Debate and Discussion

OKAY, we get it... USA is NOT perfect
simonitro at 11:01PM, April 23, 2008
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I have to take this off my chest.

First of, I'm not an American but enough is enough.

There are like 3688236876 movies that shows that bad side of the USA and yesterday, I was watching Borat's movie and I felt disgust about it.

Just because USA the most superior country in the world that doesn't mean that it's 200% perfect without any problems of its own and other shit. I mean, there's a good side and the bad side to the country just like any other country in the world, but I don't know why whether Anti-Americans Americans or Outsiders would love to poke at the negative side of the country as if their own is perfect.

The medication is expensive, okay, we get it… come to other countries… there are even places which hardly you could afford any hospitalization at all and just because it's USA, they have to point their fingers at the bad places.

I know these movies are trying to prove a point and show the government but hey, it's politics and it's rarely politicians would answer to your salvations.

I've been to US myself and I loved and I know I haven't seen the bad side of it not because I don't want to but because why should I?

If you'd come to Lebanon as visitors, you'd love the country but stay here for awhile you'd hate the living fuck out of the country. There's a difference between someone is on vacation in a certain country and someone trying to live permenantly. I find it difficult for a foriegner to get used to Lebanese ways of living than the American ways of living.

so, what's your point of you of this discussion?


Enjoy… Las Vegas-y
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:38PM
Raccoo at 11:26PM, April 23, 2008
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simonitro
so, what's your point of you of this discussion?
Borat is funny. :)
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DAJB at 1:03AM, April 24, 2008
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People always like to hit out at big targets and, at the moment, the USA is about the biggest target there is.

Frankly, it's always disturbing when a single superpower dominates so much of the world so completely (except when that one superpower was Britain, of course - then everything was fine and dandy ;) !) but, let's be honest … if there has to be a dominant superpower, the USA is a much better option than any of the other candidates!
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Frostflowers at 1:10AM, April 24, 2008
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Just because USA the most superior country in the world
Is it? No, seriously, is it?

The dollar has done a nose-dive, the rate of unemployment is rising, the environment is suffering, and as far as technological solutions and workplace safety go, the US is lagging behind - at least, it's lagging behind my country.

Of course, my own country isn't perfect. Our politicians are mostly idiots, there's environmental problems here too, the fish is disappearing from out coasts due to over-fishing, everything - politics, culture, money and resources - is skewed toward favouring our capital city which means the rest of the country suffers, our new government is coming down so harshly on people who are unable to get jobs that it almost seems like constant punishment, etc., etc. So it's not like I'm being unbalanced in my critique of the US - but that one line made me raise an eyebrow.

Is the US the most superior country in the world?
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imshard at 1:19AM, April 24, 2008
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One word : China.
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Calbeck at 2:19AM, April 24, 2008
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Frostflowers
Is the US the most superior country in the world?

I don't think it means a heck of a lot if we are or aren't. We're better than average, by a long shot, and that's a good thing.

I think, though, that a lot of it is kind of like “Superhero Syndrome”. If you had a real live superhero living on your block, would you love, ignore, or hate him or her? Respect or shun?

America is hated and shunned by many because it is not a readily-controlled force. It charts its own course, and most of the world either follows or gets out of the way due to its sheer bulk and power. That alone can build resentment and a feeling of unfairness. To these people, America is the bull in a small corral from which they cannot escape. No matter what the bull does — attack, move away, or chew cud — one can never escape the feeling that it COULD attack at any moment, with or without provocation.

In 2003, when the US invaded Iraq, wide majorities around the world declared that Hussein should be removed from power. They also declared that his Ba'athist regime was a significant threat to world peace. These results came from the same polling data that also showed huge declines in support for the US, which were explained by yet another bit of data from the same polls — the belief that the US was invading to seize the Iraqi oil.

This overwhelming concern with a type of American imperialism that has yet to manifest — no US oil companies have yet obtained any Iraqi oil interests — drove the core of early global opposition to the war. So did a general disdain for any sort of military solution to the Iraqi refusal to abide by the 1991 cease-fire terms. The world overwhelmingly wanted Hussein out of power, but was much less willing to see blood shed to do it.

I think Superman would receive much the same treatment in real life. His immense, unstoppable power would make people afraid: can we ever trust him to control himself? He could destroy us with a simple tantrum! And besides, who wouldn't use those kind of powers to make themselves filthy rich at everyone else's expense?

We trust Superman, only because we have absolute transparency into his life through comics. We see his personal relationships, watch him in his many acts of altriusm, and can read his very thoughts on the printed page. We trust him because we know he can be trusted. Real human beings in the real world…well, some might think it's safer to assume the worst. And in America's case, the worst would be very very bad.
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StaceyMontgomery at 7:20AM, April 24, 2008
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I love the USA. I consider it the best idea for a country ever.

We also screw up a lot - and as a consequence of our successes (like being big and rich) our screw ups can cause a lot of trouble.

But I'm not much for flag waving. Americans complain and gripe and wish for better and then we work to make dreams come true. Im proud of our ability to see our flaws. Im proud that we talk about our flaws loudly. Hiding behind bluster and bragging is for weaklings and cowards.

I think Laurie Anderson made this point brilliantly once, when she was talking about national Anthems. She pointed out that most national Anthems go “we're #1 we're better than you just because!” to a simple march. The Star Spangled Banner is just a bunch of questions asked in the dark.

Do you see… A flag?


The USA is not perfect. But we have done wonders, over and over again. Are we looking a little tarnished lately? Yes. I'm afraid we've gone in big lately for the sin of Pride and Anger and fear. It's not our best year.

I sense a change in the wind though. We'll be back.
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Product Placement at 7:46AM, April 24, 2008
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My national anthem basically is about us asking God to bless the country.

“We've been around for thousand years and ask for thousand more” kind of stuff.

Our place was a dirt hole until the 1940ties. It seriously was considered a third world country. Now it's one of the best places to live. Now that's progress.

I always admired the States in my youth. Thought is was the greatest. George Bush did wonders tearing down that image and I hope the next president will manage to pick up the tattered pieces that he now leaves behind and makes something out of it again. Seriously in 8 short years the country's gone into massive debt that causing a global recession, half the world currently hate it today and there are several domestic problems rising there that's gonna have serious long term effects.
Those were my two cents.
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bravo1102 at 9:02AM, April 24, 2008
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Some of the achievements of the USA over its 230 year history are amazing and unprecedented. We're also the longest lasting democratic republic with as many freedoms as the US's populace has.

That is something, other than that Calbeck hits it well.

DAJB
(except when that one superpower was Britain, of course - then everything was fine and dandy !)

Back then there weren't as many countries around to complain. (ca. 1880) Europe owned the other 80% of the world and the Royal Navy outnumbered the #1 and #2 navies combined. Who was going to complain?
France? (Well we got Algeria and a canal! and Germany kicked our butt, wann be our friend?)
Germany? (Brand NEW and improved! That's right we bad…)
Tsarist Russia? (Crimea anyone? Um let's go attack some defenceless nomad steppe tribes)
The USA? (we got this whole Manifest Destiny thing going, just leave us alone, thanks)
China (Huh? What? ports, opium? uh sure. What century is it again?)
Japan (Hey, you're cool, wanna help us? we wanna be just like you, yup, build us some ships huh? Please, oh yeah we like you…)
Austria? (What was that? I got a pain in my ass called the Balkans, don't bother me.)
Italy? (Brand New! Can we have this little slice of Africa please?)
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ozoneocean at 12:18PM, April 24, 2008
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I think you (Simon) miss the point of a lot of those movies and criticism.

The fact is that most of it comes from America itself. The POINT is that because the U.S. is such a good and free country, people are able to find out about and report on the bad things within it! This is a very, very good thing because it forces people to confront them, work to overcome them, and work to make the country better.

Personally I think that's the greatest thing about America, the self analysis and criticism, striving to FIX things. They even listen to outside criticism and allow people to see it there and think about it. How many other countries do that?

People who think it's all about simply knocking the U.S. and only want to talk about how great it is just don't get it. The U.S. is great because they let people like Noam Chomsky and others walk around free and become professors and such… This is a good thing.

Silence dissent and you have North Korea or the Soviet Union.
 
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kyupol at 12:40PM, April 24, 2008
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Silence dissent and you have North Korea or the Soviet Union.

You can only silence dissent for so long. Silencing dissent is the act of a direct in-your-face kind of dictatorship. In that situation, the people know they are in prison and eventually the in-your-face dictatorship will fall. It costs alot to keep fighting rebels and dissenters. In the Philippines, we were under the Spanish for 300 years. In spite of all the Filipino traitors who sold out their countrymen, the Spanish rule still collapsed. Why? Spain cant handle all the insurrections in all its colonies.

But in the USA, its more of a prison without the bars. Instead of direct military power on its own people, it relies more on the propaganda and brainwashing to achieve its police state.

In an ultimate police state, it is a self-policing one in where the people are the ones who police each other through shaming language.


As for dissent, It is more effective to silence dissent by a character assassination of the target instead of executing or imprisoning him/her. In simple terms, make the target (person or group) LOOK LIKE A KOOK in order to discredit the target. For example, there is alot of disinfo about 9-11 such as a conspiracy theory that a space beam was used to bring down the towers. As well as those race and religion centered conspiracy theories. Oh its the Jews… Oh its the Catholics…

Now you just discredited the 9-11 truth movement.

In another example, why is Ron Paul not given enough media coverage?

And why was David Icke made to look like an anti-semite if he clearly isnt. I've listened to over 50 hours of David Icke and I didnt find a single anti-semitic comment. When he says lizards, he MEANS lizards. Lizard is not equal to Jew.

The USA only silences or intimidates dissent if it is getting too close to the truth and if that dissent poses a direct threat to the New World Order. Why was William Cooper killed? Why was JFK killed?


In my opinion, these are the types of dictatorships ranked from most effective to least effective.

1) Scientific Dictatorship
2) Religious Dictatorship
3) Ideological Dictatorship
4) The classic one-man tyrant

NOW UPDATING!!!
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ozoneocean at 12:58PM, April 24, 2008
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The thing is that the U.S. doesn't silence dissent. Not in the way that many other places do at least. It openly encourages people to think and say differently, to an extent… Which is generally greater than that of a lot of other places that have been such big world powers. :)


No one is ever truly free anywhere and speech is never 100% free anywhere either. But at least there it's enshrined in the constitution and actively fought for!

You don't measure the strength of a country in its social toleration of fringe nutters Kyupol… But you CAN measure it in its tolerance of people who (sensibly) think differently about how things are. - As well, you might note that those people you mention aren't locked away automatically in prison or psychiatric institutions the way they might be in some other places…
 
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imshard at 5:45PM, April 24, 2008
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ozoneocean
The thing is that the U.S. doesn't silence dissent. Not in the way that many other places do at least. It openly encourages people to think and say differently, to an extent… Which is generally greater than that of a lot of other places that have been such big world powers. :)


No one is ever truly free anywhere and speech is never 100% free anywhere either. But at least there it's enshrined in the constitution and actively fought for!

You don't measure the strength of a country in its social toleration of fringe nutters Kyupol… But you CAN measure it in its tolerance of people who (sensibly) think differently about how things are. - As well, you might note that those people you mention aren't locked away automatically in prison or psychiatric institutions the way they might be in some other places…

Or tortured, killed, and your bloody and charred corpse dragged through the streets before it is prominently hung from a light pole. By the police at that.
Or thrown into a gulag.
Or censored
Or threatened
or have your family killed
etcetera

Yeah the US is a good place to live, we don't have to put up with any of that. I am damn grateful for it too, considering that my family would have been “ethnically cleansed” had it stayed in the home country.
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kyupol at 5:50PM, April 24, 2008
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The thing is that the U.S. doesn't silence dissent. Not in the way that many other places do at least. It openly encourages people to think and say differently, to an extent… Which is generally greater than that of a lot of other places that have been such big world powers. :)


No one is ever truly free anywhere and speech is never 100% free anywhere either. But at least there it's enshrined in the constitution and actively fought for!

You don't measure the strength of a country in its social toleration of fringe nutters Kyupol… But you CAN measure it in its tolerance of people who (sensibly) think differently about how things are. - As well, you might note that those people you mention aren't locked away automatically in prison or psychiatric institutions the way they might be in some other places…

I agree that the USA constitution is the best one in the world. The 1st and 2nd amendments are awesome. :) IMO, thats the reason why tyranny is having a bit of a challenge taking root in the USA.

As far ase “fringe nutters” are concerned, I've wondered why doesnt the government silence them? Listen to one Alex Jones show for example. Though I suggest DO NOT BELIEVE HIM until you research the things he says yourself.

I could just feel the tension in his tone of voice. His way of speaking is very similar to some kind of radical religious preacher. I could tell he is short of calling for a nationwide revolution and spearheading it as its commander.

But what would killing him do? If lets say the CIA would assassinate him. Like make it look like suicide or a car accident. Its too risky. Because by taking action against Alex Jones and his ilk, would only validate them and make them martyrs.

So the best thing to do is to let them talk. And make them look like nutjobs. And try your best not to get them any attention in the mainstream media. As well as spread rumors about them and pit them off against each other. Divide and conquer.

NOW UPDATING!!!
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bravo1102 at 7:39PM, April 24, 2008
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kyupol
I agree that the USA constitution is the best one in the world. The 1st and 2nd amendments are awesome. IMO, thats the reason why tyranny is having a bit of a challenge taking root in the USA.

If anything America is a more open society now than it was. More people can say more things to a wider audience (and louder). Nutjobs have always dissented throughout American history (read about electioneering in the 19th Century or the popular press during the American Civil War) and the USA still ain't a tyranny after 230 years. The USA has made it work where so many other nations tried and descended into tyranny. George Washington could have been a military dictator, no one knew if the USA could have a contested political election without falling apart. The USA didn't. People can disagree and there won't be a coup. Presidents/governors/mayors accept the Constitutional outcome of an election and go to the courts and the media and not for the army or the secret police to round up their opponents. There have been plenty of times much worse than now where the USA could have become a tyranny, but it didn't and with the guarenteed Freedoms it can never become a tyranny. (Federalist Papers anyone?)

The USA has rather loose laws about libel so labels can be thrown around. There's public opinion and there's the truth because most of the public is not informed. Most Americans when polled think speech should be curtailed. But there's that Constitution thingee.

Dissent is allowed and encouraged. But like my First Sergeant used to say: You can cry, bitch and moan all you want, but that doesn't mean I have to listen.

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bobhhh at 1:01AM, April 25, 2008
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I love America.

The nice thing about America is that it is written into the fabric of the constitution that all breaches of freedom and justice must eventually be redressed… you know, in order to form a more perfect union.

We are a work in progress, stay tuned.
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Product Placement at 2:35AM, April 25, 2008
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What I think is the biggest flaw with America, that can actually also be interpreted as a strength, is the fact that the president has so much power over the country.

Wikipedia
Article Two of the Constitution establishes the President as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and enumerates powers specifically granted to the President, including the power to sign into law or veto bills passed by both houses of Congress. The President also has the power to create a cabinet of advisers and to grant pardons or reprieves. Finally, with the “advice and consent” of the Senate, the President is empowered to make treaties and appoint federal officers ambassadors, and federal judges, including Justices of the Supreme Court. As with officials in the other branches of the United States government, the Constitution restrains the President with a set of checks and balances designed to prevent any individual or group from taking absolute power.

In my opinion, that is too much power for one man. Letting one individual shape the country that much means that the country can take drastic changes for better AND worse in a very short time. Bill Clinton left the country in a bloom. Foreign relations were at an all time peak, there was a surplus of money, Dollar was strong, Unemployment was low and so on. Bush is leaving the country practically in reverse order.

Back home our president only has the veto power. All offices of power are voted in, not appointed by someone who may or may not be a buddy of the guy who gets the seat. The president functions mostly as an international ambassador that meats other leader heads to discuss foreign relations. He can not make a decision on our behalf. The main power lies at the parliament. Many will argue that setups like that will slow down decision making reaction time but it will prevent, irrational decision from being made like for example… invading another country while the merits behind the rights to do so is still being debated.
Those were my two cents.
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bravo1102 at 9:15AM, April 25, 2008
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Please Product Placement, read the Federalist (and Anti-Federalist) Papers. Read about the debates on the floor of the Constitutional Convention.

The USA has a strong executive, but it is balanced by the Legislative and Judicial. The president cannot rule by fiat. Any that have tried have been attacked (Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln) and usually forced to change their decisions. Andrew Johnson and Nixon tried imperial presidentcies. Look what happened to them. (Impeachment and resignation)

230 years and it's worked. Has the system in the Philipines worked? That country has a weak executive because the executives in the past have used the military to grab power and not relinquish it. Britain, India and the USA haven't had that probelm. The last guy to grab military power in Britain was Oliver Cromwell. A coup was attempted in the USA in the 1930s. It went no where because some approached about it believed in the US system and that it would work itself out.

People who wanted to change the US system, appealled to the people and used the elective process to come to power. (Huey Long, the Populists) Your concerns are unfounded because the history of the US doesn't support it. The senate can say no. A free press will beat up on the president and eventually force the other two branches into action to stop the executive, it's worked everytime so far and with the new widespread media it's not going to happen.
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Comicracy at 4:43PM, April 25, 2008
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Hey if your here and you dont like it you can sneek into mexico and live, just dont try to do it through their southern border or they might shoot you,, uh wait er did I say that, cant be true… er mexico enforce its southern border, must be another right wing conspiracy Im trying to spread…
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Aussie_kid at 6:33PM, April 26, 2008
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I think it's because Americans always go on about how they're the greatest country, when they're really only #12 in the list of most liveable countries on earth (Top 3 being Norway, Sweden and Australia. Woo!). Hell, if they were the greatest country on earth, I think the kids would be able to find it on a map.

Let's think about the arrogant kid at school. The one who just loved to talk about themselves, prove other people wrong, make themself always right, etc. It always felt good to take them down a peg, to humble them. I think that's really what it's all about.

Not to say America is a terrible country though. I would love to come visit one day.
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lothar at 7:52PM, April 26, 2008
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to those who say USA can never descend into facism , a few words to google -
Diebold
Blackwater
Executive Directive 51
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Comicracy at 11:22PM, April 26, 2008
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How is Australia more liveable then the US,,, everything there can kill you, spiders, crocs, bushmen…
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StaceyMontgomery at 6:51AM, April 27, 2008
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I'm a little confused by Comicrazy's reference to Australian “Bushmen.” Australia's legendary itinerant workers weren't particularly dangerous, either in fact or mythology - though in the famous song “Waltzing matilda” one does steal a sheep.

One almost suspects that Comicrazy has foolishly confused the African and Australian meanings of the term - but that would make his post sound kind of racist, wouldn't it?

(I'll just pause for a moment while you all google that)


Politely, I did not even mention that he tried to use three commas to form an Ellipsis. Seriously, if you do not care for the rules of English, why not go where they speak something else?
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ozoneocean at 7:02AM, April 27, 2008
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The worst thing people from anywhere can say is that "we live in the GREATEST country in the WORLD!“ and believe it; it implies other places don't measure up and must have something intrinsically wrong with them. That's rarely true.

There are people in every place that believe they live in the greatest place on earth. In some ways that's good. It's good to have confidence in yourself and belief in your community/country etc. But if that blinds you to your own failings, and if it causes you to underestimate your neighbours, that's the short road to failure.

—–
Already people have turned my points into that; about how is great that the U.S. freely allows that sort of self examination.- turning it into ”It's great the the U.S. does this and they do it better than anywhere else!".

No.

It's great that this happens in the U.S., apart from that everywhere in the world is much like another when things balance out, except that some are more of less powerful and you consume more or less culture from there;
You will usually like where you're from more than any other place. Next on the list are places you like to consume culture from; Japan for example, as opposed to somewhere like Bhutan which doesn't put itself about much.

Bottom of the list are people who do things very differently from you and your country, are in opposition to your country in some form (or its allies), and/or have different beliefs. So Syrians, Iranians, North Koreans, and sometimes even Chinese become evil, instead of just being normal people from a different place. :)
 
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MangoFlush at 9:02AM, April 27, 2008
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imshard
One word : China.

Amen to that
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FyreHyde at 9:03AM, April 27, 2008
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Woah woah…what the hell…

Guys, guys. This thread shouldn't even exist. You…you DO all realize that Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian who created Borat, and plays him…is BRITISH, right? He uh…he created that character…in ENGLAND.

England - the same country where one of the most offensive things you can call someone is “paki”

Also, Ali G? Same guy.

So yeah…what the hell are you all debating over this for anyway?

Seriously.

Simon…do a little research next time.
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killersteak at 9:05AM, April 27, 2008
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Raccoo
simonitro
so, what's your point of you of this discussion?
Borat is funny. :)

Yup.
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bravo1102 at 10:07AM, April 27, 2008
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lothar
to those who say USA can never descend into facism , a few words to google -
Diebold
Blackwater
Executive Directive 51


You can be really funny sometimes. :)
Sham elections: How do you think JFK won? I didn't notice a descent into dictatorship, even after that twerp LBJ seized power after he arranged the assassination of JFK. Though it does make for an interesting movie and such things were in the media then Manchurian Candidate, Dr, Strangelove, Seven Days in May etc at the time which probably fed into a paranoia that led to our conspiracy theories. If there's a conspiracy a lot of people have to remain quiet and someone always talks and everyone who's talked so far has contradicted other stories from confessors. Reasonable doubt and you gotta read other things than Jim Garrison, Jim Marrs and the internet.

Executive Directive 51 picks up on previous ones dealing with the continuation of government after a catastrophe. Something has to be in place as the current Consitutin doesn't provide for the possible disruption caused by the sudden death of most of Congress etc. Too many leaders wouldn't go for it and would disobey the Federal government if it appeared that dictatorship was on the way. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution would overrule any attempt by the Federal Government to do so as power devolves to the states and people then there is also the guaranteed freedoms of the Bill of Rights. The President can't just suspend them (other then as ennumerated in the Constitution)

Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law.
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bobhhh at 12:05PM, April 27, 2008
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Comicracy
How is Australia more liveable then the US,,, everything there can kill you, spiders, crocs, bushmen…

Listen I love my country as much as you, but we have Mountain Lions, Recluse Spiders, and Grizzl Bears here too.

I love America because of freedom, not becuase I feel secure I won't be eaten or poisoned to death.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
Aussie_kid at 6:05AM, April 28, 2008
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Comicracy
How is Australia more liveable then the US,,, everything there can kill you, spiders, crocs, bushmen…

Yeah, because we all know that there's nothing that can kill you in the United States.

But seriously, we aren't all outback. You are just showing a racist and ignorant side that further proves my point. You know nothing of my country, except for probably what the Simpsons told you. Not to say I know everything about the world. I don't. But don't assume you know everything about a country. I've seen maybe 10 spiders in my life and two crocs and the crocs were all in the zoo.

Anyway, that's just my view on it
Insanity Complex: We may not be insane, but we like to think we are
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM

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