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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 05:48 AM   #31
Teuthida
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

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Osama Bin laden is killed, and within one page of posts, not 24 hours later, it becomes about how awful America is. Amazing. Can't there be one day, one happy day, where people can just objectively admit America did something right without having to compulsively slap a "but" at the end?
No.



I haven't seen any footage but I found many of the celebration photos to be rather revolting. I can understand celebrating if you lost a loved one on that day (as I would have if it had happened a day earlier) but most of this is blind patriotism. Then again I'm also not a sports fan. I liken this to shouting "we did it" when your team wins and all your did was sit on the couch eating cheetos.

I can also see celebrating if he was killed shortly after 9/11 but since then hundreds of thousands of civilians died at the US's hands. One should be contemplative rather than celebratory.

And imagine how much better off our country would be if we stopped trying to police the world and used all that money for our own benefit? (Our drop in education compared to most other developed nations pisses me off more than anything.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFK
"We must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient; that we are only 6 percent of the world's population; that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind; that we cannot right every wrong or reverse every adversity; and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem."
We're 4.5% of the world's population now btw.

Basically, if you knew someone who died as a result one of Al Qaeda's attacks, celebrate however you like. Otherwise, kindly shut it. We're screwing ourselves over more than any terrorist organization directly did.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 08:09 AM   #32
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

While this is off-topic, I'll address it:

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(Our drop in education compared to most other developed nations pisses me off more than anything.)
We spend more per student than all but one other country (Luxembourg, I believe). Money has nothing to do with it. The fact is our education system is broken because its become a bloated employment service. where the inmates run the asylum.

Back on topic:

For those who think this is just another opportunity to criticize America, well, God bless you and I'll leave it at that. If you can't just admit that there was ONE thing that we did so obviously right, then there is nothing anyone could say to dissuade you. Good news seems to infuriate those that think this way.

As for those who find it odd to take pleasure in another man's death, I sympathize, but I'll let Mark Twain put into words:

"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 09:00 AM   #33
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

Don't get me wrong, it's good bin Laden was taken out. But we didn't do anything. It was a group of CIA agents who finally nailed down where he was after a decade of our country needlessly killing hundreds of thousands of innocents. Which is why I feel we shouldn't be patting ourselves on the back (or rather shouting and running around stupidly with American flags) and instead have some perspective on everything that led up to this.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:05 AM
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #34
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

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Originally Posted by Teuthida View Post
Don't get me wrong, it's good bin Laden was taken out. But we didn't do anything. It was a group of CIA agents who finally nailed down where he was after a decade of our country needlessly killing hundreds of thousands of innocents. Which is why I feel we shouldn't be patting ourselves on the back (or rather shouting and running around stupidly with American flags) and instead have some perspective on everything that led up to this.
1) As a tax paying citizen we provide the ability for the CIA and Navy Seals to exist.

2) We didn't kill hundreds of thousands of innocents. Not even close. Those numbers that are often quoted are a combination of the small percentage of collateral (and regrettable) casualties caused by military activity and the high percentage of innocents killed by those we were fighting through IEDs, suicide bombings, tribal warfare, etc. People who want to persuade you that the war was evil claim that the US is just as much at fault for the actions of our enemies as they are, so they give us credit for all of it. There was a post about this a few years ago if I remember correctly...

3) Keep in mind we have no clue if we would have ever gotten Bin Laden without the war, establishing a "beach head" of sorts, capturing enemies and interrogating them, etc. The currently accepted theory in the media is that the intelligence that helped find Bin Laden came from Guantanamo, another morally ambiguous activity.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #35
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

Which makes me feel sick knowing my tax dollars helped kill so many.

And even if those numbers aren't as high (as a result of direct US killings), it was all to kill one sick man. Other than some relief to the families he took from and a morale boost, what else did his death bring? How many less would be dead if the US didn't feel the need to go balls out trying to get to him? Pretty much every other half-baked terrorist plot by al-Qaeda was foiled since 9/11. And not because of all the strict new regulations either.

To your #3: Does that mean then, those wars were all for nothing since we had the leads to his capture so close to home all that time? That sounds even worse to me.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 09:48 AM   #36
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

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Originally Posted by Teuthida View Post
And even if those numbers aren't as high (as a result of direct US killings), it was all to kill one sick man. Other than some relief to the families he took from and a morale boost, what else did his death bring?
You're misremembering the rationale for going to war in the first place. Even to Bush Bin laden was only a target. One of many. The war was against state-sponsored terrorism. Agree or disagree with it, that is how it was presented and approved.

Quote:
Pretty much every other half-baked terrorist plot by al-Qaeda was foiled since 9/11. And not because of all the strict new regulations either.
The successes had nothing to do with interrogations or wiretapping? And you're sure of this? If so, you have high-ranking sources I am unaware of.

Quote:
To your #3: Does that mean then, those wars were all for nothing since we had the leads to his capture so close to home all that time? That sounds even worse to me.
Only a handful of detainees were from terror-cells in the US. Most were captured in the Middle East during military operations. Again, without the war we have no idea whether or not we would have ever captured Bin Laden.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 10:14 AM   #37
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

And according to Bush we invaded Iraq because of WMDs. I don't give credence to Bush's rationale for anything.

The foiled ones I was referring to were the those the public knows about. They directly affected security measures though, what with the limit on liquids, removal of shoes, etc. But you're right, I don't know about what might have been countless others.

Once again, one guilty dude's death vs [insert number here] of innocents.

The past is past. Was just saying it would be better to reflect on what brought us to this point and tread more carefully than we have been, instead of mindlessly chanting "USA USA".

I don't have anymore time today to post. Have yourself some pie.

P.S. I would like to have a thread on education in the future if just so I can learn why things are the way they are.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 10:31 AM   #38
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

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Originally Posted by Teuthida View Post
P.S. I would like to have a thread on education in the future if just so I can learn why things are the way they are.
I can't speak on behalf of all populations, but recently I have been researching the hell out of programs like Teach for America (I had some interest). I also am involved in research in a lab where some focus is on the education deficit amongst inner-city populations, and specifically Black and Latino youth. As with most things there are multiple ways to tell the story. One influential factor seems to be lack of parental involvement. Since a lot of inner-city families are poor, parents work 2 or 3 jobs. The parents are never home so kids never get support at home from the parents. Support from parents at home has been shown to be CRUCIAL in fostering positive learning. There are other issues too. For example, someone in my lab is looking at Latino populations. Within that population there is a strong tendency for parents to have the belief that the school is completely responsible for educating their kids. This does not create a supportive environment in the home, which in turn might lead to doing worse in school.

There are other issues too. One theory (controversial) is that there are strong anti-white feelings within parts of the black community. If "being educated" equals "being white" there is a tendency within the black population for blacks to look down upon peers who are educated.

It's just a multitude of socio-economic factors fucking everyone over, at least in the poorer communities.

I think that is a BIG part of it. There are a million and one broad scale issues, issues specifically applicable to the way that the USA does education. And that is where Prof probably should take over.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #39
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

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Originally Posted by Teuthida View Post
And according to Bush we invaded Iraq because of WMDs. I don't give credence to Bush's rationale for anything.
I was referring to Afghanistan. You are correct about Iraq.

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Once again, one guilty dude's death vs [insert number here] of innocents.
Again, I reject the supposition of your argument, so there is little to argue about here. We are talking about two different things.

Quote:
The past is past. Was just saying it would be better to reflect on what brought us to this point and tread more carefully than we have been, instead of mindlessly chanting "USA USA".
In the long run, of course, but I think America can share a brief shared sigh of relief before the "boo birds" start chirping. Its just not good form, IMO.

Quote:
I don't have anymore time today to post. Have yourself some pie.
Pie is delicious, but I'm on Atkins... great... now I want pie.

Quote:
P.S. I would like to have a thread on education in the future if just so I can learn why things are the way they are.
Oh wow, that could take days and it goes all the way back to FDR and the red-lining of districts during the days of the NRA.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #40
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerGremlin View Post
I can't speak on behalf of all populations, but recently I have been researching the hell out of programs like Teach for America (I had some interest). I also am involved in research in a lab where some focus is on the education deficit amongst inner-city populations, and specifically Black and Latino youth. As with most things there are multiple ways to tell the story. One influential factor seems to be lack of parental involvement. Since a lot of inner-city families are poor, parents work 2 or 3 jobs. The parents are never home so kids never get support at home from the parents. Support from parents at home has been shown to be CRUCIAL in fostering positive learning. There are other issues too. For example, someone in my lab is looking at Latino populations. Within that population there is a strong tendency for parents to have the belief that the school is completely responsible for educating their kids. This does not create a supportive environment in the home, which in turn might lead to doing worse in school.

There are other issues too. One theory (controversial) is that there are strong anti-white feelings within parts of the black community. If "being educated" equals "being white" there is a tendency within the black population for blacks to look down upon peers who are educated.

It's just a multitude of socio-economic factors fucking everyone over, at least in the poorer communities.

I think that is a BIG part of it. There are a million and one broad scale issues, issues specifically applicable to the way that the USA does education. And that is where Prof probably should take over.
You hit the nail on the head. Thomas Sowell actually does a great job of explaining how events unfold to create subsidies for lowered expectations and performance (fast forward to 2:30, but the whole dialogue is good):



During the Great Depression families were paid more assistance if they did not have a male head of household. Also, the NRA sent workers to jobs far away from their families. Add to the this the endemic racism prevalent in the government at the time and you have your modern ghettos where black workers were housed in the worst areas and segregated. Meanwhile, at home, an entire generation of African American children were growing up without a father figure.

Ever wonder why white poverty is concentrated in the mid-west and black poverty is concentrated in urban areas? ITS NOT A MISTAKE. It's what happens when your government stops serving you and starts controlling you.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 05:35 PM   #41
Teuthida
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^ Is that system for how money is distributed still in place?

Which also goes back to your earlier point about money not being an issue. In many countries there are state-funded free colleges. That makes a huuuuuge difference. Both my parents were from working class families and the only way my mother was able to go to college was because NYC's were free at the time (which isn't the case now). (My father's college was paid for by the Air Force.)

There's also the poor salary of teachers, or rather they go where the pay is better. For example I know one can make more teaching on Long Island than here in the city.

You might find this interesting. I went to this middle school which I only just learned was founded as a court-ordered experiment in racial integration.

And there's that whole deal with Texas dictating what goes into the country's text books which is messed up on a number of levels (and was discussed in an earlier thread). We can go into the Christian right hijacking science as well, so even a child who wants to learn might be getting the wrong information.

There are a ton of other factors too which could easily be improved (and would of course require more money), such as longer school days, or shorter vacations (kids forget so much over the summer break). There was an article about some Korean school in the NYTimes maybe a year or two ago. They spent about 12 hours at school 6 days a week. Now that's what I'm talking about.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-03-2011, 07:57 PM   #42
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

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^ Is that system for how money is distributed still in place?
No child left behind changed it a bit, but yes, its generally how it works. I know if Philadelphia the highest dollar amount per child is spent in the worst districts.

Quote:
Which also goes back to your earlier point about money not being an issue. In many countries there are state-funded free colleges. That makes a huuuuuge difference. Both my parents were from working class families and the only way my mother was able to go to college was because NYC's were free at the time (which isn't the case now). (My father's college was paid for by the Air Force.)

There's also the poor salary of teachers, or rather they go where the pay is better. For example I know one can make more teaching on Long Island than here in the city.

You might find this interesting. I went to this middle school which I only just learned was founded as a court-ordered experiment in racial integration.

And there's that whole deal with Texas dictating what goes into the country's text books which is messed up on a number of levels (and was discussed in an earlier thread). We can go into the Christian right hijacking science as well, so even a child who wants to learn might be getting the wrong information.

There are a ton of other factors too which could easily be improved (and would of course require more money), such as longer school days, or shorter vacations (kids forget so much over the summer break). There was an article about some Korean school in the NYTimes maybe a year or two ago. They spent about 12 hours at school 6 days a week. Now that's what I'm talking about.
Keep in mind, there is no such thing as "free" college, "free" healthcare, etc. Someone pays for it, and usually there is massive waste and debt involved. This is why New York no longer pays for college and part of the reason why California is in financial crisis. "Free" = unsustainable.

Most of what you describe is the result one the fatal flaw in the public school system: There is no choice. If you live in a certain district, your children go to a certain school. If you want options, you have to pay above what you are already paying in school taxes. More often you have to move to get out of them, and in the most poor areas (the areas that need choice the most) this is not a real possibility. The reality of no school choice affects the economy as well. A bad school poisons the real estate market around it, which poisons the businesses in the community, etc.

There is not a problem with the system. The system is the problem.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-04-2011, 05:03 AM   #43
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

Except there is a choice. At least there is here in NYC. I would hope it's the case in other urban areas as well. Though I can't see it working elsewhere where things are more spread out.

Basically you have your zoned high school, with access to pretty much every other public school in NYC depending on your grades and/or a specialty test. So if you're poor and live in a lousy neighborhood you can still go to your school of choice or at least one a bit better than what you might be stuck with. A lot of normal zoned schools offer advanced programs too so that if you're a good student you can get a better education than the average curriculum of that school. You can also easily transfer to another as I did if you aren't satisfied where you first end up. Believe Earl did as well. So there are actually a ton of opportunities to move around. No one is stuck unless they're apathetic.

So high schools are not the problem. Not sure if one is stuck at their junior/middle school or if the one I went to was the only exception. I see that being a problem, yes.

Also since I've been in school, a lot more specialty schools (not vocational but rather an average school with a perk such as a great music program) have cropped up so that students with just average grades can get something more out of school than if they went to their zoned.

It would be interesting to see the numbers for this all this stuff. It might be a good model for more of the country to adopt. Believe this is pretty much how the school system works in Japan. Think they takes tests to determine what middle school they go to as well.
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-04-2011, 09:21 AM   #44
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Default Re: Bin Laden Dead

So what do you do if your parents work in the morning and can't take you to your school of choice?

School buses can only take you to the school in your district that you're supposed to go to.

I think a decent system would be to introduce government given vouchers for an all private school system, but again, how do you go about making sure every child has a fair chance to actually GET to the school?
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Re: Bin Laden Dead
Old 05-04-2011, 09:54 AM   #45
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Public transportation. Students are given a metrocard so they can travel for free on weekdays. For middle school those furthest away were picked up by school bus (I'm not aware of the district limitations) and those closer took public transportation. Actually, I know one or a couple of the specialized science high schools had school buses. Not sure what the deal was with that. But either way, the commute between the furthest points away from each other in the city are about two hours by public transportation. I actually didn't go to a school I got into at first because I didn't want to commute so far away. I ended up going a year later and it was a pain to get to, but quite doable. Got a lot of reading done on the train.

Again, I have no idea how this system would work in a more spread out area. Either your parents take you or a more complicated busing system is put into place.
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