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  1. Real principles do not actually exist? Do airplanes fly? Why? Einstein's theory of relativity applies in the physical sciences. I don't think he meant it to be applied in the social sciences. And anyway, even Einstein spoke about frames of reference. Sorry this my fault, I guess I wasn't clear. I meant to say that people value real principles (that the ideas are meaningful to them), but they do not realize the principles are not practiced, and what they value is superficial. As for the rest of your post... I really do not have time to spell out all the stats. I usually consider a stat a limited argument, but because this was a political forum, I thought people would consider them with a higher relevance (stats define much of the budget formulation). In any case, you seem to have tried to dismiss them by asserting other stats - "value added should be the measure of corporate size, not gross revenue. One way would be to look at the number of employees." I'm not sure why when all you had to say was a stat in and of itself takes a situation out of context. This of course, is not always the case. An understanding of why I imported those stats admittedly requires an understanding of other corporate malpractice. So in retrospect, they were useless...knowing your assumptions. Maybe you can. I doubt it. But I don't know you that well. In any case, a corporation theoretically survives on profits (there is gov't subsidy, but disregard that if you wish). Profits come from somewhere! I mean, the premise of the vast majority of advertisements if for consumers to consume more (in my interpretation). Using the "choice" argument is like saying someone who has never been involved in a fist fight chooses not to fist fight with a professional boxer because he wants to be the "better person". Well could you really call this person humble if they were really not capable of the choice in the first place? Actually a U.S. corporation is defined as a "person" under the U.S. Constitution, and thus is fully entitled to all the rights and freedoms of a U.S. citizen, just without an accountable physical body to support it. U.S. Supreme Court has come a long way from the mere corporate charters of the original corporations (those being a body of people with a work order to produce some good or service). This is correct, in fact, it is written in laws that they must aim to provide for their shareholders. This morality you speak of is part of the problem. Everything but profits is irrelevant. Well that is a stretch, the environment is slowly making its way on the podium, but the actual environmental issues are far from being solved.
  2. Well the Internet is up-to-date, and certain things only exist on the Internet (that I could access). But using the Internet still requires a bunch of sources, not just one, as you say. Take for example the UK Telegraph, which is published by Telegraph Group Limited, which is owned by Hollinger International Inc. Here is a limited, biased account of the history of Hollinger: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION v. HOLLINGER INTERNATIONAL, INC. SEC Obtains Federal Court Order To Protect Shareholders and Preserve Corporate Assets of Hollinger International, Inc. If you find out a little more you can come across names like Conrad Black and Henry Kissinger. There is a lot on these two names alone.
  3. Right. And the purpose of the UN is to essentially equalize nations, and the guidelines are listed in the Universal Declaration in terms of human rights. Similar points are reiterated each year as the aims of the UN. I'm not so sure this will work either. It may look good on paper (i.e. the present theoretical purpose of the UN), but this is like saying we need a UN for the UN. I'm not so sure. I guess we're both speculating at this point. You see change, I see decay. Although there are somewhat advertised films like "The Fog of War", "The Corporation", that are out there (there may be similar documentaries in the past), I doubt many people were affected by them in any way. You could be right, I really do not understand why the U.S. government would release something like this. Not to mention all the other information that is available, though sometimes it takes a little effort. But this could be a negative occurrence as well. Not much will change if people do read stuff like that. So it could just mean less work in keeping track of classified information.
  4. This post is seperate just because it's geared back towards the media bias. When I talk about media bias, I also mean the lack of information they provide. So whether or not one may decipher biased opinions, a lack of provided information is impossible to decipher unless you query a variety of sources. By that I mean also a variety of mediums. So sure you can switch the channel, get a bit of CBC and contrast that to something like Fox, but this will still vastly differ from reading independent, international sources.
  5. Hm, yes. So this is another reason why people do not seem to care, that caring is not meaningful or beneficial to them? Looking for a job may certainly be one use of time. I think the general category would be to achieve some personal need. Agree? Well if all we have time for is to meet our needs, are we really the advanced society we pride ourselves as being? I don't believe that all we have time for is to meet our needs. Look at all the time people spend watching t.v. or on the Internet alone. If you want to track where people spend their time, just follow where advertisers end up, its really that simple. Another point: searching for a job, and later obtaining one, or in general, achieving a personal need, was initiated in the first place in hopes of improving one's life. They are just a means of doing so. But if we believe in democracy, then theoretically, thorough knowledge of political activity, global issues (because they do turn full circle), etc. would directly cause an improved life, because through electing political representatives that share your goals, you have more people working towards achieving those same needs you set out to do alone otherwise. If we don't believe in democracy, then why do people have this misconception of government?
  6. Vetoed UN resolutions started before the Bush era. There are logs of the outcome for each resolution addressed in the UN Security Council: http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/scact.htm
  7. Well of course, I doubt anyone can sum up their perspective of an entire civilization in one highly sarcastic, though ultimately pretty accurate, paragraph. But please, tell me your disagrements for this is the reason why I post here! I can see how discussing a "practical" problem would be to discuss such things, because after all, a comfortable life follows once we conquer all. My problem is, I think things would be different if we knew the reality of the situation. I like to believe, "we" (as an industrial civilization), are capable of compassion, because I think we value this idea in the context of human interaction. However, because people do not (too "busy"?), or cannot (intricate systems of population control?), or are not willing (lazy? arrogant?) to contemplate, discover, or anticipate consequences of their own actions, we are what we are today. What I mean to say is, although this is a comfortable life, I want to believe more people will become uncomfortable if they realize the real issues. For these reasons, the transfer of information is very important. The problem of who to trust arises. Our idea of what realities exist are dependent on those we trust. Some trust people who say there is something wrong with the Islamic world. Others trust people who say there is a lot more wrong with us. Others still trust no one, but are no better off, nor do they change anything for the better. I like to think one solution is discussion, but this must be discussion with the intent to find solutions, and all parties must have an open mind, not merely trying to be the "winner" of an argument. I'll give you a political example. If you have ever sat down and watched CPAC, you may realize that our politicians take the meaning of debate literally - which is to exploit opportunities to argue against anything and everything by exposing a weakness in the opposition or by sarcasm that aims to make the opposition seem ridiculous, dull, or irrelevant. If you wish to know where I came up with that, I was handed that garbage as guidelines to follow as a debator! MH, maybe you too see the problem with this!
  8. So the thread's subject line reads, "What is wrong with the Islamic world?". With all the connotations to the specific language used in that header, you all should have come to a conclusion before the question was posted. For instance: "what is" implies that there already is something to talk about, "wrong" implies that what you will talk about is negatively viewed, "Islamic world" reveals the arrogance one must hold in order to ask such a question - as if the "non-Islamic world" is that much "better". Now that you are all offended by what I say... Thats a very scary mode of thinking. The countries "need" to be "westernized" out of their own "free" will. Does that not sound like a propangandized mind to anyone else? There are so many things wrong with this statement I cannot begin...so here are some other scary things (I hope you find them scary...) -Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; only 49 are countries (based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs). -The Top 200 corporations' combined sales are bigger than the combined economies of all countries minus the biggest 10. -The Top 200s' combined sales are 18 times the size of the combined annual income of the 1.2 billion people (24 percent of the total world population) living in "severe" poverty. -While the sales of the Top 200 are the equivalent of 27.5 percent of world economic activity, they employ only 0.78 percent of the world's workforce. -Between 1983 and 1999, the profits of the Top 200 firms grew 362.4 percent, while the number of people they employ grew by only 14.4 percent. -A full 5 percent of the Top 200s' combined workforce is employed by Wal-Mart, a company notorious for union-busting and widespread use of part-time workers to avoid paying benefits. The discount retail giant is the top private employer in the world, with 1,140,000 workers, more than twice as many as No. 2, DaimlerChrysler, which employs 466,938. -U.S. corporations dominate the Top 200, with 82 slots (41 percent of the total). Japanese firms are second, with only 41 slots. -Of the U.S. corporations on the list, 44 did not pay the full standard 35 percent federal corporate tax rate during the period 1996-1998. Seven of the firms actually paid less than zero in federal income taxes in 1998 (because of rebates). These include: Texaco, Chevron, PepsiCo, Enron, Worldcom, McKesson and the world's biggest corporation - General Motors. But hey, at least you're honest in your reasoning, that this is how they will "buy into the west's way of doing things". The idea of "westernizing" could only exist in a totalitarian system. Assimilate or face your demise. Give me all your resources for nothing, and we'll give you the freedom and right to televised opinion, heavily marketed brands your children will grow to insist on buying by the age of 2, the illusion of democracy and capitalism but a higher reality of a publicly funded government subsidizing the corporate olligarchy rooted in the country's own constitution and serving the principle on which the country was born - namely to serve the oppulent and protect them alone from the majority. But this works because once the advanced societies realized you can achieve this by restructuring the minds of the majority (not to mention redefining their language to suit and justify just about anything: Wall Street Journal on US Torture), instilling devices to turn members against each other, the rest of the work really falls into place and you end up producing a GWB Jr. You're right about one thing, we're not all that different. Do you not see you contradict yourself? If we're not all that different, isn't there also "something wrong" with us? What is "us" anyways? I am not anti or pro anything...just trying to iron out illusions. People seem to value real principles, but do not realize they do not actually exist.
  9. Now, just so that we're on the same page, I'm not a relativist or empiricist (is that what you called it? Are you aware of what an empiricist is?) Anyhow, this is more of an epistemological discussion, which in a political forum would be unheard of. And a thread on media bias is far too important for me to scare off people. Trust is really the problem I brought up. Your opinions and assumptions express where you place your trust quite clearly. I've come across enough information to break my trust in a lot of what mass media produces, but I occassionally refer to them only to discover they still produce garbage (it would be hypocritical of me to discredit them as sources if I did not know what came out of them). Now, I'm not a scholar, and even if I was, don't trust me, go out and read oppossing views of your opinion for yourself. If you do not try to disprove your own dogmatic opinions or subject yourself to opposition, how could you believe in them so fervently? For a silly example somewhat related to your example but using your own assumptions: classical Newtonian laws of motion took years to establish. The media prides itself on its speed to report a story. No ojections, no spectrum of thought, just one tidbit of information taken out of context, reported fairly lightly. If you believe in the logical fallacies, its increadibly easy to apply them to most stories. A significant amount of articles are merely ad hominem attacks. I had to contemplate whether to provide sources of my own, but then people would gain my own bias, and that wouldn't be beneficial. All I will say is, once you do reference a variety of independent international sources, your view of the world will fundamentally change. If you value your own so called rights and freedoms, I recommend this. Goldie, ...then why continue to watch CTV News?...why watch television at all? OR, why not start that TV station of your own? What would you televise? takeanumber, ...are you refering to the columnist(s) who were caught fabricating their stories?
  10. Well here's the thing. Canada has written in its laws that Canada will follow international law. Therefore, if we are serious in resolving this torture issue and involve international law in the matter (assuming we are serious about the UN's role in the world as well), Canada should get involved because it is in our own laws. (Sorry that I cannot find the specific line for you, but it exists) Now, if you think going to the UN is as futile as the Nicaragua vs. U.S. case (in which case I may agree), what can be done about this? I'm genuinely asking because I for one do not know. And if we all do not know the solution, or preventative measures (dare I say it), then should we not wonder whether the power of states such as the U.S. may be out of control? On the comment above about preventative measures: the problem with change is the illusion of progress. On learning from history: too bad we merely value this act, and do not practice it! But this superficiality extends far beyond learning from history.
  11. 'If' (??) there's media bias? It is virtually impossible for bias not to exist when writing or expressing thoughts! It is simply whether you choose to believe in the bias or not. And if you want to be better than the bias you read, you 1) know your sources (funding!!, perspective of editor, perspective of author, etc.), 2) read a variety of independent sources (i.e. not part of the same network, international, etc.), 3) read until you find an opposing view, or until your eyes are red, then read some more. "facts"? You mean ideas that you trust. Now I'll agree trust is almost inevitable somewhere in the transfer of information, but how far are you willing to dive in; how superficial is your trust? "Own opinions"? Maybe you could describe the spectrum of thought for me, inside and outside the media. Give me the extremes, and maybe a couple of moderate views if you wish. That question is unfair I think, just because it sets me up to poke fun at you guys, and I'm not here to do that. So this is what I will say: the media has literally neglected thousands of years of poltical philosophy and confined it to two very similar perspectives: liberalism or conservatism (not necessarily related to the 'Liberal Party' or 'Conservative Party'). Sure there are grass roots activist parties (around here - Green Party, Marijuana Party), but no one is serious about them, nor are they actually opposing views.
  12. Declassified Document Behind U.S. Torture Well everyone added links to stories, so I thought I'd add this one I came across, which was from the Wall Street Journal and is presented as being a declassified document endorsed by Rumsfeld. It basically redefines language in order to justify U.S. tactics. Well, having said that, the U.S. has been involved with torture since at least WWII when they hired ex-SS agents to help with national interests globally, not to mention even worse attrocities, but this post is not about that. It seems everyone agrees this is a scandal to some degree, and morally wrong to some other extent. If you do not, then let's hear it (only after you read my link). Otherwise, I ask, what are we doing about it?!? Why are we discussing it here with others who also know about it, end up attacking each other, and neglect to address the cause of all the commotion, namely the present U.S. administration (who is not actually the root of such behaviour, but is nonetheless resposible for their behaviour now)?
  13. Please someone...define democracy...do NOT use some dictionary...I want you, personally, to give some genuine thought to what you think constitutes a democracy. No examples of what countries are democratic are necessary...I would just like to hear your personal version of the definition of democracy. Whereby, a democracy points to certain conditions, and in reverse, when you have these conditions, they point to what can be refered to as democracy. Thanks
  14. A decent response Hugo, thank you, you have restored my motivation to post here, for a while I succumbed to sarcasm. Anyhow... I think it is a mistake to go into any country in the manner of the U.S. (I do tend to pick on the U.S. because they are going about this relatively blatantly - and I live closeby, and we're all to some extent influenced by political geography).If capitalism and democracy are the better ideologies, then should it not be immediately evident that this is so, and thus people will, by their own choice, adopt them in time? Why go to such lengths- political, psychological, biological warfare - to advance one's ideas? This applies to all leaders/people trying to advance their ideology. And it seems to me that such behaviour is rooted merely in arrogance, and possibily the drive to survive (animalistic instinct? If you want to know what I mean, look to Dawkins, arguably cleans up Darwin). All of these ideologies are based on assumptions, and first generation followers either believe or disbelieve if they have such a choice. Second generation followers, third, fourth, and so on merely follow tradition, and usually (so it seems) are unaware of the assumptions they live by. Thus when the U.S., or otherwise, enter another country claiming that their ideology is better than the existing one, I can see no possible reason as to why. Sometimes all I see are animals trying desperately to survive from what is their assumption that anyone/anything against the ideology is essentially a threat. I guess my question to myself (and now to you) is what how would the world look if we no longer had the assumption that such threats exist and also that if the so-called threats are left alone, it will lead to the demise of an ideology. I really hate to use the word threat because I know someone out there is going to read that word and say to themselves, 'threat? hell, if we don't take out threats, we die!'. (Sorry for hinting at an accent, but if you pick up on it, you obviously have the same stereotype). Of course, by saying such a thing, you are not realizing the assumptions I am talking about, and cannot apply the assumptions to those on the other side of them. I agree. Except, I doubt Bush or any president makes all the decisions because its simply not possible to know enough. Personally, I doubt he makes any decisions, but from time to time I generalize faults of the administration on Bush because he is the one who takes responsibility of the good and the bad decisions.But for a response with a bit more substance, I agreed with what you said above. So I ask, shouldn't that humble us, in acknowledging the problem of certainty of knowledge. There are concepts like belief, justified belief, and true justified belief. But forget all that for a second. I think I'm getting too deep into metaphysics now, but here it goes. I think everything we think of as knowledge is rooted in some type of assumption. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think some assumptions are necessary. For example, if I fail to assume the existence of a concrete wall and decide I can run through it, I'm sure my forehead will not appreciate that assumption. I would say this would be an instance of the highest (or very high at least) certainty of knowledge. As for something like, capitalism is the best system. How can you be so certain, as to be willing to take the lives of thousands (and that is a gross understatement)? Now, I'm sure someone will answer with their "reasons" to rid the "threat", so I'll ask that once you do, ask yourself where you get those reasons. What exactly is your point? Basing this type of argument on numbers does not necessarily translate into absolute benefits of the system. However, when you think inside the capitalist system, numbers make sense. But how can you think inside the capitalist system and go on to discredit other systems?You know what, I can at least question your argument from inside the capitalist system. What good is a greater real income when people are spending their money to kill themselves (slowly and subtly - maybe not even themselves, but definitely future generations). I say this because look at popular culture and the environment for starters. I think we all feel something is wrong, we just dont care (?) or what too lazy (?) to change? Tell you what, you pick something that a lot of disposable income is spent on, and tell me how it is beneficial. It will be good for me as well as for you. You could maybe tie this mysterious link between numbers and benefits to capitalists. I might be defeated on some things, and the same for you. As for life expectancy, same thing as above. Literacy? What good is the ability to read when no one is willing to think for themselves at the same time? And just look at what people are reading. I heard something once, but I forget who said it so I'm hesitant to bring it up, but it is that as the literacy rate of the world increases, the quality of literature decreases because it must cater to the masses. Its not an argument I bring up, just something to ponder I suppose. This coming from someone advocating Adam Smith's 'invisible hand'? What empirical facts are you looking at. What I see in this society is much decay. Unfortuneately, hypocrisy seems to be more common than altruism. Now, as you know and have said, no one is perfect, so I'm not attacking you personally, but you illustrate my point. You believe in the invisible hand, and then say "Men are not angels". Adam Smith relies on men to be angels for his capitalism to work. Well, thats an exageration, but he definately underestimates the power of self-interest. Or maybe you can defeat my interpretation? I understand, and you don't think its the same for how the democratic capitalist system of today is pathetic at living up to its own ideals? Besides, the point of my questions here is to find out what you personally know.
  15. August1991, I want to earnestly believe you. I really do. But I am unable to due to my own analysis. Surely, you can help me out. And in this post, I am not being sarcastic at all. Please provide content vs. content arguments that defeat the U.S. is bad sentiment you claim I suffer from. If you didn't notice, I used Bush's own quotes to show contradictions he made in a single speech. How do you respond to what I have previously pointed out. So far, it seems you are merely on the defensive with your U.S. is good sentiment. btw...I have no personal feelings towards Bush. I am just shocked at everything that is going on.
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