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Those were the days: when was America greatest? When was life in the US best?

 
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2016 04:44 pm
I'm very selfish when I do the assessment and all I really care about is medical advances.

Things are much better now than they were 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago - and they continue to get better.

___

If I try to look at a bigger picture, I look at medicine again and social advances - and once again I'm looking at now.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2016 04:50 pm
@nimh,
Sorry I missed you when I visited Budapest.
maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2016 07:51 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn,

Martin Luther King was unequivocally on the progressive left. He was standing up to the White, Conservative political establishment. The Conservative political establishment was, at that time, doing much the same thing that they are doing today; they were opposing changes to laws that disadvantaged political minorities and the working class.

Martin Luther King, in addition to "having a dream"

- opposed the war in Vietnam
- strongly supported and marched with unions
- openly called for affirmative action.
- open called for the redistribution of wealth
- insulted police officers and organizations that he saw were racist
- supported voting rights and called for the elimination of laws that disadvantaged minority voters.

Conservatives want to pretend that Martin Luther King only ever said four words. That is because these are the only four words that they agree with.

The people who marched with Martin Luther King were Jesse Jackson and John Lewis. If you don't like what they have to say, then you shouldn't pretend you would have liked Martin Luther King either.

The white-washing of Martin Luther King to make him palatable to the conservatives he died struggling against is very frustrating.
glitterbag
 
  3  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2016 08:24 pm
@maxdancona,
I already know I'll be sorry, but here goes:

I agree with most of your comments about Dr. King, however I don't remember Dr. King insulting the police. He believed in civil disobedience and peaceful resistance. He didn't think intentional provocation would help anything. I know these activities happened in the far past for many, but for those of us who were children, watching the firehose responses to peaceful protests and listening to some of the adult white people from that time, the civil rights movement was not welcomed with open arms. Even those who thought things should be equal, worried that the protesters were asking for too much too soon.

It not easy to move out of your comfort zone, and the penalties were harsh for those who were considered to be soft on protestors and their efforts. I'm deep,y disturbed by the things I witnessed as a teenager even though I didn't participate. Many knew that tensions were incendiary but what do you do if you're 14 years old.

Are things better? Yes, some things are, but we are still not fully assimilated. About a quarter mile from my house along Bestgate road there are 5 or six Protestant churches and a Catholic Church. Most displayed a black lives matter banner prior to efforts to launch discussion, but the banners were vandalized or stolen so many times the churches gave up and the most recent signs now say "racism is a sin". That's how nuts things are here. It's just shameful.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Sep, 2016 08:46 pm
@glitterbag,
I already posted it, Glitterbag, but I will repost because I like you so much. MLK absolutely insulted racist police

Martin Luther King wrote:
when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity


(from Letter From a Birmingham Jail)
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 12:51 am
@giujohn,
Here is where we both are in complete agreement.
Quote:
Back before the internet, back before the 24-hour news cycle, back before cable TV, back when the Evening News was only on for 15 minutes a night, back when people actually had to read a newspaper to get most of their news

0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  3  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 01:09 am
@maporsche,
Quote:
Why do people think the 'peak' of a country is tied to it's employment figures?

I would NEVER equate the peak of my personal life for example to how much money I made in a particular year.


I agree with your assessment. I was probably having the most fun around 1990 through 1996. All forms of entertainment was very affordable in relations to my income during this period. The overall cost of living was very affordable in relations to my income, which was modest at that time. The country as a whole wasn't as corporate as it is today. During this period I was most active in going out and having fun.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 01:35 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
I also think it's due to people not feeling comfortable with ascribing greatness to a time in which they had no experience.

Agreed. A person can better form their opinions from their own real life experiences rather than something that occurred before they were born.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 02:25 am
I think a lot of right wing Americans hark back to the 50s not because it was better then but because it was better in America. America had a booming economy post war, had escaped any bombings and emerged from the war much better off. Europe was pretty much bankrupt, still had rationing, in many way worse than during WW2 and had to repair a bombed out infrastructure. Back in the 50s most Europeans envied the lifestyle of the average American.

Not any more. Now lifestyles aren't that much different, although Europe's healthcare is so much better than America's.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 04:12 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
Europe was pretty much bankrupt, still had rationing, in many way worse than during WW2 and had to repair a bombed out infrastructure. Back in the 50s most Europeans envied the lifestyle of the average American.

The second sentence is of course true. But the first one? I'd doubt you could find anyone who felt life was better during WW2 than in the 1950s, other than maybe some die-hard Nazis - that seems like an absurd claim. And while Europe was much poorer than the US, here too, at least in Western Europe, the 50s were a time of a growing, rebuilding, hard-working economy, and a time during which the welfare state was rapidly being built.
giujohn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 05:21 am
To those sanctimonious assholes who would seek to bar me from mentioning MLK...I will invoke Martin Luther King at any time; as he does not belong to any one man but to the ages.

I remember the riots in my town in Upstate New York with the police dogs and the fire hoses after his death. I remember watching on TV the riots in other cities. I remember this all happened just a few days before my 13th birthday. I remember skipping school on my birthday and going downtown to march with my black friends because I had been inspired my Martin Luther King's peaceful approach to protest and it was my hope and others that even after his death, especially after his death, the protest for civil rights would remain peaceful. But that was not to be.

No one was able to step forward and pick up that mantle of peace... Not Jesse Jackson not Ralph Abernathy, but instead we heard from the Black Panther Party with their marxist-leninist revolutionary socialism and their call for violence against police. After that, the movement lost me, as it did others.

Then came Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society and the expansion of welfare and the addition of 4 million more people to the welfare rolls and welfare became a way of life for the poor Urban black.

No more inspirational leaders advocating peaceful protest in the strive for civil rights... instead the call to kill police, kill whitey, and burn baby burn.

I then focused my attention to protest the Vietnam War and participated in the 1969 moratorium marches. But things in that movement also changed.

I disapproved of the counterculture that had arisen alongside the antiwar movement. Gone were the clean-cut SDS types, subordinated by hippies as the new leaders. These new leaders became increasingly militant, greeting returning soldiers with jeers and taunts, spitting on troops in airports and on public streets.

I found it increasingly distasteful and again I was lost to the movement as were others.

I wonder of these people who would refuse me to invoke Martin Luther King's name... Did they live through these times or did they just read about them?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 05:48 am
@nimh,
You've misread what I said. I said that in many ways the rationing was worse than during WW2, and that certainly was true in Britain.

Obviously all the other wartime activities were much worse during WW2 than just after.
NSFW (view)
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 07:02 am
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/49/29/e9/4929e9229e56f9f3cf5e2548afb70b47.jpg
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  5  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 07:32 am
@giujohn,
Of course I can't bar you from mentioning MLK.

I am going to point out how ridiculous it is that someone with your beliefs would support a man who not only called for racial equality and affirmative action, but also condemned racist police brutality and called for the redistribution of wealth. Of course I agree with you that his belief in non-violence was admirable.

The current prominent African American leaders including, Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama and Alicia Garza are no more calling for violence that Martin Luther King did.

I don't see how you can admire MLK without also admiring Obama (who is to the right of MLK on most issues of civil rights, economics or military policy).

Who Martin Luther King actually was is well documented. Your White washed caricature of him doesn't fit the reality.

Martin Luther King wrote:
“We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 10:07 am
@nimh,
I visited cities in Europe during the late 50s, and didn't see the damage from the war. The only place I saw war damage was in Croatia.
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 10:11 am
@cicerone imposter,
Late 50s, things had started to move on then. Rationing ended in 1954 in the UK.

I grew up in Kent in the 60s and I remember a bomb crater in the woods. Not the same as buildings obviously, but you still didn't have to look far to find evidence of bombing.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 11:58 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn your postings remarkable and or profile unique tho it doesn't tell much about you. If you fear that revelation might ID I am [email protected]. Otherwise what was it that drew you to a2k
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  4  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 11:58 am
@maxdancona,
Sounds like you do think you (or at least the Left) owns him.

I'm not sure what the 4 words are, but I know a lot of conservatives who think King was a great man and have a great deal of respect for his non-violent approach to instigating social change. That doesn't mean we have to agree with every position he took.

I couldn't care less whether or not he "insulted" police officers and organizations he considered racist. It's hardly a "must have" qualification for greatness. I suspect though that he when he deemed a person or organization racist it was very likely the case, as there is no indication that he followed what is the modern trend of deeming as racist anyone or anything that opposes one's political views.

Your insistence that not liking what have Jackson and Lewis have to say disqualifies anyone from expressing admiration for King is utter nonsense.

Regardless of what either man said or did while working with King, many years have passed since that time.

Jackson has become a caricature and shake-down artist.

Lewis represents the interests of the Democrat Party far more than those of African-Americans.

A close association with King didn't make these men saints. He wasn't the messiah and they aren't the apostles.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Sep, 2016 12:15 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
My belief is that the conservatives who think "King was a great man" haven't read what Martin Luther King actually stood for. They hear the four words "I have a dream" and stop there.

Have you read what Martin Luther King actually said he stood for? Have you read "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", or any of his other writings past the "I have a Dream" speech you read in elementary school?

If you have actually learned what Martin Luther King actually thought about society, economic justice, war and social progress... beyond the "simplistic dreamer" caricature that conservatives want to say they support, and you still feel he is a great man, then you have my respect.

What do you think about his response when rioting broke out during the civil rights movement? (I believe this was in reaction to the Detroit riot in 1967 that led to the deaths of 43 people).

Martin Luther King wrote:
"But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?...It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity."

 

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