Are you terrified?
The question is of extreme relevance as the war on terror is all about you.
A war on terror is a war on a word, a concept, an invisible entity that we can never truly kill. It represents a shift in war mentality. In recent history war has taken an us versus them perspective, where group A loves or needs X and group B hates or has X so A and B fight. Now, we fight words, and as a result we’ve personalized and individualized war. A war on terror is in essence a war of one against a feeling.
For seven years we’ve fought against this word, “terror”, yet people are still terrified. They doubt the resiliency of our economy. They distrust our “elected” leaders. They wonder if they can afford to put food on the table. Seven years have passed and terror is still kicking our butts, and will continue to do so, for we cannot kill a word.
There is only one way to end this war and it starts with you. It starts here. Are you ready to end the world on terror? Gather up your courage, clear your throat, stretch your fingers and shout or type it as loud you can:
I am not terrified!
- I am not terrified of dying.
- I am not terrified of Muslims.
- I am not terrified of peace.
- I am not terrified of the federal government of these United States of America.
- I am not terrified that our elections are either greatly mismanaged or more realistically fraudulent.
- I am not terrified that artificial people called corporations roam our lands and rape people’s wallets and health for the pursuit of the lowly dollar.
It is an event that will meet all of us soon. Rich, poor, old, young, athletic, obese, smart, stupid, good and evil, all of us will one day die. I speed through the streets of Greater Boston on my bicycle without fear of death. It makes me a better cyclist, as I do not hesitate to move.
They are a people. There are over 1.5 billion Muslims in this world. Some of them are evil; some of them are not. Most of them are average people like you and me.
Without war, how would we keep global population down, technology on the cutting edge and resources flowing? By focusing on these issues rather than killing each other, that’s how.
If need be, the fifty states of the union can and will exercise their rights to sovereignty.
My vote will be published on this blog. It may not be counted but it will be recorded.
Consumerism is a dying artificial (d)evolution and is already experiencing the last struggles before its’ ultimate death.
Most importantly, I am simply not terrified.
The only way to end this war on words is with words. Declare you are not terrified and join me in a world without wars on words.
As of now, for me, the war on terror is over!
52 responses to “War on Terror Ends!”
Hey Adam, It seems I am getting to love your blog. I want to comment on two points.
First one : Being terrified
Well, the fear is a normal feeling of human beings but when it increases to the normal level it turns to be in the wrong way. In addition it’s not correct to be afraid of something you don’t know much about which you just get your information from media of only one side which may change the truth or use it to achieve some of their goals. This will lead me to the second point.
Second one : Terrorism
What’s terrorism? In my opinion it’s the action of terrifying people for no reason. Unfortunately that word had been related much to Islam since 11 September – I am Muslim by the way. And I am glad I think you don’t have that idea about Muslims that they are terrorists or something like that because it is completely wrong. The problem is that some people who are also Muslims in their beliefs act the wrong way but their action was to hard that they covered the voice of the right ones like what happened in 11 September. Do you know that in Islam regulations killing people in peace -as what they did- requires being killed? They are just people who are ignorant about their religion in first place who flew into rage quickly without thinking of what their religion tell them to do. That even had a bad effect on Muslims themselves that made nonreligious people think all religious ones are bad. See they affected all people although they were wishing to help because of ignorance to the truth.
So if someone wants to know the reality about Muslims then read in their history read about the life of Prophet Muhammad and his companions you will find that they never killed a woman, a child, a priest or even a man with no weapon – not in peace time in war.
Ok well I think I have been talking a lot. I am sorry for that long comment, but it really hurts when you see most people around having the wrong idea about you and I felt you are someone who don’t have that idea so it was like a chance for me to try to say some of what may change that idea to the other side as you have already began mentioning it.
Keep posting 🙂
Thanks for the great and thoughtful comment!
I agree with your first point. Being terrified is OK when it’s a temporary feeling, for instance if you’re crossing the street and all of a sudden a big bus or truck comes barreling down the street. When terror is a feeling, it’s OK but when it becomes a state of being as the mass media (in particular Fox News) in the U.S. attempt to portray it then it becomes a significant issue. There are more than a few people who constantly worry (or at least pretend to worry) about another terrorist attack, yet do not recognize that the probability of dying in such an attack is miniscule.
I’ll go one step further on point number two, Ahmad; terrorism is a made up word. We’re fighting something that can’t rationally exist. When I step outside today, I see a nice bright blue sky, not the apocalyptic world that is cited as a reason for the war on terror. Since 9/11 who has created more terror in the world, the federal government of the U.S. or Al Qaeda?
I would argue the U.S. federal government has clearly become terrorists. On 9/11 a few thousand American citizens died, but since 9/11 more U.S. citizens have died as a result of the wars we’ve waged and hundreds of thousand of innocent civilians have died in the countries we’ve attacked. Meanwhile Al Qaeda and other terrorists struggle to match the death counts of the “great” U.S. “war” machine.
Also Ahmad, it is not just Islam that practices peace but rather most religions encourage peace. Yet somehow, though the words are clear, wars are still waged for the sake of religion.
Going beyond religious and racial lines, I believe the majority of people in the world are peaceful. There are a relative few who seek and gain power and then use that power to manipulate the masses towards violence. Whether it is by a perversion of Islam or a retardation of American patriotism, violent people can, have, and will use violent means to accomplish their goals. It’s our job to stand up and let them know that we see past their veil and will not let them terrify us.
The problem with the war on terror is that ignorant and complacent people are easy to manipulate. You’ve probably heard about the Pentagon executing propaganda against the American citizens. It is fish in the barrel when you take into consideration the failing education system and complacent populous. The society is setup to be focused on such short-term and local issues that people never pay enough attention to our government and nothing changes. As long as we’ve got SUV’s, big screens, and fast food, we’ll be stupid enough to be under control constantly.
Yes Matt, ignorant and complacent people are easy to manipulate but I feel there is a paradigm shift occurring where more Americans are waking up and wondering what the hell happened to their country. These people will not get their news from the TV or newspapers but rather from the internet.
This country is clearly in desperate need of a revolution. The average American is starting to wake up and shut off their big screen TV, the Ron Paul movement for instance is a small first step. It’s not going to be easy or quick but our society will change, it has to.
The Pentagon propaganda does not scare me either, it just means we must work harder to get the truth out into the mainstream. I saw your post about being the bitter angry guy, well when the economy heads south people start listening to the bitter angry person. Still, the road ahead is not paved and SUV’s, big screens, and fast food will prove to be huge impediments to the truth but the corrupt elitists currently running the show will not continue to operate behind a curtain. When the average American finds out the truth behind the elitist agenda, they’ll throw their shackles off as we’ve done in the past.
The problem is the mass majority of people are still getting their information from mainstream media (i.e. Fox News). Most people don’t have any clue who Ron Paul is even now. It is terribly frightening.
Lots of people my age (25) don’t want to hear anything about politics. They’re more interested in binge drinking and drowning in debt. The people my parents age (60) are more worried about who is going to keep taxes the lowest and take care of social security. More often than not thats the Republican candidate. For now, that means McCain and more war on terror. This also means less domestic capital, less power in the dollar, and a weaker and weaker economy.
We do have to get the truth out to the majority of Americans in order to make a change. The question is, how and who?
How and who are interrelated. People like you and I must go offline and speak the truth to people walking the streets. When I worked in a cubicle for a Fortune 500 corporation, I would regularly talk to my coworkers about Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader and why the mainstream candidates are bad choices and even worse anti-American. Many people will tell you that talking politics at work is not proper, but since when do Americans do the “proper” thing? Also, since many people agree that politics at work is not proper, I’m convinced it is in fact quite proper.
Sure, there were many times when I would be mocked as another loony, but at the same time my coworkers knew I was speaking some truth. Their excuses would range from this is how it’s always been to what can we do about it, which is when I would give them a brief U.S. history lesson, specifically focusing on revolution and the constitutional properties that allow us to disassemble the federal government.
Many people are unaware that the constitution itself allows us, the people, to declare our federal government null and void and return power to the states. I’m an advocate of peaceful revolution and believe informing the majority by talking to them individually will allow us to disassemble the current (and massively corrupt) federal government and start fresh.
So the how is via individual communication and the who is us. The corrupt elite own the mass mainstream communication so we must use one one one communication to subvert their message.
It’ll be tough because many Americans are stubborn and do not want to admit they were wrong or duped. I know because I voted for John Kerry in ’04 (my first presidential election) and now see that I basically threw my vote away. I was duped into choosing the lesser of two evils but have learned and will not vote for the Republocrats/Demopublicans again.
Also, rather than going around telling people they’re wrong and under the MSM’s spell, inciting them to do their own research is our best course of action. Each individual will have their own tipping point but if we can communicate to them that their tipping point has been breached, perhaps they will do the research and join us in forming a new federal government free from the corruption of the elite and corporate powers.
The problem is you have to do the research for them and present it in a modern American format (with ticker tape at the bottom showing the latest ALERT!!! TERROR!!!) in order for them to accept it as news. Otherwise you’re just some blog, ranting activist, etc. and the effect is close to null. I’m right there with you on the issues but not enough people are unhappy with the truth or aware of it in order to make any change or any effort to help.
Seems our main difference Matt is I’m a bit too optimistic and you’re a bit too realistic…
We do need a TV station run by the public to broadcast the truth in an informative but shiny format, sort of like the Daily Show but independent of large corporate interests and independent of MSM story-lines. Of course, then debates would emerge about what the truth is, but that’s a whole different issue, or is it?
In my opinion, it is one of the catalysts of the problem we’re facing now. The media controls the people, like it or not.
I haven’t checked the mail for a while so I know read all those comments at once. To be telling the truth I didn’t expect all that hidden problems in the US. From time to time, I get the opportunity of talking with an American citizen or even anyone from the world and they all say the same word, that they don’t like the president or the government. However, I thought that the problem they don’t like it what it does to other people and countries not to their own people, so I still don’t understand precisely what they do to their own people. I will tell you how the situation is like here in Egypt to let ideas meet.
Here there is no Democracy. The president, his party and the government controls everything and you can’t say no. Recently some newspapers began to write more freely than before, however to certain limits and anything else is not allowed like demonstrations or talking in public places. They are robbing the country; prices have raised about 70% during one or two years. While salaries are the same. A few days ago they said it is raised 30%. Anyway in order not to bother you by local problems lets go to another point.
What we should do. Well here a few years ago people were not knowing that. They didn’t know they were robbed. They thought our government is an angel. Now that idea is changed. Nearly all people here hate them, however they don’t bother to make change. Why? May be afraid of what they may do to them. As they are busy now with capturing an torturing who talk about them instead of providing food for the poor. May be it’s the negativity. And that’s what I guess. Now here we just need a leader to move all those people. To organize them onto one voice and one man. I don’t know what’s your state exactly. Do you still need to spread knowledge among people? We still need that too. So I think we should be more realistic. Whoever can do something do it. I can’t be that leader. But all what I can do is saying my thoughts loudly at least to feel I have done what I am supposed to.
Sorry for being long. I enjoyed that discussion really 🙂
Matt, perhaps our real problem is Americans simply are not tough anymore? We’ve become soft and refuse to revolt against injustice. In France, people riot against their government when they do not approve of new laws. As a result, the government in France is scared of the people, rather than the other way around. Perhaps if we switched off the boob tube and went into the streets and put the fear of the public into the federal-corporate-media-military complex they’d act in the best interests of the public.
Ahmad, the hidden problems, and the damage America’s government has and is causing to the rest of the world are the main issues true Americans currently have with their government. The military and the government do not listen to the people anymore (Vice-President Dick Cheney recently said it does not matter what the American public thinks about the Iraq war) and act in their own best interests. In a true democracy, the government should act in the best interests of the people, which does not happen here. I don’t want my tax money to go towards military bases across the world. I like peace.
At the same time, because we are spending so much money outside of the U.S., we cannot invest in our infrastructure nor health or education. The government and media are in very close collusion here, where the people with broadcasting rights very rarely speak out against the government. Though technically and legally, we can speak out against the government, as I’m doing here, the people (or rather businesses) with the big voices (radio, TV, newspapers) very rarely speak out against the travesties and lies the government is perpetrating. The end result is a situation similar to yours, where the president’s office, his party and government control everything and no one says no loud enough.
Sure, it seems easier to improve the American situation rather than the Egyptian situation, but the basic issues in both cases seem to emanate from a power hungry elite controlling the country’s resources and refusing to let the public have its say.
One more note, Ahmad, about what the American government does to its people. It is getting rid of our rights slowly but surely. Whereas in Egypt the newspapers and are beginning to write more freely, here they are writing less freely. My biggest fear from this post and these comments is having the men in black suits from the government knocking on my door for my questionable views. What the government is basically doing is trying to kill off true American patriotism. They want us to become robotic entities that are subservient to the government, which is the exact opposite of every American ideal.
“Now here we just need a leader to move all those people. To organize them onto one voice and one man.”
I would argue we need the opposite, depending on one leader is risky for that one leader can and most likely will be assassinated. Further, I believe the current global issues mostly start from issues with domestic governments. If we took a poll around the world of all people, how many would approve of their government?
I bet you not as many as would disapprove. Why? Governments are after all run by people, for the benefit of the people. The answer is that power corrupts and government is the ultimate collector of power.
We do need to spread knowledge but we also must increase our surveillance of governments around the world. It is becoming increasingly clear that the current elite are performing poorly and must be replaced with a new government.
I acknowledge that my next idea will be seen as a radical one, but the best ideas usually are.
What we need is one global government, a new world order and we need to start and implement one before “they” [the current power-elite] beat us to it.
I propose that the current domestic governments of the world remain in place, however a new group is formed as an advisory committee to the world where every individual is represented. In this non-profit organization, all votes will be tabulated online and will be public information. Your identity could still be hidden but your vote must be released to the public domain so that accuracy can be ensured. Under this global governance group, each country will be represented and will have its own completely democratic voting system. For instance, the U.S. would have its own separate section where American citizens could vote on American issues.
Though this group would have no formal power, if all 6.6 billion people around the world had access to this group it would quickly grow in informal power and domestic governments around the world would be forced to recognize their people’s voices.
The government wants people to be terrified in order to legitimize taking away our liberty.
Corporations want us to be terrified into buying their crap.
The media wants us to be terrified because it makes for good ratings.
That’s because most people don’t give a shit and aren’t terrified at all. They’re only terrified when someone tells them they need to be, or should be in order to be good citizens and parents. They say, “sure, yes, I’m terrified, outraged” into the camera.
It’s not a matter of truth. It’s a matter of politics/lying in public. It’s about face. If we think the Chinese are about saving face, we should look into the mirror.
BTW, welcome to the Market Anarchist carnival, which will be on my blog on the 29th.
Thanks for the welcome Hellbound.
Terrified people are much easier to manage too, as they either stay home or look to Big Daddy Government for help (at which point Daddy smacks them around a bit and scoops up any loose change that falls out the citizens pockets).
Corporations also want us to be terrified so we’re distracted from the horrible acts many of them do for the pursuit of profit. The whole green movement is a great example of corporations scaring the shit out of us so we buy their eco-friendly stuff to save the planet (even though half the time their products are not so eco-friendly).
It’s funny (in a dark comedy way) how the media portrays Americans as the big, bad, tough cowboy persona but the same media at the same time feeds us terrorism and other scary propaganda. So we’re the big and tough American who is so out of shape they’re forced to drive and so soft we accept everything the media tells us.
Politics and increasingly many other facets of American life are being overrun by lying in public, or has it always been this way?
The reality is, if we get tough and protest, we get arrested. It is happening to the anonymous group who protests Scientology. It is happening to people in the black community who stand up and protest against white cops killing people without good reason. It happened to Al Sharpton (which in my opinion, he’s an idiot, but that doesn’t change that he shouldn’t be arrested) just recently. So not many people are ready to make the sacrifice of their immediate liberty to protest.
That’s true Matt, but at least protesters aren’t being shot at as they have in this nation’s past. There will have to be sacrifices made to have an effective change. The neo-conservatives have made their own sacrifices and have planned and fought too hard and for too long to give up easily. What we’re learning is that true freedom is not easy. I’m obviously against peaceful protesters getting arrested but it’s to be expected, after all the protesters are there because the government is corrupt and if we don’t protest and stand strong it will only get worse.
Loved your post Adam. I am so tired of the media pushing this “be afraid, be very afraid” agenda. There’s always something we NEED to be afraid of isn’t there?
Thanks Lars. That’s a great point, even good things that help or protect us are talked about from a fearful perspective. Health care and education are too expensive (true) and even if we have health insurance cancer will kill us and even if we go to college the job market is almost always too weak for us to find proper jobs. No wonder there are no more big box office horror movie hits, as we’ve become way too adjusted to fear in our every day lives and just aren’t scared so easily by an unrealistic movie anymore.
What’s the solution? I’d be in favor of a national public news organization, preferably a non-profit that would be able to serve us unbiased factual news. The joke is, if one of the big news station started reported real news in an unbiased manner there ratings might just skyrocket. Americans are growing sick of the current fear-mongers and thus capitalism and competition should fuel a new news station but alas the old guard that owns all the media is quite satisfied with the status quo.
That’s right kids, the war on terror is fake. There are no terrorists trying to destroy the US and Israel. It’s just a word used to scare you.
There are people trying to destroy the US. The Demopublicans and Republocrats in the white house and congress are stomping on American liberties and rights! In fact, they’re not just trying, they’re doing a damn good job of destroying America from the inside-out.
That much is agreed. The difference is that if people would stop thinking that there are no terrorists, then we could actually replace those in power here. We have these things called elections.
You know what guys, frankly there are terrorists -of very few number but there are- who are doing bad things for real that I am ashamed of. But what those terrorists do is killing civilians right? Then why aren’t the governments who help or just approve or even keep silent -like ours- while Israel killing children called terrorists too. See that link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thUgWee92_Q
But terrorists in my opinion are only who kill civilians but people defending their homeland and killing soldiers who are raping their mothers in front of them are not considered terrorists as he calls them.
That’s some of what you don’t see on your media probably, but we see that everyday and people are still silent. I think our fault is bigger even. By the way there is a channel called “Al-Jazeera” it’s like the first news TV channel in the middle east. It has one channel in English as well, try to see if you can watch it from USA. It is really fair it does not goes with any organization or country. That’s its link
Have you heard the last speech of Bush in Jerusalem as well?
You also said that the democrats and the republicans are not good enough and are destroying the US from inside, well I am not so good at the politics in the US but who else is there who can be capable of improving conditions? I heard a speech of Obama which was kinda good, or that’s just speeches to get the throne?
Hey again. Well as a matter of fact there are terrorists and that’s something I am really ashamed of because of giving wrong bad idea about something completely different. However there is something that we should be aware of. That people defending their home lands or protecting their women who are raped in front of them are not considered terrorists right? Terrorists are those who kill civilians, that’s in my opinion at least. So why don’t these government call themselves terrorists as well when they do kill civilians in their homes, approve that or even watch and keep silent – like ours for instance. Have you heard the last speech of Bush in Jerusalem? Do you see what happens their in Palestine? check that [youtube] link [above]:
[link edited out]
You are right about the media. You know, Even here in Egypt the national channels and newspaper who are of the government do the same ting. Always complimenting the president and let it looks as if the citizens are living the most luxurious life when they are dying while a few individuals are robbing the country. But here there are many other TV channels which says the truth so now people know they are lying. If you would like to see another TV channel you may check for one called “Al-Jazeera” it is the best in the middle east and it is quite fair. There is one showing in English so you may try to search for it. You can check its website as well. Here it is: [see Aljazeera link in above comment]
I am not doing well in the US politics but you said that the Republicans and the Democrats are destroying the US. So who else can do good things? I have heard a speech of Obama recently which I found it was somewhat good at least in the inner conditions. Or that was just sweet words to get the throne?
Sorry for being so long. Thanks 🙂
I’m beginning to think we (the collective, American populous) are getting what we deserve. A few experiences with people this weekend have made my confidence in human kind drop even lower. I feel like education is the only way to get away from having chimp’s who can’t say nuclear properly in the White House. Sometimes I feel like I need to just go ahead and move to New Zealand and get it over with.
p.s. Adam, I have another piece of information that will probably get your blood bubbling. It is a chain letter sent to me from someone and it is about Obama. Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll sent it (and my reply to it) to you.
Sorry for taking a few days to respond everyone.
@Douglas, I have no confidence in the integrity of our voting system. I saw a graphic online a while back that said: “This presidency brought to you by Diebold. You don’t count because we don’t count” and that about sums up my view of our voting system. In my opinion, we need an internet based voting system.
If I was president, I would institute a computer-broadband program ensuring every American has access to a broadband internet connection and a computer, whether they be in public places or a computer per household. Then, we would vote online and our votes would be posted on a public web-site (with our identities hidden behind randomly generated ID numbers). This way, the votes would be public information and easily verifiable. You could look up your ID # and make sure that your vote was counted correctly and media and watch groups could actually go through the data and count the votes and make sure everything was correct and honest.
@Ahmad, first up I edited your comment written on May 18th, 2008 at 4:13 pm so that it references the links in your other post, which were the same links. Hope you don’t mind, I can put them back in but felt it was a bit redundant and this way it draws attention to your words more than the links.
I completely agree with you Ahmad that terrorists, unfortunately, exist. By terrorists I reference anyone who uses extreme violence to make a statement or for a purpose other than defending oneself. If it was up to me, wars would be like a sport, where each side gets 100 armed people and they fight to the death in a huge natural arena (or until one side surrenders). Diplomacy is great but is not effective enough yet.
There is a lot that the mainstream media in the U.S. chooses not to air Ahmad and pieces critical of Israel or the U.S. rarely, if ever, get shown on U.S. TV. Nearly every country in the world has people who murder other people. There are few, if any, countries who can stand up before the world and say they are completely peaceful and without violence. Hence why I feel the war on terror is stupid because your are basically fighting violence with violence. More people have died around the world as a result of wars whose stated purpose is to reduce violence than from terrorist attacks. Right now, there are some countries who get a free pass to act violently because they are powerful countries with a lot of international political power. Israel and the U.S. are two such countries. The media here almost never mentions the civilian death tolls as a result of the war on terror, which is appalling considering how high that death toll is and that it’s the media’s job to report truth and facts (hey Douglas, how about that I admit there are some facts!), not to pick what is convenient for them to report.
Also Ahmad, it is an important point to make that people who defend themselves from attackers are not terrorists but are merely trying to defend themselves.
Obama seems to be a good candidate, but that scares me. He seems too polished and speaks a lot of positive rhetoric. Honestly, I simply do not believe that he will follow through on a lot of what he says. I feel he is too ingrained in the corporate-media-industrial-political complex that controls America right now. His biggest flaw in my opinion is that he is part of the Democratic party. I simply do not trust the Republicans or Democrats (with a few exceptions) anymore, as they primarily look out for the elite and just do not care about the majority of Americans except when they are courting our votes. I also do not wish for out two party system to continue as it causes power to become centralized in the hands of the few
Though I’m not promoting them, I feel Ralph Nader and Ron Paul are honest men who wish to restore integrity to this nation and to help its citizens and help the world by setting a good example. They have proven that they cannot be bought and that they will fight for what they believe, even if it makes them unpopular or endangers their lives.
Also, Ralph Nader’s parents are from the Middle East. Though I avoid using race/national original to make judgments of people, it is tough to argue that an Arabic speaking man raised by Lebanese and Egyptian immigrants seems to be a great fit to improve America’s foreign policy. If I could, I’d love to have Ron Paul focus on domestic issues in America and Ralph Nader on foreign issues (including corporations, which are in essence now global citizens).
@Matt, Yes Matt education is a key to making not just the U.S. but the world as a whole a better place to live. Even more important than education is awareness and the ability to see past propaganda and think for oneself. Surely America’s educational system cannot be looked to solely as a solution for the educational system here is broken too. College is too expensive and way, way, way too strict. I dropped out of college a few years ago because I simply was not learning anything. It was mostly memorizing facts and equations rather than truly expanding my mind.
I believe I’ve read that chain letter Matt but I’ve sent you an e-mail still. Looking forward to your reply.
I think if you look at the education in places like India, they are light years ahead of us yet they’re still not a leading nation in the world’s economy like the United States. America is in a rare position of power where if we increased our quality and quantity education by a significant portion, we would be able to have an enormous effect on the world as a whole.
That being said, the quality of education even at college level can be ridiculous. I was part of a specialized biology program in which we were doing remote learning via Internet based classes. I e-mailed my professor in the first week and never got a reply. Because I never got a reply (after multiple e-mails), I withdrew from the class in fear that I wouldn’t have sufficient support during the semester. I received a reply from the professor 5 months later. He stated he was in the Florida Keys and was sorry about the delay.
I still see this as an educational and societal problem though. It seems to me that the majority of educators could care less about the total effect they have on their students. They’re more worried about paying their bills and getting to 5pm everyday. I think this stems from a combination of a bad education in their upbringing and the apathy and complacency that plagues our country in so many different areas. In my opinion, that is something that needs to be taught. Our educational system needs to teach history, and even have a mandatory class about apathy and complacency. Show the kids what happens when a culture is more obsessed with immediate benefits and don’t care enough to grow and stay on top of their game. Show them the path that the great Roman Empire took. Show them what happened to the British Empire. Remind them that their cush lifestyle can disappear within their lifetime and there could actually be a time when they can’t just goof off and play on myspace or watch MTV. These values are critical to having a population that is on the path to success. The other path SUCKS.
For sure Matt, if America got its act together and educated the masses well, we’d be able to continue leading the world’s economy. We must look past the surface of education though and see the corrupt system underneath. John Taylor Gatto, a former New York State Teacher of the Year, has written a book, titled “The Underground History of American Education, that takes a close look at the progression of education in this country and how we’re moving away from education and towards propaganda and indoctrination. It’s an incredibly fascinating read and really makes you think about how the stated purpose of education differs vastly from the end results of public education. Your professor seems to be a victim of the system, he simply does not care about students anymore (an assumption on my part?).
As Bush and company have standardized our education it’s limited the creativity and innovation abilities of our youth. It started before Bush but really has gotten much, much worse now. I’m ashamed that the No Child Left Behind act was signed at the Boston Latin School, my high school.
Yes, many teachers don’t care about their students. But what do we expect when we don’t reward the good teachers (in fact often punishing them) and don’t pay enough to attract the best and brightest to teach students. Nowadays, if you don’t have the drive to educate yourself, you’ll have a very, very tough time learning.
Teaching the masses (not just the youth, for many, many adults are just as if not more ignorant) about the Roman empire, and all empires is vital to making sure we survive as a prosperous country. There is no need for America to be leaps and bounds above everyone else, this need that our media and government portray that we must make sure American ideals are accepted the world over is rubbish. We must leave other countries alone, unless they need our help (actual help, not the “help” Bush and company like to pretend they dole out) and focus on improving ourselves. For we are far, far from perfect no matter how much the media and the public ignore this simple truth. We’re extending ourselves too far and ignoring domestic issues until they become massive failures in the form of bridge and tunnel collapses, wide-open defenses (9/11), illiteracy rate, obesity etc. We’ve fallen off the pedestal hard, and as you say we have to teach people that we can’t just sit by and watch this destructive pattern.
There are too many similarities between Rome and the modern U.S. and we’ve got to shock our educational system into realizing the dangerous path we’re on. It’s why I’m a rational anarchist. It’s the most patriotic political designation I can think of for our current time.
Ahmad, I just found this cartoon via reddit.com. It sums up how the American cherry picks which forms of violence to condemn and which to ignore.
The flaws of voting online are as obvious as the flaws of banking online. The difference is that you invite more hackers to the fold.
And the problem with our voting system isn’t diebold. The problem with the system is that most of the people in this country believe what they are told to believe. This is why many people believe that Bush is pushing up the price of oil. This is why people believe that tax cuts caused a credit crises. This is why no one pays attention to the Iraqi general who tells us that Saddams weapons systems were hidden in Syria. This is why people think that we can solve all of life’s problems by raising taxes. And it is why people think that elections are being rigged by diebold.
Politicians don’t need to use new technology to rig elections. They will stick to the old fashion methods. Elections are won by those who tell the best lies about whatever people are complaining about the most. The problem isn’t diebold, the problem is the belied systems of the people pushing the buttons.
I’m with you. How the hell do you declare war agains a tactic???? WTF. Thanks for saying what people need to hear.
@Douglas, There will be hackers in paper and electronic voting just the same. With an open, completely published election system the hackers could be discovered by the public, media, watch groups, or government. In a closed election system, like the one employed in the United States of America no-one can truly verify the results.
Prove to me that my vote in 04 or 06 was counted correctly…you can’t. If the elections were done online and public, I could look up my number and see that the correct vote was captured. Verifiability is the first step to tumbling the current corrupt and belied system.
Just the same, a massive issue with the societal climate currently in this country is the lack of investigative or analytical though in the mainstream. I don’t believe the average American’s true voice is heard or shouted loud enough and as a result our mainstream is artificial, an attempt by the elite to talk down to us.
@barryb, you don’t. The people in charge are trying to create Orwell’s perpetual war and are using every threat, real or imagined, to push surveillance and dictatorship for the common good.
Thanks for the great comments Douglas, barryb and everyone.
Adam, I can’t prove anything to you about your vote, and you can’t prove that your vote wasn’t counted. In the system you pitch, you are trying to get a country full of people to understand an online system that they don’t understand. Getting people to vote online is almost impossible, and then getting them to go back later to verify is even more impossible. And even if we did, there is nothing to keep a vote tally of over 100 million from being misrepresented.
The point I was trying to make was that the problem with our democracy isn’t a cover-up or a conspiracy to make sure your vote doesn’t count. The problem is that too many people are looking for the conspiracy instead of putting real effort into researching the issues and promises of the person for whom they are voting.
Do you want to hear the real conspiracy, if there is one? It isn’t a diebold effort to steal your vote. It isn’t the screwup of Florida. It’s a country of people who believe that they have to vote for one guy just to keep someone worse from winning the prize. I can’t tell you how many blogs and comments I read from people saying that they would like to have voted for someone like Duncan Hunter, but didn’t do so because they don’t think he can win the general election. They were convinced that it wouldn’t matter, so they voted for someone else.
By the way, the war on terror isn’t a war against a tactic. It’s a war against the people who are trying to use that tactic against the US. And it isn’t a false war used to push surveillance and dictatorship for the common good. The surveillance program that caused so much controversy was deemed a constitution right of the president in Truong vs the US back in the 80s. This is something that no one likes to talk about of course because it has that smell of the truth. We make no mention of the fact that FISA judges refer to this case when they are asked for their opinions.
And a dictatorship? Really. When is King George planning on getting this done exactly? He seems to be running out of time. I’m sure that this time next year we will be given different information on this conspiracy.
True Douglas, neither of us can prove our elections are fair or fraudulent, but the sloppiness of past elections only serves to further deter some people from voting. My perspective is that a true democracy has all (or as close as possible to all) voters participating and when the elections are not completely transparent, voters will not trust the system and will simply not participate. Our sloppiest election in recent history occurs in a state where the eventual President’s brother governs, but it’s just a super-rare coincidence?
You’re right that the lesser of two evils voting strategy has directly caused many of the issues we face today. I used that strategy in ’04 and vowed to never again let such an argument hijack my vote. In this year’s primaries I voted for Ron Paul to show for the record that I oppose the viewpoints of the other major candidates and support Ron’s small government (to an extent). Though I was realistic and felt Ron wouldn’t win my state’s primary I still voted for him, because that is the only way to truly make your vote count. I really hate the argument that voting for someone not in the mainstream Demopublican/Republocrat party is throwing your vote away. Voting for someone you don’t really believe in is throwing your vote away.
I’ll have to argue though that there are conspiracies and that they are not even hidden that well. I use the word conspiracy in the literal sense, people in power plot against the majority of people to ensure they keep that power. A lot of the people in Congress conspire against the public everyday by sneaking pork into bills and trading away our liberties for security. Looking for conspiracies is a duty we the public must perform to safeguard the republic from tyrants. The media calls conspiracy theorists lunatics so that anyone questioning the mainstream view is disregarded, thus allowing the mainstream view to be hijacked by the elite and corrupted.
Terrorism exists because America sent its troops across the entire world and American capitalism put a McDonald’s on every street corner. Even though huge groups of people in certain regions simply wanted to be left alone, we continued to insist that American corporations be allowed to infiltrate every part of the world. These huge groups of people were opposed to this American occupation of the world and fought back using dirty guerrilla warfare tactics. Once a few thousand Americans died on American soil, we over reacted and killed hundreds of thousands of other people because we couldn’t root out the few who conspired to successfully attack us. In essence, if you don’t believe conspiracies then the terrorists lured us into a trap and are now showing the whole world how brutal we truly are, hence why the world is skirting away from America and its corporate-military super-behemoth.
You can’t fight people who use a tactic for they can easily change their tactic or hide it. The terrorist knew they could not win a war on American soil, so they drew us towards them, where our modern machinery would be neutralized by desert guerilla warfare. They’ve succeeded, as we’re still trying to find and capture or kill these terrorists even though we’ve already killed way, way, way, way more people than the terrorists ever did.
If this is not a false war, then our executive, congress, and military clearly did not realize that our problem was not offensive but defensive. Before 9/11, during 9/11 and post 9/11 we could and can bomb the heck out of many countries, but we’re pretty much no safer against terrorists hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings. If we really wanted to “win” this “war on terror(ists?)”, we’d bring home every U.S. soldier and put every military resource we have into securing our borders and airspace, not bombing deserts halfway across the world.
The warrant-less domestic surveillance program is not a constitutional right. If it’s a constitutional right for the president to spy on us, then I say it’s also our right to spy on our president. Let’s see who has more skeletons in the closet, though Mr. Bush has a hell of a lot more closets than the average American. King George has already instituted his dictatorship. The best form of tyranny (for the tyrant) is the one hidden from view. Bush learned from his grandpa that you can’t openly overthrow the government, so he’s done so behind the scenes. Who has benefited from the last seven years of warfare? Oil companies and corporate militaries. Who worked for the oil companies and corporate military (Haliburton) before seizing the white house? King George and Prince Dick of course. The Democratic Congress was elected to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan but they’ve all bowed down before the Republocrat-Demopublican tyrants for fear of disappearing.
Sloppiness of elections is status quo for the US government, which is why it should be smaller not bigger. How about a compromise? Why don’t we stick to the electronic machines, but then have the results posted in the fashion you mention? This way the votes can’t be hacked by every tom dick and harry. If they are hacked, there will be a trail.
I believe that the biggest challenge to keeping our politicians in DC honest is the issue of pork. Did you know that once they get a project through, they can continue to allocate the same amount of money every year after that without it even becoming an issue? Alaska got their bridge to nowhere money even after a stink was raised because they never went back in to take it from them. Alaska simply used the money for another project the next year.
Terrorism existed long before America and McDonalds. The people who do this thrive in countries that lack freedoms and education. They are angry and they really aren’t certain why. So when someone tells them that it is the evil American empire, they fall in line. The interesting thing about the Iraq war is that it has allowed Muslims all over the globe to see how brutal the terrorist really are. They now see the reports about Muslims blowing up other Muslims. This is why if you discount Iraq, terrorist attacks are actually down worldwide. Fareed Zakaria wrote a piece about this not long ago.
You can fight people who use a tactic and do things to prevent another attack. We did in fact capture the man who planned 9-11 and have killed others who helped him. We have shown others the true nature of the terrorists and have also beaten many of them into submission. We have also prevented additional attacks against our country since 9-11. Now I know that you will tell me that we haven’t prevented anything and that this is just what the government wants me to believe. But as much as I doubt my government, I do give them the benefit of the doubt over the terrorists.
Your rant about a dictatorship makes no sense. A dictator isn’t behind the scenes. I won’t defend Halliburton, but anyone who thinks that this war is about driving up the price of oil doesn’t know much about economics. Being in the business of commodities, I happen to know about things like increased demand from India and China. I also know a bubble when I see one, and much of the current price of oil is from hedge funds hitting the buy button with their clients money. And even if this were true, how does that make him a dictator? The warrantless interception of messages from foreign locations is the Constitutional right of the President. This is according to multiple court rulings and has been backed by FISA judges. They actually sat in front of the same Congress members who still complain and told them this.
My interest in your post is not the War on Terror, but the fact that you declare you will live without fear. I am fascinated by the concept of living outside a realm of fear and not allowing fear to overtake our lives. It’s an interesting concept to apply this to the War on Terror.
Still, I think people are deathly afraid of terrorists. I can’t say I blame them, but I wholeheartedly join you in living outside of fear.
Thanks for the note Desires. It’s not so much about living without or outside of fear as much as not living a life built around trying to insulate myself from fear. Of course, the best way to do so is to simply accept that a fear emotion exists and remain fearless by understanding it is simply our brain and nerve system interpreting our surroundings and not being able to confidently assess the safety of a situation. That’s a long way of saying fear is a state of mind and a naturally occurring emotion. The natural type of fear (wow that’s a big angry bear, this situation is uncertain, I must act quickly and creatively to survive) is OK as it is temporary and natural but staying terrified is something no one should accept.
Douglas, I just realized I never responded back to your comment.
I like the compromise, as long as there is a way to verify election results, which we both seem to believe could be much improved.
I also agree with you about pork being one of the biggest, if not biggest, issues with our Federal government. When you look at the sum of money that our government spends it’s amazing that we don’t have more to show for it. I think a law requiring simple laws might be the answer here (yes, that is a bit of an oxymoron). Pork is so abundant in our government because each new bill is literally hundreds and hundreds of pages long, too long for the average citizen to be able to review. If laws were short and to the point, politicians would have less places to hide their projects.
I think we’re both fiscally conservative Douglas and thus I can agree with you that the federal government should be much, much smaller. However, I’m socially liberal and think parts of our government could be expanded (healthcare, environmental protection, corporate watch groups) while overall the federal government still would shrink (if we’re going to have a huge government, I’d rather it spend money domestically on social programs instead of abroad on military and aid to rich countries — Israel and Egypt received the most aid from the U.S.). In either case, returning more power to the states would be preferable to the behemoth we have now in D.C.
Many of my rants don’t make sense! 😉
The point I wanted to make with the dictator and oil parts is that Bush and Cheney benefit from an increase in the price of oil as they hold shares in oil companies and Halliburton. Before I go on another rant, let me just sum it up by saying that there is a clear conflict of interest for Bush & Cheney to be running this show and using private contractors to get oil and dole out Iraq oil contracts to big oil companies.
I think some of them want us to be terrified! and they are doing nothing but bomb our minds with some terror ideas…
I think you’re right Samuel, we must remember that terror is a state of mind, a feeling, and not a term we should apply loosely to the world at large.
Terror may be a state of mind, but it has a cause. Sometimes it is caused by external influences, such as people flying airplanes into buildings and blowing up Navy ships.
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The goal of a terrorist is instill fear. Take fear out of the mix, and their mission has failed.
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The goal of a terrorist is to kill. People are afraid of being killed.
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Sure Douglas, people flying planes into buildings causes terror…so does dropping bombs on innocent civilians, jailing people indefinitely with no rights and no alleged crimes, putting an entire country under surveillance, spending immense amounts of money on wars overseas while bridges crumble at home (and so on). My point is we can’t give in to the terror, that is essentially what terrorists want, for us to be terrified and stay home in our underground bunkers.
If a terrorists only goal is to kill, then relatively speaking they have failed. Don’t get me wrong here, the thousands of deaths caused by terrorists is tragic, but when looked at relative to all other causes of death terrorism is very, very low on the causes of death list. Personally, I believe a terrorists’ goal is to instill fear, while a murderer’s goal is to kill. In that sense they are an even more dangerous enemy, as fear is relatively easy to achieve compared to massive amounts of death.
“so does dropping bombs on innocent civilians”
Something that happens during war, if we had not been attacked, there would have been no war.
“jailing people indefinitely with no rights and no alleged crimes”
You shoot at soldiers and Marines, you go to jail.
“putting an entire country under surveillance”
You should have a conversation with whoever did that and please let me know what country this is so I never move there.
“spending immense amounts of money on wars overseas while bridges crumble at home (and so on)”
The Federal government spends money on defense, state governments build bridges.
“My point is we can’t give in to the terror, that is essentially what terrorists want, for us to be terrified and stay home in our underground bunkers.”
We haven’t done this, we have tracked them down and killed them.
“If a terrorists only goal is to kill, then relatively speaking they have failed. Don’t get me wrong here, the thousands of deaths caused by terrorists is tragic, but when looked at relative to all other causes of death terrorism is very, very low on the causes of death list.”
Because we have killed so many of them and prevented them from attacking us again.
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1) But we were attacked because of the first gulf war and our other excursions in the Middle East over the years. Even the 9/11 Commission stated that 9/11 occurred because the U.S. had a presence in the Middle East. If we didn’t go there, they wouldn’t have attacked us here, and we wouldn’t have gone to war with them, again.
2) I may be wrong here but I do not believe that all the people in Guantanamo are there because they shot at soldiers or Marines. Many of them are there without being charged with any crime, without having had a trial. Even if they are guilt of some crime it is simply wrong and completely against American ideals to jail them indefinitely without charging them and without giving them a fair trail.
3) The United States is/was under heavy surveillance Douglas. Part of this is us accepting this surveillance (GPS, facebook etc.), and part of it is covert government surveillance. To say that the NSA only placed terrorists under surveillance is giving the NSA and our technology too much credit. The nature of watching communication lines for terrorist activities means we are all under watch to some extent, especially when terrorism is so loosely defined.
4) The federal government spends money on everything, not just defense. Take a look at the budget. Besides, the point still applies, if the federal government did not spend so much money on “defense” (I don’t consider it defense when we’re attacking people on foreign soil, to me that’s a clear case of offense, whether justified or not) there would be more money left over for education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
5) By caving on civil rights issue such as surveillance and Guantanamo we are giving in to terror.
6) Perhaps Douglas, but the 9/11 attacks only required a small group of people. Are you saying that the terrorists don’t have 20-30 people to send over here for another attack attempt? There’s been less attacks because they would have less impact after 9/11. If we’re already in a terrified state, the terrorist really has nothing to gain by attacking, however once we’re lulled back into feeling safe we also become vulnerable to more attacks. In either case, I hope that these attacks and our responsive wars become a historic note and do not occur going forward.
Here’s what it really boils down to, Douglas, at least from my perspective. In this conflict, neither side is truly innocent, nor is either side right. If both sides took all the energy and resources used to fight each other and instead focused it domestically to improve education and living standards, all of us would be better off. Instead, we’ve become stuck in an eye for an eye battle whether each side has vowed to keep fighting until the other side is vanquished from the earth, which realistically is near impossible to achieve.
The main point of this post was to note that both sides should stop being terrified of each other (which also requires both sides to stop attacking each other) and to move forward to a better day for all of us.
“If both sides took all the energy and resources used to fight each other and instead focused it domestically to improve education and living standards, all of us would be better off.”
Tell them that, see how it works.
Here is the reality, at least from the perspective of the actual world. There have always and will always be horrible people in the world who believe for one reason or another that they need to kill anyone not like them. There will always be people who believe they need to dominate the world.
The only way to deal with these people is to kill them.
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Hehe, it would be quite the scene if I somehow got the head of the terrorist organizations and coalition forces in one room and made that argument, though if such a situation occurred and both sides used logic and ration instead of emotion perhaps my argument would hit home…one can dream, eh?
As for the second part of your comment, in essence you’re saying that there exists a small group of people unlike the rest of us who believe they need to kill us because we’re not like them and the only way to deal with these people, who are not like us, is to kill them. Well, isn’t that what you’re saying the terrorists are doing (killing people who are not like them). If we go out and kill this small group of people for not being like us, are we not doing exactly the same thing that we’re killing them for? That’s a pretty impressive piece of circular logic you’ve outlined there, are you by chance a lawyer? Anyway, we can make the claim that we’re only protecting ourselves (by killing them before they kill us), but they make the same justifications. We can sit here and say we’re only killing them because they’re killing us but terrorists make the same exact claim. To me, that highlights the absurdity of both sides. Perhaps I’m just too much of an optimist and should face reality that war is a part of the human condition but then again we wouldn’t have had this great discussion if that was the case.
As for dominating the world, the reality is terrorists are far from being a dominating force, if any party involved is dominating it’s the USA. We’re the ones with military bases all over the world. I hope I don’t come across as defending terrorists/terrorism, because I’m not. I simply don’t believe that either side is clearly right or justified. Both sides are responsible for innocent deaths, deaths that could have been avoided. Perhaps I’m being a bit too abstract in my thinking, but the logic that these people are bad because they kill, so we must kill them doesn’t make sense to me. If you’re saying it’s a kill or be killed world, well that might be true but does that make it right to kill? Or do we live in a world where necessity dictates what is morally right?
I did not use circular logic, you did. We are NOT killing them because they are not like us, we are killing them in self defense.
And they will tell that this is true if you pay attention to many of them. They have stated in the media that their goal is global domination and the destruction of all those who do not worship their god. They have said this over and over again, and every time they do, another American says we should be nice to them.
The US has bases all over the world in the name of peace, not domination. We have bases in Germany, but is US law in force their? We have bases in Japan, but I can tell you that if a Marine breaks Japanese law, he goes to a Japanese prison. And if Japan or Germany tell us to leave, we will leave.
And if you get the head of a terrorist organization in a room, and he believes you and agrees with you, he will simply be replaced by another.
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Hello Douglas, (and all)
The War on terror is a sensitive subject for many, and I find the comments here quite interesting. I keep an open mind at all times when it comes to this subject, great comments and opinions on both sides of the house! (In Feb 2005, I retired from the military with just over 26 years of active duty service)
Yes Douglas, the U.S. has established military bases in just about about every corner of the world. As far as criminal jurisdiction goes, the SOFA is in place in all foreign countries occupied by U.S. forces. (Status of Forces Agreement).
This agreement simply states that U.S. courts have initial jurisdiction of crimes involving a service member, against another service member. There have however, occurred crimes against local nationals by service members. Each of these types of (major) crimes are looked at case by case by both the military and host nation to determine jurisdiction or legal authority. In almost all cases, the host nation has the final say so and the service member is tried under host nation laws. If the host nation refuses or waives prosecution, the service member is then tried under the U.C.M.J. (Uniform Code of Military Justice) Most end up being the latter.
Those of us who serve in the military must keep in mind that as we serve abroad, we also represent the united States as diplomats who must set an example. Unfortunately, there are a few bad apples even under the strict conditions of the military who fail to follow the rules.
The war on terror? Well, I guess you say that I’ve seen much of it first hand, from the Cold War in Europe, to “Operation Desert Storm”, to Operation “Enduring Freedom” to “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.
Whether it be our current world condition, or twenty years from now, there will always be those who try to influence their beliefs on others. We can only hope that perhaps someday they will realize that violence is not the answer.
Hope this helps..
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I strongly recommend that you turn the No Follow off in your comment section.
I’ll watch Google Webmaster Tools, and if the links don’t show up after a couple of weeks — I won’t go back to that blog again.
Another suggestion: you should have a Top Commentator widget installed.
Do Follow and Top Commentator will ensure that you have a successful blog with lots of readers!
I do have dofollow turned on. Check out my comment policy to see when and how comments become dofollow.
In either case, if you’re only commenting on people’s blogs for the link back, you’re doing it wrong. Comments should be made because you found the post interesting and want to join in the discussion.