This is an interesting article I read this morning.
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot. … broke.html
What say you?
I say the writer is a jealous Union Buster that got fired from his non union bank job AND lost his life savings and pension. Now he is just lashing out because he choose a job with no security and eventually no future. I say; no matter what you paying, if I can't be sure I can feed my baby tomorrow; you can take your non union job and shove it!
Death is the inevitable outcome of war. To bad we can't make those so willing to go to war fight them, personally and on the front lines. Probably wouldn't be such a big business, war, if those who wanted them were the ones to fight em.
That is absolutely true.
What did you think about the military budget and how it is destroying America, and the many military bases throughout the world which are in countries that don't want American bases there?
Do you think America has a moral right to put its military bases wherever it wants to?
What did you think of the history of how it got there?
My mom and I used to joke that the military should be forced to raise its money with bake sales the way my school had to! Instead of robbing the tax payers. As for our bases being where they are not wanted, is it any wonder that we have so little respect and so many enemies? So we need to rob the tax payers to protect us from the enemies we have because of our military. And around and around we go, where we will stop no body knows.
Nope, but the fear mongers out there make sure that morals don't matter. Not when the big bad boggy man is out there hoping to harm us and our kids. Sadly history is full of examples of fear mongering by the elite and greedy who profit from human suffering and the average person will put up with it for far to long before revolting. People only call for revolution when they know they have nothing left to lose, when death holds less fear then continuing life as it is.
with respect -
Sophia - People don't want war, governments do. Governments want American military bases and give them permission to be there, people may not want them there. I just wish it would all go away.
Kirsten - To many Americans believe America has little respect around the world. I think we have a lot more respect than some would have you believe. We haven't yet been reduced to the level of tyrants, dictators, commies, genocidal 'leaders', and pirates.
Many people around the world would disagree with this statement, in fact many people would say that this is exactly what the US has been since the 1950's - at least.
Ok, cm, many do and many don't. My point is we're not ALL bad. We just started out being the guy who stood up to the bully and somehow ended up (to many) being the bully. The difference is we don't just kill and say do it our way or else. We only say do it our way or else.
Of course you are not ALL bad, some of you are even really cute
But you killed over 6 million in Vietnam, about the same number of Jews were killed by Hitler, and 85,000 of your own young men. Parts of South America and Africa have been, and are being, terrorised by the thugs that you fund to destablise their countries, and maybe you just forgot Iraq? And all of these disgraceful issues revolve around trade and profit making for the few.
How do you come by the figure "over 6 million"? Even if you assumed every combatant and civilian was killed by the US (surely a ridiculous notion) that figure would be inflated. It is not honest or responsible to spread misinformation.
2 million Vietnamese civilians and 1.1 million Vietnamese combatants directly killed in the war - then go find yourself the Cambodians, Laotians and the others that died - then add in those hundreds of thousands killed during the initial years when the US was unofficially helping the South Vietnamese to massacre people, then all those that died around the edges and later such as children killed due to the carpet of nasty little mines left over - and you come to the total reached by Rummel, a respected and moderate academic.
If you want to post empty insults it is just 'trolling' - try posting answers with information.
So not only are you attributing every civilian and combat death of the war to the US, but also all those before the war and of other related conflicts. I suppose you include all those killed by the North Vietnamese after the war as well. Bias can really make people unreasonable.
And I have not "insulted you." I'm sorry if you feel that way.
Try looking at the conservative figures Rummel put together - of deaths directly related to the Vietnamese debacle due to the American involvement. I guess being on the losing side might make you want to fudge over the horrendous death toll - but owning up, to what amounts pretty much to genocide, would be the big thing to do.
So are you coming right out and admiting that you are trying to attribute to the US every single human life lost before, during, and after the war, military and civilian, and in other related conflicts? Does that really strike you as reasonable?
And, South Vietnam 'lost' the war. We just went home.
I happen to live in the UK and I have faced hateful remarks about americans, as well as well intentioned teasing (that I don't mind and join in on even). America is just not in good standing with its own allies, let alone its enemies. Sad but true.
When the whole world is a mess
all that we can do is to do our best
and maybe end up inspiring the rest
or just wind up rhyming a lot
I like that Idea. Put the world leaders who have a gripe with each other in a cage match , last man standing. Leave the young men and women out of it !
It could even earn the country money the way you say it! Tickets could go for a decent amount and raise money for like health care or something
I suppose you could say that the war has been run badly.
There hasn't been a war run this badly since Olaf the hairy, King of all the vikings, ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.
So, is there any hope that someone will stop the war machine? Or is this going to play out?
If it plays out, to my mind, it can only end badly.
Or am I being overly pessimistic?
Yeah, US military spending is one of the few areas where I actually agree with Evan that taxes are theft. It certainly feels like theft to think that in excess of 50% of my taxes are going to support military activities I don't support that mostly make the world less safe for Americans, not more, and in many cases amount literally to setting fire to our money. I don't even buy firecrackers - why on earth would I want bombs?
I'd rather pay for a million of Reagan's fictional welfare queens to drive around in their fictional Cadillacs. At least the money would stay in the country.
@Kerryg "I'd rather pay for a million of Reagan's fictional welfare queens to drive around in their fictional Cadillacs. At least the money would stay in the country. "
Never thought of it that way, but you're right!
@Kirstenblog. Sad. Scary. Almost hopeless at this point.
kerryg - I love that metaphor, welfare queens. In his day, there were plenty of people who collected welfare, had foster kids to collect the money, bought lots of junk with food stamps and somehow managed to have a great car while the foster kids ran around in Goodwill clothes. There has been a stop to a lot of that, limiting the amount of foster kids one can have. With the economy and loans and other financial differences in place today, I guess the welfare crowd is probably fairly legit.
Regarding taxes for military, I agree with you. But now you can relate to the way I also feel (and Evan and others) about how taxes are used for other seemingly unnecessary things, like the academic studies that are so frequently funded, like studying how South Africans wash their genitalia, et al. Some funding is great as it effects the U.S. and its citizens. Others not so much. Stop all foreign aid and we would have enough to fund the necessities of life and infrastructure in the U.S.
Less than 1% of the budget goes to foreign aid (and most of that goes to allies like Israel and Saudi Arabial, not to places that really need it), so I actually think that could be expanded substantially. Instead of dropping bombs on people's kids, we ought to be vaccinating them - we'd be heroes instead of murderers and al Qaeda's job would be that much harder.
Studying African genitalia also has its uses in terms of looking like heroes instead of murderers. Africa has one of the highest rates of obstetric fistula in the world, a condition so easy to prevent and cure with good maternal care that it is almost completely eradicated in the Western world. Women will remember if you save them from a life of humiliation, misery, and social ostracism, and since we're getting more terrorists from places like Somalia, that's good will we can use.
ok, I can agree with some humanitarian aid. Where did you get the 1% figure? I'd like to see the actual $ amount. 1% of the budget can still be a significant amount of money. Also, we have been giving humanitarian aid for as long as I can remember. If we're not heroes to some by now, we never will be. That was my argument. Some see us as heroes and some don't.
I think when it comes to humanitarian aid, we give them just enough help to get back on their feet and not have them rely on foreign aid to support the population.
i agree with humanitarian aid...
if it's voluntary.
Charity is Charity. taxes are theft. Thus, government CAN NOT be charitable.
In 2007, we spent $41.9 billion on foreign aid, of which $28.9 billion was economic aid and $13 billion was military. $16.5 billion (39%) of the total went to three countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel. The total budget that year was $2.8 trillion.
When I say "less than 1.0%," I actually mean about "0.15%".
Hilariously, some polls have found that most Americans think we spend nearly a quarter of our budget on foreign aid, and it tends to be the only area that both conservatives and liberals agree should be cut. However, when asked what percentage of the budget we should be spending on foreign aid, people usually say about 5% - 33 times what we actually spend!
As much as we disagree - we both want life to be better for the future.
CUT MILITARY SPENDING NOW.
The National Security State, not only is it enslaving its own people. It is trying to secure a global enslavement by treasonous acts with foreign entities.
It is a Hydra that is always screaming for additional sustenance.
I agree. We definitely should bring our soldiers back and let everyone deal with things on their own.
It' true, Americans are good at warring. It is my hope that we leave you alone and we bring our boys back and you do for yourself.
we can manage honestly we can...... I mean we do not need so much bloodshed
I know you can, that's why it's my hope that this administration do what it promised which is pull our troops back, not only from Afghanistan but from everywhere else and you do for yourself.
sadly so many American people think we need them, but it is an illusion.
I think among us folks it runs 50/50. What we have to do is get to the other 50% and try to persuade them that as a country we are better off letting other countries fight their own battles. It never used to be this way. After WW2 we never learned to get out of the foreign places we ended up. I'm hoping that sooner we realize that being in all those foreign places is pointless.
anyone who can't connect "Invading countries left and right, having a military base in over 150 countries, and policing the world" to "we're spending a crap lot of money"...
... shouldn't be allowed to vote.
Now we're invading countries? I'd like to see us out of everywhere, too, but that's a little narrowminded. Sorry, Evan. I know I'm in for it now.
We invaded vietnam, Iraq, afghanistan, korea, we're bombing pakistan...
I dunno where you're disagreeing? You think the term i used is wrong?
I really shouldn't be in this debate because I'm on the fence. I don't see it as invasion, necessarily. Afganistan was provoked. Korea and Vietnam asked for our help. I just don't agree with the bombing of Pakistan but for some reason I did agree with the bombing of Iraq. No let me rephrase. I think we should have saved a lot of loss of life and covertly just taken out Hussein. I think we should be an isolationist country when it comes to war and stay out of all of it. Is this wrong? If it came down to defending the borders, even I'd fight but sending people to other countries to fight others' battles is not my idea of good policy. But where do you draw the line? When innocents are being brutalized by their own leaders? Genocide, chemical warfare, imprisoning children because their parents said something against the leader?
But that's why we shouldn't be involved. All this stuff in other countries is so arbitrary. If they decided to have a civil war, what business is it of ours? I think the only consideration we should have is that we use the military for our own safety and self-defense. Everyone else should be able to conduct their own wars without our help. To decide to help one and not the other doesn't really make sense.
Actually I thought all this world war stuff is supposed to be handled by the UN. Let them deal with it. But we should not send any troops under the UN.
How was afghanistan a provocation? The people that hit us on 9/11 weren't members of any state organization.
Korea and Vietnam asked for our help, but we launched our military into their country, and thus it was an invasion - our military wasn't welcomed by a large part of their populations (hence the fact that it was a war), and that we were trying to "gain ground" instead of "just defend".
Iraq was nothing BUT an invasion - based on lies.
We're bombing pakistan despite having no approval from crongress...
I dunno. Sounds like the evil one is us.
War kills us all!
Look at all the prime genetic material that has been eliminated by sending the best specimens to their deaths. Then we wonder why we have all the health problems we have. Why we have idiots in Congress. Why the human race has not evolved more rapidly. The weak and the sick have been protected and the strong have been sent to be killed. Generally speaking of course!
Wow Sophia, what a topic. I could write a lot of words about this but I'll save them for a very long self indulgent hub one day.
I try to think of people when war, weapons, governments, politicians are involved.
So we hate another country or whatever, and they hate us, and blah blah. And then the fighting starts.
But I'm just a normal human with family, working and living some sort of life until I die. And my opposite number in the 'enemy' country is exactly the same - he lives, he breathes, he shits - just like I do.
I don't want to hurt him, and I hope he doesn't want to hurt me either.
We need more coverage of the human cost of war (collateral damage - yeah right) and less attention to the lying leaders.
What is more important to Hilary Clinton right now? Troops killing civilians or Wikileaks leaking the video evidence?
Sorry. Rant mode starting. I'll go and calm down.
Mark, America doesn't have a free press.
I have never met so many people in a country that have absolutely no idea what is oging on in their own country.
I was living in London at the time Bush wanted to go into Iraq. Blair begged Bush to hold off for a few weeks for the UN Peacekeepers to confirm once again that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Everybody outside the UK knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction outside Iraq. We also knew that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. The only people who didn't know were the America public.
The whole idea is that he had the training grounds and we had the surviellence video to prove it. This is the first I'm hearing that U.S. was the only ones who thought there were weapons. The U.N. had more than a year to make a decision and when they finally went in Hussien wouldn't let them inspect anything. That held everyone off for another few months. I know this is off topic but had to disagree.
I understand your unwilligness to acknowledge something that could be painful. However, I was living in London at the time and the British people were very, very unhappy about Blair agreeing to help Bush. If you would like to google the Guardian newspaper, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Evening STandard just shortly before Bush went in, you will see that the United Nations had already said that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
They were, however, willing to go in again and double check again, and that is why they asked Bush to wait another two weeks. Bush didn't want to wait the two weeks.
the other thing. Unless you were actually living outside the USA at the time, you don't actually know how the rest of the world was perceiving the USA. I can assure you that they were 100% behind you going into Afghanistan. The USA lost every bit of popular support when it went into Iraq.
I don't expect you to believe me. Most Americans don't. None so deaf as those who will not hear.
I'm an American, but read a lot of foreign papers and I can confirm what Sophia's saying. Heads of state like Blair were hedging their bets more carefully, but there were many legislators and other lower level elected and appointed officials around the world who were openly ridiculing the idea that Saddam had WMDs, as were large percentages (in many cases substantial majorities) of the civilian populations of almost every other country in the world.
The US was NOT the only ones who "believed" the initial inteligence came from the UK! The Brittish people were never behind this effort, best I could tell from the news.
Yes, war is killing America. We can spend billions of dollars a month in Iraq and Afghanistan alone but we don't have money for basic needs like education, health care, and social services. Millions of Americans are slipping below the poverty line every month, yet we have plenty of money to send more troops overseas.
The Empire is getting so vast that it may crumble on itself because the core is rotting, like all empires before it.
If we withdraw ourselves from all international military interests than we face the probability of another world wide war. The next world war will be nuclear and be a disaster for everyone. The presence of the American military insures that no hostile government feels sufficiently insulated as to develop and use nuclear weapons.
The oceans that protected the US from most 19th century European conflicts and the technology that protected the US from all other wars no longer protects us. To be isolated is to be vulnerable, however, since Americans are now foolish enough to want socialism it is only a matter of decades before the whole world plunges into war, again. So, we might as well give up on being engaged in international military affairs and retreat if for no reason than to enjoy what little time we have left as a marginally free people.
Hi uncorrected, I used to think that way, but what is not to say that it is the presence of US troops that might provoke people into some nuclear war anyway. That whole thing in Kosovo, I really thought our engagement in it was pointless. We ended up with a solution that no one was happy with. I think we should have let things happen and there would still be a solution that no one would be happy with but it would be decisively ended and no one would blame us for the outcome. with Afghanistan, instead of attacking it, we should have just tried to kill Bin Laden and the leaders of Al Qaeda instead of conducting a war. We should turn down any requests for help. If something were to happen between North and South Korea, let it happen and we should talk to China so that neither of us interferes.
We should continue to work on some kind of nuclear shield that protects our country or defensive tracking from outer space to prevent missiles to come into our airspace. That's about the only way we can handle things.
You don't quite get my meaning. I do not say this lightly or ironically. I mean it seriously. We are finished as a free people and it is only a matter of two perhaps three generations before the whole world is choking again in the iron grip of tyranny.
Can you explain a little more about how this tyranny would come about and from where?
Tyranny is the default setting of human history. The freedom we currently enjoy is the aberration. The freedom we currently experience is a by product of Western Culture and the American Revolution and its consequences.
If that is so, and we fail to realize what it takes to keep being a free people then when we fall under tyranny we only have ourselves to blame. Perhaps because generations of us are so used to being free people, we have to lose it in order to understand how good we had it and how careless we are to allow it to happen.
Not likely. Does the tiger in the forest know he is free? Does the tiger in the zoo know he is not? If the zoo keeper left the cage open how many people would seek to close and lock it again? How many would kill anyone who tried to escape? We are finished as a free people as soon as we accept that first compromise. Freedom does not exist on a sliding scale -one is or is not free.
Well, there are people here who do see us only as talking monkeys and put us on the same level as animals if not lower. You have a point.
you have a good point there..... if there is a quiz will you be on my team?????
No. I am one of those charging toward the open cage door. I do not believe that many others will join me and I am certainly not going to join those who lie in the cage and watch or those who seek to close the door. Free me in the jungle. I think it would be much better to live that brief and mean life than live in comfort in the cage.
That's a very outdated view. And many would disagree with it.
Just wait, freedom is finished. And that is a nice and worthless assertion - outdated - hardly. Wait until the United States does withdraw from world affairs. Pax American is coming to an end, I hope you are alive when the consequences are felt.
Like I said, it's a very outdated view.
Did you read the article?
And I'm curious. Where else have you lived in the world?
As far as I'm concerned, you don't have any freedom in the US. It's the least free country I've ever lived in.
Enjoy your delusion. Hope to see you at the end.
Where have you lived? How did you end up coming here?
I won a Green Card in the Diversity Lottery while living in London. I have lived in South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, and Johannesburg), in Lesotho (Maseru) in England (London), in Germany (Munich) and in Spain (Granada).
I've also traveled quite extensively.
Not many would agree with that statement. Where have you lived that offers greater freedom?
Have you ever lived in Europe or Australia or New Zealand???? Or even England?
I don't mean go on vacation there. I mean lived!
With all due respect Ralph, the notion that no other country offers the level of freedom Americans theoretically enjoy is a direct result of the propaganda and mis-information Americans are subjected to our entire lives. The facts about the quality of life and civil rights other people enjoy in other industrialized democratic countries that aren't the USA, just don't support the notion that America offers the greatest freedom on earth. Consider this one fact...we imprison more of our population than any other country on the planet (which could have something to do with the fact that since the 1980s we privatized our prisons, I'm just sayin') with about 8 million people either incarcerated, on probation or parole at the end of 2008 (more now) that is one out of every 31 Americans involved in the legal system as a criminal!! I don't call that freedom, I call that an industry. Sorry this was a little off topic but it is just such a glaring example of how Americans are so ignorant about what really goes on in our country.
As the young Edwin Starr once said:
What is it good for?
Say it again y'all"
just reminds me of us here in Ireland..... We had it so good, the celtic tiger roars was everyones cry.... now we have lost it all. There are posters around with pictures of young men on saying. "We were building houses, now we have lost ours," It all seemed to change over night,
Awesome debate - Peace through Force...... but not agrestion. Tricky balance.
This is a great discussion (and thanks to everyone for speaking cordially) and I have to agree that most Americans have no idea what is really going on in their own country, the propaganda machine is so powerful and ubiquitous.
If anyone is really willing to learn the truth about America's imperialism and the 20th century history behind our meddling in so many governments' affairs and why we really ended up starting an illegal war by invading Iraq, then pick up a copy of Russ Baker's book
"Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Past Fifty Years."
This is a seminal work of investigative journalism that everyone should read and especially my fellow Americans on this thread. I'm reading this book now and on every page I'm literally exclaiming out loud "OMG"
Russ Baker is a very well respected investigative journalist and he meticulously sites every source and scrap of paper he references. It is mind blowing and very outrageous.
put down ya guns and have one of these.
from me and my grandchildren in snowy Ireland.
make peace not war.....
just showing off as i have only noticed the little camera next to formatting yesterday, what fun i am having......
Sophia, although I agree with some of what has been said on this thread, I am curious as to what criteria you based the above opinion. Are the countries you're comparing as large as the US? Give us some examples.
How long have you lived in the US?
I think we have to be careful when using words like, most, everybody, least while stating opinions and not facts.
Sorry, I deleted my response to rebekanelle and have responded to her privately.
in answer to your question as to what opinion I am referring to, it is the one I inserted in my earlier response. you stated an opinion. As far as I'm concerned, you don't have any freedom in the US. It's the least free country I've ever lived in. that is not a fact.
I'm sorry. I don't respond through private email.
I like to hear other views and respect that you feel strongly enough to initiate a thread open for discussion. I am curious as to the above statement, as I'm sure others are also.
In answer to your question, I have not lived in another country, but have visited France and have had very close friends in Europe, in Paris and Berlin, for over a decade. You can imagine we have had some lively discussions! We are open and learn from one another. The friend from Paris travels the globe for his work. He has a PHD in International Economics. He has said many times that there is no other country with such optimism and freedom. Of course, this is his opinion.
I do believe that Americans need to be more globally aware.
I believe we need to more open minded and less prejudiced.
And a lot of that is accomplished through education, reading and discussion, communication.
And yet, I think generally that people see and form opinions based not so much on fact, but on what we choose to believe. We look for that which will substantiate our own views. Whether that's right or wrong, it's part of human nature.
I'm off and won't be here too often over the holidays.
Well, I'm sorry about that.
I just answered your questions. I wasn't discussing it.
However, I don't feel free to answer questions about what I think because there is so much nastiness about it.
So I don't feel free in this country. Being free means being free to say honestly what one thinks without being socially ostracized or trolled or being jobless because of it.
Corruption is the killer. I've founded a non profit organization called The Housefire Project. One of our efforts is to expose dirty politicians and corruption on the Hill. We all play very well together because we stay away from the issues that our government and the media throw out there to keep the nation divided. We invite level headed people both liberal, and conservative to join us. We will be taking on memberships the first week of March 2011. I apologize for using this format for a shameless plug, but I feel it's that important. HousefireProjectdotcom or Themanwithnopantsdotcom Read the mission statement, and if it fits .. stick with me.
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