continuing proofs America is wacko

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:48 pm

Reading back Halfwises' original post at the start of this thread Turembar he makes much the same points you do about America's current polarized culture.
I think it is easy for those in America to underestimate the efffect the place has on the rest of us, not just economically (when the US catches a cold the rest of the world starts sneezing) but also culturally.
And to a large part of the rest of the world the Republicans are clearly more nutty than the Democrats- most of the stuff the Democrats support or propose, which in America causes a storm and mad claims of communism (like Health Care) the rest of us already have and dont consider it communist rule! So when the democrats are being accused of these things to the rest of us they seem rather tame on the socialist scale of things- whereas the Republicans seem to be heading merrily to the extermist ends of the right and just seem like religous nutters.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by halfwise on Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:15 pm

Back before Reagan the Republicans were actually a fairly reasonable bunch. Then the hallucinations started....

Unfortunately one tends to react to whoever else is in the room, and since it's largely a two-party system both parties start acting nutty. It's a pretty sad state of affairs, actually.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Eldorion on Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:56 pm

Reagan wasn't even that conservative by modern Republican standards. Raising taxes after his first two years in office, giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, supporting increased gun control (the Brady Bill), even expanding legal allowances for abortion when he was the Governor of California. Damn dirty commie nazi socialist. Go back to, uh, wherever you came from. Evil or Very Mad

And yet, this is the man who the modern GOP claims they're trying to emulate every election cycle. Laughing
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:08 pm

To just address one point Petty, I think the religious element of the right is really just one element of that coalition.

What's weird to me, is that up to and thru the 70's religion did not seem a major element at all in the political discussion. It was hardly mentioned, though being from the Northeast it might have been different in different regions.

I did take note when I saw it start to politicize in the early 90's and thought at the time, no good would come from it. I have religious beliefs, but do not think religion and politics mix.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:22 pm

It may be a small part of it but religion seems to dominate in much of it- from abortion laws to 'God Bless America' at the end of every speech America seems way, way more a mix of religion and politics than any European country, more like a Middle eastern nation when it comes to that- after all as I've said before, I doubt anyone standing as an open atheist who refused to say 'God bless America' because they did not believe in a God would ever get elected- surely that alone says that in the US religion and politics are unhealithly intertwined. A bad state of affairs that histroically has never led to a good outcome.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:00 pm

Again, its just my view, but I have felt for a long time that the extreme elements in both parties have gained overall control. It is a very polarized situation as as been mentioned. Many people in the middle, myself included are dissatisfied with either party.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:11 pm

I agree there seems to have been a race to the bottom, but it sems to me to more on the Republican side, with its mad hatters Tea Party et all that are by far the worse. As I say most of the stuff th Democtats suggest a lot of us already have, and to hear the US right painting the NHS in the UK as consisting of Death Panels and the like is of course completely laughable- but the fact they say such extreme and ridiculous things with a straight face and persuade a lot of people it is true is worrying.
By comparison the stuff the Democrats are pushing seems at least from a UK perspective to be only just left of centre politics, whereas the Republicans seem to be way right of centre, getting close to Brown Shirts territory in some cases.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Orwell on Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:22 pm

Be careful about outing yourself as a Moderate, Turembar Shocked -- a lotta people here think Moderates are Right Wingers. I can show you my bruises! Don't say I didn't warn you! pale

And Petty, a political organization called the "Tea Party" coud surely be nothing less than harmless, and nothing more than charming. Very Happy


Anyhow, I've made my intelligent contribution and I'm off to bed. (F*&^%$g nightshift!)

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:42 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:It may be a small part of it but religion seems to dominate in much of it- from abortion laws to 'God Bless America' at the end of every speech America seems way, way more a mix of religion and politics than any European country, more like a Middle eastern nation when it comes to that- after all as I've said before, I doubt anyone standing as an open atheist who refused to say 'God bless America' because they did not believe in a God would ever get elected- surely that alone says that in the US religion and politics are unhealithly intertwined. A bad state of affairs that histroically has never led to a good outcome.

If I may again compare the left and right lenses of a pair of spectacles to the left and right political parties... I don't see how one can 'see' clearly without looking thru both.

But it depends too upon where your society stands physically in the first place. If you imagine an outside observer (such as the UK or other Euro state) standing behind us, you are already to our left. So yes, to you our right seems far right.

Don't know if that made sense! Laughing
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:28 pm

I don't see how one can 'see' clearly without looking thru both.- Turembar

I couldn't agree more. One of the reasons in Scotland the SNP has been so successful is that they have left of centre policies regarding Health and Welfare but right of centre policies regards taxation and business (indeed when they were still a minority government they got two budgets passed with Conservative votes as the tax and business policies were largely the same as the Tories).
I have never understood why parties only look at policies favouring right or left- that seems mad, surely more sensible to judge a policy on whether you think it is the best one and on its merits, not what side of politics it originates.

At its worst Turembar the right in American politcs seems dangerously close to the line. All the stuff when Obama got elected that was thrown at him, about his parentage, about him being a muslim etc- it was very poorly disguised racism. The rhetoric that followed 9/11 and was swallowed lock stock and barrel by America to a point where your President was publicly abusing France, an ally, and the public screaming for the heads of anyone who dared speak out against the war drive with the tag 'unpatriotic' or 'anti-american'- Hitler used that trick too.
From the outside that was really frightening. The UK got the same sort of thing- told British targets could be hit within 45 minutes with weapons of mass destruction, made up dossiers of evidence- the result here was the biggest anti-war rally in UK history- which sadly only made Blair more determined to do it. In America they bought it for the most part- they believed what they wanted to hear-all the polls at the time clearly showed that, and the result was the tragic loss of over 2000 lives in a terrorist attack being revenged by the deaths of millions- whose the good guys here? And since the war in Irag started America has lost in combat more than double the number of service personnel than was lost on 9/11, let alone the innocent civillian casualtites and enemy combatants.
But more worryingly was the speed at which the American people believed what they wanted to hear and cheered for war. And its not just a Bush thing- when Bin Laden was gunned down the news here showed Americans taking to the streets, waving flags, rejoicing in his death- looked no different at all to images from the middle east of arabs with their flags cheering in the streets at 9/11. Same on both sides. Funny old world. drunken

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:37 pm

I absolutely agree that the best approach is a reasonable evaluation of both sides, and choosing the option that seems best. But that is not what is happening. No doubt antagonism has exsisted between the parties all along, but there also has been some limited cooperation. Some think, myself included, that area of cooperation has been shrinking, possibly to all time lows in the Post Modern period. A sign of this, is the departure of actual Moderates from the political landscape. By Moderates I mean those with a middle of the road approach, that will sometimes cross party lines in votes. Over the last two decades many have resigned from politics, not seeking re-election because of their frustration with the lack of cooperation by the parties. One thing I notice is that as polarization intensifies their is a change in the way the two sides view each other. The sense of the opposite party being co-workers with a differing opinion degrades to viewing the opposing side as the 'enemy' out to destroy the country or bring back the Inquistion and start a new Dark Ages. In such an envirionment there is no holds barred, nothing too nasty to say. I have yet to hear accusations of poisoning the water hole or stealing babies for sacrifices, but give it time.

The other things you mention concerning the wars is a large issue to contemplate realistically & discuss. I hope you don't mind me taking a rain-check on that for the moment, for as Bilbo said, 'I really must be getting back to my story' Laughing I have found I can to one thing fairly well, if I concentrate, but literally have difficulty walking and chewing gum at the same time.

I did spot this story in the news yesterday however and wanted to share it, because misery loves company. A little tidbit to show Americans are not alone in Waco-ness (Wacability ?)



Pic de Bugarach: French commune home to 20,000 ‘doomsday cultists’ awaiting alien salvation

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/pic-bugarach-french-commune-home-20-000-doomsday-210932058.html

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:32 pm

Thats really creepy, the US definately doesnt have the monopoly on weirdness, if I had to choose where to live I would always choose America over many others, as a woman there are a lot of scary places out there, at least in the US in theory we have equal rights, but thats another debate I know. Its sometimes a bit disturbing all the USA bashing going around, its not perfect by any means but for me its the lesser of worse evils, in some countries the extreme right has members of parliament like in Austria and in France there is Le Penn, we are all slowly in Europe sliding towards the right and extremism its pretty scary stuff in light of the recent attacks in France. We get what we vote for, Italy got Silvio Berlusconi, probably the most corrupt politician in Europe, but the fools loved him and voted for him and he screwed the people big time.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:00 pm

I dont think it is is US bashing Mrs Figgs- I like America and Americans- but there can be no denying for much of the last 50 years or so they have been the bad guys for many, many thousands, if not millions of people. Even as recently as the invasion of Afghanistan the US coozed up with a neighbouring country to use for launching attacks from, this meant building infrastructure etc and helping out the local ruling nut job who had a tendency to invite people who opposed him round for a fry-up, in that he boiled them alive in oil then sent the flayed crispy bodies back to their families- but the US wanted somewhere to park their planes so they maintained him in power, boosted his powerblock. And they have done this all over the world whenever its suited US interets to do so in their misguided, paranoid fear of communism and search to meet ever greater resource demands- even to the extreme of putting down democratic movements in favour of dictators who were favourable to US military and commercial intrests. Someone who says they are there to help you when you are down, then uses the opportunity to mug you and then cut a deal with your muggers is not a good guy Mrs Figg.
US Companies have bled other countries dry, taking most of the profits from the locals and the local eonomy and nicking it. This is why 9/11 happened, this is where the resentment that provides backing to groups like Al-Queda comes from- the US treatment of other people in their own country. And the US people, the everyday man and women couldn't give a shit for the most part so long as the gas at the pumps is cheap.
And lets not forget amid current talks about stopping countries from acquiring weapons of mass destruction that the US is the only country ever to actually have used them -and they did it against civilian populations- America has already committed the worlds biggest ever acts of terror and horror against humanity on a scale they now claim if another country did likewise (such as Iran) there would have to be immediately retalaited against by the world community on mass- same rules don't seem to apply when it is America annihilating entire cities of civilians.
Even on the few rare occasions when Obama has recognised this unpleasant role America has been playing in the world and has apoligised for it he is seized upon for being weak, for giving sympathy to America's enemies, of being unpatriotic- I thnk it was Santorum said America has nothing to apologise for. And right there is the problem, because oh yes they do.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:39 pm

I am not defending those things Petty, I can see them like you do, and i wasnt saying it was you who was doing the bashing either. dont worry it was not directed at anyone on this thread, at all. we can all make the distinction between the people and the government, I am just making an observation in general terms, right or wrong i dont like 'flag burners' of any nationality.

I do like Obama however.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Turembar part of the problem here at least, I dont know if its the same in the US, is that the means for the working class to enter politics are all but gone. A generation or two back here and the big industries; steel, ship building, coal, were a hotbed of unions and political debate- if you had an aptitude and an interest there were routes in place from the factory floor into local politics, and from there national politics if you were good. For a period in the 50' and 60's the traditional Oxford/Cambridge ultra wealthy elite that ruled Britain was swept aside and we had PM's like Ted Heath and Margarter Thatcher, whose backgrounds were quite different. Many of the best parliamentarians of the last 40-50 years were working class in their origins.
Sadly we are now back at the elite ruling us, almost every member of the current government and previous Labour cabinet went to the same universities and are all mulit-millionares or more. The 'old-boys' network is firmly back in place. The Unions are all but dead in the private sector and there is no longer the means for the working class to get access into politics. And a disfranchised working and lower class is a long term recipe for disaster.

Mrs Figg- my apoligises if the previous post seemed strident then. I am often critical of the US on here and so thought it might have been a pointy elbow dig! (Orwell will turn up between nightshifts to have a go anyway I am sure!). There is much good to be said for the American people, a people are not its government, but they could do with taking a bit more of an interest in what their government does in other peoples countries in their name, because tragically when resentment against the US foreign policy boils over it is rarely politicians who get killed in the consequences, its the people in whose name they act. And I was quite shocked after 9/11 that the American people seemed completely suprised and taken off guard by something which as I watched the horror unfold live on my tv with a friend we sadly remarked 'that's been coming for a long time'- that the outside world could view it that way and Americans themselves be so clueless as to why someone would even want to attack them was for me the most telling thing to come out of that whole catastrophe.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:59 pm

The first thought I have had concerning Pic de Bugarach was that if I lived nearby I would set up a Tin Foil hat concession stand near the base. Not cheap tourist trap junk kind mind you, but a offering a full line of top quality and styles.

I'd call this model Le Americain...



And also would stock inspirational literature and posters.



Yes, a Tin Foil hat for all tastes and budgets, but don't forget your little friends need them too!

Laughing Laughing Laughing





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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:05 pm

lol! If I tried to put a tin foil hat on my eldest cat I'd be missing a finger or two by the end of the attempt! She doesn't stand for that sort of thing when a quick swipe can remove your eyeball.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:27 pm

lol! I want one, and my cats want one too. cat

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:06 pm

" I was quite shocked after 9/11 that the American people seemed completely suprised and taken off guard by something which as I watched the horror unfold live on my tv with a friend we sadly remarked 'that's been coming for a long time'- that the outside world could view it that way and Americans themselves be so clueless as to why someone would even want to attack them was for me the most telling thing to come out of that whole catastrophe."

Very true. I think there's comparison to big countries like China and Russia - I'll bet the man on the street chinese especially don't really know or care what's going on outside their borders. In middle america you can be a thousand miles from any other country, so who cares what's going on out there?

As for the foil caps - I think one of the best comedic uses was in the greatly under-rated movie Signs.

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:29 pm

halfwise wrote:" As for the foil caps - I think one of the best comedic uses was in the greatly under-rated movie Signs.

Loved that movie for the unseen suspense buildup! Almost posted a pic of the 3 on the couch, but wasn't sure anyone would recognize it.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:33 pm

In middle america you can be a thousand miles from any other country, so who cares what's going on out there?- Halfwise

I suppose the answer to that is because out there might come for you. And if you have to deal with out there it will be sons and daughters from your community that will die doing it. Being ignorant of out there will not stop it effecting you, especially if your governemt has been, in your name, misusing its powers out there- I rather hope that is a lesson the average American might take from 9/11

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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:11 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:In middle america you can be a thousand miles from any other country, so who cares what's going on out there?- Halfwise

I suppose the answer to that is because out there might come for you. And if you have to deal with out there it will be sons and daughters from your community that will die doing it. Being ignorant of out there will not stop it effecting you, especially if your governemt has been, in your name, misusing its powers out there- I rather hope that is a lesson the average American might take from 9/11

I agree with Halfwise on the isolation factor. Europeans who are born into a very dense cultural nexus may take for granted their familiarity with other cultures and systems. It was quite a eye opener for me living in Germany for the first time. One can ask, how can this isolation be with all the TV and now internet communications? But you can't put much stock in media/money controlled TV, and the internet is fairly new. Comparing the US to China/Russia is also I think a good choice, though perhaps non-intuitive. In these physically big countries you have large fairly homogenous populations that can be born, raised and die without ever crossing a border. I did have some hope for the internet being a positive development for international understanding, in that it allows individuals to make contacts and get exposed to one another outside of the controlled areas... but now I am not too sure about it. Only certain people make efforts in that area, and the result is often combative. Meanwhile powers and entities scramble to try and gain increasing control (ie. The Great Firewall of China). As far as learning lessons, I am afraid I wouldn't put much stock in it. We learned a very hard lesson in Vietnam, and people from that very same generation repeated the mistake twice more.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by David H on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:06 pm

Turembar wrote:
We learned a very hard lesson in Vietnam, and people from that very same generation repeated the mistake twice more.

I'm afraid one of the lessons they learned was to maintain a large standing professional military rather than draft from the general population (who can get quite uppity about going off to kill and die against their will), and to recruit mostly from regions of the country that are least likely to object politically to the loss of life. Not the lesson I'd hoped they would learn....
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by Turembar on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:16 pm

Don't know if I can agree with the demographic analysis. Recruits seem to come from rural and city locations equally. But I do think your on to something with large standing armies... Once they are built, there is this seemingly irresistable urge to use it. It reminded me very much of The Clone Army in 'Attack of the Clones'. Bush of course went nuts, but even Democratic Presidents seem to be drawn to its use once they have gotten their feet wet so to speak. Clinton held off at first, but once he got going was sending us all over the planet. I know believe me. Even Obama has fallen under the spell to large degree. Sorry Norway, but the Noble Peace Prize bribe did not really work.
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Re: continuing proofs America is wacko

Post by David H on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:59 pm

Not an analysis really, just an observation that more money seems to be spent on recruiting, ROTC etc. in the redder parts of the map than the bluer parts. Of course there are recruitment quotas to met, so it's natural to go where you are most likely to be well received. But this means that when casualties start coming home they tend to hit disproportionately in some areas.

I take it you're from a military family, so I'm particularly interested in your perspective on this.
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