September 17th, 2012

  • kinvore

Protests over film

In light of the recent firestorm of protests over the anti-Muslim film by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has prompted me to draw a few conclusions.

1. I'm okay with arming our embassies with flame throwers. Technically it's US soil and we have both a right and a duty to protect them. I don't think being offended by a film gives someone the right to violate international laws and treaties and attacking a government that had nothing to do with the offensive film to begin with. If people are willing to walk into a flamethrower in order to voice their displeasure then I'm all for it. Come at me, brah.

2. I'm also okay with shipping the maker(s) of this film off to a Middle Eastern country and letting the protestors deal with them. To me this is beyond a First Amendment issue: just because you can say something doesn't mean you should. I see this as akin to shouting "fire" in a movie theater. They knew this film would provoke violence and they did it anyway, so I don't see why we should allow others to pay for their douchebaggery.

What I'm saying is BOTH sides on this issue are wrong, and to pretend otherwise is foolish. This film shouldn't have been made, and yet we shouldn't give a pass to people to kill others just because they're offended. So I'm not taking a side on this one. A pox on both their houses.
  • ja_va

That's nice:

Yesterday Vladimir Putin was shown on Russian TV saying: "it is very good Romney said that Russia is enemy number one. At least now there is no misunderstanding. Of course, it will also help with our position on NATO defense systems in Eastern Europe - Americans can no longer pretend they are not meant to be anti-Russian"

Romney is not even elected yet, and he still managed to do some damage to the US Foreign policy... Given the current sentiment in Russia, which is going from mildly anti-American to stronger anti-American, any declaration of hostility from a high ranking US official is more than welcome. In fact, it is necessary to give foundation to the increasing militarization campaign by Putin. It is also very helpful for the extremists, who gain popular vote by showing that there is, indeed, real danger coming from the United States.

Obama's policy towards Russia was, indeed, confusing and not welcome to the nationalists and right wing Chauvinists. They had difficulty portraying the US as an evil force of world domination. Now they are happy again - everything goes back to its place. Many of them are praying (openly so) that Romney is elected.

There are people who will hate America no matter what. And there are others, who need facts. Potential president who calls Russia "enemy number one" is a hard fact which is difficult to argue with.
Godzilla, default

Freedom for me but not for thee:

In studying how US foreign policy actually works. I've come to believe in a very good and simple reason as to why 'they' hate 'us.' This reason begins and ends with a pattern of backing repressive, sometimes genocidal, dictators and calling it freedom.
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Of course it actually could be that people really don't like these things, but as that would mean the Other is human and has rights as those who deny it to them do............

Occupy Vs Itself! Fight!

NEW YORK (AP) — Occupy Wall Street began to disintegrate in rapid fashion last winter, when the weekly meetings in New York City devolved into a spectacle of fistfights and vicious arguments.

Punches were thrown and objects were hurled at moderators' heads. Protesters accused each other of being patriarchal and racist and domineering. Nobody could agree on anything and nobody was in charge. The moderators went on strike and refused to show up, followed in quick succession by the people who kept meeting minutes. And then the meetings stopped altogether.

In the city where the movement was born, Occupy was falling apart.

In it's hayday Occupy had some unrealistic souls wondering if they weren't looking at the spark of new American Revolution. After all, if there was ever a time after the Civil War when it looked like that might happen it was the Great Depression. But it didn't happen then and it certainly doesn't look like it will happen now. What was hailed as a new begaining was really a flash in the pan.

As someone who thought this exactly what would happen from the start allow me a moment to "Bwahahaha!"

But the movement is now a shadow of its mighty infancy, when a group of young people harnessed the power of a disillusioned nation and took to the streets chanting about corporate greed and inequality.

Back then it was a rallying cry, a force to be reckoned with. But as the encampments were broken up and protesters lost a gathering place, Occupy in turn lost its ability to organize.

The movement had grown too large too quickly. Without leaders or specific demands, what started as a protest against income inequality turned into an amorphous protest against everything wrong with the world.

"We were there to occupy Wall Street," Dutro says. "Not to talk about every social ill that we have."

And here we have the real nut of it. No one was really in charge and everyone ended up wanting to talk about every little gripe they had with society. As one might expect from this sort of thing the protesters started accusing anyone in the moment who disagreed about anything of being a part of the problem and yadda, yadda, yadda...

So what have we learned here? One, no matter what your agenda clear goals and actual leaders are a must. Also, that sit-ins were a stupid idea in the 60s and they're not any better an idea now. Change requires you to get off your butt.

Anyway, Occupy will twitch a bit more before it finally dies. I suppose we'll have a bit of a break before the next would-be revolution comes. Hopefully someone out there has been taking notes.