Forty Years Ago Today

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Eric
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Eric » Tue May 04, 2010 11:12 pm

Wait, Spence, where exactly did you endorse the shooting of the students? Billybud read that in between the lines somewhere, I guess I missed that one. More straw man arguments. :roll:
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby billybud » Wed May 05, 2010 6:28 am

I think what we have is the general lumping together that we all do....

Students protesting certainly were not terrorists....the Weathermen were but were a miniscule fraction of the protestors. Both were protesting government policy, but in a different way. McVeigh was a terrorist. Limbaugh is not. To say that students of the 60's aided and abetted bombings and killings is just wrong. Limbaugh did not aid and abet McVeigh although both may have had some similar thoughts about government.

Muslims are not terrorists. Muslims protesting American involvement in their country are not terrorists. Muslims blowing up cars in Times square are. Ohio State kids burning cars and smashing windows after ball games are not terrorists...they are punk criminals who don't have a cause beyond mindless destruction.


The Civil Rights movement was an insurgency. Mainly non violent and patterned after Gandhi's insurgency which freed India from the British rule. There were many civil rights leaders within CORE and other groups who advocated violence but King was a genius of sorts. He fought a modern insurgency using media, public opinion, and some deft political maneuvering that isolated some rabid anti integrationists.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby donovan » Wed May 05, 2010 7:14 am

Kent State was a tragedy.

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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Spence » Wed May 05, 2010 7:30 am

donovan wrote:Kent State was a tragedy.

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Agreed, any time people die it is a tragedy.

I do not wish to imply that all students protesting the war or trying to further the civil rights movement were terrorists. I also believe even in bad situations that people look back fondly on their college experience for the most part. Lots of people, though, looked to these terrorists as heros of the anti war movement and they were not. They were terrorists.

The kids who protested at Kent State were not terrorists, but they had some in their group. People who wanted something like what happened to happen. People who looked at this incident as a reason to take the fight a step further. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with your government. There is nothing wrong with working toward changing policy you do not like. That is how this country was founded.

Supporting terrorists, doesn't have anything to do with civil disobedience. Even if you have common beliefs.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby billybud » Wed May 05, 2010 11:33 am

You know...sometimes I don't articulate my thoughts well...

I am. as you know, sensitive to the civilian costs of war. We in America, since Sherman scorched the southeast, have been somewhat isolated from the civilian terror of war. Isolated by oceans, Americans haven't suffered war fought amongst our civilians. Where war is waged amongst a civilian population, death and terror lives hand in hand with the civilian population.

IN World War II, civilian populations were decimated, cities bombed and shelled to rubble, millions left homeless. Almost unimaginable numbers of civilians were killed....2.5 million in Poland, as many as 3 million in Germany, over 12 million in Russia, 3 million in the Dutch East Indies(Indonesia), 7 million in China....

The US civilian population, outside of those who died at Pearl Harbor, was not touched. We have lived in a splendid isolation from war.

In Vietnam, the civilians were caught in the middle...it is estimated that 90,000 South Vietnamese civilians were unintentionally killed by US firepower. It is not "atrocity" that kills civilians, it is war and its unintended or collateral consequences.

Americans, since WW II, have sent armed forces abroad to Korea, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Lebanon, Grenada, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Many in the world see us Americans, living in our isolation from war's consequence, as an exporter of death. When war is among civilians, accidents happen. Even those locals who despise the Taliban and militants, have to be enraged when a Predator accidentally targets civilians or a bombed out bunker turns out to be a crowded civilian air raid shelter not a command post.

Now we are engaged in a world wide assymetrical war with islamist fundamentalists. These guys want to end our isolation, want to bring the war to our civilians. They would like for Americans to live with the fears brought by war, explosions and bloody bodies. Lacking conventional armed forces, they are exploring every means to bring the consequence of war to our front porch. We call it terrorism. They, I am sure, see it as a tactic.

It is only a matter of time until someone is successful in an attack. I fear for the future day when nuclear weapons get to a terrorist.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Eric » Wed May 05, 2010 1:10 pm

It is only a matter of time until someone is successful in an attack. I fear for the future day when nuclear weapons get to a terrorist.


And you can thank our foreign policy decisions for that. It's always important when we say "we" in dialogue to make clear who we are referring to. The people as a collective or those in power making decisions? Those in power have used our military might as a means to seek our ends, mostly unnecessarily I would argue. This gives the Islamic terrorists the idea that America is the "Great Satan" because our leaders infringe on their holy lands consistently. Let's pit Osama against the USSR, let's overthrow Iran's government, let's give Saddam weapons to fight Iran, lets give arms to Israel, etc. The list goes on and on.

Did you know that the United States endorsed text books in the 80's that would radicalize Muslim students in Afghanistan and in surrounding parts? The CIA thought it would be a good idea to combat the interests of the USSR at the time.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A5339-2002Mar22?language=printer
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby donovan » Wed May 05, 2010 1:42 pm

Back to Kent State. My memory is not the shortest apparatus of my body, but close. I am relatively sure that we never thought of the Kent State mob as terrorists, that term was never used. Protesters, yes. But verbiage incites panic, especially when it comes from our leaders.

Just a short time, couple of weeks, before Kent State, Ronald Reagan, (so we are clear, one of the great American Presidents, in my opinion) was very vitriolic about protesters. He denounced student protesters as "brats," "freaks" and "cowardly fascists." He also said in his famous statement, "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement!" After Kent State the spin was it was a "figure of speech."

I do not imply he caused or promoted Kent State, but it was the fervor of the time. Berkley was a boiling kettle as well as other schools. My point is, to use the armed forces of the United States against citizens protesting can not be so knee jerk.

Some of the great statements on war as a last resort come from President Reagan.

"A people free to choose will always choose peace.

The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor.

History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will.

...no mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology.

People do not make wars; governments do.

We must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing."
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Spence » Wed May 05, 2010 1:49 pm

Terrorists aren't soldiers in a war. Lets be clear about that. They are fundamentalists that live on the extreme edge of society. They don't value life, not even among those sympathetic to their cause. Soldiers are doing the bidding of a country. Whether the war is right or wrong - good or bad, they are patriots doing their jobs. The problem with the last few wars or conflict is that we the people do not like to see how wars are fought. The politicians send mixed messages telling the soldiers on one hand to do a job and telling the people on the other that they don't support the way the soldiers have to do a job. That is what happened in Vietnam and to an extent in every war after. Collateral damage happens in war. Collateral damage means non military people. In lots of cases that means women and children. There is no such thing as an antiseptic war. We shouldn't pretend that we can fight a war under those conditions. Still there is a government responsible for the actions of its people in a war and terrorists don't answer to a government. There is no level of responsibility, no rules of engagement, and they target civilians - which is very different then civilians getting killed peripherally.
"History doesn't always repeat itself but it often rhymes." - Mark Twain

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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Spence » Wed May 05, 2010 1:57 pm

Back to Kent State. My memory is not the shortest apparatus of my body, but close. I am relatively sure that we never thought of the Kent State mob as terrorists, that term was never used. Protesters, yes. But verbiage incites panic, especially when it comes from our leaders.

Just a short time, couple of weeks, before Kent State, Ronald Reagan, (so we are clear, one of the great American Presidents, in my opinion) was very vitriolic about protesters. He denounced student protesters as "brats," "freaks" and "cowardly fascists." He also said in his famous statement, "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement!" After Kent State the spin was it was a "figure of speech."

I do not imply he caused or promoted Kent State, but it was the fervor of the time. Berkley was a boiling kettle as well as other schools. My point is, to use the armed forces of the United States against citizens protesting can not be so knee jerk.


We agree. I don't believe the guard acted appropriately. I don't believe the bulk of the protesters were terrorists and I didn't mean to for it to sound that way. I do believe that the people that lots of the protesters looked to and in some cases followed, were terrorists. The people that I refered to earlier were the terrorist and lots of boomers today look back at these people fondly and that bothers me.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby billybud » Wed May 05, 2010 5:52 pm

The statute of limitations is long passed...so I guess I can now confess my prank.

I am sure that nobody got my message draped over several campus buildings....I fancied myself a protester...but my banners read "MORE INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM FOR TREE FROGS".

With my sense of humor that most do not understand, I was actually making fun of the sanctimonious professors who were playing at protest. I don't think that most understood...but it did create a buzz. The next week...a new onslought began. All university vending machines had Shasta drinks (contracts, I guess). I hated Shasta.

New banners appeared..."SHASTA HASTA GO"...now that did catch on.

Such was my career as a late night scaler of buildings.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Spence » Wed May 05, 2010 7:42 pm

billybud wrote:The statute of limitations is long passed...so I guess I can now confess my prank.

I am sure that nobody got my message draped over several campus buildings....I fancied myself a protester...but my banners read "MORE INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM FOR TREE FROGS".

With my sense of humor that most do not understand, I was actually making fun of the sanctimonious professors who were playing at protest. I don't think that most understood...but it did create a buzz. The next week...a new onslought began. All university vending machines had Shasta drinks (contracts, I guess). I hated Shasta.

New banners appeared..."SHASTA HASTA GO"...now that did catch on.

Such was my career as a late night scaler of buildings.



What you are talking about doing is civil disobedience. While it may be against the law sometimes, it is not violent. I think it is every citizens responsibility to fight for what they believe is right. I never have a problem with that even if I happen to disagree with the position. When people decide they are going to use violence to get their point across and then run and hide, that is the problem IMO. If this government decides it is in our best interest to fight a war, we are right here to answer for it - right or wrong. Countries can't really run and hide. Our constitution makes it possible to disagree with our government freely. We will not be arrested or executed for our beliefs. Violence isn't needed, but if it was needed bombing a building full of people who do not make laws or enforce them still not right. If they wanted to go after the "man" they should have done just that.

That is my point in this. Kent State was a tragedy. The shooting of innocent people - which happened - shouldn't have happened. I think most of us agree on that point. laying all of the blame on the guard, though, while not at all looking at the protesters who had resorted to violence for four straight days is not right or accurate depiction of what happened there.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby donovan » Wed May 05, 2010 9:51 pm

This is not virgin territory. Thoreau's Civil Disobedience talks of the the need to prioritize one's conscience over the dictates of laws. It criticizes American social institutions and policies, most prominently slavery,the Mexican-American War and the NCAA.

"He argues government rarely proves itself useful and that it derives its power from the majority because they are the strongest group, not because they hold the most legitimate viewpoint. His contention is that people's first obligation is to do what they believe is right and not to follow the law dictated by the majority. When a government is unjust, people should refuse to follow the law and distance themselves from the government in general. A person is not obligated to devote his life to eliminating evils from the world, but he is obligated not to participate in such evils. This includes not being a member of an unjust institution (like the government). Thoreau further argues that the United States fits his criteria for an unjust government, given its support of slavery, looking the other way at the SEC and its practice of aggressive war.

He questions the effectiveness of reform within the government, and he argues that voting and petitioning for change achieves little. He presents his own experiences as a model for how to relate to an unjust government: In protest of slavery, Thoreau refused to pay taxes and spent a night in jail. But, more generally, he ideologically dissociated himself from the government, "washing his hands" of it and refusing to participate in his institutions. According to Thoreau, this form of protest was preferable to advocating for reform from within government; he asserts that one cannot see government for what it is when one is working within it."

This position has been taken by many and it seems to me he may be more correct today than in his time.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Spence » Wed May 05, 2010 10:52 pm

I tend to agree with him that we should follow our moral code over even the laws of the land. I haven't lost all faith in our government and I don't really think Thoreau really did either as he kept fighting the fight. I tend to think we would disagree on lots of other issues if he were still alive, but we would be together on this issue. I especially agree that people who work inside the system can't seem to see the trees for the forest.

I have always maintained to friends that most people know the absolute right and wrongs. Call it conscience or whatever, but this voice is there at every fork in the road and no matter which direction we take we always know which direction we should have taken. Violence always has to be the last option and frustration shouldn't be an excuse.
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby Derek » Thu May 06, 2010 9:52 am

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness
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Re: Forty Years Ago Today

Postby donovan » Thu May 06, 2010 11:07 am

Derek wrote:Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness


By golly, this is very good...why I think it should be in some Declaration...like a Declaration of Independence.... :lol:
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