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On Bush, the election and the direction of the US generally.

by Ziks511 / April 5, 2005 6:00 PM PDT

Wish I had expressed my views as clearly or in as timely a fashion. This is from one of Canada's best known scientists and broadcasters on science and the environment. He's about 10 years older than I, that makes him 68.

This was published a week after the election.

Don't Mistake Criticism of the US for Contempt

"Yet now those who dare criticize the choice of the slim majority of American voters who picked Bush are being accused of being anti-American. Well, if being anti-American means being against the war in Iraq, supportive of women's rights, supportive of progressive environmental policies, against the missile defense system, supportive of stem-cell research and supportive of same-sex marriage, then sign me up. But I don't believe it does.

"Simply disagreeing with that slim majority of voters does not make a person anti-American. In my youth I received a scholarship from an American University worth more than my father made in a year and it allowed me to attend one of the finest colleges in the world. Later I earned a PhD there and I am forever grateful to Americans for that. When I returned to Canada, I could not compete with my peers elsewhere in the world because of the poor funding available in Canada at the time. I stayed because I received a large U.S. grant. I will never forget the generosity of the U.S. and owe a huge debt of gratitude.

"But it is precisely because I love America that I am so profoundly disturbed by what is going on there. Unquestioning acceptance of the status quo isn't exactly an American ideal. In fact, it strikes me as decidedly un-American.

"So yes, when 52 per cent of Americans vote for Bush, I will say that I think they made a mistake. And when 11 states vote overwhelmingly to ban gay marriage, I will speak up. Disagreeing with a ban on same-sex marriage is not a matter of being out of touch with "American values." It's a matter of human rights. When one group in society is singled out and repressed and not given the same opportunities as others, then their rights are being violated. That is simply wrong. It doesn't matter if the majority of people voted for it. You can't vote away human rights."

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/about_us/Dr_David_Suzuki/Article_Archives/weekly11120401.asp

Sorry if this looks like trolling for conflict, it's not. But it does clearly express both my view and the views of what I believe to be a majority of native born Canadians, as well as the views of much of Europe.

Rob Boyter

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And the articles calling Americans idiots for voting in Bush
by EdH / April 5, 2005 6:26 PM PDT

Calling Bush voters Taliban or worse? Putting images of our elected leader in urinals? None of that was anti-American? Or are only those who voted for Bush idiots and Taliban? You yourself have participated in this bashing.

You know what? Just because someone disagrees with what "they" think is right on any issue doesn't mean we are wrong or stupid or have made a mistake. People are allowed to disagree. "They" don't seem to get that.

Here's a clue, Rob: what Canada and Europe think are not really terribly relevant. They have been wrong before and will be again. Easy to criticize us; but they need to look at their own history and actions. Crying that they're misundestood and abused doesn't cut any ice.

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OK Ed, if you have links for the first couple of items I'd
by Ziks511 / April 5, 2005 7:03 PM PDT

be happy to see them. There was a Canadian Member of Parliament (equals Congressman) who said unkind things about Bush, though I can recall some nasty public comments about Canadian and other country's leaders when I lived in the States. I think it's about a saw off there.

I disagree with Bush, and it worries me that a segment of Americans seem to see Canadian and European opinion as both hostile and irrelevant, but to suggest that I'm an Anti-American American seems a bit far fetched though it certainly has been said here. What I've bashed has been the current administration and what I feel is extreme Republican opinion, thats all. I'd call that fair comment (as in permissable). The problem seems to me to be that ANY disagreement with the Bush Administration from outside is instantly construed as anti-Americanism.

Switching hats and speaking as an adopted Canadian with some British experience, most of us LOVE the US. But we expect as much of the US as we do of our own governments: Fair dealing and respect for both domestic and international law.

You ought to hear Canadians complain about their government, they sound just like ... Americans. Same for the Brits, the French people I know (maybe even more so). Not so sure about Germany, it's been a long time since I spent any real time there but they used to grind about Willy Brandt something awful.

Just don't confuse dislike of the Bush Administration with Anti-Americanism cause it ain't. Bush, like Reagan, is pretty far out there on the international, and even the American, continuum. Beside them Nixon looks like a socialist. Take a look at Nixon's legislation, including setting up the EPA.

Rob Boyter

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Are you joking?
by EdH / April 5, 2005 9:04 PM PDT

What kind of amnesia is it that allows you to selectively forget the several articles (almost identically worded) comparing Americans to the Taliban which were linked here in SE? You can buy t-shirts of the infamous "How can 59,054,087 Americans be so dumb?" Guardian front page. You don't remember the pictures of Bush in urinals in Belgium? Michael Moore saying (and many agreeing with him) that Americans were the most ignorant people in the world? Give me a break. I'm willing to forgive but I ain't forgetting.

Canadian and European opinion IS to a large extent both hostile and irrelevant. What do you gain by denying these facts?

I think it's guilty conscience. A lot of people are thinking back on what they said and did and now regret it and are seeking to paper it over with silly stuff like that article. I'm NOT confusing disagreement with Bush and anti-Americanism. There was and is plenty of the latter. You are kidding yourself if you don't think so. Where's your evidence that ANY disagreement with Bush is taken as anti-American?

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Canadians and other EU countries
by Jerry562 / April 5, 2005 10:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Are you joking?

sided with the French which has been proved not only wrong, but criminally in bed with the wrong doers. This indignation is a attempt to avoid saying, you were right, I'm sorry, can we help you in Iraq. Be patient, Canada is a great country, they will be back.

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criminally in bed with the wrong doers
by JP Bill / April 5, 2005 10:25 PM PDT

Explain please

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Oil for food for one thing...
by EdH / April 5, 2005 11:55 PM PDT

France, Germany and Russia had many business ties to Saddam, some legal some not. They were very reluctant to lose those profits, perhaps undestandably. Hang human rights! They're not Europeans anyway!

For over a decade every time Saddam violated the terms of the treaty that ended the first Gulf War, every human rights outrage, every time they fired missiles at a coalition plane the UN would wag its finger and say,"If you don't stop we'll..." Then someone comes along who actually wants to DO something and "Zut Alors! Mais non!"

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Responsse
by JP Bill / April 6, 2005 12:43 AM PDT

Oil for food scandal is not over yet.

USA is the world's largest consumer of oil.

It's difficult to believe that some of this oil didn't end up in the US.

While this was going on Saddam was building palaces and ordering fleets of Mercedes Benz, while the whole world, including the US, didn't question how a palace was part of Oil for Food

Saddam gave entitlements to oil to hundreds maybe thousands of politicians, reporters, even to the Vatican, to be used as favours.


Sanctions preferred to Oil for Food corruption: Iraqi ambassador to UN

U.S. erred in focusing on weapons: legislator

Christopher Shays, the Republican politician who is leading an American Congressional probe of the Oil for Food scandal, acknowledges in the documentary that the U.S. was more concerned about making sure Saddam could not build weapons of mass destruction than policing where money from the program was actually going.

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I don't disagree
by EdH / April 6, 2005 1:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Responsse

Lot of unsavory things went on (during which Administration was this?). That doesn't in any way refute what I said about France, Germany and Russia. It went deeper than Oil for Food.

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Re: Oil for food -- how about our own graft in Iraq, EdH?
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 6, 2005 3:57 AM PDT
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We'll see...
by EdH / April 6, 2005 4:15 AM PDT

If it's so then the wrong-doers shouold be punished. But notice that this is on the level of allegations. And the first part about the smuggling, didn't that mostly take place during the previous administration?

Maybe the U.N. scandal did not cost the taxpayers any money. It cost many many Iraqis their LIVES. Oil for Food didn't produce any food.

Anyway, you're shifting the topic here. I was just trying to explain why our erstwhile allies didn't care to help out in Iraq, lest anyone think it was due to some high moral stance.

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(NT) (NT) ed your wasteing your breath
by Mark5019 / April 6, 2005 4:42 AM PDT
In reply to: We'll see...
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Canada has generally sided with the US in most of its
by Ziks511 / April 5, 2005 10:59 PM PDT

actions where multilateralism was important. I keep flogging the Afghanistan issue where we were front and center with the US, and Somalia, and Bosnia and Gulf War 1, but there were serious questions everywhere but in the US over Gulf War 2. Canada stayed out and were proved right to have stayed out given the bogus reasons for the invasion.

What should Canada have done? Thrown away its independence and self respect for a mess of bogus intelligence. Canada is nobody's pet dog to be whistled for, they learned that the hard way in two world wars from the British. If you can present a reasoned and convincing argument and a UN mandate they're there every time. There was extreme haste to get into Iraq combined with the Bush Administration's patent hatred of the UN which caused the Canadians to sit this one out, owing to sober second thought as the phrase referring to the Canadian Senate has it.

Rob Boyter

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Please explain
by ice_bear_joe / April 6, 2005 1:15 AM PDT

I'm sure canadians like like to hear the reason for this remark,sounds rather stupid to me.

Canada is nobody's pet dog to be whistled for, they learned that the hard way in two world wars from the British.

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There appears to be an element in the Administration
by Ziks511 / April 6, 2005 6:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Please explain

and in the American public in general who are offended that Canada said No Thank You to the current Gulf War. Certainly those sentiments have been expressed here. They appear to think that doing so was against all reason, ungrateful, and was practically UnAmerican, as if Canada were merely an appendage of the United States with no right to choose, with no right to a foreign policy of its own. That's not stupid.

Canada as a Dominion joined WWI and put its troops under British Command only to find they were being used as shock troops to open attacks and were sustaining enormously high casualty rates. When the Canadian government questioned this usage they were told to mind their own business. A similar story occurred with the Australians. Both were superior troops to the British both physically and in their willingness to sustain high casualties in order to achieve an objective. After WWI the Canadians determined not to get caught like that again. Unfortunately a number of regiments were used as garrison troops in Hong Kong in Dec 1941 with unpleasant consequences.

Rob Boyter

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You have a lot of malarky mixed in there
by Jerry562 / April 8, 2005 4:09 AM PDT

with a few facts. Canada was behind the UN sanctions 100%, all of them if memory serves. France took the anti-go along with the US lead (Because of their deal to rebuild the oil fields in Iraq after sanctions were lifted, to the tune of two billion dollars and it was to be done with French companies.) and Canada listened to Kofi and the insiders that were getting paid off by the millions.

It's no wonder why we couldn't get the UN to act, or why we distrusted them. Canada was sold a bill of good that turned out to be false from the word go.

The WMD was believed by all the services under Clinton and Bush, get off it. It was Clinton's hatred and budget cutting of the military and CIA that was the root cause of bum dope on Iraq, which he believed as did Kerry, Kennedy, Albright, Gore and others. Canada had no clue that we wouldn't find WMD when they hitched their wagon to France's horse and you know it. (Or at least we do.) Canada found no WMD when they read it in the newspaper long after the invasion.

I challenge you to show me where Canada said there was no WMD in Iraq before the USA invaded Iraq. (Waiting)

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Response
by JP Bill / April 8, 2005 4:46 AM PDT

Rob said

If you can present a reasoned and convincing argument and a UN mandate they're there every time.

Prime Minister of Canada said

Chr

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As for your accuracy, the 59,054,087 headline was in the
by Ziks511 / April 5, 2005 10:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Are you joking?

Sun, a staunchly right wing newspaper run by Rupert Murdoch of Faux News and New York Post fame. They just can't pass up a good headline even though they fundamentally agree with Bush, thumbing your nose at the world, and Darwinian Capitalism. The Guardian which is left-center is a thoughtful and cautious newspaper not given to inflammatory headlines. It's actually more cautious than the Times.

It is your opinion that Canadian and European opinion is irrelevant, it's not a fact Ed. It could turn out to be very relevant if the US suddenly needs support on something internationally and has alienated all its former friends and allies.

Nope, I don't remember the photos of Bush Urinals in Belgium. You'll have to forgive me, I live in Canada and though I do watch a fair amount of American News (more than my wife would like) I must have missed that. I have watched the Canadian flag trampled by people in Quebec, I have watched the American flag trampled by people in Europe, I have seen the French flag trampled by people in the United States. It's mob psychology and not a rational or useful or meaningful expression of anything but the thrill of the moment. Just remember that countries in South America went to war over the outcome of a soccer match.

I don't understand your point about a guilty conscience. Are you suggesting that other countries have guilty consciences, and if so for what? or that individuals have guilty consciences and if so who? I have said nothing I feel guilty about except directly to people on this forum, you included. My opinions of the Bush Administration remain ones of irritation and disappointment.

My apologies for my asperity in the past. Though we seem to be permanently fixed on either side of the Grand Canyon at least we can yell to one another occasionally. I'm the one on the left.

Rob Boyter

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Daily Mirror actually, but who cares?
by EdH / April 5, 2005 11:23 PM PDT

I'm suggesting that the writer of that article among other harsh critics are lately coming out with the same "I'm not against Americans, just Bush" excuse when their words and actions in the past belie that posiution. Somebody was saying those things. Did he or you condemn them?

And, sorry, when I go to vote or do anything I am not going to stop and wonder what the Brits or the Germans or the (shudder) French think about it; I'm going to do what I think is right. Our so-called allies (with some exceptions)proved unreliable on Iraq, so I am not too concerned over their future support.

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Thanks for the correction. Absolutely, never think what
by Ziks511 / April 6, 2005 12:51 AM PDT

anybody else would do with your vote, it's your vote.

But Administration policy doesn't take place in a purely American vacuum. There's all these countries out there, and only 40 or 50 of them are even notional Democracies, seems to me that it's not worth alienating off your natural allies when there's 150 Non Democracies out there who are dependent only on the whim of some King, Rebel Leader, Mullah or Imam to remain in the background instead of supporting Al Qaeda. And it doesn't take a Billion Dollar weapons program to spread anthrax, or fly a plane into a National Monument or into a Nuclear facility, or even to whip up a dirty bomb or contaminate the water of New York city.

I think that people who were taken aback by the charge of Anti-Americanism are only now starting to reply (a tad late I acknowledge). I think I'm a perfect example of that belated response. When my thoughts were rejected as Anti-American drivel (I think that was one of yours, Ed) I got angry and instead of letting myself cool off and presenting a better argument, I went off on an Anti Administration anti-Republican anti-extreme right (my perception) tear which did my case no particular good. That's the trouble with dealing with an inflammatory false charge, sometimes it succeeds just by flustering the one charged.

I am trying to be as clear about the issues as I can without losing my cool, but I still find some of the interpretations of what I am trying to say (US: Good, present direction: Bad, current activities: Dangerous and likely to Backfire) so shocking and outrageous that I make mistakes. I'll try not to.

Rob Boyter

PS: The Daily Mirror is ALSO a very conservative newspaper.

We used to read three papers, the Guardian which is the Everest of daily journalism in the world, the Independent which is perhaps K2 in that world and the Times which is conservative but intelligent and well written and probably the equal of the NYT. If I could get the Weekend Times and the Saturday Guardian with the Book reviews and TV and Movie guides and the Magazines I'd be a happy camper, but I make do with the Sunday New York Times. You want superb conservative journalism? Buy the Economist, there's a fabulous magazine, brilliantly written insightful and the captions on the pictures or the selection of the pictures to illustrate a column can be paralysingly funny.

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I have never called anyone
by EdH / April 6, 2005 1:59 AM PDT

anti-American. Even when that obnoxious Aussie bloke was here,and he clearly fit the bill, I never called him or anyone anti-American that I can remember.

Taken aback? My heart bleeds. People know what they are saying, and if they don't they should keep quiet.

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Well Doc, your PHd allows you
by Jerry562 / April 5, 2005 10:13 PM PDT

one vote, no more. Being as you are Canadian, you can't vote here!

I might be a slim majority, but a majority none the less. I voted against some of the ideas you hold dear, same sex marriage being one of them. GET OVER IT! It's not your country, it shouldn't bother you that much other than a visitor.

The real shame is we spent so much money on your education when we could have been spending every penny on ourselves. Our ROV has been a shame also, IMHO. Your extreme gratefulness doesn't come through. You failed to see there are two sides to every coin, hence your education is incomplete but realize that most Universities are very liberal, our fault.

I personally believe that many people are dying in the Muslim world today because of the liberal weenie responses to the taking of the American Embassy in Iran, the bombing of the pharmaceutical factory and the Chinese Embassy and many other incorrect responses by the Democrats you seem to favor. These responses have case-hardened otherwise no-count students, radicals and criminals and exasperated the decent people of the world including the true teachings of the peaceful Muslim religion.

The Cold-war Russian leaders have admitted, they respected the strong leaders much more than the others, I'll bet the people in that Chinese Embassy would agree with the majority of this country and the Russians.

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Regarding your majority, it's about 26% of eligible voters.
by Ziks511 / April 5, 2005 10:48 PM PDT

You're lucky you can't even match Canada's turnout which is I think 58% in federal elections. I have to mention that the turnout in Duluth Minn. however was impressive. 98%, almost all Democrats.

Rob

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And Clinton won in '92
by Evie / April 5, 2005 11:02 PM PDT

with less than that. The % of eligible voter line is the most pathetic stretch to find "good news" in the election for the losing side.

As to the turnout in Democrat districts, don't be too proud. Many have over 100%.

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But Duluth isn't Chicago, and even Chicago isn't Chicago
by Ziks511 / April 6, 2005 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: And Clinton won in '92

any more. Daley's gone (Richard J. that is).

I think it's taken as an accepted thing that the Minnesota count is fair and not fixed. But I've never lived there so I don't know the ins and outs.

Rob

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Lets go back...
by EdH / April 6, 2005 5:05 AM PDT

"Simply disagreeing with that slim majority of voters does not make a person anti-American."

You know, I've seen this said before several times (and almost always worded the same which makes me a bit suspicious) but I've not seen an example of this phenomenon. I mean, yeah, people call Michael Moore anti-American, but ISN'T he? Has this scientist been called that and if so by whom? Examples?

And in fact the left/liberals strike me as the ones who get abusive if you dare disagree with them.You know, like all us dumb Americans who made the mistake of voting for the wrong guy.

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You don't think that living in a political environment
by Ziks511 / April 7, 2005 11:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Lets go back...

dominated by Conservative commentators (I posted 41 names but never got a response with 41 names of liberals.) and Religious broadcasters where liberal and secular an humanist values are mocked, belittled, and contorted to mean things they dont mean 24 hours a day, combined with the staunchly conservative nature of this Web site isnt the most pleasant environment to exercise ones political right to disagree. Every time I go after Bush or the Administration, I'm accused of being Anti-American, everytime I see somebody interviewed on television when there's been a gathering to protest the Presidents one-eyed view of the world, those disagreeing with Bush are characterized as Anti-American.

Apparently believing in the values of an America just a couple of decades in the past is Anti-American. That's what Michael Moore is, hes an old unapologetic FDR Democrat who thinks this country has been ill served by the greedy and piratical business climate that has grown up since the mid 70's Most of his attacks save one (the election) have been against corporations. Even Farenheit 911 was mostly about corporations and their influence with an equal amount about the inexplicable intertwining of the business fortunes of George W. Bush and the Saudi Royal Family.
If it was a Democrat that deeply in the pocket of foreign nationals you'd be trying to impeach him. That's what you did to Clinton and his partner wasn't even a foreigner.

Rob Boyter.

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and if you beleaved that fictional thing
by Mark5019 / April 7, 2005 11:47 PM PDT

farenheit 911 says alot
you must remember fiction isnt real.

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(NT) (NT) Just your opinion Mark
by Ziks511 / April 10, 2005 2:57 AM PDT
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Not so
by EdH / April 10, 2005 3:16 AM PDT

The many inaccuracies, misleading and unfair statements and outright lies in Fahrenheit 9/11 (and Moore's other films) have been well-documented. You can find them listed many places on the internet. Even Roger Ebert, a noted liberal has taken him to task for inaacuracy and unfairness. I have seen other such comments from liberal as well as coonservative sources.

Face it, F 9/11 was a work of fiction disguised as a documentary. Its purpose was to influence the election and make Moore a lot of money. Fortunately it only succeeded in the latter.

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(NT) (NT) mine and alot of others your the minority again
by Mark5019 / April 10, 2005 3:48 AM PDT
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