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Thread: Oh, how you have changed

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Oh, how you have changed

    Oh, how you have changed

    The older ones of you may know what I mean: you love and admire someone for a long time and some day you realize that this beloved person changed completely through the years. And you wonder how this could happen.

    It seems as if this does not only happen with beloved persons but also with beloved nations.

    Long time ago when I was young I learned to admire and love the United States of America. America had liberated us from the Nazis and our new constitution based on the ideals of freedom and civil rights. Americans had shown us that sometimes it was necessary for you to fight for this freedom and for these rights and that they are worth to risk your life for them. During the cold war years I stood side by side with American soldiers to defend this freedom.
    Then America was the ideal of all free countries. The US domination based even more on the American ideals and culture than on the economical and military strength. America sent us Coca Cola and Burgers, Chuck Berry and John Wayne , and we took all with enthusiasm. We caroled when the Americans landed on the moon and somehow it was also our triumph. We all seemed to be a bit American.

    In every relationship there are resentments. Vietnam, of course. I never understood why America fought such a small underdeveloped country. America always a bit gun crazy, while it was easier to enforce her ideals with other arguments. McCarthy and Watergate were irritating, but they also showed that America had the strength to return to her ideals if she was on the wrong path.

    Now, after a relationship of many decades, in which we won the cold war together and lived in wealth and freedom, I cannot prevent from recognizing that the US changed. What happened to the country I loved so long. What happened to the ideas of freedom and civil rights? What happened to our friendship? Are the Americans so scared from terror that they accept that the government or better said some obscure secret organizations control their personal lives? Is their security more important than their freedom and civil rights? How does it come that the secret services get all my personal data if I want to visit the country? That foreigners can be arrested for unlimited time without any trial? I am not talking about the USSR, but the USA, formally known as land of the free. How does it come that US administration spies on citizens in friendly countries? That they infract our constitution, which is still the one that is built on the (former) ideals of America?

    Oh yeah, Baby, I got to tell you, you really changed.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Hi Fran, glad to see you.

    And those are the very questions I am asking my self!

    How easily the “Land of the Free” has become a totalitarian Security State.


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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    There wasn't much of a break from the "Land of the Free" being a major slave owner, to then merely having segreggation to now broadening the suspicion to practically everyone.

    The "American Dream" was often just that.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Spare me rory, as a nation state the US had slavery for about 90 year. The hypocrisy bothered the founders and we fought a bloody war to end it. Racial stereotypes continued for about another 90 years, but Black slavery was started by you and the Dutch.

    How many years did it continue? How long did you have a system of engenderment? How long did racial stereotypes exist in the UK or other parts of the world?

    Pot-Kettle-Black
    Last edited by Fisherking; 07-05-2013 at 10:28.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    90 years. That seems quite a long time for such a young country. Perhaps we should term this in percentage of existence of the country.
    Several founders were slave owners, and even the White House was built using slave labour. A Civil War was fought as clearly others wanted to keep their slaves. When they lost they did the next best thing.

    Did I was the UK was better?
    When was the UK ever referred to as the "Land of the Free"?
    When did we ever have a "send us your poor" etc?

    I think you'll find slavery went back somewhat before the British and the Dutch.

    The thread was how the USA has fallen from the bastion of hope, not how in fact it is as bad as everyone else and pretty much always was.

    Last edited by rory_20_uk; 07-05-2013 at 10:51.
    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    The role of the Dutch is actually not all that big, but it wasn't a very nice thing to do of course. It was mostly a trade for privateers avoiding authorities, it didn't win you any kudo's. All tradeports in Africa were owned by the Portugese and some took the job.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    I think when the dust settles and we can all look back on these times with clearer eyes it'll be obvious that the European nations were generally complicit, either by participating or boot-licking. There's no high-horse to be had here.
    There is no high horse, I agree. But the US is acting, while the others are only complicit, as you cal them. And it seems that the Americans care little about it, while any minister or even the Bundeskanzlerin would loose their jobs if they had to admit that they knew and appreciated this illegal excerzises.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    90 years. That seems quite a long time for such a young country. Perhaps we should term this in percentage of existence of the country.
    Several founders were slave owners, and even the White House was built using slave labour. A Civil War was fought as clearly others wanted to keep their slaves. When they lost they did the next best thing.

    Did I was the UK was better?
    When was the UK ever referred to as the "Land of the Free"?
    When did we ever have a "send us your poor" etc?

    I think you'll find slavery went back somewhat before the British and the Dutch.

    The thread was how the USA has fallen from the bastion of hope, not how in fact it is as bad as everyone else and pretty much always was.

    Before black slavery there was, you know, equal opportunity slavery. Black Slaves just became a lubricities trade.

    And yes governments can be bad, as can individuals and interest groups.

    You don’t need to tell me all the wrongs of the US government either. Statistically I am recorded as Native American, but I prefer Indian.

    All the same, it was our Constitution which made the difference. Rules for government and governance.

    You have no written constitution so in the end your rights are what Parliament says they are, tradition or not.

    Our government is violating those rules, and your rules, and everyone else’s. It must be stopped. It is just a question of how do you do that?


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    There is no high horse, I agree. But the US is acting, while the others are only complicit, as you cal them. And it seems that the Americans care little about it, while any minister or even the Bundeskanzlerin would loose their jobs if they had to admit that they knew and appreciated this illegal excerzises.
    In truth, I think it is being under reported. Most of the press and media outlets are deeply entrenched supporters of Obama. Were it a Republican President I am sure he would have already been under extreme pressure to resign. But by giving this man the green light, how do we stop the next, and the next?

    It is flat out insane.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    You have no written constitution so in the end your rights are what Parliament says they are, tradition or not.
    Wrong, all European countries have the European convention on human rights, enforced by the court in Strasbourg which stands above all other institutions.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Wrong, all European countries have the European convention on human rights, enforced by the court in Strasbourg which stands above all other institutions.
    Right, and how will the EU enforce it? NATO or the EU Army?


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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    Right, and how will the EU enforce it? NATO or the EU Army?
    With staggering amounts of paperwork. Including memos.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    Right, and how will the EU enforce it? NATO or the EU Army?
    Probably depends on the country. In the UK we like whinging about the rules... but then follow them. Deporting those wanted for terrorism with convictions of inciting religious violence / intolerance etc takes years thanks to their human rights - even when under the system they want they should be taken outside and publically killed.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
    If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter. Winston Churchill

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    With staggering amounts of paperwork. Including memos.
    Yea, like all the Americans sitting in their living room, talking to the TV and saying “The government can’t do that”.

    Works all the time, huh?


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    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    What happened to the ideas of freedom and civil rights? What happened to our friendship? Are the Americans so scared from terror that they accept that the government or better said some obscure secret organizations control their personal lives? Is their security more important than their freedom and civil rights? How does it come that the secret services get all my personal data if I want to visit the country? That foreigners can be arrested for unlimited time without any trial? I am not talking about the USSR, but the USA, formally known as land of the free. How does it come that US administration spies on citizens in friendly countries? That they infract our constitution, which is still the one that is built on the (former) ideals of America?

    Oh yeah, Baby, I got to tell you, you really changed.
    Your glasses. They are rose colored.

    Same as it ever was.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    To be fair, this is just a continuation of what's been going on since LBJ's days, and both parties are complicit. It is all about the abdication of power by the legislative to the executive (and, by extension, the military and intelligence agencies), and that's a process that has been going on for decades.

    The lack of news coverage has as much to do with the media generally loving Obama (minus Fox, of course) as it does with a deeply ingrained desire to ignore the fact that Americans have been going down the wrong path for a very long time. There are aspects of our culture that need fixing in a way that people don't want to admit.

    And I'll be blunt, actually addressing the cultural issues that need fixing would probably result in another North-South war. So it'll never happen.
    It is correct that it has been going on for a long time, though more subtle.

    The same with information, it has not been open and honest for a long time.

    The political subversion is not partisan, but to a degree the reporting of it is.

    A free and independent democracy depends upon the free flow of news to an informed populous.

    Bradley Manning released 630,000 secret documents. Few of these had anything to do with our security, yet they were classified Secret. Why keep secrets from the American Public, what has nothing to do with security? Then came Snowden, telling us not only was the government keeping secrets but that they were spying on everyone, American and all.

    It does not keep anyone safer.

    We know the government lies, yet we tolerate it. We mostly only get upset when the news tells us to get upset, and they don’t do that often.

    Why do we tolerate this? Congress lies and the President lies. The fact that they lie is important. What they lie about would usually be better served with the truth. So they are not even good lies.

    The courts do not go with out blame in this either. They have ruled that corporations are people and that money is speech, meaning that if you don’t have unlimited money your speech will not be heard by those in power.

    It is long sense time we put aside political leanings and recognize that the people have an enemy, and that enemy is our government.

    And the only way to fight it is not with arms but with protest and outrage!


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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    Your glasses. They are rose colored.

    Same as it ever was.
    Indeed. The only thing going for USA in those years was the bigger boogeyman in the east.

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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    The same with information, it has not been open and honest for a long time.
    Could you please specify the decade when it was freer than it was now?
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    Could you please specify the decade when it was freer than it was now?
    In this context I was referring to traditional media, i.e. Newspapers and TV. The web has lots of information, and lots of disinformation. Knowing which is which is not always easy.

    But as Frags implies, you don’t get much news from quality news outlets.


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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    In this context I was referring to traditional media, i.e. Newspapers and TV. The web has lots of information, and lots of disinformation. Knowing which is which is not always easy.

    But as Frags implies, you don’t get much news from quality news outlets.
    And I'm still waiting for that specification of the exact time when it was more "open and honest"....
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    And I'm still waiting for that specification of the exact time when it was more "open and honest"....
    At any point previous. It has been a gradual process. I first became aware of the disparity in the 1970s and that disparity in truth and reporting has studiedly grown.


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    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    At any point previous. It has been a gradual process. I first became aware of the disparity in the 1970s and that disparity in truth and reporting has studiedly grown.
    Your glasses. They are also rose colored.

    To be less flippant though, you're really mistaken. This is a perception you have because you haven't actually seen old-school media in depth. For my undergraduate thesis, I read every single issue of The Times from January 1, 1933, to December 31, 1939. Those papers were certainly not "open and honest." While they allowed the expression of divergent views, they had massive political bias in both their reporting and their editorializing that is obvious to modern eyes. That was a UK paper, but I would not expect to find anything different in the US during the same period. Some media outlets backed the government, others backed the opposition, but all were significantly biased. Today is much better simply because the consumer has a much larger choice of sources, so they can get around the new monopoly that used to be held by their local media outlets.
    Last edited by TinCow; 07-05-2013 at 12:54.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    Your glasses. They are also rose colored.

    To be less flippant though, you're really mistaken. This is a perception you have because you haven't actually seen old-school media in depth. For my undergraduate thesis, I read every single issue of The Times from January 1, 1933, to December 31, 1939. Those papers were certainly not "open and honest." While they allowed the expression of divergent views, they had massive political bias in both their reporting and their editorializing that is obvious to modern eyes. That was a UK paper, but I would not expect to find anything different in the US during the same period. Some media outlets backed the government, others backed the opposition, but all were significantly biased. Today is much better simply because the consumer has a much larger choice of sources, so they can get around the new monopoly that used to be held by their local media outlets.
    No, that is not the case. US news and News from International sources was not the same. Much more than just a , how it effects us, view point. Critical facts were omitted or actually changed when presented in the US.

    The other news outlets I was using were Canadian, Irish, and BBC. Unless you think ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times are yellow journalism rags?


    edit:Under democratic administrations the tendency to doctor the news seems a little stronger but it still occurs under Republicans. This was particularly true under Reagan. I say this because under his administration he went so far as to ban Canadian broadcasts.

    Canadian stations were blocked from US cable and Canadian News was removed from those stations operating on the US-Canadian border. Thankfully, they could not block radio.
    Last edited by Fisherking; 07-05-2013 at 13:24.


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    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    At any point previous. It has been a gradual process. I first became aware of the disparity in the 1970s and that disparity in truth and reporting has studiedly grown.
    So it was more open and free under McCarthyism or when communist newspapers were jailed?

    Oh please.
    Last edited by HoreTore; 07-05-2013 at 13:19.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

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    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherking View Post
    No, that is not the case. US news and News from International sources was not the same. Much more than just a , how it effects us, view point. Critical facts were omitted or actually changed when presented in the US.

    The other news outlets I was using were Canadian, Irish, and BBC. Unless you think ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times are yellow journalism rags?
    You said that news media was more "open and honest... [a]t any previous point" than it is today. My point was to emphasize the lack of open and honest reporting in media at previous points in history which refute this statement. The very idea that you are capable of referencing news media from FOUR separate countries in your post shows just how little you understand what media was actually like prior to globalization. Back then it was difficult to get news media coverage that originated outside of your city, let alone outside of your country. The population of any given country was given a very narrow window into what was going on beyond their immediate range of vision. That window was heavily colored by political influence at the highest levels. Major media owners were constantly working with or against political parties and organizations, and the media they produced was a direct reflection of that fact. There were also no other options for consumer to get around these biases. As an American living in Ohio, I could not have accessed news from Canada, Ireland, and Britain, at least not very easily and not in a timely fashion. Even if I could, unless I was multilingual my news consumption options would have been limited to Anglophone nations, which presents its own clear bias.
    Last edited by TinCow; 07-05-2013 at 13:44.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by HoreTore View Post
    So it was more open and free under McCarthyism or when communist newspapers were jailed?

    Oh please.
    You are talking about things that happened before you were born, to know what actually happened and that I was much too young to remember. Did it start then? I don’t know. As I said I became aware of it in the 1970s and have seen it get worse.


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    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    America has changed because the world has changed. New technology allows things that were downright unthinkable just 30 years ago. A group of like-minded individuals can coalesce on the Internet regardless of physical distance between them. They can share ideas, come up with a plan, do their research, coordinate their actions to ensure that their plan is a total success. That plan can be anything from organizing a college grad reunion in Aruba to simply killing a whole bunch of people with homemade IEDs.
    The US government cannot operate today like it did a generation ago. Bhutan still can. Maybe Papua New Guinea can as well. America has to stay on top of these things.
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    So you think it is a problem caused by the press? I do not know. In the 80ies, we had far less media, radio and TV was public. Today we have loads of private broadcasters and - of course - the internet.

    But think that a man publishes secret documents to blame the government for violating civil rights and he has to flee. When I was young, that would have been a Soviet dissdent looking for shelter at Washington D.C.. Today he is at Moscow, blaming the US government, which is not really denying what she has done. You see what I mean, things have changed.

    I do not think that you can put all the blame on the media. And I am not looking for a cause or even a solution. It is just shocking to see our old ally standing on the other side. So what has my government, my people to do?
    Following the Americans like we always did. Or sticking to their original values and break with the US?

    America has changed because the world has changed. New technology allows things that were downright unthinkable just 30 years ago. A group of like-minded individuals can coalesce on the Internet regardless of physical distance between them. They can share ideas, come up with a plan, do their research, coordinate their actions to ensure that their plan is a total success. That plan can be anything from organizing a college grad reunion in Aruba to simply killing a whole bunch of people with homemade IEDs.
    The US government cannot operate today like it did a generation ago. Bhutan still can. Maybe Papua New Guinea can as well. America has to stay on top of these things.
    World was always changing. Couple of years ago they introduced a new communication technology called "letters", which made it possible for people living at different places to coordinate their actions. Nevertheless the government may not read the letters! Eps. not here at Germany!! Very esp. not mine!!!
    Last edited by Franconicus; 07-05-2013 at 13:46.

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    Moderator Moderator Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by TinCow View Post
    You said that news media was more "open and honest... [a]t any point previous point" than it is today. My point was to emphasize the lack of open and honest reporting in media at previous points in history which refute this statement. The very idea that you are capable of referencing news media from FOUR separate countries in your post shows just how little you understand what media was actually like prior to globalization. Back then it was difficult to get news media coverage that originated outside of your city, let alone outside of your country. The population of any given country was given a very narrow window into what was going on beyond their immediate range of vision. That window was heavily colored by political influence at the highest levels. Major media owners were constantly working with or against political parties and organizations, and the media they produced was a direct reflection of that fact. There were also no other options for consumer to get around these biases. As an American living in Ohio, I could not have have accessed news from Canada, Ireland, and Britain, at least not very easily and not in a timely fashion. Even if I could, unless I was multilingual my news consumption options would have been limited to Anglophone nations, which presents its own clear bias.
    Of course there was yellow journalism and information or disinformation has been used by individuals and nations in the past.

    The more salient point, in my opinion however, is that we are lied to not only by those in power but by our supposedly free press.

    And yes, I also used other sources when they were available but this was a period before the internet or of a computer in every home so those sources were hard to come by.

    It was enough to know that on any given issue you could not trust US sources without also examining what the international press was reporting on the subject.

    If you don’t find that disturbing, I am sorry but I do.


    Education: that which reveals to the wise,
    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
    Mark Twain

  30. #30
    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh, how you have changed

    Quote Originally Posted by Franconicus View Post
    So you think it is a problem caused by the press? I do not know. In the 80ies, we had far less media, radio and TV was public. Today we have loads of private broadcasters and - of course - the internet.
    The information sharing has become an almost instant process. More importantly, you can release enormous amounts of data on the internet (like it happen with Wikileaks).

    But think that a man publishes secret documents to blame the government for violating civil rights and he has to flee. When I was young, that would have been a Soviet dissdent looking for shelter at Washington D.C.. Today he is at Moscow, blaming the US government, which is not really denying what she has done. You see what I mean, things have changed.
    Let him stay there. If he spends the rest of his days at the Moscow airport, I will be a happy man. He is willing to hurt his country's interests for the sake of fame. When whistleblowers alert the country to some sort of problem, they usually manage to do so without committing treason in the process. This guy is a scumbag.

    I do not think that you can put all the blame on the media. And I am not looking for a cause or even a solution. It is just shocking to see our old ally standing on the other side. So what has my government, my people to do? Following the Americans like we always did. Or sticking to their original values and break with the US?
    I am sorry to hear that you perceive us to be "on the other side". I do not think that is the case at all.
    "And if the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war and not popularity seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war." - William Tecumseh Sherman

    “The market, like the Lord, helps those who help themselves. But unlike the Lord, the market does not forgive those who know not what they do.” - Warren Buffett

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