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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:28 PM
Original message
America's Growing Culture of Cruelty--why? And what to do about it?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:51 PM by AlienGirl
Years ago, Americans rooted for the underdog. American culture was all about the little guy getting his chance.

Since then, I've watched the culture in this country become increasingly cruel. I remember early on arguing on a mailing list that the sudden popularity of "Survivor" was a bad sign, that encouraging people to think in terms of "kicking people off the island" and eliminating "the weakest links" pointed to an emergence in social-darwinistic thinking that would eventually lead to very dark places.

Since then, the culture of cruelty has increased, to the point where openly cruel, "who cares about them?" sentiments are appearing in mainstream political discourse. Think of the way Republican talking-heads spoke of the victims of Katrina. Is there any doubt that a large portion in this society would kick all the less-than-rich, less-than-healthy, and less-than-fortunate off the island if they could?

Where has the country gone that rooted for the underdog? How many decades before we look back as a culture and find ourselves appalled at the cruelty of the times?

Tucker
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. The cruel scream more loudly and have the media megaphone
under their control. The culture at large is actually beginning to be repulsed by it - look at the polls. Hang in there AlienGirl, the tide is turning.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I've seen quite a lot in real life
It really doesn't take that much for assholes with microphones to convince already-unstable people to do bad things.

Tucker
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't need decades, Tucker. I am appalled right now.
I have noticed it too, and find it very disturbing. I find myself saddened by it all, but also angry that we as a society have sunk to this level. What is especially disturbing is not just the increasing cruelness, but the outright hatred that some people show toward others. Talk of beheading Kucinich, killing judges, imprisoning liberals/Democrats, etc. etc. etc. I'm 50 years old and have never seen this kind of thing in my lifetime. It is to weep.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. This, more than anything else, has made me depressed about being
American. Certainly the world has seen other, crueller cultures (Rome!) but the America I came of age in was a place where capital punishment was gradually being seen an an archaic relic, where turning people away at emergency rooms was completely unthinkable, and television was stupid and insipid but not vicious.

It really makes me feel sad and hopeless, and the only thing I can do is try to raise kind children.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. I think cruelty has always been there
but now it has official "permission" to be heard, so you're hearing it loud and strong. The media doesn't do as many "feel good" stories, to go along with the agenda of its corporate masters, who approve of social Darwinism.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. It has, but it's usually been considered impolite to express
The official approval of it is the scary thing to me.

Tucker
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adigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
72. I agree - but the republican party has told people
that it is okay to want to keep your own money, rather than pay taxes to support that woman on welfare with 6 kids driving a Cadillac, that it is OK to say you are not racist, and then act in ways and support programs that overwhelmingly hurt minorities.

This all started with Reagan, but has accelerated with Bush. The irony is that so many of the wealthy repubs I know are practically helpless - they have help with cleaning their homes, help with taking care of the kids, don't mow their own lawns or do any outside garden work, eat out almost every night because they don't want to cook. If all of the "little people" went on strike, they would be major screwed.
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. I don't even begin to understand this culture.
I feel very old and I'm only 46.

Your right, it used to be popular to root for the underdog.

But I haven't watched TV regularly since Carol Burnett went off the air, so I suspect the answer lies within the Idiot Box, and those that worship it. Sad times.
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. I'm ten years older than you, and I feel lost sometimes. n/t
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
35. Around 15-18 years ago, I had occassion...
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:16 PM by davekriss
to be in South Florida to visit a terminally ill relative. It was a nice "party" despite the circumstances. I recall holding court surrounded by a number of older women, all widows in the 75+ age category. I recall asking if people were as innocent as portrayed in 1940's and 1950's movies. They said, generally, yes. We all agreed that things were much different now (this was in the eighties). Why, I asked? I remember their answer today. Because the unprompted response came back suddenly, emphatically, as they responded "television!".

Guess they were right. And that's BEFORE the Fairness Doctrine was overturned and the Rule of Sevens diluted to the point of no consequence, allowing a FOXNEWS network to rise and pull the tube far right from where it was back then.

(On edit: This would have been right after the courts nullified the Fairness Doctrine, as I think that occurred in 1986.)
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Jade Fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. Empowered bullies are running our government...
and the message of the Limbaughs and Coulters is: go ahead and let your inner creep out to run wild. No need to try and become a better person, like those stupid Liberals are always telling you to do.

Sigh. Sad times we are in.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
90. Bingo!
Their philosophy all wrapped up concisely!
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
101. Also factor in the internet...
a chance to be an anonymous a-hole with minimal reprecussions.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
110. And we longer have 'shame.'
No one seems to be ashamed of their atrocious behavior now....

I guess the only 'weapon' we have now is 'ridicule and humor.'
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. I seem to remember this in the early eighties
Not nearly as bad as now but still it had a bud back then.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I think what we're seeing now was beginning back then
I remember that, too, but there was still a gloss of civility on the discourse that's just missing, now.

Tucker
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:12 AM
Response to Reply #8
73. rEAGAN ELECTION it was now OK to be selfish
the 80s = the 'ME decade'
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #73
97. Reagan: Greed is good. He started it all. May he burn in Hell!
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #97
106. Yep, I remember it all. I'm a little younger but what he did once he got
got in was atrocious. check out #105.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. Strange that you should mention this. I happened on a
rerun of Star Trek The Next Generation last night. It was the one where Geordie found Scotty from the original Star Trek in a transporter signal. It suddenly reminded me of why I liked the Star Trek series programs so much.

The values underlying all the series of tolerance and fellowship between all different kinds of people and of making better societies with science, knowledge and democracy for all were key principles underlying all the stories.

It almost made me cry to think that we as a people used to think like that at one time and I don't know where this new hellish world is evolving from.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. That's why I love Star Trek too
I mean, they even took care of an injured Borg! I'm not making fun at all. Those series can show how it is possible to get along with different kinds of beings, and yet so many people cannot even seem to get along with others in their own species.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
118. Except the original... and the "I, Borg" episode was
pathetic.

It also led to the Borg becoming far worse than what they were beforehand.

All thanks to Jean-Luc Numbnuts and his newfound "compassion"; I didn't buy into Guinan's either... too forced. But because of that, and Picard's decision, the Borg went from amoral "Let's assimilate others by making them as boring and mechanical as us" to "Kill! Kill! Kill! those who hurt us!!!" and as vicious as any creature could get for no reason apart from empty malice. (no wonder Picard never gets promoted, the Federation understands what's going on! Of course, they gave him the flagship, the newest and best NCC-1701-E too and then don't send him into fight... :dunce: )

No good deed goes unpunished.

You can only get along with people who show they are willing to work with you. Hugh never had until he got lots of attention, and the Borg collective itself would never be so worthy; they'd just take and connect you into their collective, and since "best of Both Worlds" the Borg adapted for that contingency... The Feds just couldn't dismantle the Borg one by one by one... so why bother at all? There comes a point when you cannot reason with the enemy, especially when it's a much larger one. It might make them even worse if you do meddle. And that's precisely what it did. And the Borg had proven long before you don't work with them. They'll take the hand that feeds them.

Then came "Generations", which goes back to that Borg emotion stuff with Soran - if only Hugh was around in that movie, they could have gotten Soran to end his Quixote-quest... :crazy:

Then came "First Contact", which for better and worse, ignores established continuity altogether... :D
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. The values of compassion and tenderness are seen as weakness now
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Then I am happy to be "weak"
Because I refuse to indulge in that kind of behavior. Not saying I wouldn't fight back if someone were mean and cruel to me, but I am not going to sink to their level when I do it, nor am I going to initiate such behavior.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. People like us are the exception these days
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
38. It sure seems that way.
;(
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #38
91. To SeattleGirl and AlienGirl
You're not the only two; you can count me in and many of my friends. We're out here. We're just not as loud and obnoxious as are the mean people. Keep the faith, so to speak. There are more of "us" than seems apparent.

I just wanted to "check-in" with you so you'd know you're not alone.

:hi:
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #91
111. Thanks, Cerridwen
I know what you say is true. I certainly know many many of "us". The loud and obnoxious ones do seem to get the most attention. I'm not giving up; it just that sometimes the meanness seems to overwhelm everything else.

Glad you are one of "us". :hi:
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northofdenali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #111
133. Can I add my two cents as well?
Both my husband and I refuse to join the "new morality". A pair of aging hippies who still believe in peace and love.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
70. Regarding compassion being seen as weakness...
It depends upon how the issue is framed.

The destruction of compassion is part of the neocon agenda. A compassionate electorate won't tolerate the destruction of the social safety net and the subsequent transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. It's all about money, and it's important that we all do what we can to crush this type of thinking. The best way to do that (IMHO) is to ram it down their throats. By turning the tables and making THEM out to be weak, they can be shamed into silence - I do it all the time. Here are a couple of areas I have drawn upon when confronting portentous assholes who bash those less fortunate than themselves:

--Most of these people have lived easy lives in the sense that they have capabilities, health, and opportunities not readily available to everyone. I include myself in that category and point out that it would be crass for me to presume where I'd be without all the privileges I was born with. Most of these pains-in-the-ass like to think they've accomplished great things with nothing but guts and hard work. Almost none of them have.
--Most of them view the underdog with contempt. That's quite unseemly (almost un-American), so I slap them with it in some fashion. It usually makes them uncomfortable and throws them off balance.
--I have someone with severe disabilities in my family, and I don't hesitate to point that out, along with the fact that I find chest-pounding at the expense of the most vulnerable among us to be offensive, low-class, and weak. By this time they're really sputtering and wanting to get the hell away from me.
--Since most of these folks would probably consider themselves to be "values" types, I sometimes reference the honor in defending the weak, and the cowardice displayed by those lacking the courage to stand up for them. I try to use words that will have an emotional impact on them in the sense that it undermines their self-image as "values" types.

I've found that it isn't really that difficult to deal with them and turn the tables completely around. I don't attempt to convert them to my way of thinking - I question whether that's even possible. I just try to shame them, shut them up, and (hopefully) slow the spread of this sinister line of thinking. But you're right - the neocons have attacked the virtue of compassion and they have made significant progress. We all need to push back - hard - whenever the opportunity arises. Your original post is important and strikes at the core of neocon agenda.
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #70
74. Very well said.
We should never cave in--shame the jerks whenever possible . . .
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
120. Depends on who gets the compassion and tenderness.
Let's just say "I wouldn't know" either, and that is faceted in more ways than you're thinking right now.
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FredStembottom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #9
51. I take refuge in Star Trek-TNG
I get the DVD's from netflix regularly to keep in touch with the values so consistently portrayed on that show. Especially the one over-arching theme of people encountering and being horribly frightened by something they don't understand but STILL forcing themselves to think it through and finding what looked like the most dire threat possible - is something utterly different in reality.

There is a small, "quiet" little episode I will never forget about the Enterprise crew encountering a ship from a previously unknown civilization. What is odd, is that they can understand every _word_ the new beings are saying - but still can't understand anything they are saying - and vice versa. Somehow, the 2 ship's captains become stranded together on a nearby planet. This leads to near all-out war as the 2 remaining ship's crews are unable to communicate about what has happened and what to do. The entire rest of the hour is filled with the 2 captains painstakingly piecing together why they can't understand each other - even though they understand every word. How they can begin to. And finally how to work together to get rescued and prevent a war. If you haven't seen it I won't spoil it for you as to why they can't understand each other but it is the most unexpected and yet simple reason imaginable! Utterly original.

I got a tear seeing level-headedness and understanding in a scary situation presented as a force that can conquer nearly anything.

And they gave that message as no other show before or since. And these days I can't get enough of it.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #51
59. My favorite Star Trek was Deep Space Nine because
it really addressed the differences among civilians while the military was occupying the station. Captain Cisko or was it Sisco decided to instigate a Marshall plan like we did after WWII.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #51
64. I reread your answer and realized that
I am a jerk. I never thought of that like you did until you said it.

My humble apologies.

cleita
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #51
92. I saw that episode. it was an amazing concept.
A strictly literal society comes in contact with a society that only alludes to past situations as a way of life. Their ideals were based on past heroic acts, not on some impossible, unworkable Utopia.

A good execise in lateral thinking, something that is totally alien (literally) to these people in power now.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #51
112. That episode is called "Darmok", and is one of my favs too
The interaction between the two men, how they work hard to understand each other, is wonderful. Would it be that more people would try as hard to understand others.....
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #51
119. If I read you correctly, the episode's title was "Darmok".
First episode aired after "Redemption, part 2" (a more-or-less atrocious episode for reasons I won't delve into here... :) )

I rather liked "Darmok", even if I understand how the two captains ended up on the remote planet... ;)
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AX10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. "Reality" TV is the biggest fraud.
REALITY was the horrors of September 11th, 2001.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
16. Also, Americans are acting like starving people
Cases where there's this kind of breakdown, where being merciful or compassionate is scorned as being weak or gullible and where the highest good is watching your own back, usually only happen when people are starving and have had everything taken from them. The Ik went through a time of great famine and cultural upheval, during which anthropologist Colin Turnbull saw parents send their kids away at three years old to fend for themselves, people laughed only at others' misfortune, and displaying any kindness made one an easy for others to take advantage of.

But they had been completely uprooted and forced from their ancestral homes, and were starving to death besides. Why is it that Americans are acting like a displaced and starving people?

Tucker
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. Some Americans
it seems would rather see people starve or freeze to death (no matter where they were born)than get "something for nothing" right now everyone in the US could be housed but for this perception.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Yes, I see a lot of that sentiment on RW sites
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Nail on the head. nt
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. I've heard that in real life too
People will get angry that I give a homeless person a couple bucks or an extra pair of gloves, because the person *might* conceivably be well-off and just scamming for cash. To which my reply is that if so, I have still done a mitzvah by giving to them, and I"d rather be taken in occasionally than not give to someone in genuine need.

Tucker
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. I am with you entirely
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:45 PM by davekriss
From my own spirituality, and from my religion, never weary in doing good. And from Leon Russell (from a song I play at midnight every New Years for the past 20-25 years),

    Never treat a brother like a passing stranger
    Always try to keep the love light burning
    Listen only to his song and watch his eyes
    For he might be the Prince of Peace returning
    Yes he might be the Prince of Peace returning

    Love the blind and wounded as you would yourself
    And the businessmen in cells collecting pennies
    Judge their wealth by coins that they give away
    And not the ones they keep themselves from spending

    Never be impatient with the ones who love you
    It might be yourself that you're burning
    Listen only to their song and watch their eyes
    For you might be the Prince of Peace returning
Beautiful song; I tip my hat to Leon as I've tried to live this ever since I first heard it.
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misternormal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #28
94. On this same note...
... perhaps christians should remember the parable of the ten virgins... If they do not continue to fill their lamps with oil, they will miss the the coming of the bridegroom, who will come as a thief in the night.
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #22
69. I believe it's that same attitude
that's holding Americans back from supporting a national health service - the idea that someone, somewhere might be getting "something for nothing" makes some people not want to have it even though they would benefit from it themselves. It's petty and hard-hearted, and not what I used to think Americans were like.
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LuckyLib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #69
128. Yet they think nothing of having their insurance pay outlandish
costs for hospital care, outlandish because it has to cover the care of those who can't pay. So, in effect, we already have a form of socialized medicine. "To hell with 40 million uninsured Americans."
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misternormal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #22
93. This post brought back an interesting memory for me...
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 08:37 AM by misternormal
... In the 1960's, in the Central Coast area of California, there was a both hidden, and quite prominent faction of the anti-war movement, mostly consisting of displaced, liberal-minded young people, commonly referred to as Hippies. These people would openly and actively protest the war in the most public ways imaginable.

But I digress...

The owners of the local grocery stores would remove the produce from the shelves after it had been in the store to two days. Where the produce was not fresh enough to sell, some of it was still edible.

One store owner, since he was throwing the it away anyway, would leave the produce in cardboard boxes in the back of the store for people, who were hungry, to come and take.

The owner of another store, removed the produce in the same fashion as unsellable, but would pour salt, or old coffee, or anything to contaminate the produce, so it was inedible.



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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
37. Fear
We are a fearful nation to the point of cultural paranoia. IMHO it's the main driving force behind the rise both of religious fundamentalism and neofascism. People close ranks when they are afraid, then start looking for a convenient enemy, any enemy. We are told by our leaders that enemies abroad are everywhere, just waiting for an opportunity to destroy us from the outside; internally, our leaders create enemies among our own people, fueling fear of gays, women, etc. Then the repression begins and a nation of bullies is born.

The Nazi regime used the same tactics to manipulate the German people. Sadly, history seems to be on the verge of repeating itself.

Naturally the common people dont want war. But after all, it is the
leaders of a country who determine the policy, and its always a
simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a
fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every
country.
--- Hermann Goering, Hitlers Reich Marshall, at the Nuremberg
Trials after World War II.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. Part of the plan
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:52 PM by KT2000
Was just thinking the same thing. The repugs are so successful because they offer an enemy - other people - and that means that people do not have to change one whit to make a better world - just get rid of the enemies. People resent having to change.
Of course it is dishonest.
I truly believe they are utilizing brainwashing techniques to bring out these negative aspects of human nature.

America is a shameful place now. :cry:
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Do you think it's a conscious plan?
Or is it just the unintended effect of many other plans?

Tucker
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
27. Yes I do
If you analyze many of rove's tactics, there usually emerges an enemy for the people to destroy (swiftboat style). Repeatedly.
I think that rove's so-called genius is adapting techniques learned from many sources such as marekting and advertising as well as psyops and brainwashing to achieve their goals.

I started listening to bushbots on call-ins and in casual conversations and started noticing that they are not discussing the facts, they are repeating phrases. When challenged, they do not have facts, but will repeat the phrases. I noticed people are equating bush as a religious figure, sometimes connected to God.

Yes - I think this is all very intentional.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. I'm not so sure it's intentional
I think it might just be an out-of-control mind-virus. Even though there are cases where politicians have deliberately coarsened their citizens preparatory to an attack on an out-group, I'm not sure I see agency to this one...And even in those cases, they couldn't have done it if there wasn't already an undercurrent.

Tucker
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
52. Necessity of an undercurrent
Thinking out loud here...

Well, I just said it was intentional, but yes I agree (partly) with you here. It (the hatred) may be the unintentional consequences of intentional attempts at social control (a control exercised through state policy, through advertising that separates and reduces social bonds, through commerical censorship that narrows the pop agenda, through the power of the "dollar vote" that precedes the democratic, etc.). The "control" was always intended, but not necessarily the injury it inflicts on the general spirit.

The intentionality refers to Machiavellian exploitation of "undercurrents" already out there. But this builds on itself, generation after generation. What a Bernays or Lippmann were able to accomplish at the beginning of last century, when they were intentionally working to manufacture a spectator, consumerist general public, pales in comparison to what's possible now, given advances in technology, communications, and the social sciences -- and, perhaps, the "undercurrents" that have been cultivated up to now.

Does that mean a group of very evil men gather together in smoky rooms at the country club to figure out how they can grow a culture of hate? No. Does it mean these same men, in looking after their self-interest (i.e., to preserve and augment their advantaged state), harness a class of political prostitutes who suggest this or that tactic to manufacture apathy and passive consent? Absolutely yes.

Having said that, take for a moment the Zinn perspective: The U.S. was founded on forceful exploitation, be it the genocide of the native population, the violence of slavery, the exploitation of labor, the marshalling of masses into "patriotic" conflicts and wars, to tolerating torture (unbelievably) right now. Maybe like bobo chimpanzees we are wired by our genetic heritage to commit at times unspeakable evil. Maybe a Satan really exists (certainly a valid metaphor). I'm too naive to know. But empirically there seems to be an evolutionary stable strategy that includes a mix of mostly peaceful people interspersed by rapaciously greedy and violent human beings. Show me when and where this isn't so (in major civilizations), especially at times of manufactured or genuine scarcity, and I might think differently.

Speaking of evolution, you and I probably agree that there is a dim consciousness of the value of cooperation, compassion, and concern for our fellow human beings. That may or may not be what nature selects for as we move through evolutionary time. Remember, at one point T Rex ruled the earth (a bit more violent than Barney), and the most successful species today is the cockaroach.

(OK , I'll stop, I'm all over the place with this meandering post!)
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
126. Drowning in the bathtub
The undercurrent is the total destruction of the Democratic Party and absolute control.

When norquist said they would drown the Democratic Party in the bathtub, he articulated the agenda for the repubs. First, they have to make it acceptable for the recipients of social programs to be "drown" and that is being accomplished by blaming those in trouble for not only THEIR problems but everyone else's problems as well.
Turning citizens against each other as it turns out, is a pretty easy thing to do with unfettered media access.

Katrina was it in a nutshell.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #27
114. Me, too. I've heard that rove is a big history buff
and also a student of demographics and trends....he USES all of that information to manipulate and control people.

And he can do that so very easily because he has complete access to the Media (television in particular) and the big rich guys at the Business Round Table. This is where the policies of the US of A are made.

Just take a look at the sitcoms of today...from what I read, the main character is a man or father or husband who is not that attractive but has a very appealing wife. And what about '2 and a 1/2 men.' WTF? I watched one episode so I would know what young women are faced with today and I was just sick.

What happened to 'Murphy Brown?' 'Designing Women?' 'Roseanne?' 'The Golden Girls?' 'Cybil?' Where did all of those funny, mouthy, uppity women go?

One demographic is the 'angry white male.' Rove has latched onto him and is taking him for all he's worth. In reality this angry male should be pissed off at his very wealthy brothers...but he's not. The angry male believes it's women and minorities' faults for his loss of income and status. No, the rich white guys sent your job to China. It seems we are pitted against each other...and we don't realize how much, as working people, we have in common.

I think all of television is planned to have an effect on people's behaviors. And Rove and his rich buddies are pulling the strings. I refuse to watch it except on occasion with a critical eye and to say...'See, I told you so.'
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
50. It is absolutely intentional
Read, as just one example, Sara Diamond's The Road to Dominion for a compendium on how this tapestry of hate has been wove.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
19. We have a generation of
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:12 PM by azurnoir
kids who've grown-up with homelessness as a norm. As far as people under 30(?) that's just the way it is, unless they have been taught differently. Add to that the prejudice (Government encouraged) for people on welfare or the "working poor". There is a tendency for people to believe they are successful because they are inherently superior, not because they just plain got lucky or were born in better circumstances. In short for all of much touted "christian values" there seems to be an inability to say"there for the grace of god(ESS) go I".
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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
53. That is the Calvinist streak in American Christianity...
...very pronounced here. And very perverted.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
23. Someone was beaten up outside my building last night
I've lived in or around this neighborhood for decades and have never seen anything like it - the young asian male was sitting with his bloody face in his hands 8 PM yesterday. A passer-by had already phoned for an ambulance and said he'd stay with the poor fellow; I left the victim with some napkins and went inside.

Maybe it's easier to see in the big city, but there is a new note of incivility - a swaggering indifference that dares one to challenge the rudeness.

I'm sure Rome felt this way in its final days of empire ...
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Actually, the Rome of the plebes was pretty much what
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:23 PM by Cleita
you just described even at the height of its power. It's when it reached the protected Patricians and started falling apart, that they took notice, but it was too late. To be accurate the Patricians often got into trouble if they messed with the wrong demagogue, but usually their lives were more like New Yorkers who live in penthouses, and go to the Lincoln Center and fine restaurants in limos. They don't have to touch the street except between the doorman and the limo.
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #26
36. Truly there is no new thing under the sun.
Cleita's right that the things that horrify us today existed, in one form or another, in other eras. I grew up hearing about the Kitty Genovese murder (which occurred almost exactly 42 years ago).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese

And anyone who has read accounts of the lynchings of 50, 60, 70, 80 years ago and more knows that the descriptions will haunt and torment forever.

So human nature isn't what's changed, nor would I generalize too much about my fellow Americans.

That said, I am appalled by disturbing trends, including a focus on money and power, discouraging of empathy, increased isolation despite so many means of communication, etc.

When I went off to college in the '70s, I recall hearing more idealism from my fellow students, and greater mistrust of money and power. There was even some knee-jerk suspicion toward business leaders, though tarring them all with the same brush struck me as unfair.

I do think some Americans have been trained to dehumanize others, to eschew empathy, to view real-life violence and death as though merely part of a movie or a video game, etc. But I don't believe any trend lasts forever, and I don't believe any trend is universal.

Have hope.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #36
45. We react differently in crowded conditions
In an urban setting the screams you hear could be your neighbor's radio - I don't know if I would stick my head out the window hearing cries for help ... that's one of the gritty realities of city life.

There's a different atmosphere - tonight, walking to the subway alongside a line of teens I was appalled to hear the boys rap about their bitches ... and seeing the girls enthralled. But this is the new reality - and no, it hasn't always been this way.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
43. I don't live in a penthouse
Brooklyn is an ethnically diverse boro - I grew up in East Flatbush, so I know what a tough neighborhood looks like. Midwood's different; the worst we've dealt with has been racist vandalism.

But I see a new attitude everywhere ... and more of it, because I take public transportation every day.

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. Oh I never said that you did. What I did say is those people
who do live in penthouses in NYC probably don't see what you do if they don't want to. I didn't realize you lived in the area or probably would never have used it as an example of Rome if I had. I have several modern day examples I can use.

I do believe that NYC and all its burroughs are far more egalitarian and democratic that the Romans ever were. I was talking about an exclusive club here, who were comparable to the Patricians of ancient Rome.
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #26
56. I Think The Tide May Be Turning
Look at shows like "Lost", which at its core is about people from different circumstances being forced to work together to survive. Yeah, there's all kinds of obstacles and weirdness. But at its core is the need to pull together to survive.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
121. Racism, gang violence, mugging, or base brutality?
Shouldn't be tolerated regartless. May the savages who'd beaten that poor guy end up in a cell next to a big burly butch man with a deep voice, nicknamed "Glenda".
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Generator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
29. Our government are certainly bullies and only looking out for themselves
but I don't think we are living in any spectactuarily amazing moment in history. People have always been shits. I remember my mother saying to me, "how amazingly cruel children can be" and I thought she was horrible for saying that to me as a child- but learned she was right. People are often horrible. This actually even existed before reality TV. Yes, I watch reality TV and I don't think it's the downfall of society. I find Survivor quite dull these days, but ironically enough-the guy the public voted to win the million dollars was the nice guy in the tie dye shirt-Ruppert-so there goes your theory.

Nazi Germany? Rwanda? The killing fields of Cambodia? The Spanish inquistion? ....a zillion other moments in world history...yes the world is horrible place. Americans didn't invent it.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. My observation of children being cruel is usually because
they have been hurt somehow themselves. Okay, I make an exception for really small children who try to pull tails, poke out eyes and pull wings because they don't know any better. When a loving adult points out to them that it is cruel and hurts, the child usually stops.

Children who are treated in a mean way will act out though when the opportunity arises. Also, I think about how those Iraqi children are going to grow up with all they have had to observe, with the influences they get from the adults around them, and just how they are going to deal with their hurt.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
32. Great post.
I think the underdogs started getting so weak they joined the dark side out of desperation.
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
33. Please vote this up.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
34. Signs I've seen along the way:
The Chamber of Commerce has a sensitivity group that comes in and provides an exercise that has been showing declining, and depressing results. They get volunteers and group them into three groups. The A group is assigned all the resources, the B group are the help givers and the C group have nothing. Each group is suppose to go off to different rooms, according to their group, and discuss whatever task they've been given, then come back to the same meeting room to share their conclusions.

Generally, the "C" group learns to steal the chairs in the main meeting room because the room they've been assigned to is equipped with nothing. They also return to say that all they did was have pretend sex and give birth to babies because there was nothing else for them to do.

When they first administered this test, Group A and B cooperated in such a way that everybody's well-being was protected and things improved. But as of five years ago, the results showed Group A abusing their power and getting perverse pleasure out of conspiring and handicapping Group B in order to kill off members of Group C.

I think it's pretty obvious that our society has been following this pattern and I think the free market mentality is what's behind the changes.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
39. I've observed one thing throughtout my life in schools, churches,
businesses, families, and countries--the people at the top set the tone. It's not money that trickles down; it's attitudes.

If the people at the top are mean and greedy, the whole society or organization or unit deteriorates.

If the people at the top are kind and generous, the whole society or organization or unit becomes a better place.

After two terms of Reagan and three terms of the Bush family, is it any wonder that this country is full of crude, selfish brats of all ages?

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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. EXCELLENT POST.
:thumbsup:

^
|______ What she said.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #39
99. The fish rots from the top.......
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #39
113. That is my thinking too, Lydia
As go the leaders, so goes the country/company/family/etc. Not saying that we are all that way; the folks on DU are proof of that, overall. But the general tone of this country right now is one of meanness, intolerance, selfishness, and such. It's so sad to me. But as I've said on other posts, I do not buy into the thinking of some who believe things will now and forever be the way they are. Things WILL change, and they WILL get better at some point. It is a law of nature that nothing stays the same. It can be hard to remember that, though, when one is standing shoulder-deep in the crap that is going on right now.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
40. Beautiful post, Tucker.
I don't know how to answer your questions. It is sad, though. I hope that the dawn comes soon. Maybe when Democrats are back in control, and social programs again receive funding, and babies aren't starving and rape victims aren't forced to carry pregnancies to term, we will all look back and realize how close we came to losing our humanity and our morality.

God help us--that that day comes.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
41. The sentiment is pervasive in my FAMILY, fer chrissakes!
After 9-11, my mother commented, "Now you know why we put the Japanese into concentration camps." She was for exporting all Arabs/Muslims overseas. I've heard snide remarks about the Katrina survivors. My brother is actually quite proud of the cruel things he does to prison inmates where he works. He calls it "fighting crime." Too bad Abu Ghraib is going out of business. He would have fit in just perfect. Maybe there's an opening at Guantanamo Bay? :(

All of this makes me very sad. My family was never quite right, but it really started down the wrong path when Ronald Reagan was elected. My mother and father became enamored of Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority. They loved Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition. My father became a huge dittohead and passed his love to my brother.

I hadn't seen my mother read a book in years and guess what the first book was I saw under her arm? Some stupid thing written by Sean Hannity.

I can hardly stand to be around my own family even though I love them.

And yes, their outlook has definitely transferred into cruelty. They don't really care about people anymore...if they ever did. My mother is studying Spanish and I can just about guarantee you she's going to Mexico to be a missionary. Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a Trailer Hitch! Isn't it bad enough that her religion warped her two children? My brother is an Ayn Rand Objectivist and atheist now. I'm also an atheist, but I really would like to be more of a humanist even though my faith in humanity has been severely shaken. It didn't take with her own two kids and she wants to go fuck up the poor Mexicans. :eyes: Good. Maybe she'll leave me alone.

Um, I just kind of ranted, didn't I?

:rant:

Sorry. The disconnect between my family and me is probably the most hurtful thing in my life. I still don't know what to do with it.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. All I can do is hug you that you overcame these influences
to become whom you are. I hope your mother learns Spanish more than to translate from English. If she does then she will learn the culture and it's nuances. It may change some of her views.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
47. It's so many things, all intermixed....
... a fundamental pessimism, a stupidity, a fear, an apathy, an incuriousity, a jadedness....

sigh.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
49. I don't have the answer, but I'll tell you that you've raised a hell of
a question. This is something that has indeed become pervasive in our society...and furthermore, if you read your history (especially of World War 2), you'll find that it's a central tenet of, guess what: Stalinism.

Make of that what you will.

Redstone
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. How so? What is specifically Stalinist about it?
This is interesting...

Tucker
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #55
58. The relentless withdrawal of resources from the weak.
PM me as a reminder, and I'll go into it at more length tomorrow. I'm too tired right now.

Redstone
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #58
129. Will do...
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ddzimm Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
54. The reason is lack of hope for the future, IMO
I remember back in the early eighties, in my mid-teens, reading OMNI and thinking about how incredible the future (now) would be.

A real space program, Lunar cities, Mars colonies, manned exploration of the outer solar system. Terraforming Mars, maybe even Venus, to at last get our eggs out of one basket.

And the spin-offs; fusion, solar and geothermal. Not government pet projects but real alternative energy sources. Hydroponics so efficient that they could feed the world. Low-cost construction techniques using Nano-bots so cheap that everyone on the planet could have a home.

And most importantly, abandoning the negative aspects of our cultural frameworks and embracing the leaning experience of the knowledge of the other cultures. Building a future not as one government, or race or religion or philosophy, but as one species, the human race

That hope seems so trite, almost childish now. When Hope turns to Desperation, a lack of real, meaningful existence outside of a paycheck and the latest Pop-fad media spectacle, to work for a better future rather than work to survivepeople get apathetic or they get pissed, and they swing at whatever target is convenient.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #54
65. More basic than that, I think.
Most people were never looking for that whiz-bang future, but they intuitively sense this plane we are on is going down, that the landing gear is rotten, and the flight crew is drunk.

I still think we can put this thing down safely on it's belly in a pretty nice place, but it's going to take some clear heads to do it.

Oh yeah, welcome to DU!



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Raydawg1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #54
67. Hey........we've got the hydroponics, but they're not exactly feeding the
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 01:35 AM by Raydawg1234
world, if you know what I mean!

But it does make you want to eat a cheeseburger, does that count?
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
57. Callously viewing others' suffering & humilation: it's LIONS & CIRCUSES
in the decline of the Roman Empire. Seeing it all the time on TV, movies & video games has dulled the public sense of compassion. And they keep getting worse as the callousness keeps increasing. Gotta have that shock value to sell the advertisers' goods!
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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
60. It is a by-product
of the Western Habit of Mind. It is not simply this time or America, though both of these particulars are exemplars in cruelty. Many, many cultures have lived and died in a manner of hospitality and reciprocity.
Best to study modalities of health and look to emulate rather than searching for a cure for the dis-eased society.
Forget the baby. Forget the bath water.

Externalizing the Cost of War

By Charles Sullivan

03/10/06 "ICH" -- -- It must seem odd to the world that while our nation is coming apart at the seams, and every last shred of decency is being severed from the cloth of conscience, all we can do is watch American Idol and Survivor. According to author Mike Green (The Whole Truth about the U.S. War on Terror), there are one hundred and ninety-two recognized nations on earth, and the U.S. has troops stationed in one hundred and thirty-five of them. In total, we have in excess of four hundred thousand troops occupying a substantial majority of the world. The nation with the second largest number of troops deployed is Great Britain with thirty-five thousand, followed by France with twenty-three thousand. Apparently, bringing democracy to the world requires an extensive presence and lots of weapons. If only that were what this is about. It is really about hegemony, domination, global empire.

Perhaps Americas insatiable demand for entertainment is in fact a form of self medication whose delivery mechanism is television, rather than the hypodermic needle. Mind-numbing, irrelevant, sensory-depriving entertainment is a method to kill the pain of a truth that laves ceaselessly upon the shores of our eroded consciencea truth so painful that we must suppress it at all cost. It is American Idol, a program whose mass appeal I have never understood, that keeps the white noise of reality at bay and allows so many to ignore the worlds pain and misery.

Reality television does many things. But one thing I am quite certain that it does not do is portray reality. Cheap and shallow entertainment only dulls the senses, like imbibing alcohol in excess to keep us comfortably numb, safely insulated from the reality that our nation is foisting upon the world. For many of the worlds people, America has reduced their reality to piles of broken rubble; lonely hours of endless terror called Shock and Awe; the filth and stench of secret gulags where torture is implemented on a scale known only to the CIA. The disquieting loss of life and its impact upon families is beyond the pale of comprehension. Genocide and ethnic cleansing are not democracy and they never will be.

The cries of anguish can barely be heard above the din of our own personal struggles in a society that values profits above people. Better turn up the volume on the television to drown out the screams of The New World Orders democracy. We wouldnt want to feel uncomfortable about what the president is doing in our name. The suffering and anguish of faceless, nameless people of other nationalities is a small price to pay for the level of comfort we enjoy. As long as we do not allow reality to come rushing at us all at once, we can manage to live with ourselves. There is safety in ignorancethe refuge of all self-loathing cowardice. Thank God, we are a Christian nation steeped in a tradition of puritanical religion, with only the blood of the native peoples on our grasping white hands. Let us pray.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12272.h...
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #60
75. Tremendous post . . .
. . . as usual, Clara.

192 nations and we have troops in 135 . . .

And i agree wholeheartedly along the lines of emulation. The Finnish people and the Hopi people, among a few others, have figured out how to live at peace--ages ago.

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #60
100. Bravo! That needs it own thread.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
61. See my thread on this topic from last month:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I really think that many Americans are pounded with cruelty from Right Wing Hate Radio/TV. They hear hatred against Arabs, Dems, Katrina survivors and anyone who isn't a white, Christian Repub so much that it legitimizes their worst impulses of racism and cruelty.

Ann Coulter talking about killing Arabs.

Rush Limbaugh talking about how Abu Ghraib torture was "blowing off steam" or frat pranks.

Bill O'Reilly talking about how blowing Iran off the face of the earth is the thing to do.

And the PERSONAL STYLE of all these people is angry, vicious and mean, too, not just the "ideas" espoused.

That's what RW radio etc. is really all about. It doesn't really TEACH people to be wingnuts who want to torture and kill others. It just legitimizes and brings out that inner wingnut that already exists, in each one of us, for those who wish to indulge it.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. You are so right. We have to stop this hate language. n/t
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #61
76. Well said.
We are all capable of great evil . . . the Limpballs and the Coulters have brought out the very worst in people.
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
63. It's like the worst aspects of a High School
Remember?
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
66. It is as amazing as it is horrifying!
The general callousness reflected on TV makes me very angry. The COPS shows are the absolute WORST! :puke:



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Raydawg1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
68. The Death of the American Dream.
We are in the aftermath. There is a backlash, cruel behavior, gambling, dwelling in hatred; all are symptoms.
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Yollam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
71. It pervades the whole culture.
I first noticed it in sitcoms like "Married With Children", "Seinfeld" and "Will & Grace". When the characters are faced with the moral dilemma of whether to help their fellow man, or to screw their fellow man for their own benefit, they ALWAYS choose the latter, and it's played for laughs. Lucy and Ethel would have never screwed each over the way characters in sitcoms do now.

The case could be made that it's just a mirror of our culture, and not the other way around. I can't speak to that, but either way, it's sad and disturbing.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
77. the popularity of garbage like Fear Factor and Idol is SICKENING
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 06:13 AM by Skittles
the idea people find it entertaining to watch people humiliate themselves is REVOLTING
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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:20 AM
Response to Original message
78. This is one of the best posts I've ever read.
Scary and sad. But I find comfort in knowing that there are still people who understand that the this present darkness is not acceptable . . . and that projecting the radical notion of love is still understood by some to be the best thing there is.

The birds are singing. A freight train just went by. The orange cat is curled up in a tiny ball. And the old gray cat needs breakfast NOW. So we press on . . .
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:24 AM
Response to Original message
79. what to do?
You know, for the past few days/weeks i've been excited about this book i've been reading and i've tried to pique interest here on DU by describing it. I've got a quote for you, which underlines what you are saying:

"We need an economy that rewards decency, caring, civic participation, and learning as automatically as the market now rewards unbridled self-interest, winner-take-all competition, and runaway specialization."
Edgar Cahn, from No More Throw Away People - The Co-Production Imperative

I really cannot say this loudly enough... ANYONE WITH ANY INTEREST IN SAVING THIS SOCIETY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. Thus far even though i have started a couple of threads and tried to bring this topic (Offering Solutions, instead of ranting about problems) up a few times on other threads, people have roundly ignored it.

Visit your local library! Befriend your librarian! Donate books!

Can't stand tweety, and o'lielly and spammity?... then shut the fucking TV off people, there's nothing good on anyway, believe me.

More revolutionary and life changing books:


Mortgage Free..Rob Roy,
Dwellers in the Land..Kirkpatrick Sale,
In the Absence of the Sacred..Jerry Mander,
Cradle to Cradle..William McDonough & Michael Braungart,
The Unsettling of America..Wendell Berry,
Timeless Way of Building..Christopher Alexander,
Walden Two..BF Skinner,
Gaviotas..Alan Weisman,
Small is Beautiful..EF Schumacher,
Going Local..Michael Schuman,
Secrets of the Soil..Tompkins and Bird.


Anyone got any to add to this list?




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CrazyOrangeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #79
80. I've got one . . .
"Monkeywrench Gang" by Ed Abbey . . . :evilgrin:

Seriously, though, thanks for the book list. I will try to read some of those. (Anything named Walden 2 deserves a look . . .)
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #80
83. Monkeywrenches...
There's another book called The Velvet Monkey Wrench by John Muir (this book is really out there)... i had a hard time getting through it, but it was fascinating.

Also, one i left out of that grouping accidently:

Man's Search for the Good Life by Scott Nearing

I loved the Monkey Wrench gang as fiction, but the solutions it posits tend to be more radically violent than i would advocate. Personally i'm looking for and finding solutions that change the paradigm without resorting to the same "tactics".

As for Walden Two, well, BF Skinner is sometimes a controversial figure. I have mixed feelings about Behavior Modification as a psychological technique... but i sure do like the idea of Utopian Communities!

peace out... and happy reading.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
81. Corporate coarsening.
Impersonal stockholder-owned corprations only care about the bottom line. Such attitudes have increasingly permeated the culture--including educational systems--over the past few decades and undoubtedly contribute to the problem.
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Starfury Donating Member (615 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
82. Robert Heinlein would probably agree with you
Excerpts from his novel Friday:
What are the marks of a sick culture?

It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn't the whole population.

A very bad sign. Particularism. It was once considered a Spanish vice but any country can fall sick with it. Dominance of males over females seems to be one of the symptoms.

Before a revolution can take place, the population must lose faith in both the police and the courts.

High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that's old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way - even though there are always endless attempts to wish it away by legislation. But I started looking for little signs and what some call silly-season symptoms.

I want to mention one of the obvious symptoms: Violence. Muggings. Sniping. Arson. Bombing. Terrorism of any sort. Riots of course - but I suspect that little incidents of violence, pecking way at people day after day, damage a culture even more than riots that flare up and then die down. Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial - but those things are obvious; all the histories list them.

I think you have missed the most alarming symptom of all. This one I shall tell you. But go back and search for it. Examine it. Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as you have named... But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Look for it. Study it. It is too late to save this culture...


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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #82
84. Wow
Thanks for that. I've never cared much for Heinlein. I actually kind of thought he was sort of a fascist himself. But there's no doubt that he's right on target with this.
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #84
108. His big issue was nuclear war.
Early in his life, he was as progressive as they come - worked with Upton Sinclair on the EPIC (End Poverty In California) campaigns in the 30s. He lost, but he remained progressive. The big issue is that the world changed around him, not that his politics changed significantly.

He saw the Russian threat in the 50s as very real, and that is what made him something like a libertarian. Whether he was right or wrong to believe that the threat was real, nuclear proliferation bothered him, and the only way he saw to really end it was to make sure that the guns were big enough that no one would ever fire them. But he didn't like McCarthyism, either.

On social policies, I agree with him - every child a wanted child, every mother supported and leave us alone in our own damn houses. He was an admirer of the economic theory of Social Credit, which basically said, if you're going to have a fiat monetary system, then make sure that everyone in the system has the necessities. Luxuries are up to the individual, but don't punish children and the helpless with hunger and cold.

His later stuff is a bit idealistic, and I have the same problems with it that I have every libertarian I've ever met - it's unrealistic and expects too much of people who don't give a damn now. But that's what fiction is for.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #82
102. silly...no one ever accused the germans of being rude
and i think the nazis were a pretty bad crew

oops, godwin's law

i just don't pay much attention to heinlein, his agenda was not ours
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Starfury Donating Member (615 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #102
107. His agenda? Huh?
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 03:43 PM by Starfury
You only read fiction by authors whose agenda you can divine? And you know his agenda by not reading his books?

Ooooooooooooooooookay.

(And you might want to research German society in the '30s. Many of the traits RH described were present. But, I know you weren't expecting a serious reply.)
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #107
125. heinlein wasn't fiction he was preaching
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 06:20 PM by pitohui
and there is a limit to how much stuff i need to read preaching the right to sleep w. your own daughters and your own mothers (time enough for love)

there are thousands of good books in the world and not enough hours in the day

no use giving more of my limited time on my earth to crap

don't have to eat the whole egg to know it's rotten and don't have to read every piece of crap heinlein produced to know the same, at that i bet i've read of his works than you have
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Starfury Donating Member (615 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #125
127. If you've actually read his books as you claim (which I doubt)
and only found support for incest, you obviously weren't paying attention, or you read them with your own agenda in mind. Heinlein wrote about a wide variety of topics (some highly charged), exploring ideas in politics, religion, hard science, economics, sociology, and (gasp!) sexuality. Whether or not he has your personal stamp of approval, Heinlein's done more for science fiction than any other writer.

But, hey, focus only on what you want to see. Don't let reality stop you... :eyes:
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #127
131. I'm with you...
My bibliography (reading list) page on my website begins with a salute to Heinlein. Maybe some of his stuff floated a little close to the edge, but he hated fascists as much as anyone, and told the story of it in a lot of his books.

I remember when Richard Ames met Lazarus Long in "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls." He hated the guy on sight. And yet Lazarus Long was a protagonist in another book. Read Heinlein's stuff with a jaundiced eye, and pay attention. Because he had more than a few things to say.

And "Stranger in a Strange Land" is one of my all-time favorite books.

And Spider Robinson, truly one of my favorite Sci Fi writers of all time, looked up to Heinlein. That says a lot too.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
85. The cruelty and greed has always been there.
We are humans, we have our character defects and greed and cruelty are big ones. The problem now is that instead of calling these characteristics shortcomings or sins, if you will, they are now the highest virtue.

It was hard to not be greedy, so instead we decided that greed was good, that God wanted us to be greedy, and the fact our financial success was God's way of rewarding our spiritual fitness :crazy:

When God conveniently hates all the same people you hate and wants you to do all the things that you want to do, it could be that you are creating God in your image instead of the reverse.

In addition, the MBA programs all teach unrestrained greed and cruelty as a virtue, and that is mostly who is running this country now, so it is not surprising that their attitudes are seeping into mainstream culture. If people ever figure out that the majority of us are on the losing end of that game, which only has a few very big winners, but many, many losers, then we might see some changes. I am not holding my breath.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #85
122. Very true. and very ironic.
Christianity openly states that greed and cruelty are terrible sins.

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Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
86. the meek shall inherit the earth
though this has always seemed a contradiction to me (how can the meek triumph over the pushy). However I suppose it means something different than what is portrayed in "Survivor". Meek could mean those that go higher than just taking care of numero uno and care about the greater good.


Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.


The Hebrew word anawim may be translated in Greek as 'poor' as well as 'meek, gentle.' In favor of the second place is the parallelism: to the poor belong the kingdom of heaven--the meek will inherit the earth. (I.e., the land in Greek ge). In the New Testament the word 'meek' is (praus) is found three more times ... (It is devoid of all sociological and economic nuances.) It expresses an ideal which Jesus is the unmistakable model ... It should be admitted that it fits perfectly into the spiritualized character of his redaction and allows him to reinforce the moral importance of the beatitude of the poor . . . The meek are people who have surrendered themselves completely to God. They have broken through the narrow circle of their own wishes and dreams and have opened their hearts to the dream of the kingdom of God to come . . . They have entered God's service. The beatitude demands a great readiness and creative commitment to a future which God wants to realize through men. The meek are all intent on service to their fellow-men...they do not fight to obtain a better situation . . . They are confident that to inherit the land they should be meek, and convince that violence is a way that does not lead to the land which God promises.

Meek does not have the meaning of lowly. Instead, it is a mental attitude in which one does not violently force an opinion. Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. were meek. They advocated justice through a correct attitude of nonviolence. The changes they induced were not from weakness. They showed courage and faith which transcend injustice.



http://www.theandros.com/beatitudes.html
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
87. I really think it started during Reagan's term in office
"Reagan made America feel good about itself again", whatever that means, but the way he did it was by invoking a jingoistic, xenophobic, racist nationalism that drummed hatred of the dreaded other into the nation's psyche. His reference to the "evil empire" and "welfare queens" are but two examples of the many that Reagan put out there.

Even his VP, Bush the Elder, got in on the action, referring to his half Hispanic grandchildren as the "little brown ones" Didn't helped that he puked in the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister either. And need we mention Willie Horton :eyes:

It was also during this time period that the RW started constructing its echo chamber. Scaiffe started publishing American Spectator, a rag that is nothing if not dripping in hate politics. Rush Limbaugh came on the scene in '87-88 and modern day hate radio was born. Hate was enshrined as a motivational tool for the GOP, and they played on Americas' deep subverted hatred like a fine violin.

The '90s saw the GOP hate machine reach top gear in going after Clinton. Lies, half truths were all employed to try and bring Clinton down. And when Clinton allowed the gross cosolidation of media outlets with the '96 Telecom Act, the RW hate echo chamber became that much smaller, and hence that much more concentrated,loud and influential. Fox in particular bloomed like a fetid flower, spreading hate and half truths to an audiece primed to buy into them.

And then came the penultimate event, a terrorist hijacking of airplanes, with the official story stating that a bunch of brown skinned Muslim men crashed them into three American landmarks. This opened the flood gates of hate and violent nationalism. In the aftermath, Bushboy has played these sentiments again, like a fine violin, exorting his supporters into an illegal, immoral war against a country that had done nothing to us. He has used the dual pitchforks of fear and xenophobic hate to prod us down the road we're on, going right down that slope towards fascism. For hatred is a vital component to any fascist regime. Hatred of the dreaded other, hatred of other faiths, colors, creeds. Yes, we had our fair share of these thirty years ago, but they were sentiments that were going out of style. Reagan made it cool to hate again, and Bushboy has benefitted from the twenty five years of groundwork that the neo-cons have done on this matter.

Thus, we as a society are infected with hate like a cancer. And sadly, like a cancer, hate can be deadly to a society. Here's hoping that we can excise this black malignant tumor before we all go over the edge into the abyss.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #87
98. The 1996 Telecom act was a major mistake......
It gave us Clear Channel on every radio station.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
88. The ends justifies the means
That seems to be the standard way of getting ahead these days.

To be successful, it doesn't matter if you cheat, harm someone else, ignore all the rules. Just as long as you succeed. And you're lauded as a "self-made" person, a "go-getter", "decisive".

Opponents are labeled as "whiners" and "sore losers". If they protest vigorously, they're "shrill".
If their protests are even moderately successful, they're deemed "fanatical". Or the ultimate smears - they're engaging in "class warfare" or even worse, "unpatriotic".

Now, greed is good, lying is just dandy and damage is ignored or spun to look like the fault of the victim.

Welcome to Amerika.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
89. Being a good NAZI takes working up to!
We're almost there in the red states!
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
95. I have completely lost touch with American culture....
I just don't recognize it anymore. Maybe that's just me-- maybe it was always this way and I didn't see it. Certainly I've learned that American actions abroad have been utterly dishonorable for a lot longer than I was aware of until the last few years, so maybe our culture itself was equally cruel and we simply weren't aware of it. But whether because I'm simply paying attention now, or because American culture has indeed changed, I no longer recognize much of my own country.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #95
116. Me, too, Mike
About every other day I feel like going to live in a civilized country. We've got all the gadgets, but we're losing the decency, intelligence, and compassion that really made us great.

My grandmother, who was already an adult during the Depression, used to say that the Depression was bearable because people helped one another out and were basically honest, even when they had nothing. She worried about what would happen if we had a Depression now, with society in general being cruder, more violent, and greedier.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
96. Don't forget Donald Trump and "The Apprentice".
Be a team player and work with your team, to defeat the other team, but after that, scratch the eyes out of your team members to stay in the game. Donald Trump is so evil that he's probably the one who's buying up Katrina victims land. TO BUILD A CASINO OF COURSE!
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #96
103. and where is the good donald these days?
before the storm, yes, he had plans to build a $200 million dollar condo (not a casino for which there are no more licenses available and for which he could not likely get approved anyway)

after the storm, he hurried to get his ugly wig on the news and said, don't worry, i'm still coming, i won't yank my investment

well, it's six months later

that $200 million investment could sure be doing a lot of good

so where the eff is he?
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #96
132. I partied in NY city on New Years eve of 1998/99
and the guy I was with got a little drunk and went across the street and puked on the Trump Tower.

Personally I found it very fitting.

I SO don't like that guy.
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specimenfred1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
104. Cruel = Compassionate, War is Peace
It's soooooooooooooo 1984 everyday, I'm just happy I'm one who can recognize it. Imagine being a fraud-o-Christian who supports torture?
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
105. I agree with MadHound, it was raygun. I clearly remember how quickly
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 12:55 PM by greyhound1966
everything changed after that election. In 1980 the bigots were outcasts, shunned by society in general if they voiced their racism/prejudices. We still had a very liberal slant in our entertainment, especially on TV. "All in the Family" showed with comedy, how horrible the Archie Bunkers in the country were and made them the subject of ridicule. The result was that they just shut the hell up and kept their opinions to themselves.

Then the country went insane and voted for raygun, seemingly overnight I started hearing words like spic, nigger, paddy, wop, etc., etc. Words that I hadn't heard spoken in public for years. Then he slashed funds to every social program in the country and started punishing states that made up the difference out of their own budgets, or had progressive social education and assistance programs, by withholding federal funds until they submitted. He eliminated 100% of the funding for the half-way houses where those that with minor mental handicaps lived and literally threw them out in the streets, the facilities for the more severely handicapped were turned into virtual prisons.

He made it possible for America to become amerika by giving them permission to proudly proclaim their prejudice without fear of being ostracized. (BTW I think this bunch of bigots were the 'silent majority' he talked about ad nauseum) His was the era of "greed is good" and the "me generation" and "conspicuous consumption". It also ushered in the age of the "angry white man" that directly resulted in the radical backslide of social progress and began the widening of the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'.

It was a very small step from "I've got mine, fuck you" to "my way or I'll kill you".

Edited to add: Here's a link to a good raygun resource, for those that are to young to, or need a reminder of his horrible legacy. http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/135/reagan.html
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
109. Only one possible answer to this...
Everybody Matters...

From the tiny child laying in its crib, burbling in happiness, or wailing with hunger, to the arthritic fellow making his way to his mailbox to look for a letter from his grandchildren--from the young woman on the bus taking her from her childhood home to a dream of greatness in the city to the old woman sitting on her porch, cat in her lap, calling cheerfully to the neighbors tending their garden. From the homeless child sleeping on the school steps to the woman walking down the university steps, diploma in her hand.

From the guy standing in the unemployment line, trying to find another job after his was eliminated or outsourced, to the CEO who gave the order. From the long haired, bearded busker playing guitar at the market, voice raised in a song of hope or despair, to the slick haired concert promoter hob-knobbing with the stars.

Everybody matters.

We are all participants in what was once considered a grand experiment, a society in which we, the people, were all considered equal before the law, that insisted that each of our voices could be heard by those we elected to represent us.

It wasn't always true, of course, but it was a work in progress. One by one, the barriers were torn down and each segment of society became yet another to join their voices in the song of freedom. We believed that by working hard we could make a better world and a better life for our children.

When we stood and opposed the robber barons, fighting for the right to workplace safety, and the right to see our children to go to school rather than being forced to work alongside us, we did it for everyone. We did it for our children, and the children of our neighbors, and the children that would be born to them as well.

When we went off to fight the tyrant who tried to consume Europe, we did it for those who were dying, and those who were not yet born, because the hope of the future deserved it.

When we stood up against the war in southeast Asia, it wasn't just for ourselves, but for the children of all Americans, and the people there who also deserved to live in peace, to try to determine their own fate. We didn't do it because we don't believe in America, and what it's supposed to represent, but because we do.

When we protested the dumping of toxic wastes into the earth, the rivers, and the sea, it wasn't just to protect ourselves, or our own children, but to protect ALL of us, and all our children. When we fought for clean air, it wasn't to ensure our own breaths, but to ensure that all of us could continue to breathe air that didn't make us sick. When we stood up against the decimation of forest land, it was so all our children could enjoy the wonders of nature as we had. As our ancestors had.

America is more than a land mass, more than a nation of people. America is an idea. The idea that everybody matters, from the lowest to the highest, that everyone has a right to a decent life, and has a right to watch their children grow up in a world better yet than the one that they themselves remember.

Isn't that what everyone wants? That their children inherit a world in which more things are possible, in which they have every chance to succeed no matter where they were born and into which walk of life?

That's the one thing we liberals have been trying to say all along. That the farmer's daughter in Ohio, or Kentucky, is just as deserving of a chance to succeed in life as the CEO's son in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles. That's why we stand and fight against those practices and policies that make it that much harder for them. Because if we didn't, who would?

We believe everybody matters.

Don't you?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #109
117. Beautiful, you soft-headed bleeding-heart liberal, you! :-)
:applause:
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #117
124. Thanks...
:)
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
115. JUST WAIT UNTIL THE USA BECOMES THE UNDERDOG...
:think: :think: :think: :think: :think: :think: :think: :think: :think: :think:

Sorry to use all caps... but people don't realize that, when they are not at risk, they don't care what happens to others. And can't fathom the same might happen to them.

The New Testament of some-2000 years ago had some positive things to say. Why not now, in 2006A.D.?
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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
123. I watched a comedian last night joking about putting to death a
person who wasn't compentant enough to know he was being put to death. He said if he wasn't smart enough to know he was going to die, he didn't need to live anyway. People were laughing hysterically. I understand exactly what you're talking about. I think the cruelty stems from the fact there are too many of us on the planet. Life is becoming less valuable. Unless, of course, you're a zygote. Then you really matter.
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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
130.  The inherent anomie that comes with the alienation and evisceration
from the natural world cannot be underestimated. The softening and humbling influence that the natural realm possesses has been squashed by techno-fixations and industrial processes that distant and diminish our humanity.

This is part and parcel of an inherently violent and enslaving economic system we call capitalism, though the name isn't so important as it has several guises, which creates tensions through its hierarchical structure. This friction in a competitive struggle for survival destroys our ancient and fundamental way of being involved in subtle forms of inter-relationships based on co-operation and reciprocity. Social Darwinism leads us to what we now have, Lord of the Flies at hyperspeed, and is the defining characteristic of all of our (always) thoroughly diseased and violent educational institutions.

The word human comes from the Latin 'soil being'.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 01:43 AM
Response to Original message
134. ttt n/t
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