Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

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Headless's picture
Headless
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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

I love my country; I hate my country. People say they are proud of such and such, and I've always wondered about the speaker's understanding of what he/she has said, as was so comically expressed in The Princess Bride, "I do not think that word means what you think it means," and you are perhaps mistaken in your assumptions about yourself.

To say I am proud of my country, to me, implies that I am somehow responsible for some admirable characterstic with which I can somehow claim credit for having enabled or supported. I may or may not be able to make such a claim. And when I contemplate my decision to to "divorce" myself from my country, as it seems it will be less painful for Her and me, I am horrendously sad--not because I will miss "Her," but for the "Her" that I imagine I could miss.

jrf29, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his/her opinions, spends some time in thoughtful consideration of the day-to-day lives of real Americans living real lives--as I read him/her, and thus, when I am accused of having been "angrier than usual," I find it easy to take that claim seriously. It's true. I had "a dream," I "Imagine"-d a future, I loved a country...that no longer seems to exist...

I was a teacher...here, in America. It seemed the only thing worthwhile. There is an unlimited need for dedicated teachers; those that understand that teaching in America, now, in the times we are living through, is no different than being a parent--to hundreds of innocent young souls who, denied the deserved support from those who should have been their loving parents, are struggling to find themselves to be worthy; are unaware of the magic that lies within...having been distracted by neglect and an unrelenting chorus of "more, more, more..."

I don't know where it all went so wrong, but I, who have never had any use for religion, would pray if I thought it would make any difference...

Obama has begun to address what needs to be done: in one of his speeches he directly addressed the parents in America, calling on them to support their children. That is why I knew he would win: because he said something that every neglected child feels in his/her heart; something that screams out to be said. Obama was elected by the neglected; those who understand he understands...

Is He real? I sure hope so, and I'd be willing to forget all the criminal transgressions committed during the Bush administration if Obama said, on the night of his inauguration, "We are not going to pursue those of the past administration who were so grossly misguided...for reasons only they will ever understand, because our children are more important; we can chose to spend our time prosecuting the lesser among us, but at what cost? We need to focus on those who have been disregarded and endangered, our children. It might feel good to make things right, but we don't have the luxury of distraction..."

I could accept such a speech, as the lesser among us already suffer--though they know it not, just as there would be no recognition and repentance on their part if the transgressions were addressed.

As is so beautifully expressed in one of the greatest and bravest movies of all time, we have a debt to those we have brought into this world; a debt that is, and should be, our first priority. The youth of America have decided to wed a more hopeful future; it's time for the "parents" to honor their obligations, or--at least--get out of the way:

 

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Nonzeroone,

I never saw the movie "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner". Your post and the links have left me almost speechless. Thank you for sharing. 

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Thanks for "hearing" me Sam...

I think you would enjoy the movie.

Lee

 

P.S.

When I said, in effect, "Let's forget the past and save our future (the young hearts and minds),"  I imply that all the corruption and theft of the world's resources, the exploitation of the world's workers, the finally exposed  sacking of the American middle class (who turned out to be pawns in the broader game); more specifically, the Reaganomic-Laffer philosophy that enabled such a relentless and useless concentration of wealth in the hands of the useless few will stop--with the simple honest appraisal and public pronouncement that, indeed, "My fellow citizens, this...is what has happened. These people, as of today, January 22nd, 2009, can kiss their stolen wealth goodbye. It's in the interest of your children, my daughters, that we stop this now..."

Of course he would be promptly assassinated after that, thus...? I, myself, would take that for The Team. And The Team would indeed be awakened and ready to "play" after that...

Parents cannot parent when they are victims of violent financial crimes. The concentration of wealth stops, or the machine breaks...

 

An interesting take by Max Keiser:

http://www.zapatageorge.com/zapatag/web_radio# (January 17th show) 

You're thinking like a rational human being...
Economics is social science. It's not a natural science. It's driven by...

I remember the Wall Street Journal ran an article that showed that people with brain damage are better money managers because they are incapable of empathy...
We have a system where those who have zero empathy run the banking system.
And now, because we've been able to aggragate so much captial, and power, as as a result, they've become sadistic. And this is the problem, those who are in positions of power and authority have take that power and authority to an almost Caligula level of sadism and irrationality. And this is a huge issue that goes unspoken about, obviously, in the main stream financial press because that is a captive press that is owned by the same sadistic monarches and aristocrats who are, in my opinion, sadistically destroying this market....
You know, if you remember a movie from a few years ago, The Crying Game, that had a great movie where there was a scene where one guy says to another guy 'I bet you're not going to do what you were going to do, because if I die, then you die.' And the the second guy explains to the first the parable of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion gets on the back of the frog to go across the river, and the frog says I don't want you on my back  because you'll bite me and I'll drown. And the scorpion says, 'Why would I do that? We'd both drown?' So the frog says, "Get on my back." And they get half way across the river and the scorpion bites the frog, and the frog says, "Why did you do that?" and the scorpion says, "It's my nature."
In other words, it's the nature of these guys who are in positions of power and authority to destroy. They are not constructive in any sense of the word. The TARP money, the bailout money, all the policies we've seen under the current administration...is destructive. And the point, I think, that came out of this discussion, is that futures contracts are being used as, uh, almost weapons... They're using them to stick it to Russia, stick it to Venezuela....
People that try to trade this market saying [these prices] aren't rational are going to get the short end of the stick, because there's nothing rational about it. You've got a bunch of high level political animals that have access to these markets--and who runs the Federal Reserve? Who runs the Treasury Department? These are only wonks and quantsf from the hedge fund industry  who have all the algorithms, who have all the trading ability.... These people are stealing. They didn't just destroy Merril Lynch. They are destroying the entire country--that's the issue.
"

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Nonzeroone,

Your speech reminded me of someone who doesn't know how to swim flailing, gulping down water, and gasping for air.

Now - I know this sounds cross, but I don't mean it as such.
Our system is failing. If we were looking at a living organism, we might see a young man in the prime of his life with alcohol poisoning, heart-failure from a speed-ball he shot up hours earlier and the advance stages of malnourishment from the weeks spent binge drinking and puking off balconies.

We can look on as Doctors or Parents. Your perspective, I believe, is that of a parent, or teacher if you prefer.
You love this kid, not for what he is, but what he could be. You watch him crawl, and think "My boy can be anything he wants". As he grows, it becomes more obvious that his influences are negative, and his descision making is poor. You begin seeing other children in other "neighborhoods" (Analogious to countries) and see how they're much more disiciplined, better behaved and respectful. They lead quiet lives, go to school, achieve and come home to good families.

The doctors, meanwhile give the kid on the table a bad prognosis. If he lives, he'll be addled. At least they're starting to talk straight... for the last 10 years, they've been saying he's perfectly fine.

Now we know that there are only three fates;

1. The patient dies of his own stupidity,

2. The patient survives, and goes right back to the habits that created the problem in the first place, or;

3. The patient survives, realizes he's F***'d up, and corrects his course.

Personally, I can see how a person in the "parent" or Teacher role would flail. You're scared of the potential failures.

But I see lessons learned and a life well educated on the finer points of failure. A golden child who pissed away college for a tour through the real world. A child culture who will emerge stronger than his competition for having experienced more failure, and been through harder times. Who has learned what it's like to lose everything, and pull himself back up by his bootstraps.

I choose to believe that our hypothetical fate #3 is the one we will experience... I may be wrong, but sometimes things that aren't necessarially true are the things you need to believe in the most; that goodness of character is worth more than money. That good guys win and bad guys lose. That true love lasts a lifetime.

Reality isn't a warm and fuzzy place, but faith and committment go a long ways.
Do I love what my country has become? No.
But I remain faithful, and committed.

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Aaron said:

Your speech reminded me of someone who doesn't know how to swim flailing, gulping down water, and gasping for air.

They may be a fair description...

Asron said:

But I see lessons learned and a life well educated on the finer points of failure. A golden child who pissed away college for a tour through the real world. A child culture who will emerge stronger than his competition for having experienced more failure, and been through harder times. Who has learned what it's like to lose everything, and pull himself back up by his bootstraps.

Problem with that is, dead children don't appreciate "the finer points of failure" and the dangling "bootstraps" are of little use. This is not a hypothetical scenario.

Aarron said:

Reality isn't a warm and fuzzy place.

And "attending funerals" wasn't mentioned in the school district application.

Perhaps you didn't intend to sound "cross," dont' worry, you didn't...it's much more serious than that...

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

What I'm trying to say is that some animals in nature die.

Simple as that. American will die. You and I will die. We can spend our lives worrying about it, gasping for breath, or we can accept it, and move on and do what we can with what we have.

Again, I apologize if that's offensive to you - or much more serious - but I'm not sorry.

It is the way it is, so why not try and salvage what pieces we can?

Attending funerals is part of life. Sometimes it is, as is the case with our nations; a young person before their time, and sometimes as would be the case in other countries, more mature organisms that have had their chance.

Dead Children don't appreciate the finer points of failure - but the surviving ones can learn from their example.

Someone has to wear the mantle, and if our nation dies out, It's just another natural process which is ultimately inevitable.

Anyway, my buddies Asron, Aarron and I are off to bed.
Try and take it easy Nonzeroone.

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Hi nonezerone and Aaron

I have read what both of you have to say and believe that you are both missing the perspective put by Daniel Quinn.

Whats wrong with us is that we continue to hold the values of civilisation when its civilisation itself that is failing us (yet again). For more than 3 million years our species has been tribal. Whales live in pods, monkeys in troups, buffalo in herds we live in tribes.

Sometimes we get it wrong and have another go at civilisation. This one is starting to fail like all the others but we are in the unique position of having nowhere to go. All previous civilisations have been almost certainly abandoned volutarily by the participants deserting and returning to tribal living.  Thats why they have only left ruins. Our memes do not allow us to abandon the core practices of our civilisation such as agriculture or authority. Consequently when we think of fixes all we can think of are big fixes.

Our group size is not of a human scale. In big numbers we are simply governed and governable. Our media give equal time to each side of an issue and each issue equal time or space (after Robert Fisk). Media format ensures that no one issue gets to dominate but one issue does dominate. Population. But it gets almost no press. We will eventually no longer be able to transport food and will be forced back to our local resource boundaries. When that happens our population will be drastically reduced.

We see our future but we wait for politicians to act for us.

My practical solution is to gather together in groups of around a hundred people with our neighbours and begin to act as humans groups (tribes if you like) again. Some groups might succeed at living within their local resource base and they might become models for others. Unfortunately we are not ready to do that yet in suburbia but I am hopeful that we will get a concensual crisis that might give us a chance before our final doom.

Don

________________________________________________________

7 billion people can be wrong, very wrong

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Thanks for "hearing" me Sam...

I think you would enjoy the movie.

Lee,

I think I would too. Someday I'll have to try and squeeze in the time to watch it.

I found your discussion with Aaron interesting and thought provoking. So much so that I have little to add except a comment regarding the following paragraph from your post:

People that try to trade this market saying [these prices] aren't
rational are going to get the short end of the stick, because there's
nothing rational about it. You've got a bunch of high level political
animals that have access to these markets--and who runs the Federal
Reserve? Who runs the Treasury Department? These are only wonks and
quantsf from the hedge fund industry  who have all the algorithms, who
have all the trading ability.... These people are stealing. They didn't
just destroy Merril Lynch. They are destroying the entire
country--that's the issue.

For those who might think that you are paranoid (I do not!), I offer these interesting links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fdr_plot

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=628728631767818729

The Plot to Overthrow FDR

- 42:59
- Sep 20, 2006


(69 Ratings) 

Rate:

A documentary on the business plot of 1932, in which a group of private
financiers sought to depose FDR and impose a fascist government in the
United States.

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Don,

I'm not familiar with DanielQuinn, but I've read a lot of your comments, and I am pretty confident in saying that you've read Jared Diamond and would echo his sentiments toward our situation and the possible solutions. A paraphrased example of his thoughts:

There are societies that are close to collapse...
What about us?
In analyzing collapses, I've come up with a five-point framework:
1. Human impact on the environment;
2. Climate change;
3. Relations with neighboring friendly societies; are they friendly?
4. Relationships with hostile societies;
5. The political, economic, social, and cultural factors in a society.

Our society today? General conclusions?
There are many societies that don't wind down gradually--they collapse suddenly...
These rapid collapses are likely where there is a mismatch between resources and population...
A confusing factor in the collapse of societies is that it seems it would have been obvious that is was inevitable. Why didn't people change behavior to avoid the collapse? How is this explained?
1. There is a difference between what is good in the short term for the political elite and what is good for the general population in the long run; the United States is the quintessential example of this...

Our present course is a non-sustainable course. Those of us who are 60 or younger will personaly witness the results of this pursuit of non-sustainability.

All of the problems facing us today are problems of your own making; thus we can solve them, though we are not doing what we need to be doing in order for that to happen...

Don, you said:

My practical solution is to gather together in groups of around a hundred people with our neighbours and begin to act as humans groups (tribes if you like) again. Some groups might succeed at living within their local resource base and they might become models for others. Unfortunately we are not ready to do that yet in suburbia but I am hopeful that we will get a concensual crisis that might give us a chance before our final doom.

 I agree that might be a plausible outcome, though, of course, there is a lot of pain that comes with that. For example, modern medicine would not be accessible on such a tribal scale, and thus our attitudes toward suffering and death would inevitably have to adjust. Perhaps we, indeed, are "in training" for such an inevitability--which in no way, on my part, assumes that Aaron has made his comments with such an evolution of perspective in mind, as I think his perspective is one borne of near zero exposure to reality or still being in your twenties...

And, of course, what you are really saying, Don, is that we have a "die off" of enormous proportions in store. That may be true, but it doesn't make the initial losses any easier to accept...

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Sam said, in regards to a paragraph within my post:

"For those who might think that you are paranoid (I do not!), I offer these interesting links..."

Sam,

Those are the thoughts of Max Keiser, though I happen to think it's not even open to argument (as he says) whether or not there are people out there who can utterly control the markets as a whole, and specific commodities, sectors, or stocks whenever they dedide to do so. That ability, IMO, is due to multiple structural deficiencies that have, in effect, been designed into our system (by various "fixes" such as Paulson et al's plea to repeal Glass-Steagall; people used to (up until a few months ago) argue that the failure of commercial banks and not investment banks proved the repeal was justified). Problem now is, there has been so much wealth siphoned off and concentrated in the hands of the few (due to the collective sacking mechanisms), that there really is no "market" anymore; it's more a matter of how those few mega-manipulators feel when they wake up each day that determines where things go...

The complete irrationality of everything tradable over the past year--at least--is pretty strong evidence that the above is, in fact, reality...

P.S. Started to watch the video (your post) last night, but fell asleep. What I saw seemed uncomfortably familiar; will watch the whole video sometime today. Thanks for the link.

Lee

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Re: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...

Hi Lee,

I was not familiar with Jared Diamond but a quick look does reveal a similarity in thought to that of Daniel Quinn. Over time I will read more of him.

With regard to my suggestion about groups of neighbours; I don't think it needs to be either or. If we can start as neighbours to develop identity as a group there is no reason why individuals should not continue to contribute to wider society as they already do. Perhaps not economists, lawyers, social scientists and many others Smilebut at least people working in medicine, water reticulation and a number of other activities deemed by group members as useful on a larger scale. I'm most concerned with what we lack that we once had. Diverse individuals in groups on a human scale, and a path from where we are now to there.

When I read about collapse in individual countries (Argentina, Ukraine) what I see is a lack of human scale groups and all the advantages they confer. Particularly in terms of food and physical security. While suburban residents value our "individual freedom" at present it can dictate a form of collapse that is far worse than one likely to be encountered by established human scale groups.

Thanks for your thoughts

Don

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