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Old 04-09-2003, 12:14 PM   #201
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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You bring up several interesting points, Kevin.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
It is not up to me to define what "safe and unoppressive" is or is not.

From my own perspective I think that Americans on the large scale would tend to be less oppressed and much more safe than pre-war Iraq wouldn't you say?
No, I don't. I have heard this Iraqi war called a "recruitment engine" for al Qaeda. Personally, I agree with this assessment, but only time (and hindsight) will be the true judge.

Since I have yet to be harmed by the actions of "pre-war" Iraqi's, I find no safety (or comfort) in knowing that my tax-dollars just bombed and invaded an ancient city. The initial evidence suggests the reverse is true.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Many in other religions and cultures would view the American way of life of captialism as a great "opate" and that we are a slave to our SUVs, big screen TVs etc.

How free is the guy who works for 20 years for the corporate american and dies of a heart attack at his desk trying to make the next mortgage payment on his 7000 square foot house?

At do think at least, that Americans (or at least I do) have the freedom to choose to not buy into the so called american dream, and for the most part, do what I want, and say what I want.
True enough: altho if you truly want freedom, freedom from all the negative aspects of American commcercialism, etc, you have to make a lot of sacrifices.

I remember once during the 80's, I substitute-taught a class in history. I decided to teach a class questioning the necessity to bomb Hiroshima, in WW2.

As you might imagine, the debates sounded a lot like some of the forum "discussions, here."

One fellow seemed particularly annoyed by the question itself. He equated the question with questioning "our way of life." I then asked him: what does it mean to have freedom, and democracy? Why is our system of governance so much better than, say: the USSR (this was during the late-80's).

After a lot of hemming and hawing, he said that we have the "freedom to watch, whatever we want, on TV."

In a sense, his answer was profound (which is why it stays with me). He equated freedom with the ability to choose which commercial product to consume; IOW, his ideas of freedom were completely framed by advertising, and commercialism.

(If you think I read too much into this, I asked him to define other aspects: he couldn't).

IMM, Americans don't even know the meaning of democracy, as they participate so little, in the process.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I think some people equate freedom with no responsibility....that is not the case. In order to attain at least some degree of freedom, their is a price to pay.

What we would argue about is what that price should be, and what is really worth fighting for!
I am reminded of a photograph: several ppl were sitting at a restaurant table, 3 African-American's, 2 white's. Around them were about six ppl, dumping food on their heads.

Of course, this picture was taken during the racist segregation struggles during the 60's.

The look on the ppl's faces: the embarrassment, the resolution: many of the complexities, all written on the faces of those ppl, struggling to end segregation.

That, IMM, is what "democracy looks like."
 
Old 04-09-2003, 01:51 PM   #202
DanielR
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Quote:
I am reminded of a photograph: several ppl were sitting at a restaurant table, 3 African-American's, 2 white's. Around them were about six ppl, dumping food on their heads.

Of course, this picture was taken during the racist segregation struggles during the 60's.

The look on the ppl's faces: the embarrassment, the resolution: many of the complexities, all written on the faces of those ppl, struggling to end segregation.

That, IMM, is what "democracy looks like."
This is interesting... One could argue that's how the absence of democracy looks like, under assumption that equal freedoms to all is an integral part of democracy as we understand it.

One other thought: US soldiers in Iraq - that's also a face of democracy, in a way.

Daniel
 
Old 04-09-2003, 10:03 PM   #203
opherdonchin
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People often equate the value they call freedom and the value they call democracy. I'm not sure that they are actually the same.

I also think that in the age of modern advertising, where popular opinion can be so easily predicted and manipulated, the old notion of democracy needs to be re-evaluated. It may no longer serve the same purpose it once did.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
 
Old 05-07-2004, 10:44 AM   #204
makuchg
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

For those who have not read my posts, my name is Greg Makuch, I am stationed at the Abu Ghuraib prison in Iraq. I would like to comment briefly on this issue.

War is an ugly event, regardless of which side you are on. The ugliest side is the civilian casualties. However, I hope we all don't base our interpretation of the events in Iraq on the four or five stories run on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. I would like to talk a minute in response to the letter from Baghdad, posted above. While the scenario is extremely sad, so is the reality that if that little girl had grown up under the past regime, her life would have depended on whether she was Shi'ite, Kurdish, or Sunni. She would not have a choice to decide her future, her government would have.

It is hard to drive through here seeing people who live in mud houses and use donkeys to travel, because that is all they had, in a country with large oil reserves and vast wealth. I watched children herd sheep with no shoes and no coats in the middle of January (weather in January is like South Carolina). I now see children (boys and girls) walking to school in clean uniforms. I see houses that had no electricity now have ample power for a refridgerator. Yes there are alot of things that need to be done, and progress is slow in some areas due to insurgent activities, but support from the formerly opressed is high. I see it everyday.

Sorry, I only meant a short response, sometimes I get lengthy.

From Abu Ghuraib

Greg Makuch
 
Old 05-11-2004, 03:13 PM   #205
Hogan
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Jaime McGrath wrote:
...G-dSpeed..

Mc
Hey Jaime - quick question, and you don't have to answer, of course, but how come you deleted the 'o' from GodSpeed above ? Submitting to the p/c people ? C'mon, I had hope for you ! Your signature line says 'Diplomacy in the face of tyranny is appeasement' ! Don't appease the p/c folks !


just kidding....
 
Old 05-11-2004, 05:21 PM   #206
makuchg
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

I do truly believe in the cause that we are here to support. I don't necessarily agree with the "political" reasons why we are here, however I do agree with assisting the Iraqi people with attaining a sense of liberty and freedom. I have children the ages of some of the kids I see and I would hate for my kids not to have all the opportunities in life that are available. If I can help one child achieve something that would have been otherwise unobtainable to them, I have been a success.

I have chose to end my military career for several reasons-
1. politics continues to overpower common sense
2. my children, who have spent far too much time away from me, deserve a Dad who is at home, not in the Middle East. I have deployed three times to this region in the last 2 years, I'll have 700+ days in the area at the end of this deployment.

Although I feel strongly about the good we have done, the reality is all the good in the world without a plan is for nothing. I support the decision to come here, regardless of the way it was verbalized, and I support what we have done for the Iraqi people, even if a few sh*theads acted like barbarians. However the reality is that in todays high tempo military, deployments are the norm and I don't want to be away from my family any more.

I appreciate the well wishes I have received. Thank you all!

Greg Makuch
 
Old 05-11-2004, 05:47 PM   #207
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Despite my feelings on the war, I think many of the basic freedoms we value as Americans are getting stripped away while people's attention is focused elsewhere.

Heres a quick look at an essay I was working on that explains a new direction to freedom of speech:

"Strong morals and a strong sense of freedom to say what we want have always been valued highly in our society. This country was founded on high moral standards influenced by Christianity, which obviously tend to creep into government values; this can be a good thing and a bad thing. This in turn, motivates many people to want to censor material if they don't agree with it or find it morally offensive.
But, this is potentially very dangerous to freedom of speech as we know it. The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 (S. 2056) allows the government to impose larges fines on any material that the Federal Communications Commission deems "indecent." This legislation would allow the FCC to also fine artists, comedians, and musicians. This is potentially the a large step in the direction of not having freedom to express what we want as a society. The definition of "indecent" can potentially mean anything the FCC wants it to. This is very vague legislation (ACLU).
Government control of free speech goes against our basic American values. Yet, it is happening as we speak with things such as this new legislation. There is no way to describe what offensive or indecent material is. All of these are norms created by society itself. Citizens of this country should never have to shy away from issues because fear of being fined or prosecuted.
Consider the case of a writing instructor at Forsyth Technical Community College in North Carolina. Elizabeth Ito has wanted the class to express their opinions on the Iraq War in a writing assignment after she explained her opposition to it. She provided a forum for the students to discuss opinions about the war. Ito was then scheduled to meet with the dean of the college after two of the students complained about her opinions on the war. The dean demanded a promise that she would never again discuss the war in class. She refused, but instead said that she would not express any of her opinions if the topic came up. Soon a letter came up that accused her of "insubordination," yet, the letter also indicated that the dean had considered the issue resolved. This instructor was soon released from the college (FIRE).
Those students may have found that offensive. But, being able to express opinions in a fundamental right of having freedom of speech. Something we value highly in America. Whether you agree with a person's opinions or not, our country and constitution was founded on the premise that everyone would be able to express them. Under our constitution, there is no such thing that states, "Opinions and values are not valid if you don't agree with them, and if you don‘t agree you should take action to suppress that view through censorship." Yet our government now has control over many of the elements of this freedom. Teachers as much as anyone, should not have to fear for their jobs if they express their opinions. In many ways, the students who were offended forced their beliefs onto Ito.
In the past few decades, the school system in America and around the world has also seen a plethora of books being banned in schools and being branded as "inappropriate" or "obscene." These books range from "Black Beauty," a story about a horse, to "Little Red Riding Hood." Many of these were banned due to laws passed by the government in the past forty years. Once again, many of these laws prohibited "obscene material" such as these books from getting into schools (Banned Books Online). Once again, how can we as a nation clearly define obscene? It is a vague term in general, so one person's perspective of what is obscene could be completely different than someone else's.
Although censorship is a complex issue, there are some possible solutions. Organizations such as the Internet Content Rating Association are searching for balance on this issue. Instead of censoring material, they instead want to impose a stringent internet rating system to empower parents. But, these also want to freedom of speech. Simply, to allow people to have choice (ICRA).
There is no law that stating that a person has to view any type of media they don't want to, so if someone feels a book or movie they are reading or watching in class is offensive, they should talk with the instructor to make special arrangements. Practically speaking, it makes no sense to censor most material because a minority of people oppose it. In turn, something also shouldn't be censored because the majority opposes it.
Americans have a strong sense of freedom, and to keep freedom of speech from being corrupted any further, we must act soon. This could simply mean accepting different views and not handing out our freedoms to government. This is no easy task, though. We live in a world of fear, and when people see things that offend them its scary. And, when people are afraid to say things because it may offend someone its not good either. Freedom of Speech is the most highly valued of all the American freedoms, in my opinion. Ironically, this is also the freedom that has eroded most over time. Due to the actions of many Americans concerned with making America "better." Forcing restrictions on opinions and content; whether it be the government or the people doing it, is not freedom of speech. I feel that freedom of speech has started to become an oxymoron in many cases. Censorship is contradictory to true American values."

Politics and propaganda are just business/marketing 101. If you understand business, you will understand world and American values, lol. There is no doubt in my mind if Kerry was in office right now pushing for the things Bush is, Bush would be totally against all of what he is pushing for now. That is the nature of most leaders; to be spineless. How many politicians relatives died at the World Trade Centers?

Last edited by MitchMZ : 05-11-2004 at 05:51 PM.
 
Old 05-11-2004, 09:53 PM   #208
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Greg has a good head on his shoulders. People are so quick to try and discredit me and others for being cowards because we don't believe in this war, war in general, have family to tend to, etc. But, that would make them hypocrites, because most of the people that called me cowards are my age and believe in the supposed cause, yet arent willing to serve themselves. These people make excuses. I almost signed up not because I agree with the occupation; but rather so I could help stop the beatings of prisoners, try save Iraqi and American lives, etc. This is a romantic view. But, then I realize I don't need to be in the military to help people, I could just go over there as a merc, in which case I'd probably end up dead from either US forces or Iraqi forces. Especially because I can barely even kill a bug. Hell, I've been punhced by an angry drunk and just laughed it off. I think my views of peace are just as idealistic as someones views that are pro war. Because its almost impossible to gain anything good from war (unless you view resources or land as good reasons for it, which is materialism and ethnocentrism), just as its almost impossible to expect people to get along and live in harmony. Although logically speaking, it seems using peaceful means to acheive peace is a much more direct route. But, that is also an idealistic thought. When people say "love it or leave it" I cringe. If our forefathers wouldn't have challenged British authority, there wouldnt be a United States as we know it. If you have the view that America is the best or that there is no need for improvement; that is ignorance and ethnocentrism at its finest. For example; If you truly loved someone and you knew they had nasty habits, would you just ignore the habits and go about your life? No. You would criticize them or confront them. The only true Americans are the Native Americans who our government raped this country from. We also cannot forget that the industrial aspect of this country was built by immigrants from other countries. America is more of an ideal than an actual country, and I fear that ideal is being overshadowed by arrogance and ignorance by people living within its very borders.
 
Old 05-12-2004, 10:15 AM   #209
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

http://www.notinourname.net/downloads/mejia.mp3

I totally agree with this man. And, I like that he is taking responsiblity for his choice. There have been other soliders such as the SSG that have been crucified by this administration. For example, a veteran of the Iraq war that spoke out against it was denied health care.

What about the nuclear materials left behind in the Iraqi people's country? The A-10s do use depleted uranium shells; which have and are making some GIs and Iraqis very sick. Did you know that one and four Gulf War veterans are now disabled? IMO, we are harming the country just as much as we are helping. For every picture or story I see of a US soldier helping someone, I see another one where soldiers are acting anything but honorably. Which is understandable, because war is a terrible thing. IMO, this is because half the people in the US military are really outstanding, and half are ignorant fools that just want revenge for something they don't understand. That is another thing that also made me lose my taste to serve. If someone wants to help me by bringing a full scale war to my country, I think I'd pass. I think a lot of Americans lose sight of how nasty war is because honestly, we are lucky enough to have a lot of gun toting citizens and a good place geographically in the world. Which has allowed us the fight most wars on someone elses soil.

http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle5365.htm

Personally, I found this very gross. IF you support war, you have to support everything that happens in war. They don't venture out on the streets and touch each other magic wands. War turns people into killers.

Last edited by MitchMZ : 05-12-2004 at 10:26 AM.
 
Old 05-12-2004, 10:57 AM   #210
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0412041memo1.html

IMO, its easy to use the sob story method as a logical fallacy for 9/11. It was a terrible event and a lot of people died, but, this administration took the sympathy the world felt, and turned it into hatred. Good job.

IMO, the government knew 9/11 was coming. My dad actually said that a lot of his clients and friends that do business in NY got calls that there meetings at the WTC were cancelled that morning before it happened. Seems kind of fishy...If Bush would have tried to prevent it and grounded all flights before anything happened, and nothing did happen, people would be pissed and it wouldnt have been any gain to him politically!

IMO, 9/11 has been used as A HUGE benefit politically to this administration. What better to TRY and justify wars in the middle east!? What better to focus the peoples attention elsewhere so you can strip away more rights? Should I also ignore that relatives of Bin Laden were flown out of this country while most planes were grounded? (I actually knew a kid in high school that was a distant relative of Bin Laden, he was a really nice kid, really smart.) I think there is something bigger than you and me going on here. Which is why I'm not planning on playing any role in it, if I want to help people I'll join the peace corps. Hate me as much as you want, I merely try and search for the truth, no matter how much it hurts me. One things for sure, I won't be voting for Bush or Kerry come election time. They are both spineless businessmen. Hell, they are even related.
 
Old 05-13-2004, 01:34 PM   #211
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

And so, we see how one person (who may, or may not, be currently practicing Aikido, as his dojo-link announces the dojo as closed, and...quite possibly: is posting on a fictictious name) controls political discourse by encouraging dicourse when he wants to, and closes threads when he doesn't, by lobbing personal attacks--several of them calling into question my rank and standing in Aikido.

If this person is so "brave and patriotic," then why does he balk at publishing his real name, and the dojo where he trains? Normally, I'd say that it is irrelevant, but when my rank is ridiculed, then you are calling into question the judgement of Saotame Sensei, who awarded my rank.

I guarantee you, that he would take this issue very seriously. If this post'er cannot seem to engage in polite discourse without sabotaging the discussion, why is he here? Why does the moderator continue to lock ALL threads, whenever he posts a negative response?

Is this the essence of Aikido, for political discourse to be held hostage by the vitriolic ramblings of an online bully? A bully who may not even be an Aikidoist?
 
Old 05-13-2004, 01:39 PM   #212
John Boswell
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Polite discourse?

I'm still waiting for your signature to go away.

It is rude and offensive, hence... so are you.

So who's the bully?

 
Old 05-13-2004, 01:55 PM   #213
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
Polite discourse?

I'm still waiting for your signature to go away.

It is rude and offensive, hence... so are you.

So who's the bully?
Excuse me?? You show me where, in my sig: that I am directly insulting ANYONE. I am posting documentation, of my political views. I'm sorry that you fail to see the difference between a simple posting of fatalities, and referring to someone by disparaging names, or questioning rank.

I suppose you were offended when Dan Rather read off the names of the deceased. Sorry, but since I attack no one in my sig: I might suggest that your idea of my being "rude" is...partisan.

Certainly, nothing like posting my private emails on a public website (and, if I were to publish some of the more personal suggestions of HIS emails, this thread would be locked in a heartbeat).

Get a clue, John. We have never personally insulted each other, and if I saw you on the mat, your politics wouldn't matter.

If you question my RANK, either here or online: then that goes beyond personal. That insults my Sensei.

Now, you SURE you want to side with someone who commonly employs this tactic?

Quote:
He means after barraging me with obnoxious insulting e-mails he cries to the moderators that people are being mean to him in the other thread and requests to have it locked...

which he seeks none of.

actually for him its about his soapbox and an ignore button to any dissenting views

I won't even mention the insults, the elitist wannabe new world samurai has posted on his own, or his tact of "I am done talking to you" only to attack in later posts, its all in that thread he had locked. its all there...

Unless its in a barrage of e-mails or if its done through your alter-ego Ham.

Hah the ego.... that pretty black belt you wear I think is too tight... the emporer welcomes continued thought... As long as he thinks he has a leg up on you.
A person can have differences of opinion, yet respect other aspects of his life. Can you?
 
Old 05-13-2004, 03:24 PM   #214
akiy
 
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Please take personal discussions off of the public boards and into private messaging. Thank you.

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
 
Old 05-13-2004, 05:18 PM   #215
MitchMZ
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Re: Anti-Americanism

It is much easier to be critical than correct. This goes for my view of things, as well as people's thoughts on my views. I'm just happy to have beliefs that don't require everyone to believe what I believe. Sometimes, I just like to make people think.
 
Old 05-14-2004, 03:04 AM   #216
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Mitch Kuntz wrote:
It is much easier to be critical than correct. This goes for my view of things, as well as people's thoughts on my views. I'm just happy to have beliefs that don't require everyone to believe what I believe. Sometimes, I just like to make people think.
Well-said. That's much the same way I feel, as well.
 
Old 05-19-2004, 10:03 AM   #217
Taliesin
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Just out of curiosity, are there any plans to convert the USA into a Democracy rather than a Plutocracy (I ask now since the US Presidential auction appears to have begun). And will George W (by the way is it true his middle name is Walker with an 'n') ever learn the concepts of evidence, or rule of law or due process. Or will it be the same I'm President if you don't support me, you must be the enemy.

After all his war to promote terrorism seems to have eroded the freedoms he was supposed to be fighting for, and destroyed the security we had in the name of greater security. Lets hope he doesn't manage to buy the presidency.
 
Old 05-19-2004, 09:50 PM   #218
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
David Chalk wrote:
Just out of curiosity, are there any plans to convert the USA into a Democracy rather than a Plutocracy (I ask now since the US Presidential auction appears to have begun). And will George W (by the way is it true his middle name is Walker with an 'n') ever learn the concepts of evidence, or rule of law or due process. Or will it be the same I'm President if you don't support me, you must be the enemy.

After all his war to promote terrorism seems to have eroded the freedoms he was supposed to be fighting for, and destroyed the security we had in the name of greater security. Lets hope he doesn't manage to buy the presidency.
Actually, the real worry I have about the upcoming election is a similar steal done in the same manner as in Florida, with the electronic ballot-boxes. Now, they're much more widespread, and their unreliability is well-documented.
 
Old 05-21-2004, 02:13 PM   #219
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

The photos and news of abuse keep coming in from Iraq, not to mention Rafah. It's sickening; worse to read of the occasional opinion that "aww, it's not torture!" from the apologists.

As the moral barometer begins to slip for the USOA, so will the moral relativism slip down the scale for the apologists. It's a very sad time in America, with respect to world politics.
 
Old 05-21-2004, 08:27 PM   #220
James Giles
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
It's a very sad time in America, with respect to world politics.
Its also a very sad time in America economically. Everything is going up except for wages. In fact wages are going down. I wonder if Ralph Nader has any solutions in mind to help us get out of this mess.

Last edited by James Giles : 05-21-2004 at 08:32 PM.
 
Old 05-22-2004, 04:30 PM   #221
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
James Giles wrote:
Its also a very sad time in America economically. Everything is going up except for wages. In fact wages are going down. I wonder if Ralph Nader has any solutions in mind to help us get out of this mess.
You know? I really don't know what a Ralph Nader Presidentcy would look like. But, he'd be up against a very powerful bloc--the oil companies. To get us truly out of this mess, we'd have to convert the economy from a wartime, oil-intensive economy to one that focuses upon alternative sources of energy, to run it. And that's just for starters. He'd have to be teflon against the attacks from the usual Republican-smear's, to even get his programs going.

Most importantly, American's have to really WANT to change. And, they don't. Not yet, anyway.
 
Old 05-22-2004, 10:53 PM   #222
James Giles
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Most importantly, American's have to really WANT to change. And, they don't. Not yet, anyway.
Hey Neil, perhaps when American's cannot afford to drive to work anymore, or better yet EAT(!!), they will decide it is time for a change!
 
Old 05-23-2004, 11:21 AM   #223
Neil Mick
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
James Giles wrote:
Hey Neil, perhaps when American's cannot afford to drive to work anymore, or better yet EAT(!!), they will decide it is time for a change!
Hey James, good to hear from you. Yes, I think that when the cost of gas gets too high then things will begin to change (see "Peak Oil"). But, as that is happening we'll first have the mainstream media telling us all that the situation is "only temporary," with "no cause for alarm."

Things might even seem to go "back to normal" for awhile as the US taps into its reserves (depending upon how the Peak Oil phenomenon affects the US), but very quickly ppl will realize that there IS no "back to normal," after all.

Mainstream media is the propaganda-machine for the status quo. They're very good at telling us all theat "it is all cause for alarm; but our leaders know what they're doing and it will all be OK, soon."
 
Old 05-24-2004, 01:21 PM   #224
James Giles
Dojo: North Florida Aikikai
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 53
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Re: Anti-Americanism

Quote:
Neil Mick wrote:
Mainstream media is the propaganda-machine for the status quo. They're very good at telling us all theat "it is all cause for alarm; but our leaders know what they're doing and it will all be OK, soon."
Hey Neil, good to hear from you too. Yes, the way the U.S. media is used to condition the minds of Americans into complete submission reminds me of the mind-control tactics used by the Nazis in WWII. But Bush does not have the love for nation that Hitler possessed. This is proven by his amnesty initiatives and his desire to give outsiders free reign when they come to our country. His policy seems to be "put the American taxpayer last".
 
Old 05-27-2004, 12:28 PM   #225
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 225
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Re: Anti-Americanism

I dunno: I see Bush as acting on the wishes of the conglomeration of his supporters. He has a strong voting-bloc of Hispanic voters, and so he needs to make some measures towards resolving the migrant-worker issue. Certainly, just increasing the firepower on the borders doesn't do any good. So, he came up with this lame "temporary guest" program, that doesn't really solve anything. But, you don't hear much about this program anymore...I wonder what the status of it, is?

Frankly, all I hear from DC nowadays is damage control, about Iraq. That little speech about the "status" of Iraq was a real joke, certainly not intended for the Iraqi's. When it was given...4AM, their time...hardly anyone was awake to hear it.

Nowadays, it's all about how this or that policy affects the elections, in November. This is truly unfortunate, as our policy in Iraq is quickly taking on critical importance. It shouldn't be a political football.
 

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