To me the world seems to have lost it's mind. Last few days have looked at pictures of gitmo bay and almost threw up. The dehumanizing of people was beyond words. History talked of hitler and auschwitz. Decades later what I saw in those photos of gitmo made me think of images of the the very humiliation that the United states once fought against. Turkey is burning because of fighting back the government turned on it's own people like a mad dog. here in america we finally start getting rights for LBGT . Along comes salvation army saying that it should be a death sentence. Killing people over religion seems to be on the rise. in india  women are burning for supposed witchcraft and girls killed  being victims of rape . The catholic church is says birth control is wrong . Nuns who argue with church are being excommunicated.  In last political race it was debated whether women had a right to their on viginas .  People are dying world over because of religion and lack of even basic medical and dental care. there is hope for this world right?

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There is a syndrome, whose name I have forgotten, that tends to happen in situations where guards manage prisoners with minimal supervision. Similar stuff happens in Federal and state prisons, as well as county and city jails. Not to justify it, but guards humiliating and assaulting prisoners goes on wherever there are people being incarcerated.

Which is not an excuse for it happening. When it does happen it is a failure of supervision and management. When it happens in the military it is a failure of command. At a minimum the officer in charge of the prison should have been forced to retire. Ideally everyone in the direct chain of command down from him to the perps should have been kicked out. Everyone in the chain above the OIC should have been investigated. By investigated, I mean a formal Inspector General inquiry.

I did say "not to justify it."

Excuse. It neither justifies nor explains it.

It is also unacceptable that just the grunts were blamed for everything.

Philip Zimbardo's book "Lucifer Effect" goes into detail about how this happens. It also talks about the Abu Ghraib guards; Zimbardo was called into testify as an expert witness in that case.

This article from the Independent has a pretty good overview of the Stanford Prison experiment, Abu Ghraib, Zimbardo, and the book.

And if you wish to know more without buying the book, try this site:

And if you are interested more in why people act heroically, then go here.

On a side-note, I voted for Obama, both times, but I have to say I'm considerably disappointed over the Verizon evesdropping issue - I had truly expected Obama to immediately evacuate Gitmo, and to launch an investigation that hopefully would have reached all the way to the Bush/Cheney ventriloquist act, regarding shipping prisoners off to foreign countries to be tortured, at the very least, exposing what the Bush administration was capable of, but that didn't happen. At least he wasn't Mitt.

Rather than let the government data-mining situation potentially take over this thread, I've started a discussion on that topic named Concerned about what we're learning about govt data collection, pri... I'm hoping to get deep into this issue for I can see arguments on both sides.

BTW, I knew a lot of people of an age that the Obama/McCain election in 2008 was their first presidential vote. The night it was clear Obama had won I sent out a CC email telling them that for a variety of reasons they should expect to be disappointed. First off, Obama is President not a dictator, and as we have seen his power is severely limited by his Republican opposition. Secondly, once a candidate becomes President, he certainly hears information, much of it secret, that he wasn't aware of while a candidate. Finally, he's no longer the candidate of (in his case) just the Democrats, he's the President of all Americans.

But no, I'm not entirely happy with Obama while at the same time knowing that I'd be far less happy had McCain had won two terms.

Sometimes I think it might have better if McCain had won, then I remember why not.... Palin.

arch, I looked forward to find a post with a Reply button.

Your post: So Tom, are you saying that Earth's rotation has nothing to do with holding us on the planet? It would make no difference if it completed a rotation in 48 hours, or 72? YES.

What I gather you're saying - and I'm not disagreeing with you, just asking - is that the faster a planet rotates, the more centrifugal force tries to throw us off the planet, therefore, if we slowed down Mars' rotation, its gravity would increase? YOU GOT IT.

My attempt to explain: When I was studying physics (in the 1950s), mass and weight caused me some confusion. If I screw up here, I hope someone will repair the damage.

Gravitation holds us to the earth, and gravitation varies as the masses of two bodies and their distance from each other. Slowing the earth's rotation, or speeding it, will change neither of those.

Slowing the earth will increase your weight, the number you see when you step onto a scale. Slow the rotation and find out how much weight your skeletal bones will support before they fracture.

Speeding the earth's rotation will decrease your weight. Speed the rotation enough and step onto a scale also on the earth's surface; your weight will be zero. I don't want to know what will happen when the weights of everyone and everything on the earth's surface are zero.

Somewhere in a book on classical physics, there's a formula to calculate how fast the earth will have to rotate to increase or decrease your weight to a number you choose.

The Reply button is out there, Tom, but I don't want to have to hunt for it, and thankfully, neither do you.

First of all, I didn't just fall off a turnip truck, I do know a bit about astrophysics, I'm currently probing for what YOU know about the subject.

As we both know, gravitational attraction weakens exponentially, proportionate to the square of the distance from the object - my question is, is "Dark Energy" really necessary? Considering that from the BB, 14.7+ billion years ago, all objects in the universe are moving away from all other objects (except for those that are gravitationally attracted to each other), isn't their very distance from each other sufficient to assure that they, as distance weakens gravitational attraction, continue to move faster and faster away from each other, and thus account for the expansion of the universe? I've spoken with Nigel Calder about this, but I'd like your opinion - I also spoke with him about the possibility that we live in a Black Hole, and don't realize it - seriously, consider the characteristics of a Black Hole, then consider our own, and tell me how they differ.


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