greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

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For those of you who live in other countries, how do you feel toward the United States?

Since I don't travel much from my home near Los Angeles, I often wonder how others feel toward America and Americans.

  • Jan 28 2013: Americans and America are severely neurotic.

    American'ts worship lies more than anything else. They find the truth revolting and deny it vigorously,
    even attacking those who call them on it.
    They are blood-letters, craving for the shedding of other people's blood.
    They elect those who will do this for them.
    America is now made up of Manchurian Candidates and Manchurian Citizens.
    Most of America is seriously mentally ill. Some are borderline insane if not outright insane.
    They cannot see their own insanity because most everyone around them is insane too.

    Their politics are a joke, except for how dangerous it is to them and the world at large.
    They are red and blue states, at odds with one another, think that is "normal", think sex is abnormally immoral and suffer from a form of National Bi-polarism, a very serious disorder.

    Most who have bi-polar disorder are:
    1. misdiagnosed - they tell themselves they are fine and so does their media
    2. mismedicated - they are on all kinds of anti-this drugs and anti-that country, anti-that religion or beliefs, and anxiety medications are the number one seller there as well as the daily dose they get from their medical -media, and...
    3. most commit suicide - as it can clearly be seen that this is what they are doing to themselves.

    They no longer know the difference between right and wrong (the legal definition of insanity), and believe "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" is the definition, when that is the definition of "practice".
    It can be however, a description of insane behavior and is, as is demonstrated by their love for voting, a practice that hasn't worked for decades.

    The most important political things in their country, they no longer get to vote on and haven't for decades.
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      Jan 28 2013: Thanks. Random, do you see countries in the world that are doing better, that you wouldn't feel so critical of? Who are they, and why are they better?

      What is it about America that would create some of the conditions you describe?

      How is it that voting doesn't work? Do you vote in your country? Do you scorn it there as well?

      One thing I like about America is the multiculturalism. You walk down a street, you see black, white, old, young, Asian, healthy, handicapped. Is it like that where you live? Would you see that as a strength, or does it not matter?
      • Jan 30 2013: Hi Greg.
        Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back.
        There are other countries who do some things better than the U.S. but what concerns me most is the Imperialism of America and how easily Americans simply dismiss the horrible things they have done and are doiing, with comments like, "we have done a lot of good in the world", "we are the freest country, with the best standard of living" and so on. And they use this kind of denial to continue invading other countries, stealing their resources, impoverishing the people of other countries, destroying burgeoning democracies, spying on their own citizens, using the military to do this (which is outlawed by Federal law and both Bush Jr and B.Clinton admitted this), and along this way they are destroying the Constitution, removing the liberties of the citizens and lying to them about almost everything. They are being, and have been, heavily brainwashed, so they are now a mentally ill country as far as the population goes.
        Al Gore won and georgie bush went into the W.H. But not only that, no politician has solved, is solving or will solve, the problems that Americans as a country now face. They have their money stolen, they are lied, to while funds appropriated for various projects are fleeced of funds that only go into the pocket of the rich - those in power. It certainly isn't in the pockets of regular people, so where did it go? Just disappear? No.

        The Pentagon cannot account for 2.3 trillion in funds!!!!! And no one talks about, investigates it, researches it and gets answers from a government that is doing all they can and more, to do everything in complete secrecy. And why would anyone trust such a government or such individuals? People who do worship lies.

        Multiculturalism is in every country in the world today, so your point about really doesn't mean much. It's everywhere. It's good for people, but not when it is in the form of a insidious, hidden form of invasion, a la, the U.S
        Does politics solve problems? No
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          Jan 31 2013: Huh. Personally I try to do all good things, in other words, I don't do one good thing and one bad thing and say "Well the good thing justifies the bad thing." I expect my country to do the same, and I've never really heard any American justify any bad thing America does by saying "We do good things too." But of course I haven't talked to every American. Perhaps I'm naive, I don't think of America as invading other countries, I actually think of America as only responding when attacked, or threatened. For example, on the invasion of Iraq I believe our leaders genuinely believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that would threaten not only us but world stability. Of course maybe they were duplicitous but I've not seen the evidence, have you? So maybe you need to tell me what invasion you mean?

          As far as funds being fleeced for various projects, I would say that funds appropriated for projects generally go toward completing the project. For example, highway funds build highways, sales tax funds food stamp programs ( think 50% of American households now collect some sort of welfare), etc. If rich businesspeople make more money, it is because they are the leaders on projects and work harder than the people below them. Of course there are corrupt exceptions, but if everyone were corrupt, America would not have the kind of standard of living they do. Even people on welfare here live pretty comfortably.

          However, these are my impressions. If you can provide specific examples, do so. I find it hard to believe the Pentagon cannot account for 2.3 trillion. Can you give more proof that this is so.
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    Jan 28 2013: Dan Clarke - London -UK
    America has done allot to progress science, culture and politics in the last century. I think allot of people are very quick to judge America and maybe won't realize how well they played their role till after their current stint as world leaders is over. I hope that their legacy of democracy, egalitarianism and freedom of speach lives on in the next phase of global society.
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      Jan 31 2013: Thanks, Dan. Why do you think one country becomes a leader? Is it natural resources, or...........? Could it be something in the people, because one would think people are pretty similar the world over?
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    Feb 1 2013: It's just where society still is at the moment. I think the human specemin is similar the world over, but I think people are different, in as much as cultures really do make people look at things different. Every empire has it's positive and neative impacts. The brittish empire created industry but also industrialized slavery, the americans created many aspects of the modern world but also created (the now failing) capitalist model. Hopefully in the future, there won't be just one dominent empire. Hopefully we can build a global society with true international dialogue rather than the half-baked fear driven thing that we have now. I think the Ted ideoligis are deffinitely the progressive ones that could lead us all in to a more possitive, more global future. The question is, when will society be ready to transition. It means every society in the world coming to terms with and admitting their ills. - In my opinion, you can only lead by example as forced ideoligies are inherently corrupt. DC
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    Jan 29 2013: The victory of bringing back peace to people all over the world since only few countries have the power to do so.Yes, I am referring to the defeat of Japan and Germany.You know, my grandma would always say that without the service of the USA people in the Far East during WW2, we would still be in our 'dark ages'.

    The world has changed, very much indeed.Going back 50 years ago, I doubt a person like me could have a conversation with a person like you.Thank God for technology.But USA still has the power to bring peace to people all over the world.

    The Palestine-Israel issue should be a start I suppose.
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        Jan 30 2013: Kate,

        My hometown is a place named Butterworth in Penang. If you were to google the name of that place, it was once the RAAF base stationed in Malaya.Australians also played a major role during the war (and much more, The Malayan Emergency to name a few) and for that Malaysians are forever thankful for.We see Australia as a 'big brother' to us since we share a long history way back to the colonial days.How could we ever forget that.The memorial still stands at the island's esplanade .From what I see, cooperation was far more important than competition in those days.That I think is something worth taking note.
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      Jan 31 2013: Boy, Muhammad, I think you may be overestimating the U.S. One country out of 150. We cannot bring peace to the world by ourselves. I'm sorry, what country do you live in? What efforts is your country making for peace?
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    Jan 28 2013: I know this may sound a little harsh but it is me being honest (so sorry!).From a Malaysian point of view, USA (am not using the term America since it's a continent,not a country) seems to be a country that feels as if they are the best nation in this world,and hence would think that they are always right in every decision that they make.

    I know this can be a little hard to digest, but Malaysians see the United States as a country with enormous power yet failed to use them properly.They don't 'walk the talk' one might say.

    Need me to elaborate more? Sorry if I am being too honest here.
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      Jan 28 2013: Muhammad, if Americans think they're #1, where do you think other countries place themselves? For example, do Malaysians think of their country as #2, or #20, or #50, or where? Or do they not bother ranking themselves?

      How has America failed to use its power properly?
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        Jan 29 2013: There shouldn't be rankings.Every country has its pros and cons just like the humans that administer them.

        The USA used to be the hero.East Asians are forever indebted to your country's service during WW2. They can repeat the same victory they once had in other parts of the world.However to our surprise, nothing happened.
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          Jan 29 2013: Thank you, Muhammad. What do you mean, they can repeat the same victory they once had in other parts of the world, to your surprise nothing happened. I would think the world has changed since WWII. Is the victory you're referring to defeating Japan and Germany?

          Reply at the top if you like.
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    Jan 27 2013: G’day Greg

    The first things that comes into mind is greed & power mongering but that of course doesn’t apply to every citizen in the US only a few who really don’t care about anything else but themselves & of course we have them out in Australia as well.

    I think the US seems a little like war mongers which is usually connected to dominance, power & money but in saying this if it wasn’t for the US countries like Australia would be in a lot of trouble which would be equal to what happened in WWII.

    In all the US is a necessity to countries like Australia as we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the US being what it is.

    Love
    Mathew
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      Jan 28 2013: Thank you, Mathew. If a country is dominant, why do you think it becomes so?
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    Feb 1 2013: As a 100% (9th-5th Generation) pure American mutt, my feelings towards any country are divided between those towards the leaders of the country and often totally different feelings towards the people of a country. And I believe most people of the world (but not all) also separate the two.

    So when I hear someone say America is currently out to take the freedoms and rights, I trust that they are speaking of the American leaders. And in a recent poll shown that 53% agrees with them and also believe the US is taking the rights away.

    Take Iran for example, I view its government as trouble makers, but its people as good people I would like to know better.
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      Feb 2 2013: Yeah, I don't buy that, Don. Whatever a country does, I hold all its citizens responsible, because if the leaders were bad and didn't reflect the will of the people, the people could kick them out, the people would find a way, where there is a will there is a way.
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        Feb 4 2013: I don’t think it is right to judge a whole group by the actions of individual, nor individual by the actions of the group. Such thinking is the foundation of racism and bigotry.

        But more to the point, although you can say that the citizens lack courage for not kicking murderous leaders, you should not say that the citizens are also murderous. Plus how can citizens be responsible when one party controls the media, the school and the second party in order to give the illusion of a way to kick them out. If your leaders, media, schools tell you the same lie, how would is a citizen to know that it is a lie?

        Considering the US is ranked 47 in freedom of the press, how confident can we be that the US really has two genuine parties.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index
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          Feb 7 2013: Yeah, but media is not the only way people get information. They also get it by word of mouth, which can be more powerful. Or, I would say, by things they witness firsthand, and even by intuition.

          Reply at the top if you like.
  • Jan 28 2013: Lately I think of America as an experiment in progress. It's interesting Greg that you are reaching out and asking for a perspective from outside your country because I think our own view can be biased and another vantage point might be enlightening. Or not.
    I remember first real human contact with americans was a draught dodger that became friends with my older brother. Later I played music with a young man avoiding the draught and he broke down crying because of the shame he felt about his decision to leave the US. They were both good people. I think of Paul Simon's song 'American Tune', patriotic like an anthem. That's America; big on anthems and flags, so sure that their experiment is working. It's like God said "Let's do an experiment where everything is based on freedom and we'll make it mandatory that everyone must have a gun and we'll write that into their constitution". Paul Simon says "I can't help but wonder, what's gone wrong". I lived in Texas for a year and had some good friends there. But I remember a time when I was threatened by a man with a gun as he revealed that he thought I was a yankee. If I had known my own Canadian history I could have enlightened him to the fact that the yankee Americans said "You're either with us or agin us" to fight the south(George Bush said the same thing later). Instead we aligned with new Canadian provinces to form a larger Canada and a larger threat to the yankees. Hence we were actually helping the south. But I love the south, and Paul Simon and the american culture is part of my life. I met a war vet in a bar in Grants N.M. He had one plastic arm and we discussed the war; whether it was right or wrong and I left him telling him that I respected him and his sacrifice. So many wars are creating so many victims inside and outside america. When an army wins a war they want to fight another and when an army loses a war they want to fight again. Fewer victims-more forgiveness.
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      Feb 9 2013: Greg, is America more of an experiment in progress than other countries, or is every country an experiment in progress? Why would America be more so?
      • Feb 9 2013: When we live in a democracy we want to believe that it is the right way to live. All countries are experiments in progress I believe. We have seen many versions of civilizations through history. In my opinion to worship a gun and make it part of your religion has taken America down a path of ignorance and it's leading it to a demise. I have watched people state that they are correct because of the fact they have a gun. The theory is; it's in the constitution so it must be right. I think America's military exploits are a manifestation of it's 2nd amendment. It's like when Jesus said, "You're either with me or agin me".
  • Jan 28 2013: As an American I always enjoyed traveling. I always found everyone friendly if I tried to speak their language. i don't know what I could do in a country like England as I have a Texas kind of accent. I think the President makes a difference as to how we are perceived. Carter, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy, and Obama won Noble peace prizes. Bishop Tutu believes W. Bush should stand before the bar at the World Court. Whether that is fair or not I can't guess, but that is probably realistic in evaluating what others think. You don't have to really vote that way to wear the buttons which could suggest a new business. Also, There Is Always a Reckoning . Okay, I like President Carter's poetry too, or wear a JR T-shirt. Of course, a little humility goes far in making friends.
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      Jan 28 2013: Oh, Kate, I think people will engage quite honestly on this! Americans themselves love to criticize America and other Americans and hold to their own stereotypes. Criticism of America is an American tradition!

      What interests me is how people form their views about other countries and their people or even their own country and its people.

      For example, I wouldn't feel that the media through which I get information about other countries would give me a reliable picture at all about how open-minded the people are.
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        Jan 28 2013: Fritz, why wouldn't the media give you a reliable picture about how open-minded the people are in other countries? After all, doesn't the media have reporters on the ground in other countries who file their stories from those countries and really do interact with the people in those countries.

        Is America more self-critical than other countries? Why might that be?
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          Jan 28 2013: Do you, Greg, feel like you know how open-minded people in Germany are or in England or Japan or Nigeria? How confident are you in your impression? Do you feel like you have a rich picture of the variety of views about a variety of issues in each of these places?

          Maybe you do feel well informed in this respect. I don't feel confident at all that the information I have about other countries is more than superficial. And I am often impressed with how homogeneous in views and disposition people believe Americans are.

          The United States protects dissent via the Bill of Rights. Further, there is a long tradition of distrusting and criticizing authority and "the establishment", including government.

          My statement made no comparison between the United States and any other country in the disposition to self-criticize or dissent. My claim was only that in the US complaining about/criticizing modern culture, government, education, and so forth is ubiquitous and has been for my whole life, at least. Those who do not criticize the country, its people, and its institutions would be the nonconformists in the US, don't you think?
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      Jan 28 2013: Kate, I really didn't mean for it to be loaded. Probably I was mostly thinking that I occasionally hear that certain groups or tribes really hate America, and wondered why that might be? Maybe they're justified in their hate, or maybe it's incorrect thinking.
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          Feb 2 2013: Kate, if Australia is doing some things better, how or why do you think they are able to do it?

          Yeah, I'm no expert on gun culture, being a pacifist who has never owned one. I usually feel glad that my fellow citizenry has guns, because I worry about our government suddenly becoming more dictators, trying to dominate the people by force, and if the people have guns, they could fight this. Knowing the people have guns keeps the government in check.
  • Jan 29 2013: Thanks Kate and everyone. Everyone has been more than fair, but remember that great progress has been made in advertising, propaganda, and mental manipulation. I think that is sad that so much individual thought in America isn't. Random I saw a replay of a guy from Bavaria using some of LaSalle's tecjmiques in a very evil way not long ago on the net. Okay, I am referring to Hitler which is not the point except to suggest that the modern techniques are so much more effective. During W II Gregory Bateson was trying to figure out if there was something special - There wasn't But now with Cialdini , talk shows, and NLP you can really get in someone's head. I still resent blowing around forty thousand dollars on advertising that didn't work, and I couldn't afford because a salesman did a take-a-way and I believed him. Now I know a bit about that kind of thing. How do you explain that to my fellow North Americans? I doubt that you can. I try to remind my fellow Texans that the average Texan killed in Picket's Charge didn't own anything relevant to the American Civil War, and that those who did didn't fight. This has always been going on in the world. What works a little? You trust politicians a great deal more than I. As long as those who pay for our political campaigns have agendas, It ;will get worse. Most Americans don't think as is true of most people. A comment on epistemology, physics, ot mathematics just irritates the average person.