Need a critical eye!

Isn’t normal the only abnormal state?

I think that means yes. He is watching so you are normal.

Beware I say! He moved up from the South up to the North without a single cry of defiance. Plus he has no head and no cranial cavity speak of. He is of the +3! He has no head and yet speaks (GASP!)

Welcome aboard the Ship, beware some of the local shady characters, as I speak V-man-(shhh-K), that fluffy cat, and the “other” hillbilly are hunting me with a gun! Drunk authors and firearms sometimes lead to singe feathers. Feel free to pull up a stool and have a sip of the spirits. Beware of getting pulled into 3 word stories or debating the economic influences of post it notes on modern societies that have adopted the “smart phone” and grunting and wild gestures as the main forms of communication.

Oh and beware there are some evil robots floating around here somewheres…

Welcome aboard. Consider yourself warned!>



You misrepresent me. I did not — nor would I — argue frustration and despair as sole alternatives; they are merely points along one axis. There are other points on that axis, and other axes as well.

I too have a son and a daughter. Three of each, in fact, and half again as many grandchildren. It is in part so that they will be able, at the very least, to sit now and again in the sun that I make my complaints.

Because it is true that I may produce no results, right no wrongs, slay no dragons. But it will not be for failure to try. As for power games in which we are not allowed to play: How shall we complain of not playing if we do not make an effort. Go. Run onto the field (we must have metaphors, I suppose) and challenge. We’ll get whistled off, or carried off, perhaps, yet we will have made a statement. A complaint. An assertion of our existence. And perhaps — if only to minimize future interruptions in the game — the official players will make here or there a concession. Panem et circenses, true enough, but at least that much.

Or we can sit in the sun, hoping no one comes to take away our chairs and our tea.


Phil, my apologies for the misrepresentation.

Please note that I did not intend to say that we should not participate. The intention of the third paragraph is that we should stop “playing” their game by not letting the idea of fairness be the swaying factor. As citizens, and as parents, we have an obligation to participate.

Let me try it the way I say it at work:

This is not a game where the winner gets a trophy. Do the right thing and stay above the games other folks are playing. Let them play all they want, but if you refuse to be “in” their game you won’t be on the losing side since you won’t be on a side.

Which boils down to “user your head and do the right thing”.

The Serenity Prayer attributed the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things
which should be changed,

If we all get up of arses, and push to change those things that are actually within our power to do so, that goal, once achieved, may change the perspective from which we originally viewed those things we perceived as unchangeable, to a perspective revealing the erroneous assumptions inherent in the original presumption.

and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other. Amen!!
Many things around the planet are accepted as unchangeable by millions of people. Well those folk as in for shock when things do change, because change thy’re gonna! But the change won’t be to anyone’s advantage.

Well vic-k, it has to be said, you indeed said it, that is, what I tried to say, in my response, but you left out the Irish accent.

Shake The Nation
Disrobe the Globe
Once the Same
Now greed and blame

Thats what I say, obviously I did not come across quite so well but thank you, my feelings exactly!



You’re new here so we won’t count this infraction against you.

One of the singular rules is: agreeing with vic-k is immediate grounds for labeling one a … how do you say it … a nutter.

Which is exactly why I agree with Mr K as often as possible.

I’m sure that means something terrible for Mr K, but neither of us would be able to comprehend said difference unless it was explainable by engaging in various expected activities at the Red Lion.

New I am, I really must practise my sarcasam, it sounded better in my head or maybe I am that nutter.

Red Lion then??

Jill :exclamation: :exclamation:

And mine for overstating the obvious, with which you agreed


Now to the more critical issue of the moment. Clear enough, the fate of those who agree with Vic. But what are we to make of those with whom his Vic-kness agrees?


In the US, the “American Dream” is a source of inspiration, almost to the point that it becomes problematic in debates such as these. Just this year we had a politician remark that this is not a country of “haves and have-nots” but a country of “haves and soon-to-haves”. While there is opportunity for some upward mobility, most people will live and die within the same economic class as they were born. Yet there is this artificial illusion that any one of us at any minute may suddenly elevate to an elite class status.

This “dream” also lends itself to an over-exaggeration of the link between merit and economic status. The elite are at the top because they are the best. When this occurs, people who call attention to the inequalities are often labeled as petty, envious, and lazy.

Therefore, whenever the issue of of class inequality is raised in this country, it’s met with an unqualified response of “these people earned it, so what gives you the right to take it away?” Often rooted in this response is the American Dream, the belief that they, too, will someday join the ranks of the elite. While I’m not against the concept of the American Dream, I believe it has been used as a tool to fracture any form of resistance among the lower social classes.

Also, because it can seem like such an impossible task you get people with Jaysen’s point-of-view (forgive me for using you as an example and overgeneralizing here). Jaysen may care, or he may not care, but Jaysen has a job, school, and a family to take care of–all of which are taking up Jaysen’s time. I think many people, even if they sympathize, wonder who has the time to stage protests and occupy. When Jaysen doesn’t have a job, can’t go to school, and his family is starving in the street, when he doesn’t have the distractions around him and his situation feels more desperate, then he can take to the streets and protest.

“The American Dream…you have to be asleep to believe it.” - George Carlin

I have a learnt much today, not only how truly diverse our thoughts are on a given subject but how beautifully our reasonings can be relayed.

I am further from my goal today but know now I will be at my best when the day comes.

Thank you so much everyone for making me welcome…now to learning the basics of this programe…



Not unless it’s on the picket line, in the buff, I’m afraid! Mind you, the bloody weather does make you wonder if all this nude protesting is gonna make any difference. Pubs becoming supermarket, may be one of the things we can’t change. Maybe it really is a case of:
“Giving, us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed…” :frowning:

Tha’s ma boy!! :wink:
Uncle vic

Your class is defined by how much you make.

How much you make is defined by what you produce.

What you produce is determined by abilities and talent.

Your abilities and talent are learned through hard work and dedication.

Hard work and dedication are applied through desire and achievement.

Desire and achievement are obtained through focus and fortitude.

Focus and fortitude are derived from your own personal drive.

You cannot obtain personal drive by demanding someone else put forth all the effort and take from someone else and give to you without any work or effort on your behalf. This is a “spoiled” mentality. This is nothing but a “gime gime gime mine mine mine” toddler outlook.

The “American Dream” is that everyone has the OPPORTUNITY to make it to the top.

If you are not at the stop what has stop you is your own limitations you have set upon yourself. THat or you have not fully grown up. This does not mean that things can happen that can knock you down or set you back because that always happens. It is the getting back up after you have been knocked to the floor that determines your own personal drive.

How bad do you want it or are you willing to settle for mediocrity? Most people lose their drive and settle into the daily routine. Not setting higher goals but rather just maintaining their level.

Face it. If you are poor it is your own fault. The only thing owed to you in life is the guarantee that someday you will die. Everything else you have to fight for.

If you want it bad enough you will get it. The hard part is deciding what are you willing to sacrifice along the way.

Class envy is nothing but people lacking drive jealous of people that have succeeded. What they don’t realize is what those people had to sacrifice along the way.

And for any person that complains about companies making profits or corporations looking at the bottom line. Go into your job tomorrow and demand that you get a pay DECREASE. You should never get a raise because raises are like profit. They are “evil”. Now after you lower salary and self worth take half of everything you have or earn and go give it to a homeless person. You don;t need all that stuff and they of course have less than you. SO it is your obligation and their right to take your stuff until you are both equally poor.

Yeah I know Corporations making a profit is horrible but getting a personal pay raise is mandatory even if you didn’t earn it.

Bah. I look at it like this. Charity is for people who are on hard times. Everyone experiences hard times. But rewarding and encouraging someone to stay down instead of picking themselves up is nothing put helping them put on the yoke of slavery and utter dependence. It is like a child. Sometimes you have to let them fail in order for them to learn to pick themselves up.

It was because we try so hard to be political correct these days, we try so hard to make sure everyone is happy and there are no losers, that 2nd place gets a gold medal too, that we have taken personal responsibility out of the equation.

We are left with bad people making poor decisions under the guise of “good intentions” making laws that do nothing but keep everyone from progressing so they can stay in power longer and they and their friends can prosper from everyone else’s hard work. All they have to do is convince people that they are “going to make changes” make empty promises everyone wants to hear, and of course never tell the truth.

The truth is things are fucked up because 2nd place is really the first loser. You have a class disparity because either you get tired of working all the time and you sit on your fat ass mooching of someone else or you push harder, work later, and move up the ladder where the economic strain is a little better handled.

I would love for everyone to be a millionaire but that can’t happen. IF everyone was rich we would all be poor by some standard because we would all have the same things.

To put things into perspective.

People who are below the poverty level in America may “have it hard” but if they moved to Mexico they would be in the Upper Middle Class.

How many poor Americans do you see climbing fences and swinging rivers to get to Canada for free Healthcare?

Face it.

Class is nothing but a measurement. People who actually use it to measure people have no class at all. The person is what makes the difference. Not the iphone they use to tweet about their disparity and protest.


Not everybody has the opportunity to live the American dream. I don’t believe profits are evil, nor do I believe corporations or the rich are evil. Some of the business practices we have seen, however, are exploitive. The article at the beginning of this thread discusses a collusion among those with power to keep themselves where they are. The illusion is that everyone has a seat at the table, or that they might have a seat at the table if they would only, gosh darn it, pick themselves up and work harder. Poor people aren’t necessarily poor because they are stupid or lazy. People aren’t poor because it’s fun. And nobody’s asking for a handout. Or at least I’m not asking for any handouts.

I don’t appreciate being talked down to and called a spoiled child, especially if I happen to disagree with you. We can kid around on these forums, but you don’t know who I am and I don’t know who you are. At 17, I was living on the street. At 18, I was working three jobs in fast food restaurants and sleeping on my best friend’s couch. At 19, I joined the Army. Today, I am 34 and working to put myself through college. On average, I’m about 15 years older than most of my classmates. I don’t resent them or envy them for it. They simply didn’t have to start in the same place I did, and I appreciate that. Alternatively, those that do start at the same place as me can’t always take the same path as I did. I’m not some bored adolescent who thinks he has the world all figured out, but I am beginning to believe that I’ve seen more of the world than you have. Argue the argument and don’t make this personal.


My first impulse was to counter-attack; the next was to… well, a shouting match never resolves anything. So instead I will urge you please to take Sin’s comments to heart, and believe that his is not the only story around which contradicts much of what you said.



Nothing I said was a personal attack towards anyone. If that is how it came across I do apologize. My points were supposed to be simple and the hard truth. We are were we each are based on the decisions we make in life. The politicians are the way they are because we voted those people into power, have kept them in power, and keep allowing them to maintain that power because the populace were convinced they were going to get something out of the deal. Accepting responsibility is first realizing this prison is of our own design. The politicians didn’t sneak in one night and make a coupe, instead they did what most politicians do. They lied, smiled, and convinced people that the utopia they seek could be obtained with nothing more than a vote. So I ask “Who’s fault is it that people in power are acting this way?”. The answer. Ours.

I grew a very hard life, very poor life and I made myself successful through sacrifice, blood sweat and tears and a lot of hard work. I did that without, free housing, free food, free internet, free college education, free job training, free utilities, free assistance, or any subsidization. So if a poor white trash person such as myself can do that without any help then you may begin to understand why my sympathy is short lived for people who are given every chance under the sun and for some reason they always have some reason why their failure is someone else’s fault and theyy could succeed if only they had more money, more help, things were more “fair” or if we just lowered the bar of expectation so they could be winners too.

I view life in a simple harsh way. It is like that because life for me has been harsh. But one thing I do believe is in order to improve oneself you must set the bar high then aspire to it. If you keep lowering the bar out of fairness you only lower the quality of the people and that benefits no one.

Many people are jealous of the rich or of politicians. They hate them because they have the things they want but haven’t got. What many people fail to realize is some of those people moved up through ruthlessness and shrewd thinking. Sometimes they sacrificed what many of us would not. Usually politicians get into politics for 2 main reasons. Either power and money or to “right some wrong”. Both of those reasons can be highly dangerous. Politics as an industry doesn’t really attract a lot of people with strong values or a good moral fiber. Like the old saying “Kissing babies while stealing their candy”. But we as a people can set a higher standard by using our one and most important right. Voting. We can vote those that step too far over the line out of office. We could show zero tolerance for corruption and greed. We could demand bigger limitations of special interest groups and corporations on political persons, and we could draw a line on how these people use our money. We have that power but very few actually use it. Just look at the polls. Look at voter turnout. Would you be surprised if I said in a non-presidential election usually less than 35% of the voting population actually shows up to vote in elections? I guess the way things are must be ok with most people.

To me I am the richest man in the world because of my wife and family. Those things I value the most. They are priceless. And I obtained these riches without taking from anyone else or stepping on people to move up the ladder. I didn’t sacrifice my soul. Instead of worry about having a seat at the table. I made my own table and chairs with my own hands and now my family sits at it.

Now if what I said came off as an insult. I apologize. When people talk about taxing the rich, etc I am insulted. But imagine if my insults also came with an order for you to hand over 35% of your earnings to further subsidize my opinion?

And in closing remember this. The only limitations in life are the ones you set yourself. I think Sucidal Tendencies sad it best:

I seem to be very bad at articulating my thoughts on this. Allow me to try again.

Dreams are not reality. Therefore the American dream is by definition not real.
Dreams are an expression of some nature. Therefore the American dream is an expression of some thing.

Classes are labels.
Labels are associative not definitive.
Labels are applied by an observer (self or external).
Statistical measures to standardize labels are as arbitrary as the label†.

Sin, Wock and I have had similar adult experiences while I was what both would consider privileged as a child by the standards of their experience. By the standards of my experience I was poor. Poorer than my classmates and hence excluded form much of what was considered necessary. I married early and furthered my slide into what was official poverty by any measure. This was exasperated by the birth of two kids. I know what it is like to not have food. I don’t like to think about it, and I generally avoid the topic, but there it is. I have lived on the government’s dime. I get it.

My point is that I refuse, just as Sin and Wock have, to live the label of “white trash” that even my own family applied to me. It was not easy. It was hard. I could have accepted the label and lived to the expectations around me. Just like Sin and Wock, I didn’t.

When I look at the protests looking for “fairness” there is an absolute ignorance of what that implies. There would be no “ownership” as one person may have more than a different person, that would be unfair. If there is no ownership what motivation would anyone have to do anything other than simple needs of survival?

Before anyone dismisses this as an absolutist position, reconsider what the various “occupy” groups advocated: redistribution of the wealth of the 1%. Basically a violation of their “right” to own their wealth.

Notice the quotes. Is ownership a right or a privilege. I would suggest that you have a right to own, but the actual ability to own is a privilege. Using voting as an example, in the US everyone over 18 and not convicted of a felony (varies by state) has the right to vote, but not everyone has the privilege to vote due to work, access to transportation, etc. Are those that vote unfairly elevated above those that can not? I would suggest that the difference between a right and a privilege is that a right is state sanctioned while the privilege is the individual success of exercising a right.

What we have missed entirely, and part of what drives the concept of revolution (remember that I hold there is no revolution, just the “horizontal shift” (as one of us put it) of power) is the violation of “rights” in a society. The real revolutions of the 40’s - 60’s here in the US was simply establishing that all “men” have the same rights to things like education, voting, and owning property. Today’s fight is not over rights (there is an exception in my opinion) but over privilege. Is it fair that one group has more money than another?

I suggest that since we are talking privilege, there is no real argument for fairness.

To the exception: health care. That is a right. It needs to be fair which means free. Just like voting and breathing.

Wrapping up, I swear.

This all comes back to the point I was making about “let’s not play their game”. As long as we continue to let others frame our thoughts about what defines a right and a privilege we will never see the real revolution that every country needs. This revolution is not about levels of education, money in the bank, or even what party/religion/philosophy has the right answers. The revolution that we need is one where every person is respected simply because they exist, not by what they produce or own. This is not a political revolution. It is not a social revolution. It is a change in the way we think of ourself and our neighbors. My belief system states it as “do unto others as you wold have them do unto you”. Some state it as simply as “do no harm”. I have twisted this to my personal motto of “do the right thing”.

I am not playing “their” game any more. Mostly because it isn’t “the right thing”. That and I am much happier laughing at them from my chair on the deck.

† I am not suggesting that poverty is not real, only that the statistical figures used may be manipulated as determined by the labeler.

Wow, I missed so much! Yesterdays topic is a subject of poignant interest.

However, being new and forgiven my first transgression I am not going to say

If anyone has a chip on their shoulder they really shouldn’t post and not expect a critique.
I wont say we do NOT all have the same opinion or/and there is no right or wrong

In the words of Sir Francis Bacon himself “Silence is the virtue of fools”

Where I live, I quite simply think we should rise, shake of the cobwebs of complaceny, and start making changes all round, kick ass so to speak, that or do not be suprised when WW III is killing our Geat Grandchildren


I agree with Jill and Jaysen. Both well said.

I think in the end from either side can agree that the ones in power have truly taken us astray. We may differ in opinions on certain subjects but everyone from all walks of life are getting fed up with the directions many countries are heading towards. I think the ones in power pit us against one another so we stay busy bickering amongst ourselves instead of focuing on the real problem. Their (ones in charge) greed and arrogance.

I say we start votinging the asshats out. FIRED! Show them what the unemployment line looks like from an upclose and personal perspective. Try someone new. They screw up, toss them out. Vote to recall.
I wnat politicans to understand that what they are doing is a JOB just like what we do. The people are the BOSS. If you cannot perform the job to our liking we can replace you with someone who can.