Well I think it's hardly just a word at all. It's not a buzzword especially. It's a real thing that really affects people. Sure, a part of it is a state of mind in which you are afraid, but there are real things that actually do happen which cause that fear. And the level of that threat fluctuates even, but we shouldn't pretend terrorism is simply in our minds. Nor should we overestimate the threat of terrorism either.
Frankly, I don't see any bill that is worth it's weight making it out of the House. Granted, I see any bill that will fuck us up going through the House with flying colors.
So, basically, no I don't think that anything will be done with the Deficit, not with this Congress, not with the current make-up of the House, not with two and a half (Pakistan anybody?) wars going on.
I wish a hardened badass with a backbone would come out of the Green Party and put all these fuckers to shame.
/my wildest dream
Where have you been? Ralph Nader always put fuckers to shame. He told it like it was and he spoke very plainly on the truth and that's why everyone else in politics hated him and portrayed him in the media as a liberal whacko.
I think, in that sense, if you want to have legal marijuana, you have to put a lot of faith in the idea that people won't be idiots with it. People are idiots with alcohol too, so I guess they're one in the same in that aspect that they are easily abused by people who don't fucking know better.
This is a bit of an idealistic approach to policy. The best way to examine whether it should be legal is from a cost/benefit analysis of whether the positive effects will outweigh the detriments. As things stand, making alcohol illegal would cost the government way more than its highly regulated legal form now. But there are also lobbyists who work hard to keep pot illegal because there are things to be gained politically by it remaining that way and that is sad to me.
When I was in Czech Republic a few months ago, people could sell pot on the streets and you could smoke it in the park. It was considered rude to do so, but for the most part, I think people were quite mature about it. They're weren't all getting high and going crazy all over the city or anything like that. Americans are more hypocritical about drugs though, more neurotic.
The marijuana thing needs to happen anyways, not because it's cool for everyone to smoke pot, but because it already comes down to state law. For example California. Sure it's still federally illegal, but states have the right to pass their own law and the DEA doesn't want to get involved in that on a larger scale. So they let marijuana in California go basically unhindered.
As policy devolution goes, states are doing exactly what the federal government expects them to do, which is to test the waters with new laws. States are more ideal places for policy experimentation and depending on how well legalization efforts go, it could be a matter of time before it is made legal on the federal level. But that I believe is still many years away. Possibly it won't happen till I have grandchildren. Possibly longer. But it does depend on the states more than people may think.
It's like with gay marriage. Really the federal government is clueless what to do about that. And people are more concerned about issues with the economy than social issues such as gay rights. So states are taking their own initiative to legalize gay marriage. Again though, it happens ever so gradually.
I've no personal interest to see pot legalized either. I hate deadbeat pot heads. But as public policy goes, I think it's just a matter of practicality. I think we can legalize it so the benefits outweigh the costs and still prevent a slippery slope effect of harder drugs being suddenly legalized too. It really is all about public perception. Alcohol is just as dangerous if not more than marijuana but our perception and attitudes toward alcohol are just completely different.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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...
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?
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?"
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
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.
That's because the US has (almost) always needed more manpower, it was big country with few people in it (except for the natives, but we all know that story). Europe's been filled to the brim for a long, long time, now, so yes, I think accepting so many immigrants from some countries/regions has a lot to do with guilt.
But now Europe is actually facing a labor shortage crisis. The birthrate in Europe is very low in a lot of countries and they're becoming more depending on migrant workers yet STILL they are having a harder time integrating them into the population than the U.S. is.
This is also due to how heavily regulated the labor industry is in many European countries where in the U.S. it's not very difficult to get a job when it comes to filling out a job application.
I've just never heard this guilt theory until you mentioned it and it continues to make no sense to me. I'm not saying there aren't individuals who feel guilty about things. But I don't see the sense of guilt on such a scale as to produce lenient immigration laws.
I was not attacking the United States in any way. European countries obviously done it as well, but that's also why a lot of countries have especially lenient immigration laws towards certain countries, like the UK towards India and Pakistan, or Portugal towards former African colonies (and, to a lesser extent, Brazil). In the case of the U.S., I would argue that it meddled a lot in Central/South American national politics during the 20th century, for example.
This sounds like you're saying that most lenient laws toward immigrants are the result of guilt. I'm just not so sure that's the case.
And the U.S. actually has pretty strong laws against illegal immigrants. They're just difficult laws to enforce. Because immigration is a huge problem for a lot of countries. It's a bit of a logistics problem for law enforcement to crack down on illegal immigrants or their employers because they're just so many. Sometimes they'll do raids but only as publicity stunts to try and send a political message that they're cracking down on illegal immigrants. That's what happens here when a mayor or governor wants to look good, he can make his district attorney go crack down on some immigrants. But whenever that's done, it barely solves anything. Not because the laws aren't actually there, but because you could do raids on immigrants all day and you'll still barely capture a fraction of the ones in your country. Many of that small fraction anyway are going to find a way to return to your country if they want work there anyway.
So it's like really expensive to enforce those laws, when really some countermeasure legislation would be better in reducing the impact of illegal immigrants. It's a problem you can never make go away. So the real issue comes down to how you manage it.
But I'm not so convinced by your claim that immigration laws are more lenient toward the immigrant depending on which country they're from as a result of the colonial era. I mean, when like Britain and France carved up the Middle East and drew arbitrary lines over their former mandates and called them countries, that created a ton of problems in the Middle East that still exist today. Yet Britain and France has done a far poorer job of integrating their immigrant population than the U.S. has. And I don't think this failure has anything to do with the degree of guilt we feel toward Central America. Maybe I missed your point. I don't know.
You also need to remember that, whether you like to hear it or not, American foreign policy throughout the 20th century (esp. the second half) has screwed over a number of countries and peoples.
Well that's a pretty broad statement although I won't necessarily disagree with it. Just about every government has done things that's screwed somebody over. It's inevitable. I'm not excusing it. But I'm reluctant anyway to get into that argument. Cause a lot of countries love our foreign aid that we give them too. And people that are quick to criticize our foreign policy never seem to acknowledge how we've fulfilled our obligations to help as well. But anyway, that's not what I was talking about just now.
I was referring to very specific economic and foreign trade policies that do little to reduce the incentive of illegal immigrants coming here to work. If you want to get into that other American foreign policy stuff then I guess we could as well. I'm not necessarily defending U.S. foreign policy at all. But nor am I just dismissing it over having screwed over a bunch of countries. I think it's a more complex issue than that.