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  • Political Blindness

    Being part of the post 9/11 generation, I'm increasingly pissed and agitated by those who assume and act on ideas and beliefs which are unfounded and overall asinine. Sure there are explanations out there and conspiracies that people are cooking up, but since when did attacking our government sound justified? Though I disapprove of the Bush administration's handling of affairs domestic and foreign, I am not going to blame them for the actions that conspired on 9/11.

    This stems from various articles I've read about how 9/11 was "an inside job" and, most recently, the incident where Bill Maher kicked out audience members for protesting this belief on his show. Those who have not seen the incident may find it here. The belief of these so called "9/11 Truthers" is one of complete political dissent and borderline (if not already) anarchy. The concept of terrorism is to scare the citizens of an opposing faction into domestic dissent and unrest. In that sense, those who oppose the US, and we know they're out there, have succeeded. It is true that we can be critical of our government, but even though the 1st Amendment allows us, we shouldn't go to the point of not trusting our government any more. In doing so, the social contract (yes, I'm taking Philosophy right now) is voided. The society will no longer be able to justify itself, and thus we lose our country.

    We can't let our critical reviews of the US government, or to be specific the Bush Administration, gear us toward an attitude of dissent. Only through action (voting, activism) will we achieve anything. Sitting around and criticizing those in power will do nothing to sway them from their branches.
    Last edited by MasterEditorInChief; 10-20-2007, 07:25 PM.
    sigpic

    Formerly of the fabled 3rd Special Forces Detachment

    "On that day half a century ago, our species was pushed to the crumbling edge of extinction. And as we teetered on that precipice, staring down into the abyss, a hand reached out, pulled us back from the brink, and gave us hope... the hand of a Hero."

  • #2
    Re: Political Blindness

    The government is exactly as good as the people within it. However, we have a major problem in that it's a popularity contest, these days. And has been for some time now.

    I like Ike. Eisenhower was a good man, but he didn't win just because he was a good man. He won because he was a good man with a good name, a good portrait, and a catchy tune. Look up the I Like Ike commercial on the intarwebs... it's the same beat-a-catchphrase tactic used to sell HeadOn today.

    The lower eschelons are no better, with special interests using briefcases with liquid assets inside to control the laws that you live by. Yeah, it may be a good idea to save the nosepicker hummingbird, but exactly what does it say when a well funded superminority has lawmaking power while a thousand average Joes only get a bit of influence every couple years?

    Tragically, the patriots we need in the government will never get there because they aren't forced into the position. The old guys who started this country led because they pretty much had to. That's that "call of duty" thing that was inspiring enough to get a game named after it.

    At the risk of opening a can of worms, I kinda liked Fred Thompson because he seemed to be running with a purpose -- He's already had his political career, and his film career, so it's not like he needs to stay employed, and as he said, he looked toward running not because he wants to be president but because he wants to do things that requires him being the president to achieve. Then he completely blew it. Bummer.

    Returning to topic, the only way to "fix" the government is to suck it up and become part of it. Vote in crappy meaningless elections at the local level. Write postcards to your representatives. (Don't send letters because they spend a hundred years in quarantine, and postcards are cheaper, and the limited space ensures you get to the dang point.) We are in a dangerous time because we are living in almost a pure democracy... we still have electorial college to keep things in check, but if you pay attention you'll see that none of the candidates are looking for your vote because you don't make you count. They're going for blocks. The black vote. The bible vote. The jew vote. The mexican vote. The only way for You to get representation is to ensure they know that You matter. Get involved through the right channels, or be another nobody. (Unless you live in New York, Texas, Florida, or California, and fit in a race/religion block that can be bought out.)

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    • #3
      Re: Political Blindness

      Over half the kids in my "Participation in Government" class (I'm a HS Senior..) believe in 9/11 conspiracies.

      To sum my beliefs up: I believe my generation is throughly screwy.

      Originally posted by MagnaCentipede View Post

      Returning to topic, the only way to "fix" the government is to suck it up and become part of it. Vote in crappy meaningless elections at the local level. Write postcards to your representatives. (Don't send letters because they spend a hundred years in quarantine, and postcards are cheaper, and the limited space ensures you get to the dang point.) We are in a dangerous time because we are living in almost a pure democracy... we still have electorial college to keep things in check, but if you pay attention you'll see that none of the candidates are looking for your vote because you don't make you count. They're going for blocks. The black vote. The bible vote. The jew vote. The mexican vote. The only way for You to get representation is to ensure they know that You matter. Get involved through the right channels, or be another nobody. (Unless you live in New York, Texas, Florida, or California, and fit in a race/religion block that can be bought out.)
      100%

      I can assume that only 1/5 students in my school who will be able to vote this year actually will.

      Yet they will continue to bash bush like its a fad.
      Skud


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Political Blindness

        What upsets me is that the same tired old jokes about his ears and tendency to stumble in public speaking continue to fly around, and yet no one seems to criticise him on the things that he has actually mishandled. Between kissing Mexico's butt, kissing Putin's butt, not realising that Iraq is exactly as stabilised as it wants to be, and letting his born-again-ism turn him into a kitten when we voted for something with a set of teeth, there's plenty to go after.


        But, Kids Today are raised by TV, so they repeat whatever Jon Stewart et writers cook up on any given day. Which is kinda sad, because there are lots of neat books out there that can fill a couple hours. I'm taking some post-graduate community college to increase my value to my company, and every day I check the discard bin at the library. Some of the best books to ever see print are being thrown away, and people go on the local news and whine about how their kids aren't being educated, because they aren't educating their kids, which comes at a cost of a visit to the library and an hour in the evening. Can't afford to miss Jon Stewart or Colbert.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Political Blindness

          I watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and I love what they do: they raise politcal and social awareness by skewering it. What they say should not be taken so seriously however. They do broadcast news (journalistically speaking), but the news is coming out biased and should not be taken as is. It's humor, and kids tend to forget that when it comes to serious world affairs.
          sigpic

          Formerly of the fabled 3rd Special Forces Detachment

          "On that day half a century ago, our species was pushed to the crumbling edge of extinction. And as we teetered on that precipice, staring down into the abyss, a hand reached out, pulled us back from the brink, and gave us hope... the hand of a Hero."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Political Blindness

            Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
            Over half the kids in my "Participation in Government" class (I'm a HS Senior..) believe in 9/11 conspiracies.

            To sum my beliefs up: I believe my generation is throughly screwy.



            100%

            I can assume that only 1/5 students in my school who will be able to vote this year actually will.

            Yet they will continue to bash bush like its a fad.
            Anyone who feels like they have no control will either submit to it or lash out with inexorable fury towards those who have it. A high school student is so uninformed, has such little control over his life, and is such an emotional roller-coaster ride that believing in conspiracies is a terribly effective way to justify their own feeling of helplessness by making the world convert into a place where they can't do anything about the status-quo because its all being manipulated by an evil (sometimes shadow, depending on mood) government. It usually dissipates once some semblance of control is gained in college or the workplace.

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            • #7
              Re: Political Blindness

              Originally posted by MasterEditorInChief View Post
              We can't let our critical reviews of the US government, or to be specific the Bush Administration, gear us toward an attitude of dissent. Only through action (voting, activism) will we achieve anything. Sitting around and criticizing those in power will do nothing to sway them from their branches.
              Developing a critical dialogue about public officials does have an effect though. It encourages people to think about the issues more than the mainstream media does. That high school students even have a view on 9/11 outside of the standard view is encouraging, I think, and shows that they're engaging the issues with a more critical eye.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Political Blindness

                Originally posted by MasterEditorInChief View Post
                Being part of the post 9/11 generation, I'm increasingly pissed and agitated by those who assume and act on ideas and beliefs which are unfounded and overall asinine. Sure there are explanations out there and conspiracies that people are cooking up, but since when did attacking our government sound justified? Though I disapprove of the Bush administration's handling of affairs domestic and foreign, I am not going to blame them for the actions that conspired on 9/11.

                This stems from various articles I've read about how 9/11 was "an inside job" and, most recently, the incident where Bill Maher kicked out audience members for protesting this belief on his show. Those who have not seen the incident may find it here. The belief of these so called "9/11 Truthers" is one of complete political dissent and borderline (if not already) anarchy. The concept of terrorism is to scare the citizens of an opposing faction into domestic dissent and unrest. In that sense, those who oppose the US, and we know they're out there, have succeeded. It is true that we can be critical of our government, but even though the 1st Amendment allows us, we shouldn't go to the point of not trusting our government any more. In doing so, the social contract (yes, I'm taking Philosophy right now) is voided. The society will no longer be able to justify itself, and thus we lose our country.

                We can't let our critical reviews of the US government, or to be specific the Bush Administration, gear us toward an attitude of dissent. Only through action (voting, activism) will we achieve anything. Sitting around and criticizing those in power will do nothing to sway them from their branches.
                We should always be geared towards an attitude of dissent. Its a continual challenge to the status quo that allows us to develop. Now, in a time when there is an extremely critical sentiment of the administration because they have been found to be completely dishonest on several fronts, I see no reason why we should trust 'the government'.

                Several outright lies have been uncovered over the past several years (about various things) but the current administration has been so busy whipping us into a frenzy over the next 'terror threat' that they've been able to avoid accountability in most instances.

                Activism is a form of dissent, btw. While some people are content to piss and moan, others do act. And I'd imagine that those that act are at least comforted by knowing a large # of people that are pissing and moaning will appreciate their efforts.
                |TG|Switch

                Better known as:
                That noob who crashed the chopper.
                That noob who ran over the mine.
                That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
                That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...

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                • #9
                  Re: Political Blindness

                  See, I do watch Colbert and Daily often. Because I know it's for humor and satire. It can be educational, but it's meant to entertain already informed people. If not already informed, it makes pompous jackasses out of kids.

                  See, here's the thing: Highschool students dont really have any views of thier own about 9/11. I can tell you right now, all the kids that believe in the conspiracies...got it from youtube. Thats the only source, only knowledge they have. And when you tell them it's been debunked more reliable sources, or just present them logical arguments, they tend to cite further youtube videos. Like the second edition or whatever of loose change (which is what all the kids cite)

                  I'm not here to debate 9/11 truths. I'm just here to tell you that the average 17 year old has no aptitude for learning about politics. I can probably point out who will and who will not vote in my school. Most of them cant name different figures in the government, most of them dont know the bill of rights, or miranda rights.

                  It's a shame.

                  I go to a very good public school. We have great Regents scores (Standardized tests), and a wonderful art program... but kids are just uninformed.
                  Skud


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Political Blindness

                    Personally, I am really glad 18 year olds don't vote. They have no idea what they are voting on in most cases. I typically ask them what they think and they have no idea, except what information is being taught them in the school system. Most school systems are very liberal in their teaching and the influence the school board has on what kids read and think is horrifying to me. I as a parent am going to be shoving books at my kids that have Heroes in them that stand for moral values and freedoms.

                    I remember being in highschool and my teachers telling me there is no such thing as truth and morality. WTF. Running around in a school killing other students because they were mean to you, or just got in your way of killing other abusive peers is wrong. The teachers will tell you okay yeah thats wrong but you can't really know something is true or moral. You can't stand there and tell me crap like that and have me respect you, but I HAD to go to school and listen to it and the majority of my peers ate the crap in gallons. How do you teach people to have moral fiber.

                    The books they put out in school aren't those of people who are heroic or moral anymore. They hand out books with crappy antiquated writing and shove it down your throat calling it a litterary classic. As great as "All Quiet on the Western Front" was, it makes defeating a tyrannical government seem wrong and hurtful to the soliders, which the book spent the majority of the time talking about, and gives the reader only one impression, the soldier is the only important thing. All wars are wrong and only kill people. What about freedom is that worth fighting for? Perhaps the only point the writter was trying to make was that he was forced into fighting when he didn't want to and thus lost his own freedom because of it. Yet, that same freedom that was stripped away gave the next generation more freedoms. Sometimes it just pisses me off that each successive generation seems to forget that there are more people in the world than just themselves, and that the freedoms we enjoy in America came from selfless sacrifices of a few good men many years ago that continue to this day.

                    I am sure the book used great literary devices and awe inspiring writting and told the truth, but the fact is, all I learned by reading that book was being a soldier sucks and you shouldn't be one because no one really cares anyway and all your friends die horribly for no reason at all.

                    Then you talk to the soldiers who actually come back from Iraq and they say, "This is important. I have been the part of something that has changed the lives of thousands of people. They no longer fear walking their own streets, and they don't hate American's just because we are American anymore."

                    If you are 18, don't vote. If you do vote don't screw it up for those of us who actually care about our country.

                    That being said, the government is not conspiratorial. The only reason to think the government is being conspiratorial is because it makes for interesting converstation. Sort of like speculating what you would do if there was a mass epedemic of zombies.

                    Notice how any major conspiracy falls apart and becomes "news worthy" on the major networks?Conspiracies envolving agencies fall apart and get "found out". Individual's with conspiracies can exist, but they tend not to be of any major concequence and are refferd to by most people as "secrets". Even personal secrets for High Influencial Figures are difficult to keep. Notice how people who bugger little boys and girls tend to get their face in the newspaper, or Leaders of Religious organizations get ostrasized for comitting sodomy.

                    Conspiracies are fun to come up with, but like Calvin ball tend not to have any real merit.
                    Last edited by Requital; 10-22-2007, 04:32 PM. Reason: Needed to Tie into Master Chiefs Soapbox

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                    • #11
                      Re: Political Blindness

                      I don't think it's fair to tell 18 year-olds to not vote. I do agree that they should be informed before doing so, but it is their right and civic duty. Young folks think much differently about things than adults do, and the times are changing. And I do agree that most things you hear in school are liberal (moreso college than high school,) but good parenting can avert that. Parents teach morals, which is their duty. In the long run though it is up to the teenie-boppers to take their own stance on the issues because thats what freedom and decision-making is all about. Let them voice that stance on election day. I was 19 when I voted in 2004, and after I listened to the candidates' stances on the issues (on the left, middle and right), I consciously and carefully selected a candidate whom I felt was most closely aligned with my thoughts and morals and I voted for that person. I don't think that is something beyond the reach of any 18 year old, and it's awfully unfair to generalize.

                      As far as the 9/11 conspiracy theorists... There's always going to be a group of people who want to make a conspiracy out of anything, but this time it's gone too far. Bill Maher had every right to kick those guys out (it's certainly not a public forum.) We are free to openly criticize and praise our government, and that affects change. One thing we shouldn't do is distrust it. That's just too radical for me.



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                      • #12
                        Re: Political Blindness

                        Originally posted by whistler View Post
                        I don't think it's fair to tell 18 year-olds to not vote. I do agree that they should be informed before doing so, but it is their right and civic duty.
                        Right? Sure. Civic Duty? I'm gonna disagree on that one. If anything, you have a Civic Duty to vote on those issues on which you are well-informed, but not simply to vote whenever the opportunity arises. I specifically avoid voting on any issue where I lack the information to make a properly educated choice. Sure, I could always just pick the guy whose name looks more aesthetically pleasing or something, just to get a vote on paper, but what benefit would that give to the country?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Political Blindness

                          Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                          Right? Sure. Civic Duty? I'm gonna disagree on that one. If anything, you have a Civic Duty to vote on those issues on which you are well-informed, but not simply to vote whenever the opportunity arises. I specifically avoid voting on any issue where I lack the information to make a properly educated choice. Sure, I could always just pick the guy whose name looks more aesthetically pleasing or something, just to get a vote on paper, but what benefit would that give to the country?
                          Well met, I should have pointed that out. I said I agree that they need to be informed and with that it becomes a moral civic duty. Hence, they are trying to improve the government.



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                          • #14
                            Re: Political Blindness

                            Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post

                            I'm not here to debate 9/11 truths. I'm just here to tell you that the average 17 year old has no aptitude for learning about politics. I can probably point out who will and who will not vote in my school. Most of them cant name different figures in the government, most of them dont know the bill of rights, or miranda rights.

                            It's a shame.

                            I go to a very good public school. We have great Regents scores (Standardized tests), and a wonderful art program... but kids are just uninformed.
                            Look--Kids--all people make choices about where they will get their news. Many young people choose youtube over something more substantial like NPR or a newspaper or a weekly news magazine. You tube is easy. Understanding complex issues takes work.

                            Don't get me wrong....I'm not just blaming the youth of America. People emulate what they grow up with for the most part. It's clear to me that it's not just young people who are making "Entertainment Tonight" and the like their primary source of news. I read at least two newspapers a day, look at CNN, Foxnews and various other websites daily and I try to read at least one news magazine a week. And when something intrigues me I'll dig down deep and research it to come up with an informed opinion. ( which, by the way, is how I bet most of us sandboxers operate) I don't mean to tout my own horn...my point is this...My news habits are what they are today because my Grandfather would come home and read The Boston Globe the Patriot Ledger and the Wall Street Journal everyday. I just followed his footsteps and to this day I'm proud and grateful for him doing that. Unfortunately in our society today most people, young our old, just don't give a hoot about anything until it reaches crisis level. Sad but true.

                            As a parent I work hard everyday to overcome this with my own children but I can see how my 15 y/o sometimes doesn't get it or really want to get it. Its hard work understanding the world and kids see little reward for it so why not stick with youtube...it's funnier.

                            I guess what I really wanted to say is that it's a cop out to say most 17 y/o don't have the aptitude for learning about politics. Its complicated but not hard. If you can do geometric proofs, study biology or learn how to work with sheetmetal than understanding the overall political outlook should be well within your grasp....I think its less about aptitude and more about attitude than anything else. I will concede, however, that a large percentage, young or old, do a fine job proving that ignorance is bliss.
                            Last edited by Grunt 70; 10-24-2007, 04:23 PM.
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                            |TG-1st|Grunt
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                            • #15
                              Re: Political Blindness

                              Originally posted by whistler View Post
                              Well met, I should have pointed that out. I said I agree that they need to be informed and with that it becomes a moral civic duty. Hence, they are trying to improve the government.
                              So does that mean that the government has gotten better with time or worse? and If government has become better than the original conception what are those key factors that make it better? If it has gotten worse when was the turning point?

                              I would say the removal of slavery was a positive step. The way slavery was approached and mutated into from the orginal concept seems like an improvement to me. I can't think of any other changes that I can fully say "bravo" to at the moment.

                              I think the tax system is a bit burdensome and antiquated. I don't think it has improved yet and has only become more difficult to follow the regulations to the point proffessional help is needed in some instances. I think the turning point was the creation of a non flat tax system that tries to distinguish between different economic classes.
                              Last edited by Requital; 10-24-2007, 04:21 PM. Reason: forgot to put in the quote

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