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Author Topic: The Politics of Fear
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2007 17:05      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fearing Fear itself - Paul Krugman

There have been other eras when demagogues have flourished in America, but sooner or later the madness of the crowds subsides and their time passes. Do you think this latest manifestation of a collective delusion is at last on the wane? Or do you take this article to indicate that there are still a sizeable number of Americans who believe they are engaged in some titanic world shaking struggle with evil?

It is a solely American phenomenon. Here in Europe for example any politician talking about the threat of Islamofascism or the coming of Eurabia would simply be treated with derision.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2007 18:01      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Callipygous __________________ I have thought for a long time that the GOP needs a boggy man. Some one to be afraid of, so that the populance will not see that the rest of the country is falling apart. I see in this country a drive for new this and new that but nothing to maintain the old breaking down stuff that was once new, roads need repair, bridges are rusting apart, underground gas and water main need to be replaced, Sewers are undersized. But we need this new weapon system to protect us from the boggy man.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
ASM65816
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Icon 2 posted November 10, 2007 20:13      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
from the NY Times article:

For one thing, there isn't actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it's not an ideology; it's a figment of the neocon imagination.

November 10, 2007 17:05
Here in Europe for example any politician talking about the threat of Islamofascism or the coming of Eurabia would simply be treated with derision.

There's "No Threat"?
  • If a friend says "I'll kill you" -- it's probably just a figure of speech.
  • If a stranger says "I'll kill you" once -- it's suspicious.
  • If a stranger says "I'll kill you" every week, and does it publicly -- it cause for serious concern.
  • If a stranger says "I'll kill you" every week, and belongs to a group with a history of murdering innocent people -- it's a criminal threat just like a Mafia thug would make.
  • When the people making death-threats proudly proclaim they've done a great service to "god" by killing people regardless of race and religion -- the threat is from STARK-RAVING-LUNATICS and the threat is REAL.

FYI: "EVERY" Arab Terrorist states that his actions are for "god." (Sarcasm -- Maybe a lot of terrorists blow themselves up in crowded markets because they lost bets on soccer games, even though I haven't seen that in the news.)

Please explain how Islamic governments like the Taliban and Iranian state are:
  • Less like Fascism -- oppression, censorship, killing dissidents, ... and that kind of stuff.
        and
  • More like Free Societies -- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, ... open to different political views.

Do me a favor, write an essay entitled:
    Don't Worry When Someone Says "I'm Helping God by Killing You"

Maybe I'll see that there's never been any threat at all.   [shake head]

Here's an idea: When someone participates at a Terrorist Training Camp -- lock them away. If you don't think training in hostage-taking and making car bombs indicates criminal intent -- tell me why.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

Posts: 1035 | From: Third rock from sun. | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2007 01:47      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Do you think this latest manifestation of a collective delusion is at last on the wane?

The "delusion" you refer to has, for the most part, been steadily fading for the past five years, based on my experience and backed up by various polls. As he says in the article: "Most Americans have now regained their balance."

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2007 03:06      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
From TFA:
In America’s darkest hour, Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the nation not to succumb to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.”

Today, many ... have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns.

Druids rules of politics, #37:
When a politician tells you to be afraid, there's not much to worry about.
When a politician tries to soothe your fears, you know the country's in deep sh1t.

ASM:

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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ASM65816
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Icon 2 posted November 11, 2007 08:36      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
November 11, 2007 03:06

Druids rules of politics, #37:
When a politician tells you to be afraid, there's not much to worry about.

Assuming that TFD's statement is true, then ...

When the politicians of Islamic countries tell the people "The Non-Believers are trying to destroy us and all of Islam" -- they are fear-mongering to control the masses (because there's not much to worry about).

quote:
When a politician tries to soothe your fears, you know the country's in deep sh1t.
So after Islamic terrorists have killed thousands, European politicians that tell the masses "there is nothing to fear" indicate Europe's "in deep sh1t."

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

Posts: 1035 | From: Third rock from sun. | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted November 12, 2007 19:37      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Once upong a time, just a few years ago, Republicans said,

"Hey, We're all going to die! Iraq has WMDs! I swear! Ya gotta believe me! Quick! Now! War! War, now! Or we're all gonna die! WMDs!"

But they lied.

And we're supposed to believe them now?

If the Republicans truly believed that danger was imminent, then they should admit their incompetence, resign their offices and allow somebody to run this country who actually is commited to winning a war.

Until they do, all their words are simply "Peter and the Wolf." And those who believe them are fools.

Join me now, will you all, in a rousing rendition of "American Idiot" by Green Day.

Colonel Panic

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Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
ASM65816
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Icon 2 posted November 13, 2007 23:16      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
November 12, 2007, 19:37
Once upong a time, just a few years ago, Republicans said .......

"You people" rely heavily on ignoring Saddam's behavior and world events in the decade before the current Iraq war.

If you would check your facts, you'd see ...
  Clinton was the first to say Saddam was a dangerous and evil man that should be removed from power.

Of course, some "liberals" may have a cloudy view of October 31, 1998
quote:
<begin dream sequence ... Leftist Lunatic "remembers" Clinton ....>

Clinton: By signing the Iraq Liberation Act which states US support for the removal of Saddam in response to his years of criminal behavior, my cloud-like fluffiness is a happy cheese biscuit ... WHEEEEEEEEEE ... I LOVE YOU SADDAM!!!

 
An "inconvenient truth" is that the US Senate unanimously agreed Saddam was criminal and should be removed from power, and the House of Representatives supported the law by a vote of 360 to 38.
quote:
<begin dream sequence ... Conspiracy Nut "remembers" the Congressional vote ....>

Congress: By our vote declaring Saddam a dangerous criminal that must be removed from power, we are slandering a sweet, kind-hearted, honest Muslim who has deserved the Nobel Peace Prize while our Zionist masters control the world with the illusion that governments and other secret organizations are doing everything evil.... Bring forth the human sacrifice!

In case you didn't notice: The US had many reasons to remove Saddam from power (even in 1998 under Clinton).

Please amuse me by saying "Clinton lied about Saddam ... his words were just Peter and the Wolf" (or you could call Clinton a fascist ... that would be funny too).

(Want to here about corruption and Saddam next?)

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 13, 2007 23:52      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2007 02:29      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, I've got a 1920 pixel wide display and I've got a fucking scroll bar. Enough with the stretched image already, okay? It's obviously NOT making a difference and it makes the topic hard to skim.

*edit*
Thank you for reducing the size of the image, TFD.

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted November 14, 2007 17:35      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
[QUOTE]Please amuse me by saying "Clinton lied about Saddam

Why would I want to amuse a humorless, ignorant, racist boor from the deep South?

I am not a liberal, but I am descended from southern slaves. And I know damn well when a boy from the south uses the word "Liberal" he means NIGGER.

We've been through this before, ASM.

Go burn your crosses in somebody elses yard.

Colonel Panic

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ASM65816
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Icon 2 posted November 15, 2007 00:03      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CP, here's the facts:
  • Clinton told the truth when he said Saddam was an evil, dangerous man that deserved to be removed from power.
     
  • Congress agreed with Clinton that Saddam deserved to be removed from power because Saddam was an evil and dangerous man.
 
It's sad that your "Bush-Always-Lies" mentality makes you deny the truth that Clinton told the world almost a decade ago.

As far as I can tell, you're "mentally ill;" otherwise you'd be able to say that Clinton lied or was wrong, or you'd say Saddam needed to be removed from power because Clinton was right. FYI: It is logically impossible to "truthfully" make a false statement.
 
quote:
And I know damn well when a boy from the south uses the word "Liberal" he means NIGGER.
That's kind of funny when I think of Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo as "Liberals."

CP, think of this as an "open letter." It's not about changing your mind; it's about some of your extremely irrational behavior.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 15, 2007 02:22      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ASM, "deserved to be removed from power" is not the same as "should be removed from power by us". As history and the current situation in Iraq, amply demonstrate, first wars tend to have social and political consequences throughout the surrounding countries that are completely unpredictable and not always benign, and secondly that deposing a tyrant can often leave a political vacuum that is then filled by forces worse than him.

The point of the article is that the threat that Saddam represented was grossly overstated, and I suspect that even you in your heart of hearts know this to be true. The threat currently represented by Iran in particular, and Islamist terrorism in general though significant, is likewise very exaggerated by the right.

However dreadful and tragic 9/11 was, we must bear in mind that the odds are microscopic that they could pull off a similar coup again, and indeed the chances of staging any serious attack on the US mainland is now very small indeed. Here in Europe and particularly in the UK, the chances of more attacks like the London bombings are much more likely, and indeed probable, but that will not result in the overthrow of the state. We put up with the American funded IRA bombing campaign so this won't be much more difficult, and pandering to the self importance of these criminals only strengthens them and burnishes some glamour on the myth they seek to project. So we must not let this rule our lives, or our politics.

This is my advice to you ASM. Drop the hysteria. Keep calm and carry on.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted November 15, 2007 15:55      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As usual I have to agree with Calli except on one point.

We in the UK became used to the security levels required to at least have a hope of lessening IRA/other extremist group's antics long ago (almost accepting it on the level of an an extension of the "Blitz" mentality) - the levels of "anti terror" legislation now being proposed here seem to me to be going out of control. But that is why we have a half hope "democratic" system, if your favourites falter or let you down you can always "change horses". (My point is I don't see any way that "islamist terror groups" are any more likely to strike here than anywhere else..)

But I have seen a nasty trend both here and in the US (at least via TV) to make bogeymen from real tragedy that can be put up as "justification" to support strange deals that when all is said and done "no-one" wants to admit to having been a party to...

i.e. Iraqi WMD, Iran's sudden rise to "big threat", the state's right to suddenly waive your rights if you are considered a threat to "state security"

All I can say is better said by others - but Mr Townsend's particularly bitter tune "won't get fooled again" springs to mind..

I have no doubt that like me Calli, and probably others such as gg, CP, MO Man, Cap't Vic and more of a 'certain age' know and "get" this particular "45" in a sad kind of way; the sort of "when will we ever learn" kind of way...

We all bemoan the loss of the young men - but we only ever make wars for young men to fight... Perhaps HG Wells was right way back in "Little Wars" - let us play out our stupid conflicts with toy soldiers and set ourselves the goal of making the "sport of war" (my phrasing) just that.. a UN/Olympic game where by some agreed deal the bets are laid and forced to be honoured... without the need for thousands of young people and innocents to give up their lives...

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted November 15, 2007 22:23      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nobody Wanted Peace, They Just Wanted to Piss-Off America
quote:
November 15, 2007 02:22
ASM, "deserved to be removed from power" is not the same as "should be removed from power by us."

... and it's likely that you've provided a very accurate summary of US politics against Saddam in 1998.

However, if you want someone removed from power, the last thing you want is to have that someone become more powerful.

How did "the world" respond to this situation through the years? They helped Saddam regain power, and the way they did it indicates their #1 Priority was "Piss Off America."
  • Saddam's 78 palaces worth $2 billion are probably the best example because they COULD NOT be missed by spy satellites, and they clearly cost a lot of money ... while Saddam should have been crippled by economic sanctions.
 
It seems like everyone dealing with Saddam wanted to get caught doing the wrong thing. Was the real goal of "corruption" to "Piss Off America"?
  • Benon Sevan was the "head of the Oil for Food Program" and received $160,000 (in bribes) from Saddam. Sevan was Assistant Secretary-General in the UN.
 
People say "the US should have abided by the decisions of the United Nations."
  • If you knew a government official (like Benon Sevan) was constantly taking bribes, how could you trust him?
  • If every act of corruption by the government official helped your #1 enemy, would you treat the official as a friend?
  • If that government official said you should do something, why would you do what he told you?
 
Although I said "a government official" above -- the reality is that thousands of people (not Americans) in positions of power were helping Saddam, and it seems they wanted America to see Iraq as a country getting farther out of control at the hands of a dangerous man.

I cannot provide a more kind-hearted assessment of "the straw that broke the camel's back" and led to the Iraq war; otherwise, I'd have to say real nasty things about non-Americans that are not from Iraq (nor Iran).

quote:
PS: Please don't say "no one really about those crimes until after the invasion of Iraq" -- Clinton and Congress knew about what Saddam was doing back in 1998, Saddam never became a better person, and until liberals start calling Clinton bad names (like a liar), I'll remind people that Saddam was so bad that even Clinton dropped bombs on Iraq.
... then again, the thread could die quietly.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

Posts: 1035 | From: Third rock from sun. | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 16, 2007 01:54      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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