Thursday, December 15, 2005

Portrait of an American hater

There are two main types of America haters. One is the guy in the Third World country that hates our foreign policy. He's the one I won't be talking about.

I want to talk about the other type. I wanted to talk about the white guy in the First World country who comes from the Upper-Middle class, has a degree or better yet, a Graduate degree in something economically unviable like Art. I want to talk about the self-loathing idiot who hates America because he's jealous of the success of others.

I want to talk about the guy who's so overwhelmed with guilt that he projects it onto America. Sure, we're not angels, but as I've said before, put any country in the world except Switzerland and Costa Rica in our position and they'd sure make us look like angels.

I want to talk about the one who scoffs at the idea of the American Dream and dismisses every case he's presented with of it, including mine.

I want to talk about the moron who will never shutup about the bad parts of this country. Sure, we have racists, sexists, homophobes, and everything else. So does every First World nation. I guarantee you that there are more fascists in Europe than in America. In Europe, they even occasionally win elections. They don't here.

I want to add to this. I shouldn't just be mentioning First World nations when talking about racism, sexism, and homophobia. Let's get down and dirty and rattle off some facts. A common saying in the Philippines - "the only good Chinaman is a dead Chinaman." A common saying in Thailand - "if you see a snake and an Indian, kill the Indian first." Ask a Saudi Arabian how he feels about Africans. Go have a homosexual relationship in India or Turkey and see what happens to you. Go to China and yell as loudly as you can that you hate the Chinese government and see what happens to you. Go up to a Tutsi and tell them that Hutus rule.

If you're a woman, keep in mind that it wasn't that long ago that widows got burned in India. I heard they still do, except it's illegal so it only happens in secluded places. In China, they often kill their female babies. In a lot of Muslim countries, women have to cover up their faces. In Brazil, you can beat up and even torture your wife if she cheated on you. You can still beat your wife in Spain. And in Iran. And in Saudi Arabia. And in Vietnam. And in most countries in the world. So is America sexist? Sure, but let's get real and put things in perspective here. Women are better off in America than over 90% of nations in the world, and I'm being conservative here.

I could go on for days, but I won't. I think you get the point. People hate each other. It's a worldwide thing, not something confined to the American borders.

I love America, always have, always will. I know we have faults and will neither obsess with them nor sweep them under the rug. I'll do what I can to fix things, but I also have my own life to live. I'm not going to spend my free time bashing a nation that for the most part at least tries to do the right thing.

America haters just bash, but have no solutions of their own. As they bash our past, they conveniently forget the genocides that happened last century in Europe. Some even happened in my lifetime. And for the record, it was Europe that gave us the idea of slavery in the first place. I'm so tired of Europeans trying to weasel out of their past while never shutting up about ours. Their past sins are recent, and much worse than ours.

Now, the first kind of America hater, the one in the Third World country may or may not have a legimitate beef with us. The guilty white American or European liberal from the upper-middle class does not. You hate us because you are a spoiled brat with too much time on your hands.

If you are middle-class or higher in the First World, you are privileged. You have a better life than over 95% of the rest of the world.

I'm privileged. I'm well-off, and I know it. I grew up by refineries, worked hard, invested intelligently, and now am doing quite well. That's the American dream. Opportunity here is real. I love America for that because I couldn't have pulled it off in any other nation. Europe is too engrossed in socialism and the rest of the world's governments are too corrupt. Well, you can achieve the dream in Japan, but I couldn't live in Japan. I need my space.

I am not at all implying not to criticize America. There is plenty to criticize. I'm just sick of the people who all they do is complain about America. These people need to get a life.


Blogger neal said...

Well said. That should garner you a Pulitzer Prize in journalism but the people who select nominees are usually America haters too. Unless of course the people they select are also among thier own kind.

I always thought that the people living within our borders that hate this country so much should find someplace else to live.

I don't want to pick on any one group specifically but I once sent a letter to the NAACP about how this country does have opportunity if people would just apply themselves. I said that not everyone will achieve wealth and riches beyond their wildest dreams but they can achieve some measure of success. I told them that if they would stop bashing this country and instead try to motivate some initiative to study and work hard that the people they represent could start to see improvements in their lives. I also told them that if they thought this country was so bad they ought to try living in any one of a number of countries on the African continent.

Needless to say I never got a reply and am probably on some hit list now.

Good comments though!

12/16/2005 3:28 AM  
Blogger Miladysa said...

Is there something in particular that has sparked this post?

12/16/2005 3:34 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

My college roommate is very sympathetic to Middle Eastern causes (her parents are from the Middle East) and often unfavorably compares America to the Middle East. I'm like, "Hello, they tried to arrest you in Syria because you were out late, alone, and they automatically assumed you were a Russian prostitute!!!" She doesn't look like she's Russian or a prostitute; she's always wearing baggy jeans. I agree with you that women are better off in America than anywhere else, though there is definitely an old-boy, very sexist network intact at most law firms in the U.S.

12/16/2005 7:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

"I wanted to talk about the white guy in the First World country who comes from the Upper-Middle class, has a degree or better yet, a Graduate degree in something economically unviable like Art."

Hmmm.. Except for the "Upper" part, that describes me. I agree with some of what you say. However, it seems you're implying that just because racism, sexism, homophobia exist everywhere means there's no reason to fight for justice. I'm not sure if that's what you meant. I agree that if you simply bitch, without getting off your ass to do something - write a letter to congress, vote, join a campaign, join an action group, whatever - then you're just whining.

I also don't think the American Dream exists for all people in this country. If you are born very poor, chances are you will die very poor. Maybe your children might have a chance, but very rarely are they going to move up the ladder by more than a notch or two.

The problem isn't just racism/sexism/classism, it's how each of these 'isms' are interdependent on one another and work in a way to systematically deny certain people access to the resources they need to make the dream a reality. All but a fortunate few in these disadvantaged groups are locked out.

12/16/2005 7:23 AM  
Blogger Okie said...


You hit the nail on the head with that one. I agree 100%. Despite It's shortcomings, the United States of America is still the greatest nation in the history of the world.

12/16/2005 7:52 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Neal - I really think both America haters and America lovers should leave this country for a month at a time. I was American neutral until I left the country (both as a very long vacation and as a sort of exchange student). I realized, we have it really good. I didn't even have money yet.

As for the NAACP, what they should be doing is pushing education. The best possible thing for the black community is education. As a minority, I had free calculus tutoring in college and of course I took advantage of it. The people in the program were very hard-working and I guarantee, every single one of them amounted to something, even though some of them were from backgrounds that made me look rich at the time.

Thanks for the reply.

Miladysa - This was a very old post that I had in the queue for months and finally felt like posting it. I live in a college town and there are always kids who came from much richer backgrounds than I did, and they're the biggest America haters, even though they benefit so much more than I did in the beginning. Of course, I benefit greatly from America now, but I truly feel my wife and I earned our place.

Bearette - You are right on. I've seen this too, people complaining about America yet where they lived before was much worse. I'm not denying sexism exists, but it's night and day compared to most countries. All I'm asking is that we realize that.

Laura - However, it seems you're implying that just because racism, sexism, homophobia exist everywhere means there's no reason to fight for justice. I'm not sure if that's what you meant.

No, I hope I didn't come across like that. I'm just saying relatively, it's much less here. Those problems still need to be corrected, but unfortunately, the people trying to correct those problems often exaggerate to the point it becomes like the boy who cried wolf and they end up doing more harm than good.

If you are born very poor, chances are you will die very poor. Maybe your children might have a chance, but very rarely are they going to move up the ladder by more than a notch or two.

I've seen first hand poor folks get scholarships and end up with a fat degree. I haven't kept in touch with everyone from college, but I think I can safely assume they're doing quite well.

That said, most people die in the same class they were born in. Still, there is considerably more opportunity here than anywhere else. Americans have choices. Whether they want to take them or not is their own free will.

The big killers of the American dream surprisingly are bad health, alcoholism, drug abuse, and divorce. Bad health can't be helped. That's just bad luck. And from the book The Millionaire Next Door, the millionaire next door is rarely a divorcee. I don't think I need to explain alcoholism and drug abuse.

All but a fortunate few in these disadvantaged groups are locked out.

Statistically you are correct. However, I really think if we brought back manufacturing to this country and saved family farms, disadvantaged groups will have a much better shot. Let's keep in mind that a lot of the family farmers in this country are not white. I think you and I agree with the manufacturing and illegal immigration issues.

Thanks for the reply. It was honest, and it made me realize I could have worded my post better.

Okie - Despite It's shortcomings, the United States of America is still the greatest nation in the history of the world.

This is exactly what I was implying. We have faults, but the people who criticize this country not only make us out to be the worst country on Earth, but whine without doing anything.

12/16/2005 8:38 AM  
Blogger Miladysa said...

I admire your patriotism although I happen to know for certain that the United Kingdom is the greatest nation in the history of the world ;)

12/16/2005 8:56 AM  
Blogger clothosfate said...

Ok so I have been known to be an American government basher at times... it is true, I'll admit it. I think you just changed my perspective on alot of things though. I have always recognized how fortunate I am to be 'well-off' in this world, I remind my son of it all the time and we do our best to help those less fortunate than us...

My mother comes form a very very poor family, her childhood was robbed of childishness because she had to take care of her brothers and sisters. She worked hard to climb up from poverty, and succeeded to provide my brother and I with a good stable warm, fully childish childhood, and I am forever grateful for that.

As much as I sometimes want to rip out my hair at the way the world is being run, I thank you SO much for pointing out how free we really are on this side of the planet. I will not stop dreaming of bigger, better ways of treating each other... we'll call it the 'Clothosfate Dream', but I don't think I will ever gripe about it in the same way again... ever. And I DO have some nifty answers!!

12/16/2005 9:18 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Great post. It reminds me of something I read on Underground Logician's blog back in October. He linked to an interview by Jack Wheeler (you would dig this guy, Z) Here's my favorite part:

Just as the totalitarian left is motivated by envy, the liberal left is motivated by the fear of being envied. It is a very ancient and primitive fear, exactly the same as a primitive tribesman’s fear of envious Black Magic or a peasant villager’s fear of the envious Evil Eye.

People in our society who are susceptible to this fear - such as heirs who inherited rather than earning their wealth and Hollywood celebrities who do so little to earn their millions - become liberals as a psychological strategy to avoid being envied. Liberalism is a not a political philosophy. It is the politicalization of envy-appeasement.

Thus liberals are masochists as well - for the more one fears being envied, the more one is driven to masochistic self-humiliation in attempts at envy appeasement. Liberals have a compulsion to apologize to those that envy them, apologize for being white, for being male, for being successful, for the success of their country, their culture, their civilization. This renders liberals incapable of passionately defending America.

ain't it the truth?

12/16/2005 10:40 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Beautifully written post, ZS, although I was a little bit hazy on which America haters inside America you were talking about.

Although it's not EASY being gay in America (at least not when I grew up, although it seems to be quite more accepted now with Ellen coming out, etc.), but I agree with you 100%: I'm glad that I don't live in India. Because I grew up in a time when gays were being beaten all of the time (in NYC) and being blamed for the AIDS epidemic, I still have a hard time trusting that it's okay to be gay in our culture. But that's just me. I wouldn't want to live in Brazil, either. They hang people for being gay in some parts of Brazil.

I also want to say that, although America certainly does have many opportuniities for women, I think it is HIGH time that the Equal Rights Amendment be passed, don't you?? Why hasn't it been ratified yet? I'm sure that it fell onto the backburner when Vietnam exploded in our faces, however, I think it would be appropriate for it to be passed in the near future. We can't just let it remain unratified and hope that one day it will be passed. The time is now, or it will never become ratified. Here's a link for you: Equal Rights Amendment Not Ratified!. I took the link from one of my educational websites, so as not to seem one sided. I'm planning on writing a post about the Equal Rights Amendment over the holidays.

Cheers. And, I'm glad that I felt 'safe' enough to speak my truth on your site. :)

12/16/2005 12:34 PM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

p.s. Don't forget to take the quiz at the end of the Equal Rights Amendment reading selection. Please forward them to me so I can grade them for you. ;)

12/16/2005 12:36 PM  
Blogger Bridget Jones said...

I agree with Neal and you totally.

It's f*ckin' easy to be against something/someone, and much harder to be FOR something. To stand fast in the face of public opinion, to do what you think is right and/or defend the defenceless when everyone around you is pounding the hell out of them.

I do this in my real life and am not exaggerating. Have risked my job more than once to stick up for others and get rid of bullies.

Same thing applies to nations.

Those who bitch the most about the U.S. are the same cowards who don't act against genocide, murderers, thugs and thieves. F*ck them all.

This is full of bad language but it really hit a nerve. Living where I do, and when I moved here, had to put up with a lot of this crap. My feelings and position have solidified over the ~40 years I've been here, listening to the so called liberals who hate everyone but their own whiny voices.

This may suprise a lot of you, but the French (Canadians and Europeans) that I've met tend to LOVE Americans. It does go back to J. Lafayette, other historical figures, and the need/drive to stand on your own two feet.

You would not believe how the lilly-livered resent that. Is it the fault of the ones who stand tall?

Not on your life.

Viva the U.S.A.

Screw the cowards!


12/16/2005 1:37 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

ZS, I agree with your comments 100% I think we see it differently though. I see the outsourcing of jobs and corporitization of farming is an integral part of the capitalist structure Americans like so much.

The corporations have found a new source of easily exploited cheap labor (essential for a capitalist economy to exist). It used to be the immigrant populations, African-Americans and women, now it's Thai, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian people (mostly women I might add).

There is still a long way to go in terms of social justice for all. Being the pinko that I am, I don't see this happening without strict regulations of our corporate structure and socialization of some of our services. Unfortunately, this is seen as "anti american" by some.

12/16/2005 2:00 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

Usually when a persons circumstances fluctuate so does their thinking.
However, I enjoyed your rant.

My thought for the day;
The more the pleasures of my body fade away,the greater to me is the pleasure and charm of conversation.

12/16/2005 4:03 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

There is much more said than heard and under stood.
IE: Like an Irish parliament, Where everyone is talking and no one is listening.

12/16/2005 4:17 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Great post.

I've often tried to argue that point, but the only thing that comes out of my inarticulate mouth is:
"America rules, everyone else sucks."

12/16/2005 4:21 PM  
Blogger Vest said...

Miladysa. Was you mean. Britain my birthplace, still holds fond memories and some lousy ones. As I remarked earlier, ones state of happiness is dependant on ones circumstances and expectations. Luckily I chose correctly and by getting off my arse and not whine ing about the aches and pains endured while persuing my ultimate goal, an early Idyllic retirement, I am now as happy as a pig in shit, because I now live in the lucky country, AUSTRALIA. Mind you the best part.vest daily gaggle.

12/16/2005 4:40 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Hmm. I like living in the United States. My life is pretty good because I live here, however I'm not happy with how things have turned. No, I don't think that US is the only country who does evil things in the name of money or power. I also don't think our current president (and also many former presidents) are so noble as to have America's best interests at heart when he is making decisions that affect all of us. We may not elect facists or sexits or racists, but sometimes we elect idiots. I agree with you about how women are treated here - that we get much better treatment than in other countries. However, we still have a long way to go. When I have the same degree as a man and I make half what he makes for busting my ass day-to-day, then there's something wrong. When I see that some people think that raising children is not as important and not as valid as going out and bringing home the bacon, something is wrong. Yes, I'm glad I can vote. I'm glad that I don't have to stay with a man if he mistreats me - I have the right to walk out the door. Even though it's not publicized, women in this country still get beaten and killed each and every day for leaving their men. It's just that it's not talked about and it's not on the 6 o'clock news. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, even though it's disheartening to see the corruption in the government and the greed and meanness of people (in general), I still would not choose anywhere different to live.

On a side note, I saw Syriana last night - very good film. I have been naive for many years about the goings on in politics and this was an eye opener. It doesn't necessarily match your views (as I see them expressed on here), but good flick, nonetheless.

12/16/2005 4:57 PM  
Blogger sygyzy said...

My problem is that as American gets worse and worse in terms of the rights and freedoms we have (Patriot Act, CIA authorized to spy, etc), American's are more and more happy about it.

Why do you think there are so many people critical of this country? Because there is plenty to be critical of. The worse part is that there are people who will make fun of those who dare raise an ounce of criticism.

Uh there were no weapons of mass destruction

"Oh look at you, you ignornant narrow-minded, liberal. You terrorist, you anti-American. You left win nut. If you don't like it here, move to Iraq. Let's see how you fare there."

That's the typical All-American vomit. Last time I checked, this was a free country. I am not an American because I am critical? I don't love my country because I recognize there are problems and I don't simply accept the wool pulled over my eyes?

I can't help but laugh when the best comeback someone can come up with is to make fun of someone else for having an opinion.

There is a very visible case of Americans losing our freedoms. What price are we willing to pay for the ideal of safety and freedom. Hmm. Look at that. A bit ironic, huh?

I think the biggest irony of all is those who are quick to strike down the American naysayers are the same ones that will be in the picket lines and writing letters to their congressmen when an issue near and dear to them is at stake.

Take gun rights for example. Take any NRA member and they will go on for hours about how horrible and unfair the government is about gun ownership. But if I say I don't want the government to have complete and unchecked search and seizure ability in my home, then I am anti-American?

So which is it Patriots?

12/16/2005 5:00 PM  
Blogger sygyzy said...

neal - You're right. You probably are on some hitlist because we all know that blacks are some of the most notorious assasins and serial killers in the world.

Oh wait, THAT's WHITEY!

12/16/2005 5:01 PM  
Blogger Anonymouse said...

SYGYZY--Do you read the news? Congress blocked the Patriot Act today (or at least part of it).

Anyway, I'll let ZombieSlayer respond, since this isn't my blog. But in ZombieSlayers absence, I WILL say that he's the last person in the world who would ever tell someone to shut up because of their opinions. He's one of the most open minded bloggers out there. I wouldn't be here if he wasn't.

You go ZombieSlayer! You go!!

12/16/2005 6:42 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Actually Anonymouse, they didn't block any parts of the Patriot Act today, they just voted down a move to cut off debate and force a vote.

That said, ZS, you're right about what you say, but you're wrong too. This is a great country, but there's a shiteboat of things that need correcting.

There's a widening divide over politics for one thing. Not over issues, but over political leanings. And it's not going to get better until some people in Congress step up and stop perpetuating it and the public takes more than two seconds to memorize the latest talking points from their favorite pseudo-news source.

Racism is a huge issue that's not being addressed on any meaningful level. We go around patting ourselves on the back for not saying 'the N word' and lock our car doors when we drive through an N-word neighborhood.

We're running not so secret torture prisons around the globe and talking technicalities of the definition of torture. There are people being held in prisons without ever having a charge's been three years for many of them.

We erroneously picked up a German citizen because his name was similar to someone on a list. He was held and tortured in several jails, including one in Afghanistan. He was picked up in Eastern Europe. When we let him go, we didn't have the decency to send him home, we dropped him off on a mountain pass in fucking Albania. There's a lawsuit I'll be cheering for.

Major corporations are sucking the life out of the middle and lower classes and nobody cares because their 401Ks are looking better for it.

We're becoming a society of litiginous slobs who treat lawsuits like scratch off lottery tickets. The American dream used about working hard and building a good life for yourself and family. Now, the American dream is to spill hot coffee on your lap and sue McDonald's, or sue the airlines for making you feel bad when you take up two seats on their planes.

Our education system should be the best in the world. It's not. Our health care system should be the best in the world. I wouldn't know, I can't afford health care...and I'm not alone. The dollar should still be the benchmark for world trade. It's not anymore.

Is this still a land of opportunity? Yeah, it sure is. Are we living up to our potential? Not by a long shot...and that's sad.

12/16/2005 8:37 PM  
Blogger Anonymouse said...

Hi Shawn, thank you for clearing that up for me!

I was just talking to my dad a couple of days ago how the Republicans like big business, yet are against socialization. The problem, as I see it, is that so many of these major corporations have made the mom and pop shops obsolete (Walmart, of course, was the example I used). The people who own and run the businesses make a ton of money, and the workers make didly-squat. What we're going to be left with in the long run is really really rich people, and butt poor poor people. No middle class. So, big businesses are going to FORCE the health issue into socialization because no one is going to be able to afford health insurance unless they fall into the richy rich category.

What's my point?? I don't know. It's late and I'm tired. But, thanks again for clearing up the Patriot Act issue for me!!

12/16/2005 8:55 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Thank you for reminding us that we're ALL a product of human nature. The encouraging trait of American society is that we TRY to overcome our differences and make America a SAFE place for EVERYONE to live together. We don't always succeed, but we keep trying.

"I'll do what I can to fix things, but I also have my own life to live."
Well said, my friend!
I see a LOT of overly zealous 20-somethings with tunnel vision. They are going to single-handedly change the world. They're too inexperienced to realize that this rarely happens. They want to bully ALL Americans into thinking the way they do! I even quit commenting on one blog, because the young lady's thoughts were becoming dangerously unbalanced.
As we age, our experiences teach us that the best way to change the world is by starting in our own little corner of it.
I feel that my contribution to the world has been raising loving, tolerant children who will help spread MORE tolerance in this world.

I think Vest stated our #1 problem very succinctly. "Everybody's talking and nobody's LISTENING!" This man has the age AND life experience to back up his statements!

12/17/2005 7:48 AM  
Blogger Slade said...

I really wanted to post on the post above, but there is no comment link...hmmm, just wanted to tell you that your blog is where I feel most comfortable to disagree (which is not very often, but still, sometimes I do--as you will see below) Thanks for being so welcoming!

anyway, to this post:
"In Brazil, you can beat up and even torture your wife if she cheated on you. You can still beat your wife in Spain. And in Iran. And in Saudi Arabia. And in Vietnam. And in most countries in the world."

And you can beat her up here in America too! Our laws DO NOT protect women as they should for a democratic nation.

I'm sorry, ZS, we will have to disagree on this one. Just because we have it "better" than women in other countries doesn't mean we shouldn't still fight for equality and protection. What is disturbing is that all of those other countries have laws that make those crazy acts legal (such as beating your wife for cheating) but here we have laws AGAINST it and it STILL happens with little penalty. AND let's talk about rape for a second. Women in America, hell, EVERYONE in America should be livid and intolerant of the rape that occurs. When it comes to rape, we do not "have it better" than women in other fact I think it is the main thing that binds us as women of the world. If it happens to only one woman in our country, it happens too much. I still think we have a right to complain and come up with solutions for equality and protection...and an end to violence against women! Sorry, ZS, this is something that is close to my heart.

12/17/2005 9:09 AM  
Blogger Slade said...

and one more important thing: I am a feminist for every person, not just for women in America...when I talk about equal rights and protections I'm talking about it for everyone. I fight for women's rights world-wide...that is what being a feminist is for me. The reason this is so important for me is because first-wave feminists left out black women and lower-class women along with other minorities...they fought for the right to vote for white women only--this is wrong! We are all people--shouldn't this be enough?

12/17/2005 9:17 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Slade: Did you read my comment above? The Equal Rights Amendment has NEVER BEEN RATIFIED in the USA!!!! I think it's high time that women AND men band together to get this amendment ratified!!!

12/17/2005 9:51 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Slade- Spoken like a true third wave feminist. (technically the first-wave was Eliz Cady Stanton et all in the late 19th century). Second wave feminists got a bad wrap, and they were very focused on themselves and on sexism as if it existed in a vaccuum, without realizing that it intersected with racism, classism and (for 3rd world women) imperialist capitalism.

12/17/2005 3:55 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Miladysa - Well, I'll give the UK two things that I'm really appreciate for - heavy metal music and lit. Most of my fav bands are from the UK.

Clothosfate - Your post though that you're referring to was right. We deserved to be yelled at for that. I'm not at all implying we don't do dumb things. But the bashing has gotten to the point of silliness. You're not like that at all, so I enjoy your rants. You're actually quite intelligent.

Sadie - UL said that? I need to go to his blog more. I think I've only been there once.

Bhakti - Thanks. Being gay in America is improving every year. In the S.F. Bay Area, it's accepted.

As for the ERA, the ERA I've seen is one line. It's amazing it hasn't passed. I'll have to check your site later, I'm borrowing a computer because my network card's not working.

Bridget - Those who bitch the most about the U.S. are the same cowards who don't act against genocide, murderers, thugs and thieves. F*ck them all.

Exactly. I'm so sick of these America bashers who will never give us credit where it's due. They did nothing about stopping genocide.

Lafayette is one of my heroes. I wish the French would revert to being more like him. French Canadians rock! I've yet to meet one I didn't like. I think they still have Lafayette's spirit, whereas the French French don't.

Thanks for the rant. Made my day. :)

Laura - Capitalism isn't perfect. We have to bust trusts and we can't let them do to the American workers what they've been getting away with the last ten years of globalization. You may be surprised, but I agree with you, and it's not at all anti-American. Rather, it's protecting American interests, and you'd have both Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader (and Ross Perot) in your corner there.

Vest - IE: Like an Irish parliament, Where everyone is talking and no one is listening.
Sad thing is there's a lot of this going on. People are quick to just overtalk the person they're debating rather than politely listening, then replying.

Joe - I've felt that way, but tried hard to articulate it. ;)

Notta - I've lost every bit of respect for our current President this morning, after the crap he's pulled. I'm sick of defending him. I'm not going to do it anymore.

As for America itself and Americans, I think we're wonderful people. I rarely meet an American I don't like. In fact, I could probably count them on my fingers, and I only have ten fingers.

Bhakti addressed the ERA issue, so you could see my response to her.

As for Syriana, saw it last night and loved it. I'll review it Monday, for I'm about to lose this computer shortly.

Sygyzy - Just wait. You will see a huge backlash against the anti-freedom and anti-fun Nazis in America. It's absolutely imperative that we don't get cynical. Cynical people never accomplish anything. Ever.

As for your response to Neal, he wasn't talking about crime, but rather a PC hitlist. Actually, he probably should have said "blacklist." As much as I loved the NAACP in their earlier days, they've become PC nuts, and are now doing just as much harm as good.

I'll discuss it more next week when I talk about free will.

Anonymouse - Thanks. I'm honored for you to say that.

Shawn - Our foreign policy has sucked since we stopped being isolationistic. You ever notice Switzerland has no enemies? Nobody hates Switzerland. they're a bunch of capitalists who mind their own business. That's how we're supposed to be. Armed and dangerous if messed with, but if nobody messes with us, we're warm and friendly.

Is this still a land of opportunity? Yeah, it sure is. Are we living up to our potential? Not by a long shot...and that's sad.

I agree with this. I know that I wouldn't have been able to pull off what I did in any other country.

Tshsmom - They want to bully ALL Americans into thinking the way they do!

Yup, and this is how I feel about political correctness.

I feel that my contribution to the world has been raising loving, tolerant children who will help spread MORE tolerance in this world.

Your kids are great. SME is funny, in a quirky way, but I like it. Z needs to keep up his blog. The kid has talent, wish he'd focus.

Slade - First, let's get the ERA passed. It's one line, something along the lines of "you can't discriminate on the basis of gender." That's it.

As for rape, Laura wrote up a piece last week about preventing rape that was a good read. I think if everyone carried a gun, rape would be way down. Mrs. Z goes out all the time drinking and dancing with her girlfriends. Everyone knows she's armed, so nobody messes with her.

Just because we have it "better" than women in other countries doesn't mean we shouldn't still fight for equality and protection.

If you got this from my post, then I worded it poorly. I wasn't trying to imply that at all. I was trying to imply that we shouldn't take it for granted.

When a football team is number one, they don't just say "well, no need to practice and make new plans anymore, because we're the best." No, they keep improving. America rules, but we could be even better. that's what I meant to say.

As for global feminist, I'll have to disagree. I strongly believe in taking care of your own first. Let's win our battles here and set an example for others to follow. People in other nations aren't stupid. When women in other nations see how good women have it here, they'll rise up and fight to have it better in their countries.

12/17/2005 4:12 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Laura - I have a request for you. I'd love to know what you mean by first, second, and third wave feminists.

I know the set I don't like were the man-bashing, anti-sex, anti-fun, all sex is rape, bring down men to our level feminists like Andrea Dworkin. I don't know if mainstream feminists write them off as idiotic extremists. I know Gloria Steinem praised her when she died, and for that, I lost respect for Gloria Steinem.

I am not in one bit anti-feminist. I am against man-bashers though and against the anti-sex ones. I really hope they're considered extremists by most feminists.

12/17/2005 4:16 PM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

ZS--Oh my gosh! I was in art school in the Eighties when the whole AIDS epidemic was flourishing. I did paper after paper about Mapplethorpe and the National Endowment of The Arts. I began to study why it was okay for women to be portrayed in a demeaning manner--in everything from popular movies to record covers. I read Andrea Dworkin and just HATED her point of view. She was SO one sided. She didn't speak for all women, and I think that was pretty well known. She was fanatical.

BTW, my friend Sally Kempton (meditation teacher/former swami) was one of the first 'feminists' in the late 60's. She wrote a fabulous piece for Esquire called Cutting Loose (in which her famous quote "It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head" came from). It's a fun read!

Anyway, it's always a pleasure to visit your site!

12/17/2005 9:02 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

ZS: That's a tough request. There's all kinds of different feminist theories. Really my friend Heather is the one who should write about that. I'll try to do a post before we leave for vacation - and she can correct me where I've missed something. For now though - The "waves" are general timeframes. First wave is generally thought to be Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women's Suffrage movement, the Seneca Falls conference, and women involved in the abolitionist movements. Second is generally accepted as the 1960s - 1980s Feminine Mistique, Betty Fridan, Gloria Steinam type stuff. There's a lot of different feminist theories that grew out of this period, the most publicized was the man-hater type. Third wave is more what Slade and Bakhti are talking about - including ideas from non-white, non-middle class, non-heterosexual women and moving away from the "all women are sisters in struggle" type of universal definitions of feminism, of gender that have been "normalized" using the white, middle-class, hetero, American woman as the "norm".

12/18/2005 10:06 AM  
Blogger Vest said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed
absorbing all of your comments and they clearly show your love, for your great country.

The Price of Liberty
Is Eternal Vigilence.

12/18/2005 11:39 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

Hi Laura, FYI I'm white and middle class...however, I don't think anyone has ever called me the 'norm'. No, my brain just doesn't fit into that category.

I'm not a man hater, either. I don't consider myself a 'feminist' either. I just believe that it's high time the ERA was ratified. I also believe in equal rights for everyone.

Peace begins right here, right now, within our own hearts. We can't expect the people of the world to love and respect one another until we love and respect ourselves and everyone who's lives we touch.

Okay, I'm outta here. I only rented the soapbox for 10 minutes.

Adios, and good evening to you all!

12/18/2005 8:08 PM  
Blogger SME said...

It's 70% jealousy, 30% superiority complex directly stemming from an inferiority complex. So basically, just jealousy. America is still the new kid on the block and people haaaaatttttte to see the new guy doing well. The U.S. is also a popular and easy target because people like to ignore more pressing and "icky" global issues, just as haters always prefer slamming McDonald's and Wal-Mart to dealing with something that actually matters, like the worldwide prostitution of children or arms dealing, etc.

12/18/2005 9:01 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Awesome and very well written post Z...

12/19/2005 3:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Bakhti - you'd be surprised that there are people out there that would consider what you just said a feminist stance... THere's growing dissent against the traditional definition, though the man haters are still out there... ;)

12/19/2005 6:04 AM  
Blogger Bo Salisbury said...

Good job ZS and to illustrate your point, The Predictables came quickly to battle you with their negative, unispiring and, so, ineffective whining to dispute what you say. It's no wonder their institutions are in decline. When you speak much and do little, when your criticisms are so poisonous and your actions so limp, you repel people... you don't attract them to your cause.

I have a few observations... In one on one conversation or small groups, the only racist, anti-gay jokes or homophobic, hateful comments I ever hear come from the mouths of progressives and liberals; never, ever from my evangelical Christian friends or political conservatives. In larger groups, I find that their racism, sexism, etc. is masked -- they clean it up there. It causes me to wonder if there may be some liberal, elitist, eugenicist conspiracy afoot. Probably not... they're likely just a jumbled mess of pc indoctrination, swirled in with their native self-loathing and low self-worth.

Second, slavery has been around forever and if the articles I've read on the subject are accurate, there are more people in slavery or some sort of forced servitude than ever. The slavery that we are familiar with here in the US, I believe, can be traced to the Muslim slave trade, which still goes on in north and east Africa. But, in the spirit of multiculturalism, I would hesitate to make a judgment on that culture as inferior to US culture, so we'll let those people work out their differences, as our institiutions in the US and the UN gave the communities "some space" in Rwanda to work through their prejudices during the 90's... wouldn't want to interfere militarily.

Finally, it's human nature (that term should set the regressives on the left howling) to carp and complain and to prattle on like children... that's easy. It's also easy to look to institutions, academia, the media and policy institutes to push a childish, utopian agenda. On the other hand, it's ultimately more winsome to meet adults like the Zombieslayer, who get out there "grow up by refineries, work hard, invest intelligently, and do quite well." Those who do well, like you ZS,are actually much more effective in pushing back prejudice, sexism, poverty and the social ills that the other side actually needs to hang around, in order to get grant money, so they can continue to work for policy institutes and liberal institutions, while boosting their self-image as kind, caring individuals.

12/19/2005 6:18 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Bhakti - Mapplethorpe's book Some Women is absolutely incredible. Had a copy of it years ago that got lost in the move. His gay art, I can't stomach. It's really graphic, and calling a spade a spade, it's pornography. However, as an artist, he's one of the best photographers I've ever seen.

Is Kempton's piece available somewhere? Would love to give it a gander.

We can't expect the people of the world to love and respect one another until we love and respect ourselves and everyone who's lives we touch.

That was wonderful. One thing that always bothered me is that the people who always scream the loudest about what's wrong with me are the ones who have things seriously wrong with them.

Laura - Thanks for the preview. Looking forward to seeing your more in depth write up. See, one thing I've always wondered about feminism is if the extremists are intentionally given more media coverage to dismiss the movement in general or if the extremists are a major player in the movement. I'd be all for a pro-equality, pro-medical privacy movement, but I lose interest once the man bashing starts.

Vest - Thanks, and great quote. I cannot say much about Australia because I've never been there. Been to New Zealand and absolutely love it. I probably mentioned this before, but my brother taught at Canberra for a year. He said Canberra's a bad example of Australia because it's boring, unlike the rest of the country. He loved the rest of your country.

SME - America is still the new kid on the block and people haaaaatttttte to see the new guy doing well.

That's what I thought. We're still young and we're still on the way up and I think a lot of people hate that, including a lot of Americans themselves.

Mel - Thanks.

Bo - Always a pleasure to read your comments.
When you speak much and do little, when your criticisms are so poisonous and your actions so limp, you repel people... you don't attract them to your cause.

This is very true. They don't realize they are shooting themselves in the foot.

I actually get insulted when people imply minorities need help. We all need help, and to single us out is racist.

As for slavery, it's still strong in many Muslim countries and in Africa. And in Asia, although it's illegal, it's practiced and too common to be enforced. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more slaves today than there were in the 1800s, as you mentioned.

In America, anyone can become well-off if they work hard, invest intelligently, don't do drugs, don't have a drinking problem, and don't divorce. The only wild card unfortunately is health, and health is not guaranteed anywhere, as you know better than any of us.

12/19/2005 7:19 AM  
Blogger Liquidplastic said...

And you wonder why I have so much respect for you ... your reasoning here is very refreshing, and you don't play favoritism. This is what I call open and honest dialogue. As such, on many things I agree with you and that’s real funny consider our politics. I have been called a conservative liberal, whatever the hell that is. But I like to look at both sides of the coin, and looking at others country, well like you I would choose America hands down.

I am an American, I was born in America, and I love America in spite of the fascists that have control over it presently. As for slavery, well it's still going on right here in America, have you been reading about the sex slaves?

I want you to know my dear Zombieslayer, I have been reading you, but I had to give my hands a break. I was determined after reading this for the fifth time to write a comment no matter the pain. Because when you got something to say, I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear, and your wisdom doesn’t get pass me. Of course I am not afraid to disagree with you either, which is the joy of communicating with you.

Oh, by the way, I love the way you and Laura dialogue ... it's always a learning experience and better than television! One thing for sure, I have to thank both of you for turning this old one on to Pink Floyd. There are times when I have felt like I was in a class room, and believe me that's a good thing in my opinion. I have learned so much and my undestanding is so much bettet.

Thank you!

12/19/2005 10:19 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

RE: Sally Kempton's article. I have a copy of the magazine. I got it because she's a great friend and an INCREDIBLE writer and I was interested in reading some of her work before she became a swami.

I could lend it to you, if you'd like. Just email me and I'll snail mail it to you. (I haven't been able to find the full article on line.)


12/19/2005 10:34 AM  
Blogger Bhakti said...

RE: Laura saying that people might deem what I say as being a 'feminist stance'. That's totally okay with me. I'm not saying that my views can't be deemed as feminist views, I just meant that I don't 'call' myself a feminist because I don't really hold up the feminist flag, so to speak. I don't research and fight feminist issues. I am a spiritualist. I think that's where the equality issues come into play. I would say, ideally, forget about man/woman/race/sex/religion/sexuality/etc equality, and focus on equality for all. I know that's extremely idealistic, but that's how I tend to view things.

I don't like to take sides. However, since I am female, and would expect to be treated with the same kind of respect as anyone else in the world, then that could be grounds for calling me a feminist. I'm totally okay with that, and it makes sense that someone could call me a feminist based on the above statement I just made. I just don't think of myself as a feminist. I think of myself as a humanist. I think equality is fundamental.

12/19/2005 10:47 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

LP - Very aware of the sex slaves. It's like a bad version of indentured servitute (which is a polite word for temporary slavery).

I think the current administration has dug themselves into a hole. They've managed to alienate everyone.

I really wish I could do something about your pain. My wife has arthritis, and there are things we can do to make it easier, but not really get rid of it. Nothing sucks more than bad health.

Bhakti - Will email you.

I think of myself as a humanist. I think equality is fundamental.

That's what I've always called myself - a humanist.

12/19/2005 6:52 PM  

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