General Government Discussion Thread

  • #81
    Native Americans don't have much relevance in America today, unfortunately. I have a lot of contact with natives, mostly because I live on the Muckleshoot reservation, but natives didn't exactly flourish throughout America either before the Europeans first came over. White population booms quickly made Native Americans a minority in the US. We kind of came in and took everything over, gave them European diseases like smallpox, and essentially lowered their populations as a result of that plus the Indian wars, then there was the Trail of Tears. In history, we weren't kind to the natives at all, but now I think we are a lot more friendly to them than we have been in the past.

    I do feel some sort of guilt, but it's not because of my ancestry (my ancestry is completely European), but more of the fact that a vast majority of natives have had to deal with poverty and Americanization since the late 19th century. It's something they'll probably never recover from and it's a tragic form that they were undoubtedly forced into. I feel that Americans don't give enough credit to the natives because if the natives hadn't shown us tobacco, then the US may had never become such a volatile asset to England and the seeding of the American Revolution may have never taken hold.

    My point being is that Americans today should feel obliged to learn about America's impact upon the natives solely due to the fact that we have taken (yes, we took land from the natives.) their land and almost decimated their culture. The US needs to become much more understanding of foreign cultures because, without that knowledge, we come off as ignorant pricks. And we do. All the time.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #82
    Quote from Azriel

    but natives didn't exactly flourish throughout America either before the Europeans first came over.
    Well in their opinion they did. And really, they did.

    Quote from Azriel
    White population booms quickly made Native Americans a minority in the US. We kind of came in and took everything over, gave them European diseases like smallpox, and essentially lowered their populations as a result of that plus the Indian wars, then there was the Trail of Tears. In history, we weren't kind to the natives at all, but now I think we are a lot more friendly to them than we have been in the past.
    Well I realize it's a sensitive issue, but the way I see it sometimes, is if it wasn't one white group of explorers from some part of the world it really would have just been another. The Native Americans led mostly quiet and esoteric lifestyles while other major parts of the world were rapidly advancing their technologies and exploring the world. It was simply inevitable that someone across the oceans would find this huge land mass and do whatever the hell they wanted with it. I'm not saying that's okay. But whoever did it first and spread out the most would later have the most posterity to have to look back and say, "Look what we did to the indians..." And lots of people who live in Europe, well those are their ancestors too. Not everyone who explored the New World and made life a living hell for the Native Americans stayed in America. Some went back to Europe and now many of Europeans' ancestors are arguably just as responsible for what happened as many of America's ancestors today. And the 15th Century European mindset didn't really help the Native Americans either. Countries weren't exploring America to spread world peace. They were doing it to get flipping rich and open new economic opportunities for themselves.

    I'm just saying, if it wasn't one group of explorers then it would have been another. America is too large to just be bypassed by the rest of the world and the attitude toward new cultures and civilizations back then wasn't exactly going to be helpful to the natives. Sure, arguably our attitude today is not much better. And if you wanna drive that toward a U.S. foreign policy debate then I'd grant someone that assuming they didn't totally equivocate what happened to the Native Americans to what is happening today as a result in foreign policy because it's not as parallel as critics of the U.S. would like to think. So it kind of pisses me off when people are all like, "But look what you did to the Indians!!" And basically my response to that is, "What's your point?" Cause you can't just throw that out there without admitting that most other countries have treated native life and primitive cultures with about as much contempt as anyone else. And when it started in the North American continent the U.S. wasn't even a country yet. Sure, it continued long after we were a country, but so too did it continue in other parts of the world. Heck, the British Empire occupied India well into the 20th Century and cause the people of India plenty of grief there. Soviet Union's policy towards countries like Afghanistan wasn't all that helpful toward the Afghans either.

    Like, if someone wants to rail at the U.S. for what happened to the Native Americans, then state clearly what your point is, cause otherwise my response is just gonna be "So, what country hasn't been a dick like the U.S. has?"

    Quote from Azriel
    I do feel some sort of guilt, but it's not because of my ancestry (my ancestry is completely European), but more of the fact that a vast majority of natives have had to deal with poverty and Americanization since the late 19th century. It's something they'll probably never recover from and it's a tragic form that they were undoubtedly forced into. I feel that Americans don't give enough credit to the natives because if the natives hadn't shown us tobacco, then the US may had never become such a volatile asset to England and the seeding of the American Revolution may have never taken hold.
    Well, sure. The U.S. government owes lots of things to the Native Americans, most of which will never be repaid. It's unfortunate, true. But what other government can honestly say that if they had established a country there in that continent that they could have dealt with the native population any better? We can never know. Look at how the Australian government has dealt with their Aborigine problem. Was their solution to the natives any better than ours? And if not, can any other government honestly claim to have been able to do a better job? No. Not unless someone goes over, conquers Australia and changes things for the Aborigines

    Quote from Azriel
    My point being is that Americans today should feel obliged to learn about America's impact upon the natives solely due to the fact that we have taken (yes, we took land from the natives.) their land and almost decimated their culture. The US needs to become much more understanding of foreign cultures because, without that knowledge, we come off as ignorant pricks. And we do. All the time.
    We should feel obliged to learn about America's impact on the natives also because we should just be students of history in general. Like everyone, in all of the world should be mindful of the past and try to learn the best we can from history's mistakes.

    And won't doubt for a second that many Americans are very ignorant. There are lots of reasons for this, few of which are hardly excuses for it. Many Americans are content to be where they are at. And they do just well enough in life that they feel they don't need to learn much about the rest of the world or their own history. This is a complacence that commonly comes with comfort in life. Also in the U.S. people need to travel much farther from where they're at to really experience different cultures. But say if you lived in a place like Europe, I could be in Prague one moment and then an hour later be in Germany which is a totally different culture. Or be in Turkey one moment and an hour's flight later land in Greece which is also very different than Turkey. So in other parts of the world people have that advantage of close proximity to other cultures and they really benefit from that in my opinion despite sometimes their own variety of hyper-nationalism and xenophobia. But still, the average person in say, Europe is far more likely to speak more than one language and know far more about different cultures than their own than the average American. If I live in Utah and fly over to Colorado, things will be slightly different but for the most part it's just gonna be more homogenized American cities with average American people and I won't learn that much else about culture.
  • #83
    ^^Mate, seriously....you are completely and utterly wrong. All you have to do is look south of your borders. Look at Central and South America. Look at the percentage of those populations that are fully native or part native. Any European nation would've done it? Sure. That's why North American natives are almost gone, while in places like, say, Brazil (a former colony of my own country), you can walk in any city and see a ton of people with native heritage. You can't just write walls of text about something of which you know nothing.
  • #84
    Quote from maka

    Any European nation would've done it? Sure. That's why North American natives are almost gone, while in places like, say, Brazil (a former colony of my own country), you can walk in any city and see a ton of people with native heritage.
    The point I was trying to make was what happened to the Native Americans in America was hardly the first or last time that natives have been treated poorly by an occupying or colonizing country. So it kind of bugs me when people make statements like this...

    Quote from maka

    That's what I'm saying, you DON'T feel that guilt (in my opinion). Whether that's a good or a bad sign, I'll leave up to you (and others). But, for example, I don't think you feel any guilt towards Native americans. And they're barely around, anymore...


    Like, how guilty is enough anyway? How do you measure our guilt?
  • #85
    ok my turn...for one everything in life is about balance. You have to balance things out or nothing will work...You got to have a little Ying with your Yang kinda thing.

    I'm a American, one about the taxes/government I think that there should be a set percentage of taxes the more you make the more you put in sorry...I make 12k a year and live good... I cant see someone make a couple millions a year bitching up a storm...They can afford 200k in taxes if I can afford 200 bucks...catch my drift? Their 500 bucks could be like my 5 everyone is different...

    Government needs only for fairness and homeland security anything else is up to the people...personally I think the party system in Amercia is dumb people here in the U.S think there are only Democrats and Republicans...and they basicly brainwashed everyone into thinking that.

    The whole health care thing yes it would raise taxes plus why alot of people dont like the idea is because they said it would take competition out of the private secture and thus have a regualted price on everyhting kinda like gas...Personally I think competition in America is dead its been dead for about 10 years now....

    Why do I say this? go into any store ANY store ANY where and I bet you that the price of what you want is around the same....Just like gas prices here you go to one store its 3.50 another is 3.49 and another is 3.51....REALLY?

    Your telling me that if you had a gas station that sold gas at 3.00 a gallon and I sold gas at 1.50 a gallon....I WOULD MAKE SO MUCH MORE MONEY THAN YOU because you are getting NOTHING because everyone is coming to my gas station...Yes something might be a little cheaper than here or there....but if I'm paying 4 bucks for a gallon of milk at Wal-mart...And this place is selling it for 2 dollars a gallon don't you think Wal-mart wouldn't sell one gallon of milk?

    It's dumb we all are dumb now I see why people think we are sooo stupid...What it is, is they don't give 2 shits about you me or any one else you know why? They have enough money that they don't care if you never come back EVER they don't. My pizza shop that is owned by a nobody...we don't care if you say your never coming back cause we have such a fan base it dose not matter LOL... So if a little pizza shop on the corner thinks that what do you think Wal-mart thinks? My point....errrroooo Wal-mart takes compitors coupons...well guess what so dose everyone else now.

    Its not about how much they can save you anymore its about how much they can make without pissing you off.and everything trickles up as much as it dose down...Yes I know with out the super rich and all that none of us would have jobs but think about it this way too....if none of us had money to come in your shop to buy anything how would you make money in the first place ahhahah I spun your head a little bit didn't I? first thing in america you have to SPEND money in order to MAKE money....meaning cutting prices giving more jobs more raises the reason why america is in the spot that we are in now all has to do with greed the bigger guy not wanting to give any piece of the pie at all and that is hurting them...why you say that? cause in order to run a bussiness you have to get money the only way to get money is for people to have money
  • #86
    Quote from EvilBeanz

    personally I think the party system in Amercia is dumb people here in the U.S think there are only Democrats and Republicans...and they basicly brainwashed everyone into thinking that.


    There's been a two-party system in America since its inception, they've just gone under different names. When the constitution was being written, there was a huge debate about whether government should have much oversight into the lives of people and that debate still goes on today; it's not as much "brainwashing" as it is "generational conditioning", in my opinion.

    I would love to see a third party come up and change things, like the Green Party, but I don't ever see that happening.

    Personally, I root for the Green Party, but I usually end up going for Democrats because, let's face it, the Green Party gets hardly enough press coverage and, like most grassroots parties, have a fringe following. I guess I'm left of center as far as political followings and ideals go. It's familiar territory for me. I won't go into detail as to why that is (I'm considering making another politics thread, but I don't know if that'll fly without some big flame war or argument coming up).

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #87


    flame on :P
  • #88
    Oh shoot. when did NATO decide to bomb Libya???

    i crawl out from under my rock, turn on NPR and my mind is blown!
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #89
    a while ago, actually. couple o' weeks, give or take.
  • #90
    Yeah what happened in Egypt already feels like a blip.
  • #91
    anyone think its a bad idea for the US to be a part of this right now? the main argument against it is the lack of funds and the possibility of another drawn out campaign.

    im not exactly in tune with politics, so i have no idea whats wrong with Libya atm lol...got some reading to do...
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #92
    I certainly feel like we shouldn't be involved in Libya. It's a revolution, an internal matter. But that's not really stopped anyone before from getting involved in another country's politics.

    But it's annoying sometimes when the rebels sit there and ask, "Where's the international community? Why aren't they helping us?" But they think they can pick and choose whatever kinds of help they want. They always think the rest of the world is either doing too much or hardly anything at all.

    The rest of the world didn't get involved with Egypt's revolution though because no one in Egypt wanted their help. Or at least, I tend to see support and direct help as two different things. The U.S. already has a good relationship with Egypt so we didn't want to risk seriously damaging that since many Muslims in Egypt already disapprove of the U.S. and Egypt's assistance to the U.S. regarding Israel. We were good friends with Mubarak, but we knew we couldn't keep him from getting ousted so it was best to try and let it all happen and we'd make friends with the reformed government as things went along. I'm oversimplifying it a bit, but it's basically where things stood in January when it was all going down.

    But besides our economic interests, I can't imagine why we've become involved in Libya's revolution. I'm no hardcore liberal, but we really are there to stake a claim into Libya's oil wealth.

    But yeah if you're wondering what sparked the revolution in Libya, the people of Libya have had grievances with their government for a long time, but the recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt certainly inspired them to get things started.
  • #93
    There's an intervention in Libya because government troops are killing civilians indiscriminately. Period.
  • #94
    That may be the official line, but there were plenty of times even in recent past where soldiers were killing innocent civilians and the rest of the world did absolutely nothing about it. So what's different this time?
  • #95
    The difference is that this is inserted in a context. All hell is breaking loose in North Africa. If they (NATO, UN, whatever you wanna insert here) allow soldiers to start killing civilians indiscriminately, it could trigger a chain reaction that'll be hard to stop. I have no doubt that if this was happening in Algeria, we'd see an intervention as well (and they don't really have oil).

    But this is just speculation, as none of us really knows anything.
  • #96
    I'm not sure what type of chain reaction you are referring to. Soldiers have already been killing innocent civilians. So by chain reaction do you mean they will just start doing it even more than they already are?

    Quote from maka

    I have no doubt that if this was happening in Algeria, we'd see an intervention as well (and they don't really have oil).
    Well, in Egypt, protesters were in fact being killed and there was no intervention. We've seen lots of chaos in Africa in places such as Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone...all places where innocent civilians were being killed and there was no intervention. And just because the UN army had a presence during some of those conflicts, that doesn't mean they were actually intervening. Their presence there did nothing to stop anyone from getting killed.

    But I guess we're not really discussing the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping. I know NATO is doing a lot in Libya right now but I still don't understand why the U.S. got involved in it.

    Quote from maka
    But this is just speculation, as none of us really knows anything.
    Well, we know SOME things. But yeah we don't know much.
  • #97
    i heard some of Obama's speech on Libya and he mentioned that we have treaties or some kind of mutual agreement to help our allies (France and England i think in this case), so that was one of his big selling points during the speech. I always thought recently Libya was becoming more and more westernised...living under a rock, u tend to miss things.
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
  • #98
    You're actually right, apples. I have a relative high up in the European Commission, and he always joked when we talked about Khadafi, saying "Nah, he's a good guy, now, we get along". Guess he wasn't good enough :P
  • #99
    He did voluntarily give up his nuclear program.
  • #100
    it seems all dictators are extremely eccentric.
    Remember the String of Ears

    "to the worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
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