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#496    Q24

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 08:23 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 03 October 2012 - 03:22 AM, said:

And our government secret society knows how we behave and our apathy, and plays it to a tee.  But we could change it if we wanted, everyone making the decisions is very beholden to being reelected, or being recalled in the extreme case.  And this simplified discussion assumes that there's something that the people can mostly agree on; it gets even stickier and more complicated when there are a good amount of people that think going to Iraq for example was a good idea.   But I don't think it changes where the power is, I blame the people not the government, we've been given all the tools to make change, significant changes to the structure of the government itself, and only a fraction of us use them, are really knowledgable enough to have educated input to provide, or really care enough to.  We could punish those who are not talking to us straight and keeping secrets unnecessarily, who are giving us a sales pitch, but many of us don't even bother to fact check; instead it's, 'here's the power and the nuisance, take it.'

I understand where you are coming from here and how you draw the conclusion that the people are to blame for their government’s actions.  As the master propagandist/dictator said, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think”.  I do half agree with your conclusion, but perhaps the other half of blame rests with the establishment (political, business and media) which sets out to shape public opinion and make it difficult for people to objectively think.

Then, even when people do think, there is often little that can be done.  There is evidence of this in the Iraq war example you referred.  Taken from an interview in 2008: -

Interviewer:  “Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting [the Iraq war].”
VP Cheney:  “So?”
Interviewer:  “So?  You don’t care what the American people think?”
VP Cheney:  “No, I think you cannot be.. blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.”



In addition, before and after the onset of the Iraq war, millions around the world (people whose governments would launch the war) took to the streets in numerous protests.  One month prior to the invasion, this led the NYT to comment: “there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.”

So how much blame can be placed on the people compared to the government/establishment?  How much should the public reasonably be expected to fact check their leaders and media commentators?  Doesn’t that require distrust to begin with?

Here is a question: Could the people really have prevented the Iraq war in face of the political propaganda and drive from Washington, and if so, how?

I’m not saying you are wrong LG, I rather hope you are right; I’m looking for ideas.

Edited by Q24, 03 October 2012 - 08:24 AM.

Operation Northwoods was a 1962 plan by the US Department of Defense to cause acts of violence, blamed on Cuba, in order to generate U.S. public support for military action against the Cuban government. The plan called for various false flag actions, such as staged terrorist attacks and plane hijackings, on U.S. and Cuban soil.

#497    bee

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:01 AM

.


such are the flaws of a representative democracy....


In this video Wesley Clark reports that Rumsfeld says (0:50)....

"nobody's going to tell us where and when we can bomb...nobody."





this presumably includes the people who voted them into power...


Once  individuals get into high office and control the police, military and popular media...there seems to be  little

'people' can do to influence them..?

Without devoting huge ammounts of time and energy....and even then they have an uphill struggle to make a dent in the status quo..?

People are generally kept busy earning a wage to pay for rent, mortgages, bills, food etc....too busy to devote that much time to basic change

in the power structures and processes.

(IMO)


don't mean to be gloomy about it...... :)



.

Edited by bee, 03 October 2012 - 11:09 AM.

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#498    Babe Ruth

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:06 PM

I think the notion of representative democracy is very much an illusion, at least in the US.

I agree with the thrust of Q's post, and his quotation of Dick Cheney is spot on.  There are many many other examples, but the bottom line is that most elected officials do not give a hoot about what the people think, whether the issue be war and empire or fiscal and economic policy.


#499    skyeagle409

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 03 October 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

I think the notion of representative democracy is very much an illusion, at least in the US.

I wouldn't say that because the American people placed those representatives into office and in many cases, the American people voted for additional terms as well.

Edited by skyeagle409, 03 October 2012 - 01:21 PM.

KEEP YOUR MACH UP AND CHECK SIX

#500    flyingswan

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:12 PM

View PostQ24, on 02 October 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

Well, I have mentioned your lack of English comprehension a few times previously.
My, don't you just love a quibble, particularly if you can combine it with an insult.  I suppose it's your way of compensating for your lack of anything resembling evidence for your ideas.

50% probability may be the dividing line between "likely" and "unlikely" in that link you gave, but you can find others if you look, for instance the IPCC use 33%.  "Unlikely" in general English doesn't have a fixed probability attached to it, here's someone suggesting 10 or 20%:
http://forumserver.t...nlikely-375564/
I think you would be in the minority in using it for some thing like red coming up in roulette.

In my vocabulary, there's a gap in the probability range between "likely" and "unlikely" where other words are more appropriate.  I'd likely use "occasional" for a 10% chance and "frequent" for a 20% one.

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It really doesn’t matter – on the line of probability, applying a simulated 9/11-like building, airliner impact and fire, NIST showed chance of the tower survival to be some distance greater than 50%.
...but within the error range of their input parameters.

Quote

It’s the most blatant disregard of the scientific method one could ever witness.
Says the man who thinks evidence for is proof and evidence against shows someone is trying to cover something up.

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Ah, so you would like to disagree with my use of your description?  I’m so glad you mentioned it, otherwise I might never have known.  The fact is, you cannot handle when your own words support my argument – and I could make a short book of such occurrences: -

NIST's conclusion would be "It's more likely to stand up than collapse, but we can't rule out collapse."
~flyingswan

Q24:  “You admitted that NIST “tweaked their models”.”
flyingswan:   “All engineers do, it's the way to get good answers from them.”

“The intelligence services failure to prevent the attacks deserves an investigation.”
~flyingswan

I guess none of this means what it actually says though.
None of them mean what you would like them to mean.

The first was in response to you asking what NIST's conclusions would have been if they'd done their work for the building design rather than as an investigation of an actual event, and you once again omit the rest of what I said.  Taking just a few words from a quote to make it look as if it supports your ideas seems a favourite trick of yours.

The second was in the context of your simultaneously complaining that NIST's models didn't match observed conditions and that they tweaked their models to match observed conditions.  Whatever they'd done, you'd find something to complain about.  Another example of your dubious logic.

As to the third, it seems plain to me that much of the general shiftiness of the US government before the 911 Commission, which you interpret as evidence of guilt, was in fact due to their covering up the intelligence failures.  It's certainly an aspect I'd like to see investigated, but has nothing to do with the current discussion.

Quote

They are physics simulations and it makes little difference whether the columns buckle or break, you should know that.
They are computer games with some but not all of the physics included.  Note in particular how the second model has all the core structure at the collapse level removed and still needs an explosion to initiate collapse.  Obviously the structural elements are much stronger than those in a real building, so hardly surprising that the collapse halts.  You'd laugh this sort of thing out of court if I brought it up as evidence of anything.

Edited by flyingswan, 03 October 2012 - 04:44 PM.

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true" - Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
In which case it is fortunate that:
"Science is the best defense against believing what we want to" - Ian Stewart (1945- )

#501    Q24

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:41 PM

View Postflyingswan, on 03 October 2012 - 04:12 PM, said:

...but within the error range of their input parameters.

... and the extent of the error range is demonstratably outside reality of the actual damage which occurred on 9/11.  So it proves nothing, except that a damage situation more severe than that present on 9/11, with additional human input tweaks (not computer predicted) deliberately added to induce collapse, could initiate a collapse.  The simulation within the damage reality, and which most closely matched that reality, did not initiate a collapse in the model.

Anyhow, W Tell has requested a reset of the thread back to its original intention - please desist dragging us off topic.

Operation Northwoods was a 1962 plan by the US Department of Defense to cause acts of violence, blamed on Cuba, in order to generate U.S. public support for military action against the Cuban government. The plan called for various false flag actions, such as staged terrorist attacks and plane hijackings, on U.S. and Cuban soil.

#502    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:13 AM

View PostQ24, on 03 October 2012 - 08:23 AM, said:

I understand where you are coming from here and how you draw the conclusion that the people are to blame for their government’s actions.  As the master propagandist/dictator said, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think”.  I do half agree with your conclusion, but perhaps the other half of blame rests with the establishment (political, business and media) which sets out to shape public opinion and make it difficult for people to objectively think.

I agree that the establishment gets blame also, and I guess I wouldn't blanket assert that 'the people are to blame for their government's actions' in all cases, it depends on the country and the government, my comments were specific to the US.  It's a tough line to draw though; the establishment is just composed of 'the people' also, the people elect the political and consume what business and media offer, again that gives us most of the power.  Looking at the upper tiers of this establishment as essentially being a more loosely connected secret society, with its ultimate motivations being obscured by vague and empty platitudes and plain dishonesty, and of course secrecy, there is no motivation for them to change because we let them do it.  Punish the segments that mislead us, that would send a powerful message, and I don't mean necessarily criminal I mean financial.  Yes, business and media entwine themselves with the government and receive benefits in return, but those benefits typically are not enough to make up for a majority of their customers abandoning them.  If we really were interested when our leaders lie to us and thereby consumed more of the media reporting that and did it consistently, the media would be happy to serve up those stories; the media and business aren't driven by ideological beliefs, they're driven by money.  And, in theory unrealistic or not, the press should be doing just that, they are perfectly positioned to investigate the shenanigans.  But lots of people find those stories incredibly boring, partly because it's unfortunately nothing new and partly because they don't know enough about the structure of our government to be interested.  We have a lot of politicians who end up resigning because of more salacious offenses such as extramarital affairs, that is actually somewhat irrelevant to their job, I think that ultimately does derive from the will of the people, and the media sure goes gangbusters relentlessly for that crap.  Because it sells.

Quote

Then, even when people do think, there is often little that can be done.  There is evidence of this in the Iraq war example you referred.  Taken from an interview in 2008: -

Interviewer:  “Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting [the Iraq war].”
VP Cheney:  “So?”
Interviewer:  “So?  You don’t care what the American people think?”
VP Cheney:  “No, I think you cannot be.. blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.”


If 2/3rds of Americans made some phone calls to their representatives, called the media to see what they could find out, and made this a daily story demanding responses from the executive branch why they are fighting this war against the will of so many Americans, there's no question we could have ended it; Congress pretty much gets to decide what constitutes a 'high crime or misdemeanor'.  Nixon had to resign because of a piddly robbery.

Quote

In addition, before and after the onset of the Iraq war, millions around the world (people whose governments would launch the war) took to the streets in numerous protests.  One month prior to the invasion, this led the NYT to comment: “there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.”

So how much blame can be placed on the people compared to the government/establishment?  How much should the public reasonably be expected to fact check their leaders and media commentators?  Doesn’t that require distrust to begin with?

I think there is plenty of distrust already actually, with recognition that there will always be people who swallow whatever the govt says and believes they can do no wrong.  We make it a joke how much politicians lie, and at any given time, due to the bowel obstruction that is our two-party 'system', you have a sizable part of the population believing the opposite party that is in power is not to be trusted.  Ultimately we shouldn't have to fact check them, but what have we done to demand otherwise?  It does mean a lot to me personally whether people are being truthful, and I get doubly irritated by having to even keep an eye on them at all, but I don't think a lot of people prioritize that as high as I do.

Quote

Here is a question: Could the people really have prevented the Iraq war in face of the political propaganda and drive from Washington, and if so, how?

Good question, can't say I know for sure obviously.  I do believe we have the power to put direct pressure on our representatives, ultimately we can threaten to recall them, we can make them start talking about impeachment, I think that would get everyone's attention.  We can demand they be held accountable and tried for manipulating intelligence.  But that sidesteps a crucial reality: the people are usually not in agreement and it's not just the people vs the establishment, it's as much conservative vs liberal and Republican vs Democrat. Those battles leave less time to spend watching what the govt is doing and more opportunity for secrecy that is not in our best interest.  I know the later polls show a lot of disapproval for the Iraq War, but I wonder how many people supported it in 2003 pre-invasion.  That's the stickler, what do you do not just about the establishment secret society, but about our fellow 'the people'.

Quote

I’m not saying you are wrong LG, I rather hope you are right; I’m looking for ideas.

To be honest, I think it is a somewhat far-fetched hope, but it's there.  A lot more education sure would help, especially about the government and the philosophy behind the separation of powers, but that'll take generations.  Can always hope that something emerges from a younger generation, this one seems pretty ripe since a lot of them are having such trouble finding work, but there's just as much to distract them as anybody.  It'd be nice to insist more fervently for more separation between our politicians and money, but yea, right.  The one possibility is a new leader who can channel the agreed-on frustrations that 'the people' regardless of party agree on concerning the government; I do believe despite the intensity of some partisans, a lot of Americans would go for something new in a heart beat.  I always hope that there is actually a large core of 'independents' or 'non-partisans' who are sensible (i.e. agree with brilliant me :w00t: ) who are getting drowned out by the fanatics; people who are ready to defang the current parties.

But I unfortunately have a suspicion that short of something very bad happening not much is likely to change, and the secrecy and power-mongering will continue.  And 9/11 was already pretty damned bad.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

#503    flyingswan

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:34 AM

View PostQ24, on 03 October 2012 - 04:41 PM, said:

... and the extent of the error range is demonstratably outside reality of the actual damage which occurred on 9/11.  So it proves nothing, except that a damage situation more severe than that present on 9/11, with additional human input tweaks (not computer predicted) deliberately added to induce collapse, could initiate a collapse.  The simulation within the damage reality, and which most closely matched that reality, did not initiate a collapse in the model.

Anyhow, W Tell has requested a reset of the thread back to its original intention - please desist dragging us off topic.
Err, this thread was off-topic before I even posted to it.  I only chipped in because you were posting your usual demonstration of how you don't understand engineering.

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true" - Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
In which case it is fortunate that:
"Science is the best defense against believing what we want to" - Ian Stewart (1945- )

#504    Q24

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:59 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 04 October 2012 - 01:13 AM, said:

A lot more education sure would help, especially about the government and the philosophy behind the separation of powers, but that'll take generations.  Can always hope that something emerges from a younger generation, this one seems pretty ripe since a lot of them are having such trouble finding work, but there's just as much to distract them as anybody.

I agree completely that greater education of the people would have helped in avoiding the needless wars we have witnessed, not only of the last decade, but the past hundred years, perhaps even in all of history.  I have been asked before what I hope to achieve with all of the 9/11 information I put out here, and the answer has always been that my aim is to raise awareness of what elements of the establishment are capable of so that citizens may take better decisions or course of action in future.  It does seem in my experience that the people most informed of subjects such as 9/11 and the Iraq war tend to be the anti-war demonstrators.

It’s a slow process in face of opposition from the establishment which controls current politics along with the mainstream media and education system.  Are even “generations” enough?  The polls show a greater awareness now that the Iraq WMD ‘intelligence’ was false and the war was unjustified - brilliant.  At the same time, polls show a majority of the U.S. public take stock of the Iran nuclear ‘intelligence’ currently doing the rounds and would again support a war.  Talk about one step forward, two steps back.

I would say there is evidence of an overall rise in public awareness on U.S. foreign policy, witnessed in cases such as the increased popularity of Ron Paul, but as seen due to the failed campaign, this is far from enough.  To see someone like Romney put ahead of Paul really makes me question public awareness.   The people who actually voted for Bush, McCain or Romney... I don’t understand them... I can only assume they are the ones most lacking knowledge or who will not be on the front line come the next needless war.

Do the people not realise that Romney is our best chance of a needless war with Iran, or do they just not care?  He’s even said that he would not seek authorisation from Congress to launch such a war, thus, once elected, cutting the voting public and their representatives out of the decision.  Well... not that it matters anyway judging by those poll results I mentioned.

Here comes the 9/11 tie-in...

As well as the Zionist and Neocon/PNAC foreign policy advisors that closely accompany Romney – Cohen, Chertoff, Kagan, Zakheim, etc (remnants of the Bush administration) – the lead on Romney’s counter-terrorism policy is a certain Cofer Black.  There is a lot to say but I’ll keep it short.  This is the individual who headed the CIA bin Laden unit prior to and at the time of 9/11.  It is under Black’s watch that the known Al Qaeda terrorists who would become the 9/11 hijackers were provided protection within the United States.  Black later went on to head the infamous Blackwater mercenary force in Iraq – he must have made a packet from the war.  A vote for Romney is a vote for Black.  And these are the type of people that Romney voters would put back into power?

What are people thinking?  Or is it they just do not have the knowledge, or have been beaten by the establishment too much, to think?

So that’s my message – don’t let these people, or those sharing their ideologies, or those involved in past misadventures, anywhere near power – they are a danger to U.S. and world peace.  I know I’m quite forceful with it sometimes, but this is the area in which I believe awareness needs raising and I do think it’s that important.  Specifically in which areas and how do you believe awareness needs raising LG, and how might it make a difference?

Anyhow, it seems we all loosely agree one way or another, whether due to nature of the government or lack of education of the people in allowing it, that the establishment has a greater control at this moment and ultimately follows its own agendas, more than the citizens and views it is meant to represent.  I’m wondering where W Tell would like to take the discussion from there.

Operation Northwoods was a 1962 plan by the US Department of Defense to cause acts of violence, blamed on Cuba, in order to generate U.S. public support for military action against the Cuban government. The plan called for various false flag actions, such as staged terrorist attacks and plane hijackings, on U.S. and Cuban soil.

#505    Babe Ruth

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:04 PM

An outstanding post Q!  1 step forward and 2 steps backward is a good description of the situation.  As for the american electoral process, I have now reached the point on the cyncism index that I see american 'democracy' as thoroughly an illusion.  I would love to be proved wrong.

LG

Regarding your idea that if the american people all called their elected representatives demanding we end our illegitimate wars we would quickly be out, I would like to offer some anecdotal evidence regarding the actual effect of contacting one's elected representatives.

For many years, perhaps decades, I was a frequent caller to the office of the US congressman in my district, through 3 or 4 different men.  I called so frequently that I was on a first name basis with the lead secretary in the office.  Her name is Diane.

When TARP was first proposed, I called in to object to the bill.  I asked Diane how the calls were going, and she said probably 100 to 1 against the bill.  You may recall that on first attempt the bill did fail.  So I felt some measure success and joy, but it was short lived.  Obviously, the process was begun again, and despite the 100:1 ratio, it passed.

So please pardon my cynicism, but the reality is that US leaders have their own agenda, and whatever it may be, it does NOT coincide with any agenda in favor of popular wishes.


#506    skyeagle409

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:09 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 04 October 2012 - 01:04 PM, said:

So please pardon my cynicism, but the reality is that US leaders have their own agenda, and whatever it may be, it does NOT coincide with any agenda in favor of popular wishes.

If the American people are dissatisfied with their representatives, their are power to have their representatives removed from office.

KEEP YOUR MACH UP AND CHECK SIX

#507    W Tell

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:22 PM

View Postflyingswan, on 04 October 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

Err, this thread was off-topic before I even posted to it.  I only chipped in because you were posting your usual demonstration of how you don't understand engineering.
Actually this thread should meander and I like the fact that it's taking it's time as it goes from topic to topic. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything. I'm no stranger to this debate, though I haven't participated in one in over 5 years. I've been drawn to this site "because" of the high brow discussion that takes place.

In the end I don't want to stifle debate. ( a little less in fighting would be nice. But in the end, I may not be able to refrain either. :blush: )


#508    W Tell

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:40 PM

View Postbee, on 03 October 2012 - 11:01 AM, said:

.


such are the flaws of a representative democracy....
It's supposed to be a Rebublic with a democratic process for elections.


View Postbee, on 03 October 2012 - 11:01 AM, said:

Once  individuals get into high office and control the police, military and popular media...there seems to be  little

'people' can do to influence them..?

Without devoting huge ammounts of time and energy....and even then they have an uphill struggle to make a dent in the status quo..?

People are generally kept busy earning a wage to pay for rent, mortgages, bills, food etc....too busy to devote that much time to basic change

in the power structures and processes.
  GWB once praised a women for holding down three jobs just to make ends meet. Said it was the American way. Slave to the grind if you ask me and exactly what an uber-government wants.


#509    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:55 PM

View PostQ24, on 04 October 2012 - 11:59 AM, said:

At the same time, polls show a majority of the U.S. public take stock of the Iran nuclear ‘intelligence’ currently doing the rounds and would again support a war.  Talk about one step forward, two steps back.

I hear you on Iran; Israel seems to be doing a lot of sabre-rattling, and I think our, perhaps inevitable, involvement would be a disaster.

Quote

The people who actually voted for Bush, McCain or Romney... I don’t understand them... I can only assume they are the ones most lacking knowledge or who will not be on the front line come the next needless war.

Do the people not realise that Romney is our best chance of a needless war with Iran, or do they just not care?  He’s even said that he would not seek authorisation from Congress to launch such a war, thus, once elected, cutting the voting public and their representatives out of the decision.  Well... not that it matters anyway judging by those poll results I mentioned.

What I'd really like is for Congress to tighten up these rules, they are the ones who are supposed to have the power to declare wars, they seem unclear on the whole 'checks and balances' thing, so that this is not possible.  But that would mean then they would have to take some responsibility, so what's their incentive?  And as you note, the biggest issue is the number of people who support this type of war lunacy, they have the same voting power and say in what the country does as I do.  We may prioritize this issue very highly, but other people don't; they'll vote for Romney because they believe in his economic plan or his abortion stance or whatever.

Quote

As well as the Zionist and Neocon/PNAC foreign policy advisors that closely accompany Romney – Cohen, Chertoff, Kagan, Zakheim, etc (remnants of the Bush administration) – the lead on Romney’s counter-terrorism policy is a certain Cofer Black.  There is a lot to say but I’ll keep it short.  This is the individual who headed the CIA bin Laden unit prior to and at the time of 9/11.  It is under Black’s watch that the known Al Qaeda terrorists who would become the 9/11 hijackers were provided protection within the United States.  Black later went on to head the infamous Blackwater mercenary force in Iraq – he must have made a packet from the war.  A vote for Romney is a vote for Black.  And these are the type of people that Romney voters would put back into power?

What are people thinking?  Or is it they just do not have the knowledge, or have been beaten by the establishment too much, to think?

I think its part lack of knowledge and a part laziness.  Lots of people don't want to think about this stuff, even though it is the responsible thing to do and actually necessary for our form of govt to function correctly.  I'm sure part of it is also a feeling of futility concerning the government, there are so many things to change about it and it's been corrupted for so long where do you even start.

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So that’s my message – don’t let these people, or those sharing their ideologies, or those involved in past misadventures, anywhere near power – they are a danger to U.S. and world peace.  I know I’m quite forceful with it sometimes, but this is the area in which I believe awareness needs raising and I do think it’s that important.  Specifically in which areas and how do you believe awareness needs raising LG, and how might it make a difference?

I don't mind the forcefulness as long as it doesn't affect the interpretation of the evidence of things like for a 9/11 conspiracy; the pros and cons have to be given their due weight.  I understand your strong opinions on the danger of letting these people to continue to influence something as crucial as our military ventures and that it provides a very vivid background for you against which the possibility of 9/11 demolitions and such play out.  But the Son of Sam didn't shoot every person he saw; the fact that there are bad people in the govt provides only the tiniest of evidentiary points to their proposed involvement in any specific crime.

To your question on this topic, I think a lot more war coverage is in order; most of us are so insulated to what's going on, especially after a decade, that it hardly registers, it's background with all the other national issues.  Don't just show the servicemen we've tragically lost, show the accidental casualties, the families and god the poor kids, make sure no American is not reminded regularly of exactly what they themselves share responsibility for.  That's why maybe I have an instinctive reflexive objection anytime I hear talk about the big bad govt or establishment and how they are blame for our ills; I don't want people to think that in any way they are any less at fault, since they are the only way the situation can be changed.  If we're being lied to about specific points in a build up to Iran, bring more awareness to it and hold someone responsible, continually remind people that this is exactly how we got into Iraq that most people now don't agree with.  That's where I'd like to raise awareness in the short term, hell just keep reminding people of the cost of these wars, but it'll only happen if people want to know about it and I'm not really sure they do.  It's a vicious circle since even a non-establishment media is at some point only going to be able to report what people want to consume.  How would you answer your question by the way?  Would you focus on getting awareness out that people like Black are involved in areas where they are a danger?

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

#510    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 12:11 AM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 04 October 2012 - 01:04 PM, said:

Regarding your idea that if the american people all called their elected representatives demanding we end our illegitimate wars we would quickly be out, I would like to offer some anecdotal evidence regarding the actual effect of contacting one's elected representatives.

For many years, perhaps decades, I was a frequent caller to the office of the US congressman in my district, through 3 or 4 different men.  I called so frequently that I was on a first name basis with the lead secretary in the office.  Her name is Diane.

When TARP was first proposed, I called in to object to the bill.  I asked Diane how the calls were going, and she said probably 100 to 1 against the bill.  You may recall that on first attempt the bill did fail.  So I felt some measure success and joy, but it was short lived.  Obviously, the process was begun again, and despite the 100:1 ratio, it passed.

So please pardon my cynicism, but the reality is that US leaders have their own agenda, and whatever it may be, it does NOT coincide with any agenda in favor of popular wishes.

And more power to you BR and kudos, you've done more than I ever have; I've been a lazy butt American who would rather donate money occasionally to political causes I support (it's easier).  And it touches on a more complex point also in that our representatives are supposed to be using some of their own judgment, they're not just supposed to be pure number-crunchers of the positions of the voters they specifically represent and robotically vote.  They to some extent need to make deals with each other to get bills passed, and vote certain ways that may not conform to the wishes of their constituency.  And that's understandable for certain legislation. But what percentage of his constituent's even contacted his office at all about this?  Even 20%?  The result may have been different had that been higher, especially if it was more comprised of voters from his own political party.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman




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