The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Worth the wait, sir.
Those who make the parallel with ancient Rome have no earthly conception of what it meant to defy the Roman legions. For those who want to find out, read Flavius Josephus, The Jewish War (alternately, The Wars of the Jews). He was an officer of the Jewish rebels before he turned traitor, and saw firsthand the kind of slaughter that was Rome's trademark.
If we were Rome, the entire Middle East would be a desolate wasteland today. Mecca would be burned to ash and sown with salt.
"If we were Rome, the entire Middle East would be a desolate wasteland today. Mecca would be burned to ash and sown with salt."
I suspect that it would only take a nuke or major biological attack here in the states to turn us into a version of the Roman Empire, at least regarding the war making side of it.
Probably the only questions raised at that point would be what percentage of the Middle East should be turned to glass, and if other associated Islamic areas should also glow in the dark. Unfortunately, it appears that the loony tunes of Islam think we would never do this. I believe they are grievously mistaken.
We now know what YOU'VE been up to.
"United States of Amnesia", huh? I like that.
Some notable episodes:
1)Price of a gallon of gasoline in the summer of 1990. (Before the 1st "War for Oil").
2)Where Iraq flew it's fighter planes to during Desert Storm/First War for Oil.
3)Price of a gallon of oil in the winter of 2002. (Before the "Second War for Oil").
4)The arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the Anthrax murders in the autumn of 2001. (The succesful biological WMD attacks on Americans).
5) Moammar Qadaffi's several hundred tons of mustard gas.(If a 3rd rate Bargain Basement dictator like Momo could brew up a batch, what could a REAL wealthy bastard do?)
6) How did "our bastard" Sadaam get all those Soviet weapons?
7) When did Iran start to ramp up it's nuclear program? I never heard a thing about it during the 1980's and 1990's,(when it reasonably should have expected to really NEED fizzies). Nope,only since we spent a year dicking around with the UN trying to get Sadaam's glow sticks.
8) If a laboratory was doing nothing more sinister than cancer research, then why was it stripped bare and wiped clean?
And the final Amnesia, this one by Chalmers Johnson:
"We are treading the same path taken by the first democratic regime ever created in the Western world, namely the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic inadvertently acquired an empire around the world and they then discovered that to maintain, expand, protect this empire they required standing armies."
It seems that most of the film is asserting that the acquisition of the "American Empire" was anything BUT inadvertent, especially during the past half-century.
And yet here Mr. Johnson seems to have forgotten what calculatedly acquisitive scoundrels we are.
United States of Amnesia, indeed.
I have gotten through the first paragraphs...plenty more to go...but I wanted to say thanks, Kevin, for taking the time to watch this and it is my sincere hope some of your hundreds of readers will do the same. It is a very important work and will certainly illuminate many who frequent here.
I saw this movie at the theater with Markadelphia.
The US does things in its own national interests. Well of course! So does every other country; they always have.
We don't get the whole story from our government and military leaders. No we don't, because our enemies are listening also.
Ike's granddaughter doing the Eco101 "Guns 'N Butter" speech - priceless.
Too bad she misses the reality that we build the bombers and still build the houses and still have plenty of wheat.
So the USA has the nerve to tell other countries how to behave? About damn time IMO. Pity so few of them listen though.
Thanks for sitting through this lengthy piece of claptrap so we won't have to.
>>it is my sincere hope some of your hundreds of readers will do the same. It is a very important work and will certainly illuminate many who frequent here.
Oh, please. Spare me the "bringer of enlightenment to the unwashed unprogressive ignoranti" routine.
Yes, I understand that Prometheus is a central conceit to the progressive identity and mindset, but you'll have to excuse me for not gratefully playing the part of the rock banging savage.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
It's not that we haven't heard all this before. We have.
We have analysed it, weighed it carefully, and found it extremely wanting. Thus, we have rejected it for cause, after sober due consideration.
Gore Vidal? Bwahahahaha - why not Noam Chomsky?
Probably couldn't afford Noam. Gore, on the other hand, probably leapt at the chance to sit in front of a camera.
Alright, read the whole piece and I have to say, I can't find much to disagree with in it. A thoughtful analysis, to be sure, and very well written.
"anybody want to predict what the blowback from that would have been?"
I think not as much as some people might think. A danger? Yes. A bad guy? No doubt. Hitler? Not even close. As Gen Zinni has said repeatedly, the people who contained Saddam in the 90s did their job. This is a guy who has seen all the intelligence from the last 16 years so I take his view with much weight.
I can also say, without much of a doubt, that Iran would not be as much of a problem if we hadn't gone in. And we would've been able to devote more resources to eliminating Al Qaeda worldwide.
The text from Bush's speeches remind me of how much of a moron he is. If I here one more comparison to Germany and Japan, vis a vis Iraq, I will throw up my innards. It is so infantile and downright imbecilic...it is a completely illusory correlation.
Kevin, frightening people is never a good thing. I think people need to be aware of the ACTUAL threat we face and not the manufactured/blown out of proportion threat that we hear from the Right all the time. I suppose its wishful thinking to have someone stand up and say, "Look here's the deal, folks.." and then tell us what our country needs to do...what we all need to do...honestly, not the complete load of crap we have heard for the last six plus years.
"I'm not doing this anymore."
This line from the film reminds me of one from John Lennon
"There will be no more war when people refuse to fight"
"Mark considers Michael Moore a valid source of information, and apparently admires Bill Mahr (and, one would imagine, Keith Olbermann"
"deliberately lying in support or opposition of a cause. That's what Michael Moore does."
Ah, no. What Moore does is call people on their bullshit. If you watch his films (and many here haven't), he purposefully separates his opinion from the facts. Got a problem with his facts? Watch his films and go to his web site for factual backup. There is a LOT of information there and if one dismisses it all because he wasn't entirely honest about how long it takes to get a gun from a bank, well, then you are a fool.
Fools who apparently have completely missed the point of his films, again, if they have even watched them. I don't quite get how some of you rip me for not being credible and yet some of you have made up your minds without even watching any of his films. Not credible to me at all and I find some past reactions to discussions of his films to be quite hysterical and completely illogical.
I think Bowling for Columbine is summed up best by the entire sequence with Barry Glassner and the whole sequence in Canada, particularly the scene with the young Canadians outside Burger King. When asked about how they feel about the States, one woman replies,
"People in the states...they solve problems by fighting...that's what they are all about. It's not what we are about."
Well, according to WHY WE FIGHT it has to be what we are about.
Oh, and I don't really watch the main news networks anymore so that's negatory on Olberman. Can't stand the cavalcade of Michael Vick, Anna Nicole Smith, Brittney Spears blah blah blah....
"There will be no more war when people refuse to fight"
What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Why then the war will come to you! Bertolt Brecht
The first is wishful thinking. The second, recognition of reality.
What Moore does is call people on their bullshit. If you watch his films (and many here haven't), he purposefully separates his opinion from the facts.
No, Mark, he doesn't. He quite deliberately lies. Not about everything, and certainly not all the time, but he lies blatantly and often enough to earn my dismissal of him as a credible source for anything. It's not worth my time to pick the corn kernels out of his shit. Even if it's corn, it's covered in shit.
Kevin, frightening people is never a good thing.
Again, welcome to the real world. The majority of people are not informed enough or interested enough to be convinced through logic and rational discussion, but in a society with a democratic form of government you still have to get their support.
What do you think all those proponents of the Global Warming/Climate Change hysteria are doing? Several of them are even admitting to blowing the threat out of proportion because if they don't, humanity won't react.
Welcome to Human Nature 101.
Lesson 1: Most human beings aren't really all that rational much of the time.
Lesson 2: It is better to appeal to a human being's self-interest than to his sense of empathy. He almost definitely has the former, but he might not have the latter. Even if he does, he probably keeps it locked in a box in a dark corner most of the time, especially when his self-interest is involved.
The adults on both sides of the philosophical aisle understand this. Why don't you?
And Bush is a moron? Let's see: He flew fighter aircraft during the Vietnam era, but managed not to fly in combat. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School (they don't just hand those out). He won election to the presidency twice, convinced Congress to let him go to war in Iraq, and has withstood so far every attempt to end that war on anything but his own terms.
Oh sure, Bush is a moron, all right. That makes his opposition imbeciles and idiots.
And, finally: the people who contained Saddam in the 90s did their job.
That job was rapidly coming to an end. We weren't going to maintain the no-fly zones and "Oil for Palaces" sanctions on Iraq forever, and Saddam had Crazy and Crazier lined up behind him to take over if anything happened to Daddy.
For some reason your side of the aisle never seems to want to acknowledge this, though it was your philosophical brethren who were fighting to have the sanctions dropped "for the children."
"(A)nybody want to predict what the blowback from that would have been?" is a rhetorical question. The fact of the matter is, until it happens there's no way to know. Nobody predicted Khomeni and the capture of the Iranian Embassy. Nobody predicted 9/11. Or if they did, nobody listened.
You pays your money and you takes your chances. You look at the situation, gauge the risks, gauge the chances for success, and you roll the dice.
We're not playing chess, here. It's far more random and much more dangerous than that.
Nice job Kevin. Thank you.
And going off on (mostly) a tangent...
Barb and I watched Three Days of the Condor in early 1977 when I was doing interviews in the last semester of getting my undergraduate degree. Earlier in the day I had picked up an application for the CIA to fill out in order to get an interview with them a week or two later.
As we walked out of the Micro Movie House (may it rest in peace) Barb told me to tear up the application. I didn't protest. :-) It was a good movie.
Much later I did some contract work for them. They seemed to be nice enough people but "difficult" because they wouldn't give you the information you needed to do your job. Critical stuff, like what operating system is this software supposed to run on?
Other oddities include declaring certain aspects classified and other parts completely open and therefore subject of Freedom of Information Act requests. I agreed with both of those declarations. Then when a FOIA request came in they revealed the classified part as of the process of justifying the claim that the previously open part was now restricted.
One guy suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome insists it was because "this adminstration doesn't care about security and will do anything to protect their asses." Other people, independently, with the same data examined the hypothesis "Could random idiots, working independently, come up with the same result? Kind of a reverse of the analogy of a thousand monkeys, with a thousand typewriters..." and found it fit all the facts.
I don't know what to make of them. They are one of the few agencies of today's government that are doing Constitutionally authorized work but I have a lot of data, both public and "not public", that says (being generous) they make a lot of mistakes.
That was one of the things I found slightly ludicrous about Chalmers Johnson's flippant comment about the overthrow of Mossadegh. Mossadegh was just this guy who wanted economic justice for Iran, and Britain, the big bully, came and asked the U.S. for help, Ike declared him a communist, and the hyper-efficient CIA engineered a coup?
What, MI5 was busy that week?
"What, MI5 was busy that week?"
In the early 1950's? The executives of MI-5 and MI-6 probably were.
If they weren't at the Oxford-Cambridge Homosexual Alumnus Drinking Club, they were tied up with their Communist Party cell meetings.
"Kevin, frightening people is never a good thing. I think people need to be aware of the ACTUAL threat we face and not the manufactured/blown out of proportion threat that we hear from the Right all the time. I suppose its wishful thinking to have someone stand up and say, "Look here's the deal, folks.." and then tell us what our country needs to do...what we all need to do...honestly, not the complete load of crap we have heard for the last six plus years."
Yes, it is wishful thinking, Mark, but it's been going on in this country since before it was a country. You fall victim to it by thinking of its application only during the current administration. You know better, but you do it anyway.
Gubmint at all levels uses fear to influence and motivate voters for the simple reason that fear works, whereas facts, reason, and logic usually don't. Fear plays on what people want to believe and doesn't involve the intolerable labor of thought. If you're in gubmint and you want to get something done, your only choices are to use what works or to fail. To quote Heinlein yet again:
"Never appeal to a man's 'better nature.' He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage."
I suggest that you consider the difficulty we've had here trying to get you to use facts, logic, and reason to understand reality. You're just one person; try using it to get several hundred million people to understand reality and to agree on a course of action, and then see how far you get.
On the subject of the supposed 9/12 national security meeting discussing Iraq mentioned at 06:39, I think that Bob Woodward's book Bush At War included a depiction of a 9/12 Cabinet meeting at which either Iraq was mentioned as a potential target. So the sourcing might be more than just Tenet.
Like I said, I don't find it all that implausible, but when something like that is alleged, a checkable citation would be appreciated.
>The Imperial Roman motto was “Veni, vidi, vici” - “I came, I saw, I conquered.” The American version seems to be more along the lines of “We came, we kicked ass, and then we hauled out the checkbook.”
In the 1959 comedy, The Mouse That Roared, the tiny, poor, pre-industrial country of Grand Fenwick declares war on and ”invades” the US in hopes that the US will invade Grand Fenwick in return, then pay for the country’s reconstruction efforts. I don't really have anything relevant to add. Just thought of that movie when I was reading your post.
Oh, and good job on the post.
I think people need to be aware of the ACTUAL threat we face and not the manufactured/blown out of proportion threat that we hear from the Right all the time.
And that Markadelphia exposes your blind spot - that you find this to be a flaw of the "Right", "all the time". As if the "Left" never does the same goddam thing.
That sir, is why you have ZERO credibility.
You completely miss that Glassner is critiquing Moore's technique as much as anyones. Doh!
"The first is wishful thinking. The second, recognition of reality."
Reality is what you make it, Kevin. There are many people in the world who want peace. Someday they may succeed. What if it happens? As long as people believe that war is inevitable, it will be. Ever read On War by Clausewitz?
I'd be interested to know if
a. you (or anyone else here) have seen all of five of Moore's films.
b. if you have, which are the most blatant lies of each film
c. if his "lies" are succesfully backed up with facts on his web site.
"That makes his opposition imbeciles and idiots."
You can add snivelling and spineless toadies to this characterization as well.
I don't mind a critique of Moore. No one is above a good thrashing and Moore really lost it during the whole Gupta-Sicko-faux debate thing.
What he is saying is basically sound, though. If you can set aside your pre-conceived in granite view of him, there is more than just a kernal of truth to what he is saying. These are serious issues he is dealing with that have an enormous impact on people's lives...on our lives...and he shows this in his films.
What he is saying is basically sound, though.
Then why does he find it necessary to lie?
Honestly, Mark, do you think the average Cuban fieldworker gets the same medical care those Americans Moore brought to Cuba got?
I read it, and decided to just... Not bother.
If Mark can't notice the contradiction in his own statement....
But you see, what he's [Moore] is saying is basically sound, despite the dishonesty and distortion, but it's basically sound underneath it all, because he's talking about important things.
You know. Since health care is important, that Moore is trying to influence the debate via dishonest methods is basically sound. Because what he's lying about is important. So we should make massive changes to the healthcare system. Because basically, there are some problems with our current system, it's not perfect.
It's so simple, why can't you see that, and why do you want to deny people health care, throw them down the stairs, and then pour chamberpots on their broken heads? Why are you so set in your ways?
That was very well done Kevin, thank you very much!
Did anyone else think "Super Nintendo Chalmers"? I did. His comments were even funnier that way.
Also, just having read the Federalist Papers, standing armies were a hotly debated item, but one that Hamilton,Madison and Jay supported.
No. 46 has a lot to say about it. (BTW, the papers also do a great job explaining why the people should be armed and what role the militia plays is supporting the government.)
Standing army defends the nation from foreign threats, the militia and armed citizens defend the nation against the standing army and other domestic threats.
So the idea that General Washington warned against standing armies in his farewell is laughable as it is wrong.
I mean, if you take this phrase "Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other."
Stretch that, turn it sideways, stretch it some more, distort it once or three times, and maybe, if you squint, you can think that "overgrown military establishments" refers to standing armies. But that's a fantastic stretch and a crazy leap and I don't that can be defended terribly well in the text.
"I'd be interested to know if
a. you (or anyone else here) have seen all of five of Moore's films.
b. if you have, which are the most blatant lies of each film
c. if his "lies" are succesfully backed up with facts on his web site."
I'll bite, but only a little:
a. Nope. Haven't seen any of them. Won't see any of them, either.
b and c. Try googling "Michael Moore lies". Note that the first hit is http://moorelies.com, which is interesting in itself, regardless of its content. The point is that this research has been done and doesn't need to be done again. So, if you're really interested, you can google and wade through the "about 523,000 hits" at your leisure.
Mark, the bottom line, for me at least, can be summarized easily. I'm not interested in Michael Moore, even as a topic of discussion to prove or disprove a point. The same principle I've directed at you applies to him, and Kevin's question about it
"Then why does he find it necessary to lie?"
is dead on point. That principle is: If he's right, then he doesn't need to lie. If he's wrong, then lying won't make him right. His lies hurt his credibility and his cause, but not his opponents. I'm simply not willing to wade through his shit to find his corn.
I'm getting less and less willing to wade through yours, too. I find it remarkable that your standard fare is that you believe President Bush lies, and that's really bad, but when Michael Moore lies, well, that's OK with you.
Oh, and Kevin, kindly pardon my manners. Well done, sir, well done indeed.
"Reality is what you make it, Kevin. There are many people in the world who want peace"
You're right - many people in the world want peace. However, as long as there is even a tiny minority in the world who want war, there will be war. That is reality. Case in point: Palestine. If Hamas/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad stopped lobbing rockets into Israel, there would be peace there TOMORROW.
Reality is what you make it, Kevin.
Wow, I need to check my scorecard. I thought liberals were part of the "reality based community" and NEO-CONs were the ones creating a reality to suit them. This is confusing!
What he is saying is basically sound, though.
In BfC? There's a whole cottage industry correcting the lies and distortions from that. And AGAIN you miss the point (and the irony) - Moore's work fits Glassner's thesis to a tee. Whip up a frenzy with a FEW half-truths, and a whole lot of distortions and outright lies and voila, you can scare many, many people who have no reason to be afraid. It's the same damn thing with the "war on terror" - just played from a different side.
Let's see, I had to watch Roger and Me for a college class (got to LOVE progressive professors!). I have seen bits and pieces of Farenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine. I haven't been able to stomach a single one of them. I agree that he is a talented filmmaker-he certainly does a fantastic job writing fiction! www.moorelies.com is good, but I prefer www.moorewatch.com for the real debunking of the crap he masquerades as truth.
Oh, and Kevin? Loved the post!!
"There are many people in the world who want peace. Someday they may succeed."
No. There are just too many times when people want something too badly to be peaceful about it. This applies to both agressors and defenders. Self-interest and self-preservation won't go away just by wanting peace and saying "let's talk."
Completely forgot--I was going to ask if Rome came before Greece? It was always my understanding that the Athenians brewed up the first democratic regime.
Perhaps Chalmers Johnson has a different idea of what constitutes a 'democratic regime'?
Um, perhaps you skimmed?
Point 2: The first democratic regime in the Western world was not Roman, but Athenian. Athens, too, rose to great power pretty much by accident, as the great individual freedom enjoyed by Athenian citizens lead to tremendous prosperity.
lol, sorry for the third post, I just had to apologize for missing your point about Athens. I've had to read this post in chunks, and I thought I'd gone through the whole thing, but caught this on a quick re-read.
It didn't seem like something you would miss--glad to know you didn't miss it, after all.
Sorry guys, been out of town
Kevin, honestly, I don't know if the average Cuban field worker receives the same health care as the average American. I do think that poor people in Cuba and poor people in America receive the same shit care, though.
Unix, have you seen the film Sicko?
DJ, if you haven't seen his films, then you have zero credibility in commenting on Moore. None. And, I have to say, you have become the very thing you rip liberals for doing...let someone else shape your opinion. I have to say I'm kinda surprised. So much for individual thought..."I'll just listen to what other people tell me and then believe it." Didn't you say that's what I do?
"Whip up a frenzy with a FEW half-truths, and a whole lot of distortions and outright lies and voila, you can scare many, many people who have no reason to be afraid."
juris, I don't need Moore to tell me that GM is run by greedy bloodsuckers, that Phil Knight is an asshole who uses child labor, that our culture breeds ignorance, violence, and fear, that Bush Co is, hands down, the most corrupt and criminal administration in our country's history, and that our health care industry is a racket. Others, however, do need to hear it.
What's funny and quite sad about the "Michael Moore lies" crowd is that they are textbook cases of people living in denial. Moore presents things in his own way and through his own lens. This offers the MML crowd an "out" if you will and are able to avoid the truth (or hide from it) more easily.
Do you know what Moore's main point in all his films is? This country is filled with people that don't give a shit about anyone but themselves (this point is driven home in the last 20 minutes of Sicko) AND will say or do anything do avoid dealing with this fact. At the end of Sicko, he asks "What kind of a country have we become...that kicks sick people out in the street? That doesn't take care of each other.?"
I'd like an answer to that one myself.
"What kind of a country have we become...that kicks sick people out in the street? That doesn't take care of each other.?"
Uh, the kind we've pretty much always been? Because what Moore's asking is "why isn't the federal government taking care of this?" Traditionally, it never has. It's not supposed to. That's not its function, or at least it's not supposed to be.
Damn, boy, you don't read any history, do you?
Question for you, Mark: Did you do any additional research on Mossadegh, Chalmers Johnson or even read George Washington's farewell speech after viewing Why We Fight, or did you just accept what you were told as "truth"?
I have two close family members that are part of the "health care industry". And both of them think the biggest problem causing high prices is the government regulations and paperwork. Malpractice lawsuits show up in second place.
"... doesn't take care of each other?" Damn right. That is the way it should be. You should take care of yourself and the people you care about. The government has no business getting involved and to suggest it does is to endorse the political philosophy of the murderous government regimes in history. "Government provided health care" are fighting words to me.
juris, I don't need Moore to tell me ... Others, however, do need to hear it.
Funny thing about that Markadelphia, Moore only preaches to the choir. You just demonstrated that most excellently.
This country is filled with people that don't give a shit about anyone but themselves
And here we have the root animus against George W. Bush - he stole "compassion" from the left. [Much as Clinton was most hated for his thievery of issues from the right.]
Only liberals really care, right Mark?
"DJ, if you haven't seen his films, then you have zero credibility in commenting on Moore. None."
Mark, the flip side of that assertion is that the only way one can learn anything about Michael Moore is by watching his films. That Michael Moore has been demonstrably proven to be a liar many times over proves that assertion to be false, and thus proves your assertion to be false.
Goddamn, man, are you really that dense? Are you still not willing to try logical, rational thought?
"And, I have to say, you have become the very thing you rip liberals for doing...let someone else shape your opinion."
No, I shape my own opinions, which are logically derived from, and based on, facts that I get from many sources, including Michael Moore's work. I have not seen his films, but I have seen excerpts, I have read numerous dissections and fiskings thereof, and I have followed up the contrary evidence given.
Still don't understand the concept, do you?
"Did you do any additional research on Mossadegh, Chalmers Johnson or even read George Washington's farewell speech after viewing Why We Fight, or did you just accept what you were told as "truth"?
Yes, I did. I have a regular poster on my site who was in Iran during the installation of the Shah. Granted she was just a child and has lived here since the 60s but she goes back to Iran all the time and feeds me non-MSM information all the time. While I do not think that Mossadegh was a saint, I do think the people elected him. We have a very difficult time in this country accepting the fact that the reason why people don't like us is because of shit like this.
The seeds of poor relations between Iran and the US were laid when Britain and the US "installed" the Shah in Iran.
There are great links at the end of this article.
Chalmers Johnson's basic theory is sound: Instead of demobilizing its massive armed forces, the US accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political. The result of this militarism (as distinct from actual domestic defense) is more terrorism against the US and its allies, the loss of core democratic values at home, and an eventual disaster for the American economy.
Now, I do think that Johnson has failed to see the good that has come from this as well but really when you look at all the misery in the world our foreign policy causes it's really hard to be open minded.
Let me get back to you on Washington's farewell address. I need to do more research on that one.
Generally, I think the film is very truthful. There is a balance there with the people interviewed (Pearle, McCain etc). Nothing in the film is really new anyway. I've known that this is how things are for years. This films does a good job of presenting a nice capsule of the last 50 years of our country's history.
Instead of demobilizing its massive armed forces, the US accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political.
Uh, the Soviet Union "accelerated its reliance on military solutions to problems both economic and political" as well. Were we supposed to ignore that? The Greek Civil War began in 1946. "We will bury you!" was in 1956. The Soviet Union absorbed pretty much all of Eastern Europe. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961, but the airlift was in 1948. North Korea invaded the South in 1950. We were supposed to demobilize in the face of this?
The result of this militarism (as distinct from actual domestic defense) is more terrorism against the US and its allies, the loss of core democratic values at home, and an eventual disaster for the American economy.
And the result of not would have been...?
More to the point, any looming economic disaster isn't due to our militarism (we can afford the hardware we've been purchasing and the people required to operate and maintain it) it's our "entitlement" spending. Aside from the fact that those programs are not supposed to be a function of our government, they are promises we can't keep fulfilling. This is the same problem that European nations are discovering - and they don't have our large military expenditures as an excuse.
Finally, if you think merely putting up some comments from Pearle, McCain, and Kristol makes the documentary "fair," I now grasp your complete gullibility. No, Mark - the editor gets to pick and choose what words you hear from everyone in the film. You don't get to hear their side of the argument, you get the editor's version.
It's that way in any documentary, but when that documentary is trying to make a point, things that contradict that point are conveniently left out - much like you blame America's "militarism" as the cause of our current ills without, apparently, reflecting on the probable results of our doing as you would have preferred. "Demobilizing" apparently would have resulted in your Star Trek utopia?
Tell that to the Czechs, East Germans, Poles, North Koreans....
"Finally, if you think merely putting up some comments from Pearle, McCain, and Kristol makes the documentary "fair," I now grasp your complete gullibility."
It seems to me that a (ahem) fair test of the fairness of a documentary is whether or not each side to the controversy therein thinks that its side was presented correctly and in context. If all sides think so, then all sides were treated fairly.
But I don't recall ever seeing any documentary in which this was the case. I don't think I ever will, either.
"Were we supposed to ignore that?"
No, we weren't. Much of what we did to combat the Soviets was alright in my eyes. We did what America does best and that is out produce our enemy. Remember GM in WWII? A plane an hour. It just wasn't possible for any other country to keep up. Same with the Soviets.
I do think, though, that we became too reliant (and we still are) on being in a war to keep our economy afloat. I'd like to see us move away from that and into an economy that is more geared towards exploration and discovery, both on this planet and away from it.
We are in a different world now. We need adjust our system to fit the times and most of the reason why there is great, idealogical conflict in this country is because some people don't want to change. Thankfully, we have several people in our military that know what it's going to take and as soon as we have a new president, we should get back on the right track.
""Demobilizing" apparently would have resulted in your Star Trek utopia?"
Probably not, I'll give you that, but we would be better off in so many ways. And we would have more diplomatic ammo to isolate countries like Iran. I wrote about this here.
By not attending Annapolis, both Hamas and Iran looked like fools. A big victory was won that day and Bush deserves credit for this. This is one example of the path we should be on.
DJ, you are correct in your assessment of documentaries. I'm not sure if I want to see a documentary that is perfectly balanced.
By the way, fellas, Pakistan-wow. What do you think?
"DJ, you are correct in your assessment of documentaries. I'm not sure if I want to see a documentary that is perfectly balanced."
So, you prefer biased information? Golly. Who'd have thought it?
"We are in a different world now. We need adjust our system to fit the times and most of the reason why there is great, idealogical conflict in this country is because some people don't want to change."
Damn, but you do like platitudes, don't you?
It's not that I prefer biased information. I think a filmmaker, regardless of his political stripes, should be able to present his or her point and not have to worry about the "fair and balanced" police.
News, however, is a different story. I crave unbiased information and rarely find it anymore.
"It's not that I prefer biased information. I think a filmmaker, regardless of his political stripes, should be able to present his or her point and not have to worry about the "fair and balanced" police."
As Kevin noted, correctly in my unhumble opinion, you are quite gullible and are quite susceptible to bias in films, demonstrably so. I agree that a filmmaker should "not have to worry about the 'fair and balanced' police", but you should be on guard against bias which you are unaware of in films that you watch.
As I stated before, I find it remarkable that your standard fare is that you believe President Bush lies, and that's really bad, but when Michael Moore lies, well, that's OK with you. Being an apologist for the bias of others does not help your credibility. So, you castigating us for pointing out the bias in films that you like and for rejecting the maker of those films because of that bias is really rather precious, isn't it?
No, because Michael Moore isn't the president. George Bush is the president.
And I think that when Michael Moore bends the truth about the time it takes to get a gun at a bank it's not quite as bad as the things that George Bush lies about. How many people's lives has Michael Moore ruined? How many has George Bush ruined?
So, I do hold the leader of the free world to a higher standard than I do a film maker from Flint Michigan. Oh, and until you watch his films, DJ, you have no credibility as to whether or not he is a liar.
"Oh, and until you watch his films, DJ, you have no credibility as to whether or not he is a liar."
One cannot determine that Michael Moore is a liar by watching his films. To do that, one has to look elsewhere for evidence that Michael Moore doesn't provide. Other people have provided that evidence and have shown it juxtaposed with excerpts from Michael Moore's film, thereby illustrating and proving Michael Moore's lies. One need not see Michael Moore's films to see and understand that evidence.
Grownups, Mark, remember? Your holier-than-thou bullshit is leading nowhere.
"And I think that when Michael Moore bends the truth about the time it takes to get a gun at a bank it's not quite as bad as the things that George Bush lies about."
He doesn't "bend the truth" about how long it takes and what the process is to get a gun by depositing money at a bank, he lies about it. Still trying to redefine the language, are you?
Michael Moore would have us believe that the current gun control laws are not adequate and ought to be changed, but he lies to his viewers about what the current laws are. That is a fundamentally dishonest effort to abrogate my fundamental rights, and your apologies on his behalf are just as dishonest.
Your standard appears to be that it's OK to lie if doing so supports the issues and/or the viewpoints that you support, but it's not OK to lie if doing so is in opposition. Your hypocrisy is leading nowhere, either.
Keillor, then, has been marvelous at capturing in miniature two larger cultures: small town Minnesota and the arts culture as it is lived by people in America. He can do these skillfully because he knows these cultures – he has lived in them.
When he brings in people from outside these cultures and drops them into either of the two he knows, he deceives himself. He spins their stories as if from their point-of-view, with standard writer’s omniscience about what they think at what motivates them. But he gets them completely wrong. His rant about what Lenore thinks of her students, or her readiness to shoot a suspected intruder because of her own fevered imagination, has no ring of truth about any libertarian I have ever met or read. What it does resemble is the stereotype that liberal Democrats have about libertarians. Keillor thus believes he is entering into the thought process of a person different from himself, but is actually only entering into the thought processes of his audience. His skill in inserting homely details obscures a basic point: he hasn’t the faintest idea what he is talking about.
It is a moment of mutual self-congratulation on the stage, as Garrison and friends reassure themselves that they’ve seen through what those others believe. They know.
Come to think of it, whenever Keillor brings in people from elsewhere – youth evangelists from Georgia, priests from Las Vegas, Republican brothers-in-law, anyone from California or Texas, they are not only cartoons, but quite specifically the precise cartoons that his two cultures believe automatically.
IOW: I guess Keillor "Knows the questions to ask"
So it would appear. Interesting find. Thanks for the link.
He's a great writer.
I also thought this was very illuminating:
The rhetoric among the Democrats that Obama is the one to bring us together has irritated me for three reasons. First, it is that reliance on charisma again, beloved of all progressives, most independents, and even an annoying subset of conservatives, who see charm as a solution rather than a danger in a political figure. Secondly, it smacks of the childish self-centeredness which says “We wouldn’t be having all this conflict if you would just do things my way.” The country is divided. The Democrats solution: vote for a Democrat – then we won’t have to argue any more. What? You mean you don’t want to get along? Third, on what possible basis do we found the belief that he will bring us together? The man has never run anything. BHO has never done anything but make some nice speeches. Couldn’t we watch him at least run a committee or a golf tournament before making him president?
The idea contains within it the dim recognition that maybe Hillary Clinton divides the country not because some conservatives just don’t like her but because she is herself divisive.
Bingo. Sound familiar?
What's really notable is that Bush has been lamblasted for 7 years for being a "divider". (While being incredibly polite to very nasty press, UN, Democrat...) Contrast Bush's actions with what HRC would have done in the same scenarios...
Nothing in the film is really new anyway. I've known that this is how things are for years.
Now that is an interesting conceit! But perhaps Markadelphia has supplied us all with an interesting little insight into the 'progressive' mind - they are the modern gnostics, possessors of special knowledge that elevates them above the rest (since they 'know' god rather than just 'believing' in him).