TED Conversations

Casey Kitchel


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When fighting for rights, which is tougher: a battle against an oppressive government, or a battle against an oppressive society?

Manal al-Sharif opens her TED talk by asking the audience a question.

“You know that people all over the world fight for their freedom, fight for their rights. Some battle oppressive governments. Others battle oppressive societies.” And then she asks, “which battle do you think is harder?”

Fellow TEDers, which do you think is a tougher battle? And why?


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  • Jun 23 2013: I cannot answer the question.

    But there is a man in Hong Kong today that blew the whistle and may give his life as a result.
    Patriots are most likely to be called traitors by their government first, and then by the citizens.

    Governments are about controlling their citizens within geographical borders. Whatever you call
    your type and style of government, they haven't changed their practices in 5,000 years, or more.

    We all are owned by our governments.
    We like to think we have control of whom we send to lead us.
    We don't.

    On a local level, government uses Law Enforcement to maintain control. It works well.

    On a State level government uses larger enforcement with ex-military forming their National Guards.
    And, Local Law Enforcement works so well, that the National Guards are seldom necessary.

    When we look to our Nation's Government, we find a difference in Law Enforcement.
    Suddenly, Law Enforcement knows their place. And they do as they are told.
    A whole new system of justice is created by politicians. A rather brutal one.

    The bulk of Taxed-Payer dollars get spent on the current administration's secret needs first,
    next, returns on investments of political controlling interests, and last, the military industrial complex.
    The Gold that backs dollars is long gone. Last audited in 1957. The really funny thing that happened
    when President Chavez wanted his nation's gold sent back from Fort Knox and the FED, some
    other nations decided to get theirs also. Washington went bonkers. Like a Mad Hatter,
    "What to do?" "What to do?" But they sent it back, after a bit.

    The US government has a Foreign Policy that is brutal indeed, it dictates that the US government
    will make preemptive War upon other nations shores, whenever it feels like it.
    Support from US citizens is not necessary when a lie will convince them to not oppose government.
    No one ever says that the governments tell only the truth.

    I tire of bitching
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      Jun 23 2013: So, just what are these "secrete needs" of the current administration you speak of?
      • Jun 23 2013: John, I am meandering a bit tonight... Try this.
        Research the backgrounds of the last 7 or 8 administrations at 2 year intervals.
        Dig for the dirt. It is easy enough to find. Print media was a bit looser 15 years ago.
        But since the turn of the century things have tightened up. They do hand-outs now.
        But the politics game is the same. Just because Nixon got caught, doesn't mean
        things got better. Just better hidden.

        John, I used this last night in response on a different conversation.
        It's somewhat applicable here. But, you have to stretch, sorry.
        First, Imagine the NYFed taking control of their Regulator, the US Treasury.
        During the Bush, Obama, McClain run up to election...

        Plutarch, in writing, "On Morals," two thousand years ago, described market
        bubbles in the near-ancient world and how the lending industry came to
        periodically bankrupt (bank corrupt)* nearly everyone in order to create
        exorbitant wealth for themselves, simply as result of their own avarice and
        greed. He was writing on why no one should allow themselves to get into debt
        through borrowing, but to live threadbare if need be, and to sell what your
        have and live roughly, rather than see a money lender. People have always
        sought to live beyond their means. And sooner or later, many are found that
        they do not have sufficient funds to pay the piper.
        Actual Headline last year---
        As Worries Ebb, Small Investors Propel Markets
        Millions of people all but abandoned the market after the 2008 financial
        crisis, but now individual investors are pouring more money than they have
        in years into stock mutual funds. The flood, prompted by fading economic
        threats and better news on housing and jobs.....
        What we tend to forget --
        The people who abandoned the market were broke !!!
        *periodically bankrupt (bank corrupt)....

        The new Small Investors are different people...
        We call them Fodder. (aka: new cannon fodder)
        Wall Street Mafioso's will reap them too.
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          Jun 23 2013: I agree. it is all about the "current" administration and there is little difference between them as they assume their moment of control. So, with the current Administration it is all about stretching the limits of Liberalism while the last one was more concerned with lining their pockets with tax payer monies, that is, they were more into the Me than the Us.

          Working the problem either way does little to reduce the size of the "what about us?", crowd, that always gets left behind.

          As to the topic. I'm reading some really good arguments for the "Society is more Oppressive" idea, in this discussion.

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