers are expected to have the students use them for the course work as part of the county hi-tech initiative. Many of the websites on the homepage lead to interactive learning sites for all subjects. We can test using the computers as well if we like. The math and science 'gizmos' (as they are called) in the Explore Learning website are particularly good.

Also, we have test pools, test generators and the like.

We also have shared folders. I can put assignments and notes in my shared folder and the kids just check in there to get assignments, homework etc. Then, they can put their finished assignments in my drop box that only I can access.

Using the county link I also post my weekly plans for each class. There are no excuses for missed or late assignments. Plus parents look in there as well and leave me notes or schedule appointments. All very time saving.


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quote:
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If they are damaged there is a full time and part time tech staff on site for fast turnaround on repairs.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



How fast? I'm not trying to distinguish who's better, but we have over 2100 students at my high school with a full time tech squad of 4 people, and I would never see myself using the word quick when it comes to repairs. I know it's all relevent, but I'm curious.

There is a full time repair tech and a part time repair tech on site, both supported by Dell. Turn around is usually one school day unless the laptop is really trashed. The recent battery recall was a bit of a log jam but that is unusual.

The process is pretty good with few complaints. The techs post who has a computer in the shop so students trying to claim a need for more time due to laptop problems are easily verified.

The county is now in the 6th year of this effort and has it pretty much under control.




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quote:
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There are a few knuckleheads that abuse them but not many.
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As there are in any school.


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quote:
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Also, I am in an old school on the edge of the growing and not growing parts of the county so it is likely pretty representative of what goes on county wide.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I don't know about the hi-tech being representative of the country.

Look again at what I said... I stated 'county', not country. I am in an older school that is not in the growing part of the county and our students are mostly from blue collar families, not the professionals as we see in the newer schools in the growing part of the county. We see a lot of immigrants with language issues and people moving in from the city who have been in that somewhat underperforming school district.

We received our technology three years ago and were considered the school to see if you wanted to see what hi-tech and education was all about. We have PCs in every class with computer labs in each section of the building. Internet access of course for everyone. We are voicemail intergrated, we have smartboards, and the projector LCD connected to our PCs in everyroom. But as I look around the state (I volunteer to go around on visits every now and then), I don't see people jumping to add all this stuff quite yet. In the future, sure, but I think towns are still pretty conservative in their spending (unless of courst we are talking about govt. grant money for such a reason).

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 Post subject: Whatever
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:59 pm 
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In this case, re: the Iraq War, when the Marines Corps Commandant says the Corps will have to get bigger to meet their mission, you might as well say "that's enough for me"

I don't think they CAN make it bigger without conscription---and I am not going there.

So, get ready to deal with the aftershock of a pullout. It's no longer a matter of 'if' but when and how.

In all honestly I must say that the consequnces of a pullout will probably be extremely bad, especilly in terms of Iraqi lives that will be lost.

Ti is crystal clear we lack the will for this fight and cannot put it in perspective.

It's HARD to put things in perspective when kids are getting killed.

Who wants to get killed in a war we don't care about winning.

So, if you are basking in the thought that this should not make a difference to the guys overseas, forget about it.

They are not as Stupid as the Good Senator would have us think.

The original thread was about Kerry's remarks, but this is not meant to discourage any of the directions the thread has taken, just addressing some remarks on his remarks, post election..



Jt

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:14 am 
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John,

Quote:
In this case, re: the Iraq War, when the Marines Corps Commandant says the Corps will have to get bigger to meet their mission, you might as well say "that's enough for me"


I think most people have already said this and have been saying this for quite some time. It's a shame that the only way the government listens is through elections, but I suppose thats the democratic way.


Quote:
I don't think they CAN make it bigger without conscription---and I am not going there.


Probably wouldn't be the prudent thing at this juncture.

Quote:
So, get ready to deal with the aftershock of a pullout. It's no longer a matter of 'if' but when and how.


So what are we getting ready for?

Quote:
In all honestly I must say that the consequnces of a pullout will probably be extremely bad, especilly in terms of Iraqi lives that will be lost.


I feel bad for the lives that will be lost as well as the estimated 600,000+ lives that have already been lost, but that region of the world must handle itself as there is no answer from the West.


Quote:
Ti is crystal clear we lack the will for this fight and cannot put it in perspective.
It's HARD to put things in perspective when kids are getting killed.
Who wants to get killed in a war we don't care about winning.


That's the key, a war we don't care about, because it doesn't serve anyone's interest other than those making the huge profits from it. I don't care what the Bush/Cheney apologists say out there, if it weren't for the oil, we would have never shown up. Not in Gulf War I, nor in this one. And it's a damn shame that so many soldiers from this country and others have died or bad wounded for what amounts to nothing when it all comes down to it. Does that mean I'm anti-soldier as some may wish you to think? Hardly. I don't blame the military for doing their duty, following orders, and doing the best they possibly can. They should be proud of everything they have done, and so should every American; however, that doesn't mean the civilian leadership and their corporate beneficiaries should be held blameless. Ultimately, they are to blame for the 3000+ deaths and should be held accountable. Will they be? Only in the history books unfortuately.

Quote:
So, if you are basking in the thought that this should not make a difference to the guys overseas, forget about it.

They are not as Stupid as the Good Senator would have us think.


They are definately not stupid although the remark was and I haven't seen anyone try to defend it or him thus far.

mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:39 am 
Quote:
I feel bad for the lives that will be lost as well as the estimated 600,000+ lives that have already been lost, but that region of the world must handle itself as there is no answer from the West.


you cant have your cake and eat it too , stay the course


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 Post subject: Invitation
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:16 pm 
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Bush to Al Maliki:

"Al-meet me in Jordan-George.

RSVP"

Mike and Stryke:

Please don't mistake me. I think a pullout would be a showing of lack of will. That's bad.

A pullout would undermine the war on Terror. Yes it certainly will. don't think for one moment that Afghans are not watching.

However, the consequnces of remaining, at his level, is patently fruitless.

I posted the choices as set forth by the media:

1. Bulk up----not likely. If there is no will to increase the force, stop tilting at windmills.

2. Get out-but slowly-can't do this without increasing the force size.

3. Cut and run-one of three equally bad procedures.

However, I will say that if the national will shows support for increasing the size of the force, assuming it can be done, "bulking up" would not bother me.

Standing up in a meeting at law school to call for the 1970 Student Boycott against the invasions of Laos and Cambodia, (this WAS being a part of history guys)I said:

"i don't trust the NVA to keep any agreement" (boos hisses and flying objects, mostly books and food, it was Law School after all, so no rocks).

"If we leave the Vietnamese will collapse, and we will bear the shame of pulling the rug from under them" (more choruses, profanity and food in the air)

"Why should we not invade Cambodia we're taking fire from there" ( stupefied roars of disapproval)

""Many will die because of our leaving" (quite true as history proved-mouths hung open at my statement and I was ushered out of the room by my friends, sort of a protective custody)

Hell, they had already escorted me out-dad did not pay for the semester of the strike---and when I was contacted in this regard: I said:"---well.......I'm not paying for the time the school was on stryke snd if I get flunked, I''ll sue. Finally a compromise was reached and I was put on a pass- fail system for the Semester." This did hurt. Employers receiving transcipts were not amenable to the explanation given re: the passes instead of A's and B's, so I lost several possible employment opportunities with good firms,

My thought is a bizarre one: Pick a convenient spot of Iraqi ground and air space.

Pull our forces there. It will require a large piece of accessible and defensible Iraq , with Runways out the range of pieces in the hands of the insurgents the Iraqi Army and factions..

Sit down and watch through the Pillbox slits.

Wait and see. Respond to cries for aid therefrom. continue to increse the size of the force, meanwhile watch wait and say little.

Be sure the area occupied is big and the bunkers large and strong to receive refugees.

don't disengage political efforts.

This is pure Pragamtic-Bismarckian thinking. "We ain't beat so let's dig in-somewhere else"

Chester Arthur Puller: "we arent' retreating, just advancing in another direction"

We can do little in a civil war except sit back and let things shake themselves out.

Perhaps Maintaining a large presence in Kuwait might do the trick..

JT

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:10 am 
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Stryke states:

Quote:
you cant have your cake and eat it too , stay the course


Pretty easily said until it is your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter who is killed for no apparent reason.


John states:


Quote:
Please don't mistake me. I think a pullout would be a showing of lack of will. That's bad.

A pullout would undermine the war on Terror. Yes it certainly will. don't think for one moment that Afghans are not watching.

However, the consequnces of remaining, at his level, is patently fruitless.



There was no mistake John, you have been quite clear where you stand here. But I would have to disagree with a pullout being a show of lack of will. I fail to see why getting ourselves out of a bad situation isn't a good thing. You and others keep stating through your crystal balls that our presence in Iraq (and continued presence) is holding back terrorism. That when we leave it will suddenly increase all over the planet. What evidence do you have to support this thesis? It's a new way of warfare, one that will be around for awhile, and one where we are not equiped to fight. Unless we are talking about anilhilation, the American military, the best convential military in the world IMHO, is fighting a losing battle. Once again, perhaps we should take a lesson from the Isaeli armed forces, or are we just too proud?


Quote:
However, I will say that if the national will shows support for increasing the size of the force, assuming it can be done, "bulking up" would not bother me.


Once again, it's easy to agree when it's not you there.


Quote:
"Why should we not invade Cambodia we're taking fire from there" ( stupefied roars of disapproval)

""Many will die because of our leaving" (quite true as history proved-mouths hung open at my statement and I was ushered out of the room by my friends, sort of a protective custody)


Many died because we were in the same kind of situation: fighting an unpopular was in a conventional (and illegal) fashion because of one lie after another (also quite true historically).


Quote:
My thought is a bizarre one: Pick a convenient spot of Iraqi ground and air space.


And where is that? Is there anywhere in Iraq that cannot be reached by bomb, morter, sniper? And what do we do then? Do we annex a portion of Iraq and pour more money in for an indefinate period of time? To what end?

I'm not advocating full isolationism, but on a limited basis. Why not just "bunker" ourselves off the coast with some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world? Why not let our advanced air capability do the job when called for? Do we really need to "win the hearts" of the people of Iraq? Or why don't we just start nuking everybody who doesn't think in like mind as us? That probably would have been just as popular an arguement to make in the 70s.


Quote:
We can do little in a civil war except sit back and let things shake themselves out.


This is one of my points. You can't do much in a civil war other than get the hell out and wait until the smoke clear.

Quote:
Perhaps Maintaining a large presence in Kuwait might do the trick..


How long will that last and btw, three guesses as to why we are there too?

mike


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 Post subject: Same Points
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Almost any publication has to be viewed with a jaundiced eye as to mistakes.

I gave a couple of web examples.

On the Web no one really edits you, and mistakes are not corrected at the editing stage.

Having said that---perhaps not allowing students to use Wiki as a 'source' is a bit draconian and flat out unenforceable..

But, since mike's students can't 'quote it' the end is acheived without going further.

I rather doubt that the students a completetly deterred from 'going there', but since they can't quote from it, they have to check everyting for corroboration anyway.

At least that's the way I would play it.

In college we coulld not use our text as 'quotable sources' but nobody said that we could not use the bibliographies.


This cuts research time down by quite a bit.
JT

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:53 pm 
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Started out simple enough, but like our limited war in Iraq, it expanded and went in directions completely unexpected by the thread originator.

In my opinion, the primary problem with winning this war is the fact that the enemy can read our blogs, newspapers and view our TV news channels and listen to our many stations.

Our enemies are much different than WWI and II and. . . not so different than our enemies in Korea and Vietnam.

We can not win this war. No way, No how. Our enemies know this from reading about the feelings of our nation and the feeling of our world neighbors.

In a way, it reminds me of my battle with the moles that have fun destroying my yard. I can nuke the whole yard and destroy those moles who currently are causing me trouble. Of course I'll be destroying lots of other harmless critters that aren't causing me any problems.

Then, after I rebuild my yard with expensive sod, chemicals and care, the moles from neighboring yards will pop up in my beautiful, well cared yard and the battle continues.

I've decided to hire George Bush when he retires to help me deal with the new moles. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:49 am 
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And further answering the Defendant says:

If the war in Afghanistan is perceived as a correct step in the War on Terror;

how can it further our interest there to be shown as "not staying a course"?

Yes, it is easy to make choices when one is not there. I take a bit of offense to this thinking as the logical conclusion would be to disenfranchise every non veteran from voting or expressing an opinion.

Is it not faulty thinking to devalue the thought or vote of a non combat veteran--as much as we rever the veteran?

As for the "pillbox" in Iraq, we already have one. I simply feel that and armed force of 140,000 can't stop what is going to happen, a civil war or a partition of Iraq.

So, of course, the 'superfirebase' thought won't fly-point taken.

I concede that one if it pleases the court.

JT

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:25 am 
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JOHN THURSTON wrote:
Is it not faulty thinking to devalue the thought or vote of a non combat veteran--as much as we rever the veteran?


One shouldn't value or devalue an opinion based on veteran status, but on the other hand, all opinions are not created equal. Assuming the argument is logical, it all boils down to the strength of ones premises. It is not irrational to regard differently the strength of a premise that is based on an AP report than one based on having been there.

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 Post subject: True
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:45 am 
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One must evauate opinion, in part, based on its source.

Lincoln was not a veteran although many of our presidents were (obviously)

I just don't like the general line of reasoning.

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 Post subject: Etc.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:24 pm 
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BTW:

Mike, I never thought of you as 'anti soldier'.

sorry if you got that impression.

I am not entirely sure if you do know where I stand. you certainly have pegged me a great deal more to the Right than I would wish.

Even given the fact that i am generally conservative, I do not feel we can force a military solution in the event of an Iraqi civil war.

It is senseless to 'take' city then just leave it and allow the same conditions (ie: bloodshed, insecurity, anti us and factional war among a few) to re occur because one is UNABLE to puts enough troops on the ground.


JT

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