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Sunday, November 29 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Big Brother Cometh

Jan 08, 2004, 3:20pm

It's kinda scary how Big Brother the US of A is getting these days

  • US news media becoming more and more subjective and biased in their reporting of world events (CNN's basically a PR firm for the US Govt these days)

  • US telling foreign, sovereign nations, what they "must" do with their own airlines and other security arrangements

  • The fingerprinting and photographing of "the rest of the world" should they come to the US as a visitor

  • The "Homeland Security" department and it's sweeping powers

  • A quote from a NY politician about searches of cars in the various tunnels leading into NYC on new year's eve: "Yes, the searches do go against personal freedoms and rights (guaranteed by the US constitution), but that's the price we're willing to pay for personal safety."

There's so many other things. Since 9 / 11 (and many would argue for decades before it), the US has been moving towards a total Big Brother kinda state. Post 9 / 11 has given the US government the impetus to do some sweeping changes that not only affect the personal (and supposedly guaranteed) freedoms of most Americans, but they are now dictating, at a near unprecedented scale, what the rest of the world should and must do.

This raises another point. These wars against "the evil dooers" and such. Has to the US and its populace ever stopped to think why people like Osama Bin Laden actually hate the US so much?

Okay. In Bin Laden's case, his hate is rabid, and probably insanity. And I'm not at any stretch suggesting the US should try to figure out how to end the hate someone like Bin laden has for the US.

But here's another thing. See the strength (or lack thereof) of the US dollar these days? In Canada's case, our dollar has gone up from 63 cents to 78 cents in about a year. It's predicted to go up to 90 cents within another 18 months. Other currencies around the world are also raising against the US dollar. Or put another way, the US dollar's value is sinking like a rock.

This is the world speaking, financially, about how it feels about the United States and what the US is doing in geopolitics. Yes, that's simplified, but it's true.

Go to Europe, and Americans are not viewed in a good light. Go to Africa, and it's even worse. Go to Asia... well, they like taking US greenbacks, but don't give two hoots about US policies, wants, or needs.

Focusing on Europe, there's been a historical neutrality or mild dislike of Americans for most of the period after WW II. The main reason is the American brashness to force it's own culture and will (and language, and customs etc) on other parts of the world where they visit. The stereotypical "don't they speak American here????" quote comes to mind - hell, it was in the very recent movie "Just Married".

So instead of fighting the "evil dooers" and imposing Big Brother type lifestyles on their own people and the world, perhaps the leaders of the United States should instead be tackling the issue of why the rest of the world at best tolerates the US, and at worst (excluding the Osama types) actively dislikes the US.

Some will write it off as being jealousy. That's a blind and very conceited view. The reason why the rest of the world is getting tired of the United States is complex and deep, and it has to do with the US's attitude that their culture, their way of life, their language, their customs etc etc are not embraced and liked by many other folks in the world.

Take the gun issue for example. Most of western civilization looks at the US and thinks the country is a self-destructive, violent society, one that embraces blood and death more than it does love and beauty and the human being. This is because in the US, it's more accepted to own a gun than it is to sunbathe topless at a beach. Way more excepted. In Canada, we have lots of gun owners, but our death by gun rate is miniscule, compared to the US. Vancouver usually has a dozen or so gun deaths a year. Seattle, not a much bigger city, has that many in a month. But in Vancouver, we have full nudist beaches, and even the main beaches sometimes feature no hassle topless sunbathing.

Another example - on COPS, we've all seen casual marijuana join smokers "hassled" by the man, as it were - given a very rough time because they were smoking the "killer weed". But I also remember seeing one episode where some dude was firing off his gun in his back yard, and all the cops did was take it away, and issue him a fine. Too freaky.

This is all a simplified look, I know, and I'm presenting generalizations and a few isolated examples to drive a point, but in the end, it does raise a valid point:

Perhaps the US should be doing some self-examination into why the US is so disliked around most of the world, and what the US could do, on its own, to improve that situation. Eliminate the mild dislikes, join the rest of the world community in the advancement of civilization, and perhaps the real haters will have a little less to hate the US for.

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