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In the Name of God بسم الله


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    I am here. Reflecting on memories, appreciating what Jesus has done for me.
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    Geology, Paleontology, Genetics, Biblical studies. I'm a scientist.

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  1. I don't see it as a matter of who blinks first. I think it's a matter of what's best for Russia. Russia has made a giant blunder with this invasion of a brother nation. And all we can do is just sit around and watch them slug it out. Could anyone really imagine how much of a social pariah Russia would be if it used a nuclear weapon? Aside from escalation resulting in more danger to its own people, Russia's economy would just go down the tube. There would be no benefit to Russia to escalate. And I certainly don't see Russia attempting to attack other European nations. The best thing that they can do is just slug it out in the Donbas/crimea until both sides get tired, they work up some kind of agreement, Putin retires in some lake-side mansion somewhere in the east, and everyone then moves forward with rebuilding relations and economic agreements. The war goes down in history books, people write down their side of the story. And everyone moves on with life. And Russia destroyed all the neonazis of meriopul anyway. They could easily walk away today and call it a mission complete. It's just not reasonable for them to escalate and I don't think they're unreasonable people.
  2. I don't think this is an accurate reflection of what would happen. I think that it's more likely that the west would supply longer ranged and more lethal weapons to Ukraine. Which would be more problematic for Russia. Because then Russia would have to entertain an even more serious response that might involve killing even more civilians than it already has. I said this pretty early on but in my opinion, the best thing Russia can do for itself is to de-escalate. Annexing territories and spamming Iranian drones against civilian infrastructure isn't helping Russia. It's just making them look more desperate and irrational on the world stage. Russia should [obviously] give up Kherson (or they'll just face more unneeded casualties), double down in defense of Crimea and the donbas, then just defensively stick it out in a protracted war until western nations get bored and tired of playing like a cat with their mouse. Escalating will just hurt both sides more than they're already hurt. Also, there's no such thing as "battlefield nuclear weapons". As if it's something less devastating than that which was used in Japan decades ago. Use of nuclear weapons would be utterly catastrophic and would result in the death of countless civilians, and would be so grotesque that it would prompt opposition to escalate in ways which would lead to the end of Russia.
  3. We aren't living in the 1800s anymore. World war II was back in 1940 when our grandparents, assuming they're even living, were infants or potentially not even born yet. Should we talk about the Achaemenid empire as well? Iran's a great Satan because of what their ancestors did back in 550 BC? Should we talk about the Islamic slave trade too? At some point you just have to move on.
  4. You've been talking up their army since the very beginning, but all we've seen are consistent Russian defeats since last February. Hence the need for a mandatory draft on their population. The "special operation" has been a failure. Personally, I'm not convinced that this mobilization is going to be enough for them. But we can plan on returning in another 6 months and reassess.
  5. In Putin's most recent speech, he made a few comments. He referred to defending Russia by any means. And then described utilizing nuclear weapons in response to potential threats involving nuclear weapons allegedly coming from western nations. Now why the west would fire nukes at Moscow when Ukraine has been winning with conventional weapons anyway is beyond me. The United States struggles just sending certain missile types with their himars, let alone has there ever been any claim by President Biden that Ukraine would be given nuclear weapons. So it's really just absurd. But further, the referendums are significant now. Even though Russia doesn't actually have military control over the regions that they've annexed, And even though millions of people who lived in his regions have temporarily fled, Russia still now claims control over these territories based on some allegedly fair and honest voting scheme. Including locations where Ukraine civilians and the Ukraine military still control and live. They literally annexed land including dozens of towns that they never even gained control of, let alone could they collect votes from the people who live there. Which is obviously a really absurd situation. They hardly have fair votes in their own country, let alone would votes in the middle of a battlefield in Ukraine be legitimate. But this gives Putin the pseudo justification to use nuclear weapons to "defend" the "homeland" by any means. and nobody should be supporting such posturing. Or even entertaining ideas for why such lunacy might be justified. So the next question becomes, if Russia continues to lose ground, what will they do now that they claim ownership of the territory that they're losing or never had control of to begin with? Russia has been getting wipped really since day 1 when they failed their attack on kiev. So it's not really clear what will happen as they presumably continue to lose, barring maybe a slow-down over winter.
  6. I would say this is flawed logic, because we don't live in the age of the Manhattan project anymore. Nuclear missiles today are thousands of times more powerful than they were back then. And we have thousands more today than we did back then, and everyone has them. Imagine if Japan had nuclear weapons during world war 2 and america bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Imagine if Hitler and Russia and all of the eu also had nuclear weapons during WW2. It would be absolutely devastating to the entire planet if someone used nuclear weapons. And that's why Putin can't use one today, if he did, every nation would crumble by the force that would be unleashed, globally in a current nuclear world war. It would be catastrophic for everyone. I think that anyone who thinks that it would be a good thing if Putin use nuclear weapons, you must be off your rocker. It's absolute lunacy. And I understand that people don't like the United States in some countries. And I understand people maybe sour about what happened back in the 1940s. But we don't live in the '1940s anymore. It would be truly catastrophic if Putin used nuclear weapons, and every nation should denounce such posturing. With no exceptions.
  7. Competition is good. To keep things balanced. But it's not quite clear that Putin is "sane" enough to create balance. China appears to be a much more legitimate nation that produces balance. Putin on the other hand, threatening the use of nuclear weapons, it's basically just lunacy. And I mentioned this a few months ago at how crazy such "saber rattling" is. It's a "I can't win in conventional warfare so I'm going to threaten a nuclear apocalypse" that Putin is flexing. And the fallout of such actions wouldn't spare any nation on earth. I feel like people don't quite understand that if Putin uses nuclear weapons, it wouldn't be just western nations and eastern European nations that would suffer. Really the entire world would be pulled under by a complete collapse of global order. And not like in an entertaining mad-max kind of way that would be a fun time or would bring back a divine savior or anything like that. Such an action very well could result in a nuclear world war, which means you would likely see, not just Los Angelas and Seattle destroyed, or Moscow and St Petersburg destroyed, but you would also see entire nations like North Korea and Iran turned into flattened sheets of melted crystal. Every nation on earth would be effected in drastic ways that no nation would ever want to experience, assuming any of us would even survive the nuclear fallout. At this point, it doesn't matter how much people might hate the US. Every single nation should be denouncing this "I'm going to have my way or I'm going to start a nuclear world war" muscle flexing by Putin. This kind of mentality isn't worthy of being a competitor on the world stage, because it's really just crazy. And we just have to hope that Putin isn't actually as crazy as he sounds. Otherwise, excluding use of nuclear weapons, it's not really clear to me how Putin intends to get out of this one. I'm not sure that the partial mobilization will be sufficient to defeat Ukraine's military. Rather it seems like it would just more likely drag out and protract the war unless there were a more full scale mobilization. But even then, with the continual failures of the Russian military month after month, it's questionable if there is any way they can win at all, barring nuclear weapons use.
  8. It's just a historical fact. I'm certainly not endorsing flat earth beliefs haha. But, it's fair to say that practically every ancient culture believed earth was flat. And I'm not condemning anyone. It's just the way it was back then. Ancient Egyptians have narratives about the sky goddess nut with the stars set in her body. Ancient mesopotamians had the disk earth surrounded by waters in the form of a river. And these are depicted in their artwork of ancient near east cosmology. In Mesopotamian narratives, the sea dragon tiamat had her body ripped in half to create the solid sky over the flat land etc. And again I'm not condemning anyone. It's just an observation and it's a reality of historical cultures that essentially everyone viewed earth as flat. Syriac Christians had views of windows of the sky dome that the sun would pass through. Semitic Jews believed that the sky could be broken with axes to release the waters above. The dead sea scrolls even describe a sea above the sky. Native Americans and aboriginals have stories about climbing through the dome to reach heaven on the other side, and throwing spears at it with ropes attached, to climb the rope to reach heaven. The Bible is an obvious one with the windows of heaven opening and closing causing Noah's flood. Ancient Jews also, when a meteor fell from the sky, they thought it was a piece of the "heavens" ie, the solid dome raqia in which God dwelled above, so they would collect iron from meteorites as it was viewed as a divine material that fell from the heavens, and was evidence of the solid dome above. I'd recommend Paul Seely, and his article titled "the firmament and the waters above" for additional details. No condemnation here, nor am I saying that earth is flat. I'm just describing this well known fact of history. Literally every ancient culture had flat earth narratives or depictions of art. It's called "ancient near east cosmology", you can look it up. And of course Islam had some influences from it's neighbors. Hence why we have an odd story about the sun setting into a pool of water. Context matters (even if some people find this information offensive).
  9. I'm guessing this topic is already been covered but there's a document titled: Heavenly cords and prophetic authority in the Quran and it's late Antique Context by Kevin Van Bladel. This document notes comparisons between Surah 18 and the Alexander Legend, contemporary Syriac literature, which describes Alexander the Great traveling north south east and west following pathways of a celestial route of a sort, the heavenly cords, and eventually reaching a point at the edge of the earth in which the sun sets in a pool of water, as described in Surah 18:86. The implications being that the original Alexander Legend followed ancient near east cosmology in which earth was flat and surrounded by a cosmic ocean, which is very commonly described in ancient literature of Mesopotamia, Israel, Egypt, caanan, and of essentially every culture of every continent in the early centuries of history. Alexander the great was following the heavenly cords to reach the barrier of the raqia so that he could pass through it to reach heaven on the other side. Flat earth or ancient near east cosmology, or influences of it, can be observed in nearly every document of antiquity. It's just kind of an interesting fact of history that nearly every culture believed earth was flat in the oldest of cultural writings. Just figured I'd share here.
  10. Stop threatening nukes? I wasn't aware that Ukraine had any. And Zelenski is Jewish, he's not a Nazi. It seems as though some have forgotten that Russia is a master of propaganda. All this other stuff about collecting Chinese DNA and COVID being manufactured is all a bunch of fringe conspiracy nonsense. Bottom line, Russia can leave whenever they'd like to. Nobody is holding the invading force hostage.
  11. Last I checked, the Russian military had the option to leave Ukraine. Seems kind of silly to suggest that the length of this war is somehow being dictated by Ukraine or anyone but Russia. Its like blaming the Taliban for the USs extended stay in Afghanistan. The US had the opportunity to simply leave the whole time. So we couldn't really blame the Taliban for dragging out the war, nor could we blame any nation that provided weapons or support to the Taliban. The same goes for Iraqis fighting US forces. The choice is ultimately in the hands of the invading nation as to when the war comes to an end. And that's what everyone in the west is waiting on. Nobody wants Russia in Ukraine. Nobody wants to play games with energy resources and natural gas supplies. But Russia has chosen this fight. Also, last I heard Russia was amassing more troops to bolster their invading force, meaning that they clearly aren't interested in letting this war end. So all this about blaming Ukraine or the west for prolonging the invasion is a bunch of nonsense. Russias army can pack their bags and leave whenever they choose. Otherwise I agree that the situation looks bleak.
  12. I'm surprised this topic isn't getting more attention. Only seems to be getting worse. If Russia can claim food resources of Ukraine, it could leverage more influence over African nations. When inflation goes up in the US, people have the painstaking decision of having to choose between Netflix or Hulu, and which one to cut in hard times. In poorer nations, people starve to death or run out of water. Based on how quiet this thread has been, I'd guess we are all westerners here. But that's the problem really. Nations of wealth tend to be oblivious to real global issues, until it is in our backyard. But by the time it reaches our backyard, will it be too late? How many people will suffer before we respond?
  13. Have I ever lived in a poor neighborhood? Yes, I have, section 8, poorest of the poor (at least in northern states, poverty in the deep south is very different). As a kid, I grew up listening to gunshots in the night, joking that they were celebratory fireworks. And let me tell ya, nothing breeds hate, distrust and fear, more than an empty stomach (figuratively and literally). At least in my experience. Poverty will drive people to lie, to steal, to seek relief through drugs, organized crime, petty crimes of theft etc. I can't even trust my own family because I know they're hungry and would take advantage of me at any turn. I know this because it's already happened, numerous times. She asked if I've lived in a poor neighborhood. You don't even want to know the heinous things I've seen in the hood. Now, I'm sure some people are like a phoenix who rise to the occasion. But I've seen many broken in spirit, and they will destroy their neighbor, it that's what it takes to put food on the table. Poverty may not be the only source of gun violence. But when you grow up in a desperate environment. Maybe you are hungry, the store has food and you need it, you might just take that chance. Maybe someone stole from you, you want to pay them a visit. You're suffering in poverty and maybe you want some drugs to release that pain. You lash out in violence, perhaps even at times, as a desperate call for help. I would say, there must be a link between poverty and gun violence. Maybe not for all people, but I don't think there is any question that the two are linked. This reminds me of Tupac Shakurs old song, well that's the way it is. It's right there as soon as he opens: "I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself Is life worth livin'? Should I blast myself? I'm tired of bein' poor and, even worse, I'm black My stomach hurts so I'm lookin' for a purse to snatch" Tupac of course had a vision, sought to bring people together, but he was also grappling with this reality of desperation infused with violence. "And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do" "And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped And I never get to lay back "You gotta learn to hold your own They get jealous when they see you with your mobile phone" 'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the payback" "Sellin' crack to the kids, "I gotta get paid" Well hey, well that's the way it is" The song is all about a feelings of distrust, struggles with things like systemic racism, pain with struggles of poverty and how it correlates with stealing purses, selling drugs to kids to survive, doing crimes that have to be done to survive, staying strapped because people will come for payback. Gangs thrive in ghettos where people feel desperate for family, for financial success, for protection etc. Its a song that I would say encompasses this discussion relatively well.
  14. What does poverty do but cause fear and disconnect communities? Most fun violence, as far as I am aware, occurs in inner city ghettos. So it seems sensible to consider poverty as a major factor. What do you think this fear and disconnect stems from?
  15. I would guess that most weapon related violence is driven by poverty and population growth. Things that are going to be near impossible to fully eliminate anytime in the near future.
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