Americans, you still have in the American Constitution, the most advanced and progressive piece of legislation for human rights and freedoms that exists in the world, in fact it was a catalyst for a lot of similar developments elsewhere.
That doesn't mean that society in the west is perfect, of course we are still developing and improving all the time. We do have a rampant media at the moment and yes governments do use fear mongering as a way of justifying their existence, but from what I can observe, less and less people are even interested in what they say. The latest thing is national 'debt' - what I want to know is who are we in debt to - if there is a higher level of authority than government, what is it and lets get it defined so we understand it.
But aside from that I think the human race are improving, we are also moving away form the cultural need to work like slaves - we are technologically advanced enough but there is a lag where governments think they still need to keep everyone working - I beleive this will fall away, hopefully in the near future.
Interestingly, I've felt far more personally empowered and less fearful since I adopted this diet - I do feel that there is a tie in between consumption of processed carbs and fear mentality - you are on a nutritional leash (breakfast is the most imprtant meal of the day, sandwiches for lunch, cereals being advertised for their hunger beating properties etc) and this will underpin your psychology and behaviour and affect your world view.
I saw John Durant speaking on youtube and he pointed out that the paleo diet and ethos appeals to intelligent people, with contrarian tendacies. True story.
As Steven Pinker has demostrated in his book and talks 'The Better Angels of Our Nature' - the silly news media is actually distorting what is really happening in the world which is that as a species we are gradually becoming more peaceful, the internet carries this message better than the news, which has to be shouty and panicky in order to get peoples' attention and make money.
I noted this sometime in the late 1990s, and opted to stop watching TV news at that time, and mostly went to the internet for news. Reading it is different, and it's easier to see the biases. Also, you can get non-US news sources more easily.
Now, we are basically down to two or three television programs -- Supernatural is one. But the other two are PBS-styled things like Downton Abbey and. . . yeah, I'm watching Amazing Race and Masterchef Australia -- which both have a nice, non-fear based tone. Masterchef Australia doesn't even have the fake, weird aggression/competition thing that the US one does. THat one is nigh-on intolerable comparatively (the US one). I also watched the Indian Masterchef and it was *awesome*.
I went to a conference last week and got to watch tv stations I don't get at home. Apparently Al Jazeera American edition is coming soon. I don't think we get that channel. I wonder what it will be like?
A few mornings ago, I jumped outta the wife's car en route to the gym. It was 9am'ish, and I was wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt. I was carrying in plain sight a netflix envelope. I jogged to the mailbox, deposited it, and jogged back.
A policeman had been pulling into the apartment complex (the mailbox is right at the entranceway), and he stopped as I did this. He stared hardcore at me, vigilant like, until after I ran back from the mailbox. Then he drove off into the complex, only after watching me mail something.
I am almost certain that he was thinking that today was his day, that HE would be hailed as jack bauer, and that he was excited to foil a terrorist mail bomb.
I have been getting Al Jazeera English for awhile, and I am not hopeful that the "America" version will be any better.
The problem with much of the "alternative" media is that it comes in with its own set of agendas, which at least are acknowledged in most cases. The key is to understand that these exist, and to parse out the truth....in the case of channels like RT or Al Jazeera, both are essentially mouthpieces for their governments. In both cases, they provide a very good lens of America through a different viewpoint, often a negative one....while ignoring the humans rights and outright governmental dysfunction in their own countries. RT's coverage of the constant, institutionalized corruption and bribery in their own country is much more laughable than anything CNN could ever do.
In the case of Al Jazeera, they are funded mostly by the government of Qatar. While this is a more liberal country by a Middle Eastern standard, with suffrage give to women as well as a single liquor store in Doha (last I was there, 3 years ago), it is by no means a progressive place. People are still flogged, apostasy is still a crime (reportedly unenforced), and political expression is strongly restricted....it is an oligarchy of outlandishly wealthy oil magnates that pay off their people with literally checks in the mail for being a citizen.
If Qatar has things to say to my home country about freedom, we might as well just disband and start over :)
[QUOTE=sbhikes;1311707]I went to a conference last week and got to watch tv stations I don't get at home. Apparently Al Jazeera American edition is coming soon. I don't think we get that channel. I wonder what it will be like?[/QUOTE]
I watch Al Jazeera on the TV here in Egypt. Like a previous poster said, it is biased towards the views of Qatar, no surprise. Like any media channel, you have to be able to tell the truth from the propaganda. It is interesting that Al Jazeera has been kicked out of Egypt because of their coverage of the recent uprisings. They have filed legal proceedings against the Egyptian government about this.
Best thing I can say about them is that they do report what is going on in the USA without American based biased. I suppose if you watched them and Faux (Fox) news, the truth would be somewhere in the middle of the two.
The illusion of freedom fades away once you step outside of your environment, like living outside of the US, and see it from the outside.
Yes, ITA with this. I'm an expat who has lived in the US for almost 17 years now, and I definitely can attest to that when I think of how it used to be before I came here. Or on the very rare occasions I get to travel abroad.
The question is: now that we know the truth, is it empowering in some way, or it actually weighs us down even more? Are we in any way better off than before? Sadly, sometimes I feel ignorance is in a way a 'bliss'.
I haven't listened to NPR in years and years. How bad is it these days?
America is one of the most underprivileged countries in health. Eg; highest infant mortality, worst healthcare, and one of the lowest survival rates passed middle age. First world problems? The US also has the lowest child benefits of any nation, and 1 in 2 children are raised by single parents. The US is #1 in income inequality, the wealth gap is the highest it's ever been since the great depression.[/QUOTE]
In France and Belgium, a baby is not declared alive until it's 26 weeks old. Lower infant mortality = more reported still borne and dead birthings, even if it's kicking and crying. Whala, alakazam, our socialized, Government controlled Health System is superior to yours.
Welcome to Obamacare, unless of course, you are an elected Federal Official or on staff, then you are exempt.