Kris Weberg | September 23, 2004
Since the "War on Terror" seems to keep coming up, and several of us disagree about it, I'm curious to hear how people define it. I'd be happy if people just stated their opinions about the "War" as they see it -- what it is, what it should (or shouldn't) be, how it's being conducted (successfully or not), and what would constitue victory (if you think it's a "winnable" war in a traditional sense). Of course, discussions here can 9and do) go anywhere Scott allows, so I'm not going to try stifling any debates that break out.

I myself need to think about it a little before I post.

Melissa Erin | September 23, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | September 23, 2004
It's like the "War on Drugs." It will never be won.

I'd like us to concentrate on Al Qaeda and North Korea for the time being.

I have to think about this more too, or my answer will be half-assed.

Anthony Lewis | September 23, 2004
Honestly...how can you have a war on a feeling?

Shouldn't it be the War on TERRORISM, and not TERROR?

Anyway...it's a war that'll never be WON. All we can do it hope to control outbreaks of terrorism and try to stop plots before they happen...like
the Millenium Bomb plot and Project Bojinka.

Scott Horowitz | September 23, 2004
I don't feel the US should be the "global police" force that we have become in Bush's Jihad against Terrorism. We should strengthen our borders and security systems, that's how we should fight terrorism. Instead of taking down government after government.

John E Gunter | September 23, 2004
The "global police" idea has been around for a lot longer the Bush has been in office. It will be around long after he has left office. A big force behind the global police is called the CIA.

Is it a bad thing? I can't say personally as to me the CIA have done good and bad before and will probably do the same again.

Personally, I think we need to concentrate more on economic presures than we do on military ones. Course, even if we put economic presures on those governments that we deem problems, we'll still walk just a fine a line as we do when we use military presure.

Is there a war on terrorism?

I'd say yes.

Does the US need to be the only country that is at war with the terrorists?

That is a definate no. The war on terrorism needs to be a world wide effort.

Will we ever win it?

Not with current ideals. As long as you have people hating each other due to race, religion, political view points or even what you have, you will have this kind of problem.

Much as everyone thinks Gene Roddenberry's view of the future with Star Trek is so much rose colored ideals, until the human gets a similar view, we're gonna have people who will do whatever it takes to promote their agenda. Therefore, you'll have terrorism.

Kind of like the "War on Drugs". As long as money can be made on it, there will be a war. You remove the money problem, you remove the reason for a war.

John

Scott Hardie | September 23, 2004
Good points so far all around. Even Bush recently admitted the war can't be won (in a reversal of position that would make Kerry proud), and he's right; it will go on for decades. There's no ultimate objective to it; even the death or capture of bin Laden would only result in a refocusing on his successors. But there are many small, important victories to be won, and I'm confident we've already thwarted lesser terrorist acts (such as Richard Reid) through increased vigilance both governmental and civilian.

As for the term itself, it's mostly a creation of the people, not something invented by the powers that be, hence the inaccuracy of it that Anthony already mentioned. In other words, it's a buzz phrase for the six o'clock news.

Anna Gregoline | September 23, 2004
Was Richard Reid the shoe bomb guy?

Scott Hardie | September 23, 2004
Yes. He breezed through airport security, only to be spotted by a vigilant stewardess in the right place at the right time.

Anna Gregoline | September 23, 2004
Right - so only a civilian response saved the plane passengers and crew and whoever was on the ground. Nothing our government has done saved us from that particular tragedy.

I'm trying to remember any government based thwarting of terrorism on our soil.

Scott Hardie | September 23, 2004
I'm not trying to argue and I know you're not either, but I'd like to say that the Reid incident is exactly what I meant. There's value and purpose to increased vigilance at every level, government and otherwise. And in this case, the government is chipping in by keeping the bastard behind bars for the rest of his life. =)

Anna Gregoline | September 24, 2004
Sure...but I'm a bit alarmed that no one stopped that guy from getting on a plane. Did you SEE him? Man.

Jackie Mason | September 25, 2004
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Denise Sawicki | September 25, 2004
I was idly wondering about all the stores that exist within the security checkpoints of many airports. Are they not allowed to sell anything that might be seen as dangerous? (for instance, nail scissors) What about the various sit-down restaurants (Minneapolis had Chili's at least, I think). Are they not allowed to serve steak for fear they might need to provide steak knives? Do they keep careful count of all forks and knives and if a steak knife goes missing do they shut down all flights leaving the airport? Of course we all know that the list of items not allowed on a flight is quite arbitrary and someone could be a martial arts expert and not need a weapon of any kind, but this was just something else to think about concerning their prohibition of various seemingly innocuous metal items.

Erik Bates | October 5, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 5, 2004
Like you can't fork someone to death.

Jackie Mason | October 5, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 5, 2004
Wasn't Hank Azaria's character in Mystery Men a master of cutlery? If I remember correctly, he "forked" some people to death.

Anna Gregoline | October 5, 2004
Yeah it's kind of funny - although I really wouldn't want a metal fork to the face.

Erik Bates | October 5, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 5, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 5, 2004
Are sporks weapons to terrorists? That may put Taco Bell out of business.

Anna Gregoline | October 5, 2004
I'm sure Hard-D will be happy to hear that possibility. =)

Scott Hardie | October 6, 2004
No way. I don't even know why Taco Bell even has sporks when forks are barely necessary. Do they even sell pintos & beans any more? And if Wendy's and Steak 'n Shake can get some fairly good chili cooking, why can't a pseudo-Mexican fast food joint? Oh well. Go back to your talk about plastic forks.

Anna Gregoline | October 6, 2004
Cause sporks are the best thing ever?

Scott Hardie | October 6, 2004
Why are sporks considered cool? Why are Mentos considered cool? Those two always eluded me.

Anna Gregoline | October 7, 2004
Mentos aren't cool, in my opinion.

Sporks are fun just for their combo factor. And I think they're way practical. I would be nice to have metal cutlery like that.

Kris Weberg | October 7, 2004
Sporks are actually just cheap plastic imitaitons of a medieval implement, the runcible spoon.

Runcible spoons are like sharper, metal sporks.

Jackie Mason | October 7, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 7, 2004
I think I read that book in school....The Runcible...

I think they're practical too - I mean, if you're eating chicken and peas, for example, you can cut your meat and also scoop up stuff. Perfect!

Melissa Erin | October 7, 2004
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Melissa Erin | October 7, 2004
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Scott Hardie | October 7, 2004
Practical, I get. Cool, I don't get. But it's not like I'm anywhere near knowledgeable on that subject.

The manufacturer should just give a slight serration (like on plastic knives) to one edge of the spork so you can use it three ways.

Anna Gregoline | October 7, 2004
Scott, that's just too kinky.

Kris Weberg | October 7, 2004
Well, that serrated edge spoon is another kind of medieval spoon, developed around the same time as the runcible spoon.

Of course, the medievals also gave us thumbscrews and flying buttresses, so I'm not surprised at unusual spoons.

Jackie Mason | October 7, 2004
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Kris Weberg | October 7, 2004
I was wrong about the date -- they're 19th century, not medieval.

And spork is in facta registered trademark, so all of us will be sued at some point in the near future.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sporks*

* but weren't bored enough to ask

Anna Gregoline | October 7, 2004
I didn't know you could be sued for using a word.

Kris Weberg | October 8, 2004
If you use a trademark in print without citing it properly, you can be sued. In fact, failure to legally defend a mark becomes grounds for losing the right to it.

This puts companies in the awkward position of wanting their trademarks to become common use without...uh, becoming common use.

Coca-Cola likes people to just say "Coke" when they mean cola or soft drink, but they had to sue Howard Johnson for innocently (and pragmatically) serving Pepsi-Cola when people casually asked for "a Coke," because otherwise, someone else could have legitemately called their cola a "Coke" and claimed that Coca-Cola had effectively given up the mark by failing to defend its special association with their product. This is why, if you ask for a "Coke" in a restaurant, you'll be asked, "is Pepsi-Cola okay?' whether you care or not.

Xerox, Kleenex, and Ping-Pong all have this problem too. (Yes, Ping-Pong is trademarked; the generic term is "table tennis.") Basically, you should always capitalize a trademark like Spork, and for extra care, add a little "TM": afterwards. If you're a lawyer, you should probably also add a little disclaimer at the end of your work that notes that Coke, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Ping-Pong, Xerox, Kleenex, et. al. are trademarks of their respective companies. Like the note I just typed in the previous sentence.

Scott Hardie | October 8, 2004
That's why I have little patience for the fans who complain about losing their Harry Potter or Star Trek web sites because the publisher or studio sends lawyers after them. "But we're helping them make money!" Yes, you are, and they would like to let you continue, but the law compels them to protect their trademarks or lose them.

You know, Kris, that story about HoJo makes a lot more sense than the version I heard. My manager at Taco Bell way back when told us that if a customer requested Coke and we served them Pepsi, we could be sued, because a customer successfully sued a restaurant for doing that. It seemed ludicrous to me that a customer could win such a lawsuit even in our litigious age, but a corporation winning it on copyright-infringement grounds is a hell of a lot more plausible.

John E Gunter | October 8, 2004
That's why I always ask for a cola, not a "Coke", but I still get the, "is Pepsi-Cola okay?" question. :-)

John

Kris Weberg | October 8, 2004
Me too, John. I guess it becomes a reflex after a while for the servers.

Scott Horowitz | October 8, 2004
I hate people that call it "pop"...argh, that infuriates me to know end. I usually ask for a coke and the waitress will be like "We have Pepsi, is that okay?"

Kris Weberg | October 8, 2004
In downstate Illinois (read: anywhere 60 or more miles south of Chicago/Rockford), people will actually say "Sodee pop" or "sodee."

Also, "Warshington." Gaaaahhhhhhhh!

Anna Gregoline | October 8, 2004
I say "pop" sometimes. Do you hate me? It's a regional thing.

Scott Horowitz | October 8, 2004
Yes, but only sometimes. ;)

John E Gunter | October 8, 2004
Definitely a regional thing, if I'm being generic about the soft drink I want, I usually say "soda".

John

Scott Horowitz | October 8, 2004
I think I heard that in Atlanta they call everything a coke.

Anna Gregoline | October 8, 2004
Well, I don't hate you ever, jokingly or not.

Erik Bates | October 8, 2004
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John E Gunter | October 8, 2004
You sure they're thinking that because of you saying "Coke", Erik or is there some other deeper reason? ;-)

John

Melissa Erin | October 8, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 8, 2004
When I go to a restaurant, stand up and down screaming, 'FEED ME! FEED ME! FEED ME!".

Well, I don't. But, it would be funny to watch an adult do that.. On the soda subject, has anyone else been to the Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta? I was there about 10 years ago and it was pretty cool

Anna Gregoline | October 8, 2004
I kind of think of Coca-Cola as being like Disney. Never have I seen a company who had their name on more product consumer crap, like tins and dolls and whatnot. I'm not surprised they could fill a museum with it.

John E Gunter | October 8, 2004
You don't need to worry about the company filling a museum with it, I personally know people who could do that themselves! I'm not one of them by the way, but if I keep collecting tins, I might be able to do the same, they just won't all be Coca-Cola tins.

John

Anna Gregoline | October 8, 2004
You're right - I guess that's why they have so many products - because people keep collecting them.

Anna Gregoline | October 9, 2004
What an elaborate map!

Jackie Mason | October 14, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 20, 2004
Oh, gawd... my husband wants to see that movie. I told him that I don't really want to pay to see it, and he said something else about my not wanting to see it, to which I was like, "I didn't say that I wouldn't/didn't want to see it... I said I don't want to *pay* to see it!" Those guys are rich enough from slinging Saddam's sausage around at Satan (that was so disgusting) -- they are riotously funny, but... well, it's like the baseball thing. Now maybe if they *hired* me, it would be a different thing... ;D

I love Coke and only Coke, but I of course I will take Pepsi in a pinch. Although... I have secretly thought about making a huge stink in a restaurant some time, concluding my rant on the server with "I can't believe this!" and storming out. Unfortunately, my attitude about dining out is too much like Scott H.'s to be able to enact this...

I have wished for modern spork cutlery as well, Anna. The plastic Spork -- while indeed cool -- is just not practical enough for *my* liking... too flimsy. (But makes good vampire teeth in a pinch.)

And as for the original question, I'm not a big fan of TWOT.

Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
From what I've heard, there are a lot of husbands who want a lot of wives to see that movie. Its appeal is limited, though I admit surprise at just how little it earned last weekend.

Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
In all honesty, the South Park fad seems to have crested and broken for most people.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
The clips I saw of the movie didn't really impress me. Not enough to go out and see it, anyway. I'm sure there are funny parts, but it didn't seem worth $10.

Scott Hardie | October 21, 2004
I dunno; the humor of those guys is hit or miss by design. I'm willing to risk having a bad time if some of the material is as funny as their best moments have been.

Anna Gregoline | October 21, 2004
I agree, but I think I'll wait for the DVD.

Scott Hardie | October 21, 2004
That's not a bad idea, though there is something to be said for seeing an important film at the moment of its cultural flashpoint. I regret not seeing "The Passion of the Christ" or "Fahrenheit 9/11" until now; there's nuances to the experience that cannot be enjoyed retroactively. I wouldn't rank "Team America" with those films or even "Super Size Me" in terms of cultural impact, but certainly it's more important cinematically than, say, the movie that out-earned it this past weekend.

Kris Weberg | October 21, 2004
True, but in fairness, it's also not as important as South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.

In all honesty, is the material still shocking or daring. except to the crusty old deans at the MPAA? And without the shock, was the political-cultural viewpoint of Stone an Parker ever that nuanced, original, or stunning?

Politically, they've always been somewhere between stoner Libertarians and 13-year-olds sniggering at the whole process. The whole process probably deserves to be laughed at, but this isn't the kind of ridicule that has real bite, at least not for me.

Anna Gregoline | October 21, 2004
The clips I saw just seemed a bit annoying to me - I mean, they have the North Korean dictator in it, and he talks in that annoying making fun of Asians voice. I don't know if I can stand that for an entire film.


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