Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

American Mourning.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
Blue State Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:45 PM
Original message
American Mourning.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 07:09 PM by ingin
Watching America Fall:
My Boiling Blood, My Falling Tears, My Dwindling Fears.

There was a time when I feared things like war, terrorism, and natural disasters. I hoped that our government would be able to set aside their differences once they were confronted with indisputable truth or eminent threats. But that feeling is slowly going away, along with my hopes. More and more these days, I find myself angry, and complacent. And I dont think Im alone.

Three years ago, if the news networks told America that British agents had broken up a plot to blow up multiple airplanes crossing the Atlantic, and were tracking more than 20 more possible plots, air travel would have come to a screeching halt, and their would probably be a rush on duct tape and canned foods. But today, we just get pissed, and barely skip a beat. Is this what we have been reduced to? What ever happened to the values instilled in America since 9/11? You know, those family values like preserving life, protecting the homeland, and the Moral Majority?

When I was a kid, I had faith in things. Simple things like the gift of the American Constitution, that I can feel proud of my country, and that if I was scared of something, I would be safe at home. My teachers and civil leaders told me these things, and I felt free to prove it to myself. I was told that I had a say, that I had a vote, that my opinion mattered, and that my government was my protector. For 28 years of my life, I believed these things, and they made me feel proud, and safe, and free. It took 6 years to lose my faith, but I never expected to loose my fears.

The old fears I held were enough for anybody. They were healthy fears, held by many people. They werent overbearing, they just sat on the periphery of my mind. They were not eminent fears; they rarely came to the surface. My faith in America, and the leaders we were given the right to choose, kept those fears in perspective; at bay, but no longer. Today, my up is down, my black is white, and I dont know what to fear, for my faith is almost gone.

Its like a sensory overload. Were designed to feel fear; fear of death, fear of ridicule, fear of loss. Its a necessity for humanity. It keeps us from hurting ourselves, helps us to judge the risks we choose to take or not to take, and it guides our moral compass. Couple that with the Chicken Little campaign tactics of the Bushites, and the numerous social failings of their 6 years in power, and it wouldnt take much to sent our democracy over the cliff.

People wonder why, after decades of decline, violent crimes committed with guns are on the rise. In my home town of Philadelphia, there were 377 murders last year (2005). As of June 2006, we had 185 homicides, compared to 176 the year before according to the PA Uniform Crime Reporting System. And Philly is not alone.

Rates are on the rise in California, Texas, Flordia, and Alabama. Some say that its weak gun laws; others say its the other way around. Some blame poverty; others blame movies and video games. While most of these opinions have merit, I have another theory: the loss of faith that leads to a lack of fear, stirred up with a dash of emulation.

When one is forced to fear something all of the time, they are forced to change how they live day to day in order to deal with it. Some will over-react to protect themselves, buy a gun, or spend huge amounts of time and money to prevent the possibility of loss. Others just shed their fear. So, in fall-swoop, such a state of fear will cause a population to either arm and fortify themselves, or just loose the fear entirely.


Please read on at:
American Mourning
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. What is a value, family, social, or otherwise, and where do values
come from?

We are told we can't leave Iraq, because the deaths and suffering would somehow become worthless. Is there ANYTHING we can do that somehow changes things, one way or the other, for the Dead? How does a human life have "worth"?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Blue State Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Life is worth respect at the very least.
Iraq is just the first strech of a hard road ahead for the Democratic party, and the people of America. I know of few people calling for a full, unilatteral withdraw from Iraq. But we would be fools not to take a step back and catch our breath. If we redeploy to the desert, and our bases in the Gulf, we may still be in a containable situation. We may even be able to dial back diplomaticly. But if we "stay the course, we WILL run aground, and that's what our enemies are laying in wait for. Iran, Syria, possiably China, you know that that's what their waiting for. It's the only logical strategic move for them.

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government".

My favorite line from the Declaration of Independence.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I understand and agree to some extent with this hypothesis re Iraq.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 08:21 PM by patrice
But IMO, what you're sketching there doesn't have that much to do with creating, or with anything resulting in, respect for a life, any life. It is about practical geo-political exigencies.

If you're saying that you require government to respect, or value, life by being successful in whatever aims it has that require commitments from people's, I can agree with that, but am not sure how that happens on the institutional level unless it is first true on the individual level, without government. Government can't create respect with what it does, no matter how good, nor successful, that is. If an institution could do everything perfectly to foster respect, it won't happen unless individual people live it in every second, every act, every decision they make about themselves and others.

I can respect honest free commitment whether I agree with it, or whether it is "successful", however that is conventionally defined, or not, so at the most, I would hope that Government do nothing to make it more difficult for me to respect others.

Sorry about the rant here. I just resent like hell having GWB presume to define how the ultimate individual act, death, has or obtains what we call "worth".

I'm experimenting this thought: If our soldiers can't make their actions stand on their own merits/de-merits, without the **need** for approval or success, WAR is THE WRONG place for them to be. If they engage in some act for which they require approval, that's something they should not do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Blue State Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I see your points.
The time for such thoughts are past, but with a little luck and hard work, it could still be in our future. We're already stuck on the tracks, and the train is baring down. All we can hope to do,is minimize the loses. Geo-political thinking is the only thing we have at the moment. That's why we need to pull back from Iraq, at least for a while. We need to rethink our next moves, and protect our flanks. If we just stay the course, that will just guarantee massive loss of life. I believe that such a move would show respect to human life in so far as showing the world that we are committed to reduce the carnage that an all out world war would cause.

This piece was as much a form of self therapy as it was a thought I felt the need to share. GWB just gets under my skin.

It is not the government's job to set morality, but it is their duty to reflect at a minimum, the moral standards of their people, at least in a democracy. To deny the nature of war, is ludicrous. But, under the laws set by our founding fathers, and those who came to lead later, conflicts, be it in the Clausewitzian sense, or in the diplomatic arena, must be conducted in the interest of the survival of the population, and not for personal reasons, not for personal profit, and definitely not in a haphazard manor that threatens the moral standing of our nation. Our good standing in the world can provide as much, if not more protection from our enemies than advanced weapons alone.

What did you think about the loss of fear and lack of moral leadership leading to criminal acts?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
5. "the loss of fear and lack of moral leadership leading to
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 12:05 AM by patrice
criminal acts" is something that also happens under the principle that each person must create the value (for good or bad) of his/her own life, without (or with as little) support (as possible). The need for support creates fear (of the possibility of loosing support). If you don't need the support, you don't fear losing it, hence you also lose the need to conform. With no need to conform, "moral leadership" is no longer - necessarily - relevant (nor ir-relevant!) and crime becomes an option. We're supposed to choose and the consequences of our OWN choices must be on our own souls (this is, BTW, what the Catholic Church ***USED*** to teach. They told us it is what makes us human and not "animals").

I think "the loss of fear and lack of moral leadership leading to criminal acts" also happens under a more authoritarian ethical model too, but for opposite reasons that have to do with extremity of need (rather than a loss of, or losing, need) extremity of need that does, in this situation, make moral leadership necessarily ir-relevant, i.e. because of factors such as confusion and economics, the need is sooooo high, and because of a history of dependence, individual resources to respond to that need are soooo low, that moral leadership simply doesn't matter, any form of conformity, any leader will do as long as needs are met, in fact moral leaders are less desirable, because their morality may get in the way of satisfying the group needs. With heightened conformity, heightened leadership, and heightened "need" satisfaction, "we" (whoever the collective is) think we fear nothing, because "we" "fear" nothing, we'll do just about anything, especially to demonstrate group membership. People "feel proud, safe, and free" unless and until they start growing.

I'm not sure what growth is. Maybe it's grace, or luck; I don't know. I know it isn't necessarily intelligence, though intelligence does have smething to do with it. Anyway some people have more of a capacity for growth than others, not that they necessarily will grow, just that it is more possible that they will. If they start by making the little choices that make growth possible, they may notice the difference between real loss of fear and conformity. I don't think real moral decisions are made out of fear. I think a genuine loss of fear is necessary for growth. Whether choices are constructive or destructive has to do with unique configurations of factors I can't describe, but I believe the big factors are if you're free enough of need and free of ignorance, your choices, on the average, are creative and constructive. And if more people are like this, leadership is un-necessary most of the time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. is that really true? what about bojinka?
to be honest i don't remember how i reacted when i was told the gov't had broken up a plot to blow up 12 airliners over the pacific in the 90s, i prob. didn't believe it or even hear about it

i know how i reacted when told that the gov't had broken up the millennial plot, i laughed and did not believe a word of it

bill clinton was a victim of his own success, al qaeda did its thing -- the usa cole and the kenya/tanzania embassies but as far as the fat and happy on-a-roll america of the 90s i don't think we even batted a eye to bother to believe it was even happening

i don't know why * gets the media on his side to hype these things, the received wisdom used to be that terrorists bank on publicity so whenever possible don't give them publicity

unfortunately since * is a bit of a terrorist himself he doesn't mind extending the hand of media hoopla to his fellow terrorists, my humble opinion anyway
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Blue State Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. America lacked the experience
of 9/11 at the time of the Bojinka or Millenium plots. We still had the "protected by the seas" mentality at the time. A better guage of such a reaction could be the Anthrax attacks. At the time, most of America was still traumatized by 9/11 and we hid under our beds, so to speak.

The differing descriptions here are; lack of fear due to a lack of understanding pre 9/11, and lack of fear due to over stimulation post 9/11.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Oct 18th 2017, 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC