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U.S. Department of Peace
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Coriolis



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think I understand your point.
But while it may all have come from human nature, that could only be the human nature of those in control of our society (politicians and businesses).

If you are a person with an interest in power over others, then yes, it is probably in your nature somehow (or something you learned or whatever), but we are not all like that. It may the nature of the few to seek to oppress the many, but I do not believe it is in the nature of the many to be oppressed. But those few powermongers have gotten very good at convincing us that we need them, and that what they do for themselves is actually for the good of us.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Coriolis wrote:
I think I understand your point.
But while it may all have come from human nature, that could only be the human nature of those in control of our society (politicians and businesses).


I disagree. Businesses succeed because people buy from them, politicians succeed when people vote for them and/or don't revolt. The only way somebody can have power over you is if you let him (or her). Of course plenty of those in power use it for good causes, I do think our health insurance is in many ways better then the alternative but by the very act of paying for it I'm still granting them control over me beyond the fact that I'd go to prison eventually if I kept refusing.

Likely many of the things in my room here were made in sweatshops; I didn't check which I feel makes me guilty with regard to the existence of sweat-shops.


Quote:
If you are a person with an interest in power over others, then yes, it is probably in your nature somehow (or something you learned or whatever), but we are not all like that. It may the nature of the few to seek to oppress the many, but I do not believe it is in the nature of the many to be oppressed. But those few powermongers have gotten very good at convincing us that we need them, and that what they do for themselves is actually for the good of us.


Sorry, but here we disagree. I think Democracy so far has proven that for some reason the majority experiences a urgent need to be repressed or at least led.

Elections can be faked or tricked but sales-figures and viewer-ratings seem quite secure to me and IMHO are the ultimate in Democracy. Those, if anything, make it abundantly clear what "we" want.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some people in non-USA countries say something like, "I like Americans, but I don't like the US government." I understand what they are saying and I'm glad because I might have a lot fewer friends, but as Kassen points out, the US government is they way it is because of action or inaction of Americans.
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Coriolis



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
the US government is they way it is because of action or inaction of Americans


True for all governments.
Maybe we're lazy, or we like it the way it is, but also because it has been internalized in us since the first kings, that we need to be ruled.

True communism (where THE PEOPLE are running the show) lasted under a year in Russia. Then Lenin and some other clever people took over, believing that the people needed "guidance" to find the right path.
Back under the boot-heel with the people.

I don't like the current government in Denmark either.
It's run by people who really only care about staying in power (not to the point of wanting to change the constitution, but...).
So much so, that they have compromised their own party-line, which I didn't like in the first place, but now I can't even respect them for having their own opinions.

But the way they bought the Bush-rhetoric about Iraq, WMD's, Saddam being affiliated with Al Qaeda, yadayada...that was just sickening.
That a small country like mine decides to sidestep the UN, just seems so stupid, seeing that small countries in particular need to support an institution like that ( when big countries won't). The UN should be the Peace Dept of the world, but the "world" (basically the UN's own security council) won't let it!

Only the people can change these things, but they're being fed too much bullshit to discover the things that really matter. And some people (many) probably feel they have enough to worry about as it is. But I think many could be mobilized to put (legal) pressure on the various institutions in their countries, and cause real change.

The rich and powerful are screwed if the rest of us don't play ball.
They know it, but WE have forgotten...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
the US government is they way it is because of action or inaction of Americans.


Sure, but so is mine. As I mentioned before; nearly all movies shown in the Netherlands as well as prominent brands are from the US. If we are to go by viewer ratings, sales and votes my fellow country-men would love nothing better then to see Bush as the head of our state (multiple meaning intended) as soon as possible.

It's just puzzling why they say such different things in opinion polls.

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Coriolis



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
If we are to go by viewer ratings, sales and votes my fellow country-men would love nothing better then to see Bush as the head of our state


Being a little unfair to your countrymen here aren't you? Wink

But it is true that American propaganda through the years (mostly the cold war) has had a strong effect on western Europe. I guess we share many interests (keeping ourselves rich and in control). That along with the pummeling from the propaganda in our own (US-obedient) countries has made us mostly unsuspicious of American foreign policy for example. Until recently. The actions and rhetoric of the Bush administration have been so clumsy, that even we can see through it.

Re sweatshops: If enough people demand that these goods either not be produced under such circumstances, or that workers get better conditions, then it will happen. I actually believe it will - with continuous pressure on, for instance, the Chinese government from our governments (there isn't much at the moment, but it does come up now and then) and continuous pressure on manufacturers from consumers.

People who want to make money, will do whatever it takes. Even if it means they have to treat their workers better... Razz

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen, you mention many times about American Movies. Whether good or bad, movies are a big cultural influence. There are many people in the US that are resentful of Hollywood TV and movies. It is seen as a bad influence on the culture. I think this has a lot to do with what Islamic extremists detest about America, not to oversimplify it. Culture is out of control everywhere.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Coriolis wrote:

Maybe we're lazy, or we like it the way it is, but also because it has been internalized in us since the first kings, that we need to be ruled.


I think we are genetically territorial pack animals and as such most members are very inclined toward hierarchy, the most aggressive and driven rise to the top the rest just settle in to as comfortable a position as their natures allow. And leftover a tiny little minority that for whatever reason never got the hierarchy thing/gene in the first place. I think most artists, as opposed to entertainers fit in that category.

JM2C

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
... Culture is out of control everywhere.


Or under control/influence of someone "else". As (insert your favorite conspiracy theory) would have it.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
mosc wrote:
... Culture is out of control everywhere.


Or under control/influence of someone "else". As (insert your favorite conspiracy theory) would have it.


Oh! The lizard people are by far my favorite culprits -- these guys eat the illuminati for breakfast. Shocked

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Right, David Icke!

http://www.davidicke.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Icke

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Right, David Icke!

http://www.davidicke.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Icke


OMG its' an antisemitic conspiracy theory to boot.

I'd only seen their illustration of Bush in lizard drag -- I had no idea he was jewish Shocked

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Kassen, you mention many times about American Movies. Whether good or bad, movies are a big cultural influence. There are many people in the US that are resentful of Hollywood TV and movies. It is seen as a bad influence on the culture.


I know I do; it's such a clear example. I could take other examples but with movies you&me could (theoretically) go to a Dutch cinema or look through a TV guide and it would be clear.

If I can return for a moment to the same friend I mentioned above; we talked about this phenomenon in my own and my friend's culture and my friend complained about how not all languages have words for certain things (particularly in science) and will borrow from English which my friend felt eroded the culture of that country. I response I pointed to the poster above my bed which advertises a Dutch event with (nearly) all dutch speakers.... and all of the text on it is in English.

I don't think this is necessarily a big issue (I'd probably be in favour of a single world-wide language) but it's interesting how often and how easily this is overlooked. I often forget if I read a certain text in English or Dutch... The US elections get more time on the Dutch news then -say- the German or Belgium ones which one might imagine to be more directly relevant with them being our neighbours.

Quote:
I think this has a lot to do with what Islamic extremists detest about America, not to oversimplify it. Culture is out of control everywhere.


Maybe. I'm a bit skeptical here. None of my Muslim friends seem to detest the US (at least not as a whole) and I don't know any "Islamic extremists". Nearly all I hear about "Islamic extremists" comes directly or indirectly from US media which probably isn't the most dependable of sources here.

If it was really a case of "they hate us for our freedom"(or culture) I'd imagine Amsterdam would be a better target then NYC, don't you think?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
If it was really a case of "they hate us for our freedom"(or culture) I'd imagine Amsterdam would be a better target then NYC, don't you think?


Amsterdam? Isn't that the Dutch Disneyland?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:

Amsterdam? Isn't that the Dutch Disneyland?


No, I'm sad to have to tell you that that castle wasn't really there, nor were the talking animals. Oh, and there are some issues with that princess you were so taken with as well but I'd rather not talk about those in public.

:¬p

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
the US government is they way it is because of action or inaction of Americans.


I firmly believe that is more myth than fact. You speak as if there is a real choice.

You get cancer, you grow the pot to relieve the symptoms, you get caught, you get a boot in your neck and an M16 in your face. In such a situation, you're really not a threat to anybody, though at that point you're going to do your part for the blossoming prison industry. What do you think would happen if you became a real threat to the status quo? I'm not talking a violent threat, either. No more violent than the old lady who got the boot in her neck.

Oh, yeah, that's right, it's a democracy. Or rather a democratic republic. We can change things by voting for whom we perceive to be the least corrupt. Welcome to the election of 2000. Welcome to Disneyland.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There are choices, real ones. Gore/Bush was a real choice. Do you think we would be in a war in Iraq if Gore was elected?

The 2000 election was a virtual tie and in that case the the integral of power called it for the Republicans. In that election, Democrats were burned out from eight years of Clinton. They were bummed just enough to throw it to Bush. At that time, lots of people were inactive saying, "Do you really think there is a choice?". I think the American people are responsible for Bush, not some little click, but the population in general.

BTW, I'm struck by the contrast between Spitzer and Clinton. Think if Clinton would have resigned to spare the country from going through all the impeachment bull shit. The country was paralyzed for 2 years. If he would have resigned, Gore would have become president and maybe he'd have been reelected. Anyway, having a long look back makes me less and less impressed by Bill Clinton.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I think the American people are responsible for Bush, not some little click, but the population in general.


I agree. If people really objected to the current system they could -for example- boycott the companies financing the campaigns or stop watching channels like Fox.

People -as I see it- definitely are voting but they are voting (mainly in spending and viewer ratings, not just on ballots) for short-term convenience.

This is the price of Democracy; you have to accept what the majority wants and the majority wanted short-term convenience, the majority spoke out strongly and clearly about caring about consequences; people democratically elected the trouble they are in now.

I also feel people are democratically electing the fate of their children and their children's children and there was a strong vote against drinkable water for them, a nearly unanimous decision against ice on the North Pole.

Every KM/mile you drive in a car is a loud and clear vote against the future, every traffic jam a near unanimous election result. We all get to decide together, I don't see where or how democracy is malfunctioning; as I see it it's alive and well.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Do you think we would be in a war in Iraq if Gore was elected?


No, and he was.

The fact that the denial of a blowjob in office paralyzed our nation for two years is more frightening than anything, and is a true indication to me of where the real power is. If we can't overcome a blowjob, how the hell do you think we're going to overcome something that really matters (not to diminish a good blowjob)?

I would take "I did not have sex with that lady" over "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons" any day of the week. Which one of those is impeachable? The one where a blue dress got stained or the one where thousands have died, or have been mind fucked or crippled for life? The one that should have been a personal matter between a man, his wife and his intern, or the one that is dragging a country over the edge of a financial and moral abyss it can never recover from?

How can one hope to get the momentum to effect change with the set of priorities that is programmed into the very fabric of our American existence? What perpetuates this set of priorities? How do we overcome it? What would motivate us to overcome it? Whattayou gonna do, picket Fox? CNN? MSNBC?

The last generation that got jiggy and effected change is the generation that's in power today, and they learned from their adversary's mistakes. They got better at it. Gone are the combat reporters - best we got was "embedded" reporting, and once the glamour and gusto was gone, ppfft...outta there. Avoid the draft, that riled too many of our generation up. Constitutional rights? Gimmee a boogie man, and I'll take care of that.

And by "in power" I don't mean just the government - that's small potatoes. I include the media. So now we got pie-in-the-sky or my-hubby-was-prez or we-can-spend-ten-more-years-in-Iraq to choose from.

Screw the labels - they are fabricated for and by the media. I want to hear specifically what any of them is going to do about the war in Iraq, but that's not all I want to hear. There are things coming down the pike that'll make Iraq look like a walk in the park, and if they don't know that, then we're really in the shit. Do we get that? Not 'til you've bought the product, sir or ma'am.

You're buying something sight unseen with every election here, particularly in the primaries, where any good honest, intelligent person will naturally be culled from the herd. So, I get more than a little tired about hearing how this is the American public's fault. We don't stand a chance.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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I don't see where or how democracy is malfunctioning; as I see it it's alive and well.


Very, very well if you're a millionaire.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:


The fact that the denial of a blowjob in office paralyzed our nation for two years is more frightening than anything, and is a true indication to me of where the real power is.


This is EXACTLY what I'm saying; the true power is with with the people and the people decided to spend their time getting their panties in a bunch over a blowjob.

What you are seeing is a near perfect democracy; it's not a failure in implementation; it's a bad system (also probably the best so far but still a bad system).


Quote:
I would take "I did not have sex with that lady" over "Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons" any day of the week. Which one of those is impeachable? The one where a blue dress got stained or the one where thousands have died, or have been mind fucked or crippled for life?


Clearly it's the blowjob that's more cause for impeachment according to the people? If people cared about Iraq they'd protest... but they don't, that's democracy.

Quote:
The one that should have been a personal matter between a man, his wife and his intern, or the one that is dragging a country over the edge of a financial and moral abyss it can never recover from?


You can say that should have been a matter between a man and his mistress but through viewer-rating "The People" elected that they found it important. If nobody had watched that affair on TV it would've been gone in no time. That's democracy.

Quote:
How can one hope to get the momentum to effect change with the set of priorities that is programmed into the very fabric of our American existence?


You can't. This "fabric of our American existence" doesn't want change. Of course they'll get it once the credit runs out but they don't want it, of course they don't!

Quote:
Gone are the combat reporters - best we got was "embedded" reporting,


It's not gone, we still have Al Jazeera.

Quote:
Constitutional rights? Gimmee a boogie man, and I'll take care of that.


I Thought opinion polls showed people were generally in favour of throwing away their constitutional rights?

Quote:
And by "in power" I don't mean just the government - that's small potatoes. I include the media.


So do I. Viewer ratings are the purest form of democracy. Voting for Arnold Swarzenegger and Ronald Raegan shows the US democracy in it's purest form; people vote for what they care about. Why not have Paris Hilton for president?


Quote:
Screw the labels - they are fabricated for and by the media. I want to hear specifically what any of them is going to do about the war in Iraq,


Sure, but what have you done? Or I?


Quote:
You're buying something sight unseen with every election here, particularly in the primaries, where any good honest, intelligent person will naturally be culled from the herd. So, I get more than a little tired about hearing how this is the American public's fault. We don't stand a chance.


Yes, but people like the convenience of buying this sight unseen. Do you think they want to know what's in their meat? How their electronics get made? Spend the time to figure out what candidates really represent? Of course not, they'd rather eat a burger and watch sports on TV. They are getting exactly what they vote for, knowing full well what they are doing,

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott Stites wrote:
Quote:
I don't see where or how democracy is malfunctioning; as I see it it's alive and well.


Very, very well if you're a millionaire.


No, for everybody. Nearly everybody is getting exactly what they vote for. millionaires are clearly also voting for stuff that's in their own advantage but clearly some section of those people is already used to taking advantage of the system anyway.

Democracy means people get to vote, it doesn't inherently mean they have to vote to their own advantage. In fact most people in the US (and elsewhere) elect (literally) to screw themselves but they are free to do so if that's what they want.

Both the right and the left like to blame the media but it doesn't seem to strike anybody that the people watching TV, generating viewer-rating are the exact same as the people who are voting and the media is merely delivering what sells. Both the left and the right are cute like pets confronted with a mirror.

What's so scary about simply admitting we are all F*ed? I think it's great, I believe this generation will see the decline of mankind and I get to be a witness, it's one of the most interesting periods humanity has ever seen. I expect to see the US collapse in the next 5 years, I expect my own country will be flooded in the next decade, it'll be exactly like Jackass where you wonder how people could do this to themselves except on a nearly global scale, it's a truly beautiful thing; it's so pure and direct and it's so universal.

To me one of the most beautiful parts of it all is that we are arguing our cases here but neither of us has ever been to Iraq (as far as I know). We distrust the media but the media is the only thing telling us Iraq exists at all and we lap it up. I know one person who claims to be from Iraq but she also claims the walls are talking to her. To me this is no different at all then "religious" people believing what their preacher and book says... yet there we are sceptical and demand "proof".

Reliable sources tell me the best way of dealing with getting screwed is relaxing and enjoying it.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
the people decided to spend their time getting their panties in a bunch over a blowjob.


Nope, the media did! And don't tell me the state of the media is the fault of the people - that's your Murdochs, Turners, etc, who are to blame here...

To an increasing extent people are NOT getting the media they deserve!
They're getting whatever the board of directors of every major paper, tv-channel, etc, deem suitable for consumption by the masses.
They can't allow Joe Schmo down the road to get worked up about how messed up things REALLY are, so he gets O.J., Lewinsky, Super Bowl - and lies and bullshit from the White House.

The people responsible for the media are not up for elections. The people didn't vote for whomever they wanted to run the media (unless it was Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, who owns most of the media there AND was prime minister for years).

A question for the Americans here: Do you have a number for the percentage of your population who actually vote?
I've heard it's usually around 50% when it comes to presidential elections.
That's lower than in the latest election in Iran, if I'm not mistaken...

If that's even remotely true, then half the US population is not getting the society they voted for, simply because no one on the ballot will give it to them...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Coriolis wrote:

To an increasing extent people are NOT getting the media they deserve!
They're getting whatever the board of directors of every major paper, tv-channel, etc, deem suitable for consumption by the masses.


I don't believe it.

Let's do a thought experiment. Say Scott, you, Mosc and me all have newspapers, the people want to hear about dogs yet you three determined they should hear about cats and devote your newspapers to it.

Now I make mine about dogs.

Tell me who will get rich?

Right now I have a single magazine next to me (It's the only "fresh" one in the room), I bought it while waiting at Amsterdam airport which is teeming with all kinds of magazines and newspapers form all over the world. I could've gotten any one of those yet I elected to get one on music technology. I had to make do with a rather mediocre one (though it has a Autechre interview), I would've happily paid twice as much for one that would be specialised in -say- generative software art for audio applications but such a specialised topic doesn't make the commercial equivalent of the voting threshold at Schiphol airport. This isn't because the publishing company or sales people want me to think in a different way, it's because the market is too small. Just like the "market" for a environmentally focussed party in the US; if enough people cared about the environment there would be parties and products aiming to make a buck on them.

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Scott Stites
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Joined: Dec 23, 2005
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Location: Mount Hope, KS USA
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
No, for everybody.


No, for everybody who can put a politician in his pocket, whether individual or corporation. I can't recall anybody happily voting for even higher prescription drug prices, for instance, when the same products can be bought over the border for a fraction of the cost.

Nor would I believe that the blowjob argument was a vote for democracy, either. How do you know people wouldn't have watched other news if it wasn't an option? News is news, not what people want to be the news. And don't get into the semantics of "well, who decides what is news?". That's a BS argument that furthers and justifies the corrupt media. Look, if the Netherlands slips under water, that's news. If Bush bombs Iran, that's news. If Clinton gets a blowjob in his office after hours, how is that news? There is a thing called integrity in news - CBS had it before big tobacco caved them, PBS still has it. I think to a large extent the BBC still has it. News, by its nature, is not an instrument of democracy to serve democracy by order of democracy. You're talking about the power of greed, not democracy, and what sells. Do we democratically choose boxers over briefs?

I suppose I'd be more convinced by your arguments if I wasn't living this shit day in and day out rather than esoterically observing it from a distance. It doesn't take a majority to put someone in power, thus stating that Bush is the "fault" of the American people is an inaccurate generalization. If you said "a great deal of the Americans" or "a segment of the American population" or even "The American People with the exception of Scott Stites", it wouldn't bother me so badly.

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