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A defense of Michael Moore and "Bowling for Columbine"

By Eloquence in Op-Ed
Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:00:09 AM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)
Movies

This is an open letter to David Hardy, author of Bowling for Columbine: Documentary or Fiction?, probably the most comprehensive among many rebuttals of the Oscar-winning documentary. Critics have now gone so far as to call for the revocation of the award. Their chances are small, however, as their arguments rely on polemic, exaggeration and misrepresentation -- in other words, on the same techniques which they accuse Moore of using.

Dear David Hardy,

It is fascinating to watch the organized character assassination of Michael Moore that has been going on in the United States since the release of his last documentary. In a time of simple-minded patriotism, loud, clear and dissenting voices like Mr. Moore's are perceived as disturbing and have to be silenced, partially through well funded public relations campaigns, partially through conservative "grass-roots" propaganda. Not surprisingly, much of the criticism of Moore's film is misguided or outright wrong, often vastly more inaccurate than Moore's work itself.


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Moore portrays the NRA as an unethical, dishonest organization; he sees the paranoia and fear in the United States as a primary cause of violence, and he does not see gun ownership itself as a problem. His documentary is full of subtle humor, jaw-dropping dialogue and dark contrasts. All in all, it is an accurate portrayal of America's gun and violence culture. It also raises questions about America's foreign policy of recent decades, questions which have been all but ignored by Moore's critics.

On your webpage, you state that "Moore's resolution is questionable. After all, early in the movie he discards the possibility that playing violent video games and watching violent flicks can cause violence -- because Canadians like, and Japanese positively love, those. If violent movies and violent videogames cannot cause violence -- then how can newscasts about violence do so?"

This is a faulty generalization. If, as Moore implies (although never states as fact), video games and violent movies are relatively harmless, it does not logically follow that all types of media presentation are harmless. There is a huge difference, for example, between playing a game like "Quake" and listening to a radio broadcast that tells you that your family will be killed unless you take action to kill others now. The latter is the kind of media propaganda that was used to unleash a genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which killed 800,000 people. Similarly, the main motivation for the crusades (beyond the promise of wealth) was that Christians were supposedly being slaughtered and had to be saved.

Obviously, media propaganda can incite people to kill. Interactive fiction like video games, on the other hand, presents violence in a narrative context, which may very well desensitize participants to said violence, but no causative link has ever been proven. Moore's hypothesis (which apparently comes at least in part from the book "Culture of Fear" by Barry Glassner, also advertised on Moore's website) is that the constant bombardment with messages of fear can incite paranoia, which itself can lead to violent acts. This is consistent with the kind of media-incited violence described above, and in no relationship whatsoever to the theory of video game or music incited violence. It is no surprise, however, that US (and European) media do not question their own propaganda of fear.

Moore's second hypothesis is that America's foreign policy may contribute to the belief that violence is an appropriate means to solve conflicts, a hypothesis which is shared by many sociologists and psychologists. Children who grow up in war-torn regions are known for having similar views -- war is perceived as a normal part of existence, violence as a natural way to solve disputes. In a weaker sense, the same message is projected to American children, who grow up being told that it is not acceptable to be violent to one another, but who simultaneously have to endure corporal punishment and media messages about how "the enemies of freedom" are punished. Moore's film was made before the dead bodies of Qusay and Uday Hussein were paraded on national TV. Americans were gloating over this demented corpse show:

"They squealed like little piggies too, so you'll have to make do with 'oink, oink, squeeeeeeeallll' for their last words. That goes for your grandson Mustafa too, by the way. Still think fucking with the U.S. was a good idea, Sammy?"

Mustafa was 14 years when he was killed. Americans cheer the killing of children, yet wonder why their own children grow up to be more violent than those in other nations. It is paradoxical notions like this one which Moore's film seeks to address.

Inaccuracies

Your webpage list a number of alleged inaccuracies in Moore's movies. It is true that Moore's film is sometimes unintentionally deceptive, but to call it fraudulent is hyperbole to the extreme. It is no more so than any other successful documentary of the last decades. Let's look at some specific criticisms:

1) The bank scene, listed on your website on a separate page. Critics have stated that this scene was "staged", but in the bank interview, the official tells Moore that the bank has its own vault storing about 500 weapons at any given time. It is also a licensed firearms dealer which can perform its own background checks. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, linked from your site, an employee claims that the gun would have been "normally" picked up at another dealer. It is not explained what "normally" is supposed to mean, but that claim flatly contradicts the statement of the bank official in the film. This sounds more like a later correction for public relations purposes, but of course nobody questions the bank claims when they can be used against Moore.

The only thing that Moore compressed is the timeframe. According to the same WSJ interview, "Typically, you're looking at a week to 10 days waiting period." This is plausible -- but entirely irrelevant for the movie, which already makes it quite clear that a background check is being performed. Moore's detractors have sometimes extended those 7-10 days to several weeks, contradicting the bank's own estimate.

There is nothing inaccurate whatsoever about the bank scene. The bank does exactly what it advertises: It hands out guns from its vault to those who open an account. The silly criticisms of the scene obscure the real obscenity of the situation: a bank handing out guns to its customers, higlighting the utter laxness of how Americans deal with deadly weapons and a love of firearms that borders on the religious.

2) The Lockheed-Martin interview. This is perhaps the criticism repeated the most often, and it also the most inaccurate. First, the actual quotes from the film are often reproduced incorrectly. The dialogue goes as follows:

Moore: "So you don't think our kids say to themselves, gee, dad goes off to the factory every day - he builds missiles. These are weapons of mass destruction. What's the difference between that mass destruction and the mass destruction over at Columbine High School?"

McCollum (PR person): "I guess I don't see that specific connection because the missiles that you're talking about were built and designed to defend us from somebody else who would be aggressors against us."

First, note the word "our" in Moore's question. Moore is not from Colorado -- his question is generic, not meant to refer specifically to the Lockheed Martin plant in question. McCollum understands it this way -- otherwise he would protest against the plant being mischaracterized. However, critics of Moore have cleverly ignored McCollum's response and presented Moore as spreading lies about the Lockheed plant.

Even Lockheed did not believe the public to be that gullible. In response to one Moore detractor, McCollum wrote: "Although other units of Lockheed Martin Corporation elsewhere in the country produce weapons to support the defense of the U.S., we make no weapons at the Littleton-area facility Moore visited." Of course, critics have conveniently ignored the fact that Lockheed Martin does supply weapons of mass destruction to the US military, and that the company is the nation's largest military contractor. As Moore correctly points out, it is bizarre for a society to openly embrace the production of destructive weapons, but on the other hand see no connection of this to everyday violence -- children learn by imitating adults.

Yes, Moore makes this point through slight exaggeration by moving with the camera through the LM plant -- but he makes no incorrect statement. It is typical for his critics to jump on what is at most a slightly misleading implication, but in doing so, they themselves have, unlike Moore, made many incorrect claims.

3) Denver NRA meeting. Critics like yourself claim that Moore has massively distorted evidence to support his point that Charlton Heston has effectively insulted the victims of the Columbine tragedy by holding a rally in Denver shortly afterwards.

First, the "from my cold, dead hands" part: This is used by Moore as a visual citation to introduce Heston. It is perhaps one of his most famous quotes, shown on national TV even here in Germany. It tells viewers: Aha, this is the person we are talking about. Nowhere does Moore say or imply that these words were uttered at the rally in Denver, and in fact, their reptition later in the movie at another occasion (oddly claimed by critics to be again "misattributed") is simply a reminder of this. It is Moore's way to say: Viewers, meet Charlton Heston, gun nut extraordinaire.

The "visual of a billboard and a narration" is viewed by you as evidence that Moore is trying to somehow tie the two events together, when in reality, it is quite obvious that he does it to separate the introduction of Heston from his speech in Denver. Moore is a professional filmmaker -- he concentrates on maximum impact of each of the statements he cites, and to accomplish that effect, uses subtle interludes instead of long-winded introductions. This is a common technique, but because conservative readers are not familiar with the basics of filmmaking, they believe critics who claim that he is "distorting" the interview. What he does is standard filmmaking practice.

The same goes for the interview which follows. Moore's critics would expect us to have him quote Heston in his entirety, have him present fully the PR that the NRA has used to justify its rally in Denver for reasons of "balance". The NRA was fully aware of the scandal it would cause through its rally and decided to push on because they believed to have enough media support to successfully do so. They were right. You claim that there was "no way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members." 10 days are more than enough to give advance warning of a change in location or date, had the NRA really wanted to. It is probably correct that their primary reason for not doing so was to save money, not to piss off the victims of Colubmine. That does not change the fact that they did just that. Moore presents the most important part of the speech to back up this point and ignores the fluff. This is what good documentary filmmaking is about. And here the critics again ignore important evidence:

When Heston mentions the mayor of Denver, the crowd boos loudly. Heston maganimously holds up a hand to read the mayor's letter (only to explain in detail why he chose to ignore the request -- not mentioning at all the reasons you have given!). This booing by the crowd, not mentioned with a single word in your transcript or your article, shows that the crowd was fully aware of the controversy they would cause by coming to Littleton after children were being killed there -- and they effectively said "Fuck you". To say that they could not have done otherwise is a bold lie by Moore's critics.

4) The Kayla Rolland case. Again, critics like yourself charge Moore with deception. The rally took place on October 17, the shooting on February 29. Again, standard filmmaking techniques are interpreted as smooth distortion: "Moore works by depriving you of context and guiding your mind to fill the vacuum -- with completely false ideas. It is brilliantly, if unethically, done." As noted above, the "from my cold dead hands" part is simply Moore's way to introduce Heston. Did anyone but Moore's critics view it as anything else? He certainly does not "attribute it to a speech where it was not uttered" and, as noted above, doing so twice would make no sense whatsoever if Moore was the mastermind deceiver that his critics claim he is.

Concerning the Georgetown Hoya interview where Heston was asked about Rolland, you write: "There is no indication that [Heston] recognized Kayla Rolland's case." This is naive to the extreme -- Heston would not be president of the NRA if he was not kept up to date on the most prominent cases of gun violence. Even if he did not respond to that part of the interview, he certainly knew about the case at that point.

Regarding the NRA website excerpt about the case and the highlighting of the phrase "48 hours after Kayla Rolland is pronounced dead": This is one valid criticism, but far from the deliberate distortion you make it out to be; rather, it is an example for how the facts can sometimes be easy to miss with Moore's fast pace editing. The reason the sentence is highlighted is not to deceive the viewer into believing that Heston hurried to Flint to immediately hold a rally there (as will become quite obvious), but simply to highlight the first mention of the name "Kayla Rolland" in the text, which is in this paragraph.

Unfortunately, because the zooming is rather fast, it is easy to miss the rest of the sentence, so as you correctly note, some viewers got an incorrect impression. It would have been fair for Moore to point out this possible misinterpretation on his website. However, the claim of deliberate distortion is ludicrous for several reasons:

a) Moore clearly states that "before he came to Flint", Heston gave an interview. In the excerpt from said interview, we can see that it is from March. If Moore wanted to deceive his viewers, why would he say this, and show the month the interview was published?

b) Why should Moore leave the words "Clinton is on the Today Show" visible in the text, which is necessary to correctly interpret the highlighted part? I reviewed the sequence several times and it is perfectly possible to see this text without pausing.

c) Both the "soccer mom" interview and the sequences showing the NRA rally make no effort to distort the fact that this rally happened months after the fact. The camera lingers on Bush/Cheney posters, and the protestor is quoted as saying that "we wanted to let the NRA know that we haven't forgotten about Kayla Rolland". You make the hysterical claim that the interview "may be faked" (on the basis that no name is shown for the interviewee), but if Moore had faked it, why the hell should he put this sentence in the protestor's mouth, which directly contradicts the conclusion that the rally happened hours after Kayla's death? Why did Moore, the masterful deveiver, not edit this sequence out? This makes no sense.

Opinions may vary on how tasteless it was for Heston to hold a pro gun rally on the location of the nation's youngest school shooting months after the fact, but this sequence of "Bowling" is without doubt the most unfair to Heston. The claims of deliberate distortion don't hold up when viewing the whole scene, though -- as "Hanlon's Razor" states, one should never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence. The somewhat inept editing of the NRA press release has led some viewers to wrong conclusions, which is unfortunate, but Moore's critics have no interest in viewing the matter fairly. Had they done so, Moore himself would probably have apologized for the gaffe. In any case, at no point does Moore make a false statement, in contradiction to claims by critics that his documentary is "full of lies".

5) You write: "Having created the desired impression, Moore follows with his Heston interview." No, he doesn't. You accuse Moore so often of changing the chronology, yet you have no problems changing it yourself. The Heston interview is at the very end of the movie. After the Flint rally comes a brief TV interview with Heston, where he is asked about Kayla Rolland (again, clear evidence that the local media in Flint raised questions about the NRA's presence), then an inteview with country prosecutor Arthur Busch, entirely ignored by critics of the film, who also mentions Heston's presence as notable, and refers to the immediate reactions of "people from all over America", gun owners/groups who, according to him, reacted aggressively to warnings of having guns accessible to children, much like spanking advocates react aggressively when anti-spankers point to a case of a child being killed or severely injured by a beating. These people do not feel the need to express sympathy, or to think about ways to avoid such incidents, but they feel the need to assert their "rights" and to look for quick, simple answers -- as Busch states, gun owners wanted to "hang [the child] from the highest tree". This is all not mentioned by critics of Moore's movie, who claim to be objective.

Perhaps the best example of the paranoia surrounding Moore's film is your sub-essay "Is the end of the Heston interview itself faked?"

Moore answers a simple question -- how could the scene have been filmed -- with a simple answer: two cameras. From this, you construct an obscure conspiracy of "re-enactment": "For all we can tell, Moore could have shouted 'Hey!' to make Heston turn around and then remained silent as Heston left." Even if your "re-enactment" theory is true (and I see no evidence that you have actually tried to ask the people involved in the filmmaking for their opinion), this itself is not unethical, and you have no evidence whatsoever that Moore has done anything unethical here, just like you have no evidence that Moore has unethically removed parts of the interview. You use standard filmmaking technique as a basis to construct bizarre conspiracies which sound plausible to the gullible reader, without ever providing any evidence for the implicit or explicit claims of fraud and distortion.

6)Animated history of the US. Of course the cartoon is highly oversimplified, and most critics consider it one of the weakest parts of the film. But it makes a valid claim which you ignore entirely: That the strategy to promote "gun rights" for white people and to outlaw gun possession by black people was a way to uphold racism without letting an openly terrorist organization like the KKK flourish. Did the 19th century NRA in the southern states promote gun rights for black people? I highly doubt it. But if they didn't, one of their functions was to continue the racism of the KKK. This is the key message of this part of the animation, which is again being ignored by its critics.

7) Buell shooting in Flint. You write: "Fact: The little boy was the class thug, already suspended from school for stabbing another kid with a pencil, and had fought with Kayla the day before". This characterization of a six-year-old as a pencil-stabbing thug is exactly the kind of hysteria that Moore's film warns against. It is the typical right-wing reaction which looks for simple answers that do not contradict the Republican mindset. The kid was a little bastard, and the parents were involved in drugs -- case closed. But why do people deal with drugs? Because it's so much fun to do so? It is by now well documented that the CIA tolerated crack sales in US cities to fund the operation of South American "contras"

It is equally well known that the so-called "war on drugs" begun under the Nixon administration is a failure which has cost hundreds of billions and made America the world leader in prison population (both in relative and absolute numbers).

In poor areas, the highly profitable drug business obviously is often seen as the last resort. But the real cause here are not the drugs themselves, but poverty and the "war on drugs".

Had the boy's mother not been shipped to a "welfare to work" program, she might at least have had some time to spend with her son. Virtually every child psychologist knows that mother/child bonding is essential for the development of empathy and social abilities, the awareness of the consequences of one's actions, and the learning of conflict resolution by non-violent means. Even the official quoted by Moore blames the welfare to work program, knowing full well that the drug issue is a red herring. Once again, your emphasis on the little boy as a thug confirms Moore's (and Busch's) assertion that people wanted to hang the child from the highest tree instead of looking at the real causes.

That's because while there is a so-called war on drugs, there is no war on poverty. Poverty is frequently portrayed as natural, and the poor in America are seen by conservatives as VCR-owners who are just too lazy to work.

In reality, what Moore describes here is the most vivid example of what can only be called wage slavery I have ever seen, to the detriment of families.

It is notable that the Wall Street Journal's reaction to this segment of the film was even more dismissive than yours: It called Moore's claim "preposterous". How could he even think about blaming poverty and forced labor programs for anything bad that happens?

8) Taliban and American aid. After the September 11 attacks, it was necessary for conservatives to somehow explain away the fact that the US government gave 245 million dollars to the new evildoers du jour. Never mind the fact that authors such as Robert Scheer warned of aiding the Taliban as early as in May 2001. Never mind that they did so not out of some humanitarian motivation, but because of the Taliban's violent enforcement of the ban on opium poppies. Never mind that in a regime that is controlled by warlords, it does not matter who is authorized to distribute the aid -- the ruling regional warlords will seize control of it and use it to their own advantage. Never mind that this very argument has been used by hawks in opposition to sending humanitarian aid to Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Never mind that the Taliban continued selling opium in spite of the deal. Never mind that this is all documented on Michael Moore's website about the film.

9) Gun homicides. Statistics are Moore's weakest point, and it is surprising that his critics don't dwell on them longer. That's because they know all too well that Moore is correct: The United States have a far greater homicide rate (both gun- and non-gun) than most other first world countries. His main mistake is that he does not use population corrected data, his second mistake is that he does not cite his sources (and, as you correctly point out, he probably uses different reporting methods for the different countries). A good comparison of international homicide rates can be found on the relatively neutral guncite.com website.

Not surprisingly, guncite, too, compares data from different years -- as I know from personal experience, it is quite difficult to do comparisons of crime statistics due to differences in reporting frequency and methodology. The gun homicide rates for the countries Moore mentioned, according to guncite, are:

Japan: 0.02 per 100,000 (1994)
England/Wales: 0.11 per 100,000 (1997)
Germany: 0.22 per 100,000 (1994)
Australia: 0.44 per 100,000 (1994)
United States: 3.72 per 100,000 (1999)

Critics fail to credit Moore with not making the same mistake that some gun control advocates make -- concluding that gun ownership "leads" to violence. In fact, Moore mentions several counter-examples, and more such counter-examples can indeed be cited. It is intuitively obvious that guns do not actually cause violence -- but it is equally intuitively obvious that they make the violence that is committed more deadly. It is the second intuition which gun rights groups like the NRA seek to obscure using fraudulent data by the likes of John "Mary" Lott.

The gun control movement, on the other hand, distracts from the real causes of violence -- poverty, paranoia, the "war on drugs" and antisexuality. If these causes were addressed, gun ownership in the United States would not be a problem (but also unnecessary); just like it is in Switzerland.

10) Canada ammunition purchase. You write:

Bowling shows Moore casually buying ammunition at an Ontario Walmart. He asks us to "look at what I, a foreign citizen, was able to do at a local Canadian Wal-Mart." He buys several boxes of ammunition without a question being raised. "That's right. I could buy as much ammunition as I wanted, in Canada. Canadian officials have pointed out that the buy is faked or illegal.

Once again, you fail to distinguish between regular film editing and "faking" (a word which "Canadian officials" have never used; for such a distortion, Moore would have been boiled alive by his critics). If Moore simply chose not to show how he revealed his identification to the salesperson, there is nothing fraudulent about that. He made no claims whatsoever in the film about the need to show or not show identification. His claim that it is possible to purchase ammunition in supermarkets is independent from that claim.

11) Heston's allegedly implied racism. You conclude from Heston's own words that Heston was somehow portrayed as racist. If anything, it is his own failure that he did not clarify what he meant with "having a more mixed ethnicity". Heston's answers in the interview were evasive and unhelpful. While this can in part be explained with his age and mental condition, if he is unable to defend the interests of the NRA, he should not be their spokesman. In this case, Hanlon's Razor can be applied to Heston -- he is probably not racist, but incompetent. Your accusations of inappropriate cutting are once again entirely unsupported -- in fact, it is quite clear from watching that particular scene that there is not a single cut from the point at which Moore asks Heston a second time for the cause of the higher violence in the States, and the point when he mentions the Kayla Rolland incident. If Heston makes himself look like a fool, that should hardly be blamed on Michael Moore.

Conclusion

You write: "Bowling for Columbine is dishonest. It is fraudulent. To trash Heston, it even uses the audio/video editor to assemble a Heston speech that Heston did not give, and sequences images and carefully highlighted text to spin the viewer's mind to a wrong conclusion." None of this is true. What is true is that Bowling for Columbine is a diamond in the small world of big screen documentaries, one that shines brightly and illuminates an often misunderstood aspect of American culture. It is not a flawless diamond -- the "48 hours" scene in particular suffers from bad editing, the statistics are suboptimal, and Heston gets a bit more bashing than he deserves. Other than towards the NRA, the movie tries hard to avoid simplistic conclusions, and comes up with some thoughtful answers. The most shameful part of the ongoing attacks against Moore is that these answers have been all but ignored by his critics. Had Moore wanted to make a propaganda film, he would have used other material: photos from America's Emergency Rooms.

Certainly, Moore is one of the most talented filmmakers in the United States today, and his film fully deserved its Oscar. The shrill (and remarkably unsuccessful) Internet campaign to "revoke" his award seems to be motivated more by jealousy than by real concerns about the film's accuracy. It is not only the highest grossing non-music documentary of all time, among the users of the largest Internet film database, IMDB, it is also the highest rated one. According to the LA Times, the documentary genre "owes a huge debt to Michael Moore" -- after Bowling's success, films like "Spellbound" and "Capturing the Friedmans" were taken seriously and shown in many more theatres than otherwise likely.

But perhaps the campaign against Moore is really motivated by another reason. His next project has the working title "Fahrenheit 9/11: The temperature at which freedom burns", and he intends to launch it shortly before the next US presidential election. It is unlikely, however, that the unfair attacks against him will have much of an impact. After all, the same kind of PR blitz was started against the previous record-holding documentary: "Roger & Me" by Michael Moore.

Yours sincerely,

Erik Möller

This text is in the public domain.

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Poll
Bowling for Columbine:
o .. fraudulent, deceptive, wrong! Oscar should be revoked. 14%
o .. more deceptive than good, but no need to revoke the award 9%
o .. fairly well done, not sure if it deserves an Oscar, though. 10%
o .. brilliant documentary with a few flaws, fully deserves the award. 35%
o .. flawless masterpiece. 7%
o .. haven't seen it. 22%

Votes: 214
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Bowling for Columbine: Documentary or Fiction?
o NRA
o gloating
o corpse show
o "full of lies"
o "Is the end of the Heston interview itself faked?"
o documented
o failure
o VCR-owners
o "preposter ous".
o warned
o documented
o found
o John "Mary" Lott
o antisexual ity
o Erik Möller
o Also by Eloquence


Display: Sort:
A defense of Michael Moore and "Bowling for Columbine" | 577 comments (557 topical, 20 editorial, 1 hidden)
Good article (4.46 / 13) (#1)
by sien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 05:34:53 PM EST

Moore has fact problems. The site Spinsanity, which spends a lot of time attacking Coulter, Limbaugh et al has had two articles about Moore's factual slips.

But hey, whatever floats your boat as long as his politics isn't taken as gospel truth what's the problem? Really, I'm guessing if you went over PJ O'rourkes stuff and checked the facts you'd find heaps of errors too.

What's weird about this is the strength of the attacks. Can people get their money back from Ann Coulter's Treason ( Spinsanity debunking here ) because it was based on reckless distortion?

Book attacks more justified than those on movie (4.57 / 7) (#5)
by Eloquence on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 05:59:09 PM EST

As I note in my article, Moore has problems with statistics. These problems are even more apparent in Stupid White Men, where he cites some clearly inaccurate data or misinterprets it (although the extent to which this is used against him is, once again, out of proportion, and his real points are ignored). Hopefully he will be able to pay someone to check his facts for his next projects.

As for Treason, I think the people who paid for it got exactly what they wanted. Coulter's success (and the promotion by mainstream media and publishers it is based on) is concerning, given that she is one step from promoting the mass detainment of American "liberals" for national security reasons.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Miss Ann's daggers... (4.66 / 3) (#10)
by baron samedi on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 07:22:52 PM EST

It has however, been pointed out that there are daggers by 'Treason's entry in the bestseller list. It indicates bulk purchases, which leaves me wondering just how many books she actually sells.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Did Treason win a Pulitzer for journalism? (4.70 / 10) (#49)
by epepke on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:55:06 AM EST

Because that seems to be the point here, that Bowling for Concubine won an award for best documentary. Canadian Bacon was a very funny movie, but it wasn't a documentary, either.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
oops (none / 0) (#137)
by synaptic revolt on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:22:46 PM EST

your two moore links go to the same page.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps, But... (2.27 / 33) (#2)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 05:36:14 PM EST

...Michael Moore is still fat.


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
My god, man... how rabid are you? (4.18 / 43) (#7)
by curien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 06:34:40 PM EST

You're saying that Moore's film deserves to be an award-winning "documentary" because his specific semantics, when interpreted a certain way, dance just this side of the edge of the truth? There's a reason there's an op-ed section of newspapers, separate from the normal reporting sections. Documentaties should not use tricks of the camera or time-scale exaggerations to make a specific political point. To do so is disingenuous, and not in a documentary style.

The Acadamy should be ashamed, and Moore should be ashamed for allowing his edutainment to be so grossly miscategorized.

You spend a large portion of the text arguing against Hardy by saying that Moore had a point. Of course he had a point. That doesn't make the film a documentary. It merely makes it interesting.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.

How many documentaries have you seen? (3.92 / 14) (#12)
by Eloquence on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 08:25:15 PM EST

Aside from the fact that Moore mixes satire and documentary, he deviates not that much from standard formulas. Time-scale compression and subtle interludes are very common techniques, I don't know which "tricks of the camera" you are referring to. The claim that Moore used these techniques to support his point is weak (it is strongest for Heston's second speech in Flint, but see my article for a detailed discussion of that criticism).

The Acadamy should be ashamed

Actually, awarding a leftist muckraker like Moore, especially at times of war, is probably the most courageous thing it has done in many years.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Muckraking is not honerable in and of itself (3.85 / 7) (#15)
by curien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 08:47:39 PM EST

I've seen plenty of documentaries, mostly historical. Plenty of nature documentaries as well. They do not resort to filmmaking tricks to render the viewer incapable of deciphering the context of events.

Take the bank scene. More wanted to imply that anyone can walk in and get a gun. But that's not what happens. You walk in, open an account, they do a background check, and a week later you pick up your gun. That's a lot less infalmatory, and it also doesn't serve Moore's agenda. So he didn't show it, he didn't mention it, he just "edited" it out. How... undocumentarian.

It was edutainment, plain and simple. It was no more "documentary" than any other propoganda ever was.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]

Tricks (3.66 / 6) (#18)
by Eloquence on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:10:16 PM EST

I still don't see much evidence of tricks. What difference does it make that you pick up the gun a week later? This says nothing about the bank's offer, but about the time it takes for the background check to be completed. Moore has made very clear that this background check takes place. The only thing he hasn't done is insert a "Seven days later .." caption into the film (which, in a way, would also have been a lie). This time is the time it takes for the background check to be completed -- but that says little about the thoroughness of the background check, and with a fully electronic central database, a check of the same quality might well be performed in a few seconds. That doesn't matter much from the perspective of the bank, and it has nothing to do with Moore's point.
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[ Parent ]
You misunderstand waiting periods (4.75 / 8) (#20)
by curien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:16:55 PM EST

Waiting periods and background checks are two separate things. A background check only takes 45 minutes (maybe a few hours if law enforcement computers are being hammered). The reason it takes so long to acquire the weapon is there's a mandatory waiting period. This waiting period "ensures" that you don't decide to kill someone, buy a gun, and then commit the crime all in the heat of passion. If you have to wait a week, you're less likely to use the service to commit a crime.

Being German, maybe you aren't aware of this, but waiting periods have been one of the big contention points between pro-gun and anti-gun parties. Moore was purposefully inciting the anti-guners by suggesting that the bank was flouting the waiting period laws. He could have done a fade-out and fade-in with a subtitle "Seven days later...", but that wouldn't have driven his point home, so he misrepresented (read: staged) the process.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]

Oh, come on now .. (2.50 / 2) (#23)
by Eloquence on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:47:16 PM EST

Moore was purposefully inciting the anti-guners by suggesting that the bank was flouting the waiting period laws

This is just silly. Nowhere does Moore make that point or the claim that the bank "flouts waiting period laws", and I haven't even heard his critics say that he does. If everybody in the US knows that there's a mandatory waiting period, then this is just more evidence that Moore did not need to tell his viewers that in real life, things don't go quite as fast.
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[ Parent ]

There are loopholes in the law (5.00 / 4) (#25)
by curien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:51:41 PM EST

At gunshows, for example, waiting periods are waived. I don't know the details of other exceptions. Moore really did mean to imply that people could just walk up and buy a gun, and it really is a big issue here.

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John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]
Let's look at this again (4.71 / 7) (#34)
by Eloquence on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 11:16:22 PM EST

You say that there are "loopholes". What evidence do we actually have that the bank respected the waiting period? Michael Moore states in the FAQ for the film:

Q. Is that bank that hands out guns for real?
A. Yes. North Country Bank (with branches throughout Northern Michigan) offers you a wide choice of guns when you open up a certificate of deposit account. In effect, they are giving you all of the interest the account will earn in advance in the form of a gun. The bank is also an authorized federal arms dealer so they can do the quick background check right there at the bank. I put $1,000 in a long-term account, they did the background check, and, within an hour, walked out with my new Weatherby-just as you see it in the film.

And here's the contrary paragraph from the WSJ commentary:

But Jan Jacobson, the bank employee who worked with Mr. Moore on his account, says that only happened because Mr. Moore's film company had worked for a month to stage the scene. "What happened at the bank was a prearranged thing," she says. The gun was brought from a gun dealer in another city, where it would normally have to be picked up. "Typically, you're looking at a week to 10 days waiting period," she says.

Another anti-Bowling diatribe, this time from a pro-gun website, quotes Jacobson differently:

But, there's more, a lot more, to this story. In an interview, Jan Jacobson, the woman at this bank shown in the movie, says they were filmed for about an hour-and-a-half during which she explained everything to Moore in detail. But, the way things were presented in the film, Jacobson says, it looks like "a wham-bam thing." She says she resents the way she was portrayed as some kind of "backwoods idiot" mindlessly handing out guns. She says Moore deceived her into being interviewed by saying of their long-gun-give-away program: "This is so great. I'm a hunter, a sportsman, grew up in Michigan, am an NRA member." She says: "He went on and on and on saying this was the most unique program he'd ever heard of."

Jacobson says the movie is misleading because it leaves the impression that a person can come in, sign up and walk out with a gun. But, this is not done because no guns are kept at her bank, although one would think so. She says that ordinarily a person entitled to one of the long-guns must go to a gun-dealer where the gun is shipped.

In fact, despite what BFC wants us to believe, Jacobson says there are no long-guns at her bank. The 500 guns mentioned in the movie are in a vault four hours away. She says that Moore's signing papers in the film was just for show. His immediately walking out of the bank with a long-gun was allowed because "this whole thing was set up two months prior to the filming of the movie" when he had already complied with all the rules, including a background check.

And now let's take the pertinent quotes from the film ("UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE" is probably Jacobson):

MOORE: I want the account where I can get the free gun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do a C.D. and we'll give you a gun. We have a whole brochure here you can look at. Once we do the background check and everything, it's yours to go.

MOORE: OK. All right. That's the account I'd like to open.

(cut?)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a vault which at all times we keep at least 500 firearms.

...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to do a background check.

MOORE: At the bank here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the bank. Which we are a licensed firearm dealer.

Some things don't rhyme here. The WSJ article claims that Moore had "worked for a month to stage the scene". The Op-Ed says Moore's team "filmed for about an hour-and-a-half", but the gun was apparently ordered beforehand. In the WSJ article and the op-ed piece, Jacobson states that the gun was shipped from a licensed firearms dealer, where it would "normally" have to be picked up. But in the interview with Moore she states that the bank itself is a licensed firearms dealer. The pro-gun op-ed both claims that the guns are bought from a dealer, and that the bank has its own vault "four hours away". What sense would it make for the bank to have a gun vault if it sent customers to a firearms dealer?

Then I found a critical review by Roger Ebert, which contains this passage:

Q. I was the "Bowling for Columbine" producer who scouted the bank that gives you a gun. I was there for Michael Moore's only and entire visit to the bank and was dismayed to see you repeating an outright lie about this scene. Mike walked into North County Bank and walked out with a gun in less than an hour. He opened a CD account, they faxed in his check, it came back all clear, and a bank official handed him his rifle. The crew, Mike and I then drove to directly the barber shop where Mike bought the bullets for his new rifle just as you see in the film. All this occurred before lunch that day, the final day of filming. Then everyone flew home. Maybe you ought to expose the origin of this lie rather than repeat this easily refuted fabrication.

Jeff Gibbs,
Traverse City, Mich.

A. I am happy to oblige. It originated at

(quotes WSJ article)

I asked Michael Moore about this report. His response: "I walked in cold. It happened exactly as you see in the film. A producer did call ahead and said I wanted to come in. It is not true that an ordinary person could not have walked in and gotten a gun. No need to go to a gun shop; they had 500 guns in their vault. There's a 2001 story in the St. Petersburg Times about how the bank is proud as a peacock about its gun offer."

I checked the web for the Petersburg Times story, the only thing I found is this brief blurb:

GUNS AND MONEY: North Country Bank and Trust in Traverse City, Mich., offers customers an alternative to traditional interest payments on 20-year CDs: pricey merchandise including a selection of Weatherby rifles and shotguns. Background checks are run before a gun is handed over.

Note the phrase "handed over".

None of the articles claims that the 7 to 10 days have to pass to satisfy the legally required waiting period, as you suggest. The controversy seems to surround the question whether the bank hands out the guns directly from its vault or through a gun shop. Under the assumption that all concerned parties are telling the truth, or at most "embellishing" it, here is my theory:

  1. North Country Bank uses the vault as a reserve in case of supply problems for their particular type of long-guns. Normally customers are given a voucher for which they can pick up a gun at a licensed firearms dealer. (This is the weakest part of the theory.)
  2. One or two months prior to the filming, Jeff Gibbs, producer, called the bank and announced that they wanted to include the CD/gun program in their documentary. Moore probably introduced himself just like Jacobson said he did -- that's his style. After all, it's all the truth: lifelong NRA member, sportsman etc., as the documentary itself proudly proclaims.
  3. For the day of the filming, the bank owners transported one of the long-guns to the bank location, probably from the vault which allegedly is four hours away.
  4. The scene pretty much happened as shown in the movie. Moore spent an hour waiting, and the bank employee handed him the gun after the background check was processed. Moore did not really know where the gun came from.

There is still one contradiction left, however. Moore and Gibbs claim that he just did the background check at the bank, the pro-gun commentary quotes Jacobson: "this whole thing was set up two months prior to the filming of the movie" when he had already complied with all the rules, including a background check. Note that the critical part of the quote is indirect, from a pro-gun website. This pro-gun website is the only website that carries the quote by Jacobson. Given this, I am more inclined to believe Moore and Gibbs that the background check was done at the bank.

If this theory is true, it is the WSJ and the pro-gun website that have distorted the scene by alleging a "staging" which never happened, mostly through the use of indirect quotes. In the absence of direct answers, I don't really know what the deal is concerning the vault / gun shop distinction, and why the bank itself is a licensed firearms dealer, but the theory above seems somewhat plausible to me. As for the waiting period, only the WSJ mentions it, and if this is a legally required one, wouldn't the time be a fixed constant? Is this even relevant in Michigan?
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[ Parent ]

Good points (4.50 / 2) (#71)
by curien on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:00:58 AM EST

I find your alternative theory likely. As for the waiting period, I don't know if it's legally required in this circumstance (as I said, there are many loopholes in the law), but if it is, don't you think there would bave been an ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms -- a Federal agency in charge of gun control) investigation?

Second, in the quote (where the background check being completed beforehand is implied), I don't think the implication matters. Perform the check prior to the waiting period or after, it doesn't matter so long as it's done. In essence, if his producers notified the bank of his arrival, the waiting period could have begun then.

Note that I'm not any more sure than you are of what really happened, but I'm extremely skeptical of the claim that Moore walked into the bank "cold" (eg, totally unannounced).

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]

I doubt it too (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by sinexoverx on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:44:56 AM EST

Film making is expensive business. Imagine yourself walking into your local bank branch with a friend weilding a large camera following and filming you. I bet you would not get far. Almost certainly, Moore had pre-arranged to visit way in advance. Spontaneous, it was not.

[ Parent ]
He did not say "totallay unannounced" (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by Eloquence on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:23:09 AM EST

Moore: "A producer did call ahead and said I wanted to come in." What he means is that he himself did not do anything prior to the visit, and judging from the scene, that seems plausible (look at the dialogue above -- this is not a professional script that is being read).
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[ Parent ]
In the movie (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by curien on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:20:35 AM EST

he said that he just walked in off the street.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]
No he doesn't (none / 0) (#96)
by Eloquence on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:44:59 AM EST

Where did you get that from? You can find the script of the whole section here. In any case, it would be correct.
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[ Parent ]
I thought he did (none / 0) (#154)
by curien on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:35:49 PM EST

I just watched the scene again, and he didn't.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]
Waiting period (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by sinexoverx on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:01:04 AM EST

I don't believe that Michigan has a waiting period requirement. Here are the current gun laws for Michigan. From 1993 to 1998 the Brady federal gun law was in effect but it was not during the Columbine period. The Brady law was ruled unconstitutional. I believe that states may impose a waiting period but the feds don't require one. For instance California does. And was not required in Michigan when Moore filmed his 'documentary'. That does not mean that the Bank did not normally have a self imposed waiting period. I suspect they did, but that it was obvious not required in Moore's case. As an example Mich. Killer's Gun Purchase was Legal, Officials Say (11/20/2001)
William J. Watts Jr., 33, shot to death coworker Jesse Clawson before turning the gun on himself. Watts purchased the .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun just hours before the shooting.

"Everything was done properly and legally," said Undersheriff Terry Fisk regarding the gun sale. "Technically there is, under the Brady Bill, a waiting period. However, the purpose of the waiting period is so a record check can be run on the individual."

Fisk said that if the computer check can be done instantaneously, which was the case with Watts, then there is no waiting period.
Also, hand gun laws are normally stricker than 'long gun' laws. For instance
Under [Mighigan] state law, every handgun transfer requires that the buyer have either a handgun purchase license (one per weapon) or a license to carry a concealed handgun.


[ Parent ]
wait . (1.00 / 6) (#72)
by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:04:05 AM EST

My GF is on her period, and so I am waiting. Guess I will just do some target practice. wank wank wank. Just kidding, I ain't Aussie or Brit. Which means I have a probability of about zero of being a homo.

[ Parent ]
nature documentaries (3.75 / 4) (#26)
by tps12 on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:53:31 PM EST

Nature documentaries are typically shot over months or years. The viewer sees only the money shots. I think the currently-showing (and absolutely breathtaking) Winged Migration was shot over four years.

[ Parent ]
Yes, and they generally cut fairly (4.60 / 5) (#30)
by curien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 10:04:02 PM EST

Not in such a way as to portray the director's political agenda. If they use time lapse photography, you can tell. If they skip forward, you get a radical change of scene or a fade. They generally don't blend scenes together in an effort to make something that would never happen seem to occur. If they don't (such as, "When Animals Attack"), they're not documentaries.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]
And the sounds... (4.00 / 4) (#57)
by thaths on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 04:11:07 AM EST

All the bird squeaks, lion roars and elephant trumpeting are mostly added in a studio.  People who believe documentaries are "factual", non-interpreted objective works are fooling themselves.

Thaths

[ Parent ]

weird question to ask (4.60 / 5) (#28)
by khallow on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:59:03 PM EST

I doubt there's many people in the developed world that haven't seen large numbers of documentaries. Some attempt to inform their audience while others attempt to manipulate emotions. While I haven't watched "Bowling" (something I should have mentioned in my diatribe earlier), I recognize the insincere signs of brainwashing outlined in such articles as "The Truth about Bowling". Further, your dismissal of Moore's ethical lapses as due to the misunderstanding by naive critics of the art of filmmaking is pretty annoying. It's propaganda (biased presentation of information in order to propagate an agenda) with some misleading innuendo, not a documentary.

You state the "tricks" in question at the same time that you claim ignorance. "Tricks of the camera" can be used for many purposes including to enliven a story or to deceive the audience.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

The only documentaries (none / 0) (#69)
by iasius on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:54:01 AM EST

I have ever seen that did not try in any way to influence the viewers mind were purely scientific about highly theoretical science. But that's because they kept saying in every other sentence "We don't really know this yet, but we think it might be like this". (I might be biased on that, too).
The only documentary that is not biased is delivered by your own senses. Everything else has to be edited, compressed, things left out. No matter how hard you try, a bias will be left.


the internet troll is the pinnacle of human evolution - circletimessquare
[ Parent ]
Yes, everything is "biased" (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by curien on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:04:31 AM EST

But it's one thing to have the "nominal" bias required by the compressed-time schedule of a movie; it's another matter entirely to emphasize the "truth" of a staged, out-of-the-ordinary event.

Consider this scenario. Moore talks to the bank, they tell him that under normal procedure, if he were walking in off the street, he'd have to wait 7-10 days before he can pick up the gun. Naturally, that's not acceptable for him filming schedule. So he prearranges to have the paperwork done, shows up at the bank, and films the entire thing in one go. He edits in a scene change with the words "Seven to ten days later..." subtitled during the portion where he actually receives the gun.

That, my friend, is the difference between documentary and propoganda.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
[ Parent ]

Long range (none / 0) (#85)
by sinexoverx on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:24:36 AM EST

Moore's 'documentary' is a short range left wing strategy. America'a gun promiscuity will look pretty damn good to eurotypes soon enough. The real problem and the real tragedy is that it will come to that. I would point out that Brits (generally) have not had hunting rights or guns for well over 1000 years. It is common in the US. Hence the controversy.

[ Parent ]
*everything* is biased (none / 0) (#130)
by khallow on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:24:44 PM EST

The only documentary that is not biased is delivered by your own senses. Everything else has to be edited, compressed, things left out. No matter how hard you try, a bias will be left.

Even your senses are biased. Very often, you see what you want to see.

My point was that documentaries don't have to demonize the "other side", and deliberately mislead the audience. That's just not what a documentary is about. Too often I see in the comments to this article, statements that Moore lied, but that he lied for a "good" cause. Ie, the phony shock delivered to the audience to turn them against the pro-gun crowd is good.

However, IMHO the audience will eventually figure it out. So Moore threw away his credibility for some revenue and a cheap emotional buzz. It's not good long term for the cause. People will figure you out sooner or later.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

wow (3.90 / 10) (#24)
by tps12 on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:48:51 PM EST

Are you implying that any sort of film or photography truly captures reality? "Documentary style" is just that: style. Anything the viewer understands as balanced is a misconception. The lens alters reality as it attempts to record it. This is exactly why we have people that accept the nonsense dispensed by the media...they have faith in the medium of film, and treat televised events as they would experienced ones. Nothing you watch on the tube—yes, including the footage from your sister's wedding—is real, and the sooner you realize that, the better.

[ Parent ]
-1, Moore is an idiot. (1.90 / 33) (#13)
by Suppafly on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 08:38:39 PM EST


---
Playstation Sucks.
Rated 1, comment is idiotic [nt] (1.00 / 3) (#131)
by Pihkal on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:33:13 PM EST



"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
-- Number 6
[ Parent ]
Defense (3.86 / 22) (#16)
by ComradeFork on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 08:49:08 PM EST

I think Bowling for Columbine can be compared to an anti-Darwinist Creationist book. Although blatent deceit is rare, the reader is very much mislead.

The difference of course is that the message behind Moore's film is mostly true.

You're being over-generous to the Creationists... (4.57 / 7) (#54)
by Pervy Hobbit Fancier on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:32:58 AM EST

I think Bowling for Columbine can be compared to an anti-Darwinist Creationist book. Although blatent deceit is rare, the reader is very much mislead.

You don't seem to have read much Creationist literature.

From the stuff I've read, blatant deceit is rampant. They take partial quotes out of context, they misquote or paraphrase those quotes to make them imply things other than what they mean, they replace logic with rhetoric halfway through an argument and then claim that their result is a logical conlusion, they misrepresent individual opinions as being consensus opinions, they contradict themselves...

Of course, whether the authors are deceiving themselves because of blinkered wishful thinking, or whether they are being deliberately, knowingly and manipulatively deceitful to their readers is a much harder question to answer.

[ Parent ]

Yes (5.00 / 4) (#58)
by ComradeFork on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 04:14:13 AM EST

I think Creationist "literature" is more self-deceit than intentional manipulation. This is why I don't call it blatant deceit.

I have read a lot of creationist stuff. I was brought up in a creationist environment so I lapped the stuff up. Then I grew up.

[ Parent ]

a few complaints (4.32 / 34) (#19)
by khallow on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:11:30 PM EST

How can you say this with a straight face?

The same goes for the interview which follows. Moore's critics would expect us to have him quote Heston in his entirety, have him present fully the the PR that the NRA has used to justify its rally in Denver for reasons of "balance". The NRA was fully aware of the scandal it would cause through its rally and decided to push on because they believed to have enough media support to successfully do so. They were right. You claim that there was "no way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members." 10 days are more than enough to give advance warning of a change in location or date, had the NRA really wanted to. It is probably correct that their primary reason for not doing so was to save money, not to piss off the victims of Colubmine. That does not change the fact that they did just that. Moore presents the most important part of the speech to back up this point and ignores the fluff. This is what good documentary filmmaking is about. And here the critics again ignore important evidence:

Compare what you said to the relevant statement in "Truth about Bowling":

Fact: The Denver event was not a demonstration relating to Columbine, but an annual meeting (see links below), whose place and date had been fixed years in advance.

Fact: At Denver, the NRA canceled all events (normally several days of committee meetings, sporting events, dinners, and rallies) save the annual members' meeting; that could not be cancelled because corporate law required that it be held. [No way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members.]

Ie, the NRA cancelled everything except what it couldn't. Where is the scandal? Second, isn't it pretty asinine to insist that a group of 4 million people can literally cancel a meeting required by the bylaws in ten days? I think it is.

Further, how can you call Moore's fradulent editing of Heston's speech to be just "ignoring the fluff". It changed the meaning of the speech. A cut and paste job (IMHO) where every part was quoted out of context. Further, the "cold, dead" statement before the speech sure looked to me like it meant to be confused with the rest. And your condescending remarks about "conservative readers" are pretty stupid. Ie, Moore is using "standard filmmaking practice" and conservative readers are so unhip they don't understand this delicate process, hence, it doesn't matter that Moore presents Heston and the NRA in a totally misleading light.

Also, what business what it of the Mayor of Denver to request that the NRA stay away? What is forgotten here is that the Mayor Wellington Webb was an anti-gun advocate making a political point. For example, he campaigned against concealed carry laws in Colorado by taking out full page newspaper ads. Hence, we have good reason for the booing of Mayor Webb. He was perceived as an opponent of the NRA and he exploited the NRA meeting for political gain. In particular, it may be a broad "fuck you" to the Mayor of Denver, but not the children of Littleton, CO.

The Lockheed-Martin WMD angle seems pretty contrived to me, but one doesn't expect a professional filmmaker to understand the different between weapons that kill people, and tools that don't.

As Moore correctly points out, it is bizarre for a society to openly embrace the production of destructive weapons, but on the other hand see no connection of this to everyday violence -- children learn by imitating adults.

Ok, let's see here. You're talking about Lockheed-Martin's missile manufacturing. So should we be worrying about children building missiles of mass destruction because adults do that? No. Instead we're supposed to buy the twisted opinion that because somewhere, someone makes missiles that kill people, then we have kids in Littleton, CO shooting other kids. Could you even show a correlation between the two? I doubt it.

The "Truth about Bowling" take on Heston "interview" seems pretty weak to me. Ie, having two cameras takes most of the wind out of the sails. At least, it's a personal interaction between Moore and Heston. Since it is pretty far up the list of points that "Truth" was making, this is significant. Still it's pretty naive for someone supposedly versed in the mysteries of filmmaker to not understand that it's real easy for someone to be made to look foolish in an interview.

Your take on the Flint, MI is pretty decent. But never attribute solely to stupidity that which can be explained by self-interest. Ie, that self-interest can be stupid, misdirected, often is not malicious, and can even be benevolent and self-sacrificing, but it is there. This "Hanlon's Razor" is just wrong.

Finally, I just want to mention that selling Crack may be highly profitable, the Right Thing to Do (at least as far as fighting commies is concerned), and Not Such a Big Deal, but do you really want your kids living in a crack house? And should you be surprised when one kid shoots another in such an environment. Of course not. Because Mom has to work, the kids turn evil and shoot each other. Let's get sappy.

I have to agree with the soulless Wall Street Journal, this is preposterous.

Hmmm, I see no reference to the bank scene in Truth about Bowling. What happened to it?

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Important note! (4.14 / 7) (#31)
by khallow on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 10:09:34 PM EST

I have not watched "Bowling for Columbine", and after reading and weighing the criticisms and counter-criticisms, I feel no need to pay money to watch this movie. First, I find the claims of deception and misleading innuendo to be sufficiently well founded, that I don't need to verify them independently. Second, the movie isn't meant to be an educational movie. Everyone admits that. There's far more entertaining movies that are equally uneducational.

In summary, Michael Moore created a bad movie and I don't see why I should reward him by watching it. Perhaps, if it were free (legally), I'd reconsider. My apologies for not mentioning this in the parent post.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

But it is a good movie (3.60 / 5) (#145)
by Merc on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:54:49 PM EST

Sure, it's biased. Sure it is misleading. Sure it is propaganda. But it remains a good movie. Why? Because it gets people talking, and it gets people thinking.

If what he says goes against your political views, you'll probably get pissed off and not enjoy the movie. That's fine. I feel the same way when I see George Bush doing a press conference, or nearly any of the super-right-wing commentators on TV. I still watch though, because it is interesting to hear what they believe. If you think Michael Moore is deceptive, what do you think about the things being said at the average White House press conference? Granted, I would never pay money to watch one of those, so I can understand someone not wanting to pay money to see Bowling for Columbine.

I just take issue with the idea that just because a movie made by Michael Moore is later found to be biased (big surprise!), it is automatically a "bad movie".



[ Parent ]
I have seen it, and... (4.00 / 2) (#167)
by Arker on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:35:12 PM EST

I have seen it, and I'm a commited peacenik so I'm not so very far from him politically. I even basically agree with his thesis. But this is not about 'bias' it's about fraud. It's about a movie that poses as a 'documentary' that won a major award as a 'documentary' that is nothing of the sort. There's just no excuse for the kind of cut-and-paste framejob he pulled here, none. Certainly not in a supposed 'documentary'.



[ Parent ]
bias vs deception (5.00 / 2) (#197)
by khallow on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:55:42 PM EST

Some people here seem to be unable to tell the difference between bias and deception. I haven't said anything about bias. I watch and read stuff all the time that is biased. My brain is pretty good at filtering signal from noise, and the same probably holds for most people. I draw the line at deception, ie, the introduction of fake information into the film. If you have a compelling story, even if your viewpoint is skewed, then you don't need to make stuff up.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Write-in (3.25 / 8) (#21)
by curien on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:24:13 PM EST

Good movie, maybe deserved an Oscar, but it was not a documentary.

--
John Ashcroft hates me for my freedom.
Didn't Michael Moore... (2.55 / 9) (#22)
by GavalinB on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 09:37:17 PM EST

Gas Saddam Hussein's own people? Seriously, this is one of the best diary entries I've read in a long time. I'm a Michael Moore fan. I'm not sure he needs a grass-roots war against some web-based hack fought by a bunch of techies at K5. Moore's a big boy, he can take care of himself.
---
The Future is Prologue: Join Our Sagas Today!
AHahaha, (1.80 / 5) (#52)
by e polytarp on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:47:03 AM EST

YOU"RE RIGHT: HE"S FAT< MICHAEL MOORE: FATty, ahahaha.


º
My buddies


[ Parent ]
Damn it all, I STILL miss Adequacy.org (4.30 / 13) (#29)
by regeya on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 10:03:15 PM EST

A minor nit to pick:

Moore portrays the NRA as an unethical, dishonest organization; he sees the paranoia and fear in the United States as a primary cause of violence, and he does not see gun ownership itself as a problem. His documentary is full of subtle humor, jaw-dropping dialogue and dark contrasts. All in all, it is an accurate portrayal of America's gun and violence culture. It also raises questions about America's foreign policy of recent decades, questions which have been all but ignored by Moore's critics.

Moore doesn't present an accurate portrayal. It's like saying that CNN and FOX accurately report the news. No, Mr. Moore presents clips to fit his audience's viewpoint. Presenting a "popular" viewpoint puts butts in seats. Do you really thing that Micheal Moore does what he does simply out of a desire to perform public services?

Heh. That wasn't for Eloquence's sake; that's for those of y'all who actually take Micheal Moore seriously.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

I call bullshit on this (4.37 / 8) (#35)
by MSBob on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 11:24:45 PM EST

Moore is really sticking out his next in what is now a very hostile, nazi like political environment in the USA. If he was after the big bucks he would be shooting "Saving Jessica Lynch" or some other American "patriotic" shit that's guaranteed to move millions of copies.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Sticking out his neck? (3.33 / 3) (#97)
by regeya on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:50:08 AM EST

Perhaps; however, you have to admit that his views are very popular among more liberal-minded people.

I call 'bullshit' on your claim only because Moore seems to me to be an attention-monger.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Having just sharpened my teeth, I'll bite. (2.72 / 11) (#103)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:20:11 AM EST

Moore is insulated by other like-minded self-righteous twits, who gladly hand him large sums of money to further produce other faux-documentaries every time he asks. Making films that you know your producers agree with can hardly be considered "sticking your neck out."

More importantly, your use of the phrase "nazi like" just proves how out-of-focus your view of United States politics is. Allow me to make it a bit clearer for you, Polish Canadian; the Nazis were 1) Socialists and 2) Anti-semetic. You will indeed find socialism and anti-semitism in the US, but it isn't on the behalf of the right (which, mind you, I am not either; I'm merely pointing out your glaring propagandistic error); it's on the behalf of the reactionary leftists in this country. The left has firmly embraced anti-semitism, and have always been socialists, and therefore it is *they* who are most nazi-like.

That the movie industry in Southern California is out of touch with "Mainstream America" is well-known; Moore more closely represents the views of those in power. The other swill they produce is an effort to appease those who's 10 dollar ticket-per-show they rely upon for the purchase of new Range Rovers. It's all from the same place. It's all crap. You may agree with the politics of Hollywood, and you may also assume that anyone who doesn't obviously must agree with the opposite, but this is inaccurate. Don't let that stop you from generic USian-bashing, though. I know you never did before.


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
huh? (3.66 / 3) (#155)
by Wah on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:38:14 PM EST

The left has firmly embraced anti-semitism...

Is this the new anti-semitism defined as "anyone who criticizes Israel is any way"?  Just curious, as I know a number of leftist Jews that would be curious of your definition for either word, frankly.  And a defense of such a ludicrous statement would surely be entertaining.

Am I feeding a cellar dweller again?  Ah well...
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Cellar Dweller? (4.75 / 4) (#160)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:09:14 PM EST

Going ad hominem so soon?

The words you put into my mouth do not accurately reflect my statement. Let's try this another way; is anyone who criticizes the Palestinian Authority a de facto "fascist"? When someone points out that maybe, just maybe, the dominant imams unreasonable encouragement of the slaughter of civilians might reflect poorly on Islam and on the Palestinian people as a whole; might even be half the fucking cause of the conundrum that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, does that automatically make them an "evil tool of the government of Israel, supported by the military funding from the evil United States"? Does it automatically make them "intolerant of Islam"?

I'm not answering bullshit questions like the one you've posed. Instead, I offer you equally fecal questions. I don't expect you should, could, or would answer them. They're unreasonable. Inaccurate. Inflammatory, even.

Here's something real for you to ponder; I know a number of leftist Jews that are made to feel rather uncomfortable by their more vocal non-Jewish counterparts in the so-called "struggle" these days. It wasn't always this way. Money flows into lobbying coffers, and anti-semitic extremists work their way into politically convenient organizations, which enable them to garner all sorts of new funding from unwitting leftists, who either harbor secreted similar feelings, or are simply used as the tools they are. Want an example of specifically who I would call anti-semitic? How about the ISM. How about those who believe, by default, anything the "innocents" in the Palestinian territory cough up as undisputable fact? Does categorizing either side as being completely one thing or another do any good, aside from soothing your ego when you defend such a moronic stance online? I doubt it. But here's another FACT: I can name two Palestinians whom I've known for over 14 years, and consider friends, who are extremely anti-semitic, and they're quite happy with the left's current positioning. Care to refute that, or are you just going to go the "silly me, I responded to a lowlife troll" route again?

Entertained?


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
You seem to be confused... (4.00 / 1) (#204)
by sesh on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:41:45 PM EST

is anyone who criticizes the Palestinian Authority a de facto "fascist"?

I think we can all agree that the answer is 'no'. In the same way that anyone who criticises Israels domestic policies is not an anti-semite (the point he was trying to make, that you are refuting.) You seem to be confused...

To reiterate, you said The left has firmly embraced anti-semitism. Wah (and myself, for that matter) would like to know where you get this idea from. Is it in fact because many left wingers criticise Israel's recent domestic policies?

Care to refute that?... That you know two extreme anti-semites that are leftists? Why would he do that? How is this relevant? The two concepts (anti semitism and politital leanings) are orthogonal.

[ Parent ]

Refresher course: The Original Point (4.00 / 1) (#214)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:26:50 PM EST

My Original Point: If you're looking for an appropriate place to make the accusation of "nazi"-like behavior or mindset, be careful where you point your fingers. Half of them point to the left.

Nothing is black or white here. There is no pure good, and no pure bad. Will you deny that ISM, Answer, and other socialist leftie organizations have made decisions in the last couple years to decline like-minded Jewish contributors a platform in which to work? Will you deny that there is a funding trail that goes from ISM directly to theistic Palestinian organizations who would love nothing more than the elimination of any Jewish people from land they consider their own, despite having never controlled it, even prior to the establishment of Israel? You can't, unless you intend to use lies and deception to do so. Some may accuse anyone who speaks critically of Israeli government policy as an anti-Semite. I'm not doing that. I'm not taking on a defense of such a statement, because I never made such a statement. I said the left has embraced anti-semitism, and when you hand money, supplies, and political support to anti-Semites, that's what you're doing. Make sense?

Regardless, whether you're in denial about the very real presence of such sentiments within the left or not, my Original Point remains the same; both hands have blood on them. Both hands could easily be accused of "nazi"esque behavior. Any opinion that doesn't encompass this fact is one that only helps to further agitate the arguments of people who just want to hate what they hate, for whatever stupid reason they hate it. For some, that's Palestinians. For others, that's Israelis. Still others hate Americans. For even others, on all sides, it's Jews. The sets intermingle. Throw all the poop you want, but don't be surprised when there's shit on your hands.


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
Yea, like I said. (none / 0) (#358)
by Wah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:58:11 PM EST

I said the left has embraced anti-semitism, and when you hand money, supplies, and political support to anti-Semites, that's what you're doing. Make sense?

No, not in the slightest.  Because one small part of a group does something, it does not make any sense to say that an entire group does, or believes in the same thing.  Not only that, but in flies in the face of one of the values that many on the left have worked so hard over the years to bring into the mainstream, the values of racial tolerance and acceptance.  And not making character judgements based on race or religion.  

What ideology recently lost a powerful agent because of a history of racism?  That would be 'the right'.

What you have said, essentially, is that anyone who doesn't follow the ideology of the right is an anti-semite (unless your policital spectrum includes 'other' in additon to 'right' and 'left', which doesn't seem to be the case given your original flippant accusation).  This is ridiculous.  So ridiculous that only a troll, or someone trying to say something else, would try and put it forth as a valid argument.

But, as it seems, you aren't trying to say something else.  

Regardless, whether you're in denial about the very real presence of such sentiments within the left or not, my Original Point remains the same; both hands have blood on them.

Which again, invalidates your claim as the more anti-semite/racist ideology has long been the right (at least in my country), even when taking your trail of money and 'prove the negative' argument at face value.

"The left has firmly embraced anti-semitism"

And this is based on your universe of two Palestinians who are happy that the people who fight for social justice in this country have taken notice of their plight?!

And firmly would seem to mean that a good portion of 'the left' believes in the joy of pogroms.  Again, ridiculous is an understatement.

I can name two Palestinians whom I've known for over 14 years, and consider friends, who are extremely anti-semitic, and they're quite happy with the left's current positioning.

And the left's current position is that the problems in the Middle East cannot all be blamed on, oh, what's a nice epithet from LGF, ah yes...Paleostinians.

Which again, brings us back to my original point, that criticizing Israel's policies and actions does not make one an anti-semite.

In plain English.

'Hey, quit being an asshole'

is a far cry from,

'Hey, everyone like you is an asshole.'

One is based on 'actions taken' the other is based on 'inherent qualities'.  They are not the same thing.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

You win the obstinance award. (none / 0) (#396)
by Mohammed Niyal Sayeed on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:39:30 PM EST

Let's start from the beginning, since you obviously haven't bothered to read anything I've written, in the feeble hope that I'm some halfwitted right-wing troll who will function as your strawman argument punching bag. Now, read very slowly and pay close attention; I won't be going over this again.

  1. MSBob refers to the "very hostile, nazi like political environment in the USA".
  2. I point out that his use of the term "nazi-like" can be used to describe what the left is doing today, and that he doesn't understand that, because he is an Auslander.
  3. You then take one statement in my text and try to make it appear as if I said "anyone who criticizes Israel in any way" is an anti-Semite, and make your first assertion that I am just a troll.
  4. I indicate that I will not defend such a statement, as I never made such a statement.
  5. I also point out specific instances of anti-Semitism on the behalf of the left.
  6. The personal anecdotal information I provide offers proof that there does indeed exist anti-Semitism on the left. Anti-Semitism, in fact, that is FUNDING direct action against Jewish civilians in Israel, and is actively preventing like-minded Jews in the US from sharing protest platforms with organizations like Answer and the ISM. At no point do I indicate that this proves anything about the entirety of the left, as a whole.
  7. You, then, assume, once again, that you are arguing with a right-winger, and procede to make the same bullshit strawman arguments in order to bait me into defending a statement I never made. I am not "right-wing", which you would have known had you bothered to read what I wrote (specifically, this: "on the behalf of the right (which, mind you, I am not either; I'm merely pointing out your glaring propagandistic error) ").
  8. In my last message, I felt I pretty much summarized what I had said, and what I hadn't said, but, again, you didn't bother reading it, choosing to make the same strawman arguments you've been making all along.

Maybe you lack reading comprehension abilities. Maybe you're just confusing me with someone else. I don't really care at this point; I'm not going to defend an argument I don't hold a belief in, no matter how much you try to goad me into doing so by calling me a troll a second time. Chances are good that we don't agree about a lot of things, but that doesn't make me your a priori right wing enemy, and I will not bother wasting more time arguing with someone who wants me to be something I'm not.

Seriously, you write fairly well, and there are probably a lot of things we *do* agree on, but if anyone's a troll here, it's you.

But if it makes you feel any better, I *will* go ahead and end this now by becoming *part* of what you think I am (again, a misconception probably based on your reading comprehension skills); YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Cheers, Wah.


--
"You need to get your own point, then we can have an elaborate dance fight." - jmzero

[ Parent ]
woohoo, another award. (4.00 / 1) (#411)
by Wah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:02:38 PM EST

  1. And that nazi-like environment has come from the right in the USA.  Solely and completely over the last 3 years.  I shoulda called Godwin on this crap right there.
  2. "I point out that his use of the term "nazi-like" can be used to describe what the left is doing today."  Yes, and then you offer no explanation, outside of your anecdote and a tenuous connection to anti-semitism of two groups through some curious contortions.
  3. blah.  You are not a troll, congrats.  Just covering bases.  Most baseless inflammatory accusations are made by trolls here, if you hadn't noticed.
  4. Yes, you did. But we'll get to that.
  5. No, you make roundabout, three or four steps removed accusations with no backing information and painting the entire 'left' as holding an anti-semite ideology.
  6.  Now you've changed your story and we can stop.
"The personal anecdotal information I provide offers proof that there does indeed exist anti-Semitism on the left."

However, it does nothing to prove or even indicate that..

"The left has firmly embraced anti-semitism ... and therefore it is they who are most nazi-like."

I'm not touching the socialist stuff, because the connotation and implementation of such stuff would be a total morass to untangle.  Public education is socialism, and by the logic you applied in the 'left and anti-semitism' statement, the U.S. is a socialist country.  Which is about as accurate as calling 'the left' anti-semitic.

"At no point do I indicate that this proves anything about the entirety of the left, as a whole."

Yeah, well, except for the part where you said, 'The left has firmly embraced anti-semitism.'

So, as you've backtracked to a place of sanity, all you've really said (or perhaps meant to say) is that there are some people, who are on the left, are anti-semitic.  Which means nothing, and is nearly the exact opposite of the original phrase to which I took offense.

  1. No, I assumed I was arguing with someone who was either confused or pretending to be stupid.
  2. Yes, you summarized your leading questions, and continued to ignore the overall illogic of the statement that I originally drew attention to.  In essense, totally missing the point.  But we've spent plenty of time exploring that.
Your questions....Will you deny that ISM, Answer, and other socialist leftie organizations have made decisions in the last couple years to decline like-minded Jewish contributors a platform in which to work?

Will you provide any evidence that such exclusions are based on hatred of the Jewish race?  Also, the ridiculously leading 'and other socialist leftie organizations' make the question absurd.

Will you deny that there is a funding trail that goes from ISM directly to theistic Palestinian organizations who would love nothing more than the elimination of any Jewish people from land they consider their own, despite having never controlled it, even prior to the establishment of Israel?

Again, uselessly leading, and you have raised and answered at least 4 points on contention in the debate, all of which have an assumed answer (yours) that is part of the question.  Also, you've drawn a conclusion which, if true, would lead to a number of arrests. So you should probably take this information to the FBI.

--
conclusion

Chances are good that we don't agree about a lot of things, but that doesn't make me your a priori right wing enemy, and I will not bother wasting more time arguing with someone who wants me to be something I'm not.

Great, but I will spend time arguing with someone who assumes that I'm a beast because someone who is on the same side as me on 51% of the political issues gave money to someone who gave money to someone who gave money to someone who bought something and then gave it someone who hates their occupiers, who happen to be Jews.

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Figures.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

also (none / 0) (#362)
by Wah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:09:46 PM EST

I'm not answering bullshit questions like the one you've posed. Instead, I offer you equally fecal questions. I don't expect you should, could, or would answer them. They're unreasonable. Inaccurate. Inflammatory, even.

So asking you to define 'anti-semitism' is a bullshit question?

Unless you can point out some large, well-funded, national, 'lefty' organizations that have mission statements similar to Hamas', you're full of crap.  As the only thing the left in this country has even started to do is criticize Israel's actions.  Not call for their destruction, mind you, just call attention to stuff like them killing American citizen's with bulldozers, and accidentally knocking walls on pregnant women, and carrying out family-wide assassinations.  

This is not to excuse the actions of the Palestinians, but to put them in some sort of context.  The situation is craptacular, and pointing out that neither side can claim innocence and moral superiority is, again, not the same as calling for the genocide of a race.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Facism by any other name is (4.00 / 1) (#221)
by ZanThrax on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:49:48 AM EST

still a totalitarian dictatorship. I can call myself the queen of Saturn, but that doesn't change the reality of what I am.

People who compare other people to nazis may be being intellectually lazy by not being more clear in indicating their specific accusations, but intentionally misconstruing accusations of intolerance, hatred, and totaliarianism in this way is a dishonest method of deflecting the main arguement over to a idiotic bout of name calling. "You're a Nazi!" "No, you're a nazi!" "Nuh-uh! You're the nazi!" "Takes one to know one!"

There is no spoon, there never was a spoon, and there never will be a spoon.
[ Parent ]

Brevity is the soul of wit. (3.13 / 15) (#32)
by randyk on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 10:13:27 PM EST

Christ, it's a damn movie. It would take me longer to read this than watch the thing.

-1.



A couple minor corrections (3.80 / 10) (#33)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 10:32:03 PM EST

Similarly, the main motivation for the crusades (beyond the promise of wealth) was that Christians were supposedly being slaughtered and had to be saved.
Which Crusdes were these? Most of the justification for most of the Crusades was simply to slaughter infidels and/or heretics. Some Crusades also had secondary rationales sucah as driving Muslims out of the Holy Land or uniting all of Europe under the Pope. Saving Christians from being slaughtered was a tertiary purpose if it existed at all.
Moore's detractors have sometimes extended those 7-10 days to several weeks, contradicting the bank's own estimate.
7-10 days is several weeks, especially if (as is probable) they are 7-10 business days.

Crusades (5.00 / 2) (#36)
by Eloquence on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 11:28:11 PM EST

This is from Robert the Monk's version of Urban II's speech at the Council of Clermont, 1095:

From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians, an accursed race, a race utterly alienated from God, a generation forsooth which has not directed its heart and has not entrusted its spirit to God, has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country, and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion. They destroy the altars, after having defiled them with their uncleanness. They circumcise the Christians, and the blood of the circumcision they either spread upon the altars or pour into the vases of the baptismal font. When they wish to torture people by a base death, they perforate their navels, and dragging forth the extremity of the intestines, bind it to a stake; then with flogging they lead the victim around until the viscera having gushed forth the victim falls prostrate upon the ground. Others they bind to a post and pierce with arrows. Others they compel to extend their necks and then, attacking them with naked swords, attempt to cut through the neck with a single blow. What shall I say of the abominable rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent. The kingdom of the Greeks is now dismembered by them and deprived of territory so vast in extent that it can not be traversed in a march of two months. On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength to humble the hairy scalp of those who resist you.
[source]

You can find similar rhetoric throughout the context of the crusades.

As for "several weeks", this article, for example, quotes a person who quotes a person who quotes another person working for the bank who says it would take about six weeks to get the gun.
--
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[ Parent ]

history (1.50 / 4) (#64)
by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:24:11 AM EST

The people who lived in europe during the crusades had the view that the holy lands had been invaded. Jesus was dishonored. That was the cause of the crusades. The catholic church was extremely corrupt and basically evil at the time. It still is but nothing like it was back then. But the people were only partially controlled by the church, much to the dismay of the church. Europe at the time was the shithole of of the world. The idea of infidels owning the holy lands was very bad. It still is. I will be happy when the al-aqsa mosque is once again in Christian hands. It will happen.

[ Parent ]
Go fight the infidels (none / 0) (#101)
by Wah on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:11:12 AM EST

with the other anti-arabites over here.  You'll feel right at home.
--
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]
Urban makes my point quite nicely (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:48:17 AM EST

After describing atrocities committed against Christians he asks, "On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you?" He mentions vengence and recovering territory. He doesn't mention saving lives.

[ Parent ]
Re. Urban makes my point quite nicely (none / 0) (#216)
by schwar on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:59:24 PM EST

Wouldnt it naturally follow that if the Holy Lands were under Christian control then Christians would be safe from persecution?

Crusading was not all fun and profit, there was an enourmous mortality rate among crusaders. Purchasing the equipment would usually involve the selling of all your worldly possessions or taxing the crap out of your kingdom. (One king of France one spent 3x the GDP financing a crusade).

Conquest was a lot cheaper to do locally so there had to be more complicated motivation. Most people undertook it as a solemn religious undertaking.

It was a similar motivation to the Muslims (who started the whole convert by the sword thing, the crusades were kicked off by the Byzantine emperor asking for help with the Muslims invading his territory). Riches on earth for those who live and riches in heaven for those that dont.

Piers Paul Read gave the crusades a good treatment in his book about the Templars. amazon link

[ Parent ]
It wasn't about the people (none / 0) (#262)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:25:11 AM EST

Wouldnt it naturally follow that if the Holy Lands were under Christian control then Christians would be safe from persecution?
Maybe, but that wasn't the primary (or even the secondary) goal. At best it was a side effect of the two main goals: the slaughtering of heretics and infidels and the recapturing of the Holy Land.

How do the Fourth Crusade or the Albigensian Crusade fit into a reading where saving lives is one of the goals?

[ Parent ]

Six weeks (none / 0) (#79)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:53:08 AM EST

I usually think of "two or three" when the word "several" is used. Perhaps "many" or "over five" would have been better verbiage. Granted, in legalese the word simply means "more than one" and archaic means can be "a good many", but it seems to me that the most common usage leans toward a small number.

[ Parent ]
Several is three? (none / 1) (#217)
by ZanThrax on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:38:10 AM EST

Three is a few. Hell, six is a few. Several is definately more than a few. I'd say its more than some, which is definately more than a few. Two is just two, or a pair at best.

There is no spoon, there never was a spoon, and there never will be a spoon.
[ Parent ]

[OT] your .sig is a 404 [nt] (none / 0) (#156)
by Xtapolapocetl on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:38:26 PM EST



~Xtapolapocetl

--
zen and the art of procrastination

[ Parent ]
This story (1.47 / 23) (#37)
by A Proud American on Tue Aug 12, 2003 at 11:45:25 PM EST

... is queerer than a black Jew eating fruitberry Haagen-Daz while standing at home plate wearing a sideways hat, Tommy jean shorts, and swinging a football bat.

Whatever the fuck that means anyway...

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


Hate speech (3.41 / 48) (#38)
by rusty on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:04:49 AM EST

Moore's film was made before the dead bodies of Qusay and Uday Hussein were paraded on national TV. Americans were gloating over this demented corpse show... Americans cheer the killing of children

I am deeply repulsed by these lines. I'm afraid you've crossed the line into hate speech. Please think about what you're saying, and what kind of grotesque mask you're projecting onto millions of your fellow human beings.

____
Not the real rusty

what are you talking about? (3.80 / 10) (#42)
by rmg on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:49:49 AM EST

he's right on. i know people who cheer to that kind fo crap. the american public is sick. sick.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

repulsed and agree (4.66 / 15) (#43)
by YelM3 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:25:11 AM EST

Mustafa was 14 years when he was killed. Americans cheer the killing of children, yet wonder why their own children grow up to be more violent than those in other nations. It is paradoxical notions like this one which Moore's film seeks to address.

This is perhaps not the most delicate way to put it (and isn't that the whole point?) but it is entirely valid, and as in fact one of the main point of Moore's film. Americans do cheer the massacre of children, not to mention women and men, if they believe it is for the best or for preservation of the American way of life or Freedom or something (or, as Moore might point out, maybe if its in the movies and its all in good fun!). If we did not, wars like this would not be allowed to happen. I think the point might be that any culture that will tolerate the killing of children for any reason has some deeper problems to address, and that these problems are likely the same ones that cause domestic violence and gun deaths and whatnot at home.

Getting all defensive about it doesn't help anyone.

[ Parent ]

and we're the only ones who fart too (4.00 / 5) (#149)
by CENGEL3 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:17:01 PM EST

"Americans do cheer the massacre of children, not to mention women and men, if they believe it is for the best or for preservation of the American way of life or Freedom or something (or, as Moore might point out, maybe if its in the movies and its all in good fun!). If we did not, wars like this would not be allowed to happen. I think the point might be that any culture that will tolerate the killing of children for any reason has some deeper problems to address, and that these problems are likely the same ones that cause domestic violence and gun deaths and whatnot at home. "
-------------------------------------------------

Well you you've just indicted the entire human race and almost every culture that has ever existed. Show me a single major conflict in the entirety of human history where a person under the age of 17 was not killed. Show me a single major conflict where the winning side didn't show at least some joy that it won instead of lost.

I find absolutely no joy in the fact that human beings over in Iraq are being killed....but yes, I'd rather see a 14 year old Iraqi kid carrying an AK47 get shot then see that same Iraqi shoot an 18 year old American kid carrying an M16.

If you got off your high horse for a second you might realize that there is nothing uniquely "American" about that attitude... it's fairly common across all cultures....including all the folks in Europe who are so busy condeming America as "violent" that they never bother to look in thier own backyard.


[ Parent ]

you know... (3.00 / 1) (#163)
by Battle Troll on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:15:44 PM EST

Before their victory at Salamis, the Greeks sang the paean. What did you want them to do, beg the Persians' pardon?

War is hell. Too bad the American commander-in-chief is a smirking chickenheart who never knew war. But it's not like the Americans are the only people who've ever fought a war. The worst American acts of war bear no resemblance to the battle of Stalingrad, to the rape of Nanjing, to the sack of Carthage, to the siege of Leningrad (1 million casualties, many civilian and from starvation.) Get a perspective.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

American acts of war (4.00 / 4) (#177)
by niom on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:53:52 PM EST

The worst American acts of war bear no resemblance to the battle of Stalingrad, to the rape of Nanjing, to the sack of Carthage, to the siege of Leningrad (1 million casualties, many civilian and from starvation.)

Two words: Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

[ Parent ]

And (none / 0) (#209)
by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:51:57 PM EST

remember Vietnam?

[ Parent ]
And (none / 0) (#210)
by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:52:16 PM EST

remember Vietnam?

[ Parent ]
I don't even know where to start with this one (5.00 / 1) (#300)
by Battle Troll on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:17:50 AM EST

Which battle in the Vietnamese war had more casualties than the battle of Stalingrad?

(Hint: the Volga campaign had saw least as many casualties as the entire Vietnamese war, including civilian Vietnamese casualties.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Of course (none / 0) (#394)
by PrinceSausage on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:32:36 PM EST

this is all about the direct casualties. Let's not go into the complicated issues of the aftereffects of the weapons used in the war. The bombing of Dresden, as awful as it was, didn't give even one percent of the longterm adverse effects (you have to expect some when you firebomb a city to the ground) compared with the de-forestation campaign of the US. It's nice and safe to be an armchair general. Why not realize that the foreign policies of the US has killed far more people in Chile, El Salvador, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Nicaragua and so on than died in the entire WWII. This is the sad truth. But of course a couple of raped and slaughtered nuns in El Salvador, the dissidents in Chile, the farmers in Nicaragua, the children fighting in the Iran/Iraq war and the children born with handicaps you wouldn't believe in Vietnam, all those people are just... expendable. How expendable are you?

[ Parent ]
wtf man (2.00 / 1) (#464)
by Battle Troll on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:40:25 AM EST

the foreign policies of the US has [sic] killed far more people in Chile, El Salvador, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Nicaragua and so on than died in the entire WWII.

You are out of your mind. Even holding the US government directly responsible is kind of tenuous - for instance, it wasn't Americans doing the killing in Latin America, it was the USA sponsoring one group of terrorists against another one in most cases.

Do you know how many Soviet citizens died during the second world war? 27 million civilian, 6 million military.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#468)
by PrinceSausage on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 02:52:13 PM EST

So, then tell me, how many people have died as a direct or indirect reason of the foreign policies of the US in the last... oh, say 40 years.

[ Parent ]
wow (none / 0) (#473)
by Battle Troll on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:53:17 PM EST

as a direct or indirect reason of the foreign policies of the US...

Indirect result? You seem to think that the USA exists in a vacuum. For instance, while the Vietnam war was probably wrong (in a qualified sense,) the Korean war probably wasn't, and the decision to commit to Vietnam was as much to do with the result in Korea and the collapse of French power in Indochina than anything else.

The USA isn't to blame for the XXth century, dude, get over it; other peoples can have agency in the world as well.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Two Words - History Lessons (5.00 / 3) (#295)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:02:46 AM EST

Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined had about 200,000 casualties which is pretty horrible but doesn't approach the number of casualties generated in the other examples (except perhaps for Carthage which occured over 2,000 years ago). The atomic bombing of Nagasaki didn't even generate as many casualties as the conventional bombing of Hamburg.

You probably would have been better off mentioning the Allied conventional bombing raids in Europe which in total generated far more casualties then U.S. campaigns against Japan (including Hiroshima and Nagasaki), your only problem there would be the fact that the European campaign was directed by a British Air Marshal not an American one.

However, the point is that Americans are very far from the most bloodthirsty people around. I would even go so far as to say that if other modern nations\cultures had the same capabilities as the U.S. today we would rank toward the lower end of the spectrum as far as bloodthirst goes.

This does not mean that we are immune from it... just that it is a common condition across most (not all) human cultures and that we are FAR from the most egregious examples of it. Which all goes back to my origional point...there is nothing uniquely "American" about it... so stop the soundbite propaganda parade and try to use some perspective.

[ Parent ]

Oh dear (1.00 / 1) (#389)
by niom on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:25:45 PM EST

Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined had about 200,000 casualties which is pretty horrible but doesn't approach the number of casualties generated in the other examples (except perhaps for Carthage which occured over 2,000 years ago).

My comment was about the horrors of war and not about a body count competition, but according to Wikipedia Leningrad was about 800,000 casualties, Nanjing 300,000, Stalingrad 185,000, and Carthage is bound to be much lower.

On the other hand, Wikipedia talks about 80,000 instant deaths in Hiroshima and 60,000 more dead to nuclear fallout by the end of 1945, and 75,000 instant deaths in Nagasaki and at least 25,000 more to fallout. That's 240,000 casualties, without taking into account the deaths to cancer and other radiation-induced illnesses that continue to present day and those who where merely horribly maimed but lived.

Am I allowed to feel the utmost repugnance for those who decided it was acceptable to use the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? O will I be guilty of the sin of anti-americanism for implying that some people in the American government and army once acted in a most evil way?

[ Parent ]

dear idiot (3.00 / 2) (#465)
by Battle Troll on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:46:59 AM EST

The rationales for bombing Hiroshima were
  • To break Japanese resistance and end the necessity of invading the home islands
  • To circumscribe Russian ambitions in East Asia - Stalin wanted to occupy Japan as of February, 1945.

    Feel all the repugnance that you want. But don't call it evil. The whole war was evil. To single out the USA as the evil devil of hell is to forget that there was a global cataclysm going on for which the USA was not even peripherally responsible.

    If you're so bent out of shape about Hiroshima, I eagerly await your angry editorial against the Japanese occupation of coastal China.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

  • get a grip (5.00 / 1) (#469)
    by niom on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:05:23 PM EST

    A suggestion that American officials are not, after all, so much holier than any other country's and you burst into incoherent babble. You say the most destructive and inhumane ever use of WMDs on civilians was not evil because it was necessary, then maybe it was evil but not the only one, and finally you want me to denounce every bit of evil ever done.

    I don't know if reason can permeate concrete, but try and get this through your skull: you don't have to pretend everything and everyone touched by the American flag is magically just and good. It's ridiculous and accomplishes nothing. Probably a Russian jingoist is explaining right now with similar "arguments" that Stalin's purges were somehow justified and a Japanese one is doing the same with the massacre of Nanjing. Is this the company you want to keep?

    By the way, I'm participating in this discussion to practice my skills at righteous lecturing, so try not to get very incensed and HAND.

    [ Parent ]

    heh (1.00 / 1) (#474)
    by Battle Troll on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:02:20 PM EST

    incoherent babble

    I think you mean that I disagree with you. That doesn't make my opinion either incoherent or babble. I daresay I'm better read in world history than you are, judging by your secondary school-quality arguments.

    By a not-deft rhetorical sleight-of-hand, you attempted to paint the decision to nuke Japan as one made in a vacuum. It wasn't. The American leadership had the choice of invading Japan, nuking Japan, or abandoning the war against Japan with the Japanese military government still in place. Nuking Japan was, on the basis of the resistance shown in Okinawa, the least destructive way to end the war. You read that right - the Japanese people had a fanatical will to win the war, even though it was bleeding them white.

    Probably a Russian jingoist is explaining right now with similar "arguments" that Stalin's purges were somehow justified...

    Unlikely. A true Russian jingoist would have been opposed to Stalin's purges on the grounds that they wiped out the Soviet officer corps. This greatly weakened the Soviet army and made the USSR much more vulnerable upon invasion by the Germans.you don't have to pretend everything and everyone touched by the American flag is magically just and good.

    Your straw man is on fire.

    By the way, I'm participating in this discussion to practice my skills at righteous lecturing, so try not to get very incensed and HAND.

    Dear sir: please stop trolling with your beliefs and read some books that contradict your opinions. Intellectual inbreeding is as dangerous as the other kind.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

    History Lesson Part II (1.00 / 1) (#478)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:47:30 PM EST

    There are a few points that I think you are just not getting. I'll try one last time:

    1) There is nothing inherently more "evil" about killing 200,000 people by droping a bomb that has "atomic" in front of it's name then there is in killing 200,000 people by droping lots of conventional bombs.

       If you think there is something inherently more "humane" about conventional weapons then I would suggest that you've never seen a victem of conventional munitions.

    2) War is an "evil" business. Sometimes one isn't given a choice to avoid it however (for instance when one wakes up one quiet Sunday morning to find bombs dropping on ones fleet). Whatever political motivations might have existed, Japan was the one who fired the first shot. I might also remind you that it was Japans allies, Germany and Italy who declared war on the U.S. not vice versa. They bear responsibility for starting the war not us.

    You might make a case for U.S. agression in other conflicts but WWII was a case where the U.S. went to war because it had been attacked. Period.

    Now, when you have overwhelming firepower (such as in Iraq) you try to win as humanely as possible... but the key phrase is WIN. For if you do not win your fate is completely in the hands of the people you are fighting.

    Now WWII was a titanic strugle and the outcome was anything but certain (compared to the Gulf War II for example). EVERY single major belligerent got thier hands dirty in attempt to win (and minimize thier own casualties). Some got thier hands more dirty then others. By any objective measure the U.S. actions in that conflict were less rutheless and cruel then most of the other bellegerents (Germany, Japan, USSR,etc ). That is not to say that the U.S. was squeeky clean, we weren't......just that in a conflict where everyone was covered in filth upto thier eyebrows, the U.S. was a little less dirty then most.

    If you want to look to the origions of mass bombing of civilians in that war, you need to look at the Summer of 1940 when the Luftwaffe inadvertantly (this is actualy true they did not do it intentionaly) bombed London and the U.K. retaliated with a raid on Berlin. Things spiraled out of control from there. By the time the U.S. entered the war bombing civilian targets was already a routiene practice.

    3) It is true, the U.S. could have gotten a Conditional Surrender out of Japan without dropping the bomb. However, alot of people considered the Conditional Surrender which ended WWI to be one of the major reasons the Nazi's got so much traction and were able to rearm Germany during the pre-war years. Hence a conditional surrender was out.... no one wanted the next generation to be fighting WWIII.

       In order to get an Unconditional Surrender there were only 3 options.....

       A) An amphibous invasion of the Japanese Homeland (estimated to cost at least 1 Million U.S. casualties and untold numbers of Japanese Defenders and Civilions).

       B) A conventional bombing campaign against Japan combined with a blockade to "starve Japan into submission". (estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of Japanese civialians due to starvation, disease and conventional munitions)

       C) Try an experimental weapon, the Atomic Bomb, in order to "shock Japan into submission" (actual cost about 200,000 Japanese civialians).

    For a variety of reasons option B was ruled out. Some claim that keeping the Soviets out of Asia (and demonstrating the effectiveness of the A-bomb) was an important motivation in that decision...I don't agree but that's a tangent.

    The bottom line is that the U.S. planners were left with only 2 options...an Amphibous Invasion or droping the A-bomb.... of the 2, the A-bomb was thought to cost less lives (on both sides) so that's what they went with.

    The Amphibous Invasion was real, by the way, plans were well underway for it's execution...most of the millitary planners had doubts the A-bombs would actualy work (despite the test detenation).

    Read the first hand accounts of the decision makers. Most have been declassified and are available through the FIA. I've only read a few but they were very enlightening. These were NOT evil men. They were faced with a horrible choice and they made the most rational decision they could.

    I doubt that you could do 1/10th as well without 60 years of hindsight. But of course you have the luxury of heckling from the safety of your armchair.... just try not to distort the truth too much while you are at it.

    The American Flag hasn't always been  "magically just and good.", but you sure as hell picked the wrong example to try to make that point.  

    [ Parent ]

    Was there a History Lesson I? (none / 0) (#490)
    by niom on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:18:30 PM EST

    Perhaps it was the rubbish bit about Hiroshima and Nagasaki not approaching the number of casualties of the other examples. Anyway I'm glad you replied, at least you make more sense than Battle Troll.

    There is nothing inherently more "evil" about killing 200,000 people by droping a bomb that has "atomic" in front of it's name then there is in killing 200,000 people by droping lots of conventional bombs.

    You say so, but most people don't agree with you. I'm sure you've never wondered why. Some clues: 1) conventional bombs don't cause a horrible death such as cancer for decades after being used; 2) radiation illness is an even more horrible death; 3) at least during the bombardment of Dresden and so on, victims could in theory have surrendered. People in Hiroshima and Nagasaki never had the chance.

    By any objective measure the U.S. actions in that conflict were less rutheless and cruel then most of the other bellegerents (Germany, Japan, USSR,etc ). That is not to say that the U.S. was squeeky clean, we weren't....

    Oh, so you weren't. Well, let me tell you something: you (I mean CENGEL3) turned this into an "evilness" competition. I only said that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were among the worst war actions in history. In case it isn't clear, I never said Germany, Japan or USSR were "better" than the US. Please try to answer to what I say and not to what you believe I think, because you're not too good at mind reading.

    That said, there's a difference between Americans and people from other countries in relation to the atrocities in World War II, and it doesn't look too good on the Americans. In Germany, Japan and the USSR people don't defend their governments' and armies' actions in the World War II (well, maybe a few nutters). In the US, you suggest Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wrong and people get their panties in a bunch.

    I don't want to get into a detailed discussion about whether there were better options than dropping the bomb. Whatever you say, it's obvious to me there were.

    [ Parent ]

    and you say I'm incoherent (none / 0) (#517)
    by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:19:18 AM EST

    at least during the bombardment of Dresden and so on, victims could in theory have surrendered.

    Right, the people on the ground could have surrendered to planes flying several miles high. If that was within their powers, then hell, they could have surrendered to Britain directly. I have no idea what you were trying to say.

    That said, there's a difference between Americans and people from other countries in relation to the atrocities in World War II, and it doesn't look too good on the Americans. In Germany, Japan and the USSR people don't defend their governments' and armies' actions in the World War II (well, maybe a few nutters). In the US, you suggest Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wrong and people get their panties in a bunch.

    This point deserves rebutting, not because it's good, but because it's perfidious. It's not clear whether you mean that all acts of war are inherently evil or whether you mean that just the bombing of Japan was evil. In the case of the first, I will agree, with the caveat that it is the role of national leaders to choose the least among necessary evils in wartime. But in the second case, you are just flat out wrong.

    Both I and CENGEL3 have given you a lesser-evils argument concerning the A-bombing of Japan. In a nutshell, that argument is that nuking Japan was the least evil among available evils. Military history is on our side, and all you can offer is: Whatever you say, it's obvious to me there were [better options than dropping the bomb.]

    In that case, you had better produce some.

    Japan had carved out a particularly brutal colonial empire - far worse than those of the British, for instance. The Japanese were the supreme military power in the Far East. Prior to 1944, Japan enjoyed unlimited access to the bottomless resources of East Asia - oil, tin, rubber, iron ore, coal, and an immense colonial labour force. If the USA had not broken Japanese military power in East Asia, not only would there always have been a military threat to China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Polynesia, and the USA; but hundreds of millions of people would have lived under a horrible colonial yoke, far worse than the conditions in all those countries today.

    The total defeat of Japan was not just politically but in fact morally mandated, because Japan alone in East Asia had both the ability and the desire to wage wars of conquest and enslave entire foreign peoples. And if you think that's hyperbole, I suggest you speak to some Koreans.

    CENGEL3 has already given you a very lucid rundown of the optons available to the American leadership. Perhaps you think that the use of nuclear weapons against civilians is a war atrocity. Fine, but you can't stop the discussion there. If there were no options between committing a war atrocity and committing far worse atrocities, the least evil must be your criterion. Doesn't the Japanese treatment of civilians under their control persuade you that the Americans were obligated to act?

    If you're going to argue some kind of Kantian morality at me, don't waste your breath, as that kind of high-minded BS is only available to people who have never had to make life and death choices.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

    Ok (none / 0) (#520)
    by niom on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:11:18 PM EST

    I have no idea what you were trying to say.

    I meant the bombardment of Dresden was not instant as Hiroshima and Nagasaki; it took three days. The authorities at Dresden had time to surrender to Britain, and by choosing not to they must share part of the blame. This was impossible with the atom bombs.

    Other than that, I don't have any more arguments to continue this discussion. It appears you and CENGEL3 know quite more about this subject than me, which isn't a great feat because my knowledge about World War II is quite limited (my country didn't take part in it). I felt like doing a bit of trolling on Americans for a change, since it's usually foreigners who get trolled in Kuro5hin, but I've run out of interest in this by now. I don't feel too guilty because I warned you quite clearly that I was trolling, though apparently you didn't believe me.

    Finally, I'd like to thank both of you for providing some interesting, if probably one-sided, arguments. Perhaps I'll do a bit of research about them. If you like maybe you could explain why the American Army couldn't demonstrate the power of the bomb on something that was less damaging to civilians, I don't know, some base in the Pacific, the port of Tokyo, something like that.

    [ Parent ]

    you sap (none / 0) (#522)
    by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 08:54:57 PM EST

    If you like maybe you could explain why the American Army couldn't demonstrate the power of the bomb on something that was less damaging to civilians, I don't know, some base in the Pacific, the port of Tokyo, something like that.

    It's not trolling if you believe that you're right. What a pathetic way of evading intellectual responsibilty.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

    Oh well (none / 0) (#525)
    by niom on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 05:22:27 AM EST

    I was just asking.

    [ Parent ]
    serious answer (none / 0) (#527)
    by Battle Troll on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 10:52:24 AM EST

    Japan 1930s was not a liberal democracy. There was no free press. Vague reports from an enemy test site weren't going to accomplish anything.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]
    Evil (none / 0) (#501)
    by marx on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 11:20:01 PM EST

    To single out the USA as the evil devil of hell is to forget that there was a global cataclysm going on for which the USA was not even peripherally responsible.
    Ok, here you go:

    America was as evil as Nazi Germany.

    Happy now?

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    hey, 'marx,' if that even is your real name (none / 0) (#515)
    by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:55:02 AM EST

    The Soviet Union, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were far more evil than the USA, because they instigated horrible wars in which the USA was forced to intervene. Are you just a troll, or what?
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]
    fool (3.00 / 2) (#301)
    by Battle Troll on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:21:20 AM EST

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki together saw around 30% as many civilian casualties as the siege of Leningrad.

    Not only that, but they died much harder deaths. Many of the deaths in Leningrad were from starvation in midwinter. When the snow was cleared, the streets were littered with frozen bodies.

    So, in sum, I have three relevant points:

  • You are a douchebag
  • You eat mud
  • You are an ass-clown

    HTH
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

  • carpet bombing of Cambodia?? n/t (none / 0) (#513)
    by the sixth replicant on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:32:10 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    you know, (none / 0) (#516)
    by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 11:01:40 AM EST

    The Nixon administration artfully played down the nature and extent of these bombings, going so far as to falsify military records, and was largely successful in keeping it all a secret from the American public, the press and Congress. Not until 1973, in the midst of the Watergate revelations, did a fuller story begin to emerge.

    A bit different from the siege of Leningrad, which was not exactly a state secret in Nazi Germany, woodnt u say.Another relevant link
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, but why? (none / 0) (#561)
    by YelM3 on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 05:27:29 PM EST

    Fine, it's not a stricly American trait. Then I am indicting the whole of humanity. Why would you rather see an Iraqi die than an American? I would rather see neither die. I'm not going to have the audacity to claim I have a preference over who lives and who dies. If one or the other has to die, it makes no difference to me who gets shot. They are both human beings with families and lives and all that, and they both deserve to live. Your ideas about "country" have little relevance when you look at the big picture and realize that an Iraqi life and an American life are the same thing, and they are the same thing as you.

    [ Parent ]
    Tragic (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by nanobug on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:23:39 PM EST

    Obviously whoever gave mustafa that gun was prepared to accept the death of a child too. The death of a child, no matter the circumstances, is always a tragic thing. However, I ask which is more tragic: That Americans were willing to preserve their well being by killing a child who was firing on them, or than Iraqis were willing to place a child in a situation where he would be killed?

    [ Parent ]
    The real issue (4.50 / 2) (#169)
    by LeftOfCentre on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:38:58 PM EST

    In my opinion the real issue is the fact that Americans are occupying Iraq in violation of international laws. Iraqis have a right to strike back just as no doubt Americans would if Iraq had invaded the US. This is a fundamental wartime right granted in international conventions a long time ago. If the roles were indeed reversed and Iraq had illegally invaded the US (for possession of weapons of mass destruction perhaps, or violent behaviour, threatening world peace etc -- all true, IMHO), I have no doubt that an American kid somewhere, for some reason put in the same situation, would be seen as a hero by striking back against the aggressors, protecting his parents and the American way of life -- and his death used to fuel even more hatred against the invaders. That's not to say that I want American soldiers dead or anything, quite the contrary -- I believe they are largely innocent pawns who genuingely think they are doing the right thing, in a much bigger game. But the US government has chosen to sacrifice a number of them for strategic purposes and no-one should be surprised that these soldiers encounter legitimate resistance.

    [ Parent ]
    and why did they give him the gun? (none / 0) (#560)
    by YelM3 on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 05:20:43 PM EST

    Iraq is/was being attacked by the most powerful military force on earth. Their population is 50% under the age of 18. It seems they had little choice but to arm every capable person. Is that tragic? I suppose so. But the real tragedy lies in what caused this conflict to occur in the first place. We, as the vastly superior force and supposedly more advanced nation, have a duty and a responsibility to not let things like this happen to begin with. Instead we rush in with our high-tech military because we know we can win, instead of pushing for a peaceful approach because we know they can't win.

    [ Parent ]
    You should be repulsed. (3.62 / 16) (#53)
    by gordonjcp on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:21:35 AM EST

    It's pretty repulsive. But the fact remains that Coalition troops *are* killing children in Iraq - children who, given half a chance, will kill them.

    We send troops in to run around trying to shoot everyone in sight like a disgusting cross between Splinter Cell and live-action role playing. It isn't working - we are constantly told that the war is over but more American troops have been killed. Why is your government (and mine too, regrettably) trying to make some effort to find out why so many people want to kill Westerners?

    We are no longer safe in any part of the world, thanks mainly in part to the high-handed actions of America. We won't be safe until George Bush is dead.

    Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


    [ Parent ]
    No use. (4.83 / 6) (#94)
    by it certainly is on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:32:58 AM EST

    Killing George Bush would be just as bad as killing Saddam Hussein. Both leaders, while charismatic, are really figureheads of their governments.

    If you shot GWB, or Saddam before his government was toppled, someone else with the same interests would take over and you'd be back to square one.

    The American government needs "regime change", not assassinations.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Safety (4.00 / 1) (#141)
    by ttfkam on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:46:04 PM EST

    Get rid of George W. Bush and you get Dick Cheney.  

    Just goes to show: wanting someone dead rarely leads to a workable solution.

    If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
    [ Parent ]

    Damn right (2.50 / 4) (#59)
    by x10 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 04:16:28 AM EST

    Eloquence is just a Nazi, preaching hate against that downtrodden, disadvantaged minority: the rich white American nigger.

    ---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---
    [ Parent ]

    Well (1.40 / 20) (#63)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:11:05 AM EST

    I am an American and I think all children should be killed. And by children I mean everyone under 30. The people's comments that appear at this level of this thread branch are proof it is a good idea. Fucking socialist Europhiles,

    [ Parent ]
    Ha (1.33 / 15) (#70)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:58:42 AM EST

    A guy named Caine voted me a 1, for antisocial behaviour I suppose. Shit he aint even trusted. I trust ya Caine-boy. Kiss the black spot.

    [ Parent ]
    just because killing is done by proxy.. (4.18 / 11) (#87)
    by infinitera on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:46:19 AM EST

    And cheering of said proxies as "supporting the troops" is done, doesn't make it any less true. There's this whole notion of abstraction in the modern world that makes killing somehow better, war less gruesome. If you don't want to be culpable for the acts of your nation, don't be here. You can certainly argue against the notion of Americans informed consent with regards to war, but don't deny that patriotism over any war waged by callous nations is in fact, in most cases, a cheer for the deaths of civilians (including children). We (Americans) are all responsible for the acts of our nation. That isn't a statement about the moral goodness/evilness of Americans as people; it's just reality. The ugly truth = hate speech? Please.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok then, you supported Saddam. (2.37 / 8) (#121)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:45:19 AM EST

    Sure, it was done by proxy, but you're just as responsible for the brutal deaths of tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds, just as if you had beaten them all to death with a crowbar. What kind of sick monster are you? I should have expected as much from a European(Canadian).

    [ Parent ]
    Now, lets see (2.00 / 1) (#208)
    by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:50:40 PM EST

    Which country was supporting Saddam back then? Oh, the little one called the USA. Oh yes, it's real easy to forget.

    [ Parent ]
    that.. (none / 0) (#227)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:32:27 AM EST

    And my comment was entirely about getting one's own house in order before 'saving' others in a completely self-serving way. Demiurge's logic appears to be short-circuiting, but this is not unusual given his history of hysteria/outrage trolls. I'm an American, not an Iraqi - I wouldn't presume to dictate to them what they should or should not do and how. Fact of the matter is, their former leader broke the international treaty he signed, and the process for dealing with that was underway, and would have continued were it not for the US sabotaging the process to demonstrate it's dominance in the region and in the world. 'Twas a neat part of PNAC's hegemony dreams, and also the publically stated policy of Dubya to "act tough" to deter future terrorist attacks, by being a violent drunk cop. I certainly think the Iraqis would've gotten rid of Saddam without us, and been all the better for it; they wouldn't be beholden to our "investors" nor our "guidelines" for free-markets which have already started the process of selling Iraq to the highest (or sometimes lowest) bidder. Is it better than random state-sponsored terror? In the short-term, yes. In the long term, we have seriously harmed Iraqis as a people and as a nation.

    [ Parent ]
    You are repulsed by that... (4.00 / 1) (#114)
    by splitpeasoup on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:48:54 AM EST

    ...but I find the cited comments far, far more repulsive. They lend credence to the characterization you dismiss as "hate speech".

    Presumably "Americans cheer the killing of children" bothers you. How about "Many Americans cheer the killing of children"?

    -SPS

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi
    [ Parent ]

    Internet nuts != Americans (4.50 / 6) (#116)
    by rusty on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:12:58 AM EST

    A few nutters on a weblog do not make for a realistic or in any way convincing representation of Americans as a whole. If that's your evidence, I would accept the statement "A few anonymous people I assume to be Americans (and, further, I assume to be separate people) cheered the killing of a child who was at that moment firing on American soldiers."

    To take those comments and claim that the people of America cheer the killing of children is just foolish. It reflects much more on what the author wants to believe than on the actual world.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]

    Probably True... (4.25 / 4) (#123)
    by johnnyfever on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:00:09 PM EST

    Internet nuts != Americans. However, as a non-American it is incredibly easy to get the "wrong impression". And not just from the Internet nuts. In this case, as in several other recent cases, I would have to convince myself that:
    • American media != Americans
    • American government != Americans
    • American Military != Americans
    • American Intelligence != Americans
    All of these institutions were responsible for this bizarre and macabre show. The very kind of show, incidentally, that the same institutions cry foul over when some other country does it.

    Do I think that all of America cheered when they saw the pictures of the corpses? No. However it is only through an intentional effort on my part to actually think about it rationally. The image of your country portrayed by the afore mentioned institutions - the image of America that the world is shown by Americans - makes it somewhat difficult to believe that America isn't a country of stupid, hateful, murderous bastards with a shitload of firepower.

    I think the intelligent, sensible, rational American citizen should be very concerned by this portrayal of themselves and do something about it. Michael Moore at least has stood up and said something.

    [ Parent ]

    America has hella parts (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:53:46 PM EST

    For example, the Northeast, the South, the West Coast, and the central Breadbasket states are all different. Our President is one kind of Texan.

    There is a lot less homogeneity in the U.S.A. For example, you will see views differing hugely based on something like religion, with a disturbingly high percentage of Fundamentalist Christians believing that current events in the Middle East fulfill end-time prophecies, to generally socially liberal Catholics who disagree en masse with outdated church teaching...

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    You are too isolated. (3.66 / 3) (#129)
    by spcmanspiff on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:23:22 PM EST

    You live in Maine, famous for the good will and thoughtfulness of its people as well as its sense of community that doesn't seem to be crumbling as fast as elsewhere in the US.

    Scratch that. You live on a friggin island in Maine.

    And you visit websites, and travel to conferences, and presumably went to school, where you're less isolated but your impression of America was, nonetheless, never challenged.

    But you're wrong: That isn't just the reaction and speech of a few random internet nutters. They're expressing the same sentiments as a vast swath of Americans.

    We live in a beautiful country, with beautiful people, but there's also an undeniable, pervasive, ugliness of spirit here as well.

     

    [ Parent ]

    Congratulations, you've fallen for the.... (3.00 / 2) (#195)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:51:47 PM EST

    one-or-nothing fallacy. You see, it's not as if [b]all[/b] Americans feel one way or [b]no[/b] Americans do.

    Just because there are half a dozen insensitive crude idiots who gloat over some mortuary photos(although I hardly think the victims in this case deserve any sympathy) does not that mean [b]all[/b] Americans feel this way. Likewise, despite what you may have read here on K5, not all Canadians are bitter, America-hating Stalinists with a hard-on for murderous third-world dictators. Just nearly all of them.

    [ Parent ]
    You mean (none / 0) (#207)
    by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:48:55 PM EST

    as opposed to republicans with a hard-on for supporting murderous actual or wannabee dictators?

    [ Parent ]
    The word "sombunall" (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by pbreton on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:34:26 AM EST

    In his writings, Robert Anton Wilson popularized the word "sombunall" as a means of more accurately describing what is actually occuring in space-time.

    The word is a contraction of the phrase, "some but not all".

    Applying it to the lines in question, we get:

    Sombunall Americans were gloating over this demented corpse show.... Sombunall Americans cheer the killing of children

    It's equally true that sombunall Americans, including yours truly, are repulsed by it.



    [ Parent ]
    FOX News (4.50 / 8) (#146)
    by ttfkam on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:56:23 PM EST

    FOX News (among others) was indeed parading the images on national TV and its pundits were gloating over that demented corpse show.

    FOX News is the most watched news organization on U.S. television.

    More Americans get their news from TV than any other news source.

    As sad as it may be, I don't believe it to be hate speech.  Is it representative of all Americans?  Of course not.  But no statement is.  No statement can be of any large group of people.  Any generalization would be at least partially inaccurate.  At the same time, is it indicative of the thoughts and actions of far too many Americans?  I think so.  As much as it saddens me as an American, I think so.

    If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
    [ Parent ]

    That poor little angel Uday Hussein (2.33 / 3) (#192)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:41:38 PM EST

    Serial rapist, murderer, and all-around psychopath. Those vicious Amerikkkans, how dare they shoot back when someone shoots at them.

    [ Parent ]
    I seem to recall... (4.25 / 4) (#234)
    by handslikesnakes on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:01:42 AM EST

    invocation of the Geneva Convention when pictures of American POWs were shown on Iraqi TV. Threats were made as well, about what would happen if those prisoners were found to have been hurt.
    And then these bodies were paraded about on American TV. Funny, too, how a bullet or two was able to bash up a face like that... almost looks like a boot tread...

    [ Parent ]
    Geneva Convention (5.00 / 2) (#273)
    by wiredog on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:15:01 AM EST

    Bans treatment like that for prisoners. The Husseins weren't prisoners, they were dead. The Geneva Convention doesn't ban treatment like that for dead people. It's a loophole.

    Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
    Phil the Canuck

    [ Parent ]
    That's it... tell everyone how you really feel. (none / 0) (#523)
    by Isome on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:29:41 AM EST

    The comment merely proves that indeed Muricans did gloat over their deaths. Not only did our country invade Iraq needlessly, but we now gleefully act as judge, jury & executioner, and practice head-on-a-stick politics by splashing the pictures of their corpses on national television. The crimes committed by the brothers were against Iraqi citizens, not Americans, Muricans either. If the true aim of our invasion was to facilitate Iraqi self-determination, then we should have allowed them to decide the brothers' punishment.

    [ Parent ]
    Hate speech indeed (4.00 / 5) (#211)
    by Eloquence on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:19:57 PM EST

    I am fully aware of the fact that not all Americans cheer the death of all children, and that not all Americans have gloated over the dead bodies of the Hussein brothers. Looking at the paragraph in question again, and reading the replies to your comment, I think this was reasonably clear. But many did gloat over Qusay and Uday's death, and many of those who noticed Mustafa's death (for good reasons it was not quite as widely reported) spewed the same kind of hate speech that you will find on the linked website. The Internet, on average, is more liberal and left-leaning than the real world; that's because it takes a certain education (education and liberal beliefs obviously being correlated) and a certain wealth (wealth and education again being strongly correlated) to use it. If anything, the "Internet nuts" are more moderate than the real nuts.

    Half a million people bought Ann Coulter's book, which accuses virtually the entire left of committing the crime of treason and aiding America's engine. Ann Coulter is a run-of-the mill fascist, and so are many of her religious followers. Fascism is alive and well in modern America since Sep. 11. All the ingredients are there to turn the United States into a totalitarian state -- it just takes a skillful manipulator to do it. Perhaps the biggest danger to freedom in your country is the almost mythological belief in the immunity of that freedom and in the singularity of the American experience.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    Half a million people (5.00 / 2) (#240)
    by TheModerate on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:22:13 AM EST

    bought Ann Coulter's book because they enjoy watching this pointless debate. Because reading and participating in pointless debates is a much easier substitute to doing anything actually intellectual.

    Your article was voted up and has 230 comments pinned to it because K5ers enjoy watching and participating in this pointless debate. Because reading and participating in pointless debates is a much easier substitute to doing anything actually intellectual.

    I am both ashamed and strangely angry. Where have all the intellectuals gone?

    "What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
    [ Parent ]

    500,000 people (5.00 / 2) (#275)
    by wiredog on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:18:03 AM EST

    Out of about 200,000,000 adults. 1/400. Not a large percentage of the population.

    Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
    Phil the Canuck

    [ Parent ]
    Not obvious at all... (5.00 / 2) (#369)
    by cr8dle2grave on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:33:31 PM EST

    education and liberal beliefs obviously being correlated

    Not only is this not obvious, I strongly suspect it is patently false--especially in America. Do you have any statistical studies to back up your assertion? Or are you just wrapping your prejudices in the cloak of respectability?

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    Remind me. (none / 0) (#270)
    by artis on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:34:20 AM EST

    What was the reaction to children dancing in the streets after 9/11?
    --
    Can you know that you are omniscient?
    [ Parent ]
    Hot damn! (3.91 / 23) (#39)
    by Matt Oneiros on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:34:06 AM EST

    You sure are an angry one. Self rightousness gets us all nowhere, except hell faster than we're aleady headed.

    Let's face it, michael moore, although he makes some good points, is essentially an uncompromising and inflationary jackass. What do I mean by inflationary? He exaggerates to make points he probably could make without exagerating and hurting his work.

    And, believe it or not. I say the same applies to you to a large degree and the fellow your complaining about.

    In the end, we have three morons. All of them are stroking their egos.

    Lobstery is not real
    signed the cow
    when stating that life is merely an illusion
    and that what you love is all that's real

    It always amazes me when... (3.66 / 3) (#263)
    by wrinkledshirt on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:32:24 AM EST

    ...people who try to write a well-thought out rhetorical response get categorized as being full of hate or angry or rabid.

    The article's biased in Moore's favour (and against his critics) but the writer is hardly angry. Meanwhile, the person who does the categorizing is essentially calling people self-righteous ego-stroking inflammatory moronic jackasses, and gets rewarded for it with 5s.

    Amazing, I tell you.

    [ Parent ]

    Normally, (none / 0) (#475)
    by Matt Oneiros on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:20:43 PM EST

    I would leave this alone, but on several counts you have irratated me. First of all, this is not as well thought out as it's volume might suggest. The arguments are nothing new or of any particuluar insight.

    Also I am not "...essentially calling people self-righteous ego-stroking inflammatory moronic jackasses..." if you would in fact read my post you will find that I do in fact refer to all three fellows as a)self-righteous, b)ego-stroking, c)moronic and d)jackasses. Indeed I am not essentially doing it -- I am doing it. I did in fact refer to the triad of impotent debate as "inflationary" it's a word similar to inflammatory, it just means they make things appear to be a bigger deal than they are -- instead of saying things just to piss people off.

    As for being rewarded, obviously these folks must disagree with you. Does this make them wrong?

    Lobstery is not real
    signed the cow
    when stating that life is merely an illusion
    and that what you love is all that's real
    [ Parent ]

    Dude, you shouldn't split hairs on grammar... (none / 0) (#512)
    by wrinkledshirt on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 07:13:41 AM EST

    ...until you learn how to spell.

    Otherwise, you've missed my point entirely.

    [ Parent ]

    Weak response bucko. (none / 0) (#521)
    by Matt Oneiros on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:28:10 PM EST

    Unless by splitting grammatical hairs you actually mean "correcting people when they misquote you" then I'm really going to have to register you as a moron too.

    Now, for the sake of the finer points of this dispute. Have I ever criticized your writing ability outside of correcting you when you misquoted (thereby misrepresenting my statement) me? Was my rebuttal to your trite and sarcastic response fact oriented?

    Interesting how you decide to criticize me on a point that has no effect on the debate of Moore vs. Some Guy vs. common decency and accurate reporting. Yes, perhaps my spelling is not the best, but what does it have to do with gun control or the misrepresentation of peoples statements?

    After all, that's what this entire thing is about.

    Lobstery is not real
    signed the cow
    when stating that life is merely an illusion
    and that what you love is all that's real
    [ Parent ]

    look who's "rabid" now? (none / 0) (#534)
    by wrinkledshirt on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 08:58:27 PM EST

    Your entire rebuttal consisted of correcting my use of the word "essentially". Go look up m-w.com if you want to see that the use of the word is in fact justifiable. The lack of substance to the rest of the rebuttal (when did I ever question your use of the word "inflationary"?), coupled with the fact that you appear to have crowned yourself some sort of English expert despite the fact that your spelling sucks, suggests that your main goal here is just to get the last word.

    Well, by all means, have it.

    [ Parent ]

    How odd... (none / 0) (#537)
    by Matt Oneiros on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 09:46:48 PM EST

    ...here we go again, you quoting me as saying things I haven't said. I said the fellows were all "angry" not rabid, being rabid tends to imply a lack of logic and merit in the argument. All three are angry, not rabid.

    We would be done sooner if you would simply stop attacking me for correcting you in the misquoting of me. Quote what I say, not what you imagine I say. Stop basing all your rebuttal on poor spelling if you actually think you're right.

    Lobstery is not real
    signed the cow
    when stating that life is merely an illusion
    and that what you love is all that's real
    [ Parent ]

    dodge, duck, parry [nt] (none / 0) (#538)
    by wrinkledshirt on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 10:27:21 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    I win [n/t] (none / 0) (#539)
    by Matt Oneiros on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 11:07:33 PM EST



    Lobstery is not real
    signed the cow
    when stating that life is merely an illusion
    and that what you love is all that's real
    [ Parent ]
    compiling on gentoo with perl 5.8.0 (1.81 / 64) (#40)
    by rmg on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:35:16 AM EST

    hi... i tried compiling your article under gentoo with perl 5.8.0.

    here's a log:

    $ perl -v

    This is perl, v5.8.0 built for i686-linux

    Copyright 1987-2002, Larry Wall

    Perl may be copied only under the terms of either the Artistic License or the
    GNU General Public License, which may be found in the Perl 5 source kit.

    Complete documentation for Perl, including FAQ lists, should be found on
    this system using `man perl' or `perldoc perl'.  If you have access to the
    Internet, point your browser at http://www.perl.com/, the Perl Home Page.

    $ perl defenseofcolumbine.pl
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 3, near ")

     By"
            (Missing operator before By?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 4, near "12th"
            (Missing operator before th?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 4, near "2003 at"
            (Missing operator before at?)
    Number found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 4, near "at 09"
            (Do you need to predeclare at?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 4, near "04 PM"
            (Missing operator before PM?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 10, near "-- in"
            (Missing operator before in?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 15, near "time of"
            (Do you need to predeclare time?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 15, near "conservative "grass-roots""
            (Do you need to predeclare conservative?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 15, near ""grass-roots" propaganda"
            (Missing operator before propaganda?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 29, at end of line
            (Do you need to predeclare that?)
    Semicolon seems to be missing at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 31.
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 32, near "like "Quake""
            (Do you need to predeclare like?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 32, near "000 people"
            (Missing operator before people?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 32, near ") was"
            (Missing operator before was?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, near ""Culture of Fear" by"
            (Missing operator before by?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, near ") is"
            (Missing operator before is?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, near "no relationship whatsoever"
            (Do you need to predeclare no?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, near ") media"
            (Missing operator before media?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 38, near "-- war"
            (Missing operator before war?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 38, near ""the enemies of freedom" are"
            (Missing operator before are?)
    Semicolon seems to be missing at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 42.
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 43, near "14 years"
            (Missing operator before years?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near ") The"
            (Missing operator before The?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near "was "staged""
            (Do you need to predeclare was?)
    Number found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near "about 500"
            (Do you need to predeclare about?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near "500 weapons"
            (Missing operator before weapons?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near "been "normally""
            (Do you need to predeclare been?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near ""normally" picked"
            (Missing operator before picked?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 52, near ""normally" is"
            (Missing operator before is?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 55, near ""Typically, you're looking at a week to 10 days waiting period." This"
            (Missing operator before This?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 55, near "-- but"
            (Missing operator before but?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 55, near "10 days"
            (Missing operator before days?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 61, near ") The"
            (Missing operator before The?)
    Semicolon seems to be missing at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 66.
    Semicolon seems to be missing at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 69.
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 70, near "word "our""
            (Do you need to predeclare word?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 70, near ""our" in"
            (Missing operator before in?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 70, near "-- otherwise"
            (Missing operator before otherwise?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 73, near ""Although other units of Lockheed Martin Corporation elsewhere in the country produce weapons to support the defense of the U.S., we make no weapons at the Littleton-area facility Moore visited." Of"
            (Missing operator before Of?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 73, near "-- children"
            (Missing operator before children?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 76, near "no incorrect statement"
            (Do you need to predeclare no?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 79, near ") Denver"
            (Missing operator before Denver?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 82, near "the "from my cold, dead hands""
            (Do you need to predeclare the?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 82, near ""from my cold, dead hands" part"
            (Missing operator before part?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 82, near "again "misattributed""
            (Do you need to predeclare again?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 82, near ") is"
            (Missing operator before is?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 85, near "The "visual of a billboard and a narration""
            (Do you need to predeclare The?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 85, near ""visual of a billboard and a narration" is"
            (Missing operator before is?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 85, near "-- he"
            (Missing operator before he?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 85, near ""distorting" the"
            (Missing operator before the?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 88, near "was "no way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members.""
            (Do you need to predeclare was?)
    Number found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 88, near ""no way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members." 10"
            (Missing operator before  10?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 88, near "10 days"
            (Missing operator before days?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 91, near "said "Fuck you""
            (Do you need to predeclare said?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 94, near ") The"
            (Missing operator before The?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 94, near "29. Again"
            (Missing operator before Again?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 94, near ""Moore works by depriving you of context and guiding your mind to fill the vacuum -- with completely false ideas. It is brilliantly, if unethically, done." As"
            (Missing operator before As?)
    String found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 94, near "the "from my cold dead hands""
            (Do you need to predeclare the?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 94, near ""from my cold dead hands" part"
            (Missing operator before part?)
    Semicolon seems to be missing at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 108.
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 109, near ") Why"
            (Missing operator before Why?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 109, near ""Clinton is on the Today Show" visible"
            (Missing operator before visible?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 112, near ") Both"
            (Missing operator before Both?)
    Bareword found where operator expected at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 112, near ""soccer mom" interview"
            (Missing operator before interview?)
    syntax error at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 1, near ""Bowling for Columbine" ("
    Illegal octal digit '9' at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 4, at end of line
    syntax error at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 29, next token ???
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, at end of line
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, at end of line
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 35, at end of line
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 49, at end of line
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 73, at end of line
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 76, at end of line
    "no" not allowed in expression at defenseofcolumbine.pl line 112, at end of line
    defenseofcolumbine.pl has too many errors.

    i don't really know perl so i don't know what's wrong.

    plz fix k thx.


    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks

    No, you noob, not Perl. (4.00 / 11) (#45)
    by thelizman on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:31:41 AM EST

    ...the distribution of Perl that came with Gentoo is not Object Oriented. Since the author, and his subject (Michael Moore) are both Objects (specifically, they are tools), you need to use an OO language compiler.

    Nevertheless, I used gcc (both re-entrant and non-reentrant libc versions), bison, yacc, and I got error messages on all of them that amounted to "invalid syntax". I tried Java Compiler, and it hung.

    Clearly, this can only mean one thing: GIGO (Garbage In = Garbage Out).
    --

    "Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
    [ Parent ]
    oh, okay... i'll try it with ruby... (2.00 / 3) (#48)
    by rmg on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:54:15 AM EST

    i have to compile it... that will take a few hours, i'm sure...

    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    Stick to BASIC! [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:15:55 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Whoa. (3.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:20:39 AM EST

    Did I see right, or did you just post something funny?

    Yours humbly,
    Ta bù shì dà yú


    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]

    all my stuff is funny. (2.00 / 3) (#125)
    by rmg on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:10:23 PM EST

    you just don't have the right sense of humor.

    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    Then you must be in stitches! (1.00 / 1) (#243)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:04:49 AM EST

    You're the sort of person who laughs at their own jokes and makes everybody look at you strangely.

    Yours humbly,
    Ta bù shì dà yú

    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]

    in real life... (3.33 / 3) (#288)
    by rmg on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:14:02 AM EST

    most other people laugh too.

    but i get stares often enough. stares are even better than laughter.

    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    No Defense for Moore (3.95 / 20) (#41)
    by duffbeer703 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:45:45 AM EST

    He's a loudmouth demogouge... a sort of populist Howard Stern. I pay as little attention to him as I pay to Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter.


    I liked o'reily when (3.50 / 2) (#111)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:34:22 AM EST

    he was just starting out. now, he seems to be taking his bully pulpit into directions that are boring and don't make much sense.

    [ Parent ]
    Much like Michael Moore (none / 0) (#439)
    by duffbeer703 on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 12:13:19 AM EST

    Moore grandstands and carries on with the same sarcastic "journalism" that O'Reilly revels in.

    Just as Rush Limbaugh ruthlessly promotes half-truths against feminists and democrats; Moore smugly delivers one-sided conjecture and selected or doctored quotes about topics that push the buttons of many americans.

    In other words, he's a media troll.


    [ Parent ]

    this will be brief (3.04 / 23) (#46)
    by YelM3 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:31:51 AM EST

    I don't care if Moore flat-out lied in his film. The film made a lot of people think about a very important topic in a way that they never had before. When I saw this in the theatre, people cried. That was worth any kind of exaggeration because the underlying messages of the film are just that important. I also think the academy members recognized this.

    this too will be brief (4.75 / 8) (#56)
    by khallow on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:59:58 AM EST

    And what happens when those people realize Moore was deceiving them? I guess they'll revert to the old way of thinking. The ends no matter how noble can't justify means this counterproductive.

    Stating the obvious since 1969.
    [ Parent ]

    this will be briefer (4.00 / 6) (#89)
    by Bad Harmony on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:21:51 AM EST

    A lot of people were emotionally overcome while watching "Triumph of the Will".

    54º40' or Fight!
    [ Parent ]

    So I guess you don't care that Bush lied? (3.53 / 15) (#120)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:43:50 AM EST

    After all, you're not going to admit that you wanted to keep Saddam Hussein in power, and since you don't seem to care about the truth, isn't it ok that he lied about WMDs?

    [ Parent ]
    You are pro-propaganda (4.75 / 4) (#356)
    by juju2112 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:57:36 PM EST

    I find your way of thinking to be extremely dangerous. Lying and/or deceiving the public in order to get people to consider or adopt your viewpoint is flat out propaganda .

    It may seem like a good idea when it's your agenda the proganda is pushing, but I assure you, history has shown that propaganda is evil and deceitul.

    [ Parent ]

    Where you are going wrong (2.22 / 27) (#55)
    by Big Dogs Cock on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:55:04 AM EST

    You are trying to use logic with an NRA supporter. Let's face it, that's never going to work.

    People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
    Worse than Christian apologetics (4.03 / 26) (#62)
    by Quila on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:10:36 AM EST

    I've seen less logical gymnastics coming from a strict creationist.

    Moore's film was entertaining and had a generally good message -- that we need to look at ourselves and ask "why are we so violent?" But his means were full of lies, distortions and editing tricks that do not belong in a documentary.

    For reference, let's use the definition of "documentary," which is "Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film." Moore did not come close to achieving this goal.

    10 days are more than enough to give advance warning of a change in location or date, had the NRA really wanted to.

    This shows the extent to which you are willing to go to excuse Moore. You do not tell that many people to change vacation plans, work schedules and flight reservations in 10 days. The most you can expect is to cut out all festivities and events, leaving only the required meeting -- which the NRA did. No one would have noticed the NRA being in town had the mayor not decided to use the visit for political gain.

    I think the best scene in the movie was with Marilyn Manson who, when asked what he would have said to the Columbine kids if given a chance, said "I wouldn't say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say and that's what no one did."

    You lie, he distorts, I edit... (2.80 / 5) (#83)
    by bil on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:16:40 AM EST

    You accuse Moore of using distortions and lies and yet feel free to accuse the mayor of using the NRA visit for political gain, do you have any evidence that he wasn't there out of deeply held conviction? Or are you just assuming this because it fits in with your world view and the point you are trying to make.

    In this age of instant communication you can cancel a meeting with 10 days to go, its more then enough time to send out letters, arrange TV coverage (which the NRA would get) etc to say "due to the circumstances we have cancelled the meeting, we will rearrange it as soon as possible", yes it would annoy people yes it would mess up plans etc but it is possible. They may have had valid reasons for not doing so (if the law demands it takes place within a certain timescale for example), but to claim it wasn't physically possible shows the extent to which you are prepared to excuse the NRA.

    The Marilyn Manson Interview was good though.

    bil

    bil
    Where you stand depends on where you sit...
    [ Parent ]

    Never arranged a huge national event, have you? nt (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:30:29 AM EST



    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    I tell it as it is (4.83 / 6) (#107)
    by Quila on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:26:47 AM EST

    yet feel free to accuse the mayor of using the NRA visit for political gain, do you have any evidence that he wasn't there out of deeply held conviction?

    Even if anti-gun is the mayor's deeply-held personal conviction, it is also one of his political platforms. He's notorious for it, and is even trying to subvert Colorado's concealed-carry laws.

    They may have had valid reasons for not doing so (if the law demands it takes place within a certain timescale for example)

    Under NRA corporate law and New York State law (where the NRA is incorporated), they are required to hold an annual meeting. This meeting was expected to draw 22,000 people from all over the country.

    I would say that the NRA bent over backwards out of respect for the Columbine incident, cancelling several days of events, dinners, shows and pro-gun rallies. The NRA only left the members' reception and the annual meeting, which were held in the hall. And you definitely didn't hear this side of the story in BFC -- so much for any hopes of it being a documentary.

    Of course, for anti-gun zealots, even that wasn't good enough. I believe they used Columbine as an excuse to attack the NRA.

    I've been involved in organizing college graduation ceremonies, and I can't even imagine the chaos that would have ensued due to a rescheduling or a wide change of venue on short notice.  It was bad enough when we had to switch venue five miles away one year with half a year's notice. These meetings are scheduled quite far in advance, and a LOT of preparation goes into them, including personal preparation on the part of the members so that they can show up.

    It is likely that they couldn't have rescheduled another meeting in time to comply with the law.

    [ Parent ]

    a sidenote (none / 0) (#90)
    by romperstomper on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:21:52 AM EST

    The Marilyn Manson interview was one of my favorite parts of the movie and, coincidentally, he is to appear on Late Night with Conan O' Brien tonight (8/13/03).  

    [ Parent ]
    Now I'm pissed (none / 0) (#108)
    by Quila on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:28:51 AM EST

    I'm in Germany right now and won't be in the US for a couple of weeks. Don't suppose you could record it for me?

    [ Parent ]
    will do (n/t) (none / 0) (#161)
    by romperstomper on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:12:30 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Too much sympathy for assholes (1.27 / 40) (#65)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:42:12 AM EST

    The idiots who did Columbine were sociopathic assholes. They should be identified early in their lives and killed. Sure you get a few false positives but look at the rest of the world. People get smutted out for very little in most of the primative world. Woman fucks a man who is not her husband in Saudi Arabia and BANG she gets killed. Israeli child stands in wrong spot and BANG he/she gets killed. I am perfectly willing that kids who exhibit antisocial behaviour get killed. The world is meaner than you asshole socialist passivists want.

    Yeah, great idea sparky (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by x10 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:48:10 AM EST

    The world would be a much better place if we had got rid of people who were antisocial as children. e.g., Einstein, Van Gogh, Gandhi, Richard Stahlman.

    ---YOUR ZEROES ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER---
    [ Parent ]

    Antisocial? (1.37 / 8) (#67)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:59:14 AM EST

    None of those people were antisocial. Einstein was a little non-social. Van Gogh was psychotic or schizo. Gandhi was an idiot who ate a bean a day and sleepwith wives but didn't (supposely) fuck em. And well I guess Richard Stallman was/is antisocial but then he is nobody important. Kill Ghandi and the antisocialists and the world would be a better place.

    [ Parent ]
    You are the root of evil. (none / 0) (#267)
    by artis on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:02:53 AM EST

    Now shoot yourself.
    --
    Can you know that you are omniscient?
    [ Parent ]
    ratings (1.15 / 13) (#68)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:46:29 AM EST

    I find it funny that people rate me low because they disagree with my extremist philosophy, or they don't like me, or they have their own axe to grind. Low ratings are supposed to mean that the post is irrelevant and not part of the argument. I am just a reflection. I am just a mirror image. Crap I just pooped my pants, I am so smart. Can I get a witness?

    [ Parent ]
    Sorry, untrue. (3.66 / 3) (#76)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:36:09 AM EST

    Funnily enough the FAQ says little about what makes a quality rating. It only says that "there are several factors that can determine your subjective perception of a comment's quality" and then lists some examples of things to rate on.

    RTFM

    Yours humbly,
    Ta bù shì dà yú

    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]

    For funnilyness [nt] (2.00 / 4) (#81)
    by Chuck Freck on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:04:33 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    For bad speling. (nt) (3.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:24:09 AM EST



    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    FOR GREAT JUSTICE. /nt (4.00 / 4) (#126)
    by rmg on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:12:32 PM EST



    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    For no reason whatsoever. (nt) (none / 0) (#256)
    by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:28:04 AM EST



    ---
    AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
    ה
    [ Parent ]
    Chuck Freck knows something we don't (none / 0) (#252)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:01:57 AM EST

    They should be identified early in their lives and killed. How?

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    However, a couple of agreements (3.87 / 8) (#82)
    by Quila on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:14:16 AM EST

    It is equally well known that the so-called "war on drugs" begun under the Nixon administration is a failure which has cost hundreds of billions and made America the world leader in prison population

    Can't argue with you there.

    Critics fail to credit Moore with not making the same mistake that some gun control advocates make -- concluding that gun ownership "leads" to violence.

    And there. In fact, I find it strange when even the most liberal media outlets characterized BFC as an "anti-gun" movie when it absolutely is not. It is possible that Moore's rants and deceptions against the NRA leads people to believe the movie is anti-gun. Or maybe it's because he rails against guns for a while but then quickly says "maybe that's not the reason."

    I sleep for 6 hours (3.40 / 25) (#95)
    by RyoCokey on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:44:14 AM EST

    ...and look what crap slithers onto Kuro5hin.org. The front page no less!

    Not only that, after this tiresome "rebuttal" is which you basically admit he made up parts of his "documentary" you go on say it's justified because the conclusions were correct!

    No the fuck they are not. He merely reached the conclusion that you agreed with, regardless of the facts. He had a point he wanted to convey, and was perfectly happy to ignore the truth to get there.

    Other people point out more detailed problems with the argument here and here.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    I have failed you m'lord (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by thelizman on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:16:14 AM EST

    I voted it down, I started to write a lengthy attack on the glaring logical and factual failings of this article, but I passed out at the keyboard at 11:00pm.
    --

    "Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
    [ Parent ]
    You have failed me for the last time! (5.00 / 5) (#112)
    by RyoCokey on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:36:31 AM EST

    *telekinetically chokes thelizman*

    Apology accepted, Captain thelizman

    You are in command now, Captain godix.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    I would love to laugh at the ConCrews' failure ... (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by pyramid termite on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:34:29 PM EST

    ... to keep this off the front page, except ... it's about that blowhard Michael Moore. Really, guys, get your act together, will you?

    I haven't seen any of the movie except for the clips he had on his web site and although those were funny and entertaining, they were also manipulative and unenlightening. I have the feeling a lot of the criticism directed at the movie is justified.

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    We've got an official name now! (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by RyoCokey on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:33:33 PM EST

    ...but could you make it more... Evil?



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    Ask turmeric ... (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by pyramid termite on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:39:41 PM EST

    ... I'm sure he could think of something.

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    Truth value? (4.11 / 9) (#98)
    by the on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:03:30 AM EST

    Critics have now gone so far as to call for the revocation of the award
    Since when have Oscars been given for truth value?

    --
    The Definite Article
    Jealousy? (3.85 / 7) (#99)
    by grouse on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:04:21 AM EST

    The shrill (and remarkably unsuccessful) Internet campaign to "revoke" his award seems to be motivated more by jealousy than by real concerns about the film's accuracy. You've got to be kidding. Perhaps these people are not really concerned about the film's accuracy, but I doubt they are motivated by jealousy. More likely is that they just don't like Michael Moore and those darn liberals.

    You sad bastard!

    "Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs

    moore gives liberals a bad name (4.00 / 2) (#106)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:25:34 AM EST

    god I hate that guy.

    [ Parent ]
    I would have said (none / 0) (#184)
    by grouse on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:59:26 PM EST

    "and/or" except that it is hackneyed and awkward.

    You sad bastard!

    "Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
    [ Parent ]

    Well, I know I'm jealous. (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:25:22 AM EST

    I've been keeping a spot on my mantle clear, and I want to know when I'm gonna get my Oscar! I mean, if Moore can get one...


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    I'm curious (none / 0) (#324)
    by K on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:28:16 PM EST

    Is there a term for people that misuse jealousy and envy? I'd appreciate any information.

    [ Parent ]
    I would call them (none / 0) (#440)
    by grouse on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 12:22:22 AM EST

    "jealousy-misusers."

    Actually I don't understand the question.

    You sad bastard!

    "Grouse please don't take this the wrong way... To be quite frank, you are throwing my inner Chi out of its harmonious balance with nature." -- Tex Bigballs
    [ Parent ]

    I was impressed by the movie (4.47 / 17) (#100)
    by 8ctavIan on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:07:14 AM EST

    I think the movie gets its point across very well - which is to get us thinking about why the US is such a violent society compared to other developed/industrialized nations. I was impressed by the way the film achieved this. I think those that criticize the movie misunderstand that important point. Nowhere in the movie does it say why the US is violent. The film intelligently and covertly asks us to ask ourselves. That feat was truly impressive, in my opinion.

    In fairness to the movie's critics, I too objected to the treatment of Charlton Heston. I believe Michael Moore's historical perspective here was lacking. He demonized Heston, but he should have been asking himself, as I did when I left the theater, how did Charlton Heston end up being the front man for the NRA? He could have had us ask ourselves that question in the same way as the film as a whole asks us to reflect on the US' violent tendencies.

    Charlton Heston was, in the 60's, what we would call today a 'liberal'. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in support of civil rights. He was largely responsible for bringing great films like Orson Welles' 'Touch of Evil' and the original 'Planet of the Apes' to the screen. These films espoused progressive views in their day


    Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken

    it is a simple explanation (2.71 / 7) (#105)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:23:45 AM EST

    we have more social freedoms than any other country our size. Add to that the American culture of independent thought,a strong need for privacy, a strong sense of property ownership,a police force that has lots of restrictions on what it can and can not do in the course of investigating a crime, and a judicial system that appear to be extremely capable of making mistakes, and you have a good mixture that creates a lot of criminals because they feel they can get away with it.

    the restrictions on the police force and the complex legal system contribute most to the amount of crime, the rest are just fertile grounds for crime to exist.

    [ Parent ]

    Sorry... (4.00 / 5) (#233)
    by handslikesnakes on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:51:23 AM EST

    What is it about Americans that makes them think they're the only free country in the world?

    • culture of independent thought
    • a strong need for privacy
    • a strong sense of property ownership
    • restrictions on police
    • fallible judicial system

    What, we in the rest of the world don't have these? Which of these is Canada lacking, for example?



    [ Parent ]
    Two examples: (3.00 / 4) (#235)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:12:57 AM EST

    Freedom of speech, and relaxed immigration laws.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    Sure, there are differences. (3.00 / 1) (#236)
    by handslikesnakes on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:23:33 AM EST

    But the original poster seemed to be suggesting that the world outside the US was a police state.
    Relaxed immigration has nothing to do with freedom, and I don't think I've ever heard somebody claim a relaxation of immigration corresponds to a drop in violence. Maybe I'm missing your point here.
    As for freedom of speech, I suspect the only difference between Canada and the US is hate crime legislation (of which Canada does have more)

    [ Parent ]
    Freedom (5.00 / 1) (#238)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:43:21 AM EST

    Loose immigration laws probably contribute to poverty which contributes to violence, but I was mostly making the point of easier immigration as an area where the U.S. has more freedom than many other developed countries.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    Not sure about that. (3.00 / 1) (#239)
    by handslikesnakes on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:04:44 AM EST

    Can you cite something? Everything I've heard suggests the US is far more restrictive in regards to immigration than elsewhere.
    As an example, Americans constantly complain about Canada's loose immigration laws.

    [ Parent ]
    Let the flamewars begin....... (2.50 / 2) (#272)
    by trezor on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:09:13 AM EST

    Now, new rules for foreign US-access: I have to show up at my closest American embassy for an interview (interrigation) if I wan't a simple VISA for traveling into the US. Interragation for a vecation. Wow!

    If terrorists want into the US, I'm pretty sure they will be able to lie trough one interview. This wont stop terrorsist, and the US goverment knows it.

    I find this really extreme. I wouldn't even expect that from any demonized country or corrupt regime in the wrold. But the worlds finest democracy obviosuly filters who is (or what oppinions are) allowed in.

    Such as all great, free, democratic countries I guess...

    Please excuse me for my arrogance, but you guys should consider toning down your "we are the alltime best, regardless"-attitude. There is a free world outside the US-limits, if you should happen to wonder.

    The last years, after 11/9, in my point of view, the US have developed into a more totalerian regime, and I wouldn't dear to go there nowadays. I'm pretty sure my opinions would get me stamped as a "terrorist", "terrorist-symphatiser" or more likely "communist". I'd expect police waiting at the airport for my arrival.

    So for your freedom... I think you're losing it. Day by day. As we speak. But that's just the way it seems when it's filtered by european media. Who am I to say I know the truth?


    --
    Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

    [ Parent ]
    given the quality of Euro media (5.00 / 1) (#386)
    by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:22:47 PM EST

    since most of t is government controlled, I would say very little is completely un-spun.

    as for the police issue, even most European countries give more leeway to their police and prison conditions than the US does.

    [ Parent ]

    Owned != controlled (2.00 / 1) (#397)
    by handslikesnakes on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:41:35 PM EST

    Just because the government owns it doesn't mean the government controls it.
    The opinions of the BBC, CBC, etc. are independent of the opinions of the government.

    as for the police issue, even most European countries give more leeway to their police and prison conditions than the US does.
    I can't even begin to comprehend that sentence.



    [ Parent ]
    Meh (5.00 / 1) (#292)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:51:07 AM EST

    Here's the Canadian Immigration test. Hope you speak French.

    The Americans I've heard complaining about Canada's immigration laws were complaining that they wouldn't be able to emigrate to Canada.

    And then never even mind U.S. immigration laws - there is a high level of tolerated illegal immigration.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    More half-truths (3.50 / 2) (#408)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:37:28 PM EST

    First of all, speaking French is a bonus, not a requirement. Even if it was a requirement, the test your referred to is not "the immigration test", it's the Skilled Worker test, which is just one of many ways to immigrate to Canada. There are many other ways which also do not require you to speak French. Not only that, but even if there weren't other ways to immigrate, the test you refer to is not even the real test. It's only an online assessment to give potential immigrants an idea of their chances of getting in.

    [ Parent ]
    Speaking French (5.00 / 3) (#427)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:06:35 PM EST

    For a few people I've heard from, learning French is the only practical way for them to get enough points to pass the test.

    Of course, there are other ways into Canada, but I think the "Skilled Worker" one is where Canada would be blocking most of the people that the U.S. would let in. The other ones (i.e. net worth of $CDN 800,000, business owner, etc.) would probably get into both countries.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    Not really (none / 0) (#471)
    by bradasch on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:27:28 PM EST

    I have a friend who applied for the "Skilled Worker" visa, and was successful. He doesn't speak french. The test serves as a first evaluation to see if can start the process to get the visa. IMO, what matters (what counts more as points in the test) is your area of working and your level of education (meaning, a college graduate gets more points than a high-school graduate).

    [ Parent ]
    Visas are very hard now (5.00 / 1) (#470)
    by bradasch on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 03:21:53 PM EST

    At least for Brazilians, you have to be personally interviewed when applying for a Visa. That may mean travelling sometimes 1000 miles (just to get an interview). Besides, the U.S. embassy is asking for a visa even if you're just changing planes in american ground (for example, to go from Sao Paulo (Brazil) to Seoul (South Korea), you have to stop in LA. For that, you need a visa.
    That's not an example of "relaxed immigration rules".

    [ Parent ]
    Blatant Falsehoods (3.50 / 2) (#406)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:31:07 PM EST

    As a Canadian citizen, I can confidently say that you are full of shit. Canada's freedom of speech and immigration laws are similar, if not identical, to the U.S.'s.

    [ Parent ]
    Freedom of speech (none / 0) (#476)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:35:26 PM EST

    That was a shot at Europe.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    You Are Easily Impressed, and Highly Deluded (2.85 / 7) (#109)
    by thelizman on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:31:49 AM EST

    I was impressed by the way the film achieved this. I think those that criticize the movie misunderstand that important point. Nowhere in the movie does it say why the US is violent. The film intelligently and covertly asks us to ask ourselves. That feat was truly impressive, in my opinion.
    What? The documentary (stop calling it a "movie") quite clearly leads the viewer to conclusions that are compatible with Michael Moores politics. Perhaps you're unable to recognize this, but a responsible docu-journalist would have presented opposing viewpoints. Micheale Moore not only doesn't present an alternate viewpoint, he doesn't even present information in an accurate manner (which is the main criticism of this film).
    In fairness to the movie's critics, I too objected to the treatment of Charlton Heston. I believe Michael Moore's historical perspective here was lacking. He demonized Heston, but he should have been asking himself, as I did when I left the theater, how did Charlton Heston end up being the front man for the NRA? He could have had us ask ourselves that question in the same way as the film as a whole asks us to reflect on the US' violent tendencies.

    Charlton Heston was, in the 60's, what we would call today a 'liberal'. He marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in support of civil rights. He was largely responsible for bringing great films like Orson Welles' 'Touch of Evil' and the original 'Planet of the Apes' to the screen. These films espoused progressive views in their day
    He was not a liberal at all - you're the one lacking in historical perspective. It might suprise you that people don't fit into your neat little "liberal vs conservative" categories. Barry Goldwater supported homosexuals in the military back in the 60's. Bob Dole pushed civil rights legislation and anti-discrimination legislation through congress. They were both conservative Republicans. Meanwhile, it was the pro-socialist liberal democrats who opposed King and the civil rights movement (including former KKK Grand Dragon, and present Senator from West Virginia Robert Bird (D, WV)). None of which is sequiter to the issue of Michael Moore's shitty excuse for journalism.
    --

    "Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
    [ Parent ]
    I don't really get your point (4.25 / 4) (#134)
    by 8ctavIan on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:36:23 PM EST

    Your first point seems to be that you object to my calling it a movie. It is a motion picture, isn't it? You mention that Michael Moore doesn't present an alternative viewpoint. He is not a reporter. He is a documentary film directory who's trying to prove his point. I don't think he's obligated to give us opposing viewpoints.

    The second commentary about Charlton Heston is interesting. Should I infer from it that you agree with me that Heston was treated unfairly by Moore? If you agree with me on that, than I can't be too deluded now can I?

    Another point I don't get is how Bob Dole's support for civil rights legislation, Barry Goldwater's support for homosexuals and Robert Byrd's KKK past makes Charlton Heston *not* a former liberal. I guess I am not making a connection somewhere. The fact is that Charlton Heston is just one of several politically-oriented Hollywood celebrities (Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan are two other examples) who changed from liberal to conservative over the course of their lives.


    Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken
    [ Parent ]

    The Connection (4.75 / 4) (#138)
    by thelizman on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:24:12 PM EST

    Another point I don't get is how Bob Dole's support for civil rights legislation, Barry Goldwater's support for homosexuals and Robert Byrd's KKK past makes Charlton Heston *not* a former liberal. I guess I am not making a connection somewhere.
    Indeed, you're not. It will disturb your orderly view of the world, but you have to understand that many subjects are not "liberal" or "conservative" causes. That kind of narrow thinking is symptomatic of spoon-fed gen-X/Yers who learned politics from MTV and disgruntled public school teachers.

    The fact of the matter is that bigotry in the form of racism, sexism, homophobia, et al are moral issues that can be clearly defined as wrong or right. It is an oversimplification of liberalism and conservatism as political ideaologies to reduce it to such simple matters, especially when the core of the two idealogies do not disagree.

    The world is black and white when you can see clearly.
    --

    "Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
    [ Parent ]
    wow - I agree with thelizman (4.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Battle Troll on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:01:40 PM EST

    Charlton Heston is just one of several politically-oriented Hollywood celebrities ... who changed from liberal to conservative over the course of their lives.

    You're right. When he became a conservative, Heston must have disposed of his support for civil rights.

    Look, your view of politics is retarded. It's not so simple as left wing good, right wing baa-aa-aad. During the French Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the Russian Revolution, it was elements to the right rather than the left of the political spectrum that supported order and rights. Moreover, in the USA, most of the groundwork for civil rights was liad by Republicans, at a time when Democrats were fanatically opposed to civil rights.

    Your use of the terms 'liberal' and 'conservative' are only supportable if you take the view that political parties and people routinely invert their position in the political spectrum. If that were the case, metric would be useless.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

    Somewhat OT: Spanish Civil War (5.00 / 4) (#173)
    by ElMiguel on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:33:01 PM EST

    It's not so simple as left wing good, right wing baa-aa-aad. During the French Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the Russian Revolution, it was elements to the right rather than the left of the political spectrum that supported order and rights.

    I won't discuss the French and Russian Revolutions, but I'm willing to bet I know more than you about the Spanish Civil War, and I don't think your statement is correct in this regard.

    In the pre-Civil War Spain, as always, there were reasonable, peaceful people, as well as terrorists and hate-mongers, both in the left and the right. However, the Spanish Civil War itself was a military right wing rebellion against a democratically elected, moderately leftist government. The main right wing party in the opposition supported the rebellion. After the rebels' victory, a quite repressive military dictatorship was instated that lasted for more than forty years. I don't see how this is the right wing supporting "order and rights".

    [ Parent ]

    Don't waste your time (none / 0) (#281)
    by 8ctavIan on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:38:07 AM EST

    You're right on target with your analysis of the Spanish Civil War. I also know a lot about the Spanish Civil War. I can throw a rock and hit dozens of people who lived though it from where I'm sitting and they'll all tell you the same thing you're saying. (except for the few hold-outs who always say: Con Franco se vivía mejor)

    These guys are trollers. When they start using words like retarded and deluded and say that you learned your politics from MTV, it's time to move on.


    Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken
    [ Parent ]

    quite so, I misspoke (none / 0) (#299)
    by Battle Troll on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:16:00 AM EST

    What I meant to say was that, on the left wing side, the Communist Party was (according to Orwell) actively working to subvert the defense rather than see the anarchists succeed. So, the elements the farthest to the left were more opposed to national political self-determination than the elements to the 'right' of the anti-Franco resistance. Orwell said in 1937 that to be a Communist [in Spain, after a certain point] was to choose to be an instrument of Russian foreign policy.

    I'm sorry if I came off as pro-Franco. I am most certainly not. And I am hardly trolling.
    --
    Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
    Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
    [ Parent ]

    The movie's not bad (3.00 / 5) (#110)
    by epepke on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:33:41 AM EST

    The problem is the Academy award, I think. Sure, one can easily assume that anyone who objects to that must be some sort of ultraconservative Nazi. That's the cheap way out. But, hell, I object to the fact that The English Patient won Best Picture, and nobody calls me a Nazi for that.

    I think the movie gets its point across very well - which is to get us thinking about why the US is such a violent society compared to other developed/industrialized nations.

    Possibly. However, it's also possible that the approach taken limits the range of possibilities. I think that one of the reasons that the US is such a violent society is that it tries hard (some might say too hard) not to be a violent society. With respect to violence, the U.S. is like an alcoholic, while most of the rest of the industrialized world are binge drinkers. If you amortize the violence, things don't look too different. Sure, the U.S. has a high murder rate, and the U.S. has been involved in a lot of unjust military aggression, but the U.S. also didn't murder more than six million people sixty years ago which, if amortized, comes out to about 100K per year. It's relatively easy to be peaceful if most of people the majority dislikes are conveniently dead.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Answer (4.16 / 6) (#115)
    by marx on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:52:07 AM EST

    It's relatively easy to be peaceful if most of people the majority dislikes are conveniently dead.
    So what you are essentially saying is: "well, we have probably more mixed ethnicity than other countries".
    Sure, the U.S. has a high murder rate, and the U.S. has been involved in a lot of unjust military aggression, but the U.S. also didn't murder more than six million people sixty years ago which, if amortized, comes out to about 100K per year.
    This has got to be the weakest argument ever. Even so, it applies to Germany alone. So fine, in your own head, you can now justify why the US has a higher murder rate than Germany. What about all the other developed, industrialized countries?

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    No (3.00 / 2) (#124)
    by epepke on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:04:07 PM EST

    So what you are essentially saying is: "well, we have probably more mixed ethnicity than other countries".

    I wouldn't say that.

    This has got to be the weakest argument ever. Even so, it applies to Germany alone. So fine, in your own head, you can now justify why the US has a higher murder rate than Germany.

    Funny how when the same flag is all over Continental Europe, it's Just the Germans. Good thing the Germans didn't kill anybody outside of Germany.

    I know that this might be hard to accept, but I'm not interested in justifying anything. That's a game for moralists, of which group I am not a member.

    What about all the other developed, industrialized countries?

    Oh, I'm sure that the U.S. is worse than a lot of other places. But if you're trying to show a statistical pattern, it doesn't work to pick and choose.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    Comedy and Hollywood (2.35 / 17) (#113)
    by n8f8 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:43:59 AM EST

    A long time ago Michael Moore started taking himself too seriously. I loved the movie because is was funny and obviously edited in a bizzare way.

    As far as claims that the US is more violent than other developed countries---bullshit!. Anti-gun nutjobs who are incapable of two seconds of critical thought spout rhetoric that --thankfully-- most of the voting population ignores.

    We are one of the few countries where the statistics are more often produced by indpendent sources. I find it doubly odd that almost every major orgainzation quoting anti-US stats is HQ'd in France (A country that has singlehandedly fucked up two continents) or some other socialist European country.  

    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

    Re: Comedy and Hollywood (3.85 / 7) (#132)
    by CompUComp on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:36:12 PM EST

    "As far as claims that the US is more violent than other developed countries---bullshit"
    If the US isn't more violent than other developed countries then how do you explain the higher number of gun deaths per capita her to gun deaths per capita in Canada.

    "I find it doubly odd that almost every major orgainzation[sic] quoting anti-US stats is HQ'd in France (A country that has singlehandedly fucked up two continents)..."
    How did France "singlehandedly fuck up two continents?" Are you referring to Napoleon? That rabid militarism and nationalism is exactly what France stands against today.

    "... or some other socialist European country."
    What's wrong with socialism? It seems to work for some countries. The Cold War is over and you can't just throw around socialism like its a dirty word anymore.

    Of course there will be some anti-US statistics from Europe but<a href="http://www.cdi.org/issues/wme/spendersfy04.html">here</a> are some statistics that can be considered anti-American from Washington, DC.

    "For 45 years of the Cold War we were in an arms race with the Soviet Union. Now it appears we're in an arms race with ourselves."
    ~Admiral Eugene Carroll, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.)

    ---
    Howard Dean 2004
    [ Parent ]

    How? (4.00 / 1) (#312)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:49:08 AM EST

    How could the statistic that shows America to be the biggest military spender appear in any way to be anti-American?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Are you awake? (2.00 / 2) (#410)
    by it certainly is on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:58:08 PM EST

    Not to be blunt, but you know what they say about countries that spend all their money on their military, don't you?

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    puh-leeeeze (4.55 / 9) (#142)
    by TurboThy on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:47:13 PM EST

    As far as claims that the US is more violent than other developed countries---bullshit!
    Highly convincing argument.
    ... or some other socialist European country.
    Socialist countries are unable to produce usable statistics?
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    You don't actually refute any points. (3.76 / 13) (#119)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:39:27 AM EST

    You either excuse Moore's dishonesty(like in the guns in the bank example, where you admit that Moore presented an incorrect representation of the bank's policy), or you just repeat Moore's lies while completely ignoring criticism of them, like where you make the same foolish claim about aid to the Taliban that Moore did.

    Where is this said dishonesty in the bank scene? (3.00 / 4) (#128)
    by CompUComp on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:21:07 PM EST

    Where is this said dishonesty in the bank scene? How is this an incorrect representation of the bank's policy.

    "There is nothing inaccurate whatsoever about the bank scene. The bank does exactly what it advertises: It hands out guns from its vault to those who open an account."

    The author does note:
    "In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, linked from your site, an employee claims that the gun would have been 'normally' picked up at another dealer."
    but the bank employees did infact give more the gun in the bank.

    ---
    Howard Dean 2004
    [ Parent ]

    In the bank, instantly, vs. weeks later at another (3.66 / 3) (#172)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:18:04 PM EST

    location. Moore doesn't simply claim that the bank gives guns to those who open accounts. That's correct. He claims that they give guns, in the bank, to anyone who opens an account, when they open the account. That is factually incorrect, no?

    [ Parent ]
    No, he doesn't (3.50 / 2) (#187)
    by Eloquence on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:18:41 PM EST

    He says that they gave him a gun directly at the bank when he opened an account. Because Moore's opponents are always willing to assume malice and large-scale fraud with everything Moore does, they do not take into account alternative hypotheses that would explain the discrepancies between the description of the bank's policies as given by Moore and those as given by Jacobson (the person responsible for Moore's CD account). See this comment for further elaboration. In any case, it would be enlightening to send someone to the bank to do essentially what Moore did, but without a film crew and prior announcement.

    Whether they would walk away with a voucher, with empty hands or with a gun is still not explained, nor is the reason the bank actually owns a vault with 500 firearms (where exactly?) if it supposedly sends customers to pick their guns up at a gun shop. Oh, and what's with that 6 weeks vs. 7-10 days contradiction? Why did the bank officials willingly cooperate in producing a scene which allegedly could not happen in reality? There are a lot of open questions here which the critics do not seem to be willing to answer because they know that the answer might not support their point. I would also not entirely rule out the possiblity that the bank officials have not been telling the truth, since they have made clear that they see Moore's film as negative publicity.

    Do you or do you not agree that the critics of Michael Moore have not shown enough interest in getting Moore's side of the story?
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    If you have to rely in disembling and dishonesty (3.66 / 3) (#190)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:39:25 PM EST

    to make Michael Moore look like anything other than a self-aggrandizing liar, and your only evidence is wild conspiracy theory and a tortured chain of events with no factual underpining, I don't think Bowling For Columbine is really documentary.

    The producer for BfC admits he scouted the bank beforehand, the bank admits it, the only one is Moore, who doesn't deny it, he just fails to mention it, and of course, if he's pressed he'll drop a line about how his work is just satire.

    [ Parent ]
    See, that's why I normally don't bother to reply.. (3.66 / 3) (#199)
    by Eloquence on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:06:37 PM EST

    ..to you. You're not interested in having a logical conversation. You're not interested in answering questions. You just want to get in your soundbites like the cool people on TV or talk radio.

    The producer for BfC admits he scouted the bank beforehand, the bank admits it, the only one is Moore, who doesn't deny it, he just fails to mention it,

    Scouted? The producer has said that he announced Moore would come with a camera team to take the bank up on its offer. Moore has said the same. There is nothing unethical about that. Moore has just learned by now that he's not welcome everywhere. Are you even physically able to question any of your conclusions about Moore? I doubt it.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    Pfft. (3.57 / 14) (#122)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:50:39 AM EST

    But perhaps the campaign against Moore is really motivated by another reason. His next project has the working title "Fahrenheit 9/11: The temperature at which freedom burns", and he intends to launch it shortly before the next US presidential election.

    Nothing like a good conspiracy theory. Yeah, actually the Lemurians, working out of Area 51, are trying to supress free thought before installing their next puppet in the White House. All hail, President Al Franken!

    The fact that the guy is a walking reality-distortion field, who doesn't even make a pretense of objectivity and then claims his work is "documentary" isn't enough to dislike him?


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    Looks to be a pile of crap: (none / 0) (#164)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:19:54 PM EST

    "The film, Fahrenheit 9/11, will, Spy learns, look into the allegedly once-close relationship between the Bush and bin Laden families. It will claim that George Bush Snr had a business relationship with Osama bin Laden's father, Saudi construction magnate Mohammed, during the 1980s.
    "The senior Bush kept his ties with the bin Laden family until two months after September 11," claims Moore. "The bin Ladens invested in the Carlyle Group [a defence company in which Bush Snr was involved]. "

    How much do you want to bet this guy won't tell you that the rather large bin Laden family has little to do with terrorism, with the exception of Osama himself (who has been disowned.) Already seems to be a pile of crap even if he doesn't go What Really Happened and blame the attacks on the U.S. Gov't or the Jews.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    A violent reaction from a violent place? (4.18 / 33) (#127)
    by gidds on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:18:43 PM EST

    I note that in all the criticisms on both sides, the childish political name-calling and hand-wringing, almost no-one is arguing against Moore's overall conclusions.

    No-one is claiming that the US is not a violent country, far more so than most others in the first world; no-one is claiming that guns aren't readily available there, nor that that has no effect on the death rate. No-one is saying that the media suffers from a lack of violent images, or that reports of violent events are never sensationalised; no-one thinks that people there are too affectionate towards their children and each other, or that US foreign policy is too placid and pacifist. And I've seen no claims that the NRA is a caring, sensitive organisation, that no banks are handing out guns with accounts opened, that it's impossible to buy ammunition in local shops, that Lockheed Martin doesn't build WMDs, or...

    In short, much as people may like or dislike Moore or his methods, and much as the minutiae of his film may be debated, his overall conclusions seem depressingly sound.

    Instead, the impression I get is of people who dislike these conclusions, but whose only way of arguing against them is sniping at anything they can twist to sound like an inconsistency, and cheap name-calling at Moore and his defenders. This is no way to convince me, or anyone.

    My view, if anyone's interested, is that Moore knows his PR; he's a master of creating eloquent images and situations, of making people look foolish, and of using his faux-naive and friendly manner to get just what he wants. However, I think he uses these tactics (and let's face it, all documentary makers use similar tactics) in order to make valid points.

    I was also very impressed by something that many see as a criticism of the film: that he started off making a 'ban guns' film, and then changed his point. Why is this a problem? If anything, it underscores his honesty: he changed the point of his film to fit the facts, not the other way around! If it had been made by a blinkered activist with an agenda, it would have been more tightly constructed, with every image, every word constructed simply to drive their one point home; instead, what we get is something that rambles, that seems unsure of what point it's making, that's exploring rather than declaiming. It makes suggestions, but leaves the viewer to draw some of their own conclusions, and resists the temptation to find easy answers.

    In fact, the anger directed at this film saddens me just as much as its conclusions do. I don't live in the US, but having watched endless hours of US-produced TV and films, having visited it more than once, having read far more in the news about the US than any USian would probably see about the whole of Europe, and having followed web sites such as this one with its share of USians, I don't think I'm unqualified to have an opinion about the place. The US is a violent place; one that, moreover, rejoices in its violence. The blind anger that a film like this can generate simply shows how ingrained into its culture that violence is.

    Andy/

    Clueless (2.42 / 7) (#133)
    by Skywise on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 12:44:31 PM EST

    The US a violent place?

    Compared to Canada?
    http://canada.com/national/story.asp?id=2E40B516-DA6F-4876-8689-12BF499EEB3D

    Compared to Mexico?
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N11191695.htm

    Compared to the UK?
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/6198718?source=Evening%20Standard

    How about France?
    http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/Swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&sid=4122905
    http://www.womensenews.com/article.cfm/dyn/aid/1385/context/archive

    How about Liberia?  Russia?  China?


    [ Parent ]

    So what? (2.50 / 2) (#140)
    by TurboThy on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:43:45 PM EST

    There is violence in the rest of the world also. But in the US, the violence is more often dealt out with a hand gun. It is hard for the US to get a world record in, say, wife-beating when it is much more popular to just shoot her.
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    And I'm sure (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by CENGEL3 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:34:23 PM EST

    It comes as a great relief to the victems that they were beaten or stabbed to death rather then shot.

    It's not the tool, it's the tool user.

    [ Parent ]

    The tools... (3.66 / 3) (#153)
    by TurboThy on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:26:28 PM EST

    What is easier to kill someone with? A 9mm automatic pistol or your fist?
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Weapons (4.66 / 3) (#179)
    by Bad Harmony on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:01:05 PM EST

    It's easier to kill someone with a knife. You have a better chance of surviving a bullet wound.

    54º40' or Fight!
    [ Parent ]

    Knives (2.33 / 3) (#196)
    by marx on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:54:04 PM EST

    This is why most militaries in the world use knives instead of automatic rifles as their primary weapon.

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    Simplistic (5.00 / 4) (#303)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:32:22 AM EST

    Because automatic rifles are different from HANDGUNS are different from 105mm howitizers are different from knives.

    Try not to be simplistic. If I were going to be simplistic I would point out that modern militaries issue combat knives to far more of thier troops then handguns. However, that's irrelevent.

    The reality is that in criminal activity knives tend to be far more deadly then handguns. I'm basing that on anecdotal evidence but it comes from one of my best friends who is an NYPD police sergent with many years of practical experience in the matter... so I feel fairly confident in that statement.

    Make no mistake, handguns are deadly weapons but so are common steak knives and lead pipes. The injurries delivered by most of the handguns commonly used in crime are no more life threatening then a knife wound and they are far less likely to actualy strike a target (from a distance of 10ft or less criminals hit on less the 5% of the shots they fire, trained NYPD officers hit on less then 15%).

    Rifles and shotguns are orders of magnitude more deadly....however it's difficult to carry them concealed which is the only reason handguns are really a concern to law enforcement.

    The fact of the matter is almost any tool (including bare hands) can be used to do violence. People don't do violence just because they have guns....they do violence because they WANT to do violence. Take away the guns and they'll just substitute other tools. Gun Control is a placebo, it doesn't do anything to address the actual problem. The problem is the lack of respect for human life on the part of the people doing the violence.... unless that is addressed the problem will never go away.

    [ Parent ]

    Yikes! (none / 0) (#375)
    by TurboThy on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:48:28 PM EST

    ...trained NYPD officers hit on less then 15%
    Is that supposed to make me feel good about a country fully equipped with hand guns?
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Guns (3.00 / 1) (#429)
    by marx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:43:53 PM EST

    You are trying to convince us that the Columbine incident would have been more deadly if the attackers had had knives instead of guns. All I can say is good luck.

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    No (none / 0) (#479)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:06:45 PM EST

    But I could try to convince you that the  Columbine incident would have been more deadly if the attackers had set off the bombs they brought with them (made from ingrediants bought at the local grocery store) rather then shooting up the place. Or you could just read the police report that said the same thing.

    The bottom line is that the technology to cause alot of casualties is readly available whether guns exist or not. It's well within the means of most people to obtain even if ALL guns were strictly outlawed.

    You simply CAN'T stop people from obtaining that technology. People are too inventive and the technology is too basic. The only thing that you can do with any degree of effectiveness is attempt to address the reason WHY people choose to do violence.

    I agree, nuclear bombs and 105mm howitzers and stinger missles shouldn't be sold over the counter at the local K-mart. But beyond that trying to outlaw weapons (handguns, shotguns, rifles) really isn't going to make you any safer. You might FEEL safer but you AREN'T. It's just too easy to improvise a weapon that will work just as effectively in most (non-millitary)situations.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm curious (none / 0) (#489)
    by TurboThy on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 07:37:42 PM EST

    nuclear bombs and 105mm howitzers and stinger missles shouldn't be sold over the counter at the local K-mart.
    Why not? Does the US constitution state anything about the kind of weapons that citizens have the right to bear? If you allow handguns because of the constitution, it would be hypocritical to deny the populace access to other forms of weaponry.
    __
    'Someone will sig this comment. They will. I know it.' [Egil Skallagrimson]
    [ Parent ]
    Why not? (none / 0) (#499)
    by marx on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 10:58:38 PM EST

    I agree, nuclear bombs and 105mm howitzers and stinger missles shouldn't be sold over the counter at the local K-mart.
    Doesn't the exact same argument apply to those? I.e.:
    If you look at how most violent crimes go down, a knife is more effective then a handgun.
    If you look at how most violent crimes go down, a knife is more effective than a 105mm howitzer.

    Just as a nuclear missile is a "weapon of mass destruction" compared to a conventional bomb, a gun is a "weapon of mass destruction" compared to a knife. It doesn't matter if knife crimes are more common, or whatever, guns are still much more dangerous and lethal in the hands of a determined person compared to a knife.

    It's just too easy to improvise a weapon that will work just as effectively in most (non-millitary)situations.
    You mean like using an airliner as a missile? This is actually quite telling. After the WTC attack, the rules governing what you could bring on to an aircraft were made significantly stricter. According to your argument, they should not have done anything about aircraft security, because the problem doesn't have anything to do with technology, but with the reason why people do these things.

    Yet the solution was clearly a "gun control" style solution. Stricter security laws, stricter immigration laws, etc. It's only in the case of guns that these solutions are taboo.

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    Also (none / 0) (#482)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:13:24 PM EST

    The Columbine incident was VERY atypical in terms of violent crimes.

    Your chances of being attacked by a shark are alot better then of being involved in a Columbine type incident.

    If you look at how most violent crimes go down, a knife is more effective then a handgun.

    Choose not to believe me if it doesn't suit your worldview, but it happens to be the truth.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: (4.55 / 9) (#144)
    by djotto on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:54:49 PM EST

    "The plural of anecdote is not proof".

    The US a violent place?

    6.8 murders per 100,000 (1997)

    Compared to Canada?

    1.8 murders per 100,000 (2001)

    Compared to Mexico?

    17.2 per 100,000 (1996)

    Compared to the UK?

    0.9 per 100,000 (1996)

    Compared to France?

    1.1 per 100,000 (1996)

    How about Liberia? Russia? China?

    No data, 29.8 per 100,000 (2001) and 1.4 per 100,000 (1996)

    (the 1996 data is from this source). Better than Mexico and Russia. Well done, that's something for a first-world nation to be proud of.

    You're about to say that murder isn't the same as violent crime as a whole, aren't you? (I've played this game before). I suggest you look up the US's prison population as a percentage of it's total population.



    [ Parent ]
    Anecotal evidence? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Skywise on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:41:58 PM EST

    Ahh.. you mean like Michael Moore's "documentary"?

    You want facts and figures?

    Here ya go:

    population by country:
    http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2002/wpp2002wc.htm

    incidents of crime per 100,000 population:
    (the 2002 figures from the UN for the years 1980-1997)
    http://www.uncjin.org/Statistics/WCTS/trc000927.pdf

    US population = 300,000 million  crime  = 5,373
    percentage of crime/population = 5.3%

    Canada population = 31,510 million crime = 9,479
    percentage of crime/population = 10%

    France population = 60,000 million crime = 6,795
    percentage of crime/population = 6.7%

    Japan population = 127,000 million crime = 1,491
    percentage of crime/population = 1.4%

    India population = 1,000,000 million crime = 603
    percentage of crime/population = .06%

    Germany population = 82,400 million crime = 8,168
    percentage of crime/population = 8.1%

    The percentage of the large US population in prison has nothing to do with violence and has everything to do with drug laws, minimum sentencing rules and 3 strikes laws (On your third felony you go to jail for a long time, no waiting, no parole, and that can be for something menial like stealing a hot dog)

    You're about to say that all crime isn't violent, aren't you? (I've played this game before, too)

    [ Parent ]

    Re (4.33 / 3) (#191)
    by djotto on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:41:27 PM EST

    I haven't seen the documentary, and I really don't want to. Violence in America isn't my problem, and I'm not trying to win an argument here.

    I just threw a bunch of (fairly compelling, I thought) numbers your way - I chased down stats for murder because the definition of "violent crime" varies from place to place, as do reporting rates. (A federal survey in 2000 showed that only half of violent crimes were reported in the US - I wonder how much the reporting rate varies on your generic crime stats above).

    If you want to say the numbers are invalid, or argue them away, you're perfectly free to do so. But in your position I would stop worrying about winning the argument at all costs, and spend a few minutes just considering the picture of my fellow countrymen those murder rates paint, compared with other first-worlders.


    [ Parent ]

    You still didn't concede the fact that (5.00 / 2) (#253)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:05:16 AM EST

    a large percentage of US prison population can be attributed to the drug laws. Something like 31% of all state prisons and 61% of all federal prisons in America hold drug offenders. Read New York state's "solution".

    So it's a little more than disingenious to point to America's prison population and say that's an indicator of a violent society. Fact is: a lot of the people in prisons and jails are non-violent drug offenders.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    I left it alone (5.00 / 1) (#274)
    by djotto on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:15:34 AM EST

    because I didn't want to get into the discussion too deeply. But as you want me to answer that point specifically...

    Try thinking about it from the outside. See how these things fit an overall pattern.

    We have a society that keeps a high percentage of its population behind bars, that sees punishment as more important than rehabilitation, where prison rape and violence are (apparently) common, and it's seen by society at large as perfectly ok to lock people up for life for relatively minor offences (California's three strikes rule) despite the Constitution. It's also one of relatively few first-world countries that still uses the death penalty.

    So it's a little more than disingenious to point to America's prison population and say that's an indicator of a violent society. Fact is: a lot of the people in prisons and jails are non-violent drug offenders

    The offenders may not be violent, but the society that thinks throwing them in jail is acceptable is. The US prison system is just more proof that there's something violent in the American soul.

    Note: I don't want to be judgmental here - that streak may be a valuable survival trait; it may be what makes America vigorous and expansionist. I'm curious as to what it is, but I don't have an answer.



    [ Parent ]
    Proof Of Violence? (1.00 / 4) (#355)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:56:37 PM EST

    The fact that America exists is proof of violence in her soul.

    [ Parent ]
    CroMagnon (2.33 / 3) (#384)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:16:30 PM EST

    You rate me at 1 as though Americas existance is not a result of one of the only sucessfully perpetrated genocides in history.

    [ Parent ]
    nice comment (2.60 / 5) (#404)
    by Mike Green Challenge on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:11:28 PM EST

    Excellent comment sir. I commend you for your accuracy and biting wit. Cheers!

    --
    Aspies for Ron Paul
    [ Parent ]
    For that matter... (5.00 / 3) (#400)
    by cr8dle2grave on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:50:20 PM EST

    ...the fact that we human beings exist as a species is proof of the violence in our souls. Any American proclivity to violence--historical or otherwise--is hardly unique or even exceptional.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    you're right, but maybe you missed the point (3.75 / 4) (#180)
    by qortra on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 08:13:31 PM EST

    First of all, the film seems to have taken many hits from various people who are, as you point out, blinded by their anger. Please don't ignore genuinely good criticisms because of this fact.

    You are absolutely right that Moore's conclusions aren't being debated here (or really anywhere). However, there is a reason for that; Hardy's analysis of the film (to which this article is a response) only claims that Bowling is not a documentary, a conclusion that I'm forced to agree with despite the defense of Mr Moller. Moore could be absolutely right in every conclusion that he draws, but it simply doesn't matter; when I watch a documentary, I want to have the facts portrayed accurately and without bias (whether intentional or not) so that I can draw my on conclusions.

    Also, I don't believe that the anger that this film has generated is neccessarily a symptom of American violence. Nor do I think it is blind in all cases (though I think it probably is in many of the cases). I believe that it is in part a reaction to the slander individuals who, though they may have faults, are not guilty of the things that Moore implies they are (first of foremost of these people, Heston).

    Regardless of whether Moore is right, his film leads its viewers to believe falsehoods. Whether this is intentional or not is inconsequential in my opinion; it is enough to say that it isn't truly a documentary, and it didn't deserve that particular Academy award.

    My Band - Simeon
    [ Parent ]
    The truth and all that (3.33 / 3) (#219)
    by The OPTiCIAN on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:47:04 AM EST

    "I note that in all the criticisms on both sides, the childish political name-calling and hand-wringing, almost no-one is arguing against Moore's overall conclusions. "

    I feel this way about Iraq. Regardless of the stories about WMD, etc, Bush got the job done - he got rid of Saddam and the Iraqi people and the world are better as a result. I don't see anyone arguing about that and am sure you will agree!

    More seriously, how can we be an intelligent society if we allow ourselves to gloss over the truth?


    [ Parent ]

    I am forced to agree. (5.00 / 2) (#231)
    by handslikesnakes on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:45:21 AM EST

    I opposed the war in Iraq, I oppose the occupation.
    The reasons for going to war and the method in which the war was conducted were terrible.
    But, in the end, the world is short one dictator.

    I only wish it could have been done in a more sensible manner.



    [ Parent ]
    a defensible point of view, but (none / 0) (#294)
    by pde on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:02:29 AM EST

    Regardless of the stories about WMD, etc, Bush got the job done - he got rid of Saddam and the Iraqi people and the world are better as a result.

    You might be right. Saddam was certainly evil. But Bush & co. killed over 6,000 civilians, and probably maimed as many again. Lord knows how many press-ganged Iraqi soldiers will never come home to their families. And that was just the war. We still have no guarantees that Iraq won't end up a fundamentalist islamic dictatorship.

    (disclaimer: these numbers are tiny compared to the havoc caused by sanctions, which co-incided with the death of half a million Iraqii children from mal-nutrition and preventable disease between 1990 and 1995)

    But, you might be right. The invasion may, on balance, have made the world a better place. I can't help wondering, though: if Bush's aim was humanitarian, surely he should have considered invading Burma, where there is at least an obvious alternative, democratically supported government to install?

    Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
    [ Parent ]

    Wow, this post merits a zero. (5.00 / 3) (#349)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:31:55 PM EST

    Not that I'm going to hand one out due to the ratings policy. However, it's so completely wrong it shouldn't even be posted to said article.

    I note that in all the criticisms on both sides, the childish political name-calling and hand-wringing, almost no-one is arguing against Moore's overall conclusions.

    That's because it's not the issue at hand.

    Eloquence wrote a letter taking issue with accusations against Mr. Moore regarding some questionable practices making his film. The issue was whether he deserved the Oscar. Most people were capable of grasping that and staying on topic.

    No-one is claiming that the US is not a violent country, far more so than most others in the first world;

    All the following statistics come from here. Also note rape is counted as a "sex offense" in countries other than the US.

    Really? That's very interesting. Too bad that statement is completely divorced from the truth.

    Canada has 2x as many rape cases per capita, and twice the per capita crime of the US (2001)

    France has 2x the rape, and 150% of the per capita crime (2001)

    Germany has 2x the rape, and 200% of the per capita crime. (2001)

    Even the murder rate in the US isn't that much higher than that in Canada or Italy, only 1 more person per 100,000 people.

    Lockheed Martin doesn't build WMDs

    Lockheed Martin doesn't manufacture nuclear warheads, or chemical or biological warheads.

    he changed the point of his film to fit the facts, not the other way around!

    Obviously you didn't read the accusations. He uses clipped footage to "Dowderize" quotes from the NRA, misreprenting what happened. He accused a Lockheed Martin plant of contributing to the atmosphere of violence when it manufactures weather satelites instead of the missiles he claims. At multiple points, he intentionally fabricates evidence for the precise purpose of making the "facts" match his conclusion. The fact his little "documentary" is pointless and rambling is no defense.

    having read far more in the news about the US than any USian would probably see about the whole of Europe,

    We're Americans.

    The blind anger that a film like this can generate simply shows how ingrained into its culture that violence is.

    Obviously, if you oppose passing off blatant falsehoods as "documentary" you're part of the problem. I'm sure lying about the issues at hand doesn't make things worse in the least.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    Interpol data (none / 0) (#460)
    by Eloquence on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:16:18 AM EST

    This has come up before and it appears that the Interpol data on homicides is simply incorrect. See here for a response to that data in a different context.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]
    Argument by anecdote (none / 0) (#483)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:14:04 PM EST

    So there was an isolated case of misreporting a number, probably caused by reading the wrong column on a statistic report. It caused the reporting of a number so high that it immediately caught the eye of the observant.

    Surely that doesn't invalidate all Interpol numbers recorded for the precise purpose of comparing crime over the course of many years.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    Upon further investigation (none / 0) (#487)
    by Eloquence on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 06:13:42 PM EST

    The Interpol data seems to be correct, but it mixes countries which collect data on the number of attempted homicides and those which do not. For example, the data for Germany (2000) reports a rate of 3.37, bringing it very close to the 5.54 reported for the United States. But the German data states that 65.30% of these cases were attempts (i.e. unsuccessful). If we take these out of the data, we arrive at 1.17, which is incidentally the same number the guncite table, which I have linked to in my article, reports for the year 1994. A look at the official German police crime statistics confirms that number: the rate of completed homicides is, rounded, listed as 1.2.

    Now do the United States statistics contain attempted homicides? No, they don't. Unfortunately, the Interpol PDF on the US is not very clear on that point -- the space for the attempt rate is simply left blank. The rate listed for 2000 is 5.54. Now where does this number come from? The guncite homicite rate for 1999 is 5.70. It lists as a source the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Alas, I was unable to find the actual rates in their PDF files. But then I found this site from the Bureau of Justice which provides homicide statistics since 1976. This PDF is what we need. On page 10 we find a table "Homicide victimization, 1950-2000". And lo and behold, the victimization rate for 2000 is 5.5. On the methodology page, we find the following definition: "Homicide as defined here includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter which is the willful killing of one human being by another. Excluded are deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder."

    As such, you can only compare the US data to the data for other countries excluding attempts. This is exactly the data presented on the guncite site, and shows that total homicide rates are considerably higher in the United States than in all other first world nations.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    Inaccuracies (none / 0) (#488)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 07:27:00 PM EST

    There are a couple of problems regarding different reporting methods. You'll notice the reporting of rape is also inconsistant. However, your assertion:

    ...shows that total homicide rates are considerably higher in the United States than in all other first world nations.

    ...is incorrect even by the figures you cite. Both North Ireland and Taiwan are first world nations, yet boast higher murder rates than the US. Additionally, all the documents listed at the bottom of the page support the fact that America is not any more crime-ridden or violent than Europe.

    A nice technical argument, but your central point still seems wildly incorrect.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    Yeah, right (1.50 / 2) (#494)
    by Eloquence on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:48:20 PM EST

    Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and thus not an independent nation. The reasons for its high homicide rate should be obvious. The status of Taiwan as a first world nation is debatable, "first world" historically referring to nations within a western sphere of influence and culture. As for rape, here's a comparison graph I did a while ago, showing rape rates from 1975-1995 in various countries including the US.

    Additionally, all the documents listed at the bottom of the page support the fact that America is not any more crime-ridden or violent than Europe.

    Huh? Please cite specific documents.

    A nice technical argument, but your central point still seems wildly incorrect.

    I'm afraid your use of emotional language does not change the facts. I find it quite amusing when Americans say "But, but .. we're not a violent nation! Look, Africa and Eastern Europe have much higher murder rates!" The United States are the country with the biggest GDP, the most powerful military and the most advanced technology in the world -- yet they have more violence than most other economically and politically highly developed countries. There are, of course, many causes for this -- but denial will not change the facts. Besides economic and political development, there's a third factor: cultural development. And culturally, the United States are still a threshold nation.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    And there's the truth... (none / 0) (#505)
    by Skywise on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 01:57:27 AM EST

    "...there's a third factor: cultural development. And culturally, the United States are still a threshold nation."

    So what it REALLY all boils down to is... The Europeans are still looking down your noses at us Yanks, eh?


    [ Parent ]

    Since you can't be bothered to read it... (none / 0) (#514)
    by RyoCokey on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 10:31:41 AM EST

    The links would be Here.

    Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and thus not an independent nation. The reasons for its high homicide rate should be obvious.

    This is an odd argument. Scotland doesn't have significantly higher murder rates. Neither does Israel!

    The status of Taiwan as a first world nation is debatable, "first world" historically referring to nations within a western sphere of influence and culture.

    Taiwan easily meets all the qualifications of being a First World nation, including "being aligned with US/Europe. Japan is listed in any quick run-down of First World countries, so obviously a European population base isn't a requirement. You're simply trying to discard valid points to prove the supposed exceptionalism of the US.

    Finally, I find your closing point to be enlightening only in that it provides your motivation for distorting the facts.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    I did read it. Did you? (2.50 / 2) (#519)
    by Eloquence on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 03:35:59 PM EST

    I have never argued that the US are the "most violent nation". The US are among the most violent nations on Earth, they are also the one with the most people in prison. But they are certainly not the most violent. Their level of violence simply does not reflect their level of economic and political development.

    In fact, the author himself compares the US to "Colombia with its drug wars, and Eastern Europe with its ethnic strife" -- not a very charming comparison, given that these nations are neither economically nor politically comparable to the US. However, within the sphere of politically and economically advanced nations, the United States are the most violent.

    This is an odd argument. Scotland doesn't have significantly higher murder rates. Neither does Israel!

    Scotland is not comparable to Northern Ireland in terms of terrorism and deeply held hatred between different factions. Neither Scotland nor Northern Ireland are independent nations. Also, read the paper:

    Looking at the homicide figures, we again wonder about accuracy. Are "political" killings (by the government or rebels) in Northern Ireland, Egypt, Israel, Guatemala, Peru, China, and elsewhere listed as homicides, listed separately, or concealed?

    Taiwan easily meets all the qualifications of being a First World nation

    Funny, because your own link says:

    "The Asian tigers - South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, except for their big cities, their maquiladora-type production facilities, a small middle class and a much smaller ruling elite should probably be considered Third World countries as well, since their populations are overwhelmingly rural, agrarian and poor."

    Furthermore, a page on the website of the Ministry of the Interior once again shows the statistics to be inaccurate:

    2. Murder

    Various countries have different definitions for murder and different degrees of attempted murder. Thus, in terms of completed murder, Russia Federation had the highest crime rate of murder (completed crime) among the 17 countries in 1998, which was 18.07 for per 100,000 persons. U.S. had the second highest crime rate of murder, which was 6.32 for per 100,000 persons. Malaysia had the third highest crime rate of murder, which was 2.73 for per 100,000 persons. The crime rate of murder in Taiwan (completed crime) was 1.17 for per 100,000 persons, which was the fifth lowest rate. The rate was lower than Russia Federation, U.S., Malaysia, Argentina, Canada, France, Italy, England & Wales, and Germany. The rate was higher than Spain (1.08 for per 100,000 persons) and Japan (0.58 for per 100,000 persons).

    Just like Interpol, the guncite folks seem to have mixed completed and completed/attempted data for different countries.

    Finally, I find your closing point to be enlightening only in that it provides your motivation for distorting the facts.

    I have not distorted any facts. On the contrary, you have started this thread with incorrect statistics, and have made no effort whatsoever to verify the data you have used to make your point. Your comparison has been shown to be grossly incorrect. As long as people like yourself are in denial about the problems of their own country, these problems are unlikely to be fixed.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    These sources get odder and odder (5.00 / 1) (#533)
    by RyoCokey on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 06:56:34 PM EST

    "The Asian tigers - South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, except for their big cities, their maquiladora-type production facilities, a small middle class and a much smaller ruling elite should probably be considered Third World countries as well, since their populations are overwhelmingly rural, agrarian and poor."

    This is defacto false. Only 2% of the GDP of Taiwan is even envolved in agriculture, and less than a 1/4th of the island even ariable. Of that, only 1% is under permenant agriculture. I must not have seen that part when I was reading throug.

    Furthermore, a page on the website of the Ministry of the Interior once again shows the statistics to be inaccurate:

    The page cites no source for the statistics. They disagree on almost every count with available statistics. In addition, the size of the comparison keeps changing! 18, 17, 20 countries, which are never fully listed. The information contained therein is of little value.

    Just like Interpol, the guncite folks seem to have mixed completed and completed/attempted data for different countries.

    I have not distorted any facts. On the contrary, you have started this thread with incorrect statistics, and have made no effort whatsoever to verify the data you have used to make your point.

    You're the one who cites the guncite site. In response to the internationally recognized statistics of the agency devoted to compiling such statistics you cite more and more uncredited information.

    Not only that, you haven't addressed the fact that violent crime of other types and crime in general are more prevalent in European countries.

    Perhaps I might venture that the statistics show that Europe lags behind the US in its culture of respect for the private property of others and not clubbing them in the streets.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    too bad! (1.71 / 7) (#135)
    by hemna on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 01:56:08 PM EST

    When you are Mr. Moore sticking your neck out constantly every time you have a mic in your face, with the words he says, you have to expect some backlash. Deal with it.

    Mr Moore is a troll... (3.54 / 11) (#136)
    by faustus on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:14:45 PM EST

    ...and so is Ann Coulter and Christopher Hitchens. Everything coming out of their mouths is designed to ensure that they get another chance on TV or another piece of paper to write on. This is achieved by addopting positions which are inflammatory and annoying, designed to spark vicous counter-attacks and ad-hominem rebutals. Talking head shows are governed by the same axioms as the WWF; the viewer wants to see blood in every medium. Moore's movie would not of been made if it was "fair and objective" as the clamouring libertarian masses are demanding of it, so quit complaining! Enjoy it as the troll that it is and you will be happier for it.

    As far as documentaries go.. (4.50 / 14) (#139)
    by illustir on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:39:04 PM EST

    I'm used to watch documentaries made in the Netherlands by Dutch moviemakers. In that tradition our documentary makers usually stay behind their camera's trying not interfere with the image viewers are getting.
    And also when they ask questions they pose them neutrally only to nudge the questionee to reveal some more than he would usually have.
    Imagine my shock when I saw this so called documentary.

    Now I do imagine that in a country where the debate is so polarized this style might be necessary but to me (an outsider) it gave the impression of a propagandist movie like the ones made by ideologically bankrupt political movies.

    For a propaganda movie BfC posed too many questions without any direction and left the main question mostly unanswered. This kind of stumped me. All it left me was to agree: "Yes Michael, you're quite right. It must be one hell of a fucked-up country you are living in."

    As much as I would like to hate Moore I can't. As a liberal democratic European I'm forced to give him my sympathy because in the USA most all the alternatives are worse than him.
    Damn the man for leaving me with these mixed feelings.



    Troll identified (3.00 / 8) (#143)
    by BinaryTree on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:47:53 PM EST

    After careful analysis, it appears that you are 43.7% ideologue, 39.8% ferrous cranus, and 16.5% stone deaf.

    The Canadian Slum (4.14 / 7) (#147)
    by odds on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 02:56:52 PM EST

    I just have a tangential comment. In the movie, Moore shows what he calls a Canadian "slum" - pristine, tidy and nice. Is it really a slum? I can show you much more delapidated neighbourhoods in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. But it depends on your definition of slum - the place he shows is part of the St Lawrence housing development, a co-operative located on the Esplanade in downtown Toronto; my ex-girlfriend lived there. It's not a slum, but some residents of the complex are quite low-income. The development as a whole is mixed-income, with higher income residents subsidizing lower income housing (as far as I understand it). So by appearance standards, it's not a slum, but by income level it could qualify. In fact, it was built as a reaction to the terrible 1960s projects, which were as devastating in Toronto as in American cities.

    Initially, when I saw Moore's film, I thought he was being very deceptive by portraying this place as a slum. In retrospect, I think he makes a valid point - he challenges our definition of the word "slum," forcing us to consider the idea that low income people don't have to live in an ugly neighbourhood.

    - David

    No (3.66 / 3) (#162)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:12:36 PM EST

    When you have to write a paragraph of explanation redefining and narrowing down the meaning of a word and view it through rose coloured glasses of a "valid point," it's deception.

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    In other words, (2.00 / 1) (#401)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:52:52 PM EST

    if someone else's definition of the word slum doesn't match TheOnlyCoolTim's definition exactly, it's deception.

    [ Parent ]
    If you like to play with definitions... (none / 0) (#477)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:37:16 PM EST

    Is Merriam-Webster's good enough for you?

    "a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, dirty run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization"

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    Halfwits and leftie pundits... (2.13 / 15) (#150)
    by theunum on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 03:26:39 PM EST

    Michael Moore has a history of deception that begins with the persona that he presents. He wants you to believe that he is an everyman blue collar Joe from the Cheese belt. Truth is, he is a catholic priesthood washout who figured out he could make a shitload of money making movies based on manipulated half-truths and lies, who lives quite nicely sending his kiddies off to private school and the works.

    His persona is a lie, he is a typical leftwing pontificating hypocrite who will manipulate facts at the drop of a hat so he isn't wrong.

    Anyone defending his farce is a moron.
    People suck, the sooner you realize that the happier you are. Cynicism is good for you.

    I don't get it. (2.15 / 13) (#152)
    by Mr Hogan on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:07:16 PM EST

    I'm a working man don't hardly have time to read your hysterical missive - it is much too long the logic too discursive and I have far too many much better things to occupy my time for example the three episodes of Law and Order today - and tomorrow and the day after that - I have to record on the VCR and John Walsh is on Larry King today to talk about the children of crack whores - their bodies riddled with bullet holes - promote his show - which show I remind you unlike Moore's documentary is the non-melodramatic unscripted truth just like CNN CBS and the NY TIMES - segue into a series of moral decrees uttered dispassionately - it is the reason talking - Jesus the man is indefatigable - a saint practically - lesser men would have died from the outrage - and finally take your calls on the Laci Patterson case - which because it is an alarming trend was the subject of Larry King yesterday and will be the subject again tomorrow unless something urgent comes up - say a spoiled-rich hoops nigger rapes yet another little girl 16 going on 21 or a Hollywood starlet wants to renounce her life as a teenage porno nymph - Jesus all this - and lots more - one hour before CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Without a Trace and etc - well it's obvious to me at least as I sit here on the couch eating "diet" cheese gaining weight supporting the troops watching American Justice and the Cold Case Files on the Arts & Entertainment network polishing my freedom gun plotting for my deliverance from crazed drug peddlers and pedophiles and Islamists - Jesus a body isn't safe anymore in a country with more policemen and prisoners than any other - EVER - it's a jungle out there something a salon.com liberal wishes he were a lesbian don't understand - because he's a furriner can't tune into the American TV grid - you have some nerve lecturing us about guns and violence - our heritage is Heston - he played Moses - yours is Hitler. Ever think of that?

    --
    Life is food and rape, then tilt.

    Soooo? (none / 0) (#158)
    by muyuubyou on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:52:50 PM EST

    I did read it (kudos for me ;) ). Anyway, this thread is long enough so if you are just going to post "I don't want to read it?" , why posting at all?

    I thought Kuro5hin was a place to stop and meditate. I see posts here are longer compared to other popular forums, so I guess this is the place for a post like that.

    And I haven't even seen the documentary! ;) I guess I'll have to rent it sometime soon.


    ----------
    It is when I struggle to be brief that I become obscure - Horace, Epistles
    [ Parent ]
    Well done (2.75 / 8) (#157)
    by Pholostan on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 05:45:21 PM EST

    A well written and well thought out article. Finally somebody who applies his brain and tries to make something clear out of all the inflamatory remarks about the documentary.

    I don't agree fully with Mr Moore. About some things I really do think that we are at odds. But I have seen his documentary and it is really good.

    All you people who dismiss BfC as "propaganda" really need to think a bit about what propaganda really is. This is not a "left-right" issue.
    - And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside

    but was it a documentary? (2.57 / 7) (#166)
    by knightbg on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:30:07 PM EST

    Too start with: i tend to (though not always) agree with moore's views, though this really has no bearing on what I will say.  I like this movie, and I thought it deserved the oscar.  i will now tell you why.

    I have never heard Moore refer to this movie as a documentary.  I will not go so far as to say he never has, but I consistently hear him say "non-fiction film."  I believe that this is because Moore's film (clearly) does more than document facts.  Other posters have commented that documentarians aren't supposed to intercede, or edit to show a particular point of view.  The fact is, however, that there are no such "rules" about what you can and can't do in film.  Though I'm not positive about it, and in fact would bet against it, as far as I can tell Moore has done something new here: by using documentary techniques and mixing them with a variety of other genres (children's cartoons, music videos, etc.), he has made an editorial film.

    Where other documentarians strive to remain neutral, Moore is deliberately trying to push his own views.  There is nothing wrong with this, though it is jarring at first because we are accustomed to films like this being unbiased.  Moore has done something extraordinary within his medium, and that is why he deserved his Academy Award.

    He deserved 'Best Documentary' because it wasn't? (5.00 / 4) (#198)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:58:09 PM EST

    Your point seems to be that Moore somehow transcended his genre by, basically, flouting all of its essential rules(for example, telling the truth). So he deserved the Academy Award for Best Documentary, because his movie isn't one?

    [ Parent ]
    Who has time to read this crap? (4.09 / 11) (#168)
    by BuddasEvilTwin on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:36:27 PM EST

      First of all, I consider myself very socially liberal as somewhat of a libertarian.  

      I saw BFC and enjoyed the movie, but after reading portions of Mr. Hardy's criticism and your rebuttles it seems pretty obvious that Michael Moore was cleverly deceptive.

      He may not have "technically" lied, but certainly used every editing technique in the book to make the audience assume more than what really happened.

      I assumed that the NRA either intentionally held a rally or refused to reschedule a rally when I saw the movie.  Everybody I talked to assumed the same.  

      I would have never known the NRA DID cancel the rallies and events but were legally obligated to hold the meeting for its members.

      Secondly, his slum in Canada is anything but one.  If he'd even bother taking his camera down Toronto's famous Yong St. you'd have a hard time not finding a homeless man.  Go a little west and you'll find some bad neighborhoods.

      I love Canada, but it's not the utopia that Moore makes it out to be nor is it the socialist nightmare the right wingers love to present.

      Why are you wasting your time defending Michael Moore?  Your article on Perpetual Conciousness was very intriguing even if you didn't do a great job following through with the idea.


    Agree and Disagree (4.00 / 8) (#170)
    by fuzzcat on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 06:46:41 PM EST

    7) Buell shooting in Flint. You write: "Fact: The little boy was the class thug, already suspended from school for stabbing another kid with a pencil, and had fought with Kayla the day before". This characterization of a six-year-old as a pencil-stabbing thug is exactly the kind of hysteria that Moore's film warns against. It is the typical right-wing reaction which looks for simple answers that do not contradict the Republican mindset. The kid was a little bastard, and the parents were involved in drugs -- case closed.

    I agree with you here. I think that the criticism can be made with respect to both the extreme right and the extreme left however. In order to completely embrace one world view with as few reservations as we see at the ideological extremes, you have to simplify a complex system, ignoring those parts that conflict with said world view.

    And this, I think, is the weak point of your article. In your eagerness to defend Moore, you're willing to put aside virtually anything that might be a valid criticism of his work. You have the framework for a very decent article here, and I suspect that you just let your emotions run a little wild, leading to statements like:

    Americans cheer the killing of children...
    Rein in those horses next time, cowboy.

    Agreed (1.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Mike Green Challenge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:36:06 PM EST

    I agree with your views regarding Moore's documentary for the most part, however he truly is misinformed on the topic of Gun Control.

    My client Michael Green is living in the wilderness without a weapon to protect himself against the suburban grizzly bears so common in the Newtown Square, PA area.

    If liberal pansies such as Moore had their way with the world this young man would not even be allowed to carry a hatchet to protect himself. Obviously this type of slippery slope can not be followed!

    Imagine a world where grizzly bears could take over due to a young child spending 4 nights in the wilderness on a "Challenge". This is truly a horrifying prospect that we all must be aware of.

    Remember, a cry for gun control is a cry for an imminent takeover of the Land Of The Free by grizzly bears.

    --
    Aspies for Ron Paul
    [ Parent ]

    I agree (4.00 / 1) (#186)
    by chotusbagoda on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:03:44 PM EST

    I wholeheartedly agree. Cheering at dead children is perfectly acceptable. Especially arab children.
    Do not attribute to malice that which can equally be attributed to sarcasm.
    [ Parent ]
    Round 1: FIGHT (2.33 / 3) (#176)
    by Mike Green Challenge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:40:05 PM EST

    I'd love to see Michael Moore fighting Michael Green. However the outcome would be obvious no doubt. :)

    --
    Aspies for Ron Paul
    A very tangental note (2.00 / 4) (#178)
    by wji on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 07:58:05 PM EST

    Regarding the Hussein kid, 14, who got killed in the raid: why is everyone assuming that because the US troops said that he was armed and shooting, he was? What are we, the American media?

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    Assumptions (none / 0) (#185)
    by Skywise on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:02:13 PM EST

    Gee, I dunno why would they lie about shooting the kid at the end of the battle?

    If they were making up stories, why not lie about him being shot by his uncle, or killed in battle?

    Why not just say they blew up the whole building then found him and his relatives?

    No no... The American propoganda machine is soo smart that they intentionally said the kid was shot by US soldiers AFTER the battle was over to give the anti-war crowd something to grouse about rather than Bush' next election.

    [ Parent ]

    Misunderstood (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by marx on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:23:42 PM EST

    He meant whether the kid was armed and shooting, not whether the kid was shot by the US.

    I don't really see what difference it makes though. Regardless of whether he was armed and shooting back or not, the US can just claim he was "collateral damage", and the US public accepts it.

    How is he different from any of the other thousands of Iraqi civilians murdered by the USUK military?

    Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
    [ Parent ]

    Huh? (none / 0) (#529)
    by wji on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 11:29:50 AM EST

    Umm, they *did* say he was killed in battle. I read in several places that he shot at US troops with an AK after the other guys had all been killed, and was cut down by return fire.

    Ah, here we go. Virtually every story online uses the same language ("...14-year-old Mustafa Hussein, Qusay's son, also believed to have been killed in a fierce gunbattle with US troops..."), but this story, sourced mainly from the commander of US forces in Iraq, says

    At 1:21 p.m., the soldiers walked through the door for the third time. Moving cautiously up the stairs, they took no fire -- until they reached the top. Mustafa then fired his AK-47, Sanchez said. It was his final act.
    As does this Guardian story using much the same sources.

    What really happened? Nobody knows, of course, least of all anybody sitting in North America posting to weblogs, but for arguments sake let's imagine that a soldier in the middle of a combat operation, quite reasonably fearing for his life as he stormed a fortified building full of people with nothing to lose, happened to open fire without making absolutely sure that he was reaching for a weapon, not reaching for the sky to surrender. (Gosh, imagine!)

    What an *impossible* story -- unless of course we found out the kid was unarmed, in which case it would be self-evidently what happened, since American troops never ever committ atrocities... any other troops sure, but not our Holy Warriors.

    Do you honestly think that the Pentagon propagandists would go through an extensive investigation to make *absolutely sure* the kid really had been shooting before they offered that explanation? If you do, your faith in Big Brother is touching. Not to mention insane.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    [ Parent ]

    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by gibichung on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:49:12 PM EST

    Because it's a believable story and one that would be trivial to prove (or disprove) during the autopsy. He was probably literally covered in soot from the dirty powder that the Iraqis use in their ammo.

    Whatever happened to Occam's razor? Or do we just forget about that one when the government or military is involved?

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]

    No. (none / 0) (#530)
    by wji on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 11:39:01 AM EST

    We only forget about logic and reason when it's *our* government or military involved.

    Gibichung, it's Occam's razor not Occam's chainsaw. You can't act as if one version of events has been conclusively established because it's easier and simpler to believe. I made, and still make, no claim of a better explanation for the guy's death -- I just point out that nobody knows, and that it's quite irresponsible for people to act as if they do.

    Yes, a cover-up would likely require, at the minimum, dozens of people to consciously lie about what happened. Just the conservative claims about (for example) Franco-Iraqi oil conspiracy explaining French opposition to the war would require great numbers of people to consciously lie.

    Of course, it's unfair to compare those two scenarios. After all, France is not a Holy State like the US or Britain, and therefore unentitled to the lavish devotion that the Homeland so richly and self-evidently deserves.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    [ Parent ]

    The truth is out there, Scully. (none / 0) (#200)
    by Demiurge on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:14:37 PM EST

    Maybe the kid was really Bigfoot, and that's why he was shot.

    But seriously, do you have ANY slivers of hints of possible proof, other than your pathological hatred of the US?

    [ Parent ]
    The burden of proof is yours (none / 0) (#250)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:48:31 AM EST

    It has to be proved that he had a gun, not that he hadn't.

    If we had to spend all our time prooving negatives how much do you think we'd get done?

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    I disagree as to that (none / 0) (#485)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:22:26 PM EST

    If it were a police action, and a 14 yr old boy was gunned down, I'd expect them to prove he was a threat to the arresting agents. However, this was a combat situation.

    In accordance with the Geneva convention, forces are only required to not intentionally shoot civilians. As such, the burden of proof is on those who claim he wasn't a combatant.

    It must be proved: He wasn't a combatant, and that his death in the capture of the brothers Hussein was intentional.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    So what if he was? (none / 0) (#338)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:04:05 PM EST

    One more civilian casualty. Those happen in wars. I'd feel no particular guilt nor need to condemn the US military is he was. What does it matter?



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    Your callousness is disturbing (nt) (none / 0) (#399)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:46:29 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Really? (none / 0) (#421)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:06:38 PM EST

    You spend nights awake, crying for those Iraq civilians Saddam's forces made drive pickups into the treads of M-1 tanks? How about the unknown civilians who died during the second bomb attempt to kill Saddam at a cafe? Guess they don't count 'cause they didn't get their names in the paper.

    I fail to see how his death was especially noteworthy.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    Well, of course not. (none / 0) (#528)
    by wji on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 11:11:06 AM EST

    My point (which you would have understood instantly if I was talking about any other country) was that nobody outside the US military has any idea what actually happened, and therefore any honest journalist should not act as if they do. The fact that Iraqi eyewitnesses and British officials quoted in mainstream US papers claimed that the American troops came in Rambo-style, guns blazing, is just an extra reason to be suspicious. Who knows? Certainly neither of us.

    In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
    [ Parent ]
    Still Unclear Why (4.33 / 6) (#189)
    by CoolName on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:26:55 PM EST

    Why does the US have such a high murder rate? Moore says American culture is responsible. But as an analysis of American culture 'Bowling for Columbine' is woefully lacking. American history was characterized in a short cartoon, for example. 'Bowling for Columbine' fails to make it's case. This is why the documentary is weak. I doubt the two killers were very much troubled over U.S. strategic missile policy. This film was more about the Michael Moore zeitgeist than gun control. What did one learn about gun control issues? Zip. Why people are murdering each other here is still a mystery. Though Michael Moore is unfair still the right has little to complain about given Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh etc who are just as unfair but from a rightwing perspective.

    "What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


    Don't feel bad, we're all unclear on that point. (4.25 / 4) (#201)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:17:01 PM EST

    Really, though, history and its effect on culture is the only answer. Unlike 20th century Europe, the USA has been rewarded (more-or-less) each time it has gone to war. Unlike Europe, the USA is only a few generations from a time when most men were expected to be warriors as well as workers. Unlike Europe, the USA is only a few generations from a time when the "law" was barely a force in daily life and people were expected to defend themselves.

    I doubt we need to look much further than that for answers.


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps there is another explanation (5.00 / 3) (#213)
    by CoolName on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:26:22 PM EST

    America has attracted a lot of immigrants. Those coming to America have had to be other than meek and compliant. Meek and compliant individuals stayed at home and accepted the situation. Assuming there are genes for aggressivenes perhaps these genes are in oversupply so to speak in America. Both genes an culture might contribute. Cultural analysis is a morass. Cultural analysis is usually either extremely simple or horribly abtruse. In either case such analysis is weak and always debatable. By being able to explain all things cultural analysis ends up explaining zip. A policy debate on the gun control issue would be helpful but just decrying the climate of fear in America is no contribuion to a solution. Of course, like culture analysis the suggestion genes might play a role is unhelpful. Just changing the climate of fear or the genetic makeup of the country are out of the question. Still actions can be taken but Moore gives no indication as to what.

    "What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


    [ Parent ]

    good point. (nt) (2.00 / 3) (#315)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:52:29 AM EST


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    The problem *is* culture (2.28 / 7) (#203)
    by gibichung on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:40:36 PM EST

    Black culture. Look at the statistics. I don't see why more people don't have the guts to say this.

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]
    Black culture (3.66 / 3) (#218)
    by Eloquence on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:45:03 AM EST

    Could you elaborate on which aspects of black culture, in particular, make black people more violent?
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]
    Fine (2.80 / 10) (#224)
    by gibichung on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:20:31 AM EST

    A lack of respect for family values, a lack of respect for morality, a lack of respect for women, a lack of self-respect, a lack of respect for personal responsibility, a lack of respect for the law, a lack of respect for education, a lack of respect for hard work, a lack of respect for personal betterment and apathy toward bad circumstances -- I could go on but I think that I've said enough.

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]
    HaHa! (3.00 / 3) (#298)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:08:22 AM EST

    That comment even got a one. I guess people don't like to hear the cold hard truth.

    By the way gibichung,..you forgot one of the most prevalent ones: a culture of victimhood.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    One more: (5.00 / 2) (#332)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:54:10 PM EST

    A culture of victimhood brings about a culture of entitlement. Also a big problem in the black culture.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Guy's getting downvoted. (5.00 / 4) (#320)
    by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:13:50 PM EST

    But he does have somewhat of a kernel of truth. Of course, the culture he described is certainly not the entirety of "black culture," but an extremely negative subset of it... Nor is this negative culture in any way confined to blacks - when I was in high school we had the pejoratives "wigger," "spigger," and "chigger" for those of other races who fit quite perfectly into the negative culture oft associated with "black culture."

    Tim
    "We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
    [ Parent ]

    It is not the entirety (4.50 / 2) (#360)
    by gibichung on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:06:35 PM EST

    I was asked to describe the "aspects."

    And while some may be limited to subsets, it's an extremely pervasive problem. The most telling statistics are that seven out of ten black children are born out of wedlock and one in four black males will be sent to prison or jail in their lifetimes.

    Look, I understand that these are not entirely black problems but at the same time it's important to admit that they're more severe in the black community. In my opinion, it's the combination of poverty and self/de facto segregation that makes it so bad there.

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]

    So its nothing to do with relative poverty then? (5.00 / 1) (#249)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:44:21 AM EST

    Again, look at the statistics.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    Relative poverty (3.00 / 3) (#361)
    by gibichung on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:08:22 PM EST

    Can't explain why poor white kids do better in school that middle class black kids, can it?

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]
    You'll have to show me some evidence for that [nt] (none / 0) (#442)
    by nebbish on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:27:01 AM EST


    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    If I must, (5.00 / 1) (#456)
    by gibichung on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:57:55 AM EST

    You can start here but you'll have to do your own research. Note:
    • Whites from families with incomes below $10,000 had a mean SAT test score that was 46 points higher than blacks whose families had incomes of between $80,000 and $100,000.


    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]
    Thank you (none / 0) (#457)
    by nebbish on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:08:25 AM EST

    Point taken, but -

    but you'll have to do your own research

    Not when its you making the claim I won't.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    It's a commonly held opinion (none / 0) (#461)
    by gibichung on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:21:11 AM EST

    Of the educational community around these parts. You can find bits and pieces to support it but as far as comprehensive studies, I'm not aware of any and I'm certainly not going to conduct one for the sake of this thread.

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]
    As near as I can tell (3.50 / 4) (#223)
    by godix on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:02:53 AM EST

    The problem isn't guns, the problem is that a white hates a black, a black hates a vietnamese, a vietnamese hates a latino, and everyone hates the jews. America is a multicultural society and different cultures tend to fight with each other, a look at any countries list of wars show that. When you take different cultures and stick them together in the same country the result is naturally internal violence. Notice that this explains why America and England, both multicultural nations, have similar levels of violence despite radically different treatment of the guns while Switzerland and Japan, both monocultural nations, have low violence despite their difference in gun laws.

    NOTE: This is my opinion. I don't have studies to back me up. I have noticed that comparing international statistics amoung first world nations tend to support this. Third world nations seem to operate by different rules at first glance, but if you think about it in a third world nation multiculturalism is called 'tribalism' and is a major cause of violence.

    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    [ Parent ]

    The *vast* majority of violence (5.00 / 3) (#226)
    by gibichung on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:26:40 AM EST

    in this country is intraracial, not interracial -- we're talking on average 85-95%.

    -----
    "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
    [ Parent ]
    Different sources (3.50 / 2) (#228)
    by godix on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:33:16 AM EST

    True, I basically ignored things like domestic violence since those have different root causes and are present in all country. I was going after why there's a difference between American violence and some other first world nations. Another big difference is the gang violence, that's pretty much a direct result of drugs being illegal. However I do note than gangs essentially divide one race into small 'us vs them' groups which is the same root cause I attribute to multiculturalism.

    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    [ Parent ]
    It was my understanding (none / 0) (#248)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:43:20 AM EST

    That most gang violence was for control of drug supplies within communities, and is black on black, hispanic on hispanic, etc.

    The US isn't the only multicultural country you know - the UK is proportionately more muticultural, and just as diverse. We have our problems but nothing like in the US. Oh - and we have some of the strictest gun laws in the world.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    However (5.00 / 1) (#259)
    by epepke on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:04:59 AM EST

    You don't have an insane War on Drugs like the U.S. does.

    Ethnicity and "multiculturalism" has little to do with it, except inasmuch as when you create a multigenerational underclass with less access to legitimate opportunities, a higher percentage of them will turn to illegitimate opportunities. Back during Prohibition, we had violent mobs, too, and they were from underclass groups. Many of the problems in American inner cities are a legacy from the massive redistribution of the population after World War II, which we're only starting to recover from after a half a century.

    Furthermore, as I'm sure you're aware, violent crime in the U.K. is considerably higher than it was 20 years ago, while violent crime in the U.S. has actually been dropping pretty steadily since the early 1970's. If the common British attitude toward "Pakis" keeps up for another twenty or thirty years, and you get an entrenched multigenerational underclass, you may see a different story.

    Just don't give up your relatively sane drug laws. While you're at it, you could do to make it legal for the pubs to stay open later.


    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


    [ Parent ]
    I agree (none / 0) (#266)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:46:02 AM EST

    Ive argued elsewhere in this thread that poverty (that's relative poverty - not having stuff and being able to see others excessively consuming stuff) is a major factor.

    And yes, the UK has some serious problems. The riots in northern towns a couple of years back show that Asian communities are suffering from a combination of poverty, police intimidation and racism from the extreme right. Violent crime is on the increase as - significantly - is gun crime in the major cities. But its importnant to put this in context - when a young person is shot dead in the UK it is headline news for days.

    You are right on the drug laws - I just hope we don't lurch to the right like the US has. Its more than possible.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    Question (OT): (none / 0) (#378)
    by cr8dle2grave on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:00:01 PM EST

    the UK is proportionately more muticultural, and just as diverse. We have our problems but nothing like in the US

    Really? By what measure? It's my understanding that Brazil has the most ethnically varied demographics followed by the US--and according to present demographic trends the US should surpass Brazil within the next twenty years.

    ---
    Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


    [ Parent ]
    The UK ain't all that great (5.00 / 1) (#508)
    by godix on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 04:32:06 AM EST

    That most gang violence was for control of drug supplies within communities, and is black on black, hispanic on hispanic, etc

    Gangs break down a large group into smaller groups, each with a 'us and them, how do we get rid of them?' worldview. Pretty much the same attitude which causes different cultures to fight.
    he UK is proportionately more muticultural, and just as diverse

    The UK is multicultural and diverse but not nearly as much as America. The UK also has higher violence rates than other EU countries that aren't multicultural, like Switzerland or Sweden which was part of my original point.
    We have our problems but nothing like in the US.

    Quite true. The UKs decades long fight with the IRA was not like anything in the US, and thank god we don't have it.
    Oh - and we have some of the strictest gun laws in the world.

    And a much higher violence rate than Switzerland, a country that's even more pro-gun than the US. The amount of guns in a population is not an accurate predictor of how violent the society is which is a pretty big clue that guns aren't the real problem.

    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    [ Parent ]
    Welfare comment (4.00 / 7) (#194)
    by thefirelane on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 09:50:49 PM EST

    Had the boy's mother not been shipped to a "welfare to work" program, she might at least have had some time to spend with her son.

    This is something Michael Moore alludes to in his movie, and you repeat. It is something more forgivable for Moore though, as this study was not completed before the movie.

    I wish I could find the link to the study, but I just heard about it on the radio (can anyone help me out). Recent studies about the welfare to work program found that it does not, on average, have any effect on the amount of time mothers spend with their children. From what I remember, the lost time comes primarily from the mothers social activities.

    Again, I can't find the study posted online, but if someone knows of what I'm talking about, or can provide a link, I'd appreciate it


    ---Lane

    -
    Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
    I seem to remember from the film (none / 0) (#247)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:39:34 AM EST

    (But it was a long time ago that I saw it), that the boy's mother had to travel a long way to her welfare to work program and had very little time outside the program at all.

    Id be interested to hear from anyone who knows more about the study as well. Just remember one thing though - studies often support the ideas of the people who commissioned them.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    I'd be curious about that study.. (none / 0) (#387)
    by Kwil on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:24:02 PM EST

    ..did it expect that a woman not working was not involved in social activities?

    I'd have to see the numbers, but somehow I expect that they boiled out to:

    Woman who isn't working spends x amount of time with her kids.
    Woman who is working spends x amount of time on social activities.
    Therefore working has no effect on amount of time available to be spent with the kids.

    Yet such reasoning wouldn't consider that a woman who isn't working may spend x with the kids and y on social activities.  Now, is it perhaps a poor choice to choose social activities over your kids? Maybe. Is it reasonable to expect a person give up their social activities entirely in order to survive and be a decent parent?  Hard to say.

    Of course, this would all depend on how the actual study was done.

    That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


    [ Parent ]
    Another view of all of this: (none / 0) (#541)
    by SacredSalt on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 01:35:34 AM EST

    Had the boy's mother not been shipped to a "welfare to work" program, she might at least have had some time to spend with her son. If we were a nation that gave custody of kids to their fathers -- the kid probably wouldn't be living in welfare, would be more likely to get the benefits of both parents, and would be less likely to be involved in or the victim of crime period. And I don't want to hear any garbage about how all NCP's can spend time with the kids. The cold hard reality is 70-80% are driven away by the system in place now. Parental Alienation Syndrome, Punitive Child Support Enforcement, Mothers Who Deny Access (and they are infinitely more likely to deny access than fathers are), Periods Of Unemployment Where They Generate Arrears, Incarceration For The Debt, False Allegations In Divorce...etc..etc The reality is they spend 100,000,000 times the amount of money collecting CS as they do enforcing visitation orders. You know why we have crime and the self entitled brats of total? This is what happens when you give mothers the kids & abuse the father.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Welfare comment (none / 0) (#565)
    by onemorechip on Tue Sep 09, 2003 at 03:40:55 AM EST

    So I've never heard of this study and you have no link to it. I'll just have to assume you're right...

    does not, on average, have any effect

    I think some thought needs to be given to what the word "average" means. If Bill Gates and I were in an elevator together, then the net worth of the people in that elevator averages 10s of billions of dollars. Would you conclude that I'm a rich man?
    --------------------------------------------------

    I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
    [ Parent ]

    Inherent In The Fact (3.14 / 7) (#202)
    by machiavellieins on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:18:59 PM EST

    that it takes 5081 words, likely many hours if not many days of independent research, a liberal eye for the "truth" and some slippery logic and argumentation to attempt to explain away the numerous occurences of deception and outright lies present in Moore's filmmaking means that in actuality the work was not a documentary but rather political propoganda masked in a veil of objectivity.

    The easiest thing in the world... (4.40 / 5) (#206)
    by wrinkledshirt on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:48:09 PM EST

    ...is to do what you just did: offer a damning opinion without anything to back it up.

    Why not enlighten us with the basis for your reasoning?

    [ Parent ]

    That would take (3.66 / 3) (#215)
    by puppet10 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:57:52 PM EST

    too many words, many hours if not days of independent research, a liberal eye for the "truth" and some slippery logic and argumentation.

    [ Parent ]
    I Would Be More Than Happy (4.50 / 2) (#222)
    by machiavellieins on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:59:43 AM EST

    to back up my reasoning, even though I figured it was relatively self-explanatory. Let's take it point by point:

    First, I doubt many people here would argue that there are 5081 words in the story. 5081 is a very large number, suggesting that the discussion at hand is of complex nature. If the film had been truly objective, not littered with falsities and highly questionable explicit or implied statements, as a decent and truly legitimate documentary should be, 5081 could have been translated into perhaps one thousand or smaller. Yet no, the author is forced to bring so much else into the picture that it is proven that what is shown on screen is so exceedingly dubious that in fact should not be called a documentary, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "consisting of, concerning, or based on documents," (not elaborate explanations taking into account people's personal views and other fuzzy logic) but rather subjective commentary and sleazy showmanship. Until all that is needed to back Moore up is a simple pointing to a piece of paper or an interview, all logical persons must conclude that in calling Bowling for Columbine a documentary one is lying.

    Second, I find the notion that Mr. Möller wrote this without much independent research on his part just plain stupid. Though I disagree with many concepts presented, it is very well written and supported. The average filmgoer, my friends, does not go home and spend hours verifying the validity of everything implied to them in a "documentary" because it is meant to be objective, and most people are far too busy and lazy to do so regardless. Such is something Michael Moore no doubt is aware of, and thus his producing a film that into the layperson would instill a litany of false ideas that no other party will provide further clarification of is no more honest than Nazis spreading lies about Jewish people and the American South blaming African Americans for economic and social ailments. Mr. Moore has never presented facts in his movies but rather selectively picked and chosen different facts to, in totality, paint a false picture of reality to an audience he knows will fall victim to his blatant deceit.

    Third, the film, as has been shown everywhere in the media, including this forum, has truly split the audience into the left and the right. There are those that defend the film and the filmmaker, and there are those that find both appalling. The fact that the piece creates such a stir in terms of establishing a wholly partisanship-oriented discussion means that it contains more than just facts and figures, but rather politics and commentary. A true documentary would in reality be rather boring and bland, and veritably impossible to be the topic of such heated discussion. Merriam-Webster notes that documentary is objective. Objectivity garners no enemies, and thus this article and its subject matter serve as evidence themselves of the notion that in truth Michael Moore is a liar. Had there been no issue with the content or making of the film, none of us would be here discussing it. Let the left-leaning partisan members of K5 attempt to refute such yet in reality only prove it.

    Lastly is the fact that the author of the article does a very good job of playing games with his readers. He spends nearly the entire work evading the true issue, which is that the film was extremely deceptive to moviegoers, not political activists, yet in the end claims that Moore is thus somehow honest. In arguing technical details of the case presented by Moore, the author is only conceding that what is shown in the movie is highly debatable. At that, he in many places even admits to the director's lies, though not calling them such: stretching timeframes, "suboptimal" statistics, exaggerating critical points, and funny camerawork, along with many other misrepresentations, and then ignores them all at the conclusion of the piece in calling the work a brightly shining diamond deserving of the highest of accolades and dubbing critics whose points he concedes shameful.

    In short, the fact that the movie is debatable means that it is not objective and thus not a documentary.

    [ Parent ]

    This is -not- taking a stand but... (4.00 / 3) (#271)
    by trezor on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:40:52 AM EST

    I'm not taking a stand towards Bowling is a objective documentary or not. I know too little of the US to make any decission like that.

    However, objectivity can stir discontent, if the objective information presented (objectivly) favours one stand or view.

    Kinda like people claiming alchohol is a safe drug, but marihuanna isn't. Any scientific (stressed) report saying marihuana is not only as safe as alchohol, but safer, and most do, will cause a major stir in the general public, because everone "knows" that marihuana kills. "How can these pro-drug scientists be allowed to present such lies?". I don't know if this "educated" public should make me laugh or cry...

    Anyway, back to my point. I think you'll need to prove that "Objectivity garners no enemies" before I take it as a fact. I know way to many exceptions.


    --
    Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

    [ Parent ]
    You may be happy, but you're wrong (4.00 / 4) (#398)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:42:48 PM EST

    defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "consisting of, concerning, or based on documents"

    You're reading the wrong definition. That definition refers to the word documentary as an adjective.The correct definition is the one below that one, which describes the word documentary as a noun. It reads: A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.

    Notice how this definition fits a lot better with the concept of an informative film. Of course, that definition also hurts your argument, which is way you chose to ignore it.

    Until all that is needed to back Moore up is a simple pointing to a piece of paper or an interview,

    Then what would be the point of making a movie? How many movies have been made about the sky being blue? I've never seen a movie about 2 and 2 making 4, and I wouldn't want to because that would certainly be a boring movie!

    calling Bowling for Columbine a documentary ... is lying.

    No it isn't. Here's why.

    [A documentary] is meant to be objective, and most people are far too busy and lazy to [check the facts] regardless.

    Where does it say that documentaries must be objective? Certainly Moore does not claim that his film is unbiased and neutral. If people are far too busy and lazy to check the facts, then it's their own fault for being a bunch of sheep. I don't trust everything I see on TV, or read on the Web, and neither should anyone else.

    Mr. Moore has never presented facts in his movies but rather selectively picked and chosen different facts

    "Mr. Moore never uses any facts in his movies, he just selects which facts he wants to use." ... Huh?!?

    [Moore] paints a false picture of reality to an audience he knows will fall victim to his blatant deceit.

    Oh, so you can read his mind, then?

    The film ... has truly split the audience into the left and the right.

    Excellent. That was exactly what he was trying to do: get people to think about and talk about America's gun culture. I'm glad it succeeded.

    [ Parent ]

    It's a documentary, folks (3.70 / 10) (#205)
    by wrinkledshirt on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 10:45:14 PM EST

    I wish the Moore-bashers would give up on their attempt to make themselves right by definition when they try to say Bowling For Columbine isn't a documentary. He uses real historical footage and media. He interviews real people. He doesn't hire actors to portray metaphorical situations which take up the entirety of the film. He refers to real events. He does not try to create drama through character development. The conflict is a direct result of his analysis of social phenomena and the way he juxtaposes them.

    If this isn't a documentary, what the heck else is it?

    The question isn't whether it's a documentary or not, it's whether it's a good documentary. You can't even argue that the film doesn't try to be objective, because even though Moore certainly isn't, a good chunk of the film is devoted to giving his interviewees a chance to speak their opinions to balance his views out.

    I also love how the word "disingenuous" gets bandied about alot these days when talking about Moore (or other non-establishment-based rhetoric, but that's a whole other digression). Seems to me that most of the false representations you hear about these days aren't coming from Moore.

    i can use real photos (4.20 / 5) (#313)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:51:11 AM EST

    as the input into photoshop, that doesn't make the output "true".


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    BfC is not a quest for philosophical truth (3.00 / 2) (#391)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:27:55 PM EST

    It's an attempt to get Americans to ponder their gun culture and see if there's a better way to live. It obviously touched a nerve, or there wouldn't be such a strong reaction against it.

    [ Parent ]
    Then it isn't a documentary. (3.75 / 4) (#423)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:14:45 PM EST

    Documentaries are supposed to tell the truth, not push their own agenda.


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    Agendas (4.00 / 1) (#428)
    by BlackHawk on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:16:13 PM EST

    Most social documentaries will have an agenda. This is because the filmaker and his/her associates are spending large amounts of time and money to produce a film and they will natually want to it report their view of the world. I wouldn't for instance go out and make a documentary about how cool it is to molest children, because I think that's a fucking awful thing to do to a child. I might however go out and make one that speaks against this, since I have pretty strong views on how evil an act it is.

    Filmakers will be natually attracted to projects that push their world viewpoint. It's much the same with "scientific research". This is usually sponsered by a company/organisation with a stake in the outcome of the research. If it doesn't pan out, the research gets binned or facts are twisted and statistics manipulated to reflect the truth that the sponser is pursuing.

    [ Parent ]

    The whole point is: (none / 0) (#497)
    by partykidd on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:13:05 PM EST

    if it has an doesn't show more than one side than it's not a documentary. If it shows only one side and is so slanted that it skewers the facts and statistics, then it's not a quest for the truth, but rather a propaganda film.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Hey, Robotslave! (3.66 / 3) (#448)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 07:41:33 AM EST

    Nice to see you've been reading the TU guidelines.


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    He does that a lot to me and you (2.66 / 3) (#496)
    by partykidd on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:09:35 PM EST

    He props up his account with other accounts that he's made so he can go and zero people he doesn't agree with or like. He's really quite an ass about it and seems to have little of a life. Instead of adding to the discussion, he takes his hate of me and you and others and makes sure he gives us a zero.

    What a loser.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Yeah, I probably shouldn't have let him (5.00 / 1) (#518)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 02:37:47 PM EST

    know that I noticed. Actually it was pretty amusing, he managed to remove my TU status for ~30 minutes till other people rated me back up.


    --
    You can't raise my prices. You can't build more power plants. You can't build more power lines. Why are my lights out!?!


    [ Parent ]
    Why does the parent post get a zero? [n/t] (none / 0) (#558)
    by partykidd on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 02:27:21 PM EST


    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    So did "Triumph of the Will" (none / 0) (#342)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:13:35 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Well, let's see... (3.00 / 3) (#390)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:25:52 PM EST

    what The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition has to say about documentaries:

    A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.

    Bowling for Columbine is a film or television program. It presents political and social subject matter. It's factual and informative. (I challenge anyone to point out any outright lies in the movie.) The movie consists of actual interviews accompanied by narration.

    Since it meets all the criteria, I'd say that Bowling for Columbine is indeed a documentary. Case closed.

    [ Parent ]

    Mike Moore is not poor (3.40 / 5) (#212)
    by QuantumG on Wed Aug 13, 2003 at 11:20:14 PM EST

    Although I loved Bowling for Columbine, I'm sure it was simply because it was aligned with my own biases. What I didn't like about the film was that Mike Moore is always "on the side of the little guy" as he says and talks a lot about "us poor folks". Well here's a new's flash: Mike aint poor. He's really quite rich, and when he chills out in the ghetto and bags out the "big rich and powerful folk" it comes across as just a tad fake. Mr Moore has an important political message to make, and one that I happen to agree with, but let's lose the man of the people routine.

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    Im not sure about this (2.66 / 3) (#246)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:33:33 AM EST

    He was born poor in Flint, MI - the poorest city in the US - and he's fired up about that, so over the years he's built (I stress built) a reputation as a bit of a firebrand, and through his fame, books and now films he's made some money.

    He is not espousing the overthrow of capitalism, total economic equality for all, and the destruction of private property - so maybe he's entitled to that money, don't you think?

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    What? (none / 0) (#257)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:28:43 AM EST

    He was born poor in Flint, MI - the poorest city in the US...
    I'd like to know what the criteria is for being "the poorest city in the US". I'd be willing to wager that Flint, MI is not the poorest city in the US. Not even close. Sure, there are poor areas of Flint, but there's also a bustling downtown area and a college or two.
    He is not espousing the overthrow of capitalism, total economic equality for all, and the destruction of private property - so maybe he's entitled to that money, don't you think?
    That isn't what he was saying at all. QuantumG said, "He's really quite rich, and when he chills out in the ghetto and bags out the 'big rich and powerful folk' it comes across as just a tad fake." What's that have to do with your response?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Response (none / 0) (#264)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:32:34 AM EST

    I'd be willing to wager that Flint, MI is not the poorest city in the US. Not even close.

    It seems like my information is a bit outdated - Ive found it hard to find anything through google, but I do remember that it was the poorest city in the US at the beginning of the 90s due to the collapse of the car industry, its major employer. Unfortunately I cant find anything to back me up. All seems to have changed now. There's some info here, about how the poorest northern industrial cities have bounced back recently (Flint is mentioned as one of the poorest). I know though that places can seem wealthy when they aren't - the poorest city in the US in 2000 was Miami. A bustling downtown can hide a lot of problems.

    -----------------

    That isn't what he was saying at all. QuantumG said, "He's really quite rich, and when he chills out in the ghetto and bags out the 'big rich and powerful folk' it comes across as just a tad fake." What's that have to do with your response?

    Well, in a supposedly classless society like the US I was sort of making the point that he can relate with poor people, because he's been there, even if he isn't poor any more. He's on their side and he understands their concerns.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    ok (none / 0) (#277)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:21:10 AM EST

    Here's one definition of poverty in America.
    Well, in a supposedly classless society like the US...
    Far from it. Nobody (I use that loosely) claims that the US is classless.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Relative poverty (4.00 / 1) (#296)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:05:14 AM EST

    Here's one definition of poverty in America.

    That's a valid opinion. There's no way I would argue you get poverty in the states like you do in the developing world.

    But relative poverty - income disparity - is a problem. "Diseases" of poverty arising from poor diet, addiction, and stress DO kill (disengeniously, that study cites poverty diets - cheap, fatty, chemical-laden food - as a plus for the poor). There's also no mention of how much of the consumer durables cited are bought on credit, which is a MASSIVE problem here in the UK. And as for house values - that money is tied up, it can't be used without risking homelessness.

    ---------------------------------

    Far from it. Nobody (I use that loosely) claims that the US is classless.

    Really? I was misinformed and stand corrected.

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    The term "income disparity" (none / 0) (#330)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:52:48 PM EST

    suggests that there is a "fair" income and an unfair one. "Income disparity" tends to invoke economic redistribution.

    Now to me, a fair income is one where one is paid what he agreed to, and relative to what his work is worth.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Don't confuse the Flint of today... (5.00 / 3) (#286)
    by thenick on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:57:08 AM EST

    With the Flint of yesterday.

    When Moore grew up in Flint, it was a nice industrial city, solidly middle class, and Moore's family benefitted from this economic prosperity. However, when GM started shutting down plants in the mid 80's, Flint became a ghost town as the people who could move away did and those who didn't have the money to move stayed and got poorer.

    "He is not espousing the overthrow of capitalism, total economic equality for all, and the destruction of private property - so maybe he's entitled to that money, don't you think?"

    Yes he is entitled to the money he makes, but he needs to understand that when he buys a huge house in the suburbs and drives a massive SUV, his reputation of being a man off the people is tainted.

     
    "Doing stuff is overrated. Like Hitler, he did a lot, but don't we all wish he would have stayed home and gotten stoned?" -Dex
    [ Parent ]

    Point taken (3.00 / 1) (#290)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:41:48 AM EST

    I didnt know he drove an SUV. That's pretty hypocritical. I wouldnt expect him to live in a shitty little house though if he's got money.

    Thanks for pulling me up on Flint (seriously!) - I hadn't really looked into that properly. Id imagine that although it was prosperous it was pretty blue collar though?

    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    Links? (none / 0) (#373)
    by wordmunger on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:47:22 PM EST

    As best I can tell from a limited search of the Web, Moore does not own an SUV and he does not live in the suburbs. He's certainly not poor--his city apartment is valued at $1.7 million--but he's no hypocrite about the SUV thing.

    [ Parent ]
    you're right (none / 0) (#504)
    by QuantumG on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 12:18:10 AM EST

    he lives in a nice part of Manhatten. He's a rich bastard, and when he points out how much some executive got paid whilst the employees of the company are starving you have to say "Gee Mike, what the takehome of your boom man last month?"

    Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
    [ Parent ]
    His wealth is a non-issue. (none / 0) (#524)
    by Isome on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 01:46:44 AM EST

    However, he wasn't born into a family of means, he is a self-made man. Because he has accumulated wealth in his lifetime doesn't preclude him from championing the issues of working women & men. I dare say that if he were a $25k a year garage mechanic living in tract housing, and through some miracle of American ingenuity was able to make this movie, you would be the first to claim that he's merely jealous of rich people.

    [ Parent ]
    And we go around the circle again (4.34 / 29) (#220)
    by godix on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:49:09 AM EST

    How fun. Idiot film maker distorts truth. People against idiot film maker respond by distorting the truth. Idiot K5 user repsonds by distorting the truth. Can we get off this circle and start dealing with reality please?

    I'm not going to go point by point on Trolling for Columbine, I have no interest in going 'But on frame 47921 it clearly shows...' Instead I'm going to deal with your more blatent stupidities about the gun control debate.

    In a time of simple-minded patriotism, loud, clear and dissenting voices like Mr. Moore's are perceived as disturbing and have to be silenced

    Trolling for Columbine won an Oscar. Because of Moores actions on Oscar night and the controvery around his movie it has probably been watched more than any documentary since Roger & Me. You manage to perceive this as an attempt to silence Moore. Riiiiiight.
    Moore portrays the NRA as an unethical, dishonest organization ... All in all, it is an accurate portrayal of America's gun and violence culture.

    Thank god you kept your bias out of this. We can hold an intelligent and rational debate about the issue this way. I'd hate to think what a baised load of shit your article would be if you had started by trying to demonize anyone who thinks differently than you.
    listening to a radio broadcast that tells you that your family will be killed unless you take action to kill others now. The latter is the kind of media propaganda that was used to unleash a genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which killed 800,000 people.

    The movie is about American violence. So is the debate around the movie. Unless you can link to Dan Rather saying 'Kill all niggers or we chop off your babies head in front of you' your bringing in Rwandan media tactics into a debate on American violence is bullshit.
    Similarly, the main motivation for the crusades (beyond the promise of wealth) was that Christians were supposedly being slaughtered and had to be saved.

    Again, that wasn't America. That was also before America was even discovered much less had the USA and her gun laws started. Bullshit, complete bullshit.
    Children who grow up in war-torn regions are known for having similar views -- war is perceived as a normal part of existence, violence as a natural way to solve disputes.

    The last war on American land was the Civil War around 130 years ago. No child born in America today grew up in a 'war-torn region'. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
    have to endure corporal punishment

    Unlike that fairly peaceful nation of Singapore for example?
    Did the 19th century NRA in the southern states promote gun rights for black people?

    Probably not. However that was over 100 years ago. Racism is no longer considered socially acceptable, especailly when it means endorsing or aiding violence against a race. Astounding how things change in a century. Perhaps you could try to find an example that someone living might remember? At least you got the right country this time though.
    This characterization of a six-year-old as a pencil-stabbing thug is exactly the kind of hysteria that Moore's film warns against.

    So are you saying the boy wasn't a pencil-stabbing thug or are you saying his early violence is irrelevent to his later violence?
    But the real cause here are not the drugs themselves, but poverty and the "war on drugs".

    Correlation is not causation. Poverty doesn't cause violence, but in America it is a predictor of violence. On the other hand, ever notice that most violence in any country are caused by people well feed instead of those so poor they're living on dumpster divings?
    Had the boy's mother not been shipped to a "welfare to work" program, she might at least have had some time to spend with her son.

    Of course, she might also have pushed him into dealing to support her habit. Or she might have blown his brains out herself. Or she might have just beat him daily. That's the fun thing about 'might haves', you can make them into anything you want to support your biases. And you have. Over here in reality we'd like some proof that welfare for work is producing gun slinging kids.
    there is no war on poverty.

    Take a look at the first google link for "war on poverty". You may know this by another name, in America we call it 'welfare'.
    Taliban and American aid.

    ...happens to be totally irrelevent to a debate on gun violence in America. However it does make the US look bad and that apperently was your goal instead of intelligent debate on the issues. I'll ignore the fact you manage to present the facts in such a biased way it's hard to call it anything but a lie.
    The United States have a far greater homicide rate (both gun- and non-gun) than most other first world countries.

    While this is a true statement it's so misleading that it's a lie. You are forgetting the fundamental idea that the US has a higher population than most other first world countries so of course it's raw numbers are going to be higher. Lets use figures from a site unbiased on either side of the issue. The Australian government (PDF link) has a file on international violence levels. Some things to note here: America had a 20% drop in crime between 1990 to 2000, the largest percentage drop of any country listed. The following cities have over 10 homicides per 100K people: Tallinn, Estonia; Moscow, Russia; Pretoria, South Africa; and Washington DC, USA. An America city tops the list, but there is only one American city out of the four listed. Note that New York and LA, typically pictured as  very violent cities, do not have over 10 homicides per 100K people. Also note the chance to be a repeat victim of crime in 1999 was higher in England & Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Australia, and Canada than it was in America. When looking at the charts keep in mind that what is important for comparison is % of population rather than just numbers, America has a higher number of crimes for the simple reason American has more people.
    The gun homicide rates for the countries Moore mentioned, according to guncite, are:

    SIGH. Of course countries with less guns are going to have less gun related homicides. Try comparing total number of homicides regardless of weapon used and you'll see a vastly different picture painted, as I showed above. I love how you link to a site but totally ignore it when it shows exactly how worthless this statistic is.
    It is intuitively obvious that guns do not actually cause violence -- but it is equally intuitively obvious that they make the violence that is committed more deadly.

    It is also intuitively obvious that the earth is flat and that stars are tiny pinpoints totally unlike our sun. Lets step away from intuitively obvious facts and deal with real facts. Take a look at the statistics I provided for a glimpse into how the real world works.
    The gun control movement, on the other hand, distracts from the real causes of violence -- poverty, paranoia, the "war on drugs" and antisexuality.

    Prove any of these are causes for gun violence with legal firearms. The war on drugs is a cause for gun violence with illegal firearms, but then again, illegal firearms weren't really the point of Trolling for Columbine.
    The most shameful part of the ongoing attacks against Moore is that these answers have been all but ignored by his critics.

    Then show us how much better you are with these critics, please quit using your bullshit arguements.
    But perhaps the campaign against Moore is really motivated by another reason. His next project has the working title "Fahrenheit 9/11: The temperature at which freedom burns", and he intends to launch it shortly before the next US presidential election.

    And perhaps the campaign against Moore is really because he's a humanoid and there's a vast right winged anti-humanoid campaign going on. Hey, if you're going to make up conspiracy theories with no proof at all why make them small conspiracy theories?

    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    Yes, you certainly did. (3.66 / 3) (#385)
    by Blah Blah on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:19:01 PM EST

    Idiot film maker distorts truth. People against idiot film maker respond by distorting the truth. Idiot K5 user repsonds by distorting the truth. Can we get off this circle and start dealing with reality please?

    I totally agree. However, the content of your post doesn't live up to your opening paragraph:

    You manage to perceive this as an attempt to silence Moore. Riiiiiight.

    Eloquence is not saying that the Academy and John Q. Moviegoer are trying to silence Moore, he's saying that Moore's critics are trying to silence Moore. How could you possibly confuse the two groups?

    Unless you can link to Dan Rather saying 'Kill all niggers or we chop off your babies head in front of you' your bringing in Rwandan media tactics into a debate on American violence is bullshit.

    Nice strawman. Eloquence is not saying Dan Rather = Rwandan propaganda, he's saying that American gun culture has similar effects to Rwandan progranda, just to a lesser degree. This is also what Moore is saying in BfC.

    [The Crusades happened] before America was even discovered [and therefore this point is] bullshit, complete bullshit.

    I agree with you on this one. Eloquence's original point, and therefore also your rebuttal, are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    No child born in America today grew up in a 'war-torn region'.

    Again you misunderstood. Eloquence is not saying, 'American children are growing up in a war-torn region and that explains their propensity to violence.' He is saying, 'American gun culture has similar effects as growing up in a war-torn region, just to a lesser degree.' Eloquence is exaggerating, just as Moore did, and you are right to point it out, but that doesn't invalidate the underlying point.

    So are you saying the boy wasn't a pencil-stabbing thug or are you saying his early violence is irrelevent to his later violence?

    He's objecting to the characterization of the boy as a 'pencil-stabbing thug'. When we were children, my brother stabbed me with a pencil. Yet somehow he grew up not to be a thug. Amazing. I guess not all pencil-stabbers are thugs.

    ever notice that most violence in any country are caused by people well feed instead of those so poor they're living on dumpster divings?

    No, actually I hadn't noticed that. What I have noticed is that violence is usually perpetrated by people who are desperate and have nothing to lose.

    That's the fun thing about 'might haves', you can make them into anything you want to support your biases.

    The point is, now we'll never know. I hope you'll agree, intuitively at least, that children of well-to-do middle-class families are lot less likely to become violent than poor, desperate families. And if that's true, then the ready availability of guns only makes a bad situation worse.

    You are forgetting the fundamental idea that the US has a higher population than most other first world countries so of course it's raw numbers are going to be higher.

    So use statistics that are adjusted for population, like these. Check out how Canada's firearm homicide rate is one-fifth of the U.S.'s rate even after being adjusted for population size. I agree that the stats don't prove anything, but it should still make you think.

    SIGH. Of course countries with less guns are going to have less gun related homicides.

    Uh, that's Eloquence's entire point. Thanks for admitting that he's right.

    Try comparing total number of homicides regardless of weapon used and you'll see a vastly different picture painted, as I showed above.

    OK, I choose Canada, because that's where I live and Canada and the U.S. are similar in culture, media, technology, etc. Oh, look! Canada's total homicide rate is less than half of the U.S.'s, even after adjusting for population size. Instead of flinging useless ad hominems, why don't we stop and try to figure out why that's the case?

    In summary, you claimed at the beginning of your post that you were going to get off the circle of lies and get back to reality, but all you did was keep on distorting Eloquence's statements and issue ad hominem attacks.

    [ Parent ]

    Responding in kind (4.00 / 3) (#417)
    by godix on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:41:38 PM EST

    he's saying that American gun culture has similar effects to Rwandan progranda,

    He is equating Ruwandan media and violence to American culture. Unless he can prove there is a link there his arguement is bullshit. The Dan Rather line was my sarcastic way of showing there is no link. At no point in recent history has American media come close to endorsing violence like this nor is there any proof American media causes violence like Ruwandan propaganda does.
    'American gun culture has similar effects as growing up in a war-torn region, just to a lesser degree.' Eloquence is exaggerating, just as Moore did, and you are right to point it out, but that doesn't invalidate the underlying point.

    Moore and Eloquence are taking a foreign situation that has nothing to do with American violence and claim there is a link. There is no link. Neither Moore not Eloquence have provided any type of link. Claiming American culture is like a war torn third world piece of shit country when all facts indicate it isn't is called lying. Moore and Eloquence were lying. Lying invalidates the underlying point, at least for me.
    He's objecting to the characterization of the boy as a 'pencil-stabbing thug'.

    Phrase it whatever way you want, the fundamental question is did the boy show violent tendencies at an early age and is that more responsable for his later violence than guns are? Arguing over the phrase 'thug' while ignoring the boys actions is just a sideshow.
    No, actually I hadn't noticed that. What I have noticed is that violence is usually perpetrated by people who are desperate and have nothing to lose.

    Whens the last time a bum mugged you? Show me the last riot started by the homeless. Whens the last time you heard about a mass murdering street lady? Violence in America tends to be commited by the lower class individuals who have shelter and food but want the luxeries in life as well. The truely poor of this nation are to busy finding a waterproof cardboard box to sleep in and to weak from missed meals to pose much of a threat.
    I hope you'll agree, intuitively at least, that children of well-to-do middle-class families are lot less likely to become violent than poor, desperate families.

    Quite true. Has little to do with 'family time' though. The original complaint was that a welfare to work mother was to busy working to spend time with her son. Well-to-do middle-class families generally have both parents to busy working to spend lots of time with their child and yet it's 'intuitively' obvious they are less likely to become violent. The obvious conclusion is that time spent working instead of with children isn't a deciding factor.
    Uh, that's Eloquence's entire point. Thanks for admitting that he's right.

    Of course he's right that America has more gun homicides. Regardless of if he's right or not, it's a pointless statistic. Total homicides, regardless of weapon used, is a much more valid stat. Using anything else reeks of an attempt to lie with statistics.
    OK, I choose Canada, because that's where I live and Canada and the U.S. are similar in culture, media, technology, etc. Oh, look! Canada's total homicide rate is less than half of the U.S.'s, even after adjusting for population size

    Yes, Canada is quite interesting. Similar cultures and similar media yet half the homicide of America (I don't know if that's true or not but I have no problem accepting it for arguements sake). Seems to indicate that something other than culture or media are the main factors of violence doesn't it? Seems to invalidate most of Moores and Eloquences theories on the cause of crime doesn't it? Seems to be a pretty big indication that when they blame the media and culture they're lying doesn't it?
    Instead of flinging useless ad hominems, why don't we stop and try to figure out why that's the case?

    I've posted my theory elsewhere. This post wasn't to highlight my, admitedly unproven, ideas. It was to question Moores and Eloquences, unproven but lots of luck getting them to admit it, ideas.
    but all you did was keep on distorting Eloquence's statements and issue ad hominem attacks.

    I don't believe I distorted his statements, after all the rest of this post is defending my interpretation of what he said. You are right that I did however use a lot of ad hominem attacks and a rather insulting tone. The reason is listed in my first post, notice one of the first things I called him on was where he pretty blatently called the NRA 'an unethical, dishonest organization'. Ad hominem attacks tend to bring the same in return. I was just continuing the circle which was most likely wrong for me to do.

    Incidently, if it matters, I am not a member of the NRA, I do not own a firearm, I most likely will never own a firearm, I think anyone who tries to ban guns in America while claiming they value the constitution is full of shit unless the gun banning method they support is a constitutional ammendment to overturn the second ammendment, I would support an ammendment repealing the second ammendment if anyone could come up with a relistic way to disarm criminals at the same time, I don't think this will happen in America today therefore I support legal ownship of firearms until someone comes up with a brilliant plan.

    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    [ Parent ]

    It must be hard being such a loser! (2.00 / 1) (#546)
    by D Jade on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 12:52:39 AM EST

    Claiming American culture is like a war torn third world piece of shit country when all facts indicate it isn't is called lying
    If Godix is a representation of the calibre of person that American culture produces then the only difference is that America has no reason to be a piece of shit country! On the other hand, Rwanda has an excuse... They're a third world country. For someone who can write with seeming intelligence, you are incredibly ignorant. Someone's interpretation of a situation is an opinion and therefore cannot be untrue... unless you are the judge of what people do and do not believe (which you may be given your name)
    Oh, and the film wasn't about Violence in America. It was about the question of WHY there is so much violence in America and as an outsider, I am more qualified than you to discuss the representations of American culture.
    The visible actions of your government all relate, in some way, to VIOLENCE. Your media has an extremely strong focus on VIOLENCE. Hmmm, and then there's popular music... strangely, American Exports have a stronger focus on VIOLENCE and sex than any other country in the world!
    Hmmm... It just amazes me that for a country who dishes out so much crap (news/music/you) is populated by citizens who have no idea what their culture represents to the rest of the world... USA's self image and its actual image are polar opposites... There's this belief amongst Americans that you are doing the right thing and that you are a freedom loving country... But to the rest of us, the US is an arrogant and oppressive country who thinks the rest of the world can go fuck itself!
    Violence in America tends to be commited by the lower class individuals who have shelter and food but want the luxeries in life as well. The truely poor of this nation are to busy finding a waterproof cardboard box to sleep in and to weak from missed meals to pose much of a threat.
    So if a person has a roof over their head, they are not poor?!? Are they rich? Are they able to support their children? No, the fact is that many people who are "lower" class are living below the poverty line and guess what?!? THAT MAKES THEM POOR YOU FUCKING IDIOT! Really Godix! Surely you realise that living below the poverty line makes you truly poor?
    By the Way, there is no 'e' in truly mate!

    You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
    [ Parent ]
    Nitpicks (none / 0) (#551)
    by partykidd on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 08:44:05 PM EST

    Someone's interpretation of a situation is an opinion and therefore cannot be untrue...
    So I guess there's never a need to get another doctor's opinion? You go to your doctor, he gives you a serious diagnosis and you think about getting another doctor's thoughts,..no need for a second opinion because it cannot be untrue? I would rethink that statement through.
    ...as an outsider, I am more qualified than you to discuss the representations of American culture.
    Why are you more qualified? Wouldn't that go against a previous statement of yours, "Someone's interpretation of a situation is an opinion and therefore cannot be untrue..."?
    No, the fact is that many people who are "lower" class are living below the poverty line and guess what?!? THAT MAKES THEM POOR YOU FUCKING IDIOT! Really Godix! Surely you realise that living below the poverty line makes you truly poor?
    HERE'S FUCKING POOR IN AMERICA YOU FUCKING ASS! Really D Jade! Surely you realize that our definitions of "poor" are different? Looks like our "poverty" is well above the average wealth of most of the world's inhabitents.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Thanks for the critique (none / 0) (#552)
    by D Jade on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 10:44:24 PM EST

    Ah doctors, a subject very near and dear to my heart... Literally!

    You go to your doctor, he gives you a serious diagnosis and you think about getting another doctor's thoughts,..no need for a second opinion because it cannot be untrue? I would rethink that statement through.

    Well, no... If a doctor gives you his opinion, he is not lying (we would hope). He is deriving an answer through his knowledge and his analysis of your symptoms. He may be incorrect and if you ever have such a contradiction in opinions, you should inform the original doctor of his error, so he can update his information accordingly.

    You should also note that individual Doctors practice medicine in vastly different manners. I have two GPs and one's solution to everything is to write a prescription because in his opinion, this is the best way to combat my illness. On the other hand, my other Doctor is more likely to prescribe alternative treatments such as dietary modifications and vitamin supplements and relaxation techniques because in her opinion, this is the best way to treat my illness.

    Sometimes though, prescription drugs are more effective than alternative remedies and sometimes not - it depends on my condition. So tell me, which doctor is the liar?

    Now apply this to any vocation because individuals think differently! Get two geeks to provide you a solution and 9 times out of 10, there will be differences in their results!

    Why are you more qualified?

    Because I am able to see the image that your country portrays of itself as I am exposed to it. Unlike say, someone living inside that image who can not make an objective observation because they have already been conditioned to said image. They see what they see in their everyday lives - the reality (not image). Just like if you made an observation on my culture's image you would probably be right, because you can see the output and not the reality!

    Looks like our "poverty" is well above the average wealth of most of the world's inhabitents.

    And well it should be, given that you live in a country with one of the strongest economies in the world. Of course, the average poor person in a western country should be a lot better off than someone from a third world country! They're probably better off than a middle class or rich person from said third world countries too!

    Out of interest, could you point me to some figures outlining the GAPS between these (apparently not) poor people and the "rich" people in your country? It would be interesting as with no "rich" people's statistic to compare these to, they mean absolutely nothing to me. I mean, how many more baths does a rich person have compared to forementioned poor people?



    You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
    [ Parent ]
    misconstrue my words (none / 0) (#554)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:44:17 AM EST

    Sometimes though, prescription drugs are more effective than alternative remedies and sometimes not - it depends on my condition. So tell me, which doctor is the liar?
    The doctors may not be lying, however, it's irregardless of the fact that one opinion is more aligned with fact. Therefore, one may be wrong in his opinion, and conversely, one may be right.
    Because I am able to see the image that your country portrays of itself as I am exposed to it. Unlike say, someone living inside that image who can not make an objective observation because they have already been conditioned to said image. They see what they see in their everyday lives - the reality (not image).
    So your YELLING at godix because his reality doesn't fit into your image of America? I'll give you the fact that you're better able to critique America from an outsider's point of view, but why would you critize (calling godix a loser and ignorant) when someone tries to set the record straight? Maybe your image of America doesn't fit into reality.
    Out of interest, could you point me to some figures outlining the GAPS between these (apparently not) poor people and the "rich" people in your country?
    Who cares about the GAPS between people? They are irrevalent. So what if there are immensely wealthy people and (apparently not) poor people. The wealthy usually earn their money and so deserve it. Are you going to measure everybody by this guy?
    I mean, how many more baths does a rich person have compared to forementioned poor people?
    Who cares?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    hmmm... (none / 0) (#559)
    by D Jade on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:01:07 PM EST

    Alls I have to say is that there is more than one way to fix a bucket... And the gap I am referring to is not the gap between Bill Gates and yo mamma...

    You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
    [ Parent ]
    Why am I bothering? (5.00 / 1) (#553)
    by godix on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 03:47:26 AM EST

    I know I'm several days late in replying, but what the hell:
    Thinking America is equal to a war torn country may be an opinion, but the article stated it as a fact with nothing behind it to support it. Since I can easily think of many things to disprove this 'fact' this was my main criticism. If the author had indicated this was his opinion rather than fact I would have disagreed with him but not nearly as trollingly as I did.
    Rwanda has an excuse... They're a third world country

    That's not an excuse. Third world country doesn't automatically translate into violence. Regardless of that, third world countries and the situations they're in do not relate to American violence automatically. There has to be a link between the two before it can be accurately said they are related. No one has yet to provide that link between Rwanda and America.
    It was about the question of WHY there is so much violence in America and as an outsider, I am more qualified than you to discuss the representations of American culture.

    Actually no you aren't. As an American I know more of Americas culture instinctively than an outsider does with years of watching American TV. You may know how American media portrays gun lovers, I know NRA members personally. You may know how movies show urban violence, I live in the middle of it. You may have heard ganster rap lyrics glorifying violence, I know the type of person who creates those lyrics. You may know what Rosie ODonnell says, I know the people who join her in marches in Washington. This makes me a lot more qualified to evaluate how the media effects real peoples actions and real violence.
    There's this belief amongst Americans that you are doing the right thing and that you are a freedom loving country... But to the rest of us, the US is an arrogant and oppressive country who thinks the rest of the world can go fuck itself

    These views actually aren't mutually exclusive. It's entirely possible to beleive in the right thing and tell the world to go to hell at the same time. Regardless, neither view is accurate, reality lies somewhere inbetween. How exactly does this relate to internal American violence?
    So if a person has a roof over their head, they are not poor?

    Depends on your definition of poor. If you use Americas definition, then yes. If you use the definition the majority of the world takes, no. Regardless, there is a distinct difference between the 'poor' who have food and shelter and the poor who are living on this street. My comments were related to this difference and if you qualify the first group as poor or not doesn't change my statements. Violence is most likely to be commited by people well feed and sheltered who want luxeries rather than by people who are commiting a crime just to live.
    By the Way, there is no 'e' in truly mate!

    I can't spell worth a shirt. That's one of the main reasons I don't post articles.

    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    [ Parent ]
    very unfair. One by one... (3.50 / 4) (#395)
    by bendrasin on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:36:10 PM EST

    Trolling for Columbine won an Oscar.
     Because of Moores actions on Oscar night
     and the controvery around his movie it
     has probably been watched more than any
     documentary since Roger & Me. You manage
     to perceive this as an attempt to silence
     Moore. Riiiiiight.

    Actually, Moore's mic was litterally turned off and they played music to drown him out at the Oscars.

    The movie is about American violence. So
     is the debate around the movie. Unless
     you can link to Dan Rather saying 'Kill
     all niggers or we chop off your babies
     head in front of you' your bringing in
     Rwandan media tactics into a debate on
     American violence is bullshit.

    Just because something didn't take place in America doesnt mean that there is nothing at all we can learn from it or that it might not in some small way be similar to our situation.  Not bullshit.

     Similarly, the main motivation for the
     crusades (beyond the promise of wealth)
     was that Christians were supposedly
     being slaughtered and had to be saved.  

     Again, that wasn't America. That was
     also before America was even discovered
     much less had the USA and her gun laws
     started. Bullshit, complete bullshit.  

    Just because something didn't take place in America doesnt mean that there is nothing at all we can learn from it or that it might not in some small way be similar to our situation.  Not bullshit.

      The last war on American land was the  
     Civil War around 130 years ago. No child
     born in America today grew up in  a
     'war-torn region'. Bullshit,  bullshit,
     bullshit.

    Point 1: This ingores wars that we inflict on others.  In the last couple of decades that I can remember off the top of my head we've invaded/intervined in Iraq (twice now), Panama, Granada, Somalia, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, and Hati.  There are probably others that I can't remember right now.  These are well covered in the media and could very well give a child the impression that violence was an appropriate way to solve a dispute at a personal level.

    Point 2: Politicians and the media regularly use warlike language and imagery domestically; for the last twenty years we have been fighting the "War on Drugs", inner cities are regularly described as "war zones", etc.

      So are you saying the boy wasn't a  
     pencil-stabbing thug or are you saying  
     his early violence is irrelevent to   his
     later violence?

    I can only speak for myself here.  I believe the word "thug" is inappropriate for describing a six year old as it implies a level of personal responsibility that such a young child doesn't posess.

     Correlation is not causation. Poverty
     doesn't cause violence, but in America
     it is a predictor of violence. On the
     other hand, ever notice that most
     violence in any country are caused by
     people well feed instead of those so
     poor they're living on dumpster divings?

    So fighting poverty and desperation is one of the most effective way to fight violence, you seem to be arguing.  This is a common thesis; what Moore is adding to this analysis is the importance of media portreyal of violence.

    Of course, she might also have pushed him
     into dealing to support her habit. Or she
     might have blown his brains out herself.
     Or she might have just beat him daily.
     That's the fun thing about 'might haves',
     you can make them into anything you want
     to support your biases. And you have.
     Over here in reality we'd like some proof
     that welfare for work is producing gun
     slinging kids.

    I'm sure there is lots of evidence that kids who spend more time with their parents are better adjusted and less likely to exhibit antisocial behavior.  It doesn't sound like a very controvertial point to me.

    Take a look at the first google link for
     "war on poverty". You may know this by
     another name, in America we call it
     'welfare'.

    LBJ did talk about waging a war against poverty, but it is not a goal of our current political establishment.  Most of our current leaders are vieing with one another to outdo each other in getting rid of welfare (at least thats my perception).

     Taliban and American aid.
     ...happens to be totally irrelevent to a
     debate on gun violence in America.
     However it does make the US look bad and
     that apperently was your goal instead of
     intelligent debate on the issues. I'll
     ignore the fact you manage to present the
     facts in such a biased way it's hard to
     call it anything but a lie.

    It shows that we have a stupid and short sighted foreign policy, I guess.  We certainly provided military aid to Afghani resistance fighters during the Soviet occupation, many of whom were muslim extremists who ended up joining the Taliban.

    While this is a true statement it's so
     misleading that it's a lie. You are
     forgetting the fundamental idea that the
     US has a higher population than most
     other first world countries so of course
     it's raw numbers are going to be higher.
     Lets use figures from a site unbiased on
     either side of the issue. The Australian
     government (PDF link) has a file on
     international violence levels. Some
     things to note here: America had a 20%
     drop in crime between 1990 to 2000, the
     largest percentage drop of any country
     listed. The following cities have over 10
     homicides per 100K people: Tallinn,
     Estonia; Moscow, Russia; Pretoria, South
     Africa; and Washington DC, USA. An
     America city tops the list, but there is
     only one American city out of the four
     listed.

    It should be noted that the other three are all in very poor (third world) countries wracked by very severe political and social problems and much greater personal poverty and desperation than exists in the US.

    Anyway, I think you need to look at your link again.  If you are talking about the year 1996, there are six such cities, two of which are in the US and four of which are in third world countries ( I notice that Moscow, Russia, and Vilnius, Lithuania includes ATTEMPTED homicides in their statistics, so the real figure is very likely much lower than the 17.82 and 12.6 respectively cited).  If statistically US cities compare poorly to those of eastern european and african cities, they are downright horrible in comparison to western europe.

     Note that New York and LA, typically
     pictured as  very violent cities, do not
    have over 10 homicides per 100K people.

    New York did in 1996.  If you are using year 2000 data for the comparison, the only cities with over 10 homicides per 100K were Washington DC (41.78) and Vilnius, Lituania (10.2, and since they include attempts the true number is likely much lower).  LA simply wasn't one of the selected cities, so for all you or I know it might have had 10 or more.

    For someone who so freely accuses others of lying you are being very cavelier with your statistics.

    Also note the chance to be a repeat victim
     of crime in 1999 was higher in England &
     Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Netherlands,
     Poland, Sweden, Australia, and Canada
     than it was in America. When looking at
     the charts keep in mind that what is
     important for comparison is % of
     population rather than just numbers,
     America has a higher number of crimes for
     the simple reason American has more
     people.

    Guncite uses polulation adjusted numbers. The chances of being a repeat victem of petty crime in Western Europe seems hardly relevant.

    I encourage everyone to read the Australian government link above.  The statistics are alarming and damning for the US, on both an absolute and proportional basis.

    SIGH. Of course countries with less guns
      are going to have less gun related
      homicides. Try comparing total number
      of homicides regardless of weapon used
      and you'll see a vastly different
      picture painted, as I showed above. I
      love how you link to a site but
      totally ignore it when it shows
      exactly how worthless this statistic
      is.

    You need to re-read the report cited above.  The two US cities in the "selected cities" section are way worse than those of any western european city, and worse even than most easter european or african cities.  

    fuck...gotta get some work done now.  That will have to do.

    [ Parent ]

    Misunderstood my use of stats (4.00 / 3) (#425)
    by godix on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:53:58 PM EST

    Actually, Moore's mic was litterally turned off and they played music to drown him out at the Oscars.

    I didn't watch the Oscars. I don't read the type of media that covers stars and entertainment. From the general news sources I do read the only thing I learned about the Oscars is that Trolling for Columbine won and Moore caused a controversy. Yup, he's being silenced all right.
    Just because something didn't take place in America doesnt mean that there is nothing at all we can learn from it or that it might not in some small way be similar to our situation.

    Just because something took place elsewhere doesn't mean that there is a relationship between it and American violence. The article is applying other countries situations to America with no thought or attempt at showing how they do fit. American media hasn't called for a jihad against blacks. America isn't torn apart by constant fighting and shelling like Yugoslavia (for example) was. Unless he can prove a link his use of those situations is bullshit.
    So fighting poverty and desperation is one of the most effective way to fight violence, you seem to be arguing.

    You're reading to much into what I said. I believe there is a link between what America classifies as poverty and crime. I do not believe fighting poverty is the way to end this link. They are two seperate, but related, issues with different solutions.
    Most of our current leaders are vieing with one another to outdo each other in getting rid of welfare (at least thats my perception).

    Reforming it not removing it. No serious politician has talked about removing it entirely. I'm sure some fringe politicians have, but none that are actually elected. Same as Social Security really, plenty of ideas on changing it but none on getting rid of it.
    It shows that we have a stupid and short sighted foreign policy, I guess.

    American foreign policy has very little to do with American domestic violence. I'm not going to get into the debate on American aid to afghan in the 80's, it's too complex and not related to the discussion on hand.

    As for the enitre statistics section, you seem to be misunderstanding my point. I am not claiming that America is peaceful or that we don't have a major violence problem. I'm not even claiming that we're equal to Western Europe in violence. I am claiming that using ALL homicides instead of just gun homicides gives a different picture. Now that I have looked through the stats again I notice on page 10 they list homicides per 100K in the entire nation which is the stat I really wanted when I started. America falls in at 5.87 which is above Western Europes figures (1.5 England, 3.1 Wales, 1.68 France, and 1.19 Germany) but well below some nations (54.25 South Africa, 20.52 Russia, and russian sattelites ranging from 6.51 to 11.43). Compare this impression of America with the one created using Guncites homicide with firearms rate of .11 for England vs 3.72 in the US. Taking all facts into consideration you're about 3 times more likely to be murdered in the US than England. Cherry picking stats to make it look like you're 37 times more likely to be murdered in America is an exageration so gross I consider it an outright lie. I didn't bring the Australian figures into this to claim America doesn't have a problem, it clearly does, I did it to show how using only firearm related homicides inflates the impression of violence by an order of magnitude.


    "Fuck... may be appropriate in certain venues... (Florida Elections Commission, speed eating contests, public defender offices) and may be inappropriate in
    [ Parent ]

    Apparently the stats are even less reliable (none / 0) (#535)
    by CENGEL3 on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 09:27:05 AM EST

    I read an expose about the comparison between U.S. and U.K. homicide figures that throws even more doubt into the use of these statistics.

    Apparently the U.K. only reports a homicide as a "homicide" if some-one is CONVICTED of that crime. The U.S. figures include all cases that the medical examiners office classifies as "homicide" whether or not there is even an arrest in the case.

    Clearly this skews the figures to make it look like there are less homicides occuring in the U.K.  

    Not sure exactly how large of a discrepency this difference would cause (or how other countries report thier figures) but I think it calls into question the validity of the entire comparison.
    In this case thier not even comparing apples with apples.

    Now, for a cigar, can anyone finnish this phrase "There are lies, damn lies and ...."

    [ Parent ]

    Last War on American Land (none / 0) (#545)
    by bolix on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 12:01:39 AM EST

    The last war on American land was the Civil War around 130 years ago. No child born in America today grew up in a 'war-torn region'. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

    I don't know quite what i find so astonishing about this statement. The fact that its author considers himself educated enough to rant at length or the whitewashed historical basis for much of the rhetoric.

    "American Land" is a floating concept ripe for interpretation. You perhaps mean the United States of America. You might want to read up on the Spanish American War (1898) which gifted Puerto Rico, the Phillipines and Cuba with decades more of strife while under the US banner and conceptually "American Land".

    US forces have seen action in "South America" well within the 130 year figure you quote: Nicaragua, Panama, Guatamala, Argentina, Chile, Cuba etc have experience both overt and covert US military "intervention" and sometimes outright invasion.

    Perhaps you forget quite where Guantanamo Bay is?



    [ Parent ]
    Outside Looking In (4.35 / 17) (#225)
    by hengist on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:23:34 AM EST

    I'm very much on the outside of this looking in. By that, I mean that I'm not an USian (I'm a New Zealander), and while I have little experience with the problems that Moore discusses in his films, I do follow the discussions about them when I am able to.

    One thing that has struck me is the extraordinary viciousness of US politics. This appears everywhere, from the floor of Congress, to sites like K5: whenever "Left" and "Right" come together to discuss an issue, (virtual) blood flows. It is as if they regard themselves as mortal enemies, rather than political rivals. It seems sometimes that Republicans treat the Democrats even worse than they treat al Qaeda: they seem to think that all of the states/countrys/worlds ills would be cured if the liberal/socialist/godless Democrats no longer existed. Meanwhile, the Democrats shriek on about the heartless, evil, Christian Republicans

    The funny thing is, from the outside looking in, there isn't that much difference between the Democrats and Republicans: from a NZ point of view, they are both extremely right-wing.

    When did US politics get so bloody? You're dealing with your political rivals, not the anti-Christ.

    There can be no Pax Americana

    also from the outside lookin in (1.20 / 5) (#229)
    by Nigga on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:02:36 AM EST

    that peter lynds fucker is kind of a clown.

    --------
    The fuck happened to Nigga?
    [ Parent ]

    Response (2.55 / 9) (#241)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:28:43 AM EST

    One thing that has struck me is the extraordinary viciousness of US politics.
    This is true anywhere you have opposing viewpoints.
    It seems sometimes that Republicans treat the Democrats even worse than they treat al Qaeda...
    How?
    The funny thing is, from the outside looking in, there isn't that much difference between the Democrats and Republicans...
    This tells me that you're ignorant to American politics (no offense). The Republicans are juxtaposed to the Democrats on almost every major issue.
    from a NZ point of view, they are both extremely right-wing.
    The Democrats are only "right-wing" to someone who is a dyed in the wool communist. To say that the party who wants to give more control over to the government is "right-wing" is pretty ignorant.
    You're dealing with your political rivals...
    Government (or lack of it) involves a great part of everybody's life, whether you realize it or not. To say that it's just a political rivalry seems to put it in the same camp as a soccer or baseball game. This is not a mere competition, we're talking about policies that affect the very cores of how one can live.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Different definitions of left and right (4.63 / 11) (#244)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:18:45 AM EST

    The Republicans are juxtaposed to the Democrats on almost every major issue.

    But they are agreed on issues such as no nationalisation of utilities, transport or industry, no increased influence from trade unions, protectionism for US industry, support for the IMF and World Bank, no state funded health service. On issues such as criminal law and prison reform there are differences, but both sides essentially follow a punishment, not rehabilitation, led policy. Both parties espouse christian credentials - can you imagine an atheist president? These things are the very crux of the debate between right and left in the rest of the western world.

    By European and Antipodean standards the Democrats are pretty right wing. It may seem that they disagree with the Republicans on most things, but that is only because they have been in agreement over others for so long they aren't even debated any more.


    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    Actually (3.00 / 4) (#255)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:17:38 AM EST

    But they are agreed on issues such as...no state funded health service...
    Democrats are increasingly for a state funded and run health service. They are the ones most in favor of Medicare and Medicade (which we already have and pay a tax on; whether we get it or not). Republicans are against such services by the government. On the other topics I'll just say that there are fundamental differences by both parties but I'll leave it up to another K5er to espouse upon them.
    By European and Antipodean standards the Democrats are pretty right wing.
    Once again, this is simply not the case. The Democrats are fast turning into the socialist party. To say that there isn't much difference is ignorant.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    ignorant? (3.20 / 5) (#258)
    by livus on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:49:11 AM EST

    your right hand and your left hand are different from one another, but hold more in common than, say, your right hand and someone else's foot.

    To claim that anyone from a different system who thinks your parties are the same is somehow "socialist" or "communist" is at least as ignorant, as all it shows is that you, too, have a great deal of trouble telling the political parties of other countries apart from one another.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    What? (4.00 / 2) (#280)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:34:36 AM EST

    To claim that anyone from a different system who thinks your parties are the same is somehow "socialist" or "communist" is at least as ignorant...
    I didn't do that. I said, "The Democrats are only 'right-wing' to someone who is a dyed in the wool communist. To say that the party who wants to give more control over to the government is 'right-wing' is pretty ignorant." I should have said that a person who says such a thing is either ignorant, communist, or likes a dictatorship. I guess that's why you gave me a one rating. Knee jerk response?
    ...as all it shows is that you, too, have a great deal of trouble telling the political parties of other countries apart from one another.
    I don't give much of a shit about another country's politics and don't claim as much. Never once did I talk about another country's government. I merely stated that saying there isn't much difference between the Democrats and Republicans is pretty ignorant.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    You NEED to know about other countries (4.75 / 4) (#293)
    by nebbish on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:51:46 AM EST

    I don't give much of a shit about another country's politics and don't claim as much. Never once did I talk about another country's government. I merely stated that saying there isn't much difference between the Democrats and Republicans is pretty ignorant.

    You need to look at other countries and their politics to be able to see the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats isnt very big - you need a something to compare your country to, a control if you like.


    ---------
    Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
    [ Parent ]

    indeed.. (5.00 / 1) (#310)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:44:51 AM EST

    From the outside looking in, the macroscopic difference between the Republicans and Democrats is very small, given the whole range of the political spectrum exists.

    [ Parent ]
    Really? (5.00 / 2) (#333)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:58:01 PM EST

    I postulate that it was a rather large difference for the people of Iraq.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    not really (none / 0) (#344)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:16:09 PM EST

    UN military action was inevitable.

    [ Parent ]
    Now there... (5.00 / 1) (#350)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:32:50 PM EST

    ...is an eternal optimist.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    dude, even france was an advocate [nt] (none / 0) (#352)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:34:43 PM EST



    [ Parent ]
    no that's not it (2.00 / 1) (#435)
    by livus on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:40:32 PM EST

    I gave you a one because I don't think reiterating "you are ignorant m'kay" is a constructive (or accurate) approach. I don't mod on level of agreement, I mod on type of content.

    However I'll refrain from giving you another one - for basically repeating "you are ignorant m'kay" -  if it makes you feel better.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]

    Wow. Hold your horses cowboys! (3.88 / 9) (#269)
    by trezor on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:25:01 AM EST

    It is -amazing- for any european to read this, you know.

    Obviously anyone claiming that both the democrats and republicans are (extreme) right-wing parties, get the ignorant communist-stamp quicker than the speed of light.

    Is it -so- freaking hard to realise that your opinions are affected by the system you live under? That people elsewhere might see things differently?

    No, really. I got an American friend back in Norway, and he says by typical American standards, all of Europe would be considered communist terretory.

    We are simply positioning two parties, while you are condeming a whole freaking continent, for crying out loud! That should get your heads started, huh?

    You talk of socialism (put simple: helping out people who are in need of help) like it was the absolute damnation of the entire world. I can't really see how you guys get that point of view, but hell. We are all entitled to opinions.

    So relax, think, admit and accept that poeple and their opinions are different. And no, that dont automaticly make them ignorant or communists. Ok?


    --
    Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

    [ Parent ]
    It's becuase... (1.71 / 7) (#279)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:29:28 AM EST

    You talk of socialism (put simple: helping out people who are in need of help) like it was the absolute damnation of the entire world. I can't really see how you guys get that point of view, but hell. We are all entitled to opinions.

    Americans are greedy. The *REALLY* hate helping people less fortunate, because capitalism in such an unchecked form breeds a belief in people that if they have money they are *better* than someone who doesn't. Completely ignoring chance, luck, or just "who you know".

    If someone is starving, it's because they are probably addicted to crack or just don't want to work, or something. All the time we have Bush creating an economic environment where more people lose jobs, and more rich people get richer.

    It's really fascinating to watch.

    [ Parent ]

    Wow,..more European ignorance (3.83 / 6) (#283)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:47:08 AM EST

    Americans are greedy. The *REALLY* hate helping people less fortunate...
    Uh,...yeah,...that's why America gives out more foreign aid than any other country.
    ...because capitalism in such an unchecked form breeds a belief in people that if they have money they are *better* than someone who doesn't.
    Capitalism brings about a greater system of wealth creation and production than socialism ever has. Some people hold the view that money equals status,..sadly, these people exist in all forms of government and economies.
    Completely ignoring chance, luck, or just "who you know".
    What about hard work, ingenuity, and invention? Not everybody is wealthy because of "chance, luck, or just 'who you know'."
    If someone is starving, it's because they are probably addicted to crack or just don't want to work, or something.
    If someone is starving they can apply themselves and feed themselves. It's not hard to do in America.

    The only scary part is that there's a world full of people who think like you. You espouse and harp on the greatness of systems like France's government. Yet you fail to realize that France's unemployment rate is twice that of America's. Some good socialism is doing for them.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    More American Greed (2.57 / 7) (#287)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:57:35 AM EST

    What about hard work, ingenuity, and invention? Not everybody is wealthy because of "chance, luck, or just 'who you know'."

    You will never get ahead by hard work.

    The people that work the hardest are usually the poorest. THe people that sit behind a CEO desk are the richest....rich on the backs of people that actually do work.

    If someone is starving they can apply themselves and feed themselves. It's not hard to do in America.

    And again, you betray the exact same line of thought that I was ranting against. If someone is poor, it's their own damn fault. They sure ain't gettin' none of mine!

    You espouse and harp on the greatness of systems like France's government. Yet you fail to realize that France's unemployment rate is twice that of America's.,

    Actually, I didn't say anything about France. It wasn't mentioned even once in my comment. But yeah, it's pretty easy for Americans to bash the french these days, so why not just toss it in for good measure, eh?

    You see, what is really scary is that the world is full of people like *YOU*. You completely fail to realize that your own sucess depends greatly on those around you. And that for every dollar you have, either a tree is cut down, a life is lost, or someone starves. There is not a infinate amount of resources on this planet. In order for capitalism to continue this great job of "creating wealth" they have to continue to either make sure they keep it all, or "create more" by destroying more natural resources. It's just how it is.

    Helping people is good. Sharing is good. They taught you that in 2nd grade before you grew up and got greedy.

    [ Parent ]

    You're an ass (3.33 / 6) (#289)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:23:13 AM EST

    You will never get ahead by hard work.
    Bullshit. I personally know a lot of people who got ahead by hard work.
    You completely fail to realize that your own sucess depends greatly on those around you.
    No I don't.
    You see, what is really scary is that the world is full of people like *YOU*.
    Why? I don't hurt anybody or take your money to live my life. Why the hell would you say that? I'm the one for making it on your own in life and for personal responsibility.
    And that for every dollar you have, either a tree is cut down, a life is lost, or someone starves.
    What? So if I invent something then sell the design who got killed, who starved, and what tree got cut down? You must have this belief that wealth isn't created; that it's stolen and shuffled around. Tell me: how does someone lose a life or starve because of the money in my pocket? Did Rusty make someone starve and die while making money off of this site? HAHAHA! This is so stupid as to be laughable.
    There is not a infinate amount of resources on this planet.
    And we'll always find new sources of energy and resources when the need arises. That is, as long as we have a government that allows it. You remind me of the people of late 1800's who were all worried because the number one source of oil (whale blubber) was becoming scarce because of over-fishing. And what happened? A resourceful individual decided to experiment by drilling the earth in Titusville, Pennsylvania, USA and struck oil. Nice how it works, huh? And who says we will always be limited to earth? You know,..some forward thinking individuals envision a day when we will be able to mine asteroids (probably by those evil greedy capitalists).
    In order for capitalism to continue this great job of "creating wealth" they have to continue to either make sure they keep it all, or "create more" by destroying more natural resources. It's just how it is.
    What about renewable energy sources? Solar power, nuclear power? You're answer of "it's just how it is" is so overly simplistic. OMG!! THE SKY IS FALLING AND IT'S THE GREEDY CAPITALISTS!!
    Helping people is good. Sharing is good. They taught you that in 2nd grade before you grew up and got greedy.
    Maybe you missed the post that said that Americans give more in foreign aid than any other country. But that probably doesn't fit into your American hating world view. Oh well,...continue to ignore facts and continue hating the greedy capitalists. I don't recall Europe giving out as much as America does. BTW, you shouldn't hate. They taught us that in pre-school before you grew up to be a hating and ignorant bastard.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Wow. (3.25 / 4) (#302)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:29:25 AM EST

    I just read your diary. And damn son, you need some help.

    Let me draw this out for you.

    Enterprise, business, and generally human life depends on the consumption of resources. With that much, I'm sure you agree.

    If you decide it's in your best interests to accumulate way more wealth than you will ever spend, you are hoarding resources that could be used more effectively by other. (Like, oh, poor people for instance.)

    While *YOU YOURSELF* may not be directly responsible for someones death, mass hoarding of wealth is.

    I understand that conservatives do not believe that. They honestly believe that it is possible to *create* wealth, rather than convert resources into paper, paper which also is the result of the destruction of other resources. But in the end, it is destruction. Trees die, people die, and people starve. So that Bill gates can have a billion more dollars than he will ever spend. It was a metaphor. Not litteral. A "life" being lost does not necessarily refer to human life.

    See, money is in it's most basic form, is a symbol. It's a symbol that is supposed to represent resources. It is used in place of direct barter. THats been long forgotten by capitalists, and conservatives especially. Yes, America gives a lot of foreign aid, AS THEY SHOULD. Because they control the majority of the worlds natural resources, either through political/military means, or through simply occupying the land.

    But the overall problem is that people, once attaining a level of wealth that lets them live comfortably, want more and more. Until they get so incredibly wealthy that money has no meaning to them. So what if Bill Gates pays 40% of his income out in taxes? He still keeps more money than you will ever see in your life.

    And so you see, if you have a huge amount of money(resources) someone else has less. The world is not infinate, and at some point, obscured under many layers of abstraction, that dollar in your pocket directly ties to the usage and destruction of resources. That is *WHY* we have to keep looking for new ways to come up with energy, and suck even more energy out of this rock we live on.

    Eventually, if not already, we will be pitted in a war with our technology on one side, and the environment in which we live on the other. If you believe in the strength of the human mind to overcome that challenge, then so be it. That's a totally different debate. But in this case, I say take the conservative estimate. Don't hoard resources, share them. Try to lessen our impact on the environment, don't just run blindly ahead assuming we'll come up with a solution later.

    Solar power is hardly applied, and not nearly funded enough to make any serious impact right now. Thanks to your conservative buddies. Nuclear energy is *NOT* renewable, because it leaves waste that will outlast us, and is by far the most toxic thing ever discovered. Hydrogen fuels cells make sense, but are barely funded because your conservative heros are a little too thirsty for oil. And why not burn all the oil? I mean seriously, it's not like the environment is damaged by it or anything right? Bush said that it's still "in debate" and that solid evidence hasn't yet come out. Because he is a liar. It's clearly proven what dumping tons of CO2 into the air does, and what it does is called "global warming" or "the greenhouse effect". Claiming the results are not yet in is like a guy whos house is on fire telling the fire chief to leave because the results aren't yet conclusive.

    So all in all, I hope you are right. And that with the conservatives at the helm, everything will work out...because "market forces" will just save everyone in the end. Except those outside America, and except those inside America who just don't make the grade for whatever reason.

    It's amazing the venom you hold for social security, which is just simple sharing. You may not get much back out of it, but hey, maybe you'll die and your wife and children will get even more out of it than you ever paid in. That's the genius of the system, it takes care of people. That is if again your conservative cohorts didn't raid the "excess".

    Anyway...you're a retard.

    [ Parent ]

    Wow (4.25 / 4) (#327)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:46:00 PM EST

    All of that and you end it with "you're a retard".

    Let me pick apart this tripe piece by inaccurate piece.

    If you decide it's in your best interests to accumulate way more wealth than you will ever spend, you are hoarding resources that could be used more effectively by other. (Like, oh, poor people for instance.)
    I notice a lot of entitlement coming from your posts, all in the guise of "helping" and "caring" about people. As if you are entitled to the wealth that someone else earned.
    While *YOU YOURSELF* may not be directly responsible for someones death, mass hoarding of wealth is.
    You still haven't proven this.
    They honestly believe that it is possible to *create* wealth, rather than convert resources into paper, paper which also is the result of the destruction of other resources. But in the end, it is destruction. Trees die, people die, and people starve.
    So where does wealth come from? I realize that it's taken from raw elements and transformed into actual usable products, but if it's not created, than how is it made? Wealth creation does not necessarily lead to death. Ever hear of loggers replanting the forests?
    See, money is in it's most basic form, is a symbol. It's a symbol that is supposed to represent resources. It is used in place of direct barter. Thats been long forgotten by capitalists, and conservatives especially.
    Not at all. Okay, money is a symbol to represent wealth (resources). Check. So someone with more to barter with (say corn and wheat) gets to buy more. Check. The person who created the most corn and wheat (money in today's terms) gets to buy the most goods as a result of his hard work and/or ingenuity. Check. How again do capitalists forget this?
    But the overall problem is that people, once attaining a level of wealth that lets them live comfortably, want more and more.
    Kind of like you: sitting in front of a computer on the internet bitching about capitalism and how it's unfair. Why didn't you just give your computer and internet money to a poor person?
    Solar power is hardly applied, and not nearly funded enough to make any serious impact right now. Thanks to your conservative buddies.
    Uh,..yeah! It's the cheapest form of energy and there's no market push to develope new sources. I said before that it will happen when it's needed. Hey,..aren't you sitting in front of a computer? Do you know how much petroleum products are in your computer?
    Bush said that it's still "in debate" and that solid evidence hasn't yet come out. Because he is a liar. It's clearly proven what dumping tons of CO2 into the air does, and what it does is called "global warming" or "the greenhouse effect". Claiming the results are not yet in is like a guy whos house is on fire telling the fire chief to leave because the results aren't yet conclusive.
    Bush is a liar? Evidence? The sun has 11 and 110 year cycles. The earth goes through 100,000 year iceages with intermitten spans of 1,000 year "green periods". The earth goes through a 22,500 year "wobble cycle". The earth goes through a 45,000 year tilt cycle. And we have enough evidence to show that the earth is heating up due to human involvement with 100, 200 years data at best! HAHAHAHA! One for the morons!
    It's amazing the venom you hold for social security, which is just simple sharing.
    Then be a man of your word! Send me some money! Share! It wouldn't be the first time a K5er has given me money. Come on,..gengis gave me $100,..surely you can to prove your point that you're for social security!

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    partykidd is gay. /nt (1.75 / 4) (#336)
    by rmg on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:00:46 PM EST



    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    Troll. (3.00 / 2) (#341)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:10:08 PM EST

    Look - I've been reading you diary for a while.

    And basically, you seem like a cool enough kid. Perhaps a little bit too obsessed with guns..but whatever.

    I don't have to send you money to prove I believe in social security - I pay money into social security for that.

    It's a logical impossibility in my mind to preach PLUR and group consciousness, and be a conservative at the same time. Maybe you are a conservative at heart, and I truly hope that someday that you learn the error of your ways. Hopefully you'll stop voting for the people that try to incarcerate you for drug use. Because we can both agree it's bullshit.

    But maybe you're just a troll, and in that case, you're a pretty damn good one...since I rarely get trolled that fucking hard for that long, without realizing it.

    Either way, thanks for an entertaining morning. It was thoroughly more enjoyable than actually working!

    [ Parent ]

    Social Security (1.00 / 3) (#424)
    by BlackHawk on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:45:21 PM EST

    Social security is for people in need and you have made it abundantly clear that you have no need. Now, why don't *you* burn some money to prove how great capitolism is? With your amazing powers of wealth generation you can just generate some more to flaunt in front of "poor people". And before you ask, I am quite aware it is a crime to burn currency in your country.

    [ Parent ]
    In defense of the "retard" (5.00 / 4) (#337)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:01:01 PM EST

    1) Global Warming... If I am not mistaken there have been predictions of Global Warming for over 30 years now. People have put forward various models of what the actual climactic effects are supposed to have been. Unless I am misinformed (which may be possible because I am not an expert on the subject)  Not a single one of those models has correlated with the actual data collected in the intervening years. Given that, I'd say it's not unreasonable to claim "the results are not in yet).

    2) All LIFE (not just human) "consumes" resources. However these resources don't just go off into some great void (check out the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy sometime) they are converted into some other type of resource...which may or may not be usefull. Where the heck do you think oil comes from in the first place? Even for people that "hoard" resources, those resources don't somehow dissappear from the system.

    3) If we were behaving in a truely natural way we wouldn't give any aid to "other tribes". Nature is not very kind to organisims which cannot effectively compete for resources.

    While I don't advocate that kind of heartless approach....I don't see where you are drawing this supposed "obligation" to give aid to other nations from.

    4) The U.S. does not control a majority of the worlds natural resources. Only a fraction of the worlds natural resources are located on U.S. soil.
    Other nations just haven't been as effective at utlizing thier own resources. The U.S. has had a surplus knowhow (which is a human resource) of how to utilize those resources effectively and we've traded that resource in return for other resources.

    5) The U.S. is a relatively rich nation because it's population does not execede the amount of resources it has access to....should we feel guilty about being responsible enough not to let our population skyrocket out of control in proportion to our resources?

    6) Capitalism is far from a perfect system. I agree that under it is not uncommon for accumilations of wealth to end up in the hands of certain individuals far beyond what they fairlt deserve. However, historicly examples of Communism have routienely resulted in unstable systems that have devolved into orgies of bloodlust and repression far beyond the worst nightmares of anything that has been seen under capitalism. Hard line communists often have promoted thier ideals under the banner of "Socialism" in order to soften adverse reactions to them. Therefore "Socialism" has, itself become somewhat of a dirty word in the "U.S."

    7) The idea that the Republican and Democratic parties are "the  same" may make a nice soundbite but it is highly inaccurate. They may have some issues in common but there are vast philosophical differences on many important issues between the 2 parties. Many of the more "socialist" positions that it was written are not advocated by the democratic party...ARE, in fact, being advocated by the Democratic party. Take a close look at thier platform if you doubt me.

    8) While there is a good deal of rancour in U.S. politics today, I find the idea that this partisanship is somehow a uniquely U.S. phenomenom to be rather specious. For example, if I am not mistaken, there are still socities in England devoted to debating The Corn Laws of 1836 Act.
     

    [ Parent ]

    OK. (2.50 / 2) (#346)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:25:47 PM EST

    1) Global Warming - greenhouse gasses cause the greenhouse effect. C02 dumped into the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels is among those gasses. Perhaps we have not dumped enough in yet to lead to the apocolypse, but I say we stop before we find out for sure.

    2) Resources - you hit the nail on the head. While we do not actually "destroy" resources, we do reduce them to things not usable. Even if you don't think global warming is happening due in any part to pollution, you can certainly see how it's not a good idea to cut down all the trees and pollute rivers right? Or for that matter, fish until their are no fish left? CHanging single variables in a system as complex as ours can lead to drastic changes you don't necessarily notice for quite sometime. I'm simply says we should do what we can to not totally fuck everything up.

    3) We have an obligation to give aid because we use far more natural resources than our size proportionally dictates that we should. And it's just a nice thing to do for people. Especially people you've oppressed in order to gain your wealth.

    4) I didn't say we're sitting one the majority of the worlds natural resources, I said we control the majority of the worlds natural resources. Either by military means, or political means, *or* by actually sitting on them. (which was aquired by military means.)

    5) Give it time. We haven't become overpopulated because we have gigantic country.

    6) I understand how socialism has been maligned. And I'm not advocating a 100% socialist state. I'm saying that the best is a combination of both. Our economy may never have recovered from the great depression without socialist programs.

    7) Never said they were the same.

    8) Never said it was.

    [ Parent ]

    The anti-entropy party! (5.00 / 2) (#382)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:09:28 PM EST

    Sorry, but we are unbending in our fanatical devotion to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Religious zealots, one might even say.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    obligation and overpopulation (3.66 / 3) (#402)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:06:23 PM EST

    We have an obligation to give aid because we use far more natural resources than our size proportionally dictates that we should.
    America produces the most wealth. Perhaps that is why we use far more natural resources? The rest of the world then benefits from this as we export and trade.
    Give it time. We haven't become overpopulated because we have gigantic country.
    And we won't become overpopulated. The population of any given area tends to level off as it rises to a level where the resources available will support the most amount of people. Many industrial nations aren't even at the replacement rate (somewhere just over two kids on average per couple), and in fact will start seeing shrinking populations.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    A few short comments (4.50 / 2) (#403)
    by pyramid termite on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:08:16 PM EST

    Bullshit. I personally know a lot of people who got ahead by hard work.

    I know some who haven't. I will say that I don't know anyone who got ahead by sitting around on their ass.

    I'll also say that you're probably more dependant on the people around you, including the country you live in at large, then you seem to realize. They can affect your life greatly. They can give you an environment you can thrive in and they can give you an environment that is pure hell and a lot of that is out of your control. Consider yourself fortunate that like most Americans, you live in a very favorable environment.

    And we'll always find new sources of energy and resources when the need arises.

    Hold on. Can you PROVE that assumption? You can't.

    And who says we will always be limited to earth?

    No one - and that would help considerably with your assumption above, if it's actually done.

    You know,..some forward thinking individuals envision a day when we will be able to mine asteroids (probably by those evil greedy capitalists).

    Unfortunately for us, they'll probably be speaking Chinese.

    On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
    [ Parent ]
    yeah (3.66 / 3) (#285)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:55:15 AM EST

    Is it -so- freaking hard to realise that your opinions are affected by the system you live under? That people elsewhere might see things differently?
    Yeah. Like America is the richest (by far) nation in the world with the biggest (by far) military. We give out more in foreign aid (by far) than any country could ever hope to come close to. I guess that would affect my view of the system.
    You talk of socialism (put simple: helping out people who are in need of help) like it was the absolute damnation of the entire world. I can't really see how you guys get that point of view, but hell.
    I'll never fault the intent. It's the inefficient method that I (and a lot of others) don't like. We get that view because it doesn't allow for wealth creation in the amount that capitalism does (put simple: letting people help themselves who are in need of help).
    So relax, think, admit and accept that poeple and their opinions are different. And no, that dont automaticly make them ignorant or communists. Ok?
    To say that the Democrats and Republicans are the same is ignorant. Ok?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Extremes (2.00 / 2) (#426)
    by BlackHawk on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:00:10 PM EST

    Capitolism can certainly increase the ability to provide for yourself financially, if you happen to be one of the lucky types e.g.

  • White
  • Educated
  • Of sound mind and body
  • Motivated
  • Possessed of common sense and business acumen
  • Where it fails miserably is for the less fortunate. People born with disbilities like Thalidamide babies (caused by a companies greed and desire to market more drugs that weren't properly tested), MS, Downs syndrome, depression (that's something like 1 in 4 of you), spinal bifida, bi-polar, schizophrenia or any of the thousands of other aflictions that make life far more difficult for these people.

    Where capitolism would simply throw these people on the shit heap and hope they died in the streets socialism will attempt to provide them with the basic facilites to live a decent life. e.g.

  • Health care
  • Mental, moral and spiritual support
  • Financial support
  • A roof over their heads and food in their bellies
  • Any community, of whatever size, that fails to provide for their poor, elderly, unfortunate, war veterens and their widows, mentally ill or just plain stupid is in danger of becoming ruthless to the point of self destruction.

    Yes, I do have to pay a higher rate of tax for this, and I would rather that everyone was a driven, lucky, well adjustment and profit producing balanced individual, but that's not the reality we live in. Sometimes people need a little support, and sometimes they need a lot. Some people abuse this, but let's not condemn the whole system for the actions of a few. These abusers would be out committing more serious crimes than social security fraud if we took away this safety net.

    [ Parent ]

    Don't be such an idiot. (4.25 / 4) (#451)
    by jjayson on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:23:14 AM EST

    Capitalism doesn't "throw these people on the shit heap and hope they died in the streets" you moron. People have a responsiblity to help others. It is your duty as a human to give to charities and give to others. Socialism tries to alleviate that burden from people, "You don't need to worry about your fellow humans. We, the big government, can take care of it for you." Of course that is a lie that just moves people into complacency.

    People give more in real dollar terms when they are rich. People will take things upon themselves when somebody else is promising to do it.

    Socialism is like the opiate of the cold hearted. It makes promises that you can forget your fellow man, but rarely follows through with those promises, but what do you care. You paid your taxes.

    You are walking down the stree with your friend. Your friend is quite well off, much more so than you. You pass a homeless man on the street. You would be a good man if you gave what you could and tried to talk your friend into giving what he could. How good of a man would you be if you pulled a gun on your friend and threated to kill or have him imprisoned if he didn't donate to the homeless man?

    Socialism often has to be pushed on people by force. Where is the morality in that?
    --
    This space for rent.
    [ Parent ]

    Well now (3.00 / 2) (#500)
    by lukkk on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 11:12:40 PM EST

    Capitalism doesn't "throw these people on the shit heap and hope they died in the streets" you moron.

    No, capitalism in itself does not, but USians do.

    People have a responsiblity to help others. It is your duty as a human to give to charities and give to others. Socialism tries to alleviate that burden from people, "You don't need to worry about your fellow humans. We, the big government, can take care of it for you."

    The government interferes, because even if something "is a duty", it doesn't mean that people will do it given the chance not to.

    Now what would somebody sleeping on the streets and eating from carbage cans appreciate more: a dollar from some stranger passing by, or enough dollars to get a roof on his head, some food to eat and proper health care from the government?

    [ Parent ]

    "but USians do" (none / 0) (#550)
    by partykidd on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 08:07:44 PM EST

    It looks like you don't know a damn thing about the US. First, we are Americans, not fucking "USians". Second, we are a very charitable nation with plenty of outlets that are not government funded.
    Now what would somebody sleeping on the streets and eating from carbage cans appreciate more: a dollar from some stranger passing by, or enough dollars to get a roof on his head, some food to eat and proper health care from the government?
    Once again: it's not the government's job to feed and clothe you. It's not the government's job to give you health care. No, that's not cold-hearted.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    When You Say "USian"... (none / 0) (#556)
    by thelizman on Thu Aug 21, 2003 at 10:13:20 PM EST

    No, capitalism in itself does not, but USians do.
    ...who are you referring to? The United States of America, the United States of Mexico? Because it only ones population is properly referred to as "American".

    Boy, this meme has gotten so out of control that some people think they're actually being witty with the stupidity.
    --

    "Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
    [ Parent ]
    Capitolism? (none / 0) (#481)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:10:32 PM EST

    Would that be an economic system based around the legislative center of a country?



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    foreign aid (2.50 / 2) (#434)
    by paelon on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:34:28 PM EST

    We give out more in foreign aid (by far) than any country could ever hope to come close to.

    Based on percentage of GDP, the US ranks very poorly among all other first world nations. It now technically gives out more aid than Japan, but the difference is less than 10%. This is not because the US has increased foreign aid dramatically, but because Japan has reduced theirs. I believe they used to give 33% more than the US.

    [ Parent ]

    I really hate that arguement, it makes no sense (2.50 / 4) (#441)
    by partykidd on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 12:51:44 AM EST

    As if a percentage of the GDP matters in terms of financial handouts to the world. So we produce the most wealth and don't give out the same percentage as another country we're given a bad mark? How? We still give way more than any other country. The "percentage of GDP" arguement seems to be the only thing that the world can point to when it wants to critize the amount that America gives out. To those nations and detractors I say: come even close to the amount that American citizens give to the world before you critize.

    Here's an idea: How about the measuring the amount of aid in proportion to the percentage of US population? That's the figure that really matters and America wins hands down.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    if a beggar asks for some change (5.00 / 2) (#445)
    by the sixth replicant on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:03:41 AM EST

    and Bill Gates gives him 50 cents and then another guy gives him his *last* 50 cents until his next pay check in a fortnight's time - who is the greater man, Bill Gates or the other guy?

    Ciao

    [ Parent ]

    Neither, the actions are equivalent (4.00 / 2) (#480)
    by RyoCokey on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:08:22 PM EST

    The man can buy the exact same amount of bread with either of the $0.50 contributions. Percentages feed no one.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    To the beggar? neither. (4.00 / 2) (#503)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 11:28:19 PM EST

    From the beggar's point of view, the actions are equivalent. The poor man may have made the greater act of charity, but his impact on the life of the beggar is the same as Gates'.


    --
    You can't raise my prices. You can't build more power plants. You can't build more power lines. Why are my lights out!?!


    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, but... (none / 0) (#562)
    by Russell Dovey on Sun Sep 07, 2003 at 06:47:06 PM EST

    You damn well know that the beggar will still think that Gates is a tightwad for giving him only fifty cents.

    That's why the rest of the world says "Yeah, great, America, thanks for the crumbs! Nice! How about giving up one or two aircraft carriers and solving world hunger?"

    "Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
    [ Parent ]

    The US still doesn't do well. (3.33 / 3) (#495)
    by paelon on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 09:06:59 PM EST

    How about the measuring the amount of aid in proportion to the percentage of US population?

    I'm assuming you mean measuring total aid divided by total population. I haven't seen any data like that readily available, but for a few countries it's pretty easy to make: (population figures from here) (total aid figures from here)

    US
    Population: 290,342,554
    Total Aid: $10.9 billion
    Aid Per Person: $37.54

    Japan
    Population: 127,214,499
    Total Aid: $9.7 billion
    Aid Per Person: $76.25

    Netherlands
    Population: 16,150,511
    Total Aid: $3.2 billion
    Aid Per Person: $198.14

    I used aid figures other than the CIA world factbook because their figure for total aid given by the states is from '97 (and it's about $3 billion lower than the figure from the other page).

    As I mention, it is only recently that the US has taken over the title of largest donar in raw dollars. They are not anywhere near the top of the list on a per person, or % of GDP scale.

    [ Parent ]

    Doesn't do well? (none / 0) (#502)
    by partykidd on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 11:25:39 PM EST

    That figure is greatly skewered because it leaves out all of the military expenditures of the US. The US pays the most to the UN. The US supplies most of NATO's and the UN's army. Factor those in and other nations do not even come close to the aid that the US gives.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    It took me some time to make those figures... (3.50 / 2) (#511)
    by paelon on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 06:53:03 AM EST

    And I see you weren't bothered to reciprocate the favour. Using terms like 'do not even come close' is vague. Could you tell me how much more the US gives in foreign aid compared to the other two countries I provided information for, and how your foreign aid figure is reached?

    I'm curious as to exactly much more the US spends, and since you define foreign aid much differently than I do, it would help for you to give some concrete information.



    [ Parent ]

    Aid not as important as Trade. (5.00 / 1) (#532)
    by jjayson on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 03:58:15 PM EST

    According to an unofficial CBO-derived abstract (no link) for 2002. Foreign Aid and military assistance was almost double your terrorismanswer.com (the link itself has some terrible analysis) at roughly $22b (not deducting loan repayments) after including emergency disbursements like the half a billion given to Pakistan after 9/11. This puts America about even with the aggregate of the EU, a better measure than any single country since the scales are more similar.

    Japan's real aid numbers fell in net terms because of a weaker Yen and from subtracted loans repayments for the Asian Flu a few years ago.

    However, to be a proponent of looking at foreign aid numbers you are to first show that foreign aid actually helps. There are IMF and World Bank issues that retard growth. Money is siphoned off, or sometimes just taken completely, by corrupt leaders. Aid is used in the wrong direction, focusing on tangible capital instead of unmeasureable forms of capital. It's like welfare for nations: Once a country enters the welfare ranks it almost never leaves and just becomes more dependant on the system. There was a great story I remember reading about where tractors, harvestors, and other modern farm machinery was given to African farmers. A decade later, people returned to look at how these farmers were doing with new technology. They found it rusting on the side of the field because it was useless there. These kind of situations appear to be commonplace. While this unused aid is counted on a countries budget sheets, it does nothing but subtract from the global capital.

    Aid works on the aggregate. If you give someone $100 dollars, they can do a little with it, but not enough to change their lifestyle. Trade works on the margins. For each dollar you earn, you get an extra 10 cents. so, just earning 1000 dollars now gives you that 100, plus you have added to your capital stock and thus the global capital stock. You have worked harder and have since we are encouraging at the margin, you have an incentive to hire more workers and produce even more.

    The Economist had an issue on foreign assistance. While it ranked the US second to last in terms of aid (second to Japan) it ranked the US first by a large margin in trade policies. While we don't hand out cash, we make it easier to build capital, and that is far more important than any tiny aid packages considering the size of the global economy.

    While American companies, pressured by the US government, turned their back on Brazilian manufactoring of patented AIDS drugs, that wasn't counted towards the American aid bottom line, even though it was far more beneficial than just giving these drugs. It created pharma jobs and greatly boosted the capital stock of Brazil (and other nations) and continues to do so everyday.

    There is this great saying that leftists don't seem to believe in: give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. It makes to much sense too. I wonder why people like you don't believe in it?
    --
    This space for rent.
    [ Parent ]

    Then why care about giving the most aid? (3.00 / 2) (#543)
    by paelon on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 07:19:59 PM EST

    However, to be a proponent of looking at foreign aid numbers you are to first show that foreign aid actually helps.

    I need take no stance on the issue when I am refuting a factual claim about aid. I disaggreed with this statement:

    We give out more in foreign aid (by far) than any country could ever hope to come close to.

    I believe I gave ample evidence to refute that statement. Even if it is true that the amount of US aid was double the figure I quoted (although I've seen absolutely no evidence to suggest it is), on a per person, or by % of GDP basis, the US is still not in the lead, or even close. Whether that means anything about how good or bad the US is in relation to other countries was never my point.

    Also, RE: statements about the amount of trade or military spending the US does that benefits others is similarily irrelevant. That does not constitute foreign aid by the generally accepted definition, and thus if you use the term aid as an aggregate of those expenditures, I won't dispute your claim, only the specious logic of using the term aid.

    There is this great saying that leftists don't seem to believe in: give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. It makes to much sense too. I wonder why people like you don't believe in it?

    Once again, this is wholly irrelevant to my point. Read what I have written more carefully; your bias is showing.



    [ Parent ]

    You are still wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#544)
    by jjayson on Tue Aug 19, 2003 at 10:22:22 PM EST

    The statement "We give out more in foreign aid (by far) than any country could ever hope to come close to" is absolutely true. In absolute dollar amount we do, and that is exactly what that statement says. The statement isn't that the US gives more per capita or more as a percentage of GNP. The statement is that we give more. You are the one trying to add extra words to the statement in order to disprove it.

    "Your point" is wrong. Partykidd is correct.
    --
    This space for rent.
    [ Parent ]

    No, you're wrong. - No you are. (3.00 / 2) (#547)
    by paelon on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 04:56:03 AM EST

    In absolute dollar amount the US does what? Gave more foreign aid in 2002, or 'give[s] out more in foreign aid (by far) than any country could ever hope to come close to'. There is a world of difference between the two statements.

    Given that the US was being outspent on foreign aid by a country half the population less than 5 years ago, the second is not true. Whether the first is true is irrelevant.

    Therefor "my point" is valid. Partykidd is incorrect and you are wrong.



    [ Parent ]

    So you seem to know anything? (none / 0) (#549)
    by jjayson on Wed Aug 20, 2003 at 02:25:02 PM EST

    5 years ago they were being outspent because of inflated figures from loans for the Asian currency crisis. These were not aid numbers added to the baseline, but emergency funds deemed necessary to help the region.

    Also, 5 years ago is not now. Now, the US is far greater than any other nation. Or, just remove the outliet from the figtures (Japan surely is that):

    "Without counting Japan, the US give out more in foreign aid (by far) than any country could ever hope to come close to."

    Is that better? Please don't let reason get in the way of your sematic squabbling.
    --
    This space for rent.
    [ Parent ]

    Why would the parent post get two zeros? [n/t] (none / 0) (#557)
    by partykidd on Mon Aug 25, 2003 at 02:14:59 PM EST


    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    it's a convenient label.. (2.50 / 2) (#314)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:51:16 AM EST

    For anything that uses government to promote the public interest. Which is of course, the stated purpose and raison d'etre of States. Honestly, this conflation of all things Statist (ie, in favor of enlarging/maintaining the state) into the rubric of Socialism makes very little sense, no matter how many times the libertarian right repeats it. Socialism is first and foremost about public (state, in this case) ownership of the means of production. Nowhere in Europe is this the case. They all embrace capitalism and private enterprise, mediated by the public interest.

    [ Parent ]
    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#331)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:53:49 PM EST

    European interference and ownership in the means of production is very heavy. In particular, many European companies are banned from investment in Iraq because of a rule requiring that they cannot be partially government owned. One of the most successful of European companies, Airbus, would collapse in days if it wasn't propped up by billions in government subsidies.

    While the US is hardly the land of Adam Smith *cough farm subsidies cough* Europe has a fair amount of socialism present in its structure, from heavy restrictions on hiring/firing practices to partial government ownership of industry.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    yeah.. about that.. (5.00 / 1) (#343)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:15:06 PM EST

    I bet you're waiting for the day when the American airline industry can get by without government support too. And I guess the whole notion of wrongful termination is a socialist plot? At least conservatives make some sense.

    [ Parent ]
    and more to the point.. (2.66 / 3) (#347)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:28:39 PM EST

    What you're talking about is matters of degree. You claim it is degree of socialism, but I'm quite at a loss to see where you find it. The economies of most European nations are still based on private individuals utilizing private Capital. Any way you slice it, that's still a capitalist continent. Regulation or state "interference" in the so-called free market is not a matter of socialism, but a matter of States existing as such. Law and force are their domains. If you're arguing against power hungry and abusing States, I'm with you. If you're arguing against States mismanaging most anything they get their hands on, I'm with you. If you are trying to claim that the very concept of Statehood is a Socialist idea, you've lost me. And that is what it seems you are trying to do.

    [ Parent ]
    A partial command economy (4.00 / 3) (#353)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:39:50 PM EST

    ...is still a degree of socialism. So is almost any regulation on business. As such, it is a matter of degree. Complete non-regulation of business owned by private citizens would constitute pure capitalism, while a completely command economy belonging entirely to the government would be pure socialism.

    Do you disagree as to the definition of socialism?



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    command economy = statism [nt] (4.00 / 2) (#354)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:54:11 PM EST

    What part of command don't you understand? States give commands by their very nature. A state that didn't regulate (legislate) at all would not be a state as such. It would have no laws (and no, property rights are not a natural law). States exercise power as a matter of existance. Again, you
    haven't addressed my main concern - Socialism (ownership of the means of production) is orthogonal to Statism.

    [ Parent ]
    Definition argument (4.33 / 3) (#371)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:45:24 PM EST

    If you'd followed my link, you'd see that I'm using a broad definition of Socialism that encompasses what you're referring to as Statism. Hence, I think we're just disagreeing over the meaning of the word.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    i did follow your link.. (none / 0) (#374)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:48:13 PM EST

    I didn't see anything contradictatory.

    Even this (2: an economic system based on state ownership of capital) is a far cry from any notion of a Leviathan. I could be just dense I suppose. Please explain..?

    [ Parent ]

    lol (none / 0) (#376)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:49:01 PM EST

    Contradictory. I'm inventing Bushisms, all by myself!

    [ Parent ]
    That's understandabible (5.00 / 2) (#380)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:04:30 PM EST

    From earlier link:

    Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    yeah.. (3.00 / 1) (#383)
    by infinitera on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:11:35 PM EST

    You're having a parsing problem.

    If we remove the "or" the sentence reads:
    Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.

    My understanding and question remains the same - where in Europe are the means of production/distribution government-owned? The vast majority (here and there both - there are publicly owned enterprises) is private (albeit regulated, which you seem to take issue with) capital. Regulation is a function of states, irrespective of whether they own the capital or not.

    [ Parent ]

    That's an odd justification (5.00 / 2) (#405)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:15:16 PM EST

    Regulation is a function of states, irrespective of whether they own the capital or not.

    Ok, in that they are expected to defend their territory and establish laws. However, it's quite possible to have a state that does little to no regulation of business. Why would this be at all tied to the basic function of a state?

    Many contracts of the state (See US constitution) expressly prohibit such regulation (i.e. as a planned economy.)



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    He's from New Zealand (3.66 / 3) (#328)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:46:48 PM EST

    You know, the country that won't do military exercises with us anymore because we sail nuclear-powered ships.

    The Democrats are only "right-wing" to someone who is a dyed in the wool communist.

    Given the number of sheep in NZ, he probably is, in the most literal sense of the word.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    When? (5.00 / 2) (#381)
    by Kwil on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:09:06 PM EST

    When did US politics get so bloody?

    1776, I believe.

    That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


    [ Parent ]
    Dems are as far left (2.60 / 5) (#437)
    by sellison on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:15:33 PM EST

    as the good Christians of America will let them be.

    See for those of us who view the world without blinders, we can see clearly that America stands as a Christian bastion surronded by socialism and atheism, even our strongest so called 'allies' are some of the worst of the lot!

    But we know that we can't just leave the good Christians withering in those lands, so we have to keep on reasonably friendly terms with the socialists and atheists elites who control europe, canada, australia, etc.

    We know that the dems are the invaders, treasonous torries who live among us and yet would really like to see America fall to into the darkness of europe. But many people in America are fooled by the liberal dems pretending to go to church, pretending to believe in the free market, and their sweet sounding lies of tolerance and freedom.

    We, the good, honest, true seeing people who are the Right, (and hence are Right), we can't just leave the many many good Americans who have been fooled by the liberal lies behind, so we must strive in the court of public opinion with the most loutish pagan churls.

    You may seriously believe that there is no difference between the American left and good Christian Right, but believe me, if the left had its way the US of A would be no different from the worst of the sociliast atheists dictatorships of the proletariat (aka France!) who call themselves 'democracies'!

    The difference is here that the left is a tiny minority who have learned to hide their true beliefs in order to remain popular, yet who dream in secret dark, treasonous, atheistic, socialistic dreams.


    "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
    [ Parent ]

    My Three Points. . . (3.00 / 6) (#230)
    by Fantastic Lad on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:08:45 AM EST

    1. Despite popular outcry against gun violence, which I personally feel is A Bad Idea in any circumstance, (Violence, that is), the 'Gun Nuts' do have a point. --It's much harder to clamp down total control on a populace when that populace is armed to the teeth. While I doubt very much that Moore is insincere in his concerns and explorations into the social 'enigma' of why the U.S. is so messed up, but the fact of the matter is that a doped up, brain-washed and and dis-armed public is without any doubt a much preferred beast than are self-aware cattle with machine guns. -At least to the sort of 'people' who are currently running the show. --Of course, the NRA itself is in all likelyhood a ground-up design which serves to funnel opposition to population control into all the wrong sectors, and fill people's heads with all the wrong thoughts. But that's beside the point.

    2. I have yet to see a popular televised news cast in the U.S. which isn't manipulative, manipulated, lazy or just plain stupid. I have yet to see an education channel 'documentary' on any politically or socially sensitive subject which isn't similarly flawed with bias, poor information or deliberate mis-information. Michael Moore is cut from the same cloth as the rest of America. Big surprise. --The difference is that he doesn't strike me as being greedy or motivated by bigotry and hate. And that's what makes him a perfect vehicle. --Cuz you see, guys like Moore are not allowed to have impact upon culture unless it serves the 'correct' purpose. Moore is honest in intent, if not method, though unfortunately, he is serving ends he probably doesn't understand.

    And those ends would be. . ?

    3. Part of the signal Moore is helping to send is not meant for Americans. It's meant for the rest of the world. --Much like the Very Wrong feeling the world is receiving from the Israeli war being waged against Palestinians, this message is designed to create certain reactions in the world community. --In this case, to fuel anti-American sentiment and propel humanity into to WWIII. It will be very interesting to watch how Fahrenheit 9/11 affects world opinion.

    The problem of American Evil is certainly a problem, but it's just a subset. A performance piece on the world stage designed to lead us into other areas of behavior. --I often feel like I'm watching one of those old matinee, John Wayne westerns from the 30's, (the really old ones which played more like cartoons than films, where Wayne is a bright-faced young buck). --In those things, the bad guys had no hope of getting away with their crimes. They didn't think through their plans when they stole the deed to the gold mine, or fixed the rodeo, nor did they cover their tracks in a way which would stand the test of any sort of scrutiny. All they did was lie and create outrage in the viewer.

    Thus, anybody who wasn't a kid at the ten cent matinee could immediately see that the logical series of cascading events would inescapably lead to the arrest of the Bad Guys, and, of course, to John Wayne being publicly patted on the shoulder and told what a good boy he was by the Mayor, (or whoever the Good Authority Figure happened to be). This stuff, was written for child-like minds. -Just as the current world play is. (All advertisers know that to get people to vote with their wallets, one must appeal to an average grade 4 intellect.)

    "LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!!!" The kids all cry at the Punch and Judy show. "NO FAIR! NO FAIR!"

    Israel has no hope of getting away with what it is doing. All the Jews in Israel are going to get hurt, if not entirely wiped out, and nobody in the world community is going to lift a finger. And that's (part) of the whole point.

    Similarly, the United States, on its home fronts, is going to be opposed by world military might. The Masters of the Universe don't like those pesky Westerners, --with all their independent thought, creativity, guns and individualism. (Though, deeply hampered as they are today.) Better to promote a world population of Chinese Asians, which are better adapted to doing what they are told. They'll make better slaves. But first we need to engineer a cartoon where the world wipes out all the contenders and welcomes a one-world government. Among other things. (Etc, Etc.)

    Moore is still on the very first mile of the journey toward figuring out what the hell went wrong with America. Bowling for Columbine asks a lot of questions and offers little more than new questions. I have respect for Moore, if only because he is seeking and sharing his thoughts with the world. --I'm not going to write him off just because he's been caught bending facts in order to pad his point. (Happens all the time around K5!) Nor will I write him off just because he's unwittingly helping out the Bad Guys. That's just part of the learning process. Indeed, in this case, it's all welcome grist for the mill.

    -FL

    Thank God... (5.00 / 1) (#326)
    by RyoCokey on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:43:44 PM EST

    The problem of American Evil is certainly a problem,

    ...that all our opponents are retards.



    farmers don't break into our houses at night, steal our DVDs and piss on the floor. No
    [
    Parent ]
    There's no gun violence in America. (1.76 / 13) (#232)
    by American Minister of Information on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:51:21 AM EST

    All americans are taught since childhood to use violence only to defend freedom, democracy and our way of life. Your shameless propaganda only serves to encourage terrorist by making them think there's dissent in the Land of the Free.

    Mister Moore and you ceirtantly would benefit from counselling.

    Haha. (none / 0) (#492)
    by purephase on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:28:16 PM EST

    Freud: "So, you're apparent distrust of gun-related violence seems to stem from your fear of phallic like objects which clearly the barrel of gun resembles."

    Moore: "Uh, sure. Did I mention I won an Oscar?"

    Freud: "Here's a prescription for Paxil. Now shut-up and get in line like everyone else."


    [ Parent ]
    YHBT HAND (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#526)
    by deaddrunk on Sun Aug 17, 2003 at 07:49:39 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    Come on, man. (3.36 / 11) (#237)
    by SwampGas on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:27:56 AM EST

    You mentioned you're from Germany...

    I know Germans hate when the other countries (especially we US folk) bring up Hitler....but that's precisely what this is all about.  In Nazi Germany, people were afraid to do or say ANYTHING because the gestapo would just haul them off and shoot them.  No fair trial, jury or nothing.  That's what it's coming to in the US with this RIAA nonsense.  People are guilty before they even know what happened.  People in Nazi Germany were not allowed to own firearms, and therefore couldn't defend themselves when the government started doing wrong.  That's what these anti-gun nuts are trying to do in the US.

    Regardless of what you read or think you know, criminals are CRIMINALS.  They don't care about laws.  You can pass a law saying NOBODY may own guns...yet THEY WILL STILL OBTAIN AND USE THEM.  By their own definition, laws will not stop criminals.

    When you can promise me a world where I will not be in danger of being hurt, whether it be with guns, knives, bats, nuclear bombs, etc, THEN I will turn in my firearms and other defense mechanisms.  Until then, don't expect me to save your sorry ass in the local Qwik-E-Mart when someone comes and shoots the place up...you might end up sueing me for emotional distress because you saw me shoot the bad guy.

    You think your gun will save you? (3.50 / 4) (#242)
    by Eater on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:56:45 AM EST

    When the gestapo comes for you, do you think your gun will save you? Do you intend to fight them off, baricade yourself inside your house? Do you intend to organize a militia of citizens to fight back against the opressive government? Give me a break! If people want to fight, they don't need guns. Fear of opression is stronger than guns.

    Eater.

    [ Parent ]
    sorry but (4.25 / 4) (#245)
    by ShrimpX on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:18:56 AM EST

    while i'm not necessarily pro-gun control, this is the argument that i DESPISE when it comes to gun activism. it is completely irrational and you need a tremendous amount of gullability to think that having a 9mm and a rifle will stop "the man" from stomping all over you.

    [ Parent ]
    Availability of firearms vs. repression (3.50 / 2) (#251)
    by otmar on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 05:57:03 AM EST

    If I'm not completely mistaken, Iraq under Saddam had quite a liberal firearms ownership policy. Heck, that's one reason the US has its troubles now: too many guns out there.

    The weapons did not seem to interfere with Saddams repression. What makes you believe they would have in Nazi Germany?

    On the other hand, one of the first moves of the CPA was to try to curb the abundance of weapons in private hands. I don't want to trigger Godwin's law any more than it already has been, but can you see the connection?

    /ol

    [ Parent ]

    saddam vs. hitler (4.00 / 1) (#254)
    by strlen on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:07:37 AM EST

    True, it didn't stop Saddam, but look at the body count of Saddam vs. say Pol Pot (similar size country.. no real clue of population though) or Idi Amin. Not to mention the Kurds were able to have some sort of independence and fight back the attacks. The question how many would have Saddam been able to kill had there not been an abudance of weapons in Iraq.

    Not to mention Iraq unlike the US, or the Weimar German Republic had no real history of a liberal democratic government or any degree of freedom. It's very hard for a servile population to fight for freedom.

    --
    [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
    [ Parent ]

    What? (none / 0) (#282)
    by artis on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:42:08 AM EST

    Weimar German Republic had a real history of a liberal democratic government???
    --
    Can you know that you are omniscient?
    [ Parent ]
    Germany (none / 0) (#372)
    by strlen on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:47:01 PM EST

    Weimer republic itself was a liberal democracy, Hitler's government wasn't. And even during Bismarck, there was a fair amount of civil liberties and some history of representative government.

    --
    [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
    [ Parent ]
    bollix (4.00 / 2) (#260)
    by kstop on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:12:55 AM EST

    About your first point: most households in Iraq seem to have had at least one AK-47. Didn't stop their repressive regime, did it?

    About your second: you're far less likely to be hurt if there are less guns around in general. You'll never be perfectly safe, but you'll be a lot safer without guns than with. For proof, take a look at crime and murder figures pretty much anywhere else in the developed world.

    [ Parent ]

    I'm game (4.00 / 1) (#307)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:41:59 AM EST

    Lets see... Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Brazil, Mexico, etc

    Or do you not consider any of those counties part of the "developed world"?

    Lets not even go into the discrepencies between how the U.K. (for example) and the U.S. actualy collect and report thier homicide figures.

    [ Parent ]

    Gosh (2.00 / 1) (#379)
    by walwyn on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:01:21 PM EST

    Lets not even go into the discrepencies between how the U.K. (for example) and the U.S. actualy collect and report thier homicide figures. What do the US authorities expect dead people with bullet holes to come back to life then?
    ----
    Professor Moriarty - Bugs, Sculpture, Tombs, and Stained Glass
    [ Parent ]
    No but.. (5.00 / 1) (#484)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 05:18:59 PM EST

    The U.K. authorties DO NOT count dead people with bullet holes UNLESS some-ones been CONVICTED of murdering them.

    The U.S. authorties count ALL dead people with bullet holes REGARDLESS of whether anyone even gets charged with the crime let-alone a conviction.

    Kinda skews the numbers a bit, don't ya think?

    [ Parent ]

    True (4.00 / 2) (#261)
    by Cackmobile on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 07:16:51 AM EST

    THe crims will get there hands on guns but its a lot harder. Not every thug on the street corner will have one. In oz if there is a drive by or a shotting it makes the national news even if no one was hurt. Thats becuase we have few to no guns. I only know one person who has one and thats a bolt loading small calibre rifle. What most gun campaigners want to get rid of is automatic and semi automatic weapons. They are un needed.

    [ Parent ]
    Hahahahahaha... (4.75 / 4) (#276)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 09:20:25 AM EST

    People in Nazi Germany were not allowed to own firearms, and therefore couldn't defend themselves when the government started doing wrong. That's what these anti-gun nuts are trying to do in the US.

    Hahaha...

    That's funny....you are actually naive enough to think you can defend yourself from the U.S. military with guns you can buy in stores? Where are you going to get the tanks, the missles, the bombs, etc?

    Nowhere, and thats why you will die, although you may feel for a moment like you are "defending" yourself.

    Until then, don't expect me to save your sorry ass in the local Qwik-E-Mart when someone comes and shoots the place up...you might end up sueing me for emotional distress because you saw me shoot the bad guy.

    He should sue you becuase you probably would entice the shit to go down with your appearantly itchy trigger finger.

    Here we have you with one fantasy that someday you are going to "defend" yourself from the goverment with your guns, and then another that you just carry your gun around with you, ready to dole out justice to anyone who dares to hold up a store you are in.

    Not to mention you actually start off your comment with a refrence to the Nazi's that also refrences the RIAA, which really makes me laugh. Are you afraid the RIAA is going to come take your whole family and stick them in a gas chamber after forcing them to dig their own graves?

    Let me fill in your analogy.

    1) You get busted downloading music. 2) The feds come to get you. 3) You come out of your house, guns blazing. 4) You die.

    [ Parent ]

    No (5.00 / 1) (#291)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 10:50:21 AM EST

    That's funny....you are actually naive enough to think you can defend yourself from the U.S. military with guns you can buy in stores?
    No. But it will make a police officer think twice before going into a house unannounced.
    He should sue you becuase you probably would entice the shit to go down with your appearantly itchy trigger finger.
    Must you always assume and insult?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    again, paranoia (3.00 / 2) (#304)
    by snitch on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:33:34 AM EST

    "...it will make a police officer think twice before going into a house unannounced." so what? no police officer has ever entered MY house unannounced. probably 'cause it's illegal to do so. do you really enjoy living in a society with armed paranoid people - like you?

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett
    [ Parent ]

    Have you ever heard (5.00 / 2) (#308)
    by Cro Magnon on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:43:34 AM EST

    of No-Knock Raids?
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes - they are unconstitutional (3.00 / 1) (#318)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:02:06 PM EST

    And the way to resolve that is to change the law.

    Not pack a gun.

    [ Parent ]

    Just because they are unconstitutional (3.00 / 3) (#319)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:06:12 PM EST

    doesn't mean that the law is always followed. There is no law to change. You said it yourself: they are unconstitutional. So that puts them in with the bad guys breaking into a man's property. Shouldn't we have the right to defend our homes?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    Do An Experiment (3.00 / 2) (#322)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:20:33 PM EST

    When the cops come and bust your door down - shoot one.

    See who is made out to be the bad guy.

    Then sit back and revel in the power of propaganda.

    I would also like to take this time to point out that since 9/11 we have lost a great deal of constitutional rights, at the hands of conservatives.

    And that the first no-knock raids were implemented by conservatives.

    But I'll stop assigning blame.

    Basically, if the police aren't doing what you want. It's your duty in a democracy to change the law. Not to shoot the arm of the law. I realize that cops bust the wrong people, but it's all part of the broken system. I admit it needs changing. But the way america is supposed to work is that if the cops bust your door down, and you are in there not doing anything wrong, they leave, and pay for a new door for you...and apologize.

    If thats not actually how it plays out in reality, then we have work to do. (And we most certainly do.)

    [ Parent ]

    easy for you to say (5.00 / 1) (#443)
    by vsync on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 04:28:18 AM EST

    Basically, if the police aren't doing what you want. It's your duty in a democracy to change the law. Not to shoot the arm of the law. I realize that cops bust the wrong people, but it's all part of the broken system. I admit it needs changing. But the way america is supposed to work is that if the cops bust your door down, and you are in there not doing anything wrong, they leave, and pay for a new door for you...and apologize.

    But what do you do if you don't know it's the cops? All you know is that there are some guys dressed in black breaking your door down, shouting and waving automatic weapons. Maybe they toss in a concussion grenade for good measure.

    So you have armed intruders in your house. Maybe if you knew it was the police, you would just let them sort everything out, but that doesn't come to mind right away. Heck, even if they claimed to be police, would you believe them? You're used to what you see on TV, where they knock on the door and show their badges. Right now all you can think of is reaching for the revolver or shotgun so you can protect your wife and children.

    Now you're dead. Oops.



    --
    "The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
    [ Parent ]
    Yeah, I know. (1.50 / 2) (#453)
    by kcidx on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:46:56 AM EST

    That's exactly my point.

    Best not to try and play cowboy and start shooting up the place until you know whats going on.

    Your second paragraph pretty clearly demonstrates the entire point of Bowling for Columbine.

    [ Parent ]

    sick (5.00 / 1) (#454)
    by snitch on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:53:00 AM EST

    checked out that link. omg...yours is a sick fucking country.

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett
    [ Parent ]

    yeah (none / 0) (#493)
    by partykidd on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:42:14 PM EST

    Still think we're paranoid? Still think the law matters when it comes to the police illegally breaking into a house under the guise of the "war on drugs"?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    yes (2.00 / 3) (#509)
    by snitch on Sat Aug 16, 2003 at 05:40:45 AM EST

    yes and yes. and yes: guns won't protect you at all.

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett
    [ Parent ]

    partykidd (2.28 / 7) (#325)
    by Mike Green Challenge on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:33:23 PM EST

    I can tell that you like guns. that's great but however you shouldn't combine MDMA and gun use. That's just totally out of line.

    I can see by the fact that you have "kidd" in your nickname that you are experiencing tremors from high dosages of recreational drugs. Please do not use a gun while having these tremors. Your finger may slip at any time, injuring yourself or others!

    I made sure that my client, Michael Green was free of all impurities in his body before he began his WILDERNESS CHALLENGE

    HTH.

    --
    Aspies for Ron Paul
    [ Parent ]

    Oh,...how nice! (3.50 / 2) (#335)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:00:24 PM EST

    Downrate me without adding nothing to the discussion but an insult!
    ...you shouldn't combine MDMA and gun use. That's just totally out of line.
    Well no shit Sherlock. You're a bright one.
    I can see by the fact that you have "kidd" in your nickname that you are experiencing tremors from high dosages of recreational drugs. Please do not use a gun while having these tremors. Your finger may slip at any time, injuring yourself or others!
    I can see by your nick (Mike Green Challenge) that you are someone named Mike who's in some kind of weed smoking contest. Please do not smoke any weed while typing up another innane response. Your burning ashes might fall into your lap, injuring yourself and preventing the rest of K5 from seeing what a moron you are!

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    No (1.00 / 6) (#388)
    by Mike Green Challenge on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:24:53 PM EST

    Obviously it is you who is making an innane comment. The nickname is named after my client, Mr. Michael Green. He is currently undergoing a WILDERNESS CHALLENGE

    I was just making a joke about stupid ecstasy-heads such as yourself who live a worthless life basking in chemical happiness that isn't even real. Don't start any metaphysical arguments with me over whether the good feelings of MDMA are real because you feel them because obviously Joe Average American would disagree with you, and that's what counts.

    Why do you care so much about your ratings on some online website. Again you are living in a fantasy world. I suggest you find yourself a girlfriend, or failing that SPEND FOUR DAYS IN THE SUBURBAN WILDERNESS!

    Thank You.

    --
    Aspies for Ron Paul
    [ Parent ]

    What? (5.00 / 1) (#430)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:52:02 PM EST

    I was just making a joke about stupid ecstasy-heads such as yourself who live a worthless life basking in chemical happiness...
    Assume some more, it seems to be your style.
    Don't start any metaphysical arguments with me over whether the good feelings of MDMA are real because you feel them because obviously Joe Average American would disagree with you, and that's what counts.
    Well,..there's a great many million of us, and that counts for more than you could imagine. You are mistaken in your belief that I even give a shit about what you think. I guess that if you say a feeling is not real no matter how many people disagree with you, it must not be real. Huh,..the conceitedness of some people...

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    thanks (1.75 / 4) (#393)
    by Mike Green Challenge on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 03:32:02 PM EST

    You're obviously an incredibly bright fellow. So bright that you had to call out the K5 secret service to delete my genius comment.

    That said I was just poking a bit of fun at your deviant lifestyle. That's my job, please don't get your panties in a bunch... my client is doing quite well in the wilderness. :)

    --
    Aspies for Ron Paul
    [ Parent ]

    Dude, (2.00 / 3) (#409)
    by it certainly is on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 04:49:03 PM EST

    if the cops bust down your door and scream "freeze" while you're preparing your latest batch, you are fucking well going do as they say, or you are going to die. Noone weeps a tear for druggies killed in police raids.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    2 points (3.00 / 2) (#438)
    by Cro Magnon on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:40:21 PM EST

    1. If some goon kicks down my door, how the hell do I know they're cops? Maybe they're home invaders, planning to shoot me & rape my GF. 2. The dumb fucks got the wrong address! I live at 123 BullScat RD and the drughouse is at 133 BullScat RD! Now instead of shooting a druggie, they've just shot someone whose next of kin can afford lawyers!
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Rebutted. (5.00 / 1) (#446)
    by it certainly is on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 07:01:44 AM EST

    Seriously, if a mob of armed intruders fully intending to kill you GET INTO YOUR HOUSE, you are already well and truly fucked. In Northern Ireland, you normally get a grenade through the window, or you get kneecapped on your way home from the pub. Your penis replacement will not save you. Get a stronger door to deter random punks. If someone has a contract out on you, take a little holiday.

    If the "dumb fucks" got the wrong address, it's IN YOUR INTEREST not to shoot them dead. The police, bungling idiots as they may be, do not want to kill you. They want to catch you (or, rather, the drug dealer) red handed, alive, ready to be prosecuted and hopefully grass up your supplier. However, they will not tolerate their forces being killed by a drug dealer, or anyone really. If you shoot a cop, then if you're still alive afterwards, you will be facing a long jail sentence.

    Gung-ho heroics aren't worth it. Bravado's of no use to a dead man.

    kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

    Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
    [ Parent ]

    Damn...Partykidd, whats up with you? (4.00 / 1) (#305)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:36:28 AM EST

    Must you always assume and insult?

    What is the assumption here?

    Using the word "probably" makes it a simple assesment of "probability".

    I made that assesment based on the following reasoning.

    Being a store when it is held up at gunpoint "PROBABLY" won't result in you dying. Because most people want to hold up the store for money, not murder. Otherwise they would just randomly shoot people, somewhere where they didn't have cameras, most likely.

    So what would make someone shoot someone in a store hold up? PROBABLY someone getting tought, pulling their gun, and starting to either shoot up the place, or escalate the situation until it is out of control.

    It's pretty simple reasoning really. Maybe the guy wouldn't have done that. And then I would have been wrong. But considering the gung-ho demeanor it takes to claim you are going to protect yourself from the government with your store purchased firearms, in my mind, it's increases the PROBABILITY that someone might try to play cowboy and wind up getting people shot.

    Thats why the teach you working in the public, to give the money to people when they hold you up. Rather than draw your gat and start a mini-war.

    [ Parent ]

    All of this fails to realize (none / 0) (#317)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:01:42 PM EST

    the multiple times Americans have defended their homes, families, and businesses by merely showing their guns. You stated it yourself, "Because most people want to hold up the store for money, not murder." And most of those robbers wouldn't probably wouldn't kill if someone played hardball with them and showed a gun.
    Otherwise they would just randomly shoot people, somewhere where they didn't have cameras, most likely.
    I would hope that there is a law abiding citizen around armed and ready to take the son of a bitch out.
    It's pretty simple reasoning really. Maybe the guy wouldn't have done that. And then I would have been wrong.
    I agree with you when you say, "Thats why the teach you working in the public, to give the money to people when they hold you up. Rather than draw your gat and start a mini-war." But if the thief does start shooting it's always good to have someone around who can shoot back and prevent more death (ironically, I know, by killing).

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    partykidd is a troll, genius. /nt (none / 0) (#329)
    by rmg on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:47:35 PM EST



    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    Yeah....once I read his diary I realized.... (5.00 / 1) (#334)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:00:19 PM EST

    He actually seems cool, not like a conservative.

    But for a significant portion of this morning I was sitting around wondering how in the hell there could be such thing as a conservative ex-candy raver.

    [ Parent ]

    he's from michigan. (1.00 / 1) (#339)
    by rmg on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:04:08 PM EST

    that's why he's conservative. if he really is.

    you're wasting your time. partykidd is a troll.

    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    oh rmg (none / 0) (#340)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:05:43 PM EST

    No troll here. Surprise, surprise! I actually believe what I write. And,..for your information,..Michigan is a Democrat haven.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    don't talk to me. (1.00 / 1) (#345)
    by rmg on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:25:45 PM EST

    i do not associate with people who were rejected by michigan.

    i mean shit. michigan.

    you're even in-state.

    rejected by a state school.

    that is low.

    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    What? (none / 0) (#348)
    by partykidd on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:31:51 PM EST

    you're even in-state. rejected by a state school. that is low.
    I never applied to the University of Michigan or Michigan St. I didn't even graduate high school in this state. Where did you get this idea?

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


    [ Parent ]

    apare me the details. /nt (1.00 / 1) (#351)
    by rmg on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 01:33:40 PM EST



    _____ intellectual tiddlywinks
    [ Parent ]

    Correct! (5.00 / 1) (#419)
    by SwampGas on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 06:49:21 PM EST

    Thats why the teach you working in the public, to give the money to people when they hold you up. Rather than draw your gat and start a mini-war.

    And that is the correct choice to make.  Those who carry firearms are under NO obligation to use them.  Some who do end up dead...most of the time by their own gun.  Now there's another gun loose on the streets.

    The problem is not guns.  The problem is misinformed gun owners who parade around like John Wayne.  The majority of those who carry firearms KNOW the correct response is to just sit and be a good witness.

    ...but the majority of those people don't discuss firearms openly beacuse it's a "personal" thing.

    [ Parent ]

    Oh? (1.00 / 1) (#431)
    by baron samedi on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 08:53:55 PM EST

    No. But it will make a police officer think twice before going into a house unannounced.

    If you shot a cop who entered your house, regardless of the circumstances, your ass would be in the deepest of all possible shit. Hell, you can't shoot a burglar just for breaking into your house. That ain't self defense, not even in Texas.

    It's rootin'-tootin' idiots like you that give gun owners (like me) a bad name. If you have a carry permit, I'd drive miles outta my way to avoid a locality that issues permits to fools like you.


    "Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
    [ Parent ]

    Better brush up on your state law... (5.00 / 1) (#450)
    by lnxcwby on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 08:00:54 AM EST

    Hell, you can't shoot a burglar just for breaking into your house.

    You can't shoot a burglar just for breaking in your house, but the moment he threatens you and does not leave, you can defend your castle. Every state in the union has a "castle doctrine." In most situations, you have a duty to retreat. You NEVER do in your own house.

    That ain't self defense, not even in Texas.

    You just let everyone know that you are an ignorant fuck. In the Republic of Texas, you can defend your property with deadly force. (see Texas Penal Code Section 9) You can even defend someone else's property with deadly force.
    --
    "Bother," said Pooh, as he chambered another round...
    [ Parent ]

    Yes. (3.00 / 3) (#311)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 11:47:21 AM EST

    A lightly equipped populace can make life very hard on an occuping force. Viet Nam, Afghanistan are both examples.


    --
    His men will follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiousity.


    [ Parent ]
    The American Government (4.00 / 2) (#321)
    by kcidx on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 12:14:04 PM EST

    ..is not an occupying force in America.

    If you are going to make the claim that the government does not represent the people of this country, perhaps we should all go get our guns and start the revolution today!

    Unfortunately, that won't happen due the incredible power of propaganda over the minds of the american people.

    But I agree, vietnam, afganistan, Iraq, are all good examples of lightly armed people causing problems.

    And that is the reasoning behind things like TIA - they need to be able to track every single person, so that if anyone in america ever did take up arms, they could come and get you real fast like. Or just kill you. Your weak guns will not stop this.

    But trust me - once the first 300 american "rebels" had been executed, I think the rest of america would fall in line. The propaganda would make them out to be "evil terrorists" bent on destroying "freedom" and thus justify their prompt death.

    Besides...where would the American gov't go if they lost the "New American Revolutionary War?" Nowhere, because they wouldn't lose. They have enough weapons and resources to be able to continue to fight "evil in the homeland" for as long as it takes. If the people start to turn against you, bomb a civilian installation and blame it on the terrorists! Then you can get at least 3 more years of public support!

    Nobody would question, because nobody likes "evil" right?

    [ Parent ]

    Woa! (4.00 / 3) (#359)
    by Rand Race on Thu Aug 14, 2003 at 02:00:39 PM EST

    Afghanistan? Perhaps. Vietnam? No.

    The NVA and Vietcong were quite well supplied with heavy ordinance by the Chinese and Russians. Khe Sahn wasn't besieged for six months with small arms, it was besieged with artillery man-carried through the jungle (just as Dien Bien Phu was when the French tried the same tactic). Saigon didn't fall to a horde armed only with AK-47s, it fell to an armored column bigger than the one the Nazis rolled over France with.

    Afghanistan is a much better example, but they were still packing Stingers and Redeyes. Not exactly corner gun-store fare.

    "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
    [ Parent ]

    Huh (3.66 / 3) (#467)
    by Politburo on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 12:30:39 PM EST

    A lightly equipped populace can make life very hard on an occuping force. Viet Nam, Afghanistan are both examples.

    No they aren't. In Vietnam, you can point a few mitigating factors: terrain, lack of training against guerrila tactics, and unwillingless of political leadership to allow military leadership to operate, just to name the big ones. There was much more to Vietnam than some guys with AK-47s magically defeating the US Armed Forces.

    In Afghanistan, there are similar circumstances. First, the US armed the Afghans with Stinger missiles, hardly "light equipment". Also, once air superiority was lost by the Soviets, the Afghans were able to assert their massive territorial advantage. Recall that the US did not have the same problems in Afghanistan that the Soviets did. Although, this was in part because it was a different conflict.

    [ Parent ]
    "Palestinians vs Israelis". (4.00 / 1) (#486)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Aug 15, 2003 at 06:03:04 PM EST

    Sure, you can eradicate a population. You can do that without ever stepping foot on the terrain. But you can't pacify a population that has access to even basic weapons.


    --
    You can't raise my prices. You can't build more power plants. You can't build more power lines. Why are my lights out!?!


    [ Parent ]
    Correction (none / 0) (#536)
    by Cro Magnon on Mon Aug 18, 2003 at 05:08:26 PM EST

    You can't pacify a population that has access to even basic weapons AND the will to use them.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Give me a break (4.00 / 1) (