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  1. #41  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Your great uncle obviously didn't have a clue about the meaning of the flag. The meaning of the flag should be more along the lines of "love it or stage a revolution to get it to the way that you want it if you can come out on top". That's its origin after all.
    the whole point of the american revolution was to get rid of serious oppression. random taxes? unquestionable quartering of soldiers? closing boston harbor down? those are a lot different from the reasons people dont like our country today (besides that "jihad" knucleheads). the men from the 18th century didnt have a revolution because they wanted some small things their way, their lives were controlled by a government thousands of miles across the ocean. my point is... if you do not want to be in the united states: leave. if you have to desecrate our flag just to show your opinion, you deserve a fist in the face, especialy under the circumstances.

    and to those who think the kids did what was justified by the constitution (i.e. free speech); why should the rights of a country they disrepect so greatly be in effect for them? saying "i do not agree with the ways of our country" would be good free speech, or even handing out sheets of paper denouncing the us government. writing "f**k america" on an act of sympathy is wrong. i see that as nearly equivalent to denouncing american citizenship.
  2. #42  
    fundamentalists of whatever stripe don't tolerate debate.
    Excellent point, VTL. Well put.

    [quote]and to those who think the kids did what was justified by the constitution (i.e. free speech)[quote]

    Shockwave...there's a difference between justification and protection.

    why should the rights of a country they disrepect so greatly be in effect for them? saying "i do not agree with the ways of our country" would be good free speech, or even handing out sheets of paper denouncing the us government. writing "f**k america" on an act of sympathy is wrong.
    We all have rights in this country. This is what makes it great. Denying anyone those rights makes us no better than the repressive societies that these terrorists came from.

    We recently had a convicted child molester move into our community. We had a community meeting regarding this. I was utterly shocked at the reactions of people in my neighborhood. They couldn't believe that 'the police' would allow someone like this into their neighborhood. They screamed at the cops demanding better laws be put into place. I was horrified by the total lack of understanding these people had for basic civic knowlege...namely respect for the rights of all citizens.

    In the end, though, we are debating an issue that we don't know all of the facts of. We are quick to judge all parties involved, but we really don't know the details of what happened.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  3. #43  
    i wonder how the suspended kids feel on the issue that we are discussing, besides the probable angry feelings
  4.    #44  
    Just to update what has been happening. Today the flag was sent off, they sent it by folding it into a 6x6 square then rolling it into a giant poster container type deal. It was sent to the Mayor of New York. Included was a letter written by the superintendent of our district.

    I have to say before we rolled it up the flag looked great, every square inch was covered (except for the bottom row which someone decided to take for themseves, and we unfortunatly didn't notice until it was too late) with signatures and stories. Ranging from, "America Rox Hard, I love NY!!! Watch out for the Mariners!!!" To long, emotional, signings which were realy deep.

    Despite all the problems this flag has caused I overall think it was a sucess. The story about the flag will be in the local newspaper, and possibly more. But my teacher doubted there would be any press involving the expulsions.

    For the history of these kids, i'm sorry to say I don't know. Its hard to know all 1600 kids in our highschool, when youre a Freshmn and it is only the 3rd week of school.

    Sorry about all these typos I spilled some water in my keyboard and now it skips about every 4th letter. Im trying to fix them all but im bound to miss a few.
    God bless the USA! The country I love, and will support at all costs.
  5. #45  
    Dev:

    Great job. And I agree - go Mariners. I feel so bad for NY, it's unfortunate that we are going to add to their misery when the Yankees are knocked out of the playoffs by the Ms.

    On a more serious note - back to my point on moral relativisim. The following article does a much better job of explaining what I was talking about.

    http://nationalpost.com/commentary/s...19/695473.html
  6. #46  
    VTL:

    Interesting article. I agree. Anyone that would say "the US had it coming" is claiming that murdering 5000 was an appropriate reaction to our policies.

    That said, I think we may have done things to instigate it. Which is what some of the people may have been trying to say in the article, but of course, came across as saying 'we had it coming'.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. #47  
    Originally posted by shockwave869
    the whole point of the american revolution was to get rid of serious oppression.
    And to set up a form of government where the governed have a say in decisions, n'est ce pas?
    random taxes? unquestionable quartering of soldiers? closing boston harbor down? those are a lot different from the reasons people dont like our country today (besides that "jihad" knucleheads).
    You might perceive them as different or less oppressive than those of revolutionary times. Others might consider them far moreso, as is their right. The point I was trying to make was that the flag stands for the concept of _changing_ those things about your government with which you disagree. Not blindly bowing down to 'conventional wisdom'. You say 'love it or leave it'. I say this is contrary to the very essence of our country. Again, 'love it or change it (by whatever means are at your disposal)' fits the country's origins better.
    the men from the 18th century didnt have a revolution because they wanted some small things their way,
    In your view, just as other might not consider their beef with the government non-trivial.
    their lives were controlled by a government thousands of miles across the ocean.
    So, how is their life being controlled by a government only a thousand miles away much better?
    my point is... if you do not want to be in the united states: leave.
    And my point is that who said they didn't want to be in the US? I think a hell of a lot of things about America suck at the moment. Why should I leave? I think it is my duty as an American citizen to stand up and complain about the things I disagree with and offer solutions on how they might be made to work better.
    if you have to desecrate our flag just to show your opinion, you deserve a fist in the face, especialy under the circumstances.
    I would argue that you 'desecrate' the flag even moreso by making it into an idol and wanting to beat down those that might disagree with your point of view.
    and to those who think the kids did what was justified by the constitution (i.e. free speech); why should the rights of a country they disrepect so greatly be in effect for them?
    Because the true measure of freedom of speech is not by which forms are allowed, but rather by which forms are prohibited.
    saying "i do not agree with the ways of our country" would be good free speech, or even handing out sheets of paper denouncing the us government. writing "f**k america" on an act of sympathy is wrong. i see that as nearly equivalent to denouncing american citizenship.
    You can see it as whatever you choose to see it as, but it doesn't make it so.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  8. #48  
    VTL:
    I don't know if you subscribe to USN&WR, but this column by John Leo seems to hit the nail on the head.

    Look here.
  9. #49  
    KC:

    What did you make of the article? I didn't really find a point to it. I'm not sure if Leo is for or against what's going on...maybe he's just observing it...
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  10. #50  
    Originally posted by homer
    KC:What did you make of the article? I didn't really find a point to it. I'm not sure if Leo is for or against what's going on...maybe he's just observing it...
    This is the quote that I appreciate most, although you probably didn't like it--"Whether these extremists and their terrorists are living in the 12th century or the sixth, it follows that the traditional soft Western search for the "root causes" or "understanding the pain of poverty that leads to violence" has no role. The clear rational response to those who would kill thousands of people in a single attack is the same as the angry emotional response: No negotiation or placation is possible. The mass murderers and their conspiracy must be rooted out and eliminatedľnot "brought to justice" in a series of leisurely trials at the Hague, but killed. We don't need to prove that bin Laden was directly responsible. This is war, not a courtroom proceeding."

    On the other hand, I know that we don't want the WWIII that Alan is concerned about, nor do we want to play into the hands of some evil doer who plans to start a Christian v. Islamic world war. (What if it really wasn't bin Laden after all, but someone who has planted enough evidence to frame him? (I don't really believe that but i guess it's possible.))

    I think some of the ambivalence that you detect in Leo's article (with the exception of the quote above) is being felt by all Americans--I want retribution yet I want orderly justice; I want the head of bin Laden yet I don't want a martyr; I want safer flights but don't want unhelpful new rules; I want to kill the terrorists, but don't want to bomb innocent (civilian)Afghans.

    We are so innocent at dealing with this as a country (DISTINCTION: I am not saying we are an innocent country!)that no one really knows what we want our President/Government to do. All we know is: we all want something to be done but we don't want a WW. What that "something" is has run the gamut from dropping the nuke to turning the other cheek. I suspect we are all mostly somewhere in the middle.
  11. #51  
    K

    I don't get USNWR, but I'd seen the article elsewhere. I think your analysis is correct.

    Here's the thing. It used to be in the "good old days" that terrorists had demands, however delusional. You know, they hijack a plane and demand that their fraternal terrorist brothers held in some jail be released, or a million bucks to finance their cause, or something else. Or they blow something up with a clear goal; UK out of N. Ireland, etc. Some shadowy organization claims responsibility and makes a demand. The terror was a means to an end, at least in some sense.

    Not any more. With these nutjobs, killing Americans seems to be the the end unto itself. No demand are made, no one takes responsibility - in fact, the "prime suspect" and everyone else denies it.

    So there's no point in looking for root causes. There's no point in trying to fix the underlying problem. Instead, you "fix" the people who plan, support and carry out the terror.

    As I've written elsewhere, you deal with these folks the way you deal with rabid dogs. You don't reason with them. You don't say "nice doggy" or give them a doggy biscut and hope that placates them. It won't. You put them down - because if you don't, they will do it to you.
  12. #52  
    So there's no point in looking for root causes. There's no point in trying to fix the underlying problem. Instead, you "fix" the people who plan, support and carry out the terror.
    What do you mean there's no point in looking for root causes? When your fuse blows, do you just keep replace the fuse, or do you eventually find the root cause of the problem?

    Not looking for root causes is irresponsible and ignoring the larger problem.

    Maybe these people DIDN'T have a reason to do what they did other then they felt like doing it. But how do we know unless we really study the situation?

    And, let's say that that is true. How do we possible find all of these terrorists? Have you been watching the news? These people were ordinary people living with families amongst us. I'm not sure how war tactics will root these people out.

    As I've written elsewhere, you deal with these folks the way you deal with rabid dogs. You don't reason with them. You don't say "nice doggy" or give them a doggy biscut and hope that placates them. It won't. You put them down - because if you don't, they will do it to you.
    Or do you take the time to properly vaccinate your pets to AVOID them getting rabies in the first place?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  13. #53  
    This is the quote that I appreciate most, although you probably didn't like it--"Whether these extremists and their terrorists are living in the 12th century or the sixth, it follows that the traditional soft Western search for the "root causes" or "understanding the pain of poverty that leads to violence" has no role.
    I wonder why he called that a 'soft western' thing? Peaceful understanding of each other is not a western thing by any means, and, in fact, is often a part of eastern philospophy.

    Anyways, I still don't think that guy made a compelling argument. I understand the fact that many people want retribution, but his logic seems more emotional that rational.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  14. #54  
    Homer:

    I don't think you read my whole post, or perhaps it's not clear. My point is there aren't any root causes to this tragedy, at least none that we are capable of addressing.

    How can you prevent violent attacks when the people who carry out the attacks don't take responsiblity for them, and appear to have no real demands you could meet - even if you were inclined to do so?

    If - as I suggest - the motivation behind these attacks is a visceral dislike of Western civilization and of Americans in particular, what exactly do you propose we do to head them off in the future?

    My proposal is pretty simple - find the folks responsible, their supporters, and their sympathisers, and incarcerate or liquidate them. Sure, it won't be easy and you won't find them all, but every one you eliminate as a threat is one less who is going to blow something up. Plus, if you put enough of an effort into the process, even the ones you miss are hopefully too busy evading capture or termination to plan anything significant.

    Your response to my rabies analogy is cute, but sort of misses the point - pointing out a limitation on the analogy. How exactly do we vaccinate the American people from being attacked by these folks? You can't unless you want to put them all in bomb-proof bunkers. So, you eliminate the problem another way, as I've suggested.
  15. #55  
    I don't think you read my whole post, or perhaps it's not clear.
    It's probably a bit of both.

    My point is there aren't any root causes to this tragedy, at least none that we are capable of addressing.
    Well, this is probably where we'll have to agree to disagree. You may be right in that there perhaps the causes are ones we can't address. But the point I'm trying to make is how do we know, until we take the time figure things out?

    How can you prevent violent attacks when the people who carry out the attacks don't take responsiblity for them, and appear to have no real demands you could meet - even if you were inclined to do so?
    Preventing attacks is one thing and reducing the events and actions that we are involved in that possible lead to terrorists wanting to attack us is another. There really is no way to prevent the attacks unless we kill all of the terrorist...something I don't see as being a realistic goal. Eliminating the terrorists motivation is maybe something we can't do either, but it's something I'd like to see this country consider.

    If - as I suggest - the motivation behind these attacks is a visceral dislike of Western civilization and of Americans in particular, what exactly do you propose we do to head them off in the future?
    I don't know. Maybe a peaceful pull-out of that region? A reduction of US military presense world-wide? Less involvement in foreign governments for personal interests? Lots of hugs? I'm not sure. I'm just proposing we look into other options BEFORE we go to war. The old 'count to ten' rule of anger management.

    My proposal is pretty simple - find the folks responsible, their supporters, and their sympathisers, and incarcerate or liquidate them.
    I'm with you 100 percent! Now, how do we go about finding these folks?

    Sure, it won't be easy and you won't find them all, but every one you eliminate as a threat is one less who is going to blow something up.
    But you need to be careful here, too. Yes, each terrorist we kill is one less that will kill us...but it each terrorist we kill may trigger emotions in 5 other people that then decide to become terrorists. You want to take that bear out in one shot...not graze his shoulder and **** him off more.

    Plus, if you put enough of an effort into the process, even the ones you miss are hopefully too busy evading capture or termination to plan anything significant.
    Hmm...that's true. Good point.

    How exactly do we vaccinate the American people from being attacked by these folks?
    Touche! (damn analogies...always full of holes!)
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  16. #56  
    I don't know. Maybe a peaceful pull-out of that region? A reduction of US military presense world-wide? Less involvement in foreign governments for personal interests? Lots of hugs? I'm not sure. I'm just proposing we look into other options BEFORE we go to war. The old 'count to ten' rule of anger management
    Not realistic options.

    1. Peaceful pull out of the region: Our military presence in the Middle East is at the invitation of the governments that host us - the Saudis, the Kuwaitis, etc. We are not forcibly occupying any piece of ground in the Middle East. While I wouldn't hold any of those governments up as models, they are the duly recognized governments of those states under international law. Are we going to let some thug with no legitimate claim on us force us out of the region? I think not.

    2. A reduction in US military presence world-wide? Ditto - we are deployed by the invitation of local governments, or under U.N or NATO auspices. (Ironically, Bush wanted to cut down on some of our overseas committments. Not gonna happen now).

    Besides, isolated griping to the contrary (i.e. the Iraqis, the North Koreans), most of the world wants us just where we are. We help preserve the balance of power, which deters violence on a grander scale. For example, if we withdrew from South Korea and Japan, the North Koreans might decide to lunge for Seoul. If we withdrew from the Middle East, Saddam would gobble up Kuwait and maybe the Saudis in a heartbeat - and remember, this is a guy who used chemical weapons on women and children.

    3. Less involvement abroad in personal interests? Exactly whose interests should we be pursuing? Lichtenstein's?

    4. More hugs? Well, much as I favor more hugs between the U.S., and, say, Swedish babes, I don't think that's what Osama and co. have in mind. Besides, based on the fact that he always seems to be wearing the same clothes and lives in caves, my guess is Osama doesn't smell so good. Count me out.

    If you have some good ideas on how to address the root causes here, I'm open to them. None of the above qualifies. Until someone advances a better idea, I'm sticking with my original plan, which happens to be the President's plan as far as I can see:

    Bury them in the "shallow grave" of history. And if doing so makes five other folks declare jihad, take them out too. Keep doing that until someone realizes that killing Americans in large lots is a great way to get your name added to the "Darwin Awards" wall of shame.
  17. #57  
    I didn't say any of them were viable. I'm just saying we need to decide if there are viable options before going to war.

    A reduction in US military presence world-wide? Ditto - we are deployed by the invitation of local governments, or under U.N or NATO auspices.
    Not too sure about that. Are we in columbia on the invite of the poor farmers that make up the ecomony there? Is cuba welcoming us with open arms in guatanomo bay? Also not that a lot of 'governments' that invite us over aren't necessarily the governments the citizens of said country support.

    Besides, isolated griping to the contrary (i.e. the Iraqis, the North Koreans), most of the world wants us just where we are.
    I'd hesitate to agree with that statement. Let's ask the rest of the world.

    If you have some good ideas on how to address the root causes here, I'm open to them.
    Like I said, I don't. But we need to look into alternatives to see if there IS a way to adderss the root causes. Then, if not, war would be a logical next step. Let's just not make it the first step.

    Here's an article I found that tends to relate more to my POV of the situation:

    http://www.mg.co.za/mg/za/archive/20...editorial.html
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  18. #58  
    Originally posted by homer
    I wonder why he called that a 'soft western' thing? Peaceful understanding of each other is not a western thing by any means, and, in fact, is often a part of eastern philospophy.
    I think he is speaking more in terms of blaming-the-other-guy, it's-not-my-fault-I-killed-them-b/c-I-was-raised-wrong, Daddy-smoked-four-packs-a-day-why-can't-I-sue-Phillip-Morris lack of self-responsibility that our society seems to tolerate.

    Anyways, I still don't think that guy made a compelling argument. I understand the fact that many people want retribution, but his logic seems more emotional that rational.
    I think his logic is that the rational response and the emotional one are the same b/c of the nature of our foe.
  19. #59  
    Homer:

    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it fails to persuade. In particular, it mentions the spiraling violence between Isreal and the Palestinians as a probable cause. However, it has been conclusively proven that the hijacking plot was in motion well before the most recent escalation over there.

    In terms of how the rest of the world sees us - you can always find evidence that some people don't like Americans or don't like the presence of American forces in their country. However, you are just speculating on how people really feel.

    Your specific examples are also irrelevant. We do not have a significant military presence in Columbia, other than some advisors. Besides, I rather suspect the poor farmers - caught in a four-way crossfire between communist rebels, drug lords, right-wing death squads and the Columbian military - can keep things straight without a score card. Cuba is a whole different issue - we have treaty rights to the base in Cuba, and it's completely walled off from the rest of the country. Besides, who cares what Castro thinks? The guy's a dinosaur.

    About folks wanting us there, I was referring mostly to governments. But go ahead and ask the rest of the world. Don't know how you go about doing it, but when you figure it out let us know.

    You keep saying we need to look for root causes, but you have no idea of what they are or how to look for them. That's a prescription for inaction without end.

    I think the President hit the nail on the head last night. We are dealing with an ideology (at least with the Taleban and Osama) that is anti-democratic. It advocates the death penalty for folks who dare to teach any faith other than their particular version of Islam. It makes it a crime for women to learn how to read. It blesses destroying historical treasures (like the statues of Bhudda they blew up) because they offend their particular, peculiar vision of Islam.

    And last, but not least, it blesses killing 6,000+ American civilians.

    These are bad people. So I'm sticking with the President's plan - an unmarked grave for Osama, the Taleban, and the terrorists whole approach to problem solving.
  20. #60  
    However, it has been conclusively proven that the hijacking plot was in motion well before the most recent escalation over there.
    That would imply that the attack was retribution for one specific act on our part. It wasn't. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been going on for quite some time.

    About folks wanting us there, I was referring mostly to governments. But go ahead and ask the rest of the world. Don't know how you go about doing it, but when you figure it out let us know.
    That's not a very ambitious attitude! One problem with the US population in general is that we really don't care what's happening ot the rest of the world at any given time. Go out onto the street and ask people to point to Afghanistan on a map. I bet you wouldn't find too many people that REALLY understand the world's opinion of us and what our country actually does in the rest of the world.

    In reference to governments, that was my point exactly. These governments that have 'asked' us to be there aren't necessarily the governments that the people want in charge. We often support who WE feel should be in power.

    You keep saying we need to look for root causes, but you have no idea of what they are
    Right. That's why we need to look for them.

    or how to look for them.
    Part of the solution would be for Americans to start absorbing world news and opinions. Start watching foreign networks, read foreign papers, use the internet, try to find second opinions...learn.

    That's a prescription for inaction without end.
    Shouldn't it be? Shouldn't we be constantly striving to understand the wishes and of people and nations world-wide?

    It advocates the death penalty for folks who dare to teach any faith other than their particular version of Islam.
    ...in their region of the world. Just because we think the entire world should be democratic, doesn't mean it is so. We should do everything we can to protect humanitarian rights, etc, but we also need to respect their cultures a bit more, perhaps.

    It makes it a crime for women to learn how to read. It blesses destroying historical treasures (like the statues of Bhudda they blew up) because they offend their particular, peculiar vision of Islam.
    These are crimes against humanity. But why is it our (the US) responsibility to to handle these issues with military force/occupation? Wouldn't these manners be best left to the world as a whole? International sanctions, etc...?

    These are bad people. So I'm sticking with the President's plan - an unmarked grave for Osama, the Taleban, and the terrorists whole approach to problem solving.
    And 'eye-for-an-eye' vs. 'do unto others as you would have those do unto you' approach. I see validity in both approaches. I don't see the US considering both approaches.
    Last edited by homer; 09/21/2001 at 04:29 PM.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
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