A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby Symon » Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:31 am

Having the had the dubious pleasure of over fifty years life now, I'll make a few observations.

I don't think the conspiracy theorists are right. I think they are trying to ascribe observed effects to something simple to rectify (a conspiracy) when the actual cause is a variety of more insidious issues.

* For over thirty years now, increasingly the governing classes of our developed countries seem to have no actual area of expertise but do seem to share a worrying set of attributes, such as short sightedness, ignorance of history and a worrying inability to even spell conviction.

* By conviction I don't mean a blind refusal to accept the possibility they may be wrong (we still have that in abundance) but the feeling that certain abstract concepts, such as 'freedom', 'a right to privacy', 'the undesirability of prejudice' or 'justice' need to be defended at all costs. Our masters, whether they be in formal politics, the media, Multinational Industry or the 'service' of our governments are entering a phase where they will do anything that is expedient. Abstract concepts such as right and wrong are increasingly irrelevant and every atrocity or misfortune is suitable for exploitation to advance an agenda.

* Short sightedness is crippling us. Almost no politician looks beyond the next electoral milestone nor shares the concerns of the governed. When his or her brief time is over, they will be rewarded with even greater wealth and influence from a variety of sources. A world from which the rest of us are forever shut out. Our world faces issues that require decades to mitigate or fix. We have no politicians interested in long, hard roads any more. If the career options open to ex-politicians were tightly constrained, this might change. A change along the lines: 'If you want to govern us, you must expect that there is this list of activities that you can then never do - don't like it? Don't go into politics' might help here but I find circumstances where it might be enacted difficult to envisage.

* I've seen the fall of the Shah of Iran, to the current round of regimes falling. One of the tragic lessons of history is that when a vile regime falls, it is all too often replaced with one even more vile. Regime change is something to be feared and if you are going to get involved, you don't do so lightly nor without a long term plan. Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya and all the others - these are scary places right now and it may well get worse before it gets better. The area has been a bit of a powder keg for hundreds of years, but political blundering has made it dangerous in the extreme.

History shows us that 'my enemies enemy is not necessarily my friend'. Our politicians have lost all sight of this and the effects are there for all to see.

* As a final observation, I sometimes find the parallels between the fall of the French monarchy and our current financial woes astonishing. An elite determined not to surrender its wealth, privilege and power but to garner even more? Adamant that any costs, blame or belt-tightening should be born by the poorest? Finding foreign foes to divert the attentions of the lower orders? Does that seem familiar at all?
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby neildarkstar » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:17 pm

@ Adul
I don't know, but from what I've seen the FSA seems closely intertwined with Al Qaeda, and have a large Al Qaeda contingent. While some spokesmen for the FSA deny Islamic involvement, it's not terribly believable given the number of photos released showing Al Qaeda in their ranks. I can't help but remember when the CIA was arming the Taliban against Russia, and look how that turned out, eh?

The players and their agendas are more than a bit confusing in Syria, no matter how you look at it. I don't think it's a question of war crimes as much as it is a question of would follow a resolution to the Syrian civil war.

Regarding Snowden, I don't think the bottom line is left vs right. I hang out at some political sites, and it breaks down like this. Government supporters vs "the people" supporters. For instance, both Obama and Cheney are calling for Snowden's headm and it's probably the first thing they've agreed on... ever... People on the left who refuse to doubt Obama or liberal congress in any way are calling for Snowden's head, along with people on the right who are "Rule of Law" oriented. In the meantime, the more freedom loving right, like Libertarians and some Tea Partiers are calling for him to be made into a hero. Many of the more rational on both sides are simply waiting for more info before making a decision. If Snowden hands remaining secrets to China, he'kll likely end as a villain, if not then a hero.

I will point out though that media is by and large a tool of government, so the pressure is on from the upper echelons to discredit Snowden, anything he says, and any info he releases.

@ Symon
More insidious indeed. I'm sure that is quite true... and yet the theorists are still right. The huge NSA data center was at first disregarded as a myth, then somewhat illustrated in a tv show called "Conspiracy Theory" hosted by Jesse Ventura. Now it is admittedly a monstrous data collection/storage center. Conspiracy theorists have been talking for years about people and groups being targeted by government agencies, and now we have the IRS making headlines. Benghazzi? I think it either demonstrates conspiracy or a complete ineptness on the part of this administration that amounts to criminal negligence, and it has indeed been proved that they lied to cover their asses, which is tha basis for about 90% of conspiracy theories.

That of course does not change the fact that you are quite correct in your assessment of current government. There is a chasm between elected officials and their constituents... A deep, wide hole composed of reality that the elected official never even sees because his focus is elections.

As to the French, not too long ago I made the observation that Michelle Obama discussing the economy while on vacation would likely sound like:
"Let them eat cake..."
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby PiNK PiPER » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:54 pm

@ Symon; yep very familiar. Nice comparison to the French Revolution there :goodjob:

@neil; I hope you haven't forgotten about Scooter Libby (or whaever his name is) and the way he leaked his own CIA agent's identity. That was criminal and he went toi jail for it. Both the Dems and Reps are two parts of a similar whole. They are both corrupt.

Anywhoos now that we got the attention of the nsa they are probably recording this conversation right now so be nice :mockery:

And talking about the Zombie Apocalypse I am off for dinner and a movie with my daddy. We aere going to see World War Z.

Edit: world war z hasn't been released yet so we saw a comedy with seth rogan that was very funny.
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby Adul » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:43 pm

@Neil: From what I've read about the FSA it seems to me that any al-Qaeda involvement in their ranks is only due to al-Queda's widespread presence in the region. I'm not convinced there's a high-level agreement or overlap between the two organizations. A lot of articles I read are very opinionated in that direction, but then I'm reluctant to give much credit to any website where there's a lot of opinion and not many cited sources. After all, Assad himself also claims very assuredly that FSA equals al-Qaeda, and I don't put much faith into his words until I see proof that they're anything other than propaganda.

As for Snowden, you are correct. Not everyone on the right is against his actions and not everyone on the left is for them, but I see a huge divide. Most people seem to be on either end of the spectrum. I guess this is just one of those stories where one's perspective is very much influenced by their ideology (perhaps even more so than usual).

As of now I'm hesitating to take seriously the theory of Snowden spying for China, but I guess we'll find out whether that is true sometime later. Or maybe never. :shrug:
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby fable2 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:45 pm

Astute observations, Symon. I've been saying very similar things (including the French monarchy analogy, oddly enough) up on FB, where some of my GOP friends tell me I'm a crazy traitor, and some of my Dem friends tell me I'm just a traitor, period. (My voting tends to be Green.) I don't see conspiracies where sheer human stupidity will account for behavior, and greed is a primary example of stupidity. The wealthiest have bought themselves a whole bunch of governments, including our own federal one here in USia, and they may very well get their way, since most people have the ability to focus no more than two minutes on any subject.

But when it's all over, what will they have except yet more wealth? They already live completely outside our own lives, having virtually no contact with us. It's not as though they can improve it further--though I've seen some articles in which the wealthy the lament that making *only $1 million US* a year after taxes means they can't afford to keep up all their houses and send both Johnny and Ayn Rand Jr. to the very best schools overseas. I guess life truly is tough all over.
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby neildarkstar » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:11 pm

Adul, I dunno, but the video of the FSA leader eating the soldier's heart definitely did NOT convince me that this a guy I want to give weapons to, eh? :) Not that he's not a nice guy, but how could you know if he likes you, or he's just hungry when he joins you at the bar? :biggrin:

fable2... I've heard it said that the only use for great wealth is the accumulation of power, and the only use for power is the accumulation of more power. That's the end game for a lot of them. Stupidity can account for some behaviors, but when you build a 2 billion dollar complex whose sole purpose is the violation of the fourth Amendment (and ensuring that any encryption can be broken), AND you manage to keep it mostly secret, I kinda think there must be SOME kind of conspiracy involved, eh?
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby Adul » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:28 am

Yeah, that guy definitely has issues. To be fair though, at least he didn't seem like he was enjoying the taste. It's pretty much confirmed the FSA has al-Qaeda people among its members and I'm fairly sure there are more crazy people in there than this one. The question is whether these are isolated incidents (or bad apples, if you will), or widespread behavior in the Syrian opposition. Hard to tell. It's easy enough to take any single organization and find some mud on some of its members, and the bigger the organization, the more mud there is. We've heard plenty of horror stories about our own allied troops as well.

But yeah, until we're sure, I wouldn't give them any guns either... not that they have a shortage of them. Especially not al-Qaeda troops who come armed and trained.
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby neildarkstar » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:36 am

I read that the Saudi's are giving them shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles... A person might want to travel by boat in that area for the next few years... :biggrin:
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby Elaura » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:00 pm

fable, I think anyone who associates with either of the major parties is either uninformed or crazy. We all grew up with an ideal of what our party was. Many of us adopted our parents' party simply because we *thought* that party stood for our own family values. Sadly, I find most *normal* moderate Americans don't really know what their affiliated party stands for at all.

By moderate, I mean the folks who don't believe abortion, or pot, or transexuals, or consensual incest should be illegal, but it shouldn't be paid for with my hard earned money. People who believe every CITIZEN has rights, but they don't have the right to tell others what they can and cannot do as long as those others aren't infringing on someone else's rights.

Meaning, not the special interest groups who claim to be this party or that party even when their very own figureheads behave otherwise. We have developed into an "us" and "them" society. You're either with us or agin' us. It is this society in which PETA has a higher animal kill rate than the Humane Society. Where Al Gore qualifies as a proponent for the environment. Where self proclaimed animal rights activists eat jello and wear leather. Where actors and comedians have more respect for their "views" than newspeople and the people we elect to office.

People can point fingers all day long. It's what those who have money and power want. As long as we are fighting over gay marriage versus civil unions and whether the Catholic Church should pay up for the whole "celibacy" fiasco, we aren't paying attention to them. As long as we are blaming the inanimate and anonymous "Corporate America" we aren't naming names and stringing them up.

It really doesn't matter how absurd it gets or how many of these political disasters happen, as long as nobody is being beheaded in the town square . . . yet.
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Re: A whole new edition of Let's Pretend.

Postby fable2 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:56 am

I think they're just afraid the natives will get restless since their minds aren't fed the proper BS for a lengthy period of time in preparation. But I readily admit I could be wrong.
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