Thursday, November 15, 2001
F r i d a y ,  N o v e m b e r  1 6,  2 0 0 1
Saturday, November 17, 2001

Taleban Leaving Last Stronghold in the South - Kandahar

Sea Hawk helicopter flying above
the USS Roosevelt, 11/16/01

Excerpt from article describing the Taleban's departure from Kandahar, the reported death of Mohammed Atef - 2nd in command in al Qaeda, and other pertinent items of interest on the war front:

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Reports from Afghanistan suggest the Taleban are withdrawing from their last strongholds in the south of the country.

Anti-Taleban Pashtun tribal leader Hamid Karzai told the BBC his forces had taken over in the central Uruzgan province and that convoys of Taleban were also leaving their main power base, Kandahar.

... US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld all but confirmed reports that American air strikes near the capital Kabul had killed Mohammed Atef, a key deputy of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

(click for video on Atef death,
Kandahar bombing, Rumsfeld,
special forces, 11/16/01)

Atef was regarded as one of the key planners behind the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington. ... the BBC's Adam Brookes says that if the reports are true they would mean the end of the Taleban's pretentions to power in Afghanistan.

The Taleban may be preparing to melt back into the general population, he says, after coming under intense pressure to give up Kandahar.

As well as being subjected to protracted and vicious US air strikes in recent days, the Taleban are threatened from the west by Herat-based Northern Alliance commander Ismail Khan, who said he would march on the city. Also, three tribal groups in the area claim to have been negotiating with the Taleban to hand over power. ...

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National ID System?

Excerpts from article describing the flaws regarding a national ID system currently under consideration:

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National ID Cards: 5 Reasons Why They Should Be Rejected ...

  1. It would not solve the problem that is inspiring it.
  2. It will lead to a slippery slope of surveillance and monitoring of citizens.
  3. It would require creation of a database of all Americans.
  4. It would function as “internal passports” that monitor citizens’ movements.
  5. It would foster new forms of discrimination and harassment.

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Choosing to Deconvert

In America, many freely choose to deconvert from religious faith / belief in god.

On the other hand, many find ways to maintain a somewhat schizophrenic approach to religion / life, with one aspect of being leveraged off of religious faith for convenience and other reasons, and a second aspect of being leveraged off of logic and reason and open-minded search for answers in a manner that respects doubt and naturalism and never closes the door on exploration of existential evidence for the actual nature of being.

The facts remain, to the core of the problem of religious faith that persists in plaguing humankind, or, to put it in a kinder light, the persistence of religious faith that humankind seems as of yet either unable or unwilling to shed ...

... The evidence regarding the nonexistence of the myths of the ancients and the real life reasons they concocted said myths, in cultures across the globe, is clear. ...

... The evidence regarding the sole influence of naturalistic forces at play in our world is so overwhelming that many of religious faith choose to criticize the edges of science and
treat the perceived miraculous intervention of their magic beings / supernatural forces as somehow being *the* explanation for all unknowns, suspending doubt or discouraging doubt towards that belief.

Also, those of that particular ilk tend to treat naturalistic explanations or the simple reply that "we just don't know, yet" as either unacceptable or highly worthy of disdain as compared to their suspension of doubt or discouragement of doubt regarding magic beings / supernatural forces being the default response to address unknowns.

Whether it be an educated physicist of religious faith or a creationist-steeped devout follower of god or an otherwise progressive liberal follower of religious faith that flirts with non-faith to such an extent that one is left bewildered as to why they cling to defense of religious faith in a manner quite similar to the way in which many pastors / mullahs dip into the well of myths and ignore / excuse / apologize for the evils present there,

<deep breath> the same suspension of doubt regarding some super entity they like to call god (and associated faves from supernatural-being land) is at play as the be-all end-all explanation for unknowns.

Speaking of progressive liberal faith followers, some find traditional "true believer" religious faith-following (also known as "fundamentalism") so revolting, so antithetical to modern concepts of promotion of humane values, that they have divorced themselves from traditional "true believer" status.

In its place, some progressive liberal faith followers have chosen to walk a line of rejection of "old" faith and creation of "new" faith (in a manner that, as Bishop John Spong has put it, religion must change or die), as if they can somehow invent a newer, nicer, kinder "god" that's good and decent out of the pile of myths / deceit / calls for suspension of doubt that reside as the insoluble core problem of the ancient concept known as religious faith.

What said progressive liberal faith-followers
fail to realize is that there is no way to flirt with suspension of doubt without promoting submission to authority and slavery to same.

The path to anti-humanism often proceeds through the door of deception / god-fear disguised as good intentions (as evidenced by the manner in which Afghans welcomed Taliban rule, at first, because the Taliban reduced civil unrest and promised that religious faith would increase in esteem, a concept those vulnerable to calls to submit to god are extremely manipulatable by).

Once you've crossed that line of suspension of doubt, you are naught but moist clay in the hands of the potter, and all who are intimately familiar with history know the danger inherent therein, in all calls for suspension of doubt
and/or "believe or else".

Our only salvation from slavery is our earnest effort to doubt and skeptically address that which we are seduced / threatened / demanded to do by our leaders and by religious faith promoters, and as is often the case these days, our leaders are also religious faith promoters.