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#76493 - 07/20/02 09:11 PM Re: Something incredibly inspiring!
modestgoddess Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 833
Loc: Eastern Ontario, Canada
I have to confess, I'm with those who are against the speech....I found it just left me with an icky feeling.

I understand what TEd is saying he thinks the speaker is saying about fighting for Western "civilization" at home - however, I don't think the speaker himself made that point terribly clearly. I'm with shona, mav, vika and t'others: 'tis divisive, and a tendentious (had to look that up!) pile o' doo-doo.

IMHO, radical Muslims aren't any worse than radical Christians or radical Jews or radical anything/anyone. If you know anything about Islam - and I must confess I know very little, but enough! - you know that, as with the other two "book" religions (Judaism and Christianity), peace and peaceful actions are basic tenets of the Word of Allah, the Lord, Yaweh - whatever you want to call Him. (Her. It.) To pick on Islam because of Osama bin Laden is to tar all Muslims with the same brush - and the vast majority of them don't deserve that.

As for defending Western "civilization" - well, some of it is okay, but a lot of it ain't that great. Do we really want to pat ourselves on the back for things like the space programme (come on, how has it bettered life on Earth? if each nation with a space programme cancelled one project/mission per year and diverted the money to more appropriate causes, I bet we wouldn't have any starving people on the planet any more); pharmaceuticals (doctors get their info on drugs from drug companies - and drug companies just want to make money - look at the recent horrifying revelations about female hormone replacement therapy - go natural as much as possible, that's my motto!); finance (Enron, etc.); pop culture (Britney Spears, boy bands, what so often passes for "art" or "performance art," rap "music," what so often passes for "literature," etc); environmental practices (tearing down forests at a rate of knots, polluting lakes and other waterways, culling animal populations that would do fine if left to their natural cycles, introducing species where they don't belong, destroying habitat, etc); and much, much more? Where do we get off, holding ourselves up as examples to the world?

No, really?

Let us go in peace to love and serve the board.

#76494 - 07/21/02 04:58 AM Re: Something incredibly inspiring!
RhubarbCommando Offline

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
Thank you, modgod, for that contribution that so obviously comes straight from then heasrt.

I have wanted to put something in, ever since this thread started, and have held back because I couldn't find the right words to say what I feel without going "over the top."

You have said so much of what I feel (and the rest has been said by the others that you named!) that I don;t need to add. Just to endorse.

#76495 - 07/21/02 08:46 AM War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I hear you, Rhuby, and thanks ModGod for expressing what I too feel.

This brings up a slightly tangential thought for me - I recognized an amazing contrast as a child, learning about the WWII military experiences of my father and my uncle. My dad was Chief Quartermaster on a Navy fueling ship in Alaska, and I don't think he ever saw battle (i.e. Attu) - he froze off half of one lung guiding the ship through a storm, and spent the last couple of years of the war in a Naval hospital with TB. My uncle was on the front lines - Army infantry, I imagine - and took a bullet that he carried with him for the rest of his life. My uncle (and probably to an even greater degree, my aunt) harbored the bitterness of the ages toward the Japanese because of a bullet from some guy who was just doing his job, same as my uncle.

Maybe it's the glaring disparity of their respective service records - but when my dad spoke of the Japanese, it was always with the greatest respect. See, Dad had been a Merchant Marine in the 1920s, long before travel to Asia was an everyday occurrence. His experience in Japan was so profound that *that's* what he carried with him all his life, not the memories of the war. He could have easily succumbed to the same bitterness that my uncle did - after all, if it wasn't for the Japanese, there would have been no reason for him to be in Alaska on that boat during that storm and he would've had full lung function, blah, blah, blah. But he didn't. He had an awareness of the cultural differences borne of peacetime experience, and yet he understood the underlying similarities among humankind.

It makes me glad to be my father's daughter.

#76496 - 07/21/02 04:39 PM Re: something perspiring
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
I feared I might be wading in with my normal size 9 boots, but it was heartening to hear such perspectives as Vika's and MG's and CKs and Rhuby and others, and I think you are dead right to reflect with pride on your dad's transmitted values FB! Thansk for the link to that article Vernon - funnily enough I had been comparing notes with other board members about McCarthyism so this struck a real chord with me:

Robert Jensen, associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin [] and many others are concerned about Lynne Cheney's group, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which she co-founded in 1995 with Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut.
That group issued a report after September 11 called "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America, and What Can Be Done About It." It said, "When a nation's intellectuals are unwilling to defend its civilization, they give comfort to its adversaries." And it cited more than 100 examples of what it considers unpatriotic acts by specific academics.
"What's analogous to McCarthyism is the self-appointed guardians who are engaging in private blacklisting," says Eric Foner, professor of history at Columbia University. "That's why the Lynne Cheney thing is so disturbing: Her group is trying to intimidate individuals who hold different points of view. There aren't loyalty oaths being demanded of teachers yet, but we seem to be at the beginning of a process that could get a lot worse and is already cause for considerable alarm."

This, for me, is what lies at the heart of this debate: do we abnegate our responsibility to use our intellect in the face of terrifying crimes? I submit that if we do, we truly lose connection with all that is best in the slow and fequently oscillating development of human civilisation - whether the contributions to that civilisation have come from the West, or from the East.

That is why, for me at least, no cosy pattern of pre-digested dogma (whether based on flag or other faith-symbols) will ever cut it: we can never evade our individual and personal commitment to try and think carefully and act judiciously and show love before anger.

As, TEd, for your intemperate personal response to my simple attack on the message you were holding up for glorification ~ well, I think your response speaks for itself. But the facts if you wish to gather them are plainly published - America, for its many sterling qualities, is a net consumer of the world's assets in every territory of the globe. For every $ spent in 'aid' many dollars are grabbed in crippling debt payments in the less developed areas of the globe. I know you to be a very intelligent and good hearted man; I suspect in other times and places you may recognise that your current posts in this thread do not do you justice. I shall not post in this thread again, lest this degenerate into another ugly contest of irreconcilable politics - the intention of my original post was not to belittle your current beliefs, but rather to give you fair warning that other equally intelligent and passionately committed democrats may profoundly and completely differ to your views.

#76497 - 07/21/02 06:13 PM something some found inspiring
armor Offline

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 9
>>> "to give you fair warning that other equally intelligent and passionately committed democrats may profoundly and completely differ to your views."

Amen. (and that said without having been patient enough to have read the long posts on each side, so I have no idea who I'd agree with)

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
--- Herbert Spencer

(PS: Why retitled "something perspiring"? Perhaps bemiring?)

#76498 - 07/22/02 09:13 AM Who do I hate?
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
Ted writes: They are the enemy

Sometimes the enemy is not nearly as clear as it appears to be.
The problem here lies as much in you as it does in your proclaimed foe, Ted.

#76499 - 07/22/02 09:21 AM Re: War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
modestgoddess Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 833
Loc: Eastern Ontario, Canada
It makes me glad to be my father's daughter.

Thank you for that story, Fiberbabe. I'm glad you're glad! you should be - he sounds like a wonderful man. It is very difficult for people of our (ie yours and mine - sorry everyone else!) parents' generation to forgive the Japanese, as an entire race, for their atrocities during WWII. So good to hear of someone who held an untainted view. It was nice to learn of some of the good pre-WWII things.

On another tangent: I visited Pearl Harbour when I was in Hawaii in 1998, en route to Australia for a year. I was well impressed with the exhibit there (Pearl Harbour, not Oz! though Oz also has plenty of impressive exhibits!). One thing that struck me most forcibly, was that at this US monument, there was acknowledgement that the attack on Pearl Harbour was an almost-perfect military maneuver. I thought that a very generous admission on the part of the US'ns.

And so, putting myself at great risk for some serious strafing on a similar topic: 9/11 was truly horrifying. It will echo around the planet for some time to come. It devastated the lives of many and is still doing so, and I feel great sorrow for those who lost their lives, and those who lost family, in those attacks. But as terrorist attacks, you have to admit they were damn' near perfect. The planning, the thought, the effort that went into to bringing that off.....would have been so much better spent on world aid programmes and initiatives for peace.

So here's to those who have, truly, given their lives to such programmes and been initiators of good: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, and many others less-recognized (such as Fiberbabe!), who seek for the good in others and hold that up as a heartening example to us all.

Blessed are the peacemakers. They have so much more to teach us than the warmongers do.

Let us go in peace to love and serve the board.

#76500 - 07/22/02 10:27 AM Re: War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
Its been interesting reading this.. the opening peice is a ggod example of why patriotism has such a bad name.. but its not so much patriotic, as it is propoganda. and like the best propoganda, stirring.

but MG, your comments..to forgive the Japanese, as an entire race, for their atrocities during WWII. also struck a chord--or i should say sour note.

During WWII there were major cities on both sides destroyed, Coventry comes to mind, and the fire bombing of Dresden.. but almost never mentioned is the firebombing of Tokyo, a city, over 90% made (at WWII) of wooden building.

Most north American and europeans are aware, and distressed by the fire bombing and fire storm at Dresden.. and but are unaware the same was done to Tokyo.. atrocities occured on both sides. and there is still a dispartity of attitudes about what happened in europe, and what happened in far east.

the Japanese have a very different set of values that those that most of western europe, and the their offshoots share.
and values, are neither good or bad, but rather shared or not.

my other obsession

#76501 - 07/22/02 11:12 AM Re: War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
dodyskin Offline

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
thanks mod god, you eloquently expressed my feelings in your first post and in most of your second. i couldn't say it better
an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind

#76502 - 07/29/02 11:06 AM Intemperate personal response
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC

I'm having a hard time with this one. That phrase inplies you believe I attacked you personally. I went back and looked at what I wrote, and I don't see that.

Am I misinterpreting what you said or are you misinterpreting what I said?

You said:

America, for its many sterling qualities, is a net consumer of the world's assets in every territory of the globe.

OK. I don't have a problem with that so long as you aren't saying that we're taking things without paying for them. But the last time I looked we bought stuff from around the world from people who were willing to sell stuff. We run a trade deficit. We buy more than we sell. So what we are exporting is dollars. And the people who get those dollars overseas then use them to buy stuff from other places in the world. I don't think we hold a gun to anyone's head to make them sell their stuff to us. So I'm at a loss on what you said. For some reason you made it sound sort of accusatory that we bought stuff overseas for use in the US.

You said:

For every $ spent in 'aid' many dollars are grabbed in crippling debt payments in the less developed areas of the globe.

WHOA!!! Are you saying that we forced loans on people against their will and then charged them interest on the loans against their will? I must have missed that one. In my experience what we have done is lent massive amounts of money to countries all over the world and then we wrote off most of the loans as good will. I challenge you to support your statement that we have "grabbed crippling debt payments in the lesser developed areas of the globe.

I believe you will find on closer inspection of the books that this is not the case.

And, Mav, I certainly do agree that others may legitimately differ with my views, but I also believe that those who do differ have an obligation to support statements such as those you made above.



I hope you retract what you said about not posting again. I would feel very badly if I thought that what I said discouraged debate and discussion.



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