Author Topic: The Amethyst Initiative  (Read 12973 times)

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Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 06:18:52 PM »
Why is it non-centrist? I don't understand how there's a center and that viewpoint is slanted from that center.

Here is a quick primer on politics in America:

Socialist-Corporations are evil and cause all our problems.
DemoRepublicrats-Elect us more!
Libertarian-Government is evil and causes all of our problems.

The center opinion would be "We lost our personal responsibility because we elected the wrong version of governors!"

Anything else is slanted.  Right? 

Maybe politics are flawed. You still didn't answer the question I posed.

Also, re: student health centers, you're half right. It is in their best interests to have healthier students, but not that many universities have student health and rec centers.

Offline fajwat

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 11:44:05 PM »
Maybe politics are flawed.

A rhetorical statement!  Yay!

Also, re: student health centers, you're half right. It is in their best interests to have healthier students, but not that many universities have student health and rec centers.

Fair enough.  Generally, though, competitive universities try to improve their students' well being, so that their alumni represent them well in the national university rankings (and so they donate lots of mulah).  It just makes good business sense.  Does that mean that every school is intelligent and competitive?  Of course not.  Some coroporations don't give their employees health insurance, either -- but corporate health insurance started as a very selfishly capitalistic idea for ship builders during WWII.
"If it were up to me I would close Guantánamo not tomorrow but this afternoon... Essentially, we have shaken the belief that the world had in America's justice system... and it's causing us far more damage than any good we get from it."

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Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2008, 01:17:05 AM »
In regards to rhetorical statements, I'm attempting to point out that dividing this into a left vs. right argument and then saying my statement is slanted merely attempts to discredit what I said and not respond to it.

Offline monkey!

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2008, 08:09:31 AM »
In France beer and wine can be drank at the age of 16.

Hard liquors at 18.
There will come a day for every man when he will relish the prospect of eating his own shit. That day has yet to come for me.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2008, 01:49:48 PM »
In regards to rhetorical statements, I'm attempting to point out that dividing this into a left vs. right argument and then saying my statement is slanted merely attempts to discredit what I said and not respond to it.

Oh right.  Well, to be clear...

I would, in fact, argue that our country has lost sense of personal responsibility with the incredible growth of corporations in this company which displace personal responsibility in economic affairs.

I think your position is not shared by many people.  My original response to it:

That is a very slanted view.  I'm sure many people would, in fact, argue that our country has lost sense of personal responsibility with the incredible growth of governmental control in this country which displaces personal responsibility in every affair, economic, social, legal and on and on.

Is an attempt to highlight the fact that if you want me to buy you're argument, you need to provide some reasoning beyond, "This is why people are irresponsible: Corporations!"  It DOES sound like something that someone from the extreme left would say, which is why I cast it in that light.

If it's not a party line statement, then give me something else to eat.  Because when I hear a comment that many people would disagree with along party lines (I know every issue actually falls on some party line, but this is a particularly large division point), I am immediately skeptical of its veracity and quality.

So, in short, BECAUSE your statement is slanted away from what most people believe, you need to provide more back-up.  I'm not even saying you're wrong, but from my perspective "the government takes care of me, I can be irresponsible", makes a lot more sense to me than "corporations something...I can be irresponsible."

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2008, 03:08:15 PM »
You're talking about the general conception of what people believe, which is provided mostly by the mainstream media representation of what is "right vs. left", which I think is a huge fallacy and greatly ignores the nuances of American political life. That's why I'm challenging the notion that what I said was a "leftist" or "slanted" statement, because it wasn't. It was a political statement. Where it falls within this ridiculous notion of right vs. left is of absolutely no value for the discourse between you and I or between Obama and McCain or anyone and anyone else. Defining ourselves by right and left is responsible for the fracturing and failure of our democracy. This laziness has to be stopped because it will kill us.

My charge about corporations is that it serves to displace us from being responsible investors, responsible businessmen, or responsible citizens. When the illegal or unethical actions of corporations happen, they're spread out among the investors of the company. Very rarely do the people responsible for those decisions be held responsible. I know you'll cite Enron, so let's get them out of the way right now - they're the exception, not the norm. Bayer releases AIDS-tainted drugs to France and Japan. They might suffer a small fine, but the individual investor can excuse themselves from saying they had any part of responsibility in that. They weren't on the executive board, they didn't do those things! But they were complicit in it through their investing in a company that had people like Bayer involved. In short: the corporate control scheme decentralizes responsibility throughout the investors. Maybe a CEO might be crucified here and there, but by and large things truck on simply as before without any real punishment being meted out except fines, which are usually argued down or bought down or bribed away with corporate influence on Capitol Hill. Something like the Exxon Valdez spill, for example, is knocked down from a punishment of several billion - which is still chump change for Exxon, mind you - is knocked down to around 500 million, which will not even cover a year's worth of the loss of living for the people that were affected by the disaster, notably fishermen and the surrounding community.

Your view of personal responsibility is colored by an advocate that personal, i.e., me, responsibility, is key. I'm arguing that personal responsibility has been done away with for a long time. I'd even argue that this personal responsibility ignores the social responsibility people have as citizens of this republic. My personal view goes beyond republic to humanity, but I'm firmly against the belief that we're in a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" economy. We haven't been, for a long, long time.

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2008, 03:08:48 PM »
I think it's funny. The older I get, the more socialist in my thinking I become. It's like the reverse of what my parents and everyone else said would happen.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2008, 03:30:07 PM »
I think it's funny. The older I get, the more socialist in my thinking I become. It's like the reverse of what my parents and everyone else said would happen.

I think you'll notice more likely to notice changes in your 30s and 40s.  You're still pretty young as humans go.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2008, 03:31:36 PM »
You know, the word socialism is thrown around this forum far too much.

Because if you all were in a purely socialist country, we'd hear no end of complaints about VAT's and extraordinary gas prices and being at the mercy of unions.

Not that socialism is bad, but, really, what's described as socialism on here is, more or less, Humanism.

Offline Matt

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2008, 03:32:40 PM »
I think it's funny. The older I get, the more socialist in my thinking I become. It's like the reverse of what my parents and everyone else said would happen.

I think you'll notice more likely to notice changes in your 30s and 40s.  You're still pretty young as humans go.

From where I came from? I really doubt it.

Offline Nubbins

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2008, 03:45:03 PM »
C'mon guys!  America's the best!  Good luck ordering a double pounder when everyone's a friggin socialist.
8=o tation

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2008, 03:49:04 PM »
That's why I'm challenging the notion that what I said was a "leftist" or "slanted" statement, because it wasn't. It was a political statement.

It was a political statement that would most frequently be made by someone who believes in the principals of socialism.  Things don't exist in a vacuum, and they will be labeled as soon as they are exposed.  Whether you believe in left-right = Dem-Rep (which I think is ridiculous) or something more broad than that; leftist ideas and rightist ideas exist and will be classified.  What has to change, and you're right to point it out, is the allotting of the two sides of an issue to be left and right, for EVERY single stupid issue.

My charge about corporations is that it serves to displace us from being responsible investors, responsible businessmen, or responsible citizens. When the illegal or unethical actions of corporations happen, they're spread out among the investors of the company. Very rarely do the people responsible for those decisions be held responsible.

I think this is a reach.  Do you have personal investments?  I don't think most people do.  And I certainly don't think that personal responsibility is lost or won on that level.  I'm more likely to believe that the easy yoke of the law and governmental bail-outs contribute to a "it doesn't really matter what I do" mentality than any failure of investor responsibility.

Your view of personal responsibility is colored by an advocate that personal, i.e., me, responsibility, is key. I'm arguing that personal responsibility has been done away with for a long time. I'd even argue that this personal responsibility ignores the social responsibility people have as citizens of this republic. My personal view goes beyond republic to humanity, but I'm firmly against the belief that we're in a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" economy. We haven't been, for a long, long time.

I agree with you that personal responsibility has been done away with for a long time.  We're just talking about what has and continues to cause it.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2008, 03:54:21 PM »
You know, the word socialism is thrown around this forum far too much.

Because if you all were in a purely socialist country, we'd hear no end of complaints about VAT's and extraordinary gas prices and being at the mercy of unions.

Not that socialism is bad, but, really, what's described as socialism on here is, more or less, Humanism.

Funny, I'm pretty pissed off about taxes, extraordinary gas prices* and being at the mercy of unions now.  And I think we're pretty socialist, and I think we're headed down that road farther and farther.

But all that aside.  Socialism is Humanism enforced by the government.  And it allows the "enlightened" leaders to decide what compassion to mete out to the citizens.  That doesn't sit well with me.




*I know, I know, think of Europe's prices.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2008, 03:56:59 PM »
I think it's funny. The older I get, the more socialist in my thinking I become. It's like the reverse of what my parents and everyone else said would happen.

I think you'll notice more likely to notice changes in your 30s and 40s.  You're still pretty young as humans go.

From where I came from? I really doubt it.

Maybe not, you certainly have the "I will not be like my parents" way of thinking.  Either way, I think it's a bit early to proclaim victory.  I know that my own beliefs about the world have shifted significantly in the past 10 years, but maybe I'm a late bloomer.

Offline nacho

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Re: The Amethyst Initiative
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2008, 04:05:34 PM »
You know, the word socialism is thrown around this forum far too much.

Because if you all were in a purely socialist country, we'd hear no end of complaints about VAT's and extraordinary gas prices and being at the mercy of unions.

Not that socialism is bad, but, really, what's described as socialism on here is, more or less, Humanism.

Funny, I'm pretty pissed off about taxes, extraordinary gas prices* and being at the mercy of unions now.  And I think we're pretty socialist, and I think we're headed down that road farther and farther.

But all that aside.  Socialism is Humanism enforced by the government.  And it allows the "enlightened" leaders to decide what compassion to mete out to the citizens.  That doesn't sit well with me.




*I know, I know, think of Europe's prices.

Ah!  That's well put. 

And, yes, the great flaw of socialism (and, yes, we are on a socialist path, as the American political pendulum slowly swings back in that direction).  But some people like living in an uber-PC culture with tons of cameras watching their every move and a benevolent dictatorship quietly stealing elections, misdirecting money to poorly thought out public works, and exerting Orwellian control over their thoughts.