Sunday, August 06, 2006

What happened to “No American Left Behind”?

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful fairy tale, even better known as the Grimm’s Tales...

that America never ever would allow foreigners or nature to harm a single American without sincerely trying to rescue him/her...

by all means...

Hollywood made great movies of brave heroes risking their lifes – successfully of course - to rescue some lonely American out of the hell, either of war or of natural disasters.

Actually, this fairy tale was “true enough” to convince the world, that whenever Americans were involved, the Superpower would not stop the efforts to protect them. You could bet that any other person would be “allowed” to stay in hell...

but that America would do anything to save life and dignity of Americans no one would have doubted...

once upon a time...

American citizens who are trying to leave Lebanon must agree to repay the U.S. government for the cost of their evacuation

Oh yes, the government had to cancel that - but fact is: They tried it.

and the people still believe in this wonderful fairy tale...

James LeFlere, 56, was trying to remain optimistic.
"They're going to get us out of here. It's just hard to hang on at this point," he said.

patiently waiting while what happened?

At one point, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line.

Why? Because it’s just “reasonable” to prefer the people "who care for the nation", while the poor are only “waiting for somebody else to take care of them. They have children they can't afford. They're uneducated. They can barely read.”

Well, hell, yes, we should save the rich people first. You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity.

“All a[mericans] are equal, but some a[mericans] are more equal than others." – Animal Farm

20 Comments:

Blogger Mannning said...

Why, your statement seems to hold for every country in the world, again. Some are rich, some are poor, some get services, some don't. Some give billions for aid to the poor and sick, as America does, and some don't.

The reasons for this state of affairs are not simple, as you seem to suggest, not the least of which is that some people do not even want to be helped, do not want charity, do not want your old clothes, will not accept your cash, and refuse free shelter and medical aid. All they want is to be left alone to do what they are doing. A job? Absolutely not!

On the other hand, some people do indeed want your help, any handout they can get from you or the government, a free ride to the grave, even jail, if you would be so kind as to arrest them and let them wallow in a cell with three free meals, clean sheets, and only a cellmate to defend against.

Responsible and sober people that are down on their luck don't last long in a destitute state. They find help and jobs and pull themselves out of their troubles.

Drug users and alcoholics face a harder time. They get a chance to go to a clinic to dry out, but many are soon back on the street, having failed to stay away from their addictive thing. They are not hirable in their condition, and they refuse to give it up, so they are not able to stay in rehab centers. They are hard cases for social workers to try to save from themselves.

From what I have observed, the above holds in every country in Europe that I have visited, as well as America.

My church sends 30% of its donations for aid to the poor overseas, and so did the last two churches I attended. I tithe yearly, which means that 10% of my income goes to the church, so 3% or so goes overseas. This is true of many of the members of the church, but not all, I am sure. Do you donate?

The sums being sent overseas privately from American Christian churches to aid the poor are very large. I have no immediate amount at hand, but I am confident it reaches into the billions per year. Is it enough?

It never will be. Others should donate too, you see, to help make up for any shortfalls. Does Germany or the entire EU church system have such aid programs in its churches? Is it significant?

Charity is a moral necessity.

12:42 PM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger Mannning said...

Addendum:

"Current measures of a nation's largesse only count funds doled out by the government, thus ignoring the primary way in which Americans help others abroad: through the private sector. In the last decade, U.S. government aid has been far outstripped by private donations -- from foundations, private voluntary organizations (PVOS), corporations, universities, religious groups, and individuals giving directly to needy family members abroad. There is no comprehensive measure of how much Americans donate overseas, but a conservative estimate, based on surveys and voluntary reporting, puts annual private giving around $35 billion. Even this low-ball figure is more than three and a half times the amount of official development assistance (ODA) given out in a year by the U.S. government. In the third wave of foreign aid, it is private money that is making the difference."
by--Carol C. Adelman,former Assistant Administrator at the Agency for International Development from 1988 to 1993 and currently a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.

I said billions, it is apparently tens of billions.:)

2:26 PM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

mannning
Why, your statement seems to hold for every country in the world, again

no, dear m....

because there is NO other country which is believed to do everything for any of her citizens - and that's what my post is about ;-)

maybe you never realized it in all the movies? First of all (and IMO the best or at least one of the best): Private Ryan? Yes, i know, it's actually about a family which already had lost 3 sons, but it's a "normal family", Private Ryan wasn't "Elvis" or "Rockefeller Jr."...

and btw: to find others doing the same bad things doesn't make it right - it just makes it easier to understand the underlying mechanisms...

11:54 PM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger Mannning said...

Apparently your beliefs about America are off center. There is still a very large strain of individualism and self reliance in America, and in her laws.
There are very strict limits as to how far welfare goes, and how far the government can go to help citizens overseas. As progressives attain greater influence, however, the treasury and the taxpayer is suffering more and more, for less and less real benefits.:)

10:18 AM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Mannning said...

Movies are a very poor indication of what America is all about, as you may well realize. First of all, they are fiction, that is a clue. Second of all, they are quite largely written and directed by some of the most left-leaning people here: Michael Moore, or Oliver Stone, for instance, which is another clue. Third, they are designed to attract teenagers, and are dumbed down, by and large, to accomodate the entertainment tastes of that age, not adults, since it is teens that haunt the movie houses and pay the money to see these infantile reels. Yet another clue.
Fourth, the other audience being courted is in fact the leftists themselves, who apparently flock to the Moore's and Stone's movies just to see how badly they should think about things. Still another clue.

The sum of all this is a totally distorted, even surreal, picture of America as seen through this medium, a fact that I have bemoaned for over 40 years. When you bend the truth to fit a preconception, as a number of moviemakers do, it is hurtful to many Americans, and is certainly projecting a false view of this country.

Most adults eventually come to the view that movies and TV are like cartoons: false on the face of it, and not a reflection of reality here, but only the reality of the filmmakers.

The inner messages of some films convey false values as well in the eyes of many of us. But then, there is the screaming mob of people that is constantly on the lookout in films and TV for something that offends them or feeds their neuroses and practiced victimhood, so that they can illuminate and energize their lives by having a public fit about virtually nothing at all.:)

12:43 PM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Mannning said...

But now I tire of your site, again, it is one long polemic against America and Bush, strangely written by a German who wants to emigrate, and apparently your lackey nemo, who is a rabid America-hater, and jason, who is a declared socialist.

You even appear to cull the news for the biased reporting that fits your need to feel good about hating Bush and America. But I believe that your views are totally out of whack with the real life here that I live daily, and have done so for too many years all over the US.

Perhaps you are filled with junk information from the "blue" states, nemo, jason and the liberal press, and do not really get the other side to balance your view. Then too, perhaps you see far too many movies from the Left Coast.

The one concession I will make is that the progressives ( a term used by the communist party of the USA earlier, and now fashionable in "liberal" circles, or is it really the same crowd in new clothes?) are becoming even more looney now than ever, except perhaps in the 30s when it was the thing to be Red, or at least Pinko. This is one of the real threats to the US, and it is driving a wedge between our citizens.

If they ever get into power, which I seriously doubt, this country will descend into chaos rather quickly, for the simple reason that leftwing, utopian-pie-in-the-sky democrats have no plans for anything, point their attention in all directions, complain and rail instead of work for the nation's success, tax and spend, and totally miss or block the really significant issues of this day in their obstructionism. This progressive mindset is truly alien and dangerous to America in my opinion.

While I am at it, I might as well throw some brickbats at JFK, who was a mediocre President with a good speechwriter or two, and a womanizer worse than Clinton.
Camelot indeed!

So there is a huge gulf between the thoughts you and your gaqgle express here, and mine, which will not be bridged.

So be it.

9:12 PM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

mannning
So there is a huge gulf between the thoughts you and your gaqgle express here, and mine, which will not be bridged.
So be it.


yes, dear mannning, i told you so - you remind me of my father ;-)

2:47 AM, August 08, 2006  
Anonymous brian said...

mannning:

I enjoy reading again's views on the world. They are usually very unique and original.

I really don't mind if you regurgitate US government propaganda to back your arguments, but at least have the decency to respect the ideas of our friend.

Forgive us for not sharing your beliefs that the USA is the centre of the universe. Forgive us for thinking freely instead of allowing others to think for us.

7:11 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

brian
at least have the decency to respect the ideas of our friend.

don't worry about that - mannning reminds me of my father and my father did say many things to me - "it wasn't that bad, at least they brought jobs or this and that!" - and nevertheless, he was my father...

so i'm used to personal attacks since my first years - and either you are able to live with them or you'll end up as psychopath ;-)

but more important:

I enjoy reading again's views on the world.

wow, brian (i really love your name, nearly always write first "brain" - and i'm fan of brain, you know ;-) )

thanks for that compliment, means much to me

11:44 PM, August 08, 2006  
Blogger JasonJ said...

My only question is always the same. Why is it that Mannning must trump up such half-cocked diatribes on everyone else' blog sites? There is no reason for this. There is no love for him here. When he attacked me on my site, it was he who appeared the coward for cutting and running the way he did. Mannning you are still a sycophant. You always will be until your dying breathe. Apologise for 100 years of imperialism on your own blog. No one towards the center or the left of the dial thinks you have anything worth hearing. Had I to do it over again, I would have just banned you from conversation on my blog much the way Robert told you to go away. But I was foolish. I thought that perhaps there was some amount of reason and civility in you buried under all that hidden regret for a life wasted on empty ambitions. I will admit it, I was wrong.

Let me state here. I have been thinking about this for some time and something bothers me. I dislike the language of the new 'conservatism'. This is not consistent with the ready definition of the word. Wiktionary defines conservation as thus: The act of preserving, guarding, or protecting; the keeping (of a thing) in a safe or entire state; preservation. Logically following the form of the word to the verb meaning of conserve would mean to perform the act and conservatism should probably mean the ideology of the act of conserving.

Now, I think that is a fair observation so far. I find nothing inherently wrong with the notion of conservatism. Indeed, societies in general are conservative by nature. This is the foundation of modern sociological thinking. The question for us becomes if we are preserving norms or social values, then which ones are the ones worth saving and which ones should we allow ourselves to discard and erase from our collective memories. So what are the free wills worth wanting?

As it happens, the normative ideologies of any particular society are the norms of the faction that exercises the most consistent control over the society as an aggregate for the largest percentage of time. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. And what is normative for one society is not always workable in all societies. This is what makes all morality relativistic, which I am sure Mannning is chomping at the bit to argue about with me. Nevertheless, it is still an accurate statement.

But I digress, what is important is what to keep and what to throw. Which values are the important ones. Should we keep slavery? Imperialism? Aristocracy? Democratic rule? The rule of law over the rule of man? Vice-Versa? Altrusim? Rugged Self-reliance? These are all values that once or always have held sway over popular opinion. It was once widely held that the Africa slaves were lesser beings than the white man and it was his lot in life to be subserviant to the white man. I doubt anyone with an IQ over 60 would posit this argument today. And speaking of IQ's, it was also believed that IQ was a reliable measure of intellect at one time. Today we just regard it as an aptitude to be sucessful at taking standarized tests.

The point is there is nothing wrong with conservatism, but it begs the question 'cui bono'? Who benefits? Who's values are to be preserved? America was not founded on one ideology. It was not the express intent of our founders to impose a theocratic totalitarianism on the poor dupes who fought agains the British Tyrant while they were busying themselves at the ballot box. The Supreme court has consistently stated over the course of the past two centuries plus that the First Amendment to the Constitution was put in place, in the place it was put due to the primacy of the ideology it stood for. There should be freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to assemble and to have redress with our eleced officials because these were core values of the men who fought and died to establish this government. I am personally tired to death of the merchant of death telling me that our founders were Christians and they meant to for a Christian state modeled after Christian law. This is a lie and a fabrication. We have learned the lessons of Eichmann and Rove. A lie no matter how many times repeated is still a lie so peddle your lies elsewhere.

But as far as Conservatism is concerned, I fail to see any inconsistency with another term. That being 'liberal'. This comes from the latin word liber which means free. I have written much about liberty in my own writings which some may be familiar with. Rousseau spent a great effort distinguishing between what he called natural liberty and civil liberty. I believe liberty or freedom to be one of th founding ideologies of our nation. The balance of liberty and equality, this is fulcrum on which justice in America was intended. Is it not? I still find no inconsistency between this and the idea of preserving social values.

Always remember to ask yourself Cui Bono?

7:03 PM, August 10, 2006  
Anonymous B said...

Again,
I enjoyed your post very much and was quite taken aback to see Manning has been here and by the time I got to his last post, I wanted to kick his ass.

He is not representative of most Americans, but it's his kind who give them a bad name.

I'm so glad I've been away from there for over a decade. There's no way I could live in that country ever again.

Ignore Manning and maybe he'll slink away.

2:29 AM, August 11, 2006  
Anonymous Nemo said...

What a preposterous, contemptuous old Fascist bag of flatulence MaNNNing is! Alas, "there's no fool like an OLD fool." And as Jason aptly put it, he *is* utterly pointless -- just a withered old, frustrated, KKK-style hate-mongering demagogue, wastefully depleting the planet's valuable oxygen through his continued existence. (I'd comment on his "specifics", but why bother?? It's all audaciously slanted, BUllSHit TrollSpeak of the most arrogantly hypocritical type -- rambling, incoherent "attacks" spewing mindless invective at all that is or ever was good in America, while blindly supporting the reprehensible scum of the current NeoConNazi cabal, the deliberate mass murderers of the Israeli government, past Republican felons, etc. Same old Xiano-Fascist screed: "Republikans uber alles!") ==== Jason: As for why Monsieur MaNNNure feels compelled to pollute other people's blogs with his toxic ravings, isn't that fairly obvious by now? He *is* essentially nothing more than a Troll, albeit of the ultra-loquacious, "25-cent-word" variety. And consequently, he addictively *craves* attention, of whatever sort he can get! But a mere glance at his own pathetic excuse for a blog, "Right Words", makes it abundantly clear that nobody -- ABSOLUTELY NO ONE -- "wants to play with him". He's all alone with his petty, overprivileged, all-consuming hatred -- not even the *usual* right-wing whackos so prevalent on the Web find him remotely "interesting" or worthy of comment. ==== Sad. But it's certainly NO reason anyone should just "put up with" his disingenuous, sophomoric horseshit! ==== Again: I know you've been attempting to be "civil" with the lout, but I think it's time to seriously reconsider. MaNNNing is a willfully malicious JERK who's "abused the privilege" over and over again. He's not at all likely to change his ways. Think of it this way: "Those who can, do; those who can't, criticize." Since MaNNNing clearly *can't*, criticism ad nauseum is virtually ALL you can expect from him. And his conduct thus far has been utterly loathesome.

3:52 AM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

hi, friends, glad to see you here - and thanks for the kind words, but i guess, you should feel some sympathy for mannning <blink>

i told you, that he reminds me of my father on and on, and i studied my father for a while as you can imagine...

and in the end, after all his great words of great heroes and great deeds and great history of the herrenrasse and after words about all those mean morons and evil enemies who simply don't understand the good intentions...

in the end after all the attempts of conversion he was just an old, lonely man with the whole world against him, because...

when the last believer dies, the faith is dead - so if you are a true believer, beg for an early death so that you are not forced to see the power of reality

my father didn't die "early enough". He never could admit to have been fooled by all those "great visions", but he got silent - no brain can sustain a faith long against a lasting and obviously contrary reality (especially when each and every other brain around him has realized it ;-) ) - maybe mannning get the mercy...

but signs are on the wall, that he might soon will need his whole remaining energy, not to see

hey guys - news are, that America seems to get really angry about the Neocons

thank you!! Wish us all, that we can get (Old) America back!!

9:06 AM, August 11, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

b
He is not representative of most Americans, but it's his kind who give them a bad name.

for me, you and jasonj and nemo and Robert are representative of Americans

but i fear, in some way mannnning is truly representative: of large parts of humankind...

9:16 AM, August 11, 2006  
Anonymous B said...

Again,

You forget I have not been an American for over a decade. It's not my country -- I can't help where I was born. I wouldn't choose that country if it were up to me.

If my husband wasn't so against my wishes to give up my citizenship, I'd have already done it.

12:29 AM, August 12, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

b
I wouldn't choose that country if it were up to me

insiders know best what's bad about a group - what i hate about my nation is the mean, small-minded everyday greed, common people now show without hesitation. One of the best working marketing slogans? "Greed is great"...

it's that bad, that common people do betrayal of each other like sporting - "bargain hunting"...

there are bestselling websites and books about lies to tell salesmen to get stuff for nothing - or how to play "the innocent victim" to betray helpful people...

and sometimes they just do it for some cents - they don't care if the persons are rich or poor, if they are good or evil - and they don't care that the (remaining) helpful must learn just one lesson: there is no one needing help, they all are "bargain hunters". They don't care that they may easily be the last coffin nails for my country to become the coldest, most heartless place on Earth...

but maybe it's not about my country - maybe it's just the true colors of that species, which is really convinced to be "better" than animals because of the "ability To Be Moral"...

<cough, cough>

8:50 AM, August 12, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

jasonj
I find nothing inherently wrong with the notion of conservatism. Indeed, societies in general are conservative by nature...I believe liberty or freedom to be one of th founding ideologies of our nation.

thanks for your post - and yes, actually, you and nemo are the true "conservatives", because you try to protect the open-minded society which was able (admittedly sometimes a little slowly) to forbid slavery, to give women equal rights and to try to give equal rights even for minorities like the gays, now so fiercly attacked...

and to (at least start to) think about the crimes against the Native Americans - that's a hard thing, i know that. It's not easy to accept that your history (that what creates you) is based on inhumanity - sure, as long as you say, "oh it's ok to kill other people and to steel and betray" it's really nice to see that your parents and grandparents did the same...

problem is only for the one or two or three persons on Earth <cynical> which prefer humanity and intelligent behavior to shortsighted robbery...

9:02 AM, August 12, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

nemo
Again: I know you've been attempting to be "civil" with the lout, but I think it's time to seriously reconsider.

thanks for that compliment ;-)

sure i want to be "civil" - because (you know) if i am not, how can i know that it is possible to be "civil" at all? At least i have to "practice" it to prove that it can be done and that at least one person does it ;-)

but to be serious - why bother? Can you see a post of him after his "noble" good-bye?

do you know what in the ancient philosophy "strength" had meant? Not muscles, not money, not weapons, not power

Stamina...

9:09 AM, August 12, 2006  
Blogger JasonJ said...

Well, at least in true Christian fashion, Mannning gets to leave as the victim of his 'evil' interlocutors.

Again,

I cannot explain how our seemingly upright ideals have fallen so flat and so hard since the inception of our nation. Indeed, this is not even the same country I grew up knowing in the '70s. Somehow our logic went astray from the original plan. I have spent every waking moment since watching the second plane crash into the twin towers trying to figure it all out. I wrote a comment on Robert's blog last night about where this is all going in my opinion. I don't know of you read it or not but it was under his "And Then..." posting. I think it explains my current view of the whole mess.

Perhaps we cannot undo the past and perhaps we will not change the course of the future; but not trying is not really an option. I have three children who do not deserve the future I see unfolding right now.

11:46 AM, August 12, 2006  
Blogger Again said...

I don't know of you read it

sure, but because it's a little late to reply there, i'll do it here

but not trying is not really an option. I have three children who do not deserve the future I see unfolding right now.

exactly - and if we were the last to try - when we don't do it, how will we know that anybody does it? Sometimes i ask myself, if the humans don't love their children, because if they would they couldn't act like that: Males couldn't love war and females couldn't love the silent and passive slavery behind their visible or non visible burkas...

btw: you mention game theory. Isn't it amazing, how easy it is to describe the oh-so-sophisticated human behavior

to the rest of your comment: i started to quote about the financial resources, the oil and the de-escalation, then the Christian Fundamentalists...

and then i stopped, because i only can agree...

except for that:

I am sure they honestly believe they have our best interests in mind

i bet they don't care about (y)our best interests - they are true aristocrats, neverminding anything or anybody else than themselves

i once met a "born prince" - you can't imagine the thinking of those people when you never have been able to see it in reality. "Self-assurance" without any self-criticism, without any question, who am i, what can i do, what do i deserve - no, just a pure, simple "ME ONLY" (can't describe it better)

and the worst thing about was, how the people around him bowed their heads. There was a down-to-earth guy, clever and tough in "usual life", but when "his prince" went through the door, the man lost his guts, shrank to a dwarf. Only eagerness to please the "prince" was left, a living, adoring, willing role model of a slave...

disgusting - the slave more than the prince, btw, because without slaves princes are nothing

4:18 AM, August 14, 2006  

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