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The Trick Behind the Trick?
September 23, 2002 5:31 PM   Subscribe

The Trick Behind the Trick? A great piece about the subtle and ongoing dismantling of democracy in America by the Bush Administration. What's so sad about this ongoing disaster is that there are no Republicans willing to stand up for liberty, when the last great speech by a President on our present danger was given by Eisenhower.
posted by minnesotaj (49 comments total)

 
Huh. Anytime someone references the supposed "military-industrial complex," their argument or beef automatically loses 20 credibility points. Can anyone, anywhere honestly explain what this supposedly evil "complex" is, and why exactly it is supposed to be so horrific?
posted by davidmsc at 5:46 PM on September 23, 2002


dunno, david.
posted by goethean at 6:03 PM on September 23, 2002


Anytime someone references the supposed "military-industrial complex," their argument or beef automatically loses 20 credibility points.

Does that include President (and General) Dwight D. Eisenhower?

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. "

There's your definition. Or, more succinctly: Halliburton.
posted by riviera at 6:03 PM on September 23, 2002


And will all the people talking about the "subtle and ongoing dismantling of democracy" please get out of my SUV (give me back my cell phone first, you mooch), take (I'd say borrow ... but we know how that goes) my gun and just go SHOOT THE FUCKERS that are pissing them off?

See where non-violence gets you? SEE? Your pantywaist attitude has caused this "subtle and ongoing" dismantling for, oh, what? nearly seventy five years now?

Yeah, it's the "subtle and ongoing" part that loses 20 credibility points with me ... just in case I was being, y'know, too subtle.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:08 PM on September 23, 2002


Can anyone, anywhere honestly explain what this supposedly evil "complex" is, and why exactly it is supposed to be so horrific?

Actually, I thought Eisenhower did a darned good job when he coined the phrase is the speech linked above... but then, he, even more than these guys, was just a highly-respected general... what did he know?
posted by minnesotaj at 6:08 PM on September 23, 2002


How are we expected to respond to a post like this? Either you say "Yeah, total Orwellian nightmare, man! Bush is the fukkin' devil, Libertarians unite against the forces of oppression" or you say "more lefty hogwash, this is trolling, crying 'wolf', Where are the thought police?, etc."

Flamewar ensues.

What's the story here? Should we just consider any new links to "commondreams.org" or other political opinion sites a double post? Sorry for the offtopic, but I'm not ever sure what the topic is when it comes to these sorts of short, vague, rhetoric-choked puff pieces, be they by David Horowitz or Thom Hartmann, whoever he is.

And the phrase "military-industrial complex" just reeks of a community college socialist club buzzword, circa 1971. Either that or the name of an electronic noise band.
posted by evanizer at 6:13 PM on September 23, 2002


Can anyone, anywhere honestly explain what this supposedly evil "complex" is

Here's a current example (discussed here.)
posted by homunculus at 6:16 PM on September 23, 2002


The dismantling has been done in our minds, as each and every day the remote control is thumbed and the television hisses to life. The dismantling is, kinda what WolfDaddy alluded to, the very fact that his points; SUVs, guns, pantywaist attitudes etc, have supplanted the very real assault on democracy but done by those who he shys away from accusing and instead defends. Inexplicably and yet so angrily, he blames those who are calling bullshit because they're on the left, knee-jerk like. Who are you making excuses for? What are you getting out of it? To say it's not happening (as it is "subtle and ongoing") is the same thing as saying job well done, I, for one welcome my military-industrio overlords and all that. But you lefties, "What the fuck are you going to do about it?"
posted by crasspastor at 6:38 PM on September 23, 2002


I'd tend to agreed with articles like the one in this thread, save for the complete lack of credibly of the source, the vagueness of their arguments and stupid comparisons they make (when the author asserts that still one of the most open and liberal democracies in the world will soon become Nazi Germany). (Please do take this as an insult to other democracies) I mean, what about those other western democratic countries that outlaw types of political parties, segments of speech and require their citizens to carry ID cards (or in Nazi terms “papers”). How is the US close to totalitarianism, when the US is as open or even more open that other similar liberal democracies?

Are we forgetting the US has fought in 10 major wars and internal controls did not allow the US to become Nazi Germany?

Or, are we forgetting that the public opinion can turn on the dime?
posted by Bag Man at 6:45 PM on September 23, 2002


davidmsc and evanizer are correct. And evanizer hits it on the noggin. this is so loaded (the article)

the author of said article used Van Buren as someone whom warned of the "undue influence" in Ikes' words.

Van buren failed to do anything to relieve the panic of 1837. which through this country into its' worse depression to that date.

He had footman and a coach and was reviled for his aristocratic nature. (O.K. in frikin deed)

He did not support the canadian separatists whom sought weapons to fight england. He appeared weak to the citizens and to the rest of europe (the people where clamouring to attack england because she seized one of our ships.) (hence Harrisons election.)

oh, we are to just hear the message Van Buren gave, the one about "overgrown influence of corporate authority."

Ike (whom i adore) authorized any means to to dispose Nasser sort of assassination.

I feel Ike was warning us about the 'influence' going unchecked.

the Armor plate scandal should enlighten one on the need for arms manufactures to have the government off it's back.
(regulation is fine)

What is important, especially when History is concerned is to think for yourself and rely on good sources. cross-reference.
metafilter is becoming glutted with these hacken-eyed articles.

DISSENT IS GOOD. I welcome dissent and questioning. it's what makes us free.
but this is getting out of hand. Using Van Buren as a voice for the reason against the greed mongers (and there were many) is funny. please, use a better sourse. Hell, use Lenin or Marx or even Nasser.

byzantine straight to medieval i tell ya.
posted by clavdivs at 6:48 PM on September 23, 2002


Either you say "Yeah, total Orwellian nightmare, man! Bush is the fukkin' devil, Libertarians unite against the forces of oppression" or you say "more lefty hogwash, this is trolling, crying 'wolf', Where are the thought police?, etc."

Hey, evanizer, did it ever occur to you that there might be more than two ways to respond to a given political issue?

This is a big part of the problem - this binary us-vs.-them with-us-or-against-us framework for political debate. It's been used since at least the dawn of the Cold War to forgive ostensibly democratic governments for reneging on their social contracts. And the fact that even in a free and open forum like this one so many of us resort to it merely indicates how much we've internalized it.

I'd much rather hear what you think of the argument that precipitated this thread - even if I think it's dead wrong after considering it - than to have you dismiss the very idea of debate on a serious issue.

Also, on preview: clavdivs, to explain in detail why you disagree with the post, then to throw up a rallying cry for dissent - that's fantastic. You're conclusion - "this is getting out of hand" - is the dead exact opposite of the thing your post proved.
posted by gompa at 7:01 PM on September 23, 2002


And of course that should be your conclusion.

*hangs head in shame*
posted by gompa at 7:02 PM on September 23, 2002


crasspastor, obviously I was too subtle for you, and I'll thank you not to put words in my fingers.

Let me spell it out for you:

F.r.o.m.pause.w.h.e.r.e.pause.I.pause.s.i.t.pause.t.h.e.
pause.l.e.f.t.pause.a.n.d.pause.t.h.e.pause.r.i.g.h.t.pause.
a.r.e.pause.i.n.d.i.s.t.i.n.g.u.i.s.h.a.b.l.e.pausepause.f.r.o.m.
pause.e.a.c.h.pause.o.t.h.e.r.stop.

We're all complicit, and complacent, in this mess, despite your protestations otherwise. Go USA!
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:14 PM on September 23, 2002


I'm rattled gompa. Most adults can be conservative and liberal. I am both. this has nothing to do with dissent.

'Dissent-adj. differ in opinion or express such difference from or from a proposal or view.'

i got this definition from an Oxford pocket dictionary with a stamp on the inside "educational services Training Division Bureau of Naval Personnel navy department."

HA.

i oppose the article as a source for dissent. I could post some Lenin or de Man or Nizan?
posted by clavdivs at 7:17 PM on September 23, 2002


but look at the time, until tomorrow then gompa?
posted by clavdivs at 7:18 PM on September 23, 2002


While I generally agree that what we've come to see as liberty is in jeopardy, this article does nothing to convince me of it. Three red flags indicating weak writing are enough to discredit this piece:

1. Quoting a dictionary. A dictionary is not an authoritative source; it is merely a reference work and cannot, by its apparent comprehensiveness and prescription, impart credibility or authority.

2. Quoting the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is a list of grievances, a document outlining priniciples which are intended to explain the revolutionary acts to follow. It is not a legal statute; it establishes no law or judicial precedent. It also does not establish rights, obligations or procedures.

3. Dueling metaphors: is it a magician's diversion or the wizards cover-up?
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:19 PM on September 23, 2002


WolfDaddy, keep your pause to yourself.

I kill me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:19 PM on September 23, 2002


I.pause.a.m.pause.n.o.t.pause.f.u.c.k..pause.t.h.i.s.pause.s.h.i.t.stop.

You've got fortitude, I can't do it.

But, I agree. You're right, the left and the right are indistinguishable from each other. Does this invoke Nader's Law? Go, go, go humanity. Yay!
posted by crasspastor at 7:22 PM on September 23, 2002


the last great speech by a President on our present danger was given by Eisenhower.
Dude, Eisenhower rocks!
posted by holloway at 7:28 PM on September 23, 2002


That pause shit is giving me a headache!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:33 PM on September 23, 2002


F.r.o.m.pause.w.h.e.r.e.pause.I.pause.s.i.t.pause.

Actually, clavdivs, you're right after all. This *is* getting out of hand.

Well, lookit the time. Until tomorrow then . . .
posted by gompa at 7:38 PM on September 23, 2002


Jeez, I can't believe the rhetoric in this thread. Is it not possible for people who have different beliefs to talk it out?

This acrimony is especially ironic considering that we're discussing an Dwight Eisenhower speech. If you remember.

BTW, I thought it interesting that the last word in Eisenhower's speech was "love."

That word has not been in the Presidential lexicon for quite some time, has it. Now, the word "God" has, of course, been required for twenty years. But love, apparently, is out.

How 'bout a little love here?

Go ahead and flame me, if you'd like, for asking for a little thoughtfulness and restraint
in the interest of democratic discourse. But I think y'all need to lighten up.
posted by kozad at 7:42 PM on September 23, 2002


How 'bout a little love here?

Y'know, I've never known love to serve the interest of democratic discourse. You can't believe the rhetoric in this thread? Did you read the rhetoric in the actual article, kozad?

crasspastor: Go humanity? Okay, well, howzabout a viable space exploration program? That's the only "go" that humanity will ever survive. Other than that, I'm out of ideas on how to help. (the fortitude is there because I care. That, and a macro.)

crash: Push pause again to play.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:02 PM on September 23, 2002


How are we expected to respond to a post like this? How about with thoughtful comments that avoid ad hominem attacks and other logical fallacies and are perhaps backed up with further links? Anyway, it certainly seems as if Eisenhower's speech was right on the money, even if his term "military-industrial complex" has become trite. If there were more Republicans like Ike out there, I would (even as an unapologetic liberal) be a lot more willing to listen to and even vote for Republicans. Instead we get a steady stream of pandering to the religious right, pushing for deregulation even in industries that have been unable to police themselves before, and cutting taxes to the point that governmental agencies are unable to do their jobs.

On preview, what you said, kozad.
posted by TedW at 8:02 PM on September 23, 2002


american democracy is threatened by corporate power. W. Bush, who didn't win the election, *ducks* is not, however, the root cause. The current 'resident select' is a symptom of a larger problem. The ugly other side of this is that Gore would have exemplified the same basic problem. Defending democracy should be the one thing liberals and conservatives should agree upon, but both parties have been corrupted by corporate power long ago. The larger problem is apathy of the majority and disenfranchisement of the minority. American democracy is threatened on two fronts: By the corporations using government to create greater profits and by American citizens who generally don't give a damn.
posted by elwoodwiles at 8:17 PM on September 23, 2002


Is W. using Iraq as a issue to avoid debate over Harkin, Halibuton, Enron, environmental policy, civil liberties etc?
I'm going to have to say yes, he is.
posted by elwoodwiles at 8:19 PM on September 23, 2002


Mo Nickels, I have to disagree with 2/3 of what you said;

1. Quoting a dictionary... Actually, a good dictionary is an authoritative source, especially on matters of semantics. Top of the line unabridged dictionaries (OED) go even further, providing insight into the etymology and evolution of a word or phrase.

2. Quoting the Declaration of Independence... While the declaration is not a legal document, it is important in historical terms because it outlines the goals the founding fathers had in mind when establishing this country. The author then goes on to cite the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court, both of which are legally significant.

3. Dueling metaphors: Well, just because he is a bad righter don't mean he doesn't have a point.
posted by TedW at 8:21 PM on September 23, 2002


elwoodwiles-you left out "where's Osama" on your list of debates to avoid.
posted by TedW at 8:29 PM on September 23, 2002


Well we're on the same page then WolfDaddy. I believe spacefaring and space colonization to be humanity's only hope as well.

Zero-G love wins out!
posted by crasspastor at 8:47 PM on September 23, 2002


Okay, well, howzabout a viable space exploration program? That's the only "go" that humanity will ever survive.

If we can't figure how to live together peaceably on this planet now what the hell makes you think hurling ourselves into space is going to make things any better? Three tittied space mammas on Venus?

Y'know, I've never known love to serve the interest of democratic discourse.

I have to agree with Leonard Cohen here and say,

"Love's the only engine of survival."

Love is about the only thing I can think of that doesn't exclusively serve itself. So my guess is there's a pretty good chance that love could do some good in democratic discourse, that is of course if understanding the other side comes to be more important than shouting over it.

I believe that the argument of the article is that unchecked corporate power is a threat to the democracy of the United States of America which no one has yet to comment on, so allow me. Yes it is bad. Yes it is happening.

My only question to Thom is, "How the hell do you expect to wrench anyones eyes away from the boob tube long enough for them to notice it?"
posted by velacroix at 9:13 PM on September 23, 2002


The new world was settled by corporations. What's diffrent now than how its always been? Populists would have us believe things used to be better. Classic trickster techniques. Pay no attention to the Wizard behind the curtain nothing to see here.
posted by stbalbach at 9:18 PM on September 23, 2002


did it ever occur to you that there might be more than two ways to respond to a given political issue? This is a big part of the problem - this binary us-vs.-them with-us-or-against-us framework for political debate. It's been used since at least the dawn of the Cold War to forgive ostensibly democratic governments for reneging on their social contracts. And the fact that even in a free and open forum like this one so many of us resort to it merely indicates how much we've internalized it.

I thought it was worth quoting gompa at length there, and reiterate his/her point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:23 PM on September 23, 2002


Interesting that Eisenhower was so twitchy about the military-industrial complex, yet he's often credited with the largest pro-corporate infrastructure subsidy program ever concieved, the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. Granted, I understand he was a little pissed off that a California-to-DC jeep convoy trip took two months, but jeez, talk about handing over the keys to our land use policies to the very industry cartel that demonstrated through its grab-and-slab of the nation's streetcar networks that it was far more interested in putting every American's fat ass in a Chevy than any sort of long-term future for livable communities in this country.

Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yeah, right and left, indistinguishable. From the point of view of our "representatives", yeah, I'd say the only real difference among any of them is where the capital of the new corporate republic should be - be it Hollywood or Houston.

I'd love to do something about it. Trouble is, I don't see what I can. Voting doesn't seem to do a hell of a lot of good. We got to choose last time between George W. Energy and Albert Entertainment. I haven't ever had the chance to vote for a senator who was running on anything other than the status quo ticket (Correction: I once voted for Jack Cashin when he ran for Senate in Georgia. He later ran for governor and was, during the debates, the only candidate on stage capable of parsing a simple question. Alas, he was a Libertarian, which made his chances of being elected in Georgia pretty much nil). My congressional district will always be a cakewalk post, virtually appointed by Pittsburgh's Democratic Party leadership.

Jimmy Stewart movies aside, getting elected wouldn't help, because 1) you pretty much have to sell out to get elected these days anyway and 2) if you don't sell out, you'll either be corrupted or replaced with someone who will by your second term. You can't foment rebellion, because to do so would be a violation of the Constitution (last I checked, no matter how much you think the government's head is up its ass, you can't work for its downfall, because that would be treason). Nowadays, if you try to publically say anything other than Yay Homeland Security, Yay President Bush, I Support The War On Some Terror And Pray For The Fall Of The Axis Of Various Evils, you're either ignored, branded a pantywaist leftist by the dittohead set, or reviled as anti-American by some shlub with a faded "These Colors Don't Run" bumper sticker on his pickup truck.

Hmm. Well, I understand that corporations have some pull. Though I am a business owner, my business employs two, and owing to the economy and the fact we just started up I'll be thrilled if we turn a profit this year, so I'm not in the nice position to be able to tell the legislator I have on retainer what I'd like him to do. Which leaves writing my congressman or senator. My congressman's resigning, and sitting in an aforementioned appointed chair. To his credit, Senator Santorum always has a staff member write me back, but since I've often taken unpopular views ("USA PATRIOT may have some beneficial or even necessary provisions, but it is unconstitutional in execution, please don't sign it") I generally get a "thanks for your input, here's why I decided to ignore it" in return.

All right. So. I'm here to help, but endless debate about just how fucked we are as a society doesn't accomplish anything. What does?
posted by Vetinari at 9:27 PM on September 23, 2002


“The two greatest inventions of the human mind are writing and money – the common language of intelligence and the common language of self-interest.” -- Mirabeau
posted by semmi at 9:31 PM on September 23, 2002


velacroix: You obviously think a world consensus is needed for America to lead such an effort. I don't. I believe you've confused leadership with politics.

I also believe you've confused love and empathy. One is definitely needed in trying to solve the problems the world faces right now. The other is not, and can often cause more problems than it solves. Love of the dollar, love of religion, love of power, love of comfort ... no more, please. Thank you.

vetinari: you can always resort to tax protest. Perhaps we all should.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:43 PM on September 23, 2002


velacroix: You obviously think a world consensus is needed for America to lead such an effort. I don't. I believe you've confused leadership with politics.

I don't understand what you are talking about. War on Iraq? Space colonization? Be specific.

I'll concede to your definition of love on this topic, although it is basically identical to like or lust. I suppose empathy would be more fitting. So do you think empathy has a place in politics? I do. It is of course the most blasphemous of motives for any political argument. I mean how un-American. Your supposed to get something out of it!

I think the true problem here is that this country is full of people who have spent a lifetime with their asses planted to some form of foam or plastic, to the point that even when they manage to blink away from the mental media massage long enough to notice the emperor has no brain they can hardly do more than shift in their seats to show their displeasure. Case in point us. We sit here night after night arguing over nothing and doing even less, when not a single one of us seems to be happy with the current state of affairs, yet never at any point to we resolve upon what the problem is or what we can do to solve it.
posted by velacroix at 10:46 PM on September 23, 2002


I love it when antiwar people use that Eisenhower quote about the "military-industrial complex" to make their point. Fact is, what President Eisenhower tried to say -- as a commanding general used to having his orders followed pronto -- was that this "complex" made things slower, less effective and more "politics-y"; i.e killing the enemy got harder, and he didn't approve of that. Do you really agree with his sentiment on that, people?

(I do, but I doubt that many leftists do)
posted by dagny at 11:26 PM on September 23, 2002


Dagny your interpretation is complete garbage so I doubt anyone will try you out on this but can you back up your statements with any quotes from the man himself?
posted by velacroix at 11:29 PM on September 23, 2002


This is a real human issue and relates directly to our state as a species, like or not. Bush, Gore, Democrats and Republicans are all pawns of the people who want to own us.

Corporations treat the vast majority of humanity as de-facto slave labor and honestly, this must be stopped. The fact that Mr Bush is standing up for their values is immaterial because we were never given anyone to select from who wasn't a pawn of theirs.

I agree with WolfDaddy, the time for passive resistance is long past, people should now consider armed reprisal a real option.
posted by Fuka at 11:50 PM on September 23, 2002


Corporations treat the vast majority of humanity as de-facto slave labor and honestly, this must be stopped.

Or you could file a piece of paper, incorporate, and get some slaves of your own. Just think -- if everyone did that, there'd be no one left to be slaves!
posted by kindall at 12:27 AM on September 24, 2002


Will they preempt NFL games with war coverage? I hope not. I'm still getting used to this man on man-man rape woman strategy game. I need to be fully assimilated, I agree, I do. Until then, this is full on bullshit. It's like, you war chatterers, look off into the changing colors of fall and immediately assume your places of cushy pillow, between the knees comfort, flick on the TV and voila a goddammned war to watch. A cozy fall/winter TV season. I'm with ya there. Something at last to watch.

Lookit them protesters in Portland and how they was all rounded up!

Looks like the USA's finally gettin' serious. 'Bout time with all these minorities and librals runnin' round thinkin' they run the goddamn place.

Fuck you. We're gonna be providing your goddamn entertaiment. And I demand to be compensated such.

I do understand what a bullet costs.
posted by crasspastor at 1:07 AM on September 24, 2002


And then I read this. Some of us see it coming.
posted by crasspastor at 1:32 AM on September 24, 2002


Uh, yeah Bush & Gore are both pawns, it's arguable which may be worse (or represent worse interests).

And yes, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, Crasspastor. But from the article you reference: '"There are many Democrats who have great misgivings about this war, but who feel there is no payoff for them if they oppose it," said Alan Brinkley, a professor of American history at Columbia University.' Then they're spineless fucks without the courage of their convictions, who just tack their sails to whichever wind they feel will give them political/personal advantage - that makes them poliitical whores. Why should we care what shits like that say if they won't stand up and be counted?

Fuka - who are you going to reprise against? I vote that we off the MBAs.

I hope all of you are ardent supporters of the 2nd Amendment. If not, you're idiots who won't even have the questionnable satisfaction of a last act of defiance when they come for you with the cyanide pie.
posted by Pressed Rat at 6:03 AM on September 24, 2002


1. Quoting a dictionary... Actually, a good dictionary is an authoritative source, especially on matters of semantics. Top of the line unabridged dictionaries (OED) go even further, providing insight into the etymology and evolution of a word or phrase.

We are not talking about semantic issues. Having worked as a lexicographer--for Oxford University Press, no less--I would say that even though I consider the OED one of the three greatest works in the English language, it does not impart authority. It is not a sanctioned, agreed-upon arbiter. It is merely an explainer of a word. If a writer feels obligated to define a word in print, then that writer appears to be working from the assumption that his readers are stupid. At the least, a good writer synthesizes such a definition as part of the process of imparting his points of view, without listing the definition unrendered. So, I restate: Quoting a dictionary is the device of a weak writer. It's one step away from writing a paper and using an encyclopedia as your only source.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:29 AM on September 24, 2002


Why did this author of the piece take so much out of context?

James Madison was speaking on the behalf of church and state matters concerning ecclesiastical corporations. ie: BIG Churches.

Van Buren was speaking about a central bank and treasury matters.

Jefferson was speaking about government creating commerce monopolies.
posted by ZupanGOD at 7:09 AM on September 24, 2002


...the time for passive resistance is long past, people should now consider armed reprisal a real option.

[edges away from Fuka]

What was that TIPS 800 number again?
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:19 AM on September 24, 2002


dagny: "...what President Eisenhower tried to say -- as a commanding general used to having his orders followed pronto -- was that this "complex" made things slower, less effective and more politics-y"

This would seem to also describe a government that was unable to respond to the will of its people effectively, particularly relevant when the article essentially proposes that one of the enemies at hand is, in fact, the government itself.
posted by theRegent at 8:51 AM on September 24, 2002


semmi, can i get a ride from you? Nice Mirabeau quote, really. It's dead on on many levels...cool

good take Mo Nickels. I agree, The Oxford is a compendium of the gods.

gompa. re-reading my stuff here, misspellings aside. i can see how one could take my statement as contradictory.
instead of just Godwinning out the argument or ranting some flap about semiotics, i had hoped to show a few examples of why i feel the article is Invalid IMO.

ohh, i found some Nasser for the fire. in 64' 0r 65' Nassers planes shot down a jet owned by one of Pres. Johnson's friend. We threatened to cut off wheat...

Nasser: "we will cut out the tongues of anybody who talks badly about us...We are not going to accept gangsterism by cowboys"

it really started falling apart from there.
posted by clavdivs at 9:00 AM on September 24, 2002


when not a single one of us seems to be happy with the current state of affairs, yet never at any point to we resolve upon what the problem is or what we can do to solve it.

Let me have the arrogant presumption to suggest that all our problems spring from the fact that we are a nation of short-sighted liars descended from a species of short-sighted liars. Despite the fact that 5,000 years of recorded history has demonstrated time and again that short-sightedness combined with lies leads only to death and destruction, we choose to continue the endless cycle. We lie to ourselves, we lie to our children and to our parents. We love (there's that word again) to believe the lies people tell us. We love to lie, and love being lied to, because our short-sightedness leads us to feel insecure. We pile lies on top of that insecurity, making us even more insecure. Sooner or later we pick up a weapon, or go seeking the sharp point of one, to give us some sort of "nobility" in death that we have failed to attain in life.

Why this realization is so hard for people to deal with has always been beyond me. Inertia?
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:21 PM on September 24, 2002


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