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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin, the quote from the Declaration of Independence seems relevant and sincere. But could they have anticipated all the evils that man has invented? What if Earth were invaded by creatures from another solar system? And everyone in cities was forced by government fiat to keep all lights off at night?

Our governement may be incompentent in some matters. But I do not believe we have a sinister or malicious government or that we are governed by malicious men.

I do think that money makes men do evil things, however.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Erin"]
We are from different countries and have different histories, and our relationship with terrorism is different as well.
=====
As an Israeli, and on the personal level too, I am a great admirer of the american people and its unique achievements as the greatest democracy in the world. I wish you to always keep your freedom, despite threats. Yes , you're right, we are from different countries , we have different histories, and therefore, in your opinion, "relationship" with terrorism should be different.
As somebody of a "different country and history", I believe that as long as terrorism will be considered by some as a matter of geography, it will stay invincible. As somebody belonging to a relatively young "different country" but with a long , and very "different history", I am not ambivalent about my "relationship" with terrorism. And I admire America's tenacious, if not always impecable, war again this 21st century plague.

No more war, no more (relationships with) terrorism
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simona- We do have different circumstances to deal with. I won't minimize that and I can only speak from my/our experience in the US.

In our country there are different kinds of "terrorists". One type flies into building and assembles explosive devices into shoes. Another domestic type uses widely available firearms to spray bullets into schools, offices, courthouses and other public places mowing down random victims along with an individual or two with whom this unstable person has some real or imagined grudge. Another type of terror is inflicted by nature rather than individuals. Many of us live with the certain knowledge that at some point lives and property will be lost to earthquakes, floods, fires and storms. This inflicts terror, death and great hardship just as surely.

Here you might say we are fortunate not to be as subject to the threat of attack from the first kind of terrorist as you have been in Israel. You would be right to say we don't have the frequency of this particular threat. But I would argue that thousands of lives, even more lives, are lost here to the other kinds of terrorists and terror every single year. Any yet we have a government that steadfastly refuses, as a matter of policy, to limit the distribution of guns to unstable or immature people. And now we find we have a government that is unable to extract itself from "vacations" to act in catastrophes. Add to that the indifference our government has long shown to legions of mentally ill and homeless long before they abandoned the helpless in the Gulf Coast. They have been equally indifferent to the basic health needs of the impoverished even as more and more middle class people are hard put to provide for their own medical insurance. People suffer here on an ongoing basis because our government stubbornly resists establishing a national healthcare program. They even have made it policy to cut people off from more affordable prescription drugs from Canada.

The events of 9/11 were dramatic but every year more people die of gun deaths, natural disasters and neglect in this country. And the Bush administration's choice to focus the national attention on "terrorism" is purely manipulative and self-serving. They could save more lives from certain and predictable catastrophes that happen here every day by making human well being a priority and they choose to make an extremely limited segment of the population obscenely wealthy instead.

If you think they are making Israel more safe, that's up to you to say. But they aren't genuine about their concern for Americans so you'll excuse me if I think they will ever represent anyone other than the very, very wealthy anywhere any more sincerely or effectively.

If you've read Catch 22 you might remember Milo Minderbinder. Our government is now run by Milo Minderbinder Enterprises. And it's going downhill so fast I'm genuinely terrified for the future of my children. ...and that has nothing to do with bearded people from the Middle East.
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

guys... the last several posts have been, facinating and enlightening but if I can, I would like to re focus our attention, onto what hath God has wrought upon my benighted city. For today I went into the city proper to a neighborhood called lakeview, which had been horribly flooded. I went with a friend, our mission was to salvage what we could from his parent's destroyed house. While only 5 minutes from where I live the contrast was astounding and disturbing I would like to entitle this little ditty

my descent into
hell!!!!!!!!!

The first impression one gets is that of an erie and un-natural
silence, with no air-conditoners, fans, televisions,radios, etc to create the background din we have been acustomed to as "quiet" and without much traffic, (punctuated only by the ocassional military vehicle or the roar of a chopper overhead,) the whole neighborhood took on a creepy tomb, like aura what little conversation heard carried on for blocks, and one was tempted to whisper in deference to the unspeakable obscenity that had befallen this formerly happy, comfortable middle class neighborhood

The second major impression was that of the total lack of color. While the non-flooded areas tend to bright green with grass that needs cutting and hedges that need trimming, this was block with dreary block of un broken grayness, no grass, no shrubbery, just a thick coating of a drying muck that seemed to suck all color and life out of the area. Everywhere were testaments to the fury of nature, and the powerful floods, cars wer washed up on lawns and straddled over fences.. My friend's Dad's car had the trunk sprung open and wedged inside was a riding lawn-mower, my friend had no idea where the mower came from!!!

As a long time reader of science fiction, I can only say the entire scene reminded me of every post-apocalyptic story I had ever read.

And that was only outside!!!! Inside, where the muck hadn't dried, unspeakable stench vileness and corruption abounded.....speaking of which, I was reminded of this exact foulness, when upon returning to more familar sights, sounds and colors, I heard former fema directior, Brown try to place all the blame upon my Govenor and Mayor. Sarape, I would like to believe like that we are not "governed by malacious men" but after I heard that slimey #$%$#!!!ty @#!$%$#!! I am no longer sure!!

Sorry for the venting guys, but the experience was a profound and disturbing one that I will remember forever
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
Add to that the indifference our government has long shown to legions of mentally ill and homeless long before they abandoned the helpless in the Gulf Coast. They have been equally indifferent to the basic health needs of the impoverished...


Someone on the NPR radio show "Marketplace" discussed how many organizations benefit from having an underclass of poor people. Churches, organizations who provided aid to the poor, universities who get grant money to study the poor, et cetera. All of these people have a vested interest in maintaining the group of poor people. The gist of the message was that the viability of the groups helping the poor need the poor to exist.
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pesto Man: There's no need to apologize. Brown's defensive testimony is the headline story in The W Post this morning and I can't imagine reacting in any other way.

I am finding it difficult to thank you for sharing your experiences on this forum since every time I try to say something positive it seems to gloss over the grimness you describe. However, your personal story helps me understand what has happened in ways that news media do not despite the immediacy of interviews and photographs. I am so sorry you had that day. Thank you for telling us what you see and how you are.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologize if I've gone a little astray. I'll let my signature speak for itself now that I guess it's clear what it's intended to mean.

I'm soooo sorry for what you have to contend with as you return and as life takes its new shape in NO.

I am reminded of when friends lived in an area that had one of our "brush fires". These fires start in the brush but take the landscape and homes with them sometimes. And sometimes they hop around taking whole neighborhoods and leaving one or two homes intact.

That happened to my friends. We were young and financially strapped and we had all helped them remodel an older home they bought in the Hollywood Hills. When the fire struck they thought they were lucky that their home had been mostly untouched. But when they had to return to a neighborhood that was almost totally burned out, they found that they were living every day with a continuing, flattened, blackened nightmare and wished frequently that they could have had the insurance settlement and started over someplace else that didn't taunt them.

I don't guess the memory of what's been lost and how ravaged what remains is will go away soon either. I guess we can only be here to listen to your stories as you rebuild a life and help your friends and neighbors do the same.

I'll be on my best behavior from this point. And I'm sorry if I caused any additional pain.
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape, your argument that somehow that existance of the"underclass" is somehow perpuated by those determined to help the poor as a way to justify their own existance, is hardly an new or original one! I hear it everytime some right-wing boor tries to justify their staggering lack of concern for his fellow human beings, and everytime I hear it, frankly, it disgusts and sickens me Evil or Very Mad

It is all so very smug and self-satisfied, that in order to eliminate poverty, just stop rewarding it, and everyone will become self-reliant upstanding, citizens complete with a republican regristration card, and daddy's trust fund to tide one over!!. What is so convient is that this magic elimination of poverty comes at no sacrifice, to those already secure, and safe, one just needs to see that the "prisons & workhouses" are in order, and the proceed about their business.

Well I hate to be the ghost of christmas present pal, but there is plenty of misery out there that no ammount of "treadmill" of "poor-law" can overcome, and as far as business is concerned, MANKIND SHOULD BE YOUR BUSINESS DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know of no person working a charity, who could not make considerably more in the "private sector" I know of no organization that wouldn't be delighted to disband if the misery, they were formed to combat, just dissapeared, but misery dosen't end, it stays perpuated, not by those, who want to help but by those who want to do nothing!!!!

Well now I started preaching... Shocked

Anyway, I will be out of town for a few days, My sister is getting married
(yes, life goes on) When I return, there will still be plenty things to do, and roll up my sleeves and do them I, (we) will!!!
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I would like a gin martini, straight up, olives on the side, as dry as my wit, as clean as my conscience.
and... as cold as my heart!!!!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Delighted to hear that you have something happy and hopeful to look forward to!

Meanwhile, it doesn't look like I'll be getting there too soon after all. The Red Cross here can't train people fast enough. The orientation class I went to in another county had 60 people in it and the LA chapter has all of their classes filled for October and November. But maybe that's good. I'm sure the need will be ongoing for a long time and fresh recruits will be needed for the long run.

But now is an excellent time to focus on love and companionship and the future. Those are things that are the surest remedy for a lot that happens to us.
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Pesto Man!
I sooo understand your reaction to Sarape's entry. But I think there is another dimension to it.
Obviously, I can't speak for him, but for what it's worth, it might not have been an entirely right-wing comment. I'm reminded of Marxist discussion groups, where any 'bourgeois' aid was seen as merely perpetuating the status quo (rather than detonate capitalist structures). Being a pragmatist as well as a theorist, I think there is not only a place for charity, but a definite need for charity. Only, that is not where it should stop.

I very much appreciated your personal account of the current situation, and I'm glad you've got someting postive to look forward to.
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Pockymonkey



Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 63
Location: Northfield, MN

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pesto Man,

I wish you and others in your lovely city all the strength and hope and luck and perserverance in the world as you rebuild your lives.

I hope that you are able to rest and rejuvenate yourself to some extent at your sister's wedding - in facing such challenges, it's important to take care of your spirit as well.
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that there's a special place in hell set aside for those who prey on the poor and ignorant and disadvantaged people in this country. I do volunteer legal work for elderly who are victims of predatory lending practices or credit card fraud, and it would be the best day of my life if the government did something positive to protect the poor and elderly from these scum. Instead, our government has sponsored legislation protecting predatory lenders and credit card issuers from scum like me, who try to level the playing field by hitting them back. This administration feels compassion for disadvantaged corporations who might have to make money honestly if people like me had their way. Maybe that explains the FEMA evacuation plan advising everyone in New Orleans to have their limo drivers standing by, and to make sure that they had catered lunches and beverages available to take with them on the road. All this, while the President circled overhead on Air Force One, sipping coffee from a china cup and remarking that things must be even worse on the ground.
I'm with Rainey.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicago Bear,
It is very unfoutunate that some see lawyers as a predator. The people you help are fortunate to have someone like you.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BIG thumbs up for ChicagoBear and all the people who are working to return some measure of justice to this country so it can be our country once again some day!
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God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!!! I sure have been missing out around here! Great and fascinating thread people!
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