wood burning stoves 2.0*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes What are the most important issues facing the US today? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Soft Skills this week in the Jobs Discussion forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "What are the most important issues facing the US today?" Watch "What are the most important issues facing the US today?" New topic
Author

What are the most important issues facing the US today?

R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
The subject copied from here.
Even anti-american( ) is intrested, what are the most important issues facing the US today ?
Why am I intrested?
As an outsider I would like to know what could be the issues of "super power" in the election.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
The entitlement programs. Social Security and Medicare. Without real reform these programs are not maintainable at current levels. The problem with changing them is that seniors are one of the biggest voting blocks.
The other issue is that any proposed change becomes a political issue whether it is good for the long term or not. It is used to scare seniors to obtain votes and power.
You could look at states biggest problem and it would be retirement funds for state employees. Many states have severly underfunded these programs to pay for todays goodies. The SS an Medicare issues are the same. The solution is always to raise taxes or raise the requirement age. Nether option solves the problem.
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
America is done, finito. It was superpower 50 years ago. Today it is just bunch of people living on speculation and producing nothing.
Paul Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
America is done, finito. It was superpower 50 years ago. Today it is just bunch of people living on speculation and producing nothing.

:roll:
Dan Chisholm
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 1865
The most important issue is the economy and the deficit. If the country is bankrupt, then national defense can not be supported. The economy is always the fundamental issue.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
The most important issue is national defense. Nothing kills an economy quicker than a large terrorist attack successfully targetting our fianancial infrastructure. Further, there is little need to deficit spend when people aren't trying to kill you. We've had a deficit more often than not in the past 40 years, and maybe about two years where we didn't. The economy as a whole is doing pretty good, so imho it's not as much of an issue.
John Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
The most important issue is syphilis, as identified by the President in the state of the union speech. If the noses of half of the population fall off as a result of the desease, who would care about the economy or defense?
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Homeland security is the biggest B.S. non-issue of all time. Its entire value is propagandistic.
Entitlement programs are what they are. The people who paid into those systems for their entire working life now want their returns. It's hardly a case of senior voting block wishing itself the national treasury -- they've paid into the system, and now the survivors want their due. It was demonstrated well enough in the 90's that entitlement programs don't create deficits, and the fallacy of monies derived from a linearly increasing population can be replaced with a strong economy. It's being demonstrated equally well in the current decade that putting the entire country on defcon alert solves nothing, as there is no evidence of rampant domestic terrorism to speak of.
Our number one concern is effective free trade strategy with the rest of the world. Fact one: free trade stops wars.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Joe Pluta
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
America is done, finito. It was superpower 50 years ago. Today it is just bunch of people living on speculation and producing nothing.
[chuckling]
I'm not dead, folks (this of course assumes that anyone cares ). I'm taking time to figure out whether it's worth the time to chime in with my opinion. Reading statements like this one, I'm not hopeful.
I'm still reading the posts. There are interesting views, and some bizarre ones (for example, Medicare came into being in the 60s, not during this administration). Wonderful, thoughtful statements mixed in with some pretty lame rhetoric. It's fun to watch.
And there's also the notion that the editing here might be somewhat slanted. I tend to agree. It's not heavily weighted, or obnoxiously so, but the bias is there.
Oh well, I'll continue to watch. And in the meantime, the forum looks to be in great hands, especially from my side of the fence.
Joe
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Obesity?
http://www.dailyworld.com/html/5A81F934-276C-4207-AA7A-DEB25F7206DF.shtml
According to some alarming studies, if the US population continues to gain weight at the current rate, by 2008 the southern half of the North American continent will sink so far that it will be forever severed from South America (by snapping Mexico in two) and catapult all of Canada towards the sun.
Solution 1: Federally enforced Atkins diets and Calanetics.
Solution 2: "Fatten up Canada" campaign, thereby bringing (literal) balance to the continent.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5

Homeland security is the biggest B.S. non-issue of all time. Its entire value is propagandistic.

It is that and much more. It's also a technique the administration uses to try to keep our eyes off of the real issues. It's meant to be a distraction, and amazingly enough it seems to be working!

Now, so as not to come off as a knee-jerk democrat, I will say that litigation limits on malpractice seems like an idea whose time is way overdue!
1 - The economy sucks.
2 - Health care is screwed up.
3 - We have to stop being the world leaders in raping the planet.
4 - We have to start playing well with our fellow earthlings.
5 - Our education system needs serious help.
6 - Our penal system is draconian.
[insert issues 7-812]
terrorism is issue #813
....
(Man, am I in trouble now :roll: )


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
I'll agree that, for example, stara szkapa's statement does not appear to serve any purpose other than to annoy others here, and does not fit with "be nice". Also offtopic, but we're used to that. I'd delete it, except of course by the time I first saw it it was already quoted twice. Would it be preferable to delete all that entirely, or will it be sufficient to say "bad stara" and move on? Stara, if you can't post without being insulting, please don't post.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Homeland security is the biggest B.S. non-issue of all time. Its entire value is propagandistic.

I'm sure the widows, widowers, and the parents and children of a few thousand of our countrymen might disagree.
But be that as it may, I don't think anyone in this thread has named "homeland security" as being the number one issue, although a couple of posters have stated their opinion that it's not all that important. I only raise this because I don't know if it was simply a statement that homeland security is "the biggest B.S. non-issue of all time", or if it was in response to my post.
[ February 05, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

If that post rises to the level of baiting, no one here seemed to notice. I'd say a warning is sufficient. It doesn't come close to anything I've deleted in the last two days, though -- maybe I'm getting desensitized.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
Today it is just bunch of people living on speculation and producing nothing.
It was an American that produced JavaRanch. Got a problem with that? If you do I'll meet you at sundown at the OK Corral!


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
It is that and much more. It's also a technique the administration uses to try to keep our eyes off of the real issues.
How many Americans would need to die in terrorist incidents before you considered it an issue?
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
(for example, Medicare came into being in the 60s, not during this administration)

Yes, but this administration expanded it to unbelievable levels! And thats what people (including myself) are complaining about.
I'm not against the basic idea of Medicare but I find it unbelievable that the government is simply going to dole out prescription drug benefits to everyone above a certain age. El Rushbo has warned us that in the not too distant future either the Republicans or Democrats are going to start cyring out for these benefits to be extended to people below the age of 65.. and I have a feeling he is right. Its a spiraling path - downwards!


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Tackling terrorism is definitely an issue but not necessarily the number one issue. If the US government wants to save the maximum amount of American lives, they should pump all that recently aquired money for security and war into car safety and cancer research.
What about global warming? Some think that't a bigger threat to "life as we know it" than terrorism ever was or is:
http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/9882
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
Ok, let me modify / clarify my earlier post:
Terrorism is certainly a big problem. However I think it is more of a symptom than an issue. The "homeland security" agency is hogwash, and a "war on terrorism" is counterproductive at best. (I guess it's kind of like the "war on drugs", it's a bad idea to declare war on behaviors, it's kind of like squeezing sand with your hands, and thinking that you'll get a better grip if you squeeze harder.)
Understanding the roots of terrorism, on the other hand, would be a civilized step towards understanding what terrorism is really a symptom of.
So, do we really know why 9/11 happened?
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Understanding the roots of terrorism, on the other hand, would be a civilized step towards understanding what terrorism is really a symptom of.
So, do we really know why 9/11 happened?

We understand the roots of terrorism and we know why 9/11 happened. These guys don't hide their motivations, and are in fact prone to publish what their motivations are. I know it's popular in some circles to assume that the root causes have to do with some failing in our society, but that's just not the case.
If you're interested in the motivations of terrorism in general, I can recommend Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind. It's not the easiest read in the world, reading like a psych book in many places, but it certainly is informative and lends very valuable insights. For something more along the lines of coffee table reading, Peter Bergen's Holy War, Inc.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden is generally considered the definitive text on Bin Laden.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
I'm sure the widows, widowers, and the parents and children of a few thousand of our countrymen might disagree.

Creating a massive bureaucracy after the fact revives no dead, eases no suffering, and so far as I can tell does as much to heighten the worry as suggesting the public at large build their own bomb shelters.
JM: But be that as it may, I don't think anyone in this thread has named "homeland security" as being the number one issue, although a couple of posters have stated their opinion that it's not all that important. I only raise this because I don't know if it was simply a statement that homeland security is "the biggest B.S. non-issue of all time", or if it was in response to my post.
ME: It wasn't; I didn't read what you wrote.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15300
    
    6

1 - The economy sucks.
Interesting. I work for a bank and we had record profits last year (according to the all employee meeting we had the other day). It was, of course, in the millions. The bank is local to Wichita, KS and has branches in KS and Oklahoma, so it's not even that large. We aren't publically traded.
If the bank profited in the millions, I would assume that meant people are spending and making money. Enough so to put in the bank for us to invest.
I don't think the economy is in as bad a shape as some might think...


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
It's fun to watch.

Its always fun to watch.
Would you like to be gladiator or to watch galdiator ??
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
1. The budget deficit has got to be something that the US govt look at sometime soon.... there's only so much money that can be borrowed before a crash becomes likely
2. Pollution. OK, not such a trendy (or likely to be discussed issue), but in the long term is every bit as important as homeland security
3. Improving international relations. Probably the hardest one of the lot, but could definatly help in the war on terrorism if more countries are likely to want to help out.
4. Resolve the (silly?) trade disputes with the EU and Japan. This would give a large boost to all three economies.
5. Get Mr Bush a dictionary
Just my tuppence.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
1 - The economy sucks.
Interesting. I work for a bank and we had record profits last year (according to the all employee meeting we had the other day).

Yes, all those interest payments on people overdrafting their creditcards and bankaccounts because they're not getting paid their salaries must bring in a lot of money...

If the bank profited in the millions, I would assume that meant people are spending and making money. Enough so to put in the bank for us to invest.

See above.
The only people making real money last year were those living off the dead carcasses of bankrupt companies.

I don't think the economy is in as bad a shape as some might think...

It's starting to rebound, but not there yet.


42
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
1. The budget deficit has got to be something that the US govt look at sometime soon.... there's only so much money that can be borrowed before a crash becomes likely

Sometimes you need to invest in the future... But I agree that BIG government should be made more lean.
As long as the IRS needs 30% of the US tax income to run itself and every secretary to a congressman has a staff of 10+ people there's room for getting rid of people.

2. Pollution. OK, not such a trendy (or likely to be discussed issue), but in the long term is every bit as important as homeland security

Problem is that all the international stuff like Kyoto is designed specifically to harm the US and EU economies without providing any benefit at all. In the end the EU economies will be severely restricted by bogus limits and unable to meet even those because they can no longer sustain the highly expensive "renewable" energy sources.
The US has chosen a wise path to go their own way in solving environmental issues.

3. Improving international relations. Probably the hardest one of the lot, but could definatly help in the war on terrorism if more countries are likely to want to help out.

The only way to apeace people like OBL is the collective suicide of everyone who holds a different belief system.
The only way to get many countries to agree to help in fighting terrorism is to give massive support to those countries (which conflicts with your point #1) because those countries haven't (yet) been hit by the terrorists directly and might even turn a blind eye to their operations in exchange for "protection".

4. Resolve the (silly?) trade disputes with the EU and Japan. This would give a large boost to all three economies.

The trade disputes with the EU have been going on for decades and are mostly due to EU trade subsidies which are against international treaties.
Trade disputes with Japan have more to do with the US not wanting more of their companies to be bought out by Japanese firms and dismantled.
In either case giving in would harm the US economy, not strengthen it.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
The most important issues are ownership of SUV's and urban sprawl, as identified by Greens and Al Gore.
We need a complete set of sumptary laws to regulate what people can and cannot buy. Most importantly we need laws to ensure that only the deserving get to drive SUV's and live in the country in large houses. Environmental groups and *other* deserving could be given vouchers which could be auctioned or distributed in some other way.
Gas rationing would be a positive step as well.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Obesity?
According to some alarming studies, if the US population continues to gain weight at the current rate, by 2008 the southern half of the North American continent will sink so far that it will be forever severed from South America (by snapping Mexico in two) and catapult all of Canada towards the sun.
Solution 1: Federally enforced Atkins diets and Calanetics.
Solution 2: "Fatten up Canada" campaign, thereby bringing (literal) balance to the continent.


Solution 3: Annex Canada and encourage overweight americans to move north of the border. This could be done democratically by taking a plebiscite of the citizens of the two countries using Al Gore rules (Overall Majority rules no matter *what* you're steeenking Constitution says)!......
Give free land in ex-Canada to overweight americans and subsidize their mortgage costs. The larger the american and/or the further north they move the lower the interest rate. Accelerate global warming to relieve the worst climatic effects. Limit SUV ownership to people living in Northern Canada.
Solution 4: Undertake project to strengthen Panama so that South Amaerica doesn't snap off at the Canal.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
The SS an Medicare issues are the same. The solution is always to raise taxes or raise the requirement age.

Raising the retirement age would probably do it, Paul. The problem is that people are living longer but the retirement age is not going up. I think Medicare should be restructured to allow subsidies to the cost of employer-provided healthcare for older working americans to offset the increased cost and make the older workers cost-competitive with younger workers.
It would make sense to allow people to draw a larger SS pension if they work later and delay retirement (all on a sound actuarial basis, naturally).
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:

The trade disputes with the EU have been going on for decades and are mostly due to EU trade subsidies which are against international treaties.

I disagree
Mark Fletcher
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

--------------------
The enemy's gate is down.

-OFF TOPIC-
Sorry if Im being off topic, but is that quote a reference to "Enders Game"? I just finished reading that book. It was rather good... I wouldnt mind reading the other books in the series, but I dont know if they would be as good.
-OFF TOPIC-


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
mark, I suggest you look for the 'Shadow' series, including 'Ender's Shadow', 'Shadow of the Hegemon', and 'Shadow Puppets'. They follow the story of Bean and Peter's older brother Peter and develop Petra also.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
-OFF TOPIC-
Sorry if Im being off topic, but is that quote a reference to "Enders Game"? I just finished reading that book. It was rather good... I wouldnt mind reading the other books in the series, but I dont know if they would be as good.
-OFF TOPIC-

Yeah, that's a reference to "Ender's Game". I kinda liked the implied meaning of that quote (in the context of the book) which I took to mean something like "think outside the box". The second book is "Speaker for the Dead", which I've just finally gotten around to start reading. It's pretty good so far, and was actually the book OSC planned on writing first before he decided to make Ender the main character of "Speaker" and expand his short story "Ender's Game" into a novel.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Understanding the roots of terrorism, on the other hand, would be a civilized step towards understanding what terrorism is really a symptom of.
So, do we really know why 9/11 happened?

Yes, we do Know. It is because a certain group of people believe that America is the great Satan because we allow our women to walk the streets without being covered from head to foot. Look at how Afghanistan was ruled before we invaded. That is how these people think the world should be ruled. America being the wealthiest of the western nations was their big target but Australians in Bali were an OK target in their eyes as well. This is a war between a small sect of moslems and the western world. "Understanding" them is useful only in helping us to figure out their next move so we can destroy them.
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
This is a war between a small sect of moslems and the western world.

thanks God, its not claimed to be a war between muslims and christians.
[ February 06, 2004: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by R K Singh:
thanks God, its not claimed to be a war between muslims and christians.
Of course not! Every Moslem I have met wants to live peacefully and appreciates the freedoms of the West. The terrorists are a sick cult that needs to be destroyed.
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The terrorists are a sick cult that needs to be destroyed.

Yes .. but will this be issue this time in election ..
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
Originally posted by R K Singh:

thanks God, its not claimed to be a war between muslims and christians.
[ February 06, 2004: Message edited by: R K Singh ]

No, it's claimed to be a war between a large portion of muslims and christians, jews, hindus, mormons, atheists, pantheists, deists, wiccans, etc ad nauseum. Considering that a majority of the Middle East muslim population support the position of righteous genocide and jihad, I find it hard to believe it when people say it is the work of a "small sect" of muslims. Listen to what the leaders of Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Indonesia are saying! It is not the calm voice of reasoned logic - it is the voice that speaks to the baser instincts of the masses that calls for the blood of any non-believer. People insist that the first question we must ask ourselves is, "why do they hate us?" The answer to that is relatively simple: because we are not muslims. Anybody with a third-grade education and above can see that. The question should be, "how can we change this?" To me, the answer to that would be to remove those in power who incite the masses to violence - it seems that the imams and muftis of the ME hold the majority of the power over their people - stop their rhetoric and perhaps, in a few decades, things will have calmed down over there.
It also aggravates me to no end when it is said that homeland security is BS. The funny thing is, you'll never know the value of homeland security unless it fails. How many times has a disaster been foiled? How many bombers have we discouraged? How many 9-11s have we prevented? It is impossible to tell. In this case, it is much like trying to collect deterrence statistics for a gun control study. You only get statistics for when things go wrong - and usually never when things go right. How can you measure success? In cases of deterrence and security, the only available measure by an absence of failure - but the law of averages states it's only a matter of time. So it's a bit of a catch-22, really. No matter how good homeland security is, no one knows if it's successful, but everybody knows if it fails. I say we should all be thankful that there has been no imported violence in the last 2 years. <knocks on wood>
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Phil Chuang:

It also aggravates me to no end when it is said that homeland security is BS. The funny thing is, you'll never know the value of homeland security unless it fails. How many times has a disaster been foiled? How many bombers have we discouraged? How many 9-11s have we prevented? It is impossible to tell.

That's simply not true. We've had news items before of potential attacks foiled at the border (near Washington State, prior to Y2K festivities), the dirty bomb scare in NYC, the "shoe bomb" business, etc.
The chilling effect of a homeland security program is something you cannot quantify, I'd agree. But if it's a government program, funded by public money, we have a right to understand the effectiveness of how our money is spent. And we certainly can conclude the program has no tangible value if the agency can produce no concrete results of its work.
PC: In this case, it is much like trying to collect deterrence statistics for a gun control study. You only get statistics for when things go wrong - and usually never when things go right. How can you measure success? In cases of deterrence and security, the only available measure by an absence of failure - but the law of averages states it's only a matter of time. So it's a bit of a catch-22, really.
ME: Here's an analogy. We consider a test for program bugs ineffective until we find one. Discovery of failure is in fact the measure of success. We simply start with the premise that nothing is perfect. Success is measured by the ability to detect and manage the weaknesses of your own system.
So it's important, as I see it, to know when lax security is discovered at an airport. It's a demonstration that we are testing our own security measures and looking for ways to improve it. Fine, good. So, are we catching as many would-be terrorist plots now as we did before we had a homeland security office? If we were catching none at all, it's pretty clear that the program is a waste of money. If the number of foiled plots is the same or less than it has been, why do we need this homeland security office? If it's more, why do we hear nothing about them?
PC: No matter how good homeland security is, no one knows if it's successful, but everybody knows if it fails. I say we should all be thankful that there has been no imported violence in the last 2 years.
ME: That's one way of looking at it. Another is to ask, is there any imported violence to worry about? You see any? I don't. One explanation could very well be that it isn't there. Another could be yes it is, but it's handled the way it always has been, by federal agencies chartered to do that work. Still another could be yes it is, but now we have this big honking Homeland Security agency spending orders of magnitude more money on the same problems we've always faced, and they tell us even less about what they're doing than existing agencies ever did.
If we're agreed that no amount of money and resources can perfectly secure the country, then why not also agree that we need some evidence of effectiveness to know if our time and money is well spent?
[ February 06, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Phil Chuang:

No, it's claimed to be a war between a large portion of muslims and christians, jews, hindus, mormons, atheists, pantheists, deists, wiccans, etc ad nauseum. Considering that a majority of the Middle East muslim population support the position of righteous genocide and jihad, I find it hard to believe it when people say it is the work of a "small sect" of muslims. Listen to what the leaders of Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Indonesia are saying! It is not the calm voice of reasoned logic - it is the voice that speaks to the baser instincts of the masses that calls for the blood of any non-believer. People insist that the first question we must ask ourselves is, "why do they hate us?" The answer to that is relatively simple: because we are not muslims. Anybody with a third-grade education and above can see that. The question should be, "how can we change this?" To me, the answer to that would be to remove those in power who incite the masses to violence - it seems that the imams and muftis of the ME hold the majority of the power over their people - stop their rhetoric and perhaps, in a few decades, things will have calmed down over there.
It also aggravates me to no end when it is said that homeland security is BS. The funny thing is, you'll never know the value of homeland security unless it fails. How many times has a disaster been foiled? How many bombers have we discouraged? How many 9-11s have we prevented? It is impossible to tell. In this case, it is much like trying to collect deterrence statistics for a gun control study. You only get statistics for when things go wrong - and usually never when things go right. How can you measure success? In cases of deterrence and security, the only available measure by an absence of failure - but the law of averages states it's only a matter of time. So it's a bit of a catch-22, really. No matter how good homeland security is, no one knows if it's successful, but everybody knows if it fails. I say we should all be thankful that there has been no imported violence in the last 2 years. <knocks on wood>

If there ever is another 9-11, the middle east WILL change; the US has been very lenient towards other countries. However, when push comes to shovel... you don't want the US to be angry; almost every war that the US has lost was due to "public opinion".
"Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Indonesia" are lucky... Another 9-11 and there way of thinking will be out the window...
In retrospect, 9-11 was the biggest blunder for Islamist terrorists. Everyday, in Iraq and Afganistan, there's an American soldiers boot up some terrorist *ss; obviously, there have been soldiers killed, but when the US wants to get somethings done, things happen... I dont' think most ME people could have pictured that a few years ago -- the "americans?? they're weak.. look at somalia".... look @ the americans now.... 9-11, 3000 people dead, a boot up your *ss; 6000, dead, there will be hell to pay....

-Eleison
ps. sorry for being a bit off topic... However, I feel that the ME is getting better. Ignorance is slowly evaporating away.... it probably will not be an important issue for americans because they feel realitively safe - IMHO, most people think that the goverment is doing a good job of protecting them...
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: What are the most important issues facing the US today?