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      Message from the office   07/13/2017

      There is an important message from the ULC Staff Office in the Admin Announcements & Maintenance forum. More info is on the way regarding new changes. The new area, Interpath Academia & Scholarship is open for creating new topics. We hope these areas will offer productive and insightful discussion. Please be sure to read the updated ULC Online Forum Statements, Rules & Policies, and the introductory post for each area. 


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About mererdog

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  • Birthday 12/31/2016

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  1. It is an O'Henry-style irony that when preaching inclusivity of belief it is common to marginalize and demonize beliefs that are exclusive in nature. I strongly suspect that the reason for this disconnect lies in the difference between tolerance and apathy. It is easy to overlook differences that do not matter to us. It is easy to allow someone to do what does not effect us. It takes mental effort to put up with the things we don't like. It is downright difficult to allow someone to do what we believe harms us. There are many paths up the mountain. But some of them require swimming in lava, and some of them require knocking rocks onto the heads of the people taking the paths below you.
  2. It makes perfect sense that Italians would take offense at all the negative stereotypes that get thrown at them, and that a "We're not all gangsters" movement would be started. It makes even more sense that gangsters would see such a movement as the perfect way to build a legitimate public image for themself while simultaneously bullying law enforcement into softening their tactics. Aren't group identity and guilt by association fun? The more we focus on groups, rather than on individuals, the farther away justice is....
  3. It had nothing to do with Italians facing up to anything. I suggest a quick search using the phrase "Apalachin Meeting". The Mafia had a very public unveiling, making it too embarrassing for people like J Edgar Hoover to keep saying there is no such thing. Why he denied it so fervently prior to that is a good question, and the start of many a conspiracy theory, but I find it highly doubtful that guys like Hoover were motivated by a desire to avoid being politically incorrect...
  4. The notion that being a pacifist means being passive, or that being an anarchist means being destructive. I suppose the biggest misconception is the notion that you can know who someone is by knowing who they are not.
  5. Really?
  6. The Liars Paradox doesnt exist in the real world because of that "mostly" word. Even if we take as a given that 99.9999% of what I say is wrong, you still have to watch out for that little bit of truth creeping in....
  7. Stereotypes work by exploiting flaws in how we perceive averages. They exist as distorted representations of what is typical. You see mostly black balls, so you assume that most balls are black. But you have not seen most balls, and the black balls are more noticeable to you than the white balls- so your assumption is based on faulty data.
  8. It is my firm belief that we are all mistaken. Not about everything, but about most things.
  9. Stereotypes are rarely helpful.
  10. Do you see a disconnect there? I think that if we are honest with ourselves, we find that there are many things that we believe are absolute truth. Things that we are so certain about that we cannot seriously entertain the notion that we may be wrong about them. If someone disagrees with us about these things, we cannot help but assume it must be due to a fault on their end. The Earth is round. I cannot fly. Death is inevitable. There is no excuse for rape. I hold these truths to be self-evident, but others deny that they are true. And while I pride myself on a skeptical outlook and open mind, I know that, on these subjects, my mind is closed and I am not really going to take new evidence on the issues seriously. This is not a character flaw, just a survival trait necessary for me to be able to make choices and navigate the world I live in. But to those who espouse differing views on the subjects and find that I am dismissive or even insulting in response, I am sure that it seems I have earned all sorts of unflattering labels.
  11. Never trust the self-evident. "Imperforate anus."
  12. A Methodisr bishop once summed it up for me as "The church is who we are. The ministry is what we do."
  13. A few years back, I took a quiz that proved I have forgotten pretty much everything beyond pre-algebra. I was only slightly surprised.
  14. Cloud shadows racing across Prairies strobe below Train windows flashing faces