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Robert

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  • Why does America elect such terrible Presidents?

    Obama: poor. Failure to act in Syria led to Ukraine; was unable to stop the spiralling debt.

    Bush Jr.: terrible. No Child Left Behind screwed over our education system, getting involved in Iraq diverted needed resources from Afghanistan, and may have had the lowest IQ of any recent president.

    Clinton: average, which sadly puts him head and shoulders above his peers.

    Bush Sr.: mediocre. Kuwait was a success, but was pretty poor otherwise. Did not understand economy.

    Reagan: average-ish. Ending the cold war by supporting Solidarity was great; speech he gave at the wall was great. On the other hand, Reaganomics bankrupted the country (he more than doubled the national debt) and he was a complete idiot in Central America.

    Carter: bad. The Democrats could have elected anyone after Watergate; they could have run your neighbour's puppy and still won. Instead, they nominated this buffoon.

    Ford: mediocre. Was put into an impossible situation and did nothing to improve it.

    Nixon: poor. Did many great things early in his presidency, but Vietnam and Watergate have to drop him. When you preside over the worst presidential scandal ever, you're automatically a poor president.

    Johnson: poor. See Vietnam.

    Kennedy: good. Bay of Pigs was a disaster, but winning the Cuban Missile Crisis and inspiring NASA to put a man on the moon are Kennedy's legacy, and that makes him the most recent good president.

    Eisenhower: great. Interstates and de-segregation. Last great president.

    6 AnswersElections5 years ago
  • What would it take for liberals and conservatives to work together?

    Our generation is repeating the same mistakes as past generations. People are so convinced that their political ideology is more important than the people their country is made of, that they would rather see their country burn than to work with the other party. And that goes for both parties.

    Answer the question seriously and I'll treat your answer seriously.

    11 AnswersPolitics5 years ago
  • Is it true that the Roman Catholic church dips the eucharist wafer into the wine during the service?

    You know, the way Jesus dipped the bread he gave to Judas to mark him as a betrayer?

    13 AnswersReligion & Spirituality6 years ago
  • Oboists: What happens when you lose it?

    I am studying oboe as a major in college. I've had a fairly successful run, getting a number of calls to play with a nearby professional symphony when they need extra oboists.

    Here's the problem: the last few months, I've completely lost my tone quality on the oboe. It just vanished, and I've tried everything and I can't get it back. I sound like a high schooler or worse, the tone goes back and forth between whiny and shallow and artificial.

    I know I'm overthinking it, and it drives me up a wall. I've messed with my breathing, my embouchure, my reeds, my vibrato, playing intentionally flat, playing intentionally sharp, ignoring everything and just singing, playing warm-up exercises as if they were magic pills, just about everything trying to get the tone quality back, and I can't get it back.

    I will say that right now my reeds are garbage, but I've had some pretty good reeds during this time-span that I've managed to get sounding awesome here and there, mostly surrounded by periods of meh on those exact same reeds.

    So, Yahoo Answers, how do I get back to sounding at least like someone who played oboe in a university symphony, if not someone who is about to graduate with a major in oboe?

    3 AnswersClassical7 years ago
  • How should we as a society handle extremism?

    Extremism is a growing threat to our society. People continue to try and get more and more extreme. But take a look at the underlying causes.

    We live in an overpopulated world. There are a LOT of people on our planet. And every one of those seven billion people have a need for their lives to mean something. No one wants to die having accomplished nothing, or have lived a meaningless life. And yet because of the world's population it is becoming harder and harder to get noticed. Who wants to interview the guy who went from homeless to a millionaire in ten years when you can interview the guy who went from homeless to a billionaire in five? Who wants to interview the pastor who thinks America should ban Islam when you can interview the pastor who's burning Qur'ans out back while advocating a new holocaust for Muslims?

    As such in this drive to get noticed, people are becoming more and more extreme.

    Extremism isn't necessarily bad in itself. Someone must always occupy the extreme. If you take a knife and draw a line and say "anyone over the line is no longer part of my church/group/etc.," then whoever just inside the cut becomes the new extreme voice. Extremism provokes thoughts; it represents diversity in belief, which can be good.

    It's just that in this drive to become more and more extreme, to push the boundaries further and further, we start to reach the place where the most prominent leaders of our political parties are not truly representative, but rather the most famous reps, the ones who get press--the ones at the far right and left wings. Instead of healthy examples of liberalism and conservatism, we get caricatures of both. And extremism drives people apart. And extremism can easily become intolerance.

    We need people to believe what they believe, not to radicalize their own beliefs in hopes of getting noticed. We need healthy centrism in our world. We need cooperation and tolerance.

    How can centrism survive the societal forces that are conspiring against it? How can we as a society handle extremism without it tearing society apart?

    3 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • If Jesus came to the Earth today, would He be a Republican or a Democrat?

    And no "He wouldn't vote" answers, because a) that's cheating; and even if it was true, we're talking about a hypothetical situation here; and b) He advocated civic responsibility ("render unto Caesar").

    To add more depth to the question, if Jesus is a Democrat, why are most Christians in the US Republican? The majority can't be wrong, can it? If Jesus is a Republican, why were the early Christians communists? Why does the Religious Left exist? If Jesus supported either party, would He support all of its policies, or just most/some/best of two evils?

    Bonus points (aka better chance to get selected as best answer) if you include actual quotes from Jesus, and translate them into modern situations.

    20 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • What is justice? And does the "justice system" mete it out?

    When the "Justice System" deals with a crime, like, say, murder, they sentence the murderer to 25 years in prison or death. How is that justice? In what way does the murdered man benefit from his killer spending 25 years in jail? How does the murder victim benefit from the execution of his killer?

    What about robbery? Some thief breaks into a guy's house and smashes a bunch of pictures and TVs. Judge sentences him to 8 years. How does the homeowner benefit? His insurance pays the damages, but he still has to replace the broken/stolen goods. Sentencing the thief to prison doesn't magically repair them. The homeowner does not directly benefit from a prison sentence.

    How does hurting the criminal approximately as much as the victim was hurt help the victim? Would it not make much more sense to make the criminal directly restore the loss, in some way?

    But that's not how it's done. It's not even a consideration. This leads me to conclude that our modern justice system is not actually a justice system--it's institutionalized revenge. It's the definition of "an eye for an eye;" and like Gandhi said, that makes "the whole world blind." When you enact revenge on someone for hurting you, you become no better than the person who hurt you, because you're doing the same thing, regardless of whatever notion of "justice" you have supporting your side. You're taking pleasure at someone else's pain, and that's not a good habit to form.

    Does a sentence act as a deterrent? Sure. But don't call it justice. And besides, research has shown harsh sentences don't lower crime rates, they increase them.

    Is there a way to enact a justice system that actually metes out "justice?" Like having the guy replace all the broken/stolen goods, and repairing the windows by hand?

    Any thoughts on the above? Anything I've missed?

    5 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • If there is no God, how was Daniel so accurate?

    Every time I start to doubt whether there is a God or not, I eventually go back to the prophecies of the Bible, specifically Daniel, and I remember just how ridiculously accurate they are, and my faith in God is restored.

    Daniel was so accurate in predicting the future that people began stating that Daniel was written at the time of the Maccabees, for no other reason than that no man could be that accurate in predicting the future, because there is no God. But even that doesn't explain the accuracy of Daniel's post-Roman Empire prophecies.

    Thus I ask you all, if there was no God, how was the Book of Daniel so accurate in predicting the future?

    If you are unfamiliar with the prophecies, I will spend the rest of this question detailing them below.

    ====================

    The prophecies/dreams of Daniel 2, 7-9 are all parallel prophecies, for they detail the same/similar things. Thus by contrasting between them we can understand more fully what they speak of. We know that they speak of Kingdoms, because the book of Daniel itself states this. The book of Daniel even names some of these kingdoms.

    Kingdoms; Dan 2; Dan 7; Dan 8

    Babylon; Head of Gold; Winged Lion; not mentioned*

    Media-Persia; Chest of Silver; Bear; Ram

    Greece; Thighs of Brass; Four-headed/winged Leopard; Goat

    Rome; Legs of Iron; Dragon; Little Horn

    Post-Roman Europe; Feet of Iron and Clay; Ten Horns + Little Horn; Little Horn (continued)

    *At the time of the vision of Daniel 8, Babylon had already been conquered.

    The details are what's important to us.

    Babylon is self-explanatory, given that the dreams happened during its reign. It was fabulously wealthy, with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Great Gate. Hence, it was made of gold.

    Cyrus the Great started out as King of both Media and Persia. However the Persians were stronger, and eventually overwhelmed the Medes. This is represented in the prophecy by the bear that "is raised up on one side;" and the ram with the two horns, "one was higher than the other." The bear had three ribs in its mouth, representing the three kingdoms Cyrus conquered in order to form the empire.

    The Empire of Greece was the result of Alexander's conquests. Alexander's Hoplites used armor made of brass--notable because brass represents Greece in Dan 2. Alexander's campaign was as quick as a "leopard," hence the leopard of Dan 7. The leopard had four heads, and Alexander had four generals, who divided the kingdom after Alexander's death. Daniel 8 gives more details, stating that the horn (Alexander) would break once the kingdom was strong, and four notable horns would replace it.

    The Roman Empire was represented by iron, just as its legions wore iron armor. Iron also represented the strength of the empire, and all three prophecies stated that Rome would be very great... and terrible. Indeed the Jews had a much easier life under Persia and Greece than they did under Rome.

    All of this is so obvious as to be non-controversial. How could Daniel have known all this if there was no God? And that's why scholars concluded the book must have been written at ~100BC, for no one could have known all this without God.

    But they forget the prophecy is not yet done, and the remainder of the prophecy is just as amazing.

    Rome is followed by feet of iron and clay, aka 10 toes; coinciding with 10 horns in Daniel 7. This represents Modern Europe. Indeed "Iron and Clay" is appropriate--for what else would Daniel call Concrete? And just as it says in Daniel 2:43, the iron and clay "will not cleave to one another," no future kingdom would ever unite the old Roman Empire. Back then this idea sounded ridiculous--we had just seen five consecutive great empires. And yet it happened. Charlemagne tried; Napoleon tried; Hitler tried; yet all of them failed (at Britain).

    What of this "little horn" of Daniel 7:8? What 11th kingdom came up "in the midst" of the 10 kingdoms, and caused 3 of the kingdoms to be destroyed to make room for it? And then went on to change times and laws? What kingdom fits all of this, and also came up around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire?

    In the early 6th century there was a controversy in the church regarding Arianism. While initially popular, eventually all but 3 germanic tribes abandoned it. These were the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals, and all 3 fell in quick succession to the might of the Byzantine Empire--Vandals 534, and the united Ostrogoth/Heruli in a war from 536-550. Notably, in 537, the Byzantines deposed the arian pope and replaced him with a new pope.

    (continued)

    12 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • What is this piece I'm thinking of?

    I don't remember the name or the composer. (Sorry.)

    In my mind the words "overture," "capriccio," and "rhapsody" are coming to mind. My faded memory believes the piece was written in the late 19th century, possibly by an English composer. It would not have been a big name, but neither was it a total unknown--in other words, I knew the name the moment I saw it for the first time, but it wasn't a well known name. An Arthur Sullivan type, except I briefly glanced over his works an hour ago and nothing struck me.

    Everything in the previous paragraph is a guess. Helpful, but possibly wrong. Everything that follows is known for certain.

    All I remember are bits of the tune and the overall structure of the piece. It's an orchestral work. 6-10 minutes in length. It's an ABABA format. The B sections consist of a slow arrangement of the hymn tune "Nettleton," better known as "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." With that said, the piece is probably not a sacred piece, and merely quotes that hymn. The hymn tune is carried by the oboe (mostly), and possibly a little flute, over strings. The A sections are a sort of a jig in 6/8 time, sort of fast. I seem to recall A having sections of brass with strings, followed by various instruments taking a short little fragment starting at various pitches.

    If there's a site I could write out a few fragments of A out for you guys let me know and I'll add it here.

    1 AnswerClassical8 years ago
  • What if Christianity was for real?

    No, I don't mean those religious extremist, far-right-wing, Religious Right (capital letters for self-pride!), intolerant, gay-hating nutjobs.

    I mean the Christianity of ordinary people in ordinary churches.

    Suspend your disbelief for a few seconds and imagine that it is all true.

    What would it have to do to get your attention? What would it have to do to convert you?

    Because I suspect for a lot of people, the answer is that they really aren't open-minded and there's nothing that they could do.

    Really you could substitute anything in for Christianity in the above question (and Christians probably ought to switch it out with something else, perhaps Islam), but I picked Christianity intentionally because that's what the majority of people have hard feelings against.

    So, again I ask the question. What if Christianity if for real? What would it have to do to get your attention and convert you?

    3 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • What is this band piece?

    It's got three movements, all based on the same hymn tune "All Creatures of Our God and King," except I don't think the name of the hymn tune is in the title (but it might be). The first movement is short and joyful (2 minutes? maybe 3?); the second movement is slow and mournful ending with an english horn solo (say 5 minutes?); the third movement is long, fast and joyful, with a brief section in the middle involving the clarinets going into minor; it starts with a similar accompaniment in the woodwinds as was found in the first movement (also about five minutes).

    I'm relatively sure it was written by a major band composer.

    3 AnswersClassical9 years ago
  • What do trumpeters have against the Ring Cycle?

    A friend of mine got a backstage tour at the Four Seasons Centre and took a photograph of a humourous poster they had on the wall there, in the musicians' lounge. It read:

    "Due to a lack of trained trumpeters, the End of the World has been postponed indefinitely.

    The Ring Cycle, however, may proceed as scheduled."

    So, trumpeters... what's up?

    4 AnswersClassical9 years ago
  • If there were no God, no heaven, and no hell, what reason would there be to act moral?

    If when you died you ceased to exist, and there was no afterlife to look forward to, why would you be a good person?

    If you could steal, or rape, or murder in such a way that you knew you could never be caught, and no one would ever find out, and insurance would compensate the damages you've done, would you?

    Why wouldn't people just act moral to those more powerful than them, while crushing and grinding those below them?

    22 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
  • If Satan was real, and he hated God, what would he spend most of his time doing?

    What would he attack on the Earth? What would he try to corrupt? What could he do that would hurt God the most?

    For purposes of this question assume God would allow Satan and humanity free will, and as a result would not stop him from doing anything short of directly killing someone. (In other words, the same boundaries that God placed in the Job story.)

    (It's a hypothetical question, just go with it.)

    8 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
  • Why do some people think Obama is the antichrist?

    Would someone care to provide a real, credible explanation as for why some Christians believe Obama is the anti-Christ? And not just, "it's there, read it for yourself." Because I did and I just don't see it. It's kind of hard to believe you're not just being racist liberalphobes without a reasonable explanation, so that's what I'm here for--a reasonable, credible explanation.

    12 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 years ago
  • What was Jack Layton's greatest achievement?

    RIP Jack Layton. You died too young.

    3 AnswersPolitics9 years ago
  • What will be the final score of the Jays-Angels game (Aug 14)?

    First person with the correct score wins 10 points. Must have correct score before the game ends.

    6 AnswersBaseball9 years ago
  • In Diablo 2, can hit recovery stack?

    Like say I have 20% faster hit recovery on my head, and a 14% hit recovery charm in my bags. Is the charm useless, or does it stack?

    Also, does "75% to poison duration" and "half freeze duration" stack if its on multiple pieces of gear?

    5 AnswersVideo & Online Games9 years ago
  • Why do people hate Obama?

    I mean, what has he done wrong? Besides the health care thing, where he took all the Republican amendments and included them such that it's really a Republican bill.

    25 AnswersPolitics10 years ago
  • Why are Democrats blue and Republicans red?

    Notice the breakdown of major political parties and colors in English speaking countries.

    Country:

    Left-wingers ------- Right-wingers

    Britain:

    Labour (red) ------- Conservatives (blue)

    Canada:

    Liberals (red) ------- Conservatives (blue)

    Australia:

    Labour (red) --------- Liberal/Nationals (blue)

    New Zealand:

    Labour (red) --------- National (blue)

    USA:

    Democrats (blue) --- Republicans (red)

    Why is the USA different?

    5 AnswersGovernment10 years ago