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Subject: I'm sorry USA. rss

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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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An ash I know, Yggdrasil its name. With water white is the great tree wet; thence come the dews that fall in the dales. Green by Urth's well does it ever grow.
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Apparently I am essentially a "God-hating, marxist, communist, or socialist whose ideas and policies are KILLING the country." Now I know. I guess I owe the USA an apology.

A friend on fb has spent a lot of time dressing me down for my political perspectives as posted on fb. I made a cautiously positive comment about a conversation Newt Gingrich had with Tavis Smiley, which indicated my residual cynicism with my former party was now colored with a glimmer of hope for the right. I was legitimately impressed with what Gingrich said.

I read Bill Bennett's Book of Virtues, supported the Contract for America, and was a hard-right Republican. Now, for many reasons, mostly due to Bush I & II and their abandonment of Reagan Republicanism, I am politically independent.

I've also traveled to some countries we might consider "socialist" by USA standards, and have seen the prosperity and quality of life in those places which was exponentially higher than I had ever seen. I've lived the Twain quote, "Travel is fatal to ignorance", and have been to several inner-cities, worked for peace in Northern Ireland, and begun reading existentialist philosophers who are quite foundational to the values which U.S.A. was built on.

I'm no marxist, communist, or atheist. However, I have appreciated reading about the Milwaukee Socialist movement, which was the best thing to ever happen to this city. It doesn't fit the stereotype of socialism which most folks think of today, but actually did impact the entire country for the better.

They're largely credited for establishing a back-to-basics approach to city government, and are called "sewer socialists" because they initiated changes like new sanitation systems, municipally-owned water and power systems, community parks, and improved education systems, which eventually spread nation-wide. They also ran a famously honest and efficient government, whose impact is felt to this day in Brewtown.

Oops, there I go again. I apologize to ally'all in USA. It's my fault.

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Gregory Amstutz
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diehard4life wrote:
Apparently I am essentially a "God-hating, marxist, communist, or socialist whose ideas and policies are KILLING the country." Now I know. I guess I owe the USA an apology.


Just out of curiosity, and not taking a position either way, says who?
 
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Wouldn't this thread have made more sense on facebook?
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John Taylor
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Apology accepted.
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Marc P
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No, he said that the Bush years led him to abandon the Republicans. His insights gained through travel, reading, and introspection led him to reconsider his conservatism.
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Sam I am
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Realism doesn't require an apology.
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Jeff Smith
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diehard4life wrote:
I've also traveled to some countries we might consider "socialist" by USA standards, and have seen the prosperity and quality of life in those places which was exponentially higher than I had ever seen.


Amen.
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All I am curious about is why you feel compelled to bring this up on a periodic basis? Do you want to make sure any RSP newbies understand that because you, Mister World Traveler, abandoned one ideology in exchange for another that they should either examine theirs or... what? Rethink America? Is it that you feel like anyone who is happy in America needs to know that you believe there are better places? Or that they aren't as happy as they could be if they moved elsewhere... which apparently, you didn't.

Every time you spring this: "I've seen socialism work... and not the bad kind.... the good kind" post on us I am slightly curious what exactly it is you're defending. Or attacking.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Being a world traveler hasn't helped your spelling.

ally'all? Don't you mean "All y'all"? Or were you referring to an entire alley? Or Ally McBeal's choice in laundry detergent?
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I visited a friend in the US and we drove around looking at all the posh suburbs. I kept asking for a trip to the poorest part of the city, and he said "ok, but we're not stopping the car, not even at traffic lights". But in the end, he changed his mind and we didn't go there. I promised him that when he comes to visit me, we'll go to the poorest and most desperate part of Stockholm in the middle of the night, to grab some beers at the local pub. He'll come this summer. I'll call the police to ask what area they would recommend the least, we'll leave credit cards at home, bring some cash for drinks and get on the subway to see what new friends we've got from Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll post the story here.
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Mondainai wrote:
I visited a friend in the US and we drove around looking at all the posh suburbs. I kept asking for a trip to the poorest part of the city, and he said "ok, but we're not stopping the car, not even at traffic lights". But in the end, he changed his mind and we didn't go there. I promised him that when he comes to visit me, we'll go to the poorest and most desperate part of Stockholm in the middle of the night, to grab some beers at the local pub. He'll come this summer. I'll call the police to ask what area they would recommend the least, we'll leave credit cards at home, bring some cash for drinks and get on the subway to see what new friends we've got from Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll post the story here.


Gosh Harald... thanks. I didn't know how horrible it is to live in the USA where we don't make friends with Afghans and Iraqis. You Swedish people are almost God-like in your ability to go drinking in the bad parts of your towns.

Oh, and by the way, your post is pretty much bullshit. I can take you to the worst part of some cities here and you'd be in trouble. Or, I can take you tot the worst part of other cities here and you'd be perfectly safe.

By the way... Stockholm has less than a million people in it so it's not a good comparison to any city on the planet with more dense urban populations. There are sections of Los Angeles that have three times the population of your city and are equally safe. Same goes for Chicago, NYC or any large urban area.
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Sam I am
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Come and visit me in Kalamazoo we can road trip. I live two hours away from both the south side of Chicago and 8 Mile road in Detroit. It will give you a full apreciation of the differences. TBH I'll have to lie to my wife because it would be a cold day in hell before she'd let me do it.


Edit:
In light of Tripp's mini rant I'll take you to Grand Rapids, MI. (population near 1 million.) I't will still be enlightening!
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diehard4life wrote:
A friend on fb has spent a lot of time dressing me down


Why are you friends with someone who doesn't respect you?
 
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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Koldfoot wrote:
Because the Bush I and II weren't far enough to the right for you, you decided to abandon conservatism?



Actually, yeah. That was certainly the case with Bush I. Bush II was also a disappointment, and I couldn't figure out (apart from money and family influence) how he beat McCain in the primary. McCain did everything better than Bush in my opinion, but Bush got the nomination.

I did enjoy the Clinton years, being a "hater" of the Democrats, but that anger dissipated when Bush took office, and Bush turned my stomach in other ways that Clinton never did.
 
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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quozl wrote:
diehard4life wrote:
A friend on fb has spent a lot of time dressing me down


Why are you friends with someone who doesn't respect you?


Yeah, I don't know. I know him from way back in my church at home, and he's handling my life insurance, LOL.

 
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DWTripp wrote:
You Swedish people are almost God-like in your ability to go drinking in the bad parts of your towns.
Thanks for humbling me. I'd laugh at your wit if it didn't make me feel so stupid ; )

DWTripp wrote:
By the way... Stockholm has less than a million people in it so it's not a good comparison
1.8 million, including the suburbs where the newcomers cram together. Like the municipality of Södertälje, which has received more Iraqi refugees since 2003 than the Americas. Maybe that's where we'll go. To please you, I'll extend the range to the worst area of all the Nordic countries. Guess that'll be somewhere in Copenhagen. But you're right; it'd be more relevant to go to somewhere in London or Paris. But it's too far for us up in the Idaho of Europe.
 
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diehard4life wrote:
quozl wrote:
diehard4life wrote:
A friend on fb has spent a lot of time dressing me down


Why are you friends with someone who doesn't respect you?


Yeah, I don't know. I know him from way back in my church at home, and he's handling my life insurance, LOL.



I've heard LOL life insurance sucks. I suggest you dump it (and the "friend").
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quozl wrote:
diehard4life wrote:
A friend on fb has spent a lot of time dressing me down
Why are you friends with someone who doesn't respect you?
I'd love to have more friends like that. Apparently, that person really needs someone to exchange world views with, and you can have a good impact on him. It is a fact of life that we tend to hang out with people with the same affiliations, but I think that makes us all a bit narrowminded, so it's awesome to have some friends that think differently. And they being more vocal just spices it up, in my book. Those with whom I can argue until we get thrown out the pub by security, those are the ones I cherish the most of my friends.
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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DWTripp wrote:
All I am curious about is why you feel compelled to bring this up on a periodic basis? Do you want to make sure any RSP newbies understand that because you, Mister World Traveler, abandoned one ideology in exchange for another that they should either examine theirs or... what? Rethink America? Is it that you feel like anyone who is happy in America needs to know that you believe there are better places? Or that they aren't as happy as they could be if they moved elsewhere... which apparently, you didn't.

Every time you spring this: "I've seen socialism work... and not the bad kind.... the good kind" post on us I am slightly curious what exactly it is you're defending. Or attacking.


Much respect Tripp:

I am glad you asked. I do need to distill exactly what my motives are.

I guess I do like to play devil's advocate, which certainly confirms the assessment of me as a "God-hater", LOL. I am also berated by those around me who I know from my days in the right, regularly, and it does lead me to write about it.

Much of that is out of my personality type. I write because it helps me cope. Fb for me is less an "evangelism for socialism" thing when I post ideas (the same on BGG) there. I simply think that others might benefit from a bit more broad experience of things.

I reserve their right to agree or disagree with me. I'm not looking for converts. I'm hoping that people tamp back the rhetoric a bit and listen to each other. My narrative isn't any sort of proof-text for the existence of positive socialism or of my own glorious enlightenment.

In many ways I mourn the loss of my participation on the far right. I was a rather militant personality type who won nearly every argument I became engaged in, and I tended to crave the power which that provided me. It was intoxicating to be so sure about everything and to justify so much by my uber-conservative fundamentalist faith. (I believed in nothing but sola scriptura as the source of truth--the Bible alone)

Now, before I appear to bash anyone for that, let me say I don't think I am right. I don't believe that I have the answers. I don't believe that I know more than others or that my experience puts me into a category of the "enlightened few" who know truth which others don't.

Sure my faith is still strong, and there are tenets of it which lean that way, and I am certain of nothing more than it. But I no longer use that against people.

Not saying all or most folks in that camp do.

I've really benefited from my work with an agency in Northern Ireland, Corrymeela. There we did some exercises like the "four corners diagram" where the group I traveled with oriented themselves about the room based on personal answers to a series of ever-more-controversial questions. In this, each person was given a chance to state why they positioned themselves relative to an x-y axis without interruptions, using I believe statements.

If swayed by a statement, one might even move among the axes for a specific question.

This was a signpost moment for me. I was with a group of people I respected, of similar faiths, but different expressions, and I had no idea our views varied so much. I was moved by the experience, and my life in the inner-city of Milwaukee, to listen to people in a different way. I became a bit more intentional about challenging/distilling my own motives.

I realized that being right or being sure, or having what I believed to be the best ideas and solutions to every problem, religiously, socially, or economically, was a sign of my own fear. I feared being wrong, and I found that certainty was my drug of choice.

(I worked in a N.A. program for a couple of years)

Now, abandoning certainty arbitrarily would be a new level of ignorance. I don't claim to have done so. Others might say I have.

But I have become much more aware of a somewhat uniquely American isolationism/cultural elitism. I've become more willing to make changes to fix that in me, because I believe that the problems in the world around me are often best approached by solving the conflict within myself.

I knew this before I started T'ai Chi Ch'uan. But studying Thomas Merton and the writings of Taoists and Cheng Man Ching have added a bit of flavor to my faith and life practice. It's made it easier to confront myself.

But I am blathering incoherently.

I guess I share because I hope others are also listening. I don't pretend to provide truth or political solutions to anyone as absolutes, but I do like to try and stretch the bounds of people's perceptions.

If that makes me godless or any number of things which others find despicable, I must learn to let that go. God knows me. Those who love me know me. That's enough.

But I write to live.
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Quote:
But it's too far for us up in the Idaho of Europe.


That's probably a relatively fair comparison.

The issue with creating false impressions like Christian does or like you participated in with your drinking in the slums example is that Sweden isn't comparable to the United States.

Except for the fact that humans are the dominant species in Sweden and the same is true for the USA, there are few similarities. Not in history, size, politics, land mass, diversity, geographical location, topography, population, infrastructure requirements and on and on... the list of differences is endless.


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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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okiedokie wrote:
Being a world traveler hasn't helped your spelling.

ally'all? Don't you mean "All y'all"? Or were you referring to an entire alley? Or Ally McBeal's choice in laundry detergent?


I was using hoodspeak, or urban slang, which can be found on the streets of Dublin, the radio in Oslo, or up the street in my Milwaukee neighborhood, LOL.

It's one word here. Like ain'a or prettinear...
 
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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Mondainai wrote:
I visited a friend in the US and we drove around looking at all the posh suburbs. I kept asking for a trip to the poorest part of the city, and he said "ok, but we're not stopping the car, not even at traffic lights". But in the end, he changed his mind and we didn't go there. I promised him that when he comes to visit me, we'll go to the poorest and most desperate part of Stockholm in the middle of the night, to grab some beers at the local pub. He'll come this summer. I'll call the police to ask what area they would recommend the least, we'll leave credit cards at home, bring some cash for drinks and get on the subway to see what new friends we've got from Iraq and Afghanistan. I'll post the story here.


If you visit Milwaukee I will take you to the poorest places, and to all the hidden gems in the "hood" and within the urban landscape of the 2nd most segregated cities in the USA.

I have been to Cabrini Green, my wife's been to Compton/South Central L.A. I also worked with gang-bangers from Gary, IN and Chicago, IL for years...

I consider this city my oyster. I'm not afraid to go anywhere, but I do know both a bit of martial arts and my maker... so if it's my time to go it will be my time in the "burbs" or the inner-city.
 
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rcbevco wrote:
Come and visit me in Kalamazoo we can road trip. I live two hours away from both the south side of Chicago and 8 Mile road in Detroit. It will give you a full apreciation of the differences. TBH I'll have to lie to my wife because it would be a cold day in hell before she'd let me do it.


Edit:
In light of Tripp's mini rant I'll take you to Grand Rapids, MI. (population near 1 million.) I't will still be enlightening!


I've been to 8 Mile road. No shrine to Marshall Mathers there...
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DWTripp wrote:
Quote:
But it's too far for us up in the Idaho of Europe.


That's probably a relatively fair comparison.

The issue with creating false impressions like Christian does or like you participated in with your drinking in the slums example is that Sweden isn't comparable to the United States.

Except for the fact that humans are the dominant species in Sweden and the same is true for the USA, there are few similarities. Not in history, size, politics, land mass, diversity, geographical location, topography, population, infrastructure requirements and on and on... the list of differences is endless.




I don't intend to make false impressions Tripp. I do appreciate (seriously) being told when I do, and particularly in specific.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
The issue with creating false impressions like Christian does or like you participated in with your drinking in the slums example is that Sweden isn't comparable to the United States.
All countries are comparable to some extent, and all countries can - and must - learn from each other. Clinton's Friedman-inspired negative tax experiments are studied in academia here (but hasn't reached politics yet). The zero-tolerance approach of New York was tried here, despite the cities being different. The anti-bonus policies of Obama are being advocated by our (conservative) minister of finance. The anti-smoking laws of California were studied before most of Europe followed suit. Two countries are never the same, but still need to look at each other all the time, we're living experiments for each other.

But this is not about convincing my friend of something; he's already as "convinced" as one can get. This is about me showing what I'm proud of. If I visit you, you might show me your board games, your guns, your kids, your huge circumcised organ (not all at the same time of course), the rivers and the mountains. If you visit me, I show you my board games, my foreskin, the forests and the islands, the old town and the slums.
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