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The post which Robin Williams didn't write, made me ponder. Is it time for a change?(20 posts)

The post which Robin Williams didn't write, made me ponder. Is it time for a change?Kristin
Apr 29, 2003 7:23 AM
There were some good points in the message that was not written by Robin Williams; but it suggests changing the core philosophies that founded America. Do you agree with this statement? And do you think we should evaluate some of those founding principles so that we can adapt in a changing world?

Marxism looks wonderful on paper. But in reality, it didn't work. It was missing a key ingredient...utopious people, devoid of greed. My ancestors envisioned a beautiful dream for this nation and created an amazing foundation to build that dream on. How much of the American dream is idealistic and how much of it is realistic? Some ideals are acheivable; but only if we are able to adapt as we grow and the world changes around us. I believe that we are experiencing some major growing pains. Do we need to change?
we are always changingDougSloan
Apr 29, 2003 7:27 AM
Look at how America has changed since the Depression. It's hardly the same system, in reality.

Generally, I think slow, debated, tested, incremental changes work best. Radical changes are too unpredictable and dangerous.

The events of Sept. 11No_sprint
Apr 29, 2003 8:47 AM
have been an impetus for important change.
Apr 29, 2003 9:00 AM
not all for the best
There never has or will be perfection, that's understood. nmNo_sprint
Apr 29, 2003 12:21 PM
Besides the first one, what points did you think were good? nmcarnageasada
Apr 29, 2003 9:23 AM
Not that radical53T
Apr 29, 2003 10:05 AM
The plan is simply isolationism, a foreign policy practiced by the US many times including 1780-1800, 1817-1850, 1923-1943. There is nothing about isolationism that runs counter to the founding priciples of the Republic.

How much of the American dream is ralistic? Well, that's not a question that has an answer, but rather an argument waiting to happen. Nobody (including the French who inscribed the tablet in Liberty's hand) has defined the American dream. Our founders suppoted the right to life, libery and the persuit of happiness. Beyond that, the American Dream is a collection of about 300 million people's individual dreams. How much of YOUR American Dream is realistic?

BTW, Marxism looks rotten on paper. Marx did not embrace the persuit of happiness as did the founders of the US. "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his means" is a recipe for disaster. Even in the US we are still diging out from the failed Marxist policies of the New Deal.
Not that I'm a fan of Marx butcarnageasada
Apr 29, 2003 1:37 PM
exactly which Marxist policies from the New Deal are we digging out from? Socialist, yes. But Marxist? Having suffered through Fromm's book and Das Kapital I don't even consider former Soviet or present day Cuban policies Marxist much less any implemented here in the United States, with the possible exception of a few communes scattered here and there.
The change we needIFTreedog
Apr 29, 2003 3:25 PM
Marxism is not really a political philosophy or a roadmap to development. In it's pure form it's just an assessment of what happened in England and parts of Europe as a result of the Industrial Revolution and a general extrapolation of what could happen if capital continues its 'scientific' trajectory into fewer and fewer hands.

Likewise, America today is not really what was envisioned 250 years ago. I'll stake my tent and say that America today is a nation of comfortable people with an impressionable mindset. Namely, we have freezers full of food but a series of fearful advertisements telling us to buy more and stock up, in case bad things happen.

That's an analogy. But it explains a lot to me. And right now the people of the United States are being pressured by a very narrow sliver of the political spectrum into believing that wolves, terrorists, and the devil are all outside scratching at the door.

Prior to last fall no reasonable person in America thought that Iraq was a threat to this country, but through a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign that case was made and we fell for it.

When the Bush administration introduced its new National Security Strategy in 2002 claiming that pre-emptive war was now justified, what they really meant was 'preventive' war. A war to prevent more terrorism, a war to prevent attacks on the US, a war to 'stabilize' resource-rich parts of the world that did not fall into line.

A test case was needed to demonstrate this strategy to the rest of the world. Iraq fit the bill perfectly. Prior to last fall's elections the Republican party began a concentrated effort to limit all political debate in the campaigns to just one issue: Attacking Iraq. In October the congress approved the resolution calling for force and the deal was done. Democrats were effectively silenced by the Republican claim that 'only Republicans care for the safety and security of America'.

Then the various formalities of UNMOVIC inspections and UN resolutions were allowed by the US administration, with no intention that they be useful or even heeded. Witness the changing rationale used by Bush administration officials: Allow inspectors back in or else, Disarm or else, Prove disarmament or else, Democratize or else, Allow U2 overflights or else, Change regime or else, Liberate Iraqis or else. In the end it mattered not, as armed invasion was a foregone conclusion.

Why? Because this NSS doctrine needed a test case, and while we in American were treated to the grandest of propaganda barrages yet, to include a State of the Union address, testimony in front of the UN Security Council, so-called summits in the Azores and at Camp David, and the eventual nation-wide condemnation of those 'against us' in France, Germany and Turkey, the rest of the world saw this for exactly what it was. An armed invasion by a technologically superior force of a desperately poor third-world nation.

Burundi has a brutal dictator. Uganda has a brutal dictator. Most of western Africa is in armed anarchy. Central Asia is filled with countries where it's criminal to organize or peacably demonstrate. Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and even Venezuela have a great need for liberation from their regimes.

In the end we need no change of immigration policy in America. We need committed voters who know what they want, we need politicians who are open-minded, and we need a foreign policy that does not practice violent realpolitik in parts of the world we can not hope to understand.
Apr 29, 2003 5:14 PM
I may not agree with everything you have written here, but most of it screams out truth. A masterpiece!
IFTreedog...WOW!!...that was a greatcycleaddict
Apr 29, 2003 8:34 PM
summary of exactly what's going on. One question: why are Americans so easily convinced by what they see on TV? Seems as though the Republicans have mastered the art of using the media to their advantage and the Democrats seem to be clueless as to gaining traction in this area.
Same thing happened before the first Gulf war. It only took 6 weeks to convince the public that the guy (Saddam) that we had just given $5 billion in aid was now a real BAD person.
Amazing! Thank you!moneyman
Apr 30, 2003 7:30 AM
For clearing up all that confusion! I am truly grateful that you have shed light on that evil Republican disinformation machine that has duped 300,000,000 US citizens! Make that 299,999,999. You are the only one who saw the truth!

Oh - By the way - How did the Republicans limit the debate? I must have missed that while watching the coverage of war protests across the country, of debate by the Democrat presidential candidates, while reading numerous columns in magazines and newspapers disparaging Bush administration policies, and taking part in the vigorous discussion of dissenting opinions on this board.

I can't wait to hear your answer! Thanks again!!!!!

LOL! Nice imagination! You must write fiction. nmNo_sprint
Apr 30, 2003 8:23 AM
Apr 30, 2003 8:29 AM
Media in America is beholden to sponsors and advertisers. The basic economic model is that the media show news stories, bring in viewers to watch those news stories, and then sell advertising spots to companies who want the viewers to buy their stuff.

In essence, the one true product in the business of media in America is selling stratified and homogenous groups of viewers to advertisers. Producing news stories is really just the bait, however good or truthful those stories may be.

It's demonstrably easier on the news agencies to repeat what they are told by 'authorities' at press conferences and official briefings, and the basic agreement for access to these authorities is that the media ask no difficult questions and the authorities tell no outrageous lies. It's really no different from Joan Rivers standing on a red carpet asking movie stars what they are wearing.

The fundamental lie told in the political campaign leading up to last year's congressional elections was that Iraq was a serious threat to the national security of America. A basic part of propaganda is to consistently repeat insignificant facts that support you, while absolutely ignoring anything that runs counter to your claim. Thus, Iraq and Al Qaeda have close ties, according to the Bush administration, and the fact that not even Kuwait and Syria are seriously afraid of Iraq's armies is buried. Accordingly the American population began to believe that Iraq was complicit in the attacks of September 11, and news stories about New Yorkers buying gas masks began to crop up soon after a 'national alert' was raised. Obviously lies, but the way propaganda works is like trying to produce an echo in a well. You only have to shout once.

True issues in the last congressional election: the economy, health care, corporate corruption, were neutralized by the Republicans who knew that the Democrats could corner them in those battles. Introducing Iraq into the picture shifted the voting and the issue. In spite of the very well organized protests and obvious disapproval by Americans, which by the way came after the elections, the media, in order not to jeopardize their cozy relationship with an administration already decided on invasion, chose to marginalize what were by DC police estimates the largest anti-war marches in Washington since Vietnam. Additionally, the 'patriotization' of simple concepts, like flags, yellow-ribbons, and slogans in support of the troops, served to taint dissent on the issue of war with a whiff of anti-americanism and support for the enemy.

Again, the propaganda machine at work.
That's a very broad brush with which you're paintingmoneyman
Apr 30, 2003 9:02 AM
You see only what you want to see. To think that the Republicans run "the media" and determine what gets reported and what gets covered up is a fascinating study in fantasy. Your conspiracy theories serve as good excuses for Republican electoral and policy victories, when the real reason is the lack of a vital message by the Democrats. If the citizens of the US deemed the Democrat's message to be more important than that of the Republicans, you can bet the tables would be turned. For you to wave it away as so much propaganda duping so many citizens shows a profound disrespect for the ability of the US public to make intelligent decisions.

Neither of the so-called political partiesIFTreedog
Apr 30, 2003 9:17 AM
The American people decided in 2000 to elect Al Gore as president of the United States. I respect their choice, but I do not have the resources or the time to bring in Federal Judges to overrule a state matter in Florida.

I think you are reading into something and arriving at the conclusion that I am either for or against one 'party' or another. That's not true. There is no real discernible difference between the Democratic or Republican parties in America, other than some basic social issues that are perhaps negligible at best when brought into the political arena.

What is at issue is the domination and control of power by an elite class of politicians and business interests. Neither Republicans nor Democrats run the media, and I never stated as such. The media run themselves, but have a deliberate interest in their own business fortunes.

In truth, the voters last year did determine that Democratic candidates had a more important message, but political maneuvering by a very well-funded Republican party trumped what little the Democrats could and would say about issues other than war. And the machine that installed Bush in office is just as committed to seeing its political agenda carried out as they were with squashing a recount in Florida.

That's the thing about truth. If you speak it to the powerful, they don't want to hear it, because they already know what's going on. The National Security Strategy is hardly a conspiracy theory.
What Republican victories?czardonic
Apr 30, 2003 12:04 PM
The elections of 2000 and 2002 were basically a draw. If it is true that the Democrats were hampered by the lack of a vital message, then it is also true that voters saw the GOP message as merely infintesimally better than nothing.
Spare me53T
May 1, 2003 3:22 PM
Prior to 2001, nobody in America thought Afganistan was harboring folks who could kill thousands of Americans.

How old is you rhetoric? I just got back from Peru. Toledo, a Stamford economist and native Inca is not exactly a cruel dictator. Is there a problem with the regime in Columbia? Venezuela? have to wonder how much of the rest of your speach is BS.

There is no part of this planet that is beyond the ability of Americans to understand. To suggest otherwise is insulting and incredible. "Open minded" politicians have absolutly no use here. Our democratically elected leaders need to know the roots of their value systems and be able to profess them and apply them as challenges arise. What is an open minded politician anyway? Someone who runs on one platform but can be convinced otherwise once in office? Where is the value in that? Perhaps the electorate should be more open minded, but let's not encourage our representatives to blow in the wind any more than they do already.
You are mistakenIFTreedog
May 2, 2003 9:23 AM
Prior to 2001 it was widely known that al Qaeda were capable of killing Americans. I'd go so far as to say that from the early 70s on, Afghanistan was more or less a CIA training camp, and that the 1980s in particular, when proxy armies established by combined American and Saudi funding began fighting the Soviets in that country, showed what could happen.

After US troops remained in Saudi Arabia following the first Gulf War, bin Laden's openly stated claim was to drive the 'infidels' out of the holy land, meaning Americans from Mecca. Attacks on Air Force barracks, African embassies and a US warship proved his claim was serious. When Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 it was because bin Laden, then encamped in Afghanistan, was known to be capable of killing thousands.

In Peru the US-funded drug war, in particular the aiding and abetting of the military there, has done nothing but disrupt the political process and allow for a strong security apparatus to evolve independently of the civilian government. Toledo may be Stanford educated and well-intended, but he is not well supported by the people, and in time he will be replaced. The 'regime' there that oppresses people, and by this I mean the security apparatus established to fight the cultivation of coca, is already client of the US, and so no invasion is needed.

Colombia has been a US client military state for two decades, and right now a proxy war is being fought there, primarily by US contractors, to try and eliminate the same coca plant that grows in Peru. Uribe now wants the US to begin sending any and all military equipment left over from Iraq into his country to fight 'terrorists'. The US won't invade Colombia to teach the world a lesson because it has already invaded.

Venezuela is more complicated, because Chavez's behavior with respect to the United States is much like Hussein's prior to the first Gulf War: He is defying orders from Washington.

That's something that can not be tolerated by the puppetmasters. And Chavez has his own problems. He supplies weapons and intelligence to FARC, he raises the minimum wage 30%, he antagonizes the middle class, he tries to nationalize PDVSA. All of these things together fly in the face of overt American imperialism in the Western Hemisphere..which is basically an old story by any standard. Namely, the US wants the raw resources, cheap labor, and a friendly local administration to keep things in line. Chavez is in no way the first to do this, but he may very well provide justification for a US invasion.

True, understanding the world is not impossible, but practicing realpolitik in those parts and playing by our own violent rules will always have consequences. We can not hope to understand the mind of Wahhabis, other than to know that they strive for an 11th century way of life and reject modernism as being against god. But to enlist them to fight the communists in 1980 and then abandon them in 1989 is hopelessly irresponsible because it provides them with a motivation for revenge and a lot of weaponry.

An open-minded politician is just that. A person who understands the basic value of human rights, who has no contempt for democracy, and who adheres to the same principles he espouses for other countries. And while Bush is perhaps irrelevant at best in his own administration, he is most definitely not open-minded.
Your politics are strong, your argument has holes.53T
May 2, 2003 8:01 PM
In your prior post you argue that nobody felt Iraq was a threat prior to the latest campain and miltary actions. When, of course, there were many experts in teh field who felt very strongly about the subject. Enough people believed it that they unelected G Bush the elder. When I draw the parrallel that nobody thought Bin Laden was a threat, you drag out the polict wonks in the Clinton adminstration. you seem to be applying two different standards here.

You argue that Toledo will eventually be replaced, while I applaud that as a sign of a healthy democracy. I support GWB, but he will eventually be replaced.

As I stated we have no problem with the adminstration in Columbia, Venezuela. It is clear now that that the regime you feel these people need to be free of is the US.

What more do we need to understand about Wahhabis (if indeed that stereotype proves to be valid), other than they present a treat to US intrests at home and abroad? We are irresponsible? OK, I'll stipulate to that, but what does that change on the world stage?

I am not mistaken, and neither are you. You and I have serious political differences, different ambitions for the US worldwide, and diferent pardymes concerning the role of fairness in the anarchaic world of international relations.