Naomi Wolf (naomiwolf_org) says we're already completely screwed:
Dude, if you don't give me 50% of your liquor sales, I am so totally declaring martial law on you!
You think small, you should be asking for 800%.
In MY Eritrea 50% buys a lot of Kalashnikovs.
I believe it... and have been noticing all the ass-kissing of McCain and Palin on General Petraeus and the movement back to the U.S. of the 3rd infantry division. I'm sure there's plenty of people in DC who are drooling for the chance to implement martial law.
Glenn Greenwald at Salon seems to believe the new U.S. Army brigade assigned to the "Homeland" is alarming as a precedent but not quite the doomsday scenario Naomi Wolf details.
"There's no need to start manufacturing all sorts of scare scenarios about Bush canceling elections or the imminent declaration of martial law or anything of that sort. None of that is going to happen with a single brigade and it's unlikely in the extreme that they'd be announcing these deployments if they had activated any such plans. The point is that the deployment is a very dangerous precedent, quite possibly illegal, and a radical abandonment of an important democratic safeguard. As always with first steps of this sort, the danger lies in how the power can be abused in the future.
Naomi said "People in the world envy us."
Huh, who envies Americans??
Would you rather be in the US or Zimbabwe?
It's cute that you have to pick one of the absolute worst countries on the planet in a seriously fucked hyperinflation crisis to make the US an appealing choice.
No, I just picked that one to see if anyone was dumb enough to disagree. Most of the world is actually worse off than the US, and anyone without a terminal case of Rik-from-the-Young-Ones will realise this.
To be fair, you should have picked (say) Australia, Sweden, Japan, or any of the other fifty million countries in the world that aren't terminally fucked and made the same comparison.
Here, I'll try it:
Would you rather be in the US or Australia?
as a citizen or non-citizen? that tends to make a pretty big difference in the countries you've mentioned.
As a black person or a white person?
There's fucked scenarios for being in both countries when you're dark skinned.
You'll need to back that statement up with some facts and really, you'll probably want to be more specific.
Consider that the USA was once the world leader in nearly everything from health care to books to movies to war machines. These days, someone else is leading and the USA is still only number one on the planet in terms of military might.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is: [Citation Needed]
There are lots of places in the world I'd rather live (and have) than the USA - even as a non-citizen. It's not such an unthinkable idea really.
(On a totally unrelated note, nice Young Ones reference!)
Thanks--that was a GREAT article. The immigration policies point hit me sideways, as I've recently been wondering if I'd honestly go through all the god damned trouble if it was Bush's America I arrived in, rather than Clinton's. And I wonder how current immigration trends are affected.
(Oh, America, you crazy dysfunctional family, you.)
I'm glad that the rest of the world is on the rise. It's awesome to watch this happen.
That's the first bit of news I've read in a while that doesn't make ME feel like jumping off a cliff. Hooray!
I agree with this. I'm looking forward to an America which has turned away from conservative politics and which exists in a world of more-or-less equals. Not because I'm looking for a better place to move, but because I think it will make home a better place to live.
I think it's safe to say that a good portion of 3rd world countries envy us and richer Westernized countries don't. A friend just came back from Guana and said that everyone there wants to live in the U.S. and it drove her crazy because they just don't understand how fucked our government is. But my cousins in Saudi Arabia don't even want to come over here to visit us anymore because they are horrified by the U.S. (and how they're treated when they're here).
I still know plenty of Asian immigrants (China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc) who have no desire to go back to their old country. And lots of immigrants from Columbia, Argentina, etc. Now that I think about it, I know of more countries where the people want to live here, than countries that look down on us. I don't think many countries get a good dose of what is really happening here politically to understand how bad it might get here if it keeps going unchecked.
I don't think it's safe to say that with any reasonable degree of certainty. I think that rather than wanting to live only in the USA, most people simply wish they had access to clean water, safe food, a reasonable economy, etc. Usually it's the USA that comes up with Americans in conversations. Often people simply default to this as a "nice place" to live because of our once totally awesome Global Brand.
However, I don't think that desire is exclusive to living in the USA. Canada is wonderful. Most of Europe is pretty wonderful. Argentina has really been improving since the end of the Dirty War. Each country has its own story and many countries are really improving.
I think we hype the American dream, intentionally or otherwise. We (Americans) often promote an attitude of being The Superior Place To Go and it isn't really warranted. It's merely what we know really well. We (obviously) experience the world through American eyes when we talk to people. This is also distorted by the people who have immigrated and whom we've met in the states. Of course many of those people would rather be in the USA, that's where they are! Personally, if I was an immigrant in the states, I'd be pretty scared of bad mouthing the current administration.
When I travel, people will tell me about America more often because it's something that they think I can easily relate to (as a citizen who lives in the states, etc). I think this creates a cycle where people we experience often talk to us about their desires to enter the states (or not enter as the case may be). People who do not have such a desire do not talk to us as often about where they want to live. What interest would it hold for us? Personally, I know many people that immigrate to places other than the states. It's popular to move from Argentina to China. I know people in Argentina that moved from Canada, etc.
Anyway, in short, I think that it really depends on your perspective. That's why I do not consider it safe to say that a good portion of the 3rd world has envy. From where I'm standing, a really large portion of the entire world hates America and for good reasons.
I don't think it's safe to say that with any reasonable degree of certainty
Absolutely correct. Though during my recent visit, it seems the common complaint in Canada is currently "we're becoming too much like the States," especially regarding handgun violence, youth gangs, etc.
I find myself in the weird position of (as a Canadian) having to defend the USA sometimes to San Franciscans. While I would be perfectly happy to go back to Canada - and in some ways, that would reduce the tension I feel in this love-hate relationship with the USA - there are things that are possible here that just aren't possible elsewhere.
When you go to a conference or something in Canada, you're seeing a gathering of misfits -- the few dozen people in Vancouver or whatever who have crazy ideas and want to implement them. In the USA, you have entire cities of people who have that drive and that energy, particularly the Bay Area.
I love Canada for its dedication to tolerance and communitarian values, but there are things about it that had always bugged me. To give you an example, I took a scriptwriting course where the instructor had to practically jump on the table to get the students to write stories where the protagonist was not simply passive or middle class or "average". I don't know if lowered ambitions are perfectly correlated with communitarian values, but it might be so.
Sometimes Canada feels like there's a few empty chairs at the dinner table, because many of our great talents move to the USA, whether it be in the fields of entertainment or science or technology. If the USA suffered some kind of collapse, maybe that would change. And there have been signs that this trend might slow or even reverse.
But, just to follow up, I would be very happy to see other nations take a leading role too. I am not sure if I would enjoy a China-dominated world, but I'd like to see what, say, South Americans would do in the midst of a huge global power vacuum. It seems to me that former "Third World" places would have the ability to absorb new ideas and new patterns of production even better than North America, where we have very established interests.
I remember arguing with a Marxist on the 'merits' of Cuba. I tried to impress on him the notion that it is Cubans who take to shark-infested waters on sketchy rafts with a high risk of ending up dead just for the chance to get to Miami.While the ocean flows in BOTH directions, yet you don't see many Floridans, or hell, even Mexicans take a raft and try their luck in the promised island of Cuba.
Seriously, and all that just to get to Miami.
Or Somali? Or Romania?
People who always say stupid shit like that come across as the liberal version of retarded hicks.
What's wrong with Romania? It's been constantly improving since they took Nicolae CeauÅŸescu out back and shot him.
Have you been to Romania or are you just ragging on it because it was part of the eastern block?
Yes, I've been there. I've spent a lot of time in the countryside, Bucharest and a few others. Yes, it's improving. Yes, it's improving. Yes, it's still a shitty place to live.
Why do you think a lot of Europeans were very concerned about it joining the EU? Why do you think that a lot of folks leave when given the opportunity?
I imagine all this contributed to why Borat's hometown was actually Romania & *not* Kazakhstan. Granted not hard evidence, but if Al Gore can jerk off the population with polar bears, I'll use Borat.
I spent some time driving around the entire country in a giant loop in the summer of '07. I really think Romania is amazing. The tomatoes are really not my favorite though. It's true that it's not perfect but many parts are as nice as many places in the west. Reasonable net access, reasonable food (reasonably priced too), reasonably safe, access to a proper education, reasonable health care, etc. Amazing museums, amazing art, etc. There's too much trash on the streets of Bucharest but it's otherwise a beautiful place. The orphanages and the entire orphanage as scam ring are very sad. James Natchwey has taken some pretty moving photos of this and I would never dispute that it is a deeply disturbing issue. The place isn't perfect but it's surely a far cry from Somalia.
I think a lot of Europeans were concerned because of the East/West split that's always been an issue in modern Europe. I think that this bias is vanishing quickly and I'm glad about that. I'm sure some of it will remain though. I could be totally wrong but I consider their concern to be largely unjustified. But I'm one of those open-our-borders-up-to-everyone-rather-than-just-the-super-rich kind of person. So I'm sure that disqualifies my opinion for most people.
E Pluribus UnumIn God we TrustNo worse than fscking Zimbabwe!
Who the fuck do you think you're protecting by intentionally misspelling the word "fuck"?
Don't be a fucking tool.
You know what; that's some irony right here. I'm always amazed at how americans react to "bad" words. It's just weird. It's just a word, indeed; and a misspelled one is also just a word, and almost the same.But there's either filters or banination on most english-speaking forums, so I have the habit. Note that there doesn't seem to be such nonsense on non-english forums: I've never seen anyone write "m*rde", because there's no reason not to write "merde" first of all; but also because if merde were so choquant as to be verbotten, so would be its alternative spellings.
The States are #12 and dropping, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index#2007/2008_report
Not as bad as I thought. I'm curious to see the 2009 numbers when they come out.
Ah, #97 here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index#2007-2008_Global_Peace_Index_rankings
Well, we do.
I'm looking for the Wikipedia article about the coup.
Good luck. Jimbo Wales had it deleted.
zeitgeist addendum kinda has some solutions
Wow. She's hot!Um ... and I like what she's saying too ...
"Just as I predicted" seems to be the mantra for Naomi Wolf.
Well, I got news for you, baby. Jello Biafra has been saying the same thing since 1979!
YouTube: California Ãœber Alles
...and here's a link to the lyrics for the uninitiated.
Close your eyes, can't happen hereBig Bro' on white horse is nearThe hippies won't come back you sayMellow out or you will pay!
This got far too long, so I just posted my response on my blog.
Congressional Martial Law is more like "no one gets out until we pass this bill." There may have been a misunderstanding somewhere.
Meanwhile..."Md. Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists"