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About danielsh

  • Birthday 11/27/4

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  1. Sorry, I have to post this. From Get Your War On, at http://www.mnftiu.cc/ .
  2. Here's a couple more articles on why the developing world loves the WTO: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/24/international/asia/24aids.html? http://www.corante.com/copyfight/archives/2005/03/24/when_ip_kills.php
  3. I was really hoping Edric would get involved in this, since he can probably address your question better than I.
  4. "Back in the U.S.S.R.," the Beatles
  5. Mirrored from the North Korea Friendship Association Web site: http://www.boingboing.net/images/NKDelegation2005.swf
  6. What makes the whole thing especially funny is that every page the main GAAT.org site links to is obviously not something the WTO would want to advertise. Click "WTO News," for example, for a list of statistics demonstrating that the WTO, World Bank, and IMF are making the world's people poorer and the world's economy less stable.
  7. What about Iraq? Not only did the country have weapons of mass destruction, but Saddam was planning to use them on us. Far from being a waste of taxpayer money to feed the bloated military-industrial complex, spending on a missile shield is the only reasonable way to protect ourselves from dictators like Hussein. I wonder if I've been watching too much FOX News recently...
  8. Thank you :). Among other things, I took a spiritual journey to Marxist Mecca... sorta. (Hey, some of that writing is a lot like a huge, impenetrable block.) That makes reasonable sense to me. I had been reading some modern Western Marxists who were grappling with the issue, so I was curious to hear your opinion. Thanks!
  9. Speaking as a debater, I'm highly suspicious of any claim that political discussion needs to move closer to the center. The point of argumentation isn't necessarily to fight for victory. It's to search for truth. What's exciting about a debate isn't that someone wins and someone loses, but that both sides do their level best to present their ideas attractively and reasonably; as a result, the debaters and listeners can begin to see what works and doesn't on each side and cobble together a new opinion. Personally, I argue so that I can develop opinions. I choose a side based on my preliminary thoughts, feelings, and impressions and defend it to the best of my ability. I end up on the opposite side just as often as I stay with my initial reaction. Really, the best thing that I've learned from debating is the ability to argue convincingly for nearly any position. So it always shocks me when I hear people claim that political dialogue---especially in the U.S.---is too radical. For one thing, I've met very few radical liberals in my life, and I've only ever seen one radical career politician in the mainstream (Representative Bernie Sanders, I-VT). The Democratic Party kowtows to the fundamentalist Right more often than not, so I hardly think that they're marginalizing too many people. I agree that there's a large group of voters who feel excluded from the political process, but I suspect that's because they've become disenchanted with both parties, not because they're simply too moderate to choose.* Again, I can only speak from personal experience, but I imagine that a lot of people would get back into politics if the Democrats dropped a pair and started speaking confidently of a better world. Like the Republicans do now, except without the lies. (Insert giant wink here; it wouldn't be a post of mine without some partisan hackery ;).) I'm afraid that there is no "clear and unbiased understanding of political matters," however. No one is truly unbiased; each of us brings to a discussion a rich and complex background, one that shapes how each of us sees everything in the world. There's no way to step completely away from that. The best that we can all do is understand our own biases---where they came from, what they are, and where we stand as a result of them---and those held by others. * My favorite anecdote about this phenomenon deals with one of my driving instructors. Being the debate and political philosophy nut that I am, our conversations during those long two-hour lessons tended to be about current events. He had claimed early on that he didn't identify as either a Democrat or a Republican, so I decided to exercise a great deal of care in how I phrased my opinions. Everything I said was still from a Marxist viewpoint, fundamentally, but I didn't use classical Marxist language: I temporarily abandoned my old friends "bourgeoisie," "proletariat," "People's Revolution," "workers of the world," "capitalist oppressors," and so on. To my great delight, he usually agreed with me. And when he presented his own opinions, independent of my input, he tended to speak from a radical socialist position. Needless to say, I was shocked and pleased. Here was a member of that ever-growing group that's tired of "politics as usual," that group usually assumed to be idiologically between the Democrats and the Republicans, talking like a reform-minded Marxist.
  10. I don't really feel like my politics isolate me from people. Part of that is probably because at my age, people think it's cute that I'm a communist. I'm pretty secure in my politics, and I don't have a problem defending them when necessary. Then again, there are a lot of people who think that "communists" are people who believe in oligarchy and like mass murder. (As we all know, wealth cannot be equitably distributed unless 22 million people die in the process.) Which is why I usually call myself a Marxist and let listeners draw their own conclusions. I can usually talk politics with other people, but not if they're unreasonable. I have problems talking to some Republicans because of that hangup (especially when it comes to social issues; I use common sense, a lot of social conservatives seem to use tradition and/or the Bible), just as I have problems with some Democrats because of it. (Anyone who thinks that all liberals think out their positions carefully is horribly wrong; there are 'cause-my-parents-are Democrats and Republicans.) There are some issues that I have a lot of trouble talking about. Gay marriage kills me, because I'm gay. I have a difficult time arguing with people who tell me that I chose to be gay, that I'm actually diseased, that a few years of prayer could solve the problem, and so on. If a person is interested in a rational discussion of the issue, I'm up for it; otherwise, I'm likely to get upset so I don't bother. The conclusion of this wandering post is that I don't feel isolated because of my politics, though I sometimes have a nasty habit of isolating others from theirs.
  11. The La Cage Aux Folles original cast recording. Later, some delightful Beulah. (The Coast is Never Clear.)
  12. I apologize in advance if you've already addressed this question, comrade, but what's your take on the proletariat's attraction to bourgeois, even dictatorial, values? I know you mentioned the Weimar Republic (though I don't know the context; no time to read the tread now), which seems to be a fairly clear example of the revolutionary workers accepting a fascist leader. The Second International's weakness aside, why does that happen? The same thing occurred, by my understanding, with Stalin and even in the American Revolution: proletarians developed an attraction to bourgeois leaders who ignored them and bourgeois philosophies that harmed them. Why? (My apologies for the poorly-written post. I'm running out the door.)
  13. Dante: If Bush were assassinated right now, it would fuel the "War on Terror" madness that's been sweeping the industrialized world. If some "terrorist" were to assassinate Bush, I think the reaction would be as bad as if Reagan had been killed on September 11. As far as the "assassination plot" goes, I'm skeptical. I suspect that he'll be convicted, based on how the Justice Department has been behaving recently, but the evidence against him seems to consist of some documents on terrorism and an article that praises the 9/11 attacks. (How many people on this forum read Ward Churchill's article?) The charge is pretty absurd. It'll be bad for free speech when the boy loses his trial.
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