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Op Ed

G4tv.com - Homefront and Propaganda In Video Games - What Are They Trying To Tell You?
America's Army was originally created as a recruitment tool, and as such is probably one of the only games on this list that was deliberately created to boost enlistments and nationalism. It has been remarkably effective at fostering gung-ho pro-American militarism throughout much of the country. The American Civil Liberties Union even said in 2008 that the Army's video-game development team found that 60 percent of recruits had played America's Army on a nearly daily basis, and 4 out of 100 said they joined just because of the game. The ACLU has alleged that the game was designed to reach young teens online that are legally protected from recruitment attempts.

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32. Re: Op Ed Mar 19, 2011, 12:20 DG
 
Hmm, there's always a lot of sweeping generalisations, assumptions and very particular perspectives when it comes to wealth distribution.

Sorry to pick on adamj, but just to illustrate, "Many times it is the fault of the poor that they have no net wealth at all" is very true or extremely misleading depending on how you define "fault" and also depending on what scale you're looking at.

When a 16 yo gets pregnant, you can conclude it's the soon-to-be mom & dad's fault for being irresponsible.
When highschools in poor areas have consistently and dramatically higher teen pregnancy rates than those in rich areas, it's not a conclusion to say that there are more irresponsible kids in poor areas, but merely rewording the problem. Why are there more irresponsible kids in poor areas?

Sure there is a causal link between behaving irresponsibly and being poor. But the causality goes both ways.

If society has put someone at a disadvantage, society is obliged to try and compensate. Likewise if society has put someone at an advantage, that someone owes a little back. And it's in society's own interests to do so. If the right balance can be found helping the poor should more accurately be described as investing; spending a dollar now in order to save two dollars in future welfare costs, reduced crime, better labour pool and so on.

I'm not saying finding that balance is easy though.
 
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31. Re: Op Ed Mar 19, 2011, 10:39 headkase
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 17:37:
headkase wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:32:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:10:
A good story?
Who cares.

You should. And if you don't: play Homefront, you'll need the practice.

To put it into context: At the end of World War II the United States emerged as a Super-Power. It did so not because of manifest destiny but rather because all of it's competitors had their entire infrastructures bombed completely into ruin. Europe had to rebuild from scratch. And while they were rebuilding the USA did not stop building so it was a game of catch-up. Now, the United States is no longer anything special: it has no unique capabilities when it comes to production or research against the rest of the world. The USA Empire *is* fast fading. China will overtake the United States in production and educated citizens right quickly now (in Nation time scales that is: 20 years). The economy of the United States which enjoyed this period of high prosperity by exporting everything to everybody else because everybody else's factories were holes-in-the-ground is over. Notice things say "made in China" now? This is invariably shifting the balance. I live in Canada. I just bought $99.98USD worth of goods on Steam this morning. I paid $99.05CDN. So, the Canadian dollar to the US dollar is about 1.02:1 - ballpark - that is terrible for the US! When I was a kid, 1 Canadian dollar was worth $0.64 US dollars. The US is neck-deep in trouble and has their head in the sand: still acting like a Super-Power when they categorically aren't anymore sans nuclear weapons.

So, what does this mean for Americans? Aside from the Greater Korean invasion part, Homefront should scare the shit out of them.

**YAWN**

How tight is that tinfoil hat?

How old/mature are you? I've been around the block a few times.
 
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30. Re: Op Ed Mar 19, 2011, 05:48 Prez
 
We can get into shades of gray or semantics here, but is anybody trying to argue that the current system isn't corrupt?

At the risk of 'getting into semantics', as you put it, I'd say I would argue that the system is not corrupt. It may sound like splitting hairs, but rather I would argue that the system has been broken by corrupt people. Our system, like freedom itself, is neither good nor evil - it is what it is. While it is (arguably) the least imperfect choice among a sea of imperfect choices, it is easily abused in the wrong hands. So, when you get right down to it, who, or what is to blame? It's easy to sit and point fingers at the people in DC, but who put them there? Regardless of how much money and clout a candidate has thrown behind him or her by varying entities, ultimately it is the common man, all too often the useful idiot, who casts the votes that puts these people in positions of power.

Of course, there's the old saying that power corrupts, and with discouragingly few exceptions, given enough time in power, virtually anyone will eventually become drunk on the power given to them and abuse it. Most, if not all of our Congress people go in with the best of intentions; it isn't that there aren't any good people in D.C. The real problem is that our Congressmen and women after a time stop viewing themselves as civil servants and start thinking of themselves as royalty. They stop worrying about the good of the people and become more worried about the special interests. They stop caring about what's good for the country and start worrying about what will get them re-elected, or get that fancy new project built in their home state. In short, legislators at every level, without exception, should have strict term limits. If the President has them, so should the Congress and the Supreme Court. Why is it that the Executive branch is saddled with a limitation that the Legislative and Judicial Branches are free of? It is an invitation for abuses of power at every level, and it needs to end.

The problem is that in our present political climate, barring some miraculous influx of virtuous people who put country above self into D.C., it will never happen. Congress would essentially have to vote term limits upon themselves, and the McCain's and the Pelosi's and the Reed's and the Rangle's would probably not be too keen on voting themselves out of power. The only other option would be ballot initiatives in each state for the populace to vote on, which seems even less likely given that the average American is more worried about their smartphone and watching Dancing with the Stars than getting involved and doing something important for the nation.

So, as I said, whose fault is it ultimately? It's our fault. Our own, for not being involved enough, for not being objective enough, and not caring enough. At least that's the way I see it.

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2011, 08:55.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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29. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 21:15 Ray Marden
 
We can get into shades of gray or semantics here, but is anybody trying to argue that the current system isn't corrupt? And by having a political structure/contry that gives power to the wealthy, it's a completely stacked, self-fulling cycle.

Unfortunately, I find humans to be generally naive and selfish so the capitalist model does motivate them to a certain crude, base extent. Even with that, I would still argue for a system where there were not such disparieties between the bottom and the top and one that maintained high basic standards and then left a free market for non-essential or secondary items.

In contrast, how educated is the general populace? What is the health of the general populace? (More importantly what is the price to performance ratio of healthcare in this country?) How much of a stabling effect does the country have on a geo-political basis? What are the general housing standards like? What is the internal/local economy like? How strong is industry? How ingenious is the energy plan?

Don't get me started on the irony of this highly Christian country that doesn't remotely follow its own stated beliefs...
Seriously, if he did exist, what would Jesus do???
Putting on my tin foil hat and watching humans overpopulate the planet,
Ray
 
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Everything is awesome!!!
http://shoutengine.com/GarnettonGames/
I love you, mom.
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28. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 17:37 xXBatmanXx
 
headkase wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:32:
xXBatmanXx wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:10:
A good story?
Who cares.

You should. And if you don't: play Homefront, you'll need the practice.

To put it into context: At the end of World War II the United States emerged as a Super-Power. It did so not because of manifest destiny but rather because all of it's competitors had their entire infrastructures bombed completely into ruin. Europe had to rebuild from scratch. And while they were rebuilding the USA did not stop building so it was a game of catch-up. Now, the United States is no longer anything special: it has no unique capabilities when it comes to production or research against the rest of the world. The USA Empire *is* fast fading. China will overtake the United States in production and educated citizens right quickly now (in Nation time scales that is: 20 years). The economy of the United States which enjoyed this period of high prosperity by exporting everything to everybody else because everybody else's factories were holes-in-the-ground is over. Notice things say "made in China" now? This is invariably shifting the balance. I live in Canada. I just bought $99.98USD worth of goods on Steam this morning. I paid $99.05CDN. So, the Canadian dollar to the US dollar is about 1.02:1 - ballpark - that is terrible for the US! When I was a kid, 1 Canadian dollar was worth $0.64 US dollars. The US is neck-deep in trouble and has their head in the sand: still acting like a Super-Power when they categorically aren't anymore sans nuclear weapons.

So, what does this mean for Americans? Aside from the Greater Korean invasion part, Homefront should scare the shit out of them.

**YAWN**

How tight is that tinfoil hat?
 
Avatar 10714
 
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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27. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 16:57 Draugr
 
adamj wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 12:55:
The top 2% does not control 90% of the wealth. And even if it did, what do you propose we do about it? I hate the idea of government saying, you have too much wealth, let's take it and give it to others. That opens up a bag of potential massive corruption.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in_the_United_States#Wealth_Inequality_and_Class

"In 2004, the wealthiest 25% of US households owned 87% ($43.6 trillion) of the country’s wealth, while the bottom quartile held no net wealth at all."

Many times it is the fault of the poor that they have no net wealth at all. I'm not saying I won't personally help them by donating time and money ( I do), nor do I say that all of them are to blame for their situation. But dropping out of school, getting pregnant in high school with some random guy, doing drugs, etc will lead to poverty. While doing well in school, and working hard can lead to becoming wealthy. Duh. But who the hell are you or who the hell am I to say when somebody is too wealthy and that his wealth should be confiscated. As long as he earns it ethically, that is.

Man, that last joke you told was comedy gold.

"I hate the idea of government saying, you have too much wealth, let's take it and give it to others. That opens up a bag of potential massive corruption."

But it's massive tax breaks (which had to be covered by other people's taxes, since that income needs to be made up elsewhere, poor people get to pay for their tax breaks) that allowed a lot of that wealth to be generated. It's funny whenever someone even hints at turning the tables in this regard it is perceived by some as some huge injustice. Apparently only rich people can ask for 'handouts' by the government without being seen as a 'welfare queen.'
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 16:29 headkase
 
You know though, if Africa and the Mid-East smarten up like the recent revolutions in the area promise: they would be ideal markets for everyone to export goods to, enough anyway to give the US some life-support. It would be awesome if those other nations started fresh down the path of democracy in the next few decades.  
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25. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 16:20 Suckage
 
Plus they have the added bonus of being effective murder simulators! Invading Koreans will never get past the perfectly honed killing machines that are suburban kids from all over America.  
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24. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 15:57 PHJF
 
America's Army was a damn good game. Struck the right balance between Rainbow Six and Counter-Strike.

I'd rather my military spend money making cool video games than blowing it all on jet fighters that will never get used.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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23. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 15:54 headkase
 
Ruffiana wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:47:
headkase wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:22:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

"Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy."

Baa.

"corporatist" does not mean "corporations" in the sense you implied.

Corporatist: organized by function, corporations: organized by production. Convergence: Taco Bell wins the corporation wars and produces every single product by 2050 providing the function.

:p


Edit for your edit: I don't expect it to be identical to what we've already experienced:

History doesn't repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme ~ Mark Twain.

See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-fascism

As a jumping off point.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 16:12.
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 15:47 Ruffiana
 
headkase wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 11:22:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

"Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy."

Baa.

I don't think "corporatist" is necessiarly the same as "corporations" in the sense you implied. And if you're going to quote to support your claim, explain how this:

They advocate the creation of a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation and the creation of an ideal "new man" to form a governing elite through indoctrination, physical education, and family policy including eugenics.[4]

Hand any relation to the oil industry, big tobacco, pharmecueticals, etc.

I won't dispute that corporations have way too much influence in our current politcal environement, but labeling them as proponents of facism is innacurate and a bit hyperbolic.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 16:01.
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 15:32 headkase
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 15:10:
A good story?
Who cares.

You should. And if you don't: play Homefront, you'll need the practice.

To put it into context: At the end of World War II the United States emerged as a Super-Power. It did so not because of manifest destiny but rather because all of it's competitors had their entire infrastructures bombed completely into ruin. Europe had to rebuild from scratch. And while they were rebuilding the USA did not stop building so it was a game of catch-up. Now, the United States is no longer anything special: it has no unique capabilities when it comes to production or research against the rest of the world. The USA Empire *is* fast fading. China will overtake the United States in production and educated citizens right quickly now (in Nation time scales that is: 20 years). The economy of the United States which enjoyed this period of high prosperity by exporting everything to everybody else because everybody else's factories were holes-in-the-ground is over. Notice things say "made in China" now? This is invariably shifting the balance. I live in Canada. I just bought $99.98USD worth of goods on Steam this morning. I paid $99.05CDN. So, the Canadian dollar to the US dollar is about 1.02:1 - ballpark - that is terrible for the US! When I was a kid, 1 Canadian dollar was worth $0.64 US dollars. The US is neck-deep in trouble and has their head in the sand: still acting like a Super-Power when they categorically aren't anymore sans nuclear weapons.

So, what does this mean for Americans? Aside from the Greater Korean invasion part, Homefront should scare the shit out of them.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 15:29 Wowbagger_TIP
 
But dropping out of school, getting pregnant in high school with some random guy, doing drugs, etc will lead to poverty. While doing well in school, and working hard can lead to becoming wealthy.
Unless your family is wealthy already, in which case the consequences of bad judgement are usually much, much lighter. The poor have no room for bad judgement, and even one or two bad decisions can often destroy their lives.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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19. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 15:10 xXBatmanXx
 
A good story?
Who cares.
 
Avatar 10714
 
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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18. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 14:56 headkase
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 14:18:
This is central planning and what is brainwashed into everyone, but it's not often true. And anyway, 'being wealthy' isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's only a carrot used to keep the masses under control. It's not all that different in how games nowadays use weapon unlocks and leveling as a carrot-like system.

Freedom and human dignity is true wealth. Wealth under tyranny is slavery and suffering. We are all born wealthy. Human insanity is what takes our wealth away.


Ok, you're crazy, but your first paragraph is half-true.
There is lessened upward mobility now. And I relate it directly to those strict tax cuts. When someone is free to make $20MM in a year he'll do so. That comes at the expense of everyone else. Back in the "pick yourself up by your bootstrap" days people making that much more than the rest was far less common. Since money was still being made it needed to go somewhere. It went to a wider pool of employees. This allowed for more upward mobility.

Now the wealth goes to fewer people, making class changes far less common.

I think the second paragraph, Freedom and Dignity is True Wealth, is an ideal. But, let's just go on anyway: focusing on "That comes at the expense of everyone else." That is called a zero-sum game. Technology right now is making it increasingly possible to break out of that mold. Automation is the key: it is within sight that all human needs can be taken care of by machines in a self-sustainable and intervention-free manner. Utopia. Of course lots of people are going to try and twist away from that possibility but the potential is truly there. If we achieve Utopia then we are in a possible "Star Trek" economy where social status could be based on a meritocracy. You get respect, stature, and control of an area by being the best possible candidate at what you have decided to do. Turn subsistence over to the machines: then humans will have true Freedom to pursue higher goals. Or just cut each others throats like usual, as said, plenty of people will try to twist away from Utopia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-sum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meritocracy
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 14:36 headkase
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 14:16:
Reagan's tax cuts were done in favor or trickle down economics. The problem is we've had the exact opposite effect: rather than the tax cuts creating a cascade of wealth to the bottom it's instead created one from the middle to the top. Since those cuts the wealthy have become significantly wealthier.

This is called "Starving the Beast." It is a tactic to force smaller government at the expense, usually, of positive social programs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starve_the_beast
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 14:18 Beamer
 
This is central planning and what is brainwashed into everyone, but it's not often true. And anyway, 'being wealthy' isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's only a carrot used to keep the masses under control. It's not all that different in how games nowadays use weapon unlocks and leveling as a carrot-like system.

Freedom and human dignity is true wealth. Wealth under tyranny is slavery and suffering. We are all born wealthy. Human insanity is what takes our wealth away.


Ok, you're crazy, but your first paragraph is half-true.
There is lessened upward mobility now. And I relate it directly to those strict tax cuts. When someone is free to make $20MM in a year he'll do so. That comes at the expense of everyone else. Back in the "pick yourself up by your bootstrap" days people making that much more than the rest was far less common. Since money was still being made it needed to go somewhere. It went to a wider pool of employees. This allowed for more upward mobility.

Now the wealth goes to fewer people, making class changes far less common.
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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15. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 14:16 Beamer
 
Many times it is the fault of the poor that they have no net wealth at all.

For the poor, maybe. The game is stacked against them, but often they don't even try to play.

How about the middle class?



Reagan's tax cuts were done in favor or trickle down economics. The problem is we've had the exact opposite effect: rather than the tax cuts creating a cascade of wealth to the bottom it's instead created one from the middle to the top. Since those cuts the wealthy have become significantly wealthier.

This is an enormous problem. I'm not talking about fairness, I'm talking about spending: the middle class will spend less because they have less. The top 1%, maybe slightly less than that, makes economic decisions benefiting themselves, think outsourcing for one, at the expense of those under them. Which, again, leads to lessened spending.

I'd very happily increase my current taxes, as well as add more tax brackets that ramp up quickly, in order to stimulate the economy. Back in the 50s, 60s and 70s our top marginal tax rate was over 80%, many years over 90%. It's probably time to reconsider that.

The top 0.5% making less means the other 99.5% making more. And, for the record, I really am talking about raising taxes on income over $250k, then ramping up to severely taxing income over $750k or so.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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14. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 13:19 LittleMe
 
adamj wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 12:55:
The top 2% does not control 90% of the wealth. And even if it did, what do you propose we do about it? I hate the idea of government saying, you have too much wealth, let's take it and give it to others. That opens up a bag of potential massive corruption.

Good question. By returning the US government to legal operation under the Constitution, it would happen by itself because it is just a house of cards right now. It's all ready to topple. The corporate, educational and government elite are partnered, illegally.



adamj wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 12:55:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in_the_United_States#Wealth_Inequality_and_Class

"In 2004, the wealthiest 25% of US households owned 87% ($43.6 trillion) of the country’s wealth, while the bottom quartile held no net wealth at all."

Many times it is the fault of the poor that they have no net wealth at all. I'm not saying I won't personally help them by donating time and money ( I do), nor do I say that all of them are to blame for their situation. But dropping out of school, getting pregnant in high school with some random guy, doing drugs, etc will lead to poverty. While doing well in school, and working hard can lead to becoming wealthy. Duh. But who the hell are you or who the hell am I to say when somebody is too wealthy and that his wealth should be confiscated. As long as he earns it ethically, that is.

Are you are blaming the victim of tyranny for their suffering? I think so. In the past few years we are seeing regular people, not just drug addicts and the hopelessly destitute suffer. And anyway, most public school systems are very poorly designed after an antiquated 'one size fits all' paradigm. They are part of the fascist or tyrannical system of control that teaches obedience to the system.

While doing well in school, and working hard can lead to becoming wealthy.

This is central planning and what is brainwashed into everyone, but it's not often true. And anyway, 'being wealthy' isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's only a carrot used to keep the masses under control. It's not all that different in how games nowadays use weapon unlocks and leveling as a carrot-like system.

Freedom and human dignity is true wealth. Wealth under tyranny is slavery and suffering. We are all born wealthy. Human insanity is what takes our wealth away.

This comment was edited on Mar 18, 2011, 13:25.
 
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Political freedom can only be preceded by economic freedom which is preceded by monetary freedom.
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13. Re: Op Ed Mar 18, 2011, 13:08 headkase
 
adamj wrote on Mar 18, 2011, 12:55:
The top 2% does not control 90% of the wealth. And even if it did, what do you propose we do about it? I hate the idea of government saying, you have too much wealth, let's take it and give it to others. That opens up a bag of potential massive corruption.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in_the_United_States#Wealth_Inequality_and_Class

"In 2004, the wealthiest 25% of US households owned 87% ($43.6 trillion) of the country’s wealth, while the bottom quartile held no net wealth at all."

Many times it is the fault of the poor that they have no net wealth at all. I'm not saying I won't personally help them by donating time and money ( I do), nor do I say that all of them are to blame for their situation. But dropping out of school, getting pregnant in high school with some random guy, doing drugs, etc will lead to poverty. While doing well in school, and working hard can lead to becoming wealthy. Duh. But who the hell are you or who the hell am I to say when somebody is too wealthy and that his wealth should be confiscated. As long as he earns it ethically, that is.

I never said take their money away. I said that relatively few people are really in control. "They" use propaganda and bread and circuses to mask that. I'm not saying it is a conspiracy, I'm saying that people are acting in their own selfish interests to the detriment of wider democratic principles.

Remember Glenn Beck saying "Don't use google because it's full of lies" (paraphrased)? Well, beware those who would deny you your own judgement, because in their heart they dream themselves your master.
 
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