America - The Official Thread

Discussion in 'Opinions & Current Events' started by ///M-Spec, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. ///M-Spec

    ///M-Spec Staff Emeritus

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    This thread is for discussion on any topic relating to America and it's foreign policies. Use this to criticize or support US leadership, US policy and US action.

    Rule #1 - You WILL NOT violate the AUP. No swearing, no personal attacks, no broad sweeping generalizations about Americans, Arabs, Muslims, Christians or any group. It will not be tolerated and offenders will be warned. Repeat offenders will be subject to administrative discipline up to and including banning.

    Rule #2 - You WILL NOT post anything that even remotely suggests that people -especially civilians, regardless of nationality, race or religion should be injured or killed. Your post will be modified to remove the offending remark and you will be warned, plain and simple.


    If things get out of hand in this thread, it will not be locked. Instead, the offenders will be warned and if they continue to violate the rules, be banned.

    Highly recommended: Make whatever point you wish, but be prepared to support your argument with facts.

    Highly recommended: READ the thread before you post. Chances are excellent it's been covered before.

    Highly recommended: Be polite. Political discussion is often highly charged and personal attacks are always a danger. It is not against the AUP to be rude to someone or even critisize them, but if you cross that line you should be ready for the consequences.


    M
     
  2. Famine

    Famine Administrator

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    I wouldn't dare, in case the buggers sued me.

    [/satire]
     
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  3. livemusic

    livemusic Premium

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    I´ll probably won´t post any opinions on this thread since I can´t express my views so well in English, but I´ll surely keep an eye on it. I like to read other people´s opinions about these subjects. I hope this thread to stay clean. :tup:
     
  4. ledhed

    ledhed Premium

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    Viva la revolution ! Viva la Bush ! Gimme oil ! gimme , gimme , gimme !
     
  5. livemusic

    livemusic Premium

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    It´s actually "Viva el Bush". Unless Bush is a girl.
     
  6. PublicSecrecy

    PublicSecrecy (Banned)

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    What about sarcasm or satire?
     
  7. ///M-Spec

    ///M-Spec Staff Emeritus

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    Why would they sue when they could just invade? Obviously much cheaper and less hassle. I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.[/satire]

    Use good judgement. Satire doesn't make you immune from making offensive remarks.


    M
     
  8. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    America

    The Good
    -----------------

    America is one of the few places on earth where you can practice any religion you want (assuming that it doesn’t require you to break laws), protest, hate the government and organize against its principles – in short, it is one of the few places you can enjoy freedom.

    But the most amazing thing of all about America is the free market. The beauty of the free market is opportunity – the reason so many people immigrated to America in the first place. The opportunity to be productive and earn vast amounts of wealth in a system that places one’s own personal interests directly in line with the interests of society is the reason that America is strong and the reason that America is one of the most moral societies in the history of humanity.

    The founding leaders of America considered what they perceived as wrong with the world (arbitrary power - the inability of citizens to follow their own course free of government intervention, and lack of basic inalienable human rights) and they set out to create a government that was forced to serve the people, because they knew that that was the only way to keep the government in check. The founding leaders of America understood human nature well. They understood that man will always, instinctually, seek out what is in his best interest. The result of this realization about the fundamental nature of human beings is the establishment of capitalism – which hones that drive into productivity of citizens, an adversarial legal structure – which uses the greed of lawyers to ensure that cases are well fought, and an adversarial government structure – which uses the hunger that politicians have for power to ensure that none of them get too much of it. When you step back and look the American system you really see how it takes into account human nature and exploits it in almost every possible way to ensure that freedom (and therefore prosperity) remains the underlying theme.


    The Bad
    ----------------

    The founding leaders of America were so busy worrying about the tyranny of government that they didn’t foresee the tyranny of the majority as well as they might have. The fundamental problem with America is the extent to which we are not free – the extent to which we have invited our own government to relieve us of the burden of the pursuit of success so as not to risk failure.

    The single biggest flaw in our current social structure, in my opinion, is our unfair income tax system – a system which rewards failure and penalizes success - a system that tells the ones of us who want government help the most that they shouldn’t have to pay for it – a system that encourages the majority to vote away the property rights of the minority. Our tax structure is fundamentally immoral. It is legislated theft, and it undermines the principles and fabric upon which America was founded. The solution is deceptively simple - everyone pays for their fair share of the government. Everyone pulls the weight of the government equally. Then you won’t have one group lobbying to increase the weight of the government, because they’ll still have to pull their share of it.

    The are other problems with America. Our legal structure is in bad need of repair for reasons that its originators couldn’t possibly have imagined. Reasons like the fact that the common juror has no idea how much money corporations operate on. But most of these other problems are not rooted in our basic structure or philosophy, they’re simply irritations that, even though they cause much damage, can be solved with a little forward thinking.

    The root of the problems with our political structure points to a social problem, which is the real cancer of American society - our belief in government.

    Many Americans believe in government as a solution to all problems. They believe, fundamentally, at even a subconscious level, that the government is capable of solving all social problems if it simply passes the right laws and mandates the right solution. These same people do not understand the system upon which their country was founded. They don’t understand the adversarial legal system, barely understand the adversarial government system, and don’t even come close to understanding the free market.

    Many Americans forget that government is force - that when you vote people into the government that will take money from the rich and give it to the poor, that you have effectively advocated theft. If the cause is just, if people are really best helped through handouts (which is so often not the case), then the moral way to help those people is by volunteering your own money – not by forcing other people to volunteer theirs.

    So my criticism of the modern American system is aimed at government meddling with the freedom of its citizens, even at the insistence of some of its citizens. The American system was founded on inalienable rights, rights that cannot be voted away – America would do well to remember that.


    Conclusion
    -------------------

    I believe that America is headed for trouble. I believe that our current climate of belief in government will result in greater and greater loss of freedom, greater inequality, and an overall greater lack of productivity and competition in the American economy until something seriously breaks. Everything seems to be pointed in that direction as political attitudes do not change despite the evidence. Many American politicians promote government involvement, get their wish, spend lots of money, and make the problem worse – then they cite a lack of money as the reason for failure (never the idea to begin with) and start over again with more money. The end result is a cycle of increasing government spending, increasing taxes, and decreasing economic stability and prosperity. I believe, given the evidence, that the problem will have to be large and obvious before the social climate in America changes and we get an attempt at a solution. The thing I fear the most is what that attempt will be.

    America is a great place founded imperfectly on a great set of ideals. Many of us have strayed from those ideals, but they are not lost – and they continue to give us the prosperity that we still enjoy. The challenge for America is to get back to those principles and understand them fully.


    (///M you left a loophole for me to talk about something other than foreign policy. I figured I'd take it, but let me know if you think this is outside the scope of this thread. I intend to post a follow-up to this that ties these concepts into our foreign policy later.)
     
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  9. Anderton Prime

    Anderton Prime

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    Sounds like a Grade 11 History essay.
     
  10. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    I wish I'd gone to your school where your history essays included things like these.

     
  11. Zrow

    Zrow Premium

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    Whatever. Like any eleventh grade essay contains the depth and insight of Danoff's post.
     
  12. PublicSecrecy

    PublicSecrecy (Banned)

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    Good job danoff. Very well put.
     
  13. Ghost C

    Ghost C

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    The only reason he insulted it was because you listed "Pros" for America. We all know that America has nothing good about it.
     
  14. PublicSecrecy

    PublicSecrecy (Banned)

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    You're the one who's anti-gun control/pro gun. You live in America. Would that not be a pro?
     
  15. Ghost C

    Ghost C

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    I thought I laid that sarcasm on thick enough that everyone would catch it.

    Guess I was wrong.
     
  16. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

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    Actually, no, it doesn't. Most of what I hear out of the people who disagree with the author of that essay sounds like it comes from 11th graders.

    This sounds relatively mature, albeit very simply put. But simplicity is a good thing in most cases.
     
  17. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Freedom has taught Americans a great deal of tolerance. Because people are free to practice their religion, and because people are free to hire African Americans, and because women are free to pursue careers in politics - others have had to learn to live with it.

    One of the most important aspects of freedom in America is the freedom of information. This is what allows us to read newspapers from countries that hate us. It’s what allows our press to investigate our government officials carefully as well as shedding light on stories many government officials would probably not want you to see.

    And of course there is the freedom to go out and make your own wealth. It’s simple enough, but when people have opportunities to make a life for themselves they are less likely to turn to violence or terrorism and are less likely to support it.

    I believe that in these three ways, freedom and democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan will help prevent future terrorism. I believe that if we do the job right in Iraq now, they will be a very prosperous nation that will be an economic leader in the middle east – one which many people will flock to for opportunity. Admittedly this is rather farsighted, but I believe it’s Bush’s plan, and I think it’s a good one.

    Put yourself in President Bush’s shoes for a moment…

    The country you lead, whose safety is your responsibility, has just been attacked by terrorists from Afghanistan, thousands of your citizens are dead and most of the rest of them want vengeance. The world is eyeing America to see how it will respond to this slap in the face.

    The first thing to do is to put all nations on notice that nations that harbor terrorists are not ok in our book. That way if we get attacked by terrorists in the future, we can hold the nations they are based in accountable. Someone has to be accountable. Nations across the world will do a better job of policing themselves if we tell them we’ll be knocking at their door if terrorists from their country come blow up our buildings.

    Obviously you’re going to have to go in to Afghanistan and make an example out of the terrorists that attacked us. But what about the future? How are you going to prevent this kind of thing from happening again? It’s a cultural war. The terrorists believe that America is evil. They are indoctrinated with hatred for the American society. How on Earth can we combat that indoctrination?

    It seems obvious. We should bring our way of life to them – free them from oppression - show them the beauty of democracy and they will understand us that much better. But how should we bring them freedom? Should we remove what little government Afghanistan had and replace it with a democracy? It wasn’t really Afghanistan that had attacked us – it was terrorists living within Afghanistan.

    But even if we brought Afghanistan freedom, what chance would it have? They have no natural resources to speak of – a free Afghanistan is still likely to be a poor Afghanistan. No, we need a better country to serve as our champion for freedom. We need a country in which the people within are ready to receive democracy after having been oppressed. We need a country that is likely to be quite prosperous after its citizens are freed – and perhaps most importantly, we need a country that we can legitimately invade.

    Iraq.

    Iraq had violated the UN for over a decade. They had broken all the agreements we made with them after the first gulf war. We are totally justified in making them the 51st state. Plus they’ve been oppressed for decades and are certainly ready to be free of Saddam.


    If you don’t try to demonize President Bush - if you just try to understand the motivations and remember where America stood on September the 12th, 2001, it’s quite obvious how we got to where we are today.

    Iraqis voted today. They had better voter turnout in their country where going to the polls meant risking death than we do in America where going to the polls means getting up 30 minutes early. I’ve heard the Iraqis voting compared with the fall of the Berlin wall and I think that’s a decent comparison. Anytime people rise up to grab freedom is a momentous occasion.

    Many people in America and around the world want us to pull our military forces out of Iraq. They want us to leave the Iraqis to the utter chaos, poverty, and death that it would certainly mean if America left. Luckily for the Iraqis, the only reason Bush would yank us out of Iraq is if the Iraqi leadership (current or newly elected) tells us to get the hell of their country.

    I believe Iraq is on the verge of greatness. I think it has the potential to be a major power in the world if it can just get off to a good start.
     
  18. Anderton Prime

    Anderton Prime

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    I wasn't really trying to insult your post. Just the way it was laid out, with the "Pros" section, then the "Cons" section, then the "Conclusion," looked to me sort of like a high school essay outline. I apologize if it was taken the wrong way by anyone.

    But is this really working? Terrorists still find places to lie in wait; certain countries aren't really heeding this warning, but I don't think it should be a surprise to anyone.
     
  19. 87chevy

    87chevy

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    interesting, i've been away for a while now.....

    I had to read this and i didn't make it all the way down. I was reading danoff's post and come to the Tax part.

    Listen, there's this idea called a social contract. Where you agree to become part of a society, because trying to fend for yourself in a free for all just doesn't cut it. So you have to give up some things to be apart of society. And by joining this society you are basically agreeing to help the other members as they will help you. And, it is my belief that We have evolved beyond the free-for-all and recognize that we are in this as a race/society/culture, and we cannot progress unless we help everyone progress. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. I'm sure everyone has heard that before. if you can afford to pay more taxes then you should. So that the person that picks up your garbage, serves your food, digs your ditches, can keep enough money to feed themselves/their family. when they start making more money than they need, they'll pay more taxes just like you.


    *i'm using 'you' generically, not pointing this at anyone specefic.
     
  20. PublicSecrecy

    PublicSecrecy (Banned)

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    That's where you should have italicized "know" and not "all".

    And aren't there actually 46 states? I think I read it on the randomised trivia thread or something.
     
  21. MrktMkr1986

    MrktMkr1986

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    Sounds like a Democrat/Liberal to me. :sly:

    I disagree to a certain extent. The only way to help everyone is to eliminate the graduated income tax. Now I'm not saying that:

    ...should have to pay more taxes than they are already paying now. As a matter of fact I think they should reduce income taxes even further. Let's just say for eaxmple the tax rates are fixed... if lower income workers pay out 5%, so should higher income workers and here's why in my opinion:

    Small business owners (and large businesses) would benefit from the extra money and more people would be hired for jobs. One (of many) reasons why companies lay off workers is because they cannot afford to keep them! So the more cash they have, the more we have in my opinion.
     
  22. 87chevy

    87chevy

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    well, i dispise liberals as much as conservatives, that's the problem, everyone judges you on only ONE of your political views these days.
    the graduated tax would work, I said if you make more you should pay more.... And if it was a flat tax, the rich would pay more. The problem is that the richest of the rich seem to be able to practically not pay ANY taxes because there are so many loopholes. I think avoiding paying taxes is about as un patriotic as you can get. but before we can start slashing taxes, we have to slash off some of the government. (not all of it)
     
  23. MrktMkr1986

    MrktMkr1986

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    I stand corrected. You are a Centrist. :)

    That's my point though. If the tax rates were the same, the rich would have to pay more anyway. So why go overboard?

    The tax loopholes should be eliminated in my opinion. As a matter of fact, the tax laws should be re-written altogether. And as far as slashing government is concerned, I'm with you on that. The more power/money we give them the worse off we will be, in my opinion. I know my tax dollars are not being spent where I want them to be.
     
  24. PublicSecrecy

    PublicSecrecy (Banned)

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    What about shave off? Slashing sounds too violent. Just shave the top layer off. Just shave Bush. :sly:
     
  25. 87chevy

    87chevy

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    /cheers

    Yeah, that's exactly what i was thinking, imagine how much money the government whould save just by getting rid of him! lol

    I'm not a die hard libertarain, like some GTP members, frankly they scare me as much as neo-cons, well, almost. We need Government. people are stupid and sometimes need government to protect them from themselves, and their nieghbors. But there are definitely loads of federal programs that should all be state run.


    But see, even for all our problems, America is still the best place in the world to live. How many changes of power have we had without a single gun fired?? And if you think the American dream is a myth, watch A&E's movie about Arnold Swartzenegger.(came on last night, really good, i enjoyed it.)
     
  26. MrktMkr1986

    MrktMkr1986

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    OK, shave. We should shave off certain parts of our government. And, no... there will be no "shaving" Bush. He has 4 more years and nothing (except death/extreme illness :scared: ) can change that. After he serves his term, yet another Republican better be elected in 2008.

    While we're on the topic of political parties in the United States. I think we need more Black Republicans. :grumpy:
     
  27. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    I totally agree.

    ...and that's fair because?

    That's pretty much what I was advocating. I totally agree with you here.

    Agreed. The reasons the loopholes are there is to raise taxes on some lifestyles and not others - which isn't really a role the government should play.

    The tax code is what it is. I say if you can find a way to legally exploit it then do so and let the politicians realize they shouldnt write them in the first place.

    Bush doesn't cost much, and he's the one trying to close the loopholes in the tax code and fix the social security mess - along with protecting us from terrorism by having a strategy in the middle east with some foresight. I say we shave ted kennedy.
     
  28. 87chevy

    87chevy

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    NO NO NO!!! No more rebublicans in office for atleast 8 years after Dubya!! don't you undestand that balance is what keeps things going. I'm terrified of the laws that may be passed now that One Party is in COMPLETE control. The founding fathers new what the hell they were talking about. But, with one party running the whole show, the 'Checks and Balances' are out the window, and i hope that America realizes what it's done. Hopefully the senate and house elections that will come mid term will change some things and but some balance back.
     
  29. MrktMkr1986

    MrktMkr1986

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    Balance is good. :)

    So we'll have a Republican in office, and the Democrats can control Congress. :sly:

    Seriously, I understand about the checks and balances. The thing is, I tend to look at politics from a financial point-of-view (I can't help it -- see avatar/signature/biography/favorite quote). :dopey:
     
  30. MrktMkr1986

    MrktMkr1986

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    Agreed.

    Strongly disagree. First of all, America is not a "free market." It has a strong "free enterprise system" but that cannot be confused with a free market economy. The US is a mixed economy -- plain and simple. The government plays an important role in our economy. Moral society? That's highly debatable even by today's standards, but since you mentioned "history" do I need to remind you of the enslavement of my people? :grumpy:

    Agreed.

    What exactly do you mean by "we are not free". I'm confused... :dunce:

    Strongly agree.

    Strongly agreed -- but for other reasons.

    Agreed.

    Spoken like a true Republican. Strongly agree. :sly:

    Don't forget our neo-imperialistic foreign policies! :idea:

    Neither agree or disagree. I don't believe that America is headed for trouble. However, if there is one thing that is going to "break" us its most likely going to be our neo-imperialistic foreign policies, in my opinion.

    Agreed.

    Loophole or not, I want to talk about our foreign policy! Is it OK, M? :scared: