Author Topic: America-My Own Worst Enemy?  (Read 1320 times)

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Offline junebug72

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America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« on: June 14, 2013, 06:03:27 AM »
If anybody knows about the origins of this phrase please share.  I'm sure there's more to it than lyrics of a song.  I have a feeling it's been around for a while.  I know it is a very true statement.  As an individual my hardest challenges have been self inflicted.  All individuals face the same challenges so when you group a bunch of imperfects together you have a group of imperfectionist doing lots of imperfect things.  Things that harm other imperfects.  It is not easy to constantly fight the temptations that often when indulged leave a wake of destruction in their paths.  This is the soul premise for the development of religion.  I conclude that the very answer to this difficulty is at times itself it's own worst enemy.  If humanity is ever going to evolve I believe this is an important truth that needs to be conquered.  We have struggled with the fight against ourselves since the beginning of time. 

To get to the moral of the story; to change the nation we must change ourselves, become less imperfect individuals.  Perhaps our attitudes towards imperfections are too relaxed.  I know I've told my son a few times it's okay your only human, we make mistakes.  Mostly he just hurt himself but he hurt me too, he hurt society by not living up to his potential, he's catching on now, but in the not so distant past he was not and I said it's okay you'll get it.  I also at the same time let him know that he was expected to get better.  Anyways we're just a couple of specks on the larger scale but I'm convinced that our lives affects the whole.

So what do you think your nation does that is an act against itself?  I have a few things on my list but for now I want to suggest that pollution and out of control greed are strikes against ourselves.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 06:10:54 AM »
So what do you think your nation does that is an act against itself?  I have a few things on my list but for now I want to suggest that pollution and out of control greed are strikes against ourselves.

I don't really know where to start  ;)

Out of control greed is up there though. It's greed that leads to pollution as "clean" solutions are not economically viable.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few does tend to mess things up a bit.
If there were no inheritance of wealth that may be a start to breaking down the barrier between the "have's" and the "have-nots"

Online Jag

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 10:12:25 AM »
A lack of foresight and a lack of critical thinking.
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 10:30:45 AM »
So what do you think your nation does that is an act against itself?  I have a few things on my list but for now I want to suggest that pollution and out of control greed are strikes against ourselves.
1) The mentality that it is totally OK and even virtuous to accept the truth of a claim irrespective of evidence (or lack thereof) to suggest the the claim as 'true' is a big one for me.
2) Rampant anti-intellectualism (somewhat related to #1).
3) U.S.A.-centric egotism - the notion that being an American is somehow 'special' or 'better' compared to being 'not an American'.
4) Unjustified over-cynicism: focusing only on the bad and forgetting to look at and acknowledge the good things that go on in this country and the goodness that many, many, many of the general populace possess.  It leads to undue negative judgment to those around you, proliferates feelings of overwhelming hopelessness, and promotes a "too much broken shit/can't do a damn thing to fix it/won't do a damn thing to try" attitude that is ultimately detrimental.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline Traveler

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 10:31:43 AM »
corporate greed
short sightedness
erosion of our rights (privacy, for instance)
failing to provide basic needs to ALL our citizens
putting emphasis on fighting foreign wars over helping our citizens
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 10:42:32 AM »
http://www.avaaz.org/en/g8_tax_havens_ph2/?copy

Have we all signed that? It seems to be running out of steam.
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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 10:46:23 AM »
Hadn't heard of it before. Signed.
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 08:36:44 PM »

3) U.S.A.-centric egotism - the notion that being an American is somehow 'special' or 'better' compared to being 'not an American'.

I wonder if this is because many Americans don't travel overseas/outside of USA as much as others, especially Europeans.  A lot of people never even go far from the state they live in unless it is to a Theme Park or guided tourist attraction.  I realize it is not affordable.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 11:07:58 PM »
^that's because the average American can't afford the costs of travel; sometimes even in their own state. This is my opinion of course but I read somewhere recently that about only 30% of Americans travel outside the US because they just can't afford the costs.

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A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 06:19:13 AM »
http://www.avaaz.org/en/g8_tax_havens_ph2/?copy

Have we all signed that? It seems to be running out of steam.

Signed,sealed, delivered.  Thanks. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 06:38:29 AM »

3) U.S.A.-centric egotism - the notion that being an American is somehow 'special' or 'better' compared to being 'not an American'.

I wonder if this is because many Americans don't travel overseas/outside of USA as much as others, especially Europeans.  A lot of people never even go far from the state they live in unless it is to a Theme Park or guided tourist attraction.  I realize it is not affordable.

People from other countries have the same mentality.  The French think they're the best, Italians and so on...

I also think it has something to do with being patriotic.  I want to love this country but it is hard.  I would never take up arms against it but I will use my vote and any other political avenue at my disposal to make change.  Now that I have mentioned it I would have liked to have been better educated by the public school system on the subject of politics, especially democracy.  Many people just aren't aware of the resources available to them and their lives are not affected by poverty so they don't try.  Most people are happy to put food on the table and a nice roof over their family's heads. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 06:48:20 AM »
So what do you think your nation does that is an act against itself?  I have a few things on my list but for now I want to suggest that pollution and out of control greed are strikes against ourselves.

I don't really know where to start  ;)

Out of control greed is up there though. It's greed that leads to pollution as "clean" solutions are not economically viable.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few does tend to mess things up a bit.
If there were no inheritance of wealth that may be a start to breaking down the barrier between the "have's" and the "have-nots"

You sure got that right.  Although I'm not convinced that clean energy is not a better economical decision compared to continued use of fossil fuels!  As far as using fossil fuels for energy and doing so in a way that does not pollute I believe you are correct.

Will you please elaborate on that last statement? 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2013, 06:49:29 AM »
A lack of foresight and a lack of critical thinking.

Hey Jag you must be busy.  I know you have more to say.  I look forward to hearing more from you.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2013, 07:15:59 AM »
So what do you think your nation does that is an act against itself?  I have a few things on my list but for now I want to suggest that pollution and out of control greed are strikes against ourselves.
1) The mentality that it is totally OK and even virtuous to accept the truth of a claim irrespective of evidence (or lack thereof) to suggest the the claim as 'true' is a big one for me.
2) Rampant anti-intellectualism (somewhat related to #1).
3) U.S.A.-centric egotism - the notion that being an American is somehow 'special' or 'better' compared to being 'not an American'.
4) Unjustified over-cynicism: focusing only on the bad and forgetting to look at and acknowledge the good things that go on in this country and the goodness that many, many, many of the general populace possess.  It leads to undue negative judgment to those around you, proliferates feelings of overwhelming hopelessness, and promotes a "too much broken shit/can't do a damn thing to fix it/won't do a damn thing to try" attitude that is ultimately detrimental.

Ditto to #1.

Okay to #2

#3- Isn't that being patriotic.  It has also been said that being a poor American is the best place to be poor.

#4-Kind of contradictory.  You want folks to concentrate on the goodness but then you say people aren't doing anything to fix problems.  If they're focusing on the goodness then they're not thinking about the badness.  Maybe that's already going on and that's why people do nothing, because their lives aren't being negatively affected by it.

I do agree that Americans can be egotistical but I believe the bigger problem is self-centeredness and laziness.  The poverty industry is somewhat,IMO, part of the problem.  You can send a check and say well I've done my part, problem is how much of that $20 you sent actually goes to hungry people?  Obviously not enough.  Furthermore it goes to other countries.  I'm all for helping other countries; not enabling.  I also believe there is so much more we could do if we were a better economical example.

Anyway I keep thinking it will get worse before it gets better and this is why.  There is not enough people being affected negatively enough to care.  It will take a lot of Americans standing together to make the changes we want and until enough people are suffering to the point where they are ready, which means it's not bad enough yet, the upper 2% will keep abusing this nation and it's people.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2013, 01:27:38 PM »
^that's because the average American can't afford the costs of travel; sometimes even in their own state. This is my opinion of course but I read somewhere recently that about only 30% of Americans travel outside the US because they just can't afford the costs.

-Nam

I do realize it is not affordable.  I have to admit the majority of my travel outside of the US was courtesy of the US Army.  But a lot of people who can travel would prefer to go to Disney World, a Cruise or a resort than to travel overseas.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2013, 05:54:43 PM »
If anybody knows about the origins of this phrase please share.  I'm sure there's more to it than lyrics of a song.  I have a feeling it's been around for a while.

Google ngram viewer[1] gives the first recorded instance in print of “own worst enemy” in American English as ~1812. British English records it as being relatively common prior to 1800. The significant occurrence between Britain and America in 1812, was The War of 1812Wiki I would therefore speculate that it was this conflict that brought the phrase to the USA.

Quote
I know it is a very true statement.

I hope to show you that it is far from true.

Quote
As an individual my hardest challenges have been self inflicted.  All individuals face the same challenges so when you group a bunch of imperfects together you have a group of imperfectionist doing lots of imperfect things.  Things that harm other imperfects.  It is not easy to constantly fight the temptations that often when indulged leave a wake of destruction in their paths.  This is the sole premise for the development of religion.  I conclude that the very answer to this difficulty is at times itself it's own worst enemy.  If humanity is ever going to evolve I believe this is an important truth that needs to be conquered.  We have struggled with the fight against ourselves since the beginning of time.

Your final sentence shows that you have drifted away from America being its own worst enemy, doesn't it? Yes, mankind has been in conflict from the time we came down from the trees. However, if you consult any history book, it will tell you that prior to 1776, there was no "America" (and even after that it was disputable until 1783 and The Treaty of Paris.) and thus your problems started when some humans made it across the Bering straits.

So what you are basically saying is that mankind is like mankind and always has been. So, "America is it's own worst enemy." hardly states the general problem nor can it, by application to the US alone, provide a solution.

I don't think this is newsworthy. 

Quote
To get to the moral of the story; to change the nation we must change ourselves, become less imperfect individuals.

Just out of interest, how many times do you think this has been said over the millennia? Can we not accept that, just as dogs are like dogs, cats are like cats, bees are like bees, mankind is like mankind, and this is what mankind does and always will do?

You are there in one of the richest countries on earth, food falls out of supermarkets, airplanes fly cheaply, gas is virtually free compared to Europe, in your own country you can choose to live in the tropics or a temperate climate, the countryside is wonderful, water is always drinkable, the vast, vast majority have shelter and some spare cash, and you are moaning about the fact that you are not living in an absolute paradise? Is that reasonable? Is it the view of anyone with some perspective?

Think of some poor bastard who has been born and brought up in Somalia. Do you think that in Somalia they complain? Well, they do, but, I suspect with some justification.
 1.  http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=own+worst+enemy&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=
http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=own+worst+enemy&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2013, 07:44:45 AM »

Google ngram viewer[1] gives the first recorded instance in print of “own worst enemy” in American English as ~1812. British English records it as being relatively common prior to 1800. The significant occurrence between Britain and America in 1812, was The War of 1812Wiki I would therefore speculate that it was this conflict that brought the phrase to the USA.
 1.  http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=own+worst+enemy&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=
http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=own+worst+enemy&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=

Thanks, I couldn't find anything.

I hope to show you that it is far from true.

Good Luck.

Your final sentence shows that you have drifted away from America being its own worst enemy, doesn't it? Yes, mankind has been in conflict from the time we came down from the trees. However, if you consult any history book, it will tell you that prior to 1776, there was no "America" (and even after that it was disputable until 1783 and The Treaty of Paris.) and thus your problems started when some humans made it across the Bering straits.

America is a nation full of humans.  They've been around for 70,000 years.  You're just being argumentative.
   
So what you are basically saying is that mankind is like mankind and always has been. So, "America is it's own worst enemy." hardly states the general problem nor can it, by application to the US alone, provide a solution.

No that's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying individual decisions affect the whole and if we want things better we start with self.

Just out of interest, how many times do you think this has been said over the millennia? Can we not accept that, just as dogs are like dogs, cats are like cats, bees are like bees, mankind is like mankind, and this is what mankind does and always will do?

All these animals can be trained to do things that are not typical to their species.  Ever watched Pet Star or been to a circus?  Even elephants are trained.  Mankind is better today than our ancestors.  I will not give up on the human race.  We will get better.  If you were correct here there would still be slavery and many other atrocities that have been discontinued by the species you say is not capable of evolving.

You are there in one of the richest countries on earth, food falls out of supermarkets, airplanes fly cheaply, gas is virtually free compared to Europe, in your own country you can choose to live in the tropics or a temperate climate, the countryside is wonderful, water is always drinkable, the vast, vast majority have shelter and some spare cash, and you are moaning about the fact that you are not living in an absolute paradise? Is that reasonable? Is it the view of anyone with some perspective?

Maybe rotten food.  Who wants to dumpster dive?  As a nation we can proudly say we feed our citizens scraps?  Come on now.  You must be living under a rock.  There are a lot of rivers and streams that are polluted.  Our river, the French Broad is so nasty you can't eat the fish.  Homeless folk camp by the river and well they have to poopie too. Our Pigeon River has been contaminated but it is clean now thanks to the EPA and the plant that polluted it has shut down.  I still would not drink the water. If it doesn't stop because of people like you that think we have it made already so they do nothing all drinking water will be bottled.  The fish that feed us will be contaminated.  Yes some people still like to fish for food and the state profits from the license.  Plane tickets are not cheap for many Americans.  Yea try traveling on minimum wage, ha ha ha.   

Think of some poor bastard who has been born and brought up in Somalia. Do you think that in Somalia they complain? Well, they do, but, I suspect with some justification.

I have a heart for people in all nations.  If their country has the resources to make life better for their citizens they should do it too.  I pay taxes here in this nation.  This nation has the resources to lift all citizens and does not.  I don't think Somalia has a constitution, we do and polluting our land and streams is unconstitutional.

Dang Gray I thought you believed in evolving. :o  You're argument here leads me to believe you do not.  If you did you could see the potential in your fellow man.

Paradise for me is a place w/o violence and poverty. Can you point me in that direction?

Oh yea I gave you solutions in the last thread and asked for your ideas; still waiting.  You can answer it here; what is your solution, quit complaining take it and like it?


Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2013, 07:57:18 AM »
I'm sorry guys but I must point out here that here is a believer trying to make change and an atheist here is using a scientific excuse for not doing it here in this thread.  After all I've heard about belief being a bad thing for this same reason seems a bit ironic to me.  Again I apologize I mean no disrespect to the other atheist here that are willing to make better decisions to improve our way of living here in this nation and around the globe.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2013, 07:58:26 PM »
I'm sorry guys but I must point out here that here is a believer trying to make change and an atheist here is using a scientific excuse for not doing it here in this thread.

The problem is that you are living in cloud-cuckoo land. You have not considered history, you have not considered economics, you have not considered the democratic wish of your fellow countrymen and you have not considered the nature of humans that has not changed much since Adam was a lad.

More than that I have not heard, “Well, this is how we restructure the budget…” Your solution, if it may be called a solution, is “be nice.”

Fine.

Right. Let’s look at history: 600 years ago, life, for the vast majority was described as “nasty, short and brutish” and it was. For the next 600 years, the wars and a few blips aside, the standard of living increased annually. There is no law that says it will always increase but the West is doing well in comparison.

Just so we know how bad it is, I want to know the percentage change in the homeless you describe over, say the last 20 years  and liekwise annual average income. Personally, I don’t think that the situation has reached the drastic levels you claim.

Let’s look at economics:
Money does not appear without inflation. The government requires taxes to do anything. The government is short of money. Where are you going to get your taxes for your schemes? (Hint: it is possible to spend one tax-dollar and get back 3 taxes dollars or more.)

Democracy:
Obviously, it would be wrong to have one person (e.g. you) decided everything for everyone. How do you convince your fellow countrymen of your ideas? And more to the point, how do you tell them to obey your ideas?

I read on godbotherer sites, much about “Surely the end of days is near! There are wars and rumours of wars, there is inhumanity to man and etc… false prophets abound and only Jesus can save us” I’m sure you have read it all before.  The problem is that the situation that is described is the same situation that has been around as long as humans have.

Now this nonsense is what I hear you saying: “It is bad! It is mankind’s doing! Mankind has not followed God’s Law and the rivers will run with blood, the first-born will be taken and my cracked nail will never grow straight.”

The essence of power is that someone tells you that there is true awfulness and only he can save you.

It strikes me, looking at the financial pages that your government is doing just fine. Things aren’t as bad as they were 80 years ago, or even 40 years ago, or even 20 years ago.

So, instead of moaning, why not suggest something that will work and can be implemented, because asking the whole of mankind to change its nature to the way you personally would like them to be just does not cut it.

However, it may just been that you thought that the population were happier, better off, more well cared for, better housing, etc. 200/80/40/20 years ago. If so, look at some social and economic stats.

 
Quote
After all I've heard about belief being a bad thing for this same reason seems a bit ironic to me.  Again I apologize I mean no disrespect to the other atheist here that are willing to make better decisions to improve our way of living here in this nation and around the globe.

Hear Me O Marduk! Save me from this trite, transparently patronizing nonsense! Let’s have some positive, practical suggestions, not something as meaningless as “willing to make better decisions to improve our way of living here in this nation and around the globe.”

What “better decisions”? Cost them out for me!

I’ll suggest one: First tax all churches, temples, mosques, religious radio stations, etc., at 50% on gross income – no deductions allowed, then, after 10 years, get rid of all churches, temples, mosques, etc., sell the land, and put the priests and other parasitic hangers-on to work in manufacturing, service, and agriculture.

Here’s my challenge. You say what you want doing; I point out the impracticalities; you then overcome the practicalities and I agree that you were right.

Simple, isn’t it? It’s really a wonder than no government has managed to think of a way of doing it.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2013, 09:40:38 PM »
Junebugs master plan: stop being greedy...trust in "god".

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2013, 06:59:41 AM »
No Graybeard it is not simple for the same reasons you have already pointed out.  It is very difficult to get 750 million people to agree on anything.  You may be right things may be too far gone to change it or fix it now, especially if it all depends on me.  There are politicians getting paid with my tax dollars that are supposed to be taking care of the problem. 

Taxing the churches is a great idea.  While we're at it the top 2% should pay more taxes than I do at least the same %.  Legalize marijuana and tax it.  Do something about the rich hiding money in foreign countries.  You should check out the link Add posted.

What I am proposing will not cost govey anything but rather increase the nations income.  All I want to see from my government is an interest in the working class and for them to stop catering to the rich.  If a corp. is making profits of 50 billion a year and are forced to increase wages and that costs them 2 million or even 2 billion a year I don't think it will hurt them. 

I would also like for you to know that these ideas are not my property but my support for political organizations that are working as we speak to make the changes necessary to improve life for the nation.  I already have millions on my side.  Furthermore, I don't see the working class objecting to a wage increase designed to narrow the gap between the haves and have nots.

Here's a challenge to you.  Go live on the streets of America for 6 months and then see if you feel the same way or at a location where coal or oil or gas is being extracted and see the children dying from cancer.  Maybe that will grow you a heart.  Go visit the parents that have lost their children to gun violence.  Watch your mother or child die from treatable diseases because they don't have health insurance.

By the way, I am the 1 that pointed out to you that mankind is capable of change and that history is proof.   You are all over the place here. 

Yes Nam it is a great idea to stop being soooooo greedy! 

I don't know how to make people care about others.  I'm hoping to learn more about human behaviors as I study to become a therapist.


Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2013, 09:52:58 AM »

If there were no inheritance of wealth that may be a start to breaking down the barrier between the "have's" and the "have-nots"

You sure got that right.  Although I'm not convinced that clean energy is not a better economical decision compared to continued use of fossil fuels!  As far as using fossil fuels for energy and doing so in a way that does not pollute I believe you are correct.

Will you please elaborate on that last statement?

yes. When one person accumulates wealth, they use it to have a nice life but then they pass on what is left to their descendants.
This is one way that wealth gets concentrated into the hands of very few people who create dynasties of wealth.

Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2013, 10:44:03 AM »

If there were no inheritance of wealth that may be a start to breaking down the barrier between the "have's" and the "have-nots"

You sure got that right.  Although I'm not convinced that clean energy is not a better economical decision compared to continued use of fossil fuels!  As far as using fossil fuels for energy and doing so in a way that does not pollute I believe you are correct.

Will you please elaborate on that last statement?

yes. When one person accumulates wealth, they use it to have a nice life but then they pass on what is left to their descendants.
This is one way that wealth gets concentrated into the hands of very few people who create dynasties of wealth.

What my point is, is to make it so they don't make so much more money than the rest. They can still have their riches and we can still abolish poverty.  Can't let nobody tell me I can't leave my estate to my son.  We have to be fair to be right.  I do think you have a good point.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2013, 11:24:05 AM »
What I am objecting to in your diatribe is that you are simply saying, “Something must be done!” but not saying what should be done. And when challenged, you reply,
There are politicians getting paid with my tax dollars that are supposed to be taking care of the problem.
= “Politicians should do something.” TBH, politicians do need another idea but what it is eludes them. I was rather hoping you could help, otherwise your point is lost and it sounds as if all you are saying is, “I don’t like it, change it!” but not saying how or what it is.

What you propose, for America, and for me is UK, is a fairer distribution of wealth. We used to have that here but the gap between rich and poor has grown. For me, it is not yet disastrous but for a few it may be. Since the Banking Crisis, our standard of living has reduced to 1997 levels (and I don’t remember it being this bad in 1997.)


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Taxing the churches is a great idea.  While we're at it the top 2% should pay more taxes than I do at least the same %.  Legalize marijuana and tax it.  Do something about the rich hiding money in foreign countries.  You should check out the link Add posted.

Elsewhere on the site, I did suggest $1 a gallon tax on gas -> reduce consumption - > create billions of tax dollars -> spend $billions on public works. And gas is still far cheaper than in Europe. Except (a) this would be the end of any politician that suggested it (b) the move is inflationary.

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What I am proposing will not cost govey anything

Except votes

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If a corp. is making profits of 50 billion a year and are forced to increase wages and that costs them 2 million or even 2 billion a year I don't think it will hurt them. […] Furthermore, I don't see the working class objecting to a wage increase designed to narrow the gap between the haves and have nots.

It would hurt them to the tune of  $2 million or even 2 billion… and they’d put prices up, so the poor would suffer. The poor would demand pay rises, inflation would take place and nobody is better off.

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Here's a challenge to you.  Go live on the streets of America for 6 months and then see if you feel the same way or at a location where coal or oil or gas is being extracted and see the children dying from cancer.

If you can show a causal link, then a class action awaits; if you can’t then you cannot claim cause and effect.

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Maybe that will grow you a heart.

You think with your brain and act with your heart. We can only act effectively after we have thought. 

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Go visit the parents that have lost their children to gun violence.  Watch your mother or child die from treatable diseases because they don't have health insurance.

Or I could go and live in a place that is very similar to the place I am now.

It is no use your producing all these graphic descriptions of suffering, without knowing what percentage you are speaking of. Total elimination is not possible: You yourself, above described how difficult it is to get people to agree on anything and don’t forget that throwing money at a project is not the best way to solve it – a far longer-term approach is needed.

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By the way, I am the 1 that pointed out to you that mankind is capable of change and that history is proof.   You are all over the place here.

Please see what I wrote. I was clear on the fact that mankind has not changed. Our conditions have changed and we do not need to be as aggressive or heartless. BUT, if really bad times arose for any protracted time, we would show our true colours: the apparent change is nothing more than a veneer.

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I don't know how to make people care about others.

Then you can have no solutions

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I'm hoping to learn more about human behaviors as I study to become a therapist.

There was once a horrible ‘plane crash on an interstate. It was foggy and cars piled into the crash. Like all scenes of this sort, after the crashing has stopped, an eerie silence descends through which the voices of those in grief and pain were heard.

Then rushing through the wreckage came a guy dressed in a white coat and carrying equipment. He shouted out, “Let me through, I’m an aromatherapist!”

The moral is, if you are going to be a therapist, do ensure that you base it on science.
 
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline junebug72

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2013, 11:44:07 AM »
^I don't disagree with you.  I can only wish I had the answer to eliminate suffering in the world.  I am venting here.  Hoping to find like minded folk to join the fight.

There will be no price hikes if it is written into law.  The only votes they will lose will be multiplied times 10 for the votes they will gain.  Lose the votes of the rich and gain 10 million more.  Most people don't vote because they don't like politicians.  They don't trust either one so they don't vote.  Those people would show up in droves if a politician was on their side fighting against the poverty they live with everyday.  That is why America voted for it's first black president.  Hands tied by bureaucracy.

I'm saying the weight of the nation is not on my shoulders alone.  I need help.  Together we can make things happen.  I think I need a brilliant economist to join the conversation.  Oh that's where I got these ideas from in the first place.  His name is Dr. Richard Wolfe.  Check him out, he can give you the figures you want. 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2013, 11:56:29 AM »
Lose the votes of the rich and gain 10 million more. 

It's not the votes of the rich they're worried about.  It's the money of the rich that pay for their campaigns.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2013, 03:09:58 PM »
So what do you think your nation does that is an act against itself?  I have a few things on my list but for now I want to suggest that pollution and out of control greed are strikes against ourselves.
1) The mentality that it is totally OK and even virtuous to accept the truth of a claim irrespective of evidence (or lack thereof) to suggest the the claim as 'true' is a big one for me.
2) Rampant anti-intellectualism (somewhat related to #1).
3) U.S.A.-centric egotism - the notion that being an American is somehow 'special' or 'better' compared to being 'not an American'.
4) Unjustified over-cynicism: focusing only on the bad and forgetting to look at and acknowledge the good things that go on in this country and the goodness that many, many, many of the general populace possess.  It leads to undue negative judgment to those around you, proliferates feelings of overwhelming hopelessness, and promotes a "too much broken shit/can't do a damn thing to fix it/won't do a damn thing to try" attitude that is ultimately detrimental.

Ditto to #1.

Okay to #2

#3- Isn't that being patriotic.  It has also been said that being a poor American is the best place to be poor.
The ego-centrism I allude to is beyond normal patriotism.  There really are some people who think Americans are better than non-Americans...not that they are doing better but that they are actually better human beings than others.

I agree that being a poor American probably is the best kind of poor to be.
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#4-Kind of contradictory.  You want folks to concentrate on the goodness but then you say people aren't doing anything to fix problems.  If they're focusing on the goodness then they're not thinking about the badness.  Maybe that's already going on and that's why people do nothing, because their lives aren't being negatively affected by it.
You have a point there.  I should say that I don't mean for people to focus on the good, but to at least acknowledge the good.  There are just people out there that are so cynical that they think everything is broken beyond repair and won't even make an attempt to entertain solutions.

If they focus on the badness and forget to acknowledge the good they run the risk of that kind of burn out.  Further, looking at what works is often a very good idea when trying to solve problems.  I'm not saying it's an easy thing or anything like that, but I see far too much cynicism.  Which is funny based on how pessimistic I am naturally.
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I do agree that Americans can be egotistical but I believe the bigger problem is self-centeredness and laziness.  The poverty industry is somewhat,IMO, part of the problem.  You can send a check and say well I've done my part, problem is how much of that $20 you sent actually goes to hungry people?  Obviously not enough.  Furthermore it goes to other countries.  I'm all for helping other countries; not enabling.  I also believe there is so much more we could do if we were a better economical example.
I equate self-centeredness with egotism in this case.
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Anyway I keep thinking it will get worse before it gets better and this is why.  There is not enough people being affected negatively enough to care.  It will take a lot of Americans standing together to make the changes we want and until enough people are suffering to the point where they are ready, which means it's not bad enough yet, the upper 2% will keep abusing this nation and it's people.
I don't know if I agree that it will get worse before it gets better, but I wholeheartedly agree that it will indeed take a lot of Americans standing together to make positive change.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

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Re: America-My Own Worst Enemy?
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2013, 10:22:29 AM »
Further, looking at what works is often a very good idea when trying to solve problems. 

This. All day, every day, this.


My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.