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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Someone please hand me a roll of duct tape...

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Author Topic: Someone please hand me a roll of duct tape...
Apoc-chan
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I am outraged. Just *LOOK* at what Bush and his cronies are *doing*!

Read this and weep.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/15/international/15ABOR.html

These so-called representatives of America are suffering from an acute lack of duct tape plastered over their mouths so they can't spew their stupidity to the world.


Posts: 25 | From: Nowhere in particular | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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duct-tape isn't gonna do much, apoc-chan. but you know what will? voting! and you can write to your congressmen to air your thoughts on the matter. also, start grassroots efforts. get together with other people who are unhappy with this matter and lobby, petition and send angry letters to the people in charge.


Silencing the opposition is stupid and hypocritically opposed to the First Amendment of the US Constitution. However, vocalizing your grievances with current policies and mobilizing politically is the very spirit of the American way.


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Correlation does not equal causation.

[This message has been edited by Gumdrop Girl (edited 12-17-2002).]


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
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Well, I dunno, Gumdrop. I tend to feel apoc-chan's outrage, as well. Voting can be useful, yes (though you might get a different view from Democrats in Florida...), but when the one party basically controls all the relevant bodies of government, voting isn't going to make much of a difference (we're experiencing this in Canada right now, too).

My feeling is that when you're a rich kid, you don't attach strings to your generosity, as the U.S. is doing here. Playing politics with population control is never going to fly with the countries that need it, and it's just plain wrong. Either the U.S. is interested in helping countries that have too many people, or it isn't. Looks to me like it isn't.

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"Will you help him change the world? Can you dig it?"
"Yes I can!"
-Chicago, Saturday in the Park (Yeah, yeah. Shut up.)


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
Either the U.S. is interested in helping countries that have too many people, or it isn't. Looks to me like it isn't.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Being a "rich kid" must be nice, I will admit. Frankly, I wouldn't really know much about that. But either way, rich kids aren't entitled to do a darned thing with their money that they don't want to do. If they want to give to charity, fine. If they want to hoard it, fine. If they want to dangle it in front of others and attach conditions to those who can take a grab at it, fine.

It's brutal, but it's life. This feeling of "entitlement" doesn't tend to get anyone very far. I'd love for the world today to be the sort of place where the truly needy could have what they want, while the truly wealthy would spread it around. But this ain't FairyLand. I'm poor and have no expectation that the government, or other people (or other governments) throw me a few bucks, because I'm not buying into this whole sense of entitlement. What money I earn is my money, what money you have is yours, and what money the government has is at its own discretion to spend. Be as outraged as you want, but duct tape ain't the way to go.

And for what it's worth, I still believe in voting. I know that sometimes it might seem worthless, but it can't be a good feeling to be one of the Florida voters who stayed home in 2000! I live in a state where every single state office from the Governor on down to the Superintendant of Public Instruction is held by a party I don't tend to vote for. And yet I've never missed an election. It seems one-sided, and it seems like I'll never make a difference, but you never know. So don't give up, friends!

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BruinDan, "Number Three," PSOM

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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Milke
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quote:
What money I earn is my money, what money you have is yours, and what money the government has is at its own discretion to spend

Well, in a country where taxes are a fact of life, I wouldn't consider that exactly true. What money we earn will have deductions made by our respective governments, and I think that in civilized countries, governments should exist to serve the country's people, and not vice versa. It is up to everyone who can to try to educate themselves politically, vote once they're old enough to, and to let their leaders know when they're not doing right by us, as Gumdrop said. I would, however, say that a powerful country that's unhelpful to countries in need, or petty about the efforts it makes to help them is one that can't claim much external virtue, and is setting itself up to be resented.

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Milke, SSBD, RATS

Where are my goddamned pants?
BD,SA


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cupcake
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I find it odd, at least...... I have yet to meet a person who LIKES George Bush.. actually, wait, I've met ONE. Yet this guy managed to get elected.

Up here, we tend to spoil ballots to make our mark instead of just not going.


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Dzuunmod
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message deleted by me...

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 12-19-2002).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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Cupcake, consider who you are surrounded by. a social circle isn't the most random selection of people. friends tend to congregate because they have ideas that mesh. so are you going to naturally surround yourself wih people whose ideas oppose yours? it might happen, but it's not entirely likely. I for one don't surround myself with stalinists or klansmen.

but people who support Dubya exist, and statistically, old people and Republicans have a higher tendency to show up at the polls than the MTV crowd. So guess why these folks are in power...

As for Americans witholding dollars from family planning organizations, if America was interested in being on the good side of the rest of the world (nods to Milke), then American would give them money for aid or family planning or whatever. But it is America's proverbial ball, and because they have it, they are rightfully allowed to play with it as they please (nods to BruinDan).

Where am i really on this argument? hehe, i'm not telling because i think I would have more fun arguing on both sides... (however, I can't say I'm down with hysterical ranting against either political side; I'm all for tolerance)

------------------
Correlation does not equal causation.


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Dzuunmod
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As evidenced by my above non-post, I tried really hard to bite my tongue here, but I just couldn't bear it.

cupcake - to add to Gummy's comments, I think that while there are some in Canada who choose to spoil their ballots, it's misleading to suggest that it's the norm. Statistics from Elections Canada show that in the last election, voter participation was at 61.2 per cent, and of the nearly 13 million ballots cast, only 139 000 were spoiled. In other words, millions and millions more people didn't vote, than spoiled ballots.

Back on topic - what the U.S. is doing here, is basically missionary work on a mass scale. "Y'all can have some of our money, sure, but you better start subscribing to some of our beliefs, while you're at it..." and it's repulsive.

The former U.S. Treasury Secretary said in 1996 that, "there are polls that show some Americans believe we spend 15 percent of our budget on foreign assistance, when in truth the number is well under 1 percent. We spend less per capita - sometimes two-thirds less - than many developed nations...this is no way for a great nation to behave."

I've no reason to think any of this has changed. But, if the U.S. public really knew what was going on, and in addition knew that U.S. foreign aid was in some cases conditional on certain things, I've every reason to believe they would be outraged. So, the solution here, like with so many other things lies with education. It's all very sad.

Incidentally, Canadians shouldn't feel great about themselves, either. We don't attach strings like this, as far as I know, but we don't spend a whole lot of our budget on foreign aid, either. Canadians are also generally a pretty deluded lot, when it comes to understanding what the country's contribution to a better world actually is.

------------------
"Will you help him change the world? Can you dig it?"
"Yes I can!"
-Chicago, Saturday in the Park (Yeah, yeah. Shut up.)

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 12-19-2002).]


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cupcake
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Oddly enough, I talk with a pretty diverse crowd, some of whom i agree and get along with, many others not.

It just strikes me as odd that crossing all sorts of social, economic and moral lines, there is so much discord.

Then again, up here, I would have voted for our current leader too, he was better than teh gay bashing, Bible guy from Alberta who was teh alternative. And I'm FROM Alberta!


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
Back on topic - what the U.S. is doing here, is basically missionary work on a mass scale. "Y'all can have some of our money, sure, but you better start subscribing to some of our beliefs, while you're at it..." and it's repulsive.

And it's widespread. I don't see Saudi Arabia giving oil away to just anyone. And in fact, who they sell oil to (and how much of it they market) often has more to do with the views the recipient country adopts than anything else. When the Arab League gets together and decides to condemn the United States for policies they take issue with, they end up with a laundry list of demands that are backed up with a reduction in the amount of oil sold on the market. OPEC follows suit, and so goes the game. And when they get really steamed at things like our perceived pro-Israeli bias, they're liable to just siphon the flow off completely. And you know what? That is totally within their right.

It would certainly be nice for everyone to be in HappyLand and give free slurpees to their neighbor next door, and I daresay that would make this place just about the perfect world. But humans are human, which is to say that such a thing can never happen. We're destined to misbehave, lord things over others, and fight, all for fits and giggles. But I digress...

I agree that it's not liable to make us well-liked, but I suppose that might be the case anyway. The biggest house on the block tends to be the one egged the most often, and let's not even mention the burglary rate! So I can understand things in that context at least, and I find it hard to believe that things would be miraculously different if we were simply to start doling out cash all over the globe.

And yes, believe it or not, there are those who like Bush. My co-workers and I were actually talking about this today at lunch. We were discussing how in some circles it is virtually impossible to find anyone who'll admit to liking the man, and how in other circles it'll be a lonely soul who will voice opposition. Again, I'd tend to agree with Gummy that it has more to do with the crowd one associates themselves with than anything else. (And do bear in mind that in Canada, where the Right wing party is roughly on par with the American Left, it'll consequently be far more difficult to find folks who adopt the same views that George W. Bush holds dear) Either way though, there are definitely people who like the guy and support his position. And according to polls, that's well more than half the population anyway. So who knows.

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BruinDan, "Number Three," PSOM

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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Dzuunmod
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The only thing I'd add to what you just wrote, Dan, is that I know of no other nations on Earth that go on and on about being the leader of the free world, or the world's policeman, or greatest country in the world, or blah blah blah. When you make those sorts of statements, as various government officials right up to the top in the U.S. frequently do, you're placing more obligations on yourself, and opening yourself up to lots and lots of criticism.

I don't think that the U.S. lives up, is all.

------------------
"Will you help him change the world? Can you dig it?"
"Yes I can!"
-Chicago, Saturday in the Park (Yeah, yeah. Shut up.)

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 12-20-2002).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
When you make those sorts of statements, as various government officials right up to the top in the U.S. frequently do, you're placing more obligations on yourself, and opening yourself up to lots and lots of criticism.

That's well put and very true. And it is for that reason that I tend to dislike being seen as such. With expectations set so high, I don't think anybody or any nation could possible live up to the hype. And that's just what it is, hype. I love this country and I feel fortunate to live here; but between insiders thumping their chests and gloating about being the best darned place on earth, and outsiders expecting money or aid or assistance on one hand and flippin' us the finger with the other, it can certainly be uncomfortable.

But, as with anything else, it should all be taken with a grain of salt. I shrug off local folks who claim inherent superiority just as I shrug off foreign folks who point fingers and frown. The reality is that we're a nation that tries hard, but has problems. Just like any other country on earth.

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BruinDan, "Number Three," PSOM

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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