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InfiniteNow
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Is it just me, or is the US as a whole displaying more of the negative totalitarian principles which were held by the nations against whom we fought during the middle of the twentieth century?

 

Those who fought in World War II are nearly all gone, and the ideals for which they perished seem to be losing traction in our society. Mindsets are polarized, individuals are type-caste, and we sling mud at one another instead of engaging in intellectual explorations for mutual advancement.

 

The young people of Earth must pick up their torches and light the way toward a future which will bring us together and protect those that cannot protect themselves.

 

This passionate pursuit must be spread as if contagious. We must each become the seed crystal of positive change. We must rekindle our connection with nature and collaborate for the collective well-being of existence.

 

Pick a topic, any subject, all contexts. We can and must do better. Let go of fear and embrace hope. Compassion is more powerful than hatred, and should be nourished.

 

We are not all the same, but we are all together. It’s time for the youth of our planet to unite, and to speak out with the voice of our fallen grandfathers. It’s our turn to earn the world for which they gave their lives, and change begins within.

 

So, I ask again. Is it just me?

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Maybe. But maybe its an issue of *perception* and *framing*.

 

One of the trends in political debate today that is a parallel to the mid-century dictatorships is the use of propaganda built around *personalizing* the debate. Today's "Nazis" or "Jews" are "Americans" or "Democrats" or "Republicans". When you personalize an argument, the target had better be vanquishable though, or you end up with the kind of stalemate we do indeed suffer from internally.

 

Round and round we go calling the other names, in the process ignoring the issues.

 

So, to try to step away from this name-calling, I'd like to talk about what we *do* about it. And in my mind there's one key change we have to make, and that's to stop talking about affiliations, and start talking about ideas.

 

Is creating a world free of terrorism a Democratic or a Republican issue? I tell you what: I don't give a damn. I want to discuss ideas for eliminating it, and get us all to realize we are all in this together. Disagreeing with the President is not "giving aid and comfort to the terrorists," and voting for interim funding of the war is not "capitulating to the neo-cons."

 

We have to seriously start thinking about who we want to "win" against. Is it to "win" against the "liberals" who "hate America" or stop terrorists who would kill us all no matter what our political affiliation.

 

Being honest about what our goals and priorities ought to be, *without* trying to pridefully take ownership of those ideas is a great place to start.

 

That would be telling, :cheer:

Buffy

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We are not all the same, but we are all together. It’s time for the youth of our planet to unite, and to speak out with the voice of our fallen grandfathers. It’s our turn to earn the world for which they gave their lives, and change begins within.

 

Thanks to the internet, and many evolutionary factors,

That statement you just made resonates very deeply with my generation.

A lot of us are digging deep into our ancesteral (is that even a word?) roots and rekindling the wisdom that has been lost in modern American culture.

Stepping backward to step forward. Everyone's on a different path,

yet I see a radical increase in awareness from my generation to . . our parents.

And I'm speaking generally. Like iNow said, we are not all the same.

 

I have faith in humanity. Little spurts of action are popping up everywhere.

 

Is creating a world free of terrorism a Democratic or a Republican issue? I tell you what: I don't give a damn. I want to discuss ideas for eliminating it, and get us all to realize we are all in this together. Disagreeing with the President is not "giving aid and comfort to the terrorists," and voting for interim funding of the war is not "capitulating to the neo-cons."

 

And then I have to ask what is terrorism?

I don't know anyone my age who believes any of that. Not a single one.

Trippy, eh?

Yes there is terrorism.

The middle east is filled with it (from what I've read and seen on the internet)

But there are different kinds of terrorism. Lot of people think our government are terrorists themselves.

 

I'm at war with ignorance, and constanly work to open the eyes of the monkeys I crossfade with.

 

I am not alone. Although we may be different,

 

the truth-

whatever, wherever it is

remains.

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That statement you just made resonates very deeply with my generation. A lot of us are digging deep into our ancesteral (is that even a word?) roots and rekindling the wisdom that has been lost in modern American culture. Stepping backward to step forward.
Thanks for providing more proof that "kids" can be just as wise as their elders! I'm agreeing with you here: it used to be common to discuss ideas rather than ideology or unquestioning group association. I hope you're right on this point Orb!
And then I have to ask what is terrorism?

I don't know anyone my age who believes any of that. Not a single one.

Trippy, eh?

Yes there is terrorism.

The middle east is filled with it (from what I've read and seen on the internet)

But there are different kinds of terrorism. Lot of people think our government are terrorists themselves.

That's exactly my point, and you need to start dissociating "terrorism" from the notion that it is only "what people who hate Americans do." So much of America's problem in the world today is due to not looking in the mirror, and indeed *punishing* looking in the mirror by calling it "treason."

 

We have to clean up our own act before we have the moral authority to be able to fairly identify what terrorism is and to gain widespread, world-wide support to fight against it.

 

Its okay to by cynical about the use of the term "terrorism," but that does not mean it does not exist and we should not do anything about it. That's just falling into the trap you so eloquently say in your first point that we need to avoid...

 

Out of the mouths of babes come gems, :cheer:

Buffy

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Point to any polarized issue and show me where there is common middle ground. That is where the beginning must be made. The youth are not the answer, they are just the next generation who will face the same issues. Writing off the current generation in your hypothesis, or associating them as the problem is part of why we fail to make progress.

 

Bill

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Point to any polarized issue and show me where there is common middle ground. That is where the beginning must be made. The youth are not the answer, they are just the next generation who will face the same issues. Writing off the current generation in your hypothesis, or associating them as the problem is part of why we fail to make progress.

 

Bill

 

Society needs a paradigm shift. The current generation needs to let go of their mindset, and begin to make the changes so that future generations can live in a world where there are no labels, no type-casting, no hatred. The youth *are* the answer because they are fresh and vibrant and have not yet become jaded. They are more open to change and for them ideals are still within reach.

 

I don't think change will come about quickly, but the ball needs to start rolling. So what do we do about it? We start with ourselves and our mindset. We treat others with compassion and respect, letting our lives be examples to others. We teach our kids these ideals so they don't make the same mistakes. We speak out and stand up for what is right. We rally together, and like InfiniteNow said, unite despite our differences.

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Hello Buffy,

 

Maybe. But maybe its an issue of *perception* and *framing*.

...

So, to try to step away from this name-calling, I'd like to talk about what we *do* about it. And in my mind there's one key change we have to make, and that's to stop talking about affiliations, and start talking about ideas.

 

Good point.

 

Is creating a world free of terrorism a Democratic or a Republican issue? I tell you what: I don't give a damn. I want to discuss ideas for eliminating it, and get us all to realize we are all in this together. Disagreeing with the President is not "giving aid and comfort to the terrorists," and voting for interim funding of the war is not "capitulating to the neo-cons."

 

We have to seriously start thinking about who we want to "win" against. Is it to "win" against the "liberals" who "hate America" or stop terrorists who would kill us all no matter what our political affiliation.

 

If you condemn all 'freedom fighters' in the world today as 'terrorists' you must reclassify historic events accordingly and describe the non 'ruling regime' forces as terrorists. So there goes the brave soldiers of the IRA and the liberation of Ireland after 300 years of occupation (in the English occupiers perspective they are terrorists but in the global and US perspectives of the time they are heroes). In this context your own winners of the war of independance are 'terrorists'.

 

All I am saying is that when you attribute to your own what you deny to others in the exact same situations as yourself, you behave ethnocentrically and do your country a disservice, while the world looks on in bewilderment.

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If you condemn all 'freedom fighters' in the world today as 'terrorists' you must reclassify historic events accordingly and describe the non 'ruling regime' forces as terrorists.
Thanks for clarifying what every American believes! All Americans have that limited and pejorative definition of "terrorist," and you rightly put us all in the same bucket!

 

No wonder your attitude about this issue is taken with complete shame and regret over here!

So there goes the brave soldiers of the IRA and the liberation of Ireland after 300 years of occupation (in the English occupiers perspective they are terrorists but in the global and US perspectives of the time they are heroes). In this context your own winners of the war of independance are 'terrorists'.
Ah, the old "the winners write the history books" routine...

 

Are ya really gonna call what the IRA's indiscriminant bombings, murders (including of *Catholics* who they considered "treasonous"), "justified?"

 

I didn't think so. So in retaliation you're going to claim that I personally thought that Dresden was justified?

 

It would all be too simple if we could all just toss each other in buckets like that, eh?

 

But to work, both parties have to be blind to their own obvious faults:

All I am saying is that when you attribute to your own what you deny to others in the exact same situations as yourself, you behave ethnocentrically and do your country a disservice, while the world looks on in bewilderment.
In order for this to be most heinous, you have to ignore the sins of the "oppressed" too.

 

To borrow from another active thread Mr. Amadinejad today said "the Palestinians did nothing 60 years ago." Well as long as you ignore the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem working to get support from the Nazi's to rid Jerusalem of Jews...

 

Everyone seems to have a selective reading of history. To say that its all black and white is to be not only ignorant, but yes, "ethnocentric."

 

If we don't get beyond "well, *your* people did it too" we're never going to be civil enough to sit down and actually talk about those *ideas* posited above.

 

Just another thing we have to get over,

Buffy

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Thanks for clarifying what every American believes! All Americans have that limited and pejorative definition of "terrorist," and you rightly put us all in the same bucket!

 

Buffy, if you read my posts I distinguish between politicians (not just the US ones and their legal definition of terrorism) and the rest of the population. I was giving an example of how the USA supported people financially who their current ally the UK has regarded as a terrorist organisation until just recently. BTW you code and should understand that "If" doesn't mean what you accused me of saying. If a person didn't know the difference then they would be unemployable as a coder.

 

If we don't get beyond "well, *your* people did it too" we're never going to be civil enough to sit down and actually talk about those *ideas* posited above.

 

What's the definition of a "modern terrorist group"? Ans. Anybody who GWB declares as terrorists!

 

What's the definition of a "rogue state" Ans. Any country (apart from Pakistan and other countries under military occupations that also have large numbers of "modern terrorist groups" present) named so by GWB.

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Point to any polarized issue and show me where there is common middle ground. That is where the beginning must be made. The youth are not the answer, they are just the next generation who will face the same issues. Writing off the current generation in your hypothesis, or associating them as the problem is part of why we fail to make progress.

Wow... I said all that? :turtle: Gosh. Really, I commend you on your ability to read my post for what it was truly intended. What else did I say? Please, do tell. I'm super curious.

 

<unnecessary insolence>. :yay_jump:

 

 

 

Round and round we go calling the other names, in the process ignoring the issues.

 

So, to try to step away from this name-calling, I'd like to talk about what we *do* about it. And in my mind there's one key change we have to make, and that's to stop talking about affiliations, and start talking about ideas.

I truly believe there are people out there sharing ideas, but our baseline immediate reaction seems to have beome an attack on them. In huge numbers, ideas are classified with a broad brush, and we tend to put them into little boxes such that they can more easily be belittled. I, too, want to hear more ideas. I want to discuss more ideas. I want the ideas themselves to be the root of the conversation. However, all too frequently, the moment an idea is shared, it's made the target for a witch burning, or a stoning, or an O'Reilization...

 

 

Maybe if we keep polarizing we'll all turn into magnets. I always wanted to be supercooled and be able to levitate. :angel:

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In this context your own winners of the war of independance are 'terrorists'.

 

I don't think you understand what the meaning of the word "terrorism" is. A terrorist is a person who attacks a non-military target BECAUSE it's a non-military target.

 

While I can think of several instances of non-military targets being attacked by the "good guys" it's never been that the US (or any other "good guy") has attacked civilians simply because they're civilians. We've attacked them on accident, as a by product of attacking something else, and several times through sheer idiocy. But even at our most brain-dead it wasn't like we pointed at the target and said - "There's a group of (non-military) people who really don't have anything to do with this, and will be really surprised when bombs start falling on them. Scramble!"

 

TFS

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Mindsets are polarized, individuals are type-caste, and we sling mud at one another instead of engaging in intellectual explorations for mutual advancement.
Just to help you with this, I removed a rather imaginative line from your reply to Bill. :)
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The youth are not the answer, they are just the next generation who will face the same issues. Writing off the current generation in your hypothesis, or associating them as the problem is part of why we fail to make progress.
Of course it isn't only a question of the youth, but judging from what Orb says one might suspect that the eyes of the younger US folk are less glazed over with the way older generations have been taught.

 

We've attacked them on accident, as a by product of attacking something else, and several times through sheer idiocy. But even at our most brain-dead it wasn't like we pointed at the target and said - "There's a group of (non-military) people who really don't have anything to do with this, and will be really surprised when bombs start falling on them. Scramble!"
What was the purpose of Dresden? Let's forget about other bombings.
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Wow... I said all that? Gosh. Really, I commend you on your ability to read my post for what it was truly intended. What else did I say? Please, do tell. I'm super curious.

Curious request, but here it goes...

Is it just me, or is the US as a whole displaying more of the negative totalitarian principles which were held by the nations against whom we fought during the middle of the twentieth century?

I interpreted as "Those currently in power promote policy similar to our previous enemies." This is clearly a statement about the current generation in power, however vaguely stated.

Those who fought in World War II are nearly all gone, and the ideals for which they perished seem to be losing traction in our society. Mindsets are polarized, individuals are type-caste, and we sling mud at one another instead of engaging in intellectual explorations for mutual advancement.

I interpreted as "Those currently in power are inferior to previous generations in power due to (the reasons stated)." Contrasting the current generation in power with previous generation in power.

The young people of Earth must pick up their torches and light the way toward a future which will bring us together and protect those that cannot protect themselves.

I interpreted as "The youth of the world must lead us in find ways to protect the defenseless." Interesting how you externalize the youth, as opposed to finding the solution within the US where you have framed the problem, and which possess a peaceful framework for change. I might suspect some symbolism in the reference to torches, but I did not pin it down.

This passionate pursuit must be spread as if contagious. We must each become the seed crystal of positive change. We must rekindle our connection with nature and collaborate for the collective well-being of existence.

I interpreted as "Go team!" with a concluding statement of purpose. "We must each" might be understood as every person, or could be understood as still speaking of youths as leaders of the movement as stated in the previous paragraph.

Pick a topic, any subject, all contexts. We can and must do better. Let go of fear and embrace hope. Compassion is more powerful than hatred, and should be nourished.

This is very plainly stated. I was concerned about an implication that US policy favors hatred over compassion, but I didn't pursue that in my response.

We are not all the same, but we are all together. It’s time for the youth of our planet to unite, and to speak out with the voice of our fallen grandfathers. It’s our turn to earn the world for which they gave their lives, and change begins within.

I interpreted as "Youths, unite and save us in the name of our ancestors who sacrificed so much for the good of humanity" The "It's our turn" part provides a mix of meanings to the previous sentences. You clearly associate yourself as part of the youth, which leaves open the possibility that places where you said things like "each of us" might actually be referring to youth, as opposed to all of humanity. You also clearly note that it is the youths turn to take action.

 

The only inference to the current generation in power is in the first paragraph, where they are blamed for the list of things that are wrong right now. Although it might be argued that you imply they are part of the solution when you refer to "each of us".

 

Well, I hope that answers your question. If you had wanted to engage in an actual discussion I was going to delve into the presumption that the current generation will be more successful in generating a meaningful and productive consensus than past generations have been. Given not only the need to have consensus among themselves, but enough to overcome the weight of those who hold opposing views and simply won't change (a tough thing in a democracy). Still, if you wish to walk through a specific example in search of common ground between the opposing opinions, I am game.

 

Bill (not bad for a guy with his head up his ***?)

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Bill (not bad for a guy with his head up his ***?)

First Bill, let me thank you for actually putting some thought into this post. Your initial response appeared nothing more than a 20 second blurb in an attempt to paint me as an idiot. I am an idiot quite often, but I'm not dumb, and I feel strongly about some issues like this.

 

Your opening premise, from which all of the others flow, is not entirely accurate. I do see serious problems with the current group "in power," but it does not stop there. There are also fundamental issues in the delivery of our information, in the methods being used to coerce and control, the safety and well being of the people, and in the populace itself. The issues are too many to list, and my post was a general call for awareness. The torch reference was nothing more than a linguistic device to indicate that we've collectively been sitting in the dark for too long, and it's time for people with ideas to share them and to see if we can really remove some of the cancerous ways that have infected our society.

 

I'm good at being vague, and I know you like detail. I'm better at inspiring than fixing, but hey, we all need a niche.

 

It's amazing how close you and I are in terms of shared enjoyment, but how opposite we are on what we see around us. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

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First Bill, let me thank you for actually putting some thought into this post. Your initial response appeared nothing more than a 20 second blurb in an attempt to paint me as an idiot.
C'mon, if you want a discussion without mudslinging, lead the way. No one is obliged to grant you a greater prolixity and I don't think he was making an effort to paint you as an idiot. Perhaps he misconstrued you about younger vs. older but constructive criticism is a better approach than anatomical fantasies.
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What was the purpose of Dresden? Let's forget about other bombings.

 

Disable heavy industry, keep the Germans from moving reinforcements to the Eastern front and slowing the Russian advance, and destroy a railroad depot that the Russians said was full of troop transports (which turned out to not be true.)

 

Actually, I consider the discussion of whether Dresden was an intelligent decisions (really, really not in retrospect) separate from the discussion of whether it was a war crime (no real evidence for or against besides the word of the principles) which is separate from discussion of whether it was terrorism (definitely not.)

 

Considering:

1) Dresden had military value.

2) The point of the raid was NOT to kill as many civilians as possible BECAUSE they were civilians.

3) It WAS in a belligerent state and it WAS defended against bombardment.

 

I find it hard to classify it as anything more than a tragic decision.

 

TFS

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