Originally posted by fergus51
As for the press thing, I think the whole war talk has been most favourable to republicans and conservatives, don't you? I mean, if the press were talking about ANY of the other issues Americans need to be concerned about, like the economy, the state of health care, etc. then whoever is sitting in the white house would be in trouble. Keeping the focus on war alone has a big benefit for republicans who can say that liberals are to soft.
Actually, I second that observation. I was (am) tempted to start a thread in a similar subject, except that I wasn't going to go too much into the Republican verses Democrat thing. The problems facing our country . . . outside of terrorism and Iraq. . . concerns all Americans, not just any one party. The question is, "Which party has the most balls to address these problems?" So far, neither party is stepping up to the plate. But with regards to the news media (in particular to the 24/7 news channels) there seems to be a whole bunch of topics neatly forgotten in the name of the "Terrorism and the Impending War with Iraq". (But that really is another topic for another thread for another time. . . .)
As for the main topics of this thread. Good discussion here. My personal opinion is that the words "conservative" and "liberal" have been bastardized by both parties. I see intellectual strength in both words if you go by the dictionary's defination of "concervative" and "liberal". . . and even "middle of the road".
The questions are:
Just how much of our wealth do we share to the world? I've seen out and out poverty in countries that provide us - The United State - food and clothes. Just take a walk on some of the back roads of many of the Carribean countries that cruise ships take the American tourists to. During my cruise ship days I made a few friends who are from these poor countries. These "behind the scene" cruise ship employees make more money . . . $50.00 per MONTH working 16 hours a day. . . on the cruise ship than their families living on some of these very economically poor neighboring countries (Hundorus, Haiti, Dominican Republic, etc. . .) Without a doubt, my cruiseship friends envied our country's wealth. . . and they most certainly want a piece of the pie. But their opinion of us is not very flattering. They're poor. They want to eat! And yet the food that they're family works so hard, at near slave-labor wages, to grow and harvest. . . goes to US. . . the United States. And who owns these huge farms on these poor Caribbean countries??? Certainly not the citizens of that country.
Do we REALLY share the wealth??? I think not. Although we may give a few million dollars here and there in aid, there are still people near starving as they work hard to produce food for us to eat. Next time you eat oranges, or grapefruit, or advacodos or tomatoes, or sugar cane. . . lots of sugar cane. . . ask where they might have been harvest. Maybe in the United States. Most likely in one of our neighboring countries where the stanard of living is less than substansive.
Please don't get me wrong. I don't want to come across as someone who disses my country. I'm proud to be an American. I'm grateful for our freedoms. I'm grateful for our "wealth". I can eat healthy and tasty food, I have leasure time to write music and play on internet bulletin boards, I can travel and be a "tourist", I can go to college and learn (I have over 9 years and three college degrees as proof). I'm very grateful. And. . . I don't want to give it up!!! But I'm willing to share. I want to share. I do share through government taxes, through church tithes, through various charity organizations (usually associated with my church). It's the least I can do. And I know I can do more if I wanted. I also know that I am not alone with my "sharing". I am amongst great and generous company as I write this thread!
I don't have a problem with the average United State citizen, actually. I do have a problem with "Big Business"!!! "Big Business" does not make the world go around!!! I can name three local communites off hand where "Corporate Tax Breaks" were given. . . and the pay off was SHYT!!! These communites are: Schenectady, New York; Utica, New York; and Pittsfield, MA. The Corporation? General Electric. Basically, GE left these communites in search of lower-costing labor. Of course one can argue that the laborer's pay in these cities were well "above average". Still, "incentives" were given. And GE won. The recieved lower tax rates for as long as they stayed in the city. And WHEN the corporation left. . . they received the benefits of a work force willing to receive lower wages. GE won, big time!!! Three cities lost. Of course one can argue that these cities (Schenectady, Utica, and Pittsfield) should not have based their economies on one large factory. Their "One Factory" left, and they. . . . lost. . . . big time!!!! But that is not my point.
My point is this. . . . you can hand anything you want to corporations and they going to take it. Maybe they'll provide more jobs. Or maybe they'll just up and leave. I don't think that playing "craps" with "Corporate America" is a safe bet. I mean, really. The bottom line for "Corporate America" is profit. Profit at all costs! And whole cities have felt the sting of a "gamble and loss" by throwing tax advantages towards corporations.
I am NOT saying that we should tax the holy shyt out of the corporations. What I'm saying is that corporations do not run this country. People do. Don't ever forget that!!! The main goal of corporations is to make money. The main goal of a government is to protect its citizens. Right now, there is an administration that is pro-"Corporate America". In my eye, it's pollyanna to think that by providing tax breaks to the corporations. . . I mean really BIG corporations (heck anyone can have a corporation. . . I OWN and RUN ONE!!!). . . is going to provide "trickle down" money to the U.S. Citizenery and to the world. Please. A corporation may spend a few meesly million bucks as a token jesture of charity. But it's not dependable. It is NOT RELIABLE!!!
Is our current administration ensuring that its citizenry (sp?) is safe, healthy, well educated, and afforded every opportunity to prosper??? And what I mean by "prosper" isn't necessarily monetary wealth. I mean "prosper" by growing to one's fullest potential. . . become the best musician; become the best nurse; become the best electrician; become the best nurse; become the best teacher; heck, even become the best (and hopefully truly compassionate) CEO of a company!!!
I guess our government is ensuring that the "Bin Ladens" of the world won't hurt us. In my eyes, there has ALWAYS been "Bin Ladens". . . however, we were made very sensitive to this since 9/11. . . and that is the difference - we're NOW sensitized to potential threats against our country. Right now, I have no objection to beefing up our defenses. Seems like we're doing just swell in this department. Maybe too swell??? Time and history will only tell.
But there are more than just the "Bin Ladens" of the world that require our government's protection for our safety! Long term survivability is what I have in mind. Long term servivability of our species. . . Long term survivabiity of our planet! As long as we live in an imperfect world full of greed; full of potential for pollution and potential for abuse and misues of our natural resources . . . our government should be safe-guarding our precious, vulnerable and exceedingly limited resources. Our government should be a catalist in promoting research in alternate forms of energy; alternate forms of heating; alternate forms of waste management, etc. All of this in mind for its citizenry(Sp?). Pollution kills. Ultimately lack of energy isn't going to help us either.
Government for the people, by the people. Not government for the corporation by the corporation. PERIOD.
Who is shoving religion down who's throat? With regards to religion being shoved downed people's throats: To be honest, I would be pissed if Bin Laden was to force his religion (what ever it may be. . . most certainly not the Islam that most faithful Muslems adhere to!) down my throat!!! What's ironic is that there seems to be this growing fear that this is going to happen. That Bin Laden is going to force his religion down our throat. But it's not going to happen. You know why? Because we're already having religion being forced down our throat! It's called the "Religious Right" the "Religious Conservatives" the "Moral Majority" the "Pat Robertsons" the "Jerry Farwells". THESE CATS HAVE THE EAR OF OUR CURRENT ADMINISTRATION!!!! To think so otherwise is shear denial. We'll never allow Bin Laden to force his brand of religious "Whatever" because we're already full of religious dog-poop! They're telling us what to think. And if we don't think the way they do, we're amoral or we're unamerican or we're not truly christians, or we're homosexual perverts or we're sinners of god because we have sex out of weblock, blah, blah, blah. . . . We don't have room for the real "Bin Laden" because we have our own "Bin Ladens" here on our own country. . . the only difference is that our "Bin Ladens" don't shoot guns. It's a big difference, granted, but it is THE only difference in my eyes.
In the name of religion, laws are being passed that is slowly eating away at our freedoms. The worst lost of freedom is the lost of the ability to prosper. I'm talking about the laws being passed forbidding same sex marriages. Committed couples of the same sex are denied opportunities to prosper because they are denied such basic rights as healthcare coverage; denied life insurance coverage, denied the ability to rent, denied the ability to fight for one's country, denied the ability to even get a job in some places. All in the name of some warped "moral" belief that committed couples can only exist between members of the opposite sex. This one point, as well as a few others, is why seperation of church and state is sooooooo important!!!!! I am not anti-religion. To the contrary. . . I'm very pro-religion. We should all have the freedom to pray as we wish. . . as long as it doesn't physically and/or emotionally hurt other people!!! But I am against erosion of the seperation of church and state. And it's being eroded as we speak. . . . It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles a certain "sodomy" case where sodomy laws apparently has been used to jail two men in Texas for having intercourse. My money goes to Texas. Hope I'm wrong.
And. . . finally . . .are we really freer under President Bush and his "Homeland Security" gang?!?!? I don't know. I've read many articles and opinions that state certain rights have been curtailed in the name of "self -defence". I don't want to get in a debate over this one, though. I'll let someone else carry this particular point of debate on. . . .
There's a lot to be concerned about with regards to the issues that our country faces. There's a thread in the "Off Topic Conversation" forum that focuses on President's Bushes ability to lead this country. There's a lot of good debate in that thread. There is great debate in this thread. My respect to you, Kevin, for starting this debate. We should debate. At the very least, our debates gives example to the care we have towards the issues that face our nation and the world. And in my eyes, the worst possible thing to do is not care. . . to be apathetic (sp?). And I do fear that our country is apathetic to many of the issues raised in this thread as well as issues raised in other thread. Heck. . . more than 50% of eligable voters of this country DID NOT VOTE! It's almost embarrassing. . . that a majority of our citizens just doesn't give a shyt in the elections. And in my eyes we're supposed to be a nationed governed by the people for the people. No wonder "Corporate America" has such a choke hold on "our" (and I use quotation marks around the word "OUR") government.
And let the debates continue. . . . .
With much respect to you, Kevin, the originator of this thread, and all other debators of "Allnurses.com"
P. S. Well. . . I guess I got "THAT" out of my system, huh! It's long, it's boring. . . but what the heck, what's a few more words in this thread?????????