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BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war

Bobert 16 Nov 03 - 08:12 PM
Peace 16 Nov 03 - 04:04 PM
musicmick 16 Nov 03 - 03:45 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 03 - 03:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 03 - 02:54 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 03 - 02:00 PM
Peace 16 Nov 03 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 03 - 10:26 AM
Bobert 16 Nov 03 - 09:27 AM
LilyFestre 16 Nov 03 - 09:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 03 - 07:52 AM
musicmick 16 Nov 03 - 02:40 AM
Peace 16 Nov 03 - 01:08 AM
Kent Davis 16 Nov 03 - 12:14 AM
Bobert 15 Nov 03 - 09:38 PM
musicmick 15 Nov 03 - 09:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 03 - 07:11 PM
Bobert 15 Nov 03 - 06:31 PM
Peace 15 Nov 03 - 04:34 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 03 - 09:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 03 - 07:39 AM
Kent Davis 15 Nov 03 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,pdc 15 Nov 03 - 02:30 AM
musicmick 15 Nov 03 - 01:08 AM
Deda 15 Nov 03 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,pdc 14 Nov 03 - 08:57 PM
Bobert 14 Nov 03 - 08:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 03 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 14 Nov 03 - 08:02 PM
musicmick 14 Nov 03 - 07:56 PM
Bobert 14 Nov 03 - 04:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 03 - 03:55 PM
Amergin 14 Nov 03 - 11:37 AM
musicmick 14 Nov 03 - 01:17 AM
Deda 13 Nov 03 - 10:56 PM
musicmick 13 Nov 03 - 10:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 07:44 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 03 - 08:08 AM
Amergin 12 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM
musicmick 12 Nov 03 - 05:25 PM
Greg F. 12 Nov 03 - 09:12 AM
The Fooles Troupe 12 Nov 03 - 02:25 AM
Amos 11 Nov 03 - 10:37 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 10:04 PM
Greg F. 11 Nov 03 - 09:49 PM
Amos 11 Nov 03 - 08:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 03 - 08:27 PM
Deda 11 Nov 03 - 06:52 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 05:36 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 05:06 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 08:12 PM

Well, language is funny and interprtations sometimes beyond explanation...

Back in the early 70's I was a jailhouse G.E.D. teacher in the Richmond City jail. I had a couple of white students but like evryone else was black... Well, one of my proudest days was one day when one of me black students called me "nigga" and from then on... things was cool... I was accepted...

I mean, like if one of my students was goofin' I could say "Hey, nigga, yo wanta be here the rest of yer life? Now get yer ass to workin'" and they'd throw it back at me...

Now, ain't that spoofy? I mean, here is a skinny white boy teachin' 20 or so black guys deep within a jail houes in the south and using the word "nigga" without a guard within shoutin' range...

Go figure, but it does say soemthin' about words, and tone, and intention...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Peace
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 04:04 PM

As long as everyone's havin' a good time. Some words are plain and simple loaded. As the language changes, and the usage of words in the language, and the company one keeps changes, so too does our use of words. Today, "I want no potatoes" carries the same meaning as "I don't want no potatoes." But, there isn't really any way to make certain words nice or acceptable. Dick Gregory entitled one of his books "Nigger." The dedication to his mom read, "The next time you hear the word, they're advertising my book" (or words to that effect). Some parts of the language carry overtones of lots of other stuff. Five hundred years ago, telling someone her hair was awful was a compliment. It then meant 'awe-inspiring'. Today, it's a whole other thang. When Agatha Christie first released the novel entitled "And Then There Were None," it was entitled "Ten Little Niggers" (in reference to the term the Brits used for Indian people (from India)). Obviously, that wouldn't fly in the USA, so the title was changed to "Ten Little Indians." When the times changed, the book was re-released as "ATTWN". We have a shift happening with regard to the ways we would prefer to be called. That's what our names are for. Having said the above, I shall shut up for a bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 03:45 PM

I have checked and rechecked my messages and that of Kent's and at no time, did we compare the word "nigger" with the word "cracker. Kent never used the former and I never used either. The lack of civility on this thread is appalling. To some folks, disagreement marks the disagreer as a racist Nazi tool of the powers that be. My God, Guest, grow up. There is a spectrum of positions out there in the real world.
I promise you, Bobert, our planet is not divided into good guys and baddies. Intolerence, it seems, it not the sole realm of the Right.
Another crossover concept (from traditional right to left) is a distrust and disrespect for the people. When they don't vote the way we know they should, we dismiss them as duped and seduced. We can't believe that they could reach another conclusion through intelect. They can't be as smart as we are or else they would agree with us. Talk about arrogant.
I have been an activist for populist causes and for civil rights for fifty years. I was on the lines when that was a less than safe spot to be. I don't need to be lectured on the iniquities of the American social structure. Today, we couldn't get a decent crowd at a rally if we gave away Green Stamps. I have sung to labor unions where the apathy was rife. As a lifelong liberal, I am embarassed to admit that the fervor is all on the right. If you're looking for crowds and commitment, go to a "Pro-Life" event. I might add that the far right involves themselves in party politics and, by sheer numbers, make their voice heard and respected. We used to do that, too. Now, we bitch and moan that we can't fight city hall (or Wall Street or Big Oil or Enron) so we balm ourselves by accusing each other of linguistic heresy and counter revolutionary free thought. I contend that the kind of carping featured in this thread is as great a threat to progressive thought as all the Bushes in the hedgerow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 03:10 PM

It is also quite bizarre to suggest that the word "cracker" is as detestable an ethnic slur as "nigger", as Kent Davis and musicmic have. As the M-W definition notes, there is also a perfectly innocuous use of the word which is relevant to a specific cultural group from the American south: Georgia and Florida, to-wit:

The Tropic of Cracker (published by University of Florida Press)

"Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" (by Milkweed Editions Press)


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 02:54 PM

Names in themselves are generally neutral (with some exceptions). They only become insults because they are used by people who despise or hate the people being referred to, and those feelings get attached to the name.

In time that can make a word unusable, and good manners requires that you don't use it. However it's a mistake to think that the hate or contempt starts with the name, or can be eliminated just by changing the name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 02:00 PM

...the more people will realize that hating someone based simply upon the circumstances of their birth, is indefensible and opposed to one's own enlightened self-interest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Peace
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 01:39 PM

...Italians hate the Yugoslavs,
South Africans hate the Dutch,
And I don't like anybody very much.

The more things change . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 10:26 AM

So, is the word "cracker" more or less offensive than than the word "Bubba" to describe the same southern demographic of white male voters currently being courted (hot and heavy, I might add) by both the Dems and Repubs? "Bubba" can, of course, be applied to the politics of both Trent Lott and Bill Clinton, so just whose politically correct code is that?

Perhaps the more polite, politically correct term for southern racist white guys nowadays is "NASCAR Dad".

From the handy Merriam Webster online dictionary for "cracker":

Main Entry: crack·er
Pronunciation: 'kra-k&r
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 chiefly dialect : a bragging liar :

[I've deleted the non-relevant definitions for brevity]

5 a usually disparaging : a poor usually Southern white b capitalized : a native or resident of Florida or Georgia -- used as a nickname

Compare that entry to the one for the word "nigger" for a sense of some perspective as to the racist white guy claims that the word "cracker" should be considered as nasty an epithet as the word "nigger" (again from Merriam Webster online):

Main Entry: nig·ger
Pronunciation: 'ni-g&r
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of earlier neger, from Middle French negre, from Spanish or Portuguese negro, from negro black, from Latin niger
Date: 1700
1 usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : a black person
2 usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race
3 : a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons
usage Nigger in senses 1 and 2 can be found in the works of such writers of the past as Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, but, except in sense 3, it is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 09:27 AM

In the words of John Riggins when Supreme court justice Sandra Day O'Conner accidently woke a rather drunk Riggo up at a party one night: "Ya gotta loosen up, Baby!"...

Yeah, conservatives love to go thru their misconceived conception of what they think the so-called *liberal's* politically correct code de jour'. Well, to them I say, ahhh, "Ya gotta loosen up, Baby!" More of crap coming from Boss Hog's Public Relations firm... You can't believe just how silly it sounds to hear the company lines parroted yet one more time...

Yeah, we hear the word "victim" over and over... Problem is that this also is crap that rolls off Boss Hog's PR assembly line... Yeah the best defense is a strong offfense. The real victims, America's working class, have been so conditioned by this PR crap that they feel that, no matter how victimized, if they say that then they get lumped in as a *liberal*! Oh, horrors! Not a *liberal*! Oh, I can see thew folks running and screming thru the streets like from some bad horror flick from the 60's...

But I will give credit where credit it due. Boss Hog has done an excellent job of brainwashing lots of folks who are perfectly willing to step forward and tout the company line... Yeah, they do it gleefully...

Mean while, back at the ranch, the folks who have the real victim mentalities are the right wingers and the ruling class because they feel vitimized if they have to share any of the wealth with the working class. They have Social Security. They hate Medicare. They hate anything that they feel oinfringes on their rights to control everything... And I mean, ahhh, every *friggin* thing...

Hey, I would repsect them a lot more if they'd just own up to it rather than try to deflect their shortcomings as people onto those they oppress...

That's the way this ol' hillybilly sees it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: LilyFestre
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 09:24 AM

"Sounds like most of America to me, this part at least. Plenty of places where the educators are the most highly paid people around..like where I live it is pretty much true...Come on down."

I am curious as to where this is a true statement? In most cases, teachers are woefully underpaid!!! IMHO, educators SHOULD be one of the top earning professionals out there. I am not a teacher but I do work in the schools from time to time....they certainly have a tremendous responsibility and should be compensated!!!!!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 07:52 AM

"Caucasian"? Caucasians come from the Caucausus, the same way Ethiopians come from Ethiopia. Calling white Americans "Caucasians" is just as daft as calling black Americans "Ethiopians", which you used to do at one time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 02:40 AM

Kent, you are new so I'd better let you know the lay of the land. Some ethnics are slurable, some are not. Keeping up with the current list is like trying to memorize the rules of Mah Jong. It has, mostly, to do with those groups who are viewed as victims. That classification is situational. African-Americans (It's important to be up on the acceptable term du jour. Previously respectful terms were Black, Negro and Colored. All these terms are now insulting slurs.) are on the permanent victims list and there's not a damned thing they can do to get off it. O.J. Simpson got famous, got rich, married a caucasian woman, killed her, hired a gaggle of high priced lawyers and still based his defense on his victim status. Jews used to be slur free but, then, they stopped getting gassed and then had the effrontery to survive and flourish in their own land. So, you can kick the kikes again but you have to use the word "Zionists" in place of "Jews". Let's see now, Homosexuals are off limits, in fact it may be disrespectful to call them homosexuals. They prefer "gay" although their distaff counterparts have not yet tired of "lesbian". I'll let you know if and when there is a change in alternative lifestyle nomenclature. Oh, I forgot. Don't be saying nothing about women unless you check it with the latest non-fiction best seller. Women, too are hopelessly victimized. Oddly, men do not enjoy this shield of protection. You can say anything you like about men. They're always in season. If you need anti-male ammunition, consult the Comedy Channel or PBS. Speaking of OK ethnic targets, Southerners are an old favorite. So are Republicans, lawyers and heavy drinkers (but not if the heavy drinker is on the victim list).
Well, I hope this helps, Kent. Happy hunting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Peace
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 01:08 AM

Rednecks and Good ol' Boys: There's a difference. Rednecks raise cattle, and good ol' boys get intimately involved. (Heard that from a comic--don't remember who. Blake something.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Kent Davis
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 12:14 AM

I'm new here. Is it considered acceptable behavior to use ethnic slurs like "cracker"?   If it is acceptable, are ALL ethnic slurs acceptable, or just "cracker", "redneck", and "hillbilly".


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 09:38 PM

"Democratic structure", musicmic? Haha... That's all it is. Structure. 93% of the folks who had the most *money to spend in the '02 elections won... This ain't got one danged thing to do with structure... Jus' money and a bunch of folks too buzy trying to get to the next payday to have the time to actually dealve into the issues so they just vote for the person who has been on TV more or has more signs on the side of the road... This ain't democracy... You want democracy, then support publicly financed elections with no outside money.... period.... Until then, you'll get Boss Hog's boys 93% of the time.... Guarenteed!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 09:03 PM

My reaction was not to a criticism of America or the present administration. It is to the utter lack of balance in the expressed views of these particular critics. When I see "Guest" or others of his ilk decry the excesses of other states (like, for instance, the war-mongering, anti-civil liberty, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-labor traditions of states like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Liberia etc.), I will treat their gripes with American sins more seriously. The USA is not a paradise, nor is it the paragon of virtue. I have conceded this many times. I am not blinded by patriotism. It is, however the most charitable super power the world has ever known. Unlike other world powers (Romans, Holy Roman Empire, Ottomans, British, French, Mongolian, to name a few) the actions of the USA have been tempered by its democratic structure and the decency of its people. American Napolean wannabes are as evil as anyone else's but, unlike the other guys, our s.o.b.s have to stand election against a powerful and power hungry opposition party who use the excesses of the leaders as fodder for the campaign. All I ask is that you check out the history of great powers. I think you will find that our poop stinks no worse than theirs and, in most cases, it comes out roses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 07:11 PM

It seems to me that most times people talk about the "silent majority" - and this applies in lots of countries - they are actually talking about a noisy minority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 06:31 PM

Yeah, GUEST, America is being run by *angry white men* who happen to have most of the money and either spend enough of it to get other Angry white men elected ot enough to hire angry white lawyers to steal elections...

And thank you for pointing out that the angry white men who are running the show *do not* represent the majority, but a small minority. These folks are out of step with what Americans want from their *supposed* elected representatives. They have used 9/11 to vamp on any one who disagrees with them on any issue.. They have sought to unify and consolidate power. They have no perticular fondness for *liberty*, or *freedom* or *democracy*...

So when I use the term "facist" I don't use it for shock value. If one will spend a little time learning what went down in Europe in the 30's, one will come away with a different perspective on facism and the variuyos puzzle pieces that had to fall in place for Hitler to consolodate power. Many of these same puzzle pieces are being laid in the US as we speak. The fact that I can say these things is not proof that they don't exist. What is said here is being monitored as well as many things that we don't have a clue about. See, these guys want to know everything about us and want us to know absolutely nothing about them... Hmmmmm, Part 18,956.......

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Peace
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 04:34 PM

musicmic,

I have made clear my admiration for the people of the USA. I think your government sucks. It is being hijacked, and you pretend not to see it. Ignoring the tremendous disparity between rich and poor, housed and homeless, fed and hungry, franchised and disenfranchised does no honour to your country. It ain't an all or nothing proposition. I expect next you will spout, "My country, right or wrong" or "America, love it or leave it!" I don't doubt that much of my life teaching farmers' children has blessed me with lots of 'cracker' friends, and redneck amigos. When the shit hits the fan, they stand and deliver. I also have friends who disagree strongly with our government in Canada. Some of the aforementioned are one and the same people. I love my country very much. It would not be love were I to turn away and ignore its faults. It may have been utopian to think that "a country's just as free as a padlocked priso door", but its a thought that generates a really neat goal. If you don't want to improve your country, you ain't much of a patriot. Nothin' personal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 09:41 AM

I work with teenagers who think much the same way that Kent Davis and musicmic seem to think--in simplistic, reactionary, defensive ways.

Kent Davis, you said:

"I notice that they who JUST CAN'T STAND prejudice condemn the majority of our fellow citizens as "crackers" whose views and values should be excluded from the ideal commonwealth."

I never said any such thing about the majority of our fellow citizens. I said it about the minority views and values of our fellow citizens who happen to be a bare majority in one geographic region of the US--the south. Those views and values of cracker culture are not shared by the majority of our fellow citizens in the east, north, west, or midwest.

It seems to me that certain people just can't tolerate any criticism whatsoever of the politicians whose views and values they share, in this case radical right Republicans who also happen to be very corrupt.

On the Bill Moyers NOW program last night, former Secretary of the Interior (under Kennedy and Johnson) was on, talking about how destructive this particular administration has been to the environment, but also to the values of preserving and protecting our national heritage of the national parks, wilderness areas, etc. He said that was never the way of the Republican party or of Republican administrations of the past, including Eisenhower and Nixon. This new Republican creed of greed and avarice we now see began to change the views and values of the Republican party under Reagan, and has grown steadily since then among both Republicans and the occassional Democrat.

There is perhaps no other issue that the Bush administration is more at odds with the majority of Americans than the environment and our national heritage areas and sites, and the push to drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness best represents that division. The Bush administration keeps saying we need the oil, which everyone knows is utter bullshit. It is the greed and avarice of the energy oligarchs that is driving this out of control train, hell bent on destroying every last wilderness and protected area on earth, for their own financial gain, and because they have this sick, twisted desire to win. To defeat those environmentalists they have painted as the evil enemy of democracy. To show that they are the kings, that they have the power, and that no one shall stand in their way.

That is what is particularly sick about the current administration. The arrogance of their power. Their contempt for the social contracts that hold the fabric of our society together. Their greed and avarice. It isn't unprecedented by any means--it has happened in the US before, and in places all around the world. But people like musicmic and Kent Davis, who so stridently defend the current administration, obviously are more concerned with their own individual power as white man citizens than the common good of the nation, have no problem with the views and values of the current corrupt American regime. The regime that so masterfully gets away with manipulating white men just like them, in order to maintain their hold on power, and the rest of the nation hostage to their whims.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 07:39 AM

There seems a little inconsistancy in taking pride in a commitment to free speech, and objecting when people exercise that right. What seems to come across isn't so much "That's a silly thing to say" but rather "How dare you say something like that"

Getting irritated about criticism is what you'd expect from a small fragile nation. It always seems a bit strange coming from an enormously powerful one. You'd expect Americans would just shrug it off.

Perhaps caring about that kind of thing is actually a kind of humility, and is an indication that the USA really is a bit different from other empires. I can't imagine the Romans worrying about this kind of stuff, or the British or Spanish when they were imperial powers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Kent Davis
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 02:59 AM

Musicmic, Thanks for injecting some reality into this thread. I notice that those who call our country "fascist" are freely speaking their denials that we still have free speech. I notice that they who JUST CAN'T STAND prejudice condemn the majority of our fellow citizens as "crackers" whose views and values should be excluded from the ideal commonwealth. I notice they talk about moving, but here they stay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 02:30 AM

Well, you may have a problem of thinking in extremes, Musicmic. First you say the US is the best, then you say it is the worst. Get over yourself and learn that the US, like any other country in the world, is some good, some bad, has a lot of virtues, has a lot of faults, has some problems, has some solutions. In other words, the US is an ordinary country in the world. It happens to be one of the more fortunate ones, like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, most of Europe etc.

But that's all it is. It is neither the best, nor is it the worst. It is a citizen state of the world, not its leader, not at the tail end of things -- just an ordinary, regular, middle-of-the-pack country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 01:08 AM

Okay, gang. I give up. If so many of you think so little of this sewer I call home, I must be wrong. This must be the most terrible and barbaric state in the history of mankind. And, of course, we are all complacent because we elected those devils incarnate. We perpetuate the evil that is America by failing to seat a congress that will drive these demons from office and send them to the dooms they so richly deserve. I need not add that we must be compliant sheep as we are so easily and often deluded. And if we are sheep, what does that say about the countless fools who dream of coming here to seek a better and freer life. Boy, are they in for a letdown.
Honestly, I am astonished by the infantile jeering of those whose color spectrum is composed of black and white. Ethics and morality, in the real world, are not cut and dried. They are almost always the elephant described by the commitee of blind men. where truth is dependent on angle of perception.
I know that there is nothing I can say to make an Americaphobic less edgy. To you folks, this is the worst of all possible worlds and today is the worst of all possible days and, as W.S.Gilbert said in "The Mikado", "I am right and you are right and all is right too loora lay".


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Deda
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 12:41 AM

This isn't the first country where poor people could get rich. In ancient Rome, freedmen (former slaves) were known to become wealthy, even become slave dealers themselves. There were also patricians who fell into poverty. There was real economic mobility, which made for some social mobility, too. We're nowhere near as new or special as our hype would like to pretend. We're more of a re-run than we ever acknowledge. We have such a short history of our own, as a nation, that we kind of assume that real history only started 200+ years ago. Just like every group of first graders who believe they're the first ones on earth.

This administration is worse than any other. Ike looks like a downright communist compared to these yahoos. These people are radicals, and they're looters. As Al Gore said in a recent speech, their basic premise is that all government is bad and should be done away with, except for the parts that gives big financial breaks and contracts and other benefits to their own in-crowd of wealthy cronies and contributors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 08:57 PM

Musicmic said:

(If you think our government is currupt, try living in another country. If you think our freedom is under attack, check out the civil liberties available elsewhere).

Really, this kind of rhetoric has become not only shopworn, but tedious in the extreme. Check out virtually all of Europe; check out the country to the north of you; check out Scandinavia, the British Isles, Australia and New Zealand, etc., etc., etc.! The kind of thinking that produces that sort of kneejerk rhetoric is no longer applicable. Your freedom is much more under attack -- by your own government -- than the freedom of virtually any country in the list I just produced.

Do you not think that the rest of the world gets tired to death of that pre-recorded, repetitious monotone of "US is the Best"? You go ahead and believe it -- I believe it is transfused into American babies at birth. But don't expect the rest of us to ignore the evidence in favour of your meaningless, rote catechism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 08:14 PM

GUEST, GUEST, GUEST.... Nah, just be smart enough to get out unless yer prepared to be one of them suicide bombers. I ain't. Screw 'em... If the facists have stolen the country, then leave. I ain't going up against the strongest military in the world... Might of fact, if I decide to leave, I'll send you my squirrel gun. Makes a big ol' pop and can mess up a few folks day just before yer butt gets blowed up...

No, musicmic... I have lived thru all of them guys and they ain't in the same league as the current guys. Ike and Nixon and Reagun knew that when their time was up they had to give it back.... These current guys are amnipulating so much that is becoming increasingly clearthey have no intentions of ever giving it back. They stole it and they are gonna danged well keep it... Yeah, they may turn it over to other facists but they are going to do their thievin' best to keep it stolen....

And that is the way it is... Don't think so? Think again.....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 08:10 PM

One big difference from the past is that, right now, there is no counterbalancing superpower (or something that at least looked like a superpower) to put a limit on what the USA Government can do. Now the only thing that can do that is the American people.

In some ways that makes us safer. But in other ways it doesn't. And it means we are in a different world, and the precedents don't necessarily apply.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 08:02 PM

For a free and democratic people, US citizens sure as shit seem to need more guns and tanks and nukes and subs and air force bombers than anybody else ever had over all the whole of human history. Yet, the war mongerers and war profiteers keep telling us we aren't safe for some reason.

Why do you suppose that is, musicmic?

We got more guns, ammo, nukes, lawyers, Hollywood propaganda producers, talking head showboats, and special interests than any other nation, or probably every nation combined on this good earth, with which to gainfully pursue our soldier massacreeing, jealous murdering, dispossessed suiciding, surreptitious wife beating, and accidental shooting galleries of children we call "school" than any other country, civilized or not.

Why do you suppose that is, musicmic?

It seems that American freedom and patriotism are a tad more elusive in the good old US of A than you are letting on there, musicmic.

I wonder why that is, too. But I'll grant you this--it didn't just start to happen under George W. Bush or even George H.W. Bush.

Just ask the Nicaraguans, the Filippinos, the Vietnamese, the Native Americans of both North and South America, the Iraqis, the Afghanis, the Grenadans, Panamanians, Salvadorans, Haitians, Cubans...

And those are just a few of the lucky nations that have felt the bottom of our soldiers' boots and looked down the barrels of our let freedom ring up on our cash register rifles...


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 07:56 PM

I bid you peace, Bobert, and a wisp of hope. There is nothing you are saying today that wasn't said in the 50's under Ike, in the late 60's under Tricky Dicky, in the 80's under the "Great Communicator" and his successor, George I. They were at least as right wing as GWB, and we survived them all. I have tolerated the conservative bent in our national elections for an embarassingly long time and I can assure you that this, too, shall pass and we will live to be frightened by the next political hack on the horizon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 04:57 PM

Well, musicmic, I love the US. I love lots and lots of its people. I love the mountain I live on and the house and gardens I've built. I balence my criticism with a community activism in trying to m ake my community better and rub elbows with Dems, Repubs, Green and Independents in trying to improve the overall quality of life of my neighbors.

But with that siad, like Deda, I am both angered at the current administration's domestic and foriegn policies and afraid that thre current administration has so severely corrupted democracy that the country that love is going to end up in a civil/class war and tactics that are being used by Palestinians today will become common place and assasinations will be come common place and martial law will replace democracy... Democracy, IMO, in the US is terminally ill and the current administartion is franticly removing life support tubes and gizmos...

But, hey, I'll keep doing what I'm doing as long as I have any hope but I must admit that since the Election of 2000 when the Republicans so clearly stole the election (and I'm no Dem, either, BTW) and the subsequent thuggery and fascism, I have given in to the realities that I may not get to live out my days in my community or the US... And I've lived thru a lot of crappy presidents and crappy policies... There's something disticntly different now... And it has *nothing* to do with 9/11, thank you.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 03:55 PM

I sometimes get puzzled how it is people find it so easy to say "We" did this or "You" did that when they are talking about other people maybe hundreds of years ago.

But the truth is - and it's so obvious it shouldn't need to be said - it's never "we" or "you" - it's "they". No grounds for feeling either proud or ashamed. We can admire them or disdain them, but we can't be them. Americans of today have no more reason to be proud of the Declaration of Independence than they have to be ashamed of the slave trade. British have no more reason to be ashamed of Oliver Cromwell than they do to be proud of him.

All we can do with the past is learn from it. We don't own it and it doesn't own us. We're spectators, and taking sides is just a pretence, a game.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Amergin
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 11:37 AM

well...the us is not the only country in the world that had a difficulty with race relations....


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 01:17 AM

I propose that we all need a dose of perspective. The American rap sheet in the area of race relations is not a source of pride but there are a few caviats in the mix. First, America was the first great society that was not mono-ethnic. When a France or a Sweden clucks disaproval, it should be remembered that their record of minority involvement is unsullied because they had no significant minority population. (France's behavior toward the Algerian imigrants is not the stuff of bragging rights). Second, America is the first great open society. We are embarassed about our money based values but they are a hell of a lot more egalitarian than the values of the societies that preceded us. In other lands, one's future was determined by one's past. It may be unlikely that a poor American will become a rich American but, at least, it is possible. We rejected the age old concept of monarchy and Official religion. We set up safeguards to limit the power of the government. (If you think our government is currupt, try living in another country. If you think our freedom is under attack, check out the civil liberties available elsewhere). People, we need a reality check. I'm not suggesting that protest and opposition are out of line. They are needed to maintain our revolution and our dream. But protest without perspective is just jeers from the cheap seats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Deda
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 10:56 PM

There have been times when I was proud to be American, but I'm less proud, more ashamed now than ever in my life. I am proud to have voted against the current administration. A group of friends and I call ourselves the Patriots, by which we mean
People
Against
Treacherous
Republicans
In
Office
Today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 10:08 PM

According to "Guest", the US is the most militaristic, warlike culture the world has ever seen. Is it possible that Guest can be so ignorant of history or is his hatred for the current administration so fervid that it has warped his perspective? I do not propose to spend an hour or so listing some of the truly barbaric and heartless war-based societies that have infected our planet in their times. Nor will I spend the many hours it would take to list the positive legacies of the American revolutionary experience. It is not very difficult to find fault with a powerful nation. Power is a corrupting force and a sometimes irresistable lure. In addition a democracy is prone to instability by its very nature. Ours is not an Eden or Shangrila but neither is it Sodom or Klingon. I have spent a lifetime protesting the aspects of American life that I believe are not in keeping with its moral imperative. But, I am sick and tired of the chronic critics who never have a good word to say about my country.
I am an American and, unlike more than a few of you guys, I am proud to be so identified.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 07:44 PM

The Roman Empire was still formally a Republic. That's why the Emperor wasn't King , but instead had the neutral term "Imperator" which just means "Ruler". Much the same as calling him "President" really.

The job wasn't even hereditary, it just seemed that way, the same way it is getting to be in the USA. Typically an Emperor might adopt someone as his heir - not that different from the way a Vice-President is selected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 08:08 AM

The US is now, and nearly always has been, ruled de facto by oligarchy. One reason why Clinton was so despised by the right, is that he was an interloper--not an oligarch.

"Democracy" is currently being defined (not to mention shoved down our throats) by the political/media oligarchs as voting and soldiering. In other words, democracy is being defined by the true rulers as a constant state of war. We declare wars on everything, especially in advertising and politics.

But the truer sort of democracy--the sort Walt Whitman (think what the world might look like if poets were our leaders!) might have dreamed of, has a much higher cost for humans (fear of the different notwithstanding). That cost is daily citizenship.

I love the US, but I hate the political and (anti) intellectual culture of the South's European Americans. Cracker politics isn't something I think our nation should be aspiring to, and I was mightily disappointed with Howard Dean's suggestion that we need to welcome cracker politics into the tent.

The US is the most militaristic warrior culture the planet has ever seen. The measure of patriotism now is merely who can we kill and who can we beat. One is suspect if one's patriotism is expressed through any other institutions but the military.

I am not one to run around screaming the sky is falling. But I do definitely see US society today as being in it's self-destructing death phase. I believe we will have civil war in this country, and that it will once again be split largely along the same lines as our last civil war. I believe I could yet live to see it happen in my lifetime. But I consider that to be a positive outcome, not a negative one. There is no way southern cracker culture can maintain and hold itself together as a nation. That is their delusion, and the manipulation of the political/media oligarchs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Amergin
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM

yeah all those thousands of folks who's families were too poor to own slaves...or to get them commissions...or just out of the war...fought to keep slaves...


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: musicmick
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 05:25 PM

What is it about the Left and the Right that they are so disdainful of democracy? There is no country in this world where free choice is coexistant with unified political attitudes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 09:12 AM

Unfortunately, Amos, "Space Does Not Permit"- history is a complicated critter. Were it a single insight, no problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 02:25 AM

McGrath,
I think the USA is becoming more of a Partially Elected Dictator Republic rather than a Democractic Republic... :-)

In the First Roman Empire, you only got a vote if you were Rich and had Property of over a certain value... :-)

The USA is the Second Roman Empire... :-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Amos
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:37 PM

Thanks for the pointer Greg, but I doubt I'll dig it up very soon. Would it becheating to share the insight?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:04 PM

Good, we're at least well beyond the "revisionists" who have painted the "War for Secession" as a war about slavery... That's agood start.

Now, about the next "civil war" (oximoraon), how do we get to a place where the 50.1% that have controlled the 49.9% since the 60's understand that we don't give a danged if they want to outlaw woman's rights (except when it comes their women), if they wanta strap evry person they don't like to a gurney and inject them with crap to kill 'em, that if they wanta go and invade other folks then.... friggin' have at it.... Just count us out 'cause we ain't part of yer sick little friggin' country. Yeah, tax the working class and give it to the trich. Send the working class to die in your killin' fields while you and Boss Hog sip yer mint Julieps.... Yeah, knock yer facsits selves out....,




But, most importantly, count us out...



Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Greg F.
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 09:49 PM

Err, not quite, Amos... when time permits, give this a read:

Berlin, Ira: Many thousands Gone: The First two Centuries of Slavery in North America Cambridge, Harvard Univ. Press, 1998


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Amos
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 08:39 PM

It's an interesting question -- was agriculture easier? Or why was it that the North tended to build large industrial bases while the South carried on farming? I guess it was easier in the deeper alluvial soils and warmer climates to stick with the known and profitable path of raising cotton. And tobacco was already a climbing market.





A


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 08:27 PM

I sometimes muse about an alternative history in which the numbers had worked out differently, and the secession happened the other way round, an attempt by the anti-slave states to avoid having the slave system imposed upon them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Deda
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 06:52 PM

I'm no Lincoln scholar but it seems to me that he was (A) a man of the 19th century, not the 21st, and (B) in favor of keeping the union together if he possibly could. Here is a letter of his written in 1855, in which he says this:
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].


That seems not so very different from much of what has already been said in this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:36 PM

On September 18, 1858, Lincoln said that he was NOT in favour of freeing the slaves. That's in the Congressional Record.


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Subject: RE: BS: Modest Proposal to end the civil war
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:06 PM

Deda,

I'm with you and if we get a few states, I'll be the 1st Wes Ginnian to stick a "For Sale" sign out in the front yard, unless, of course, Wes Ginny is part of our country. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Ahhh, no I kinda have to disagree with ya' a tad on the last "civil war". It has been re-written so many time its unreal... It's taight that it was fought to end slavery... Not! That's "revisionism" at its extreme. If it was fought to end slavery then why is it the Lincoln, in his Emanicapation Porclamation freed slaves only in confederate states? Hmmmmm... No, "Honest" thug, Abe baited the sounth and baited them... He wanted a war... Wnated to consolidate power... Hmmmm, sounds like someone we know... BTW, consolidation of power is the cornerstone of facism... But that's another story...

Bobert


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