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Old 10-08-2003, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What have you changed your opinion on?

OK, myself and others have tossed out the opinion here that nobody on this board ever changes their opinion on anything. That we're all just here to force our "correct" opinion on others.

So, a general question then my answer:

<b>What have you changed your opinion on politically over the years? What made you change your mind?</b>

My answer in a reply.
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Old 10-08-2003, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My opinion on censorship has moved over the years. When I was in college, I was a "free speech all the way!" kind of guy, and I felt that ANY censorship was completely, utterly, totally wrong. If you told me any different, I would have gone totallly sixate on you.

Now, I believe that limited censorship is correct when it is protecting children or other vulnerable people from things like porn, or protecting the trading in exploitation stuff like child porn. I'm still a free speech advocate, but I'm more realistic now.

For example, in libraries, I believe the right approach is for library computers to be censored by default, but for there to be private terminals where people can access anything once they prove they are an adult.

What changed my mind? I'm a father now. Nothing like the reality of thinking about what your child is going to grow up with to make you rethink your pie-in-the-sky notions.

I'm no prude. But I also don't think it's right for young children to get exposed to hardcore porn or goatse.cx-type stuff at an early age. I plan on teaching my daughter about sex early, but I'd rather have her learn it from me and not from whitehouse.com.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sixate...as a verb...I like that.

I changed my views on capital punishment. Once, I was a staunch advocate of the death penalty. I have since been forced to reevaluate that stance, due in large part, to a Time magazine article, a couple of years ago, about a medical examiner in Texas (I think) that was falsifying evidence in order to clear up a huge caseload. There have also been numerous cases of people being cleared, years after being convicted and sentenced, by D.N.A. evidence. Evidence being supressed at trial, that would, without question, clear the defendant of the crime. Our justice system is more concerned with clearing caseloads, and winning cases than with actually discovering the truth. I've lost to much faith in our justice system to allow them to take <i>anyones</i> life.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Like Bill up here, I used to advocate capital punishment. Now I just don't care anymore.

Also, when I was younger, I used to think communism was a great idea - and that humanity just wasn't ready. Now I see communism as one of man's evilest ideas.

Lastly, I used to think Americanisation was bad. Now, I think it's more-or-less a positive phenomenon.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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on just about everything. When I was in high school you could not convince me that war was ever justified. I thought that the rich were a money source to tap for social benefits. Welfare was good, and affirmative action was a good idea. I thought drugs were relatively harmless in society. I guess all it takes is growing up. That's enough for now.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When I was in high school and college I was much more liberal. I bought into a lot of bs conspiracy theories etc. I'm a lot more skeptic now. Then I started leaning pretty conservative after college. Now I found a much more moderate medium that feels just right. I don't like partisan politics very much at all. I've voted for both parties in recent elections.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think I've really changed my mind per se on much - I've gotten a lot less certain about a lot of things, though.

I've gotten lots less vehemently pro-choice. I still believe in a woman's right to choose but I also think she ought to exhaust other options first, and that in general people ought to be more responsible for their actions.

Similarly, I've gotten lots less vehemently anti-capital punishment. I still think the system is broken and should not be applied till we have some ironclad safeguards, but there are some cases in which it does seem to me to be appropriate - the guys who dragged the man behind a pickup truck in Texas a few years ago, for example.

I've gotten less pro-gun control.

Other than that, I think if anything I've gotten MORE liberal as time goes on. I think the American system of capitalist consumerism is broken and unfairly favors those who are already wealthy and powerful. I think it's unconscionable that in a society with ample resources ANYBODY goes without food, shelter and medical care. And I think exploitation of developing populations and natural resources to support an unsupportable quality of life is criminal. I think science ought to trump ideology every time (not really a liberal trait) and that most of the stuff our government does is based on nothing but ideas and opinions or political calculation, rather than on facts.

OK, now I'm just ranting.

So, changed my minds one way on some things and the other way on others.
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Old 10-09-2003, 06:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When I was in high school/college I fell for the idea that republicans were better at foreign policy and democrats at domestic policy. I also thought the press was basically unbiased and fair.

We still had the USSR to deal with then, and I thought that was much more important so therefore I was a republican. Since I've learned that even though the democrats whine more about domestic issues, that doesn't mean they arn't lying socialists bastards at heart, who use class warfare as a means to gain power and wealth (the democrat leaders that is). Personally I think some are truly traitors.

As for the press, by 2000 I knew they were mostly liberal, but with the Gore-Bush election it really opened my eyes as these biases were laid bare for all to see.
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Old 10-09-2003, 06:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've changed opinions on lots of stuff. None have been changed due to the discussions on the TP board though.

Campaign finance. In the past it wasn't much of an issue for me. Over the last several years seeing how easy the rules are to get around and the apparent disregard on many politician's parts I'd like to see some serious reform.

Abortion. Previously I believed it was used too often and should only be an option if the health of the mother was threatened or in the case of rape/incest. Now I don't believe it can be made illegal because it would create a terrible market in back room abortions that couldn't be controlled. (Still believe it's used too often and don't believe the "rights" of the mother are greater than the "rights" of the unborn)

Nation building. Never believed it was our duty to build nations as I thought nations had their own maturity curve and it was too much work with too little gain to speed up the process. Now I think it makes sense to work more in this area since it can help to improve national security, increase the number of trading partners we have, and help others to improve their lives.

Dependence on oil. Never looked at this as a major priority until about ten years ago. Even with the OPEC crap I didn't care that much about it. But given all the BS that goes along with the purchasing of, drilling for, and pollution associated with oil I think we need to move onto better fuels.

These are just a few. The changes in my opinions have come from discussions with many different people of all political beliefs. Thoughts around these topics only became focused throught thoughtful discussion without the party line rhetoric. I rarely find a thread in Tilted Politics that is truly meant for discussion. Hopefully that will change.
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've changed my mind on capital punishment. I once was for it, now I understand more fully how the court system works. Cash equals better odds. Thatsa no good. Once I was for all kinds of biblical based politics; what you get to buy on what day of the week, what is permissable to read, see, hear, etc., now I've seen the light. Once thought government was concerned about my rights, now I see that's not the case. That's the short list.
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Over the past five to ten years, I've changed my mind on more issues than I've stayed consistent on.

One that comes to mind is governmental use of progressive income taxes. I used to believe that a flat tax was best because I saw it as the only tax that was "fair" in principle. Today, I believe that the fairness of a tax is best determined by comparing its impact on quality of life, not the mathematical percentage of income.
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Old 10-10-2003, 01:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I used to be a Conservative Republican, now I agree with most of what the Libertarian party mindset is. I also used to see things as straightforward with an understanding that there may be an acceptable degree of expected corruption. Now I believe things are far worse than I ever could have conceived (not hocus pocus, bibilogical entities, republican conspiracies, liberal takeovers, or greys) just people. People that are either very good at what they do or just understand that the masses will continue to do what they've been doing.
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Old 10-10-2003, 08:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Capital punishment and abortion. In my early years in high school I used to be for the death penalty and against abortion. Then I saw both as a rights and human fallibility problem and swapped positions.
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Old 10-10-2003, 02:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow, where to start. I really believe that it is a sign of a small mind or an enormous ego (or both) if you always think your right and never change your mind. When new facts are brought to you attention or you gain greater experience and it contradicts what you have believed, only a fool won't change their mind.

I used to be a stauch believer in term limits, now I am tired of giving up rights that are given to me in the constitution - if I want someone to be my representative and they want to represent me, they should be able to run and I should be able to vote for them. Just one of many - I used to be a Republican and now I am a pretty staunch Democrat, so there has been a great deal of change.
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Yes, everyone should be equally miserable, no matter how hard they work, or how successfull they are.
That's not what I was trying to say.

I do not mind terribly that some people who make more money are better off than others -- often it is a product of hard work. It would also eliminate one's incentive to work.

Here's an example to explain what I do mean: Person A makes 15K, Person B makes $1.5 million. If there was a 33% flat tax, Person A would pay $5000 a year, and Person B pays 500K. This seems unfair to me because a $5000 tax burden for Person A will have cause a far greater change in his/her quality of life (relative to what would be possible without paying tax) than the 500K burden for Person B (again, relative to what's possible without taxes). Person A might have to move into a worse neighborhood or skip meals, whereas Person B would have to give up buying a summer home or a couple of Italian sports cars. I think the goal in determining tax rates would be to try to equalize this quality-of-life burden, but not to equalize their total quality-of-life.

In math terms, taxes should impose constant delta(QOL), but should not impose constant QOL.

Another thing I realize I've changed my mind about is inheritance tax -- I think that the societal benefit of giving children inheritances in excess of a million dollars or so (excluding special circumstances like a disabled child who cannot work, or farmland) is outweighed by the social good that that money could produce elsewhere.
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Old 10-10-2003, 03:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Capital punishment - I used to to favor it in the belief that it was a deterrent to crime. I still believe this, but feel that it can't be justified because of the proven danger of mistakenly putting to death innocents.

Homosexual rights - I am now in favor of equal legal rights for homosexual unions - gay marriage, however, is something that should be left up to the religious institutions.

Affirmative action - In my younger days I was in favor, now I would say that any such program should be based on class and not race, if retained at all.

Foreign policy - I used to be in favor of an interventionist agenda, now I feel that actions like our current wars in the middle east hurt more than help (that's not to say they do not have benefits). Frankly, if we were to go to war with any country that infringes on human rights, we would be in perpetual war for our lifetimes and beyond, something I cannot advocate.

Welfare - I used to be in favor of a strong social safety net. Now I feel that the abuses of such a system are such that welfare perpetuates poverty. I would say keep limited unemployment benefits (so those laid off are not without a place to turn) but the current system needs to be scaled back. Perhaps we could introduce tax incentives for individuals to donate to private charities.
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Old 11-05-2003, 01:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Most of what I believed in changed after an english class I took where the teacher was a libertarian and we read the fountianhead. Instead of being a liberal I'm now more of a libertarian, but with a social conscience. Now I'm more pro-drugs in any form (if your dumb enough to take crack, then suffer the consequences), and pro-gun. I'm still for some type of regulation though because a lot of people will do anything to make money and a free market can't keep all of them from passing poision off as candy.
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Old 11-05-2003, 01:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ayn Rand-ite at one time.... till I met them in goups

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Old 11-05-2003, 02:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The Ayn Rand-ites can get a little weird sometimes, like the belief that we should not regulate meat because if some tainted meat gets out, the market wil react and that producer will go out of business. The only problem is that while the market reacts, I just ate a fatal dose of diseased beef.
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Old 11-05-2003, 02:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I used to believe that the right-wing and conservative views held by old people around me were based on wisdom and a wider perspective. Now I see that it has more to do with greed, egoism, apathy and ignorance.
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Old 11-05-2003, 02:38 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by eple
I used to believe that the right-wing and conservative views held by old people around me were based on wisdom and a wider perspective. Now I see that it has more to do with greed, egoism, apathy and ignorance.
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Old 11-05-2003, 02:40 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tman144
The Ayn Rand-ites can get a little weird sometimes, like the belief that we should not regulate meat because if some tainted meat gets out, the market wil react and that producer will go out of business. The only problem is that while the market reacts, I just ate a fatal dose of diseased beef.
Nope. It's their belief that each and everyone of them is the true John Galt when some I've met have difficulty doing basic two figure addition with paper & pencil.

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Old 11-05-2003, 02:46 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Heh, I guess that was a kick in the shin on your part, but it is not just a troll. I used to percieve several of my "heroes" (grandpa) as wise and considerate. After a few discussions, I learned that his conservative views were mainly based on rigid prejudices and egoism. Take my statement with a grain of salt though, I have actually turned less radical in the last 3 years. Used to be a communist and shit, but I was younger. Now I am a reformist Social democrate. I'll probably end up much more conservative, just like your old sig stated. I am not sure if this will happen because I gain wisdom though, it might just as well be because I get jaded, less idealistic and more egoistic.

I see your and raise you a

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Old 11-05-2003, 02:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I used to be a card carrying Green and I voted for Clinton in his first run and then Nader in Clinton's second run. THen I realised that Green Party politics were hokey at best, and dangerous and anti human at worst.

I used be a screaming liberal untill I got a job and had to work for my own food. Then I realised that I dont like supporting those that dont work. I dont like those that goofed off, rather than aquiring the skills it takes to get a job with health insurance. And I really dont like paying property taxes on land so I can support more and more inept social programs. I read before that conservative thought is all based on ego and greed. I think it is based on wanting to keep what you have earned.
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Old 11-05-2003, 04:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I've changed my opinion over the years - I still support capital punishment and in the case today of Gary Ridgway - who admitted to killing nearly fifty women and walks out of the death penalty on a deal! The proscecutor should be tried as an accomplice. I am still pro-choice - always have and probably always will be. Has this board changed my opinions - yes - it has in several ways.

Forever I have believed that my country is the best there is - my opinion hasn't waivered but I have been surprised at how hated we are by some - my biggest problem on this board is that many of them claim to be Americans. The recent conflict in Iraq has brought many of these contentions to a head - we had mutual disagreements with some of our neighbors to the north - my biggest surprise has been the attitudes of those who come to this board from Scandanavia - a part of the world I had always wanted to visit - I have changed my mind and won't be packing anytime soon. I have made friends, and found that there are people on this board that I've never met that I have much respect for - at the same time I have found some that I have grown to detest.

Like Sixate - I quit visiting the board for a long time and like Sixate, at times I question the logic of having come back.

I believe that far too many of those who hang out on this board are here for nothing constructive - they come not to discuss, or even to debate - they come to argue and agitate and nothing more. I realize that we are different from those who live in Europe - and I realize that there are many philosophical differences between differing geographical regions of the US. Our nation has changed - some might say we've been invaded by our neighbors from the south - I have nothing against anyone trying to better himself or to raise his standard of living: however, many come not for the purpose of bettering themselves here, but bettering what they have in Mexico by exporting cash.

Have my opinions changed - yes, they have.

Am I better for the change - I think not.
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Old 11-05-2003, 07:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquor DealerI believe that far too many of those who hang out on this board are here for nothing constructive - they come not to discuss, or even to debate - they come to argue and agitate and nothing more.
Frankly, LD, I agree with you. And I would place you, Sixate, myself, and Seretogis, just as an example, in the "come here for nothing constructive" category almost all of the time. I can't recall the last time you, or sixate, or seretogis, or myself, actually gave an inch in any discussion towards the idea that the other side might, just possibly, a little, have a slight point. (Actually, for me, I can recall the last time, but that was on the old board, and it was a long time ago.)

Most of the time what we're expressing is fake disgust, or telling people that we think genocide or nun-burning is ok, or just taunting or trolling those who can't put together a rational argument to save their lives.

I guess the big question for you, or me, or sixate, or seretogis is "what have you contributed to this board?" I think if you do a search on your own posts you might find the answer illuminating.

There is a parable in the book "Buddhism: Plain & Simple" that I found illuminating on this topic.

Let's say you found a raft that got you across a river that you couldn't have crossed otherwise. Most people in life, once they have found their raft, continue to carry it around with them, telling other people how great the raft is and how they should really have their own raft.

What you should do is leave the raft behind once you get across the river.

Anyway, if you want to discuss things on the Politics board, I'm listening.
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:08 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I don't think I've had an "Ah-ha" moment the last 6 months or so on this board.

I used to be pro-death penalty and pro-choice, until I became convinced that mentality basically added up to 'pro-death', so I've become more conservative with those two issues. (I'm trying really hard to remember where I got the inspiration to change my mind about this... if I remember I'll post it up.)
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquor Dealer

my biggest surprise has been the attitudes of those who come to this board from Scandanavia - a part of the world I had always wanted to visit - I have changed my mind and won't be packing anytime soon.
It is funny you have said this, as I have seen a change in Scandinavian attitudes as well though not here. I happen to have known a LOT of Scandinavians for the last 10 years in online gaming. The same guys the whole time basically. At some point, they switched to an almost rabid anti-American position, and this started before Iraq. I'm not sure what they see in the news over there, but even the ones who only complained about the socialists and wished they were more 'American like' seemed to change to an anti-American stance. I don稚' know what happened. They of course hated Bush, but they couldn稚 give any real reasons (just the usual he is stupid blah blah), but even that wouldn稚 explain why they became so anti-American so quickly. At the time I thought a lot of it was that Europe got SCARED. 9-11 comes along and you see the US waving millions of flags, and speaking of revenge, and suddenly you see just how big we really are and how dangerous we can be.

As for me personally, nothing said here has really changed what I thought on a subject, but its still fun to argue about it to some degree.
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Old 11-06-2003, 04:16 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I can only think of one thing that I've recently changed my opinion on.

I originally supported the war on Iraq, as I was one of the many duped by Blair/Bush that Hussein was developing WMD. My support for war had nothing to do with the subsequent nonesense that Iraq was actively involved in the 911 attacks.

However, I now have seen the error of my ways and believe the war was a great mistake. I think it will only go to create more problems, foster more hatred and precipitate more terrorist attacks on the US. Oh... and there were no WMDs. :-/

Apart from that, not much.

I used to like my steak medium rare, but now I get ill if there's even a hint of pink to be seen.

I guess I'm still the left-leaning, open minded, "liberal" (in the US sense) person my parents raised.

I still believe the death penalty is wrong in all cases.
I'm a strong believer in gun-control, but am lucky to have been raised in a country with very strict laws in this area (Ireland).
I am still a firm believer in proportional representation.
I believe in a free press and the absolute seperation of church & state.
I am "pro-choice" and am often reminded of the very emotive debate in this area that occured in Ireland when I was growing up (where, by the way, we still have a constitutional ban on abortion).
I could go on, but I'm sure some of the above is already making some board-members see red.

So, I suppose the only thing I've changed my mind about was that war with Iraq. At first I thought it was justified. Now I realise it was a huge fuck-up.

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Old 11-06-2003, 10:51 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
It is funny you have said this, as I have seen a change in Scandinavian attitudes as well though not here. I happen to have known a LOT of Scandinavians for the last 10 years in online gaming. The same guys the whole time basically. At some point, they switched to an almost rabid anti-American position, and this started before Iraq. I'm not sure what they see in the news over there, but even the ones who only complained about the socialists and wished they were more 'American like' seemed to change to an anti-American stance. I don?t' know what happened. They of course hated Bush, but they couldn?t give any real reasons (just the usual he is stupid blah blah), but even that wouldn?t explain why they became so anti-American so quickly. At the time I thought a lot of it was that Europe got SCARED. 9-11 comes along and you see the US waving millions of flags, and speaking of revenge, and suddenly you see just how big we really are and how dangerous we can be.

As for me personally, nothing said here has really changed what I thought on a subject, but its still fun to argue about it to some degree.
Of course we are scared, you turned from a powerful and corrupt yet friendly nation, to a fucking raging beast.
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:23 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by eple
Of course we are scared, you turned from a powerful and corrupt yet friendly nation, to a fucking raging beast.
Thanks! We needed that. Can you substantiate either one of those charges?
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:29 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Do I have to?
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Oh here we go...

How can someone "substantiate" an opinion?

Like it or not, outside the US, America is considered agressive and war-mongering. I'm not saying I believe this, but that's a fact. You lost a lot (an awful lot) of goodwill by the way Bush/Blair trumped up nonesense about Iraq and invaded, whilst being hyper-hypocritical about China, North Korea, Russia etc.

Anyway, I couldn't be bothered getting involved in this argument. It's so very old and so very boring.

So, what have YOU changed your opinion on?


Mr Mephisto
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:59 PM   #34 (permalink)
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So - I guess we can assume from both of you that you can substantiate nothing - you're just here on an American bashing outing. Does that fit? It wasn't stated as an opinion - it was stated as fact.
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:26 PM   #35 (permalink)
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It was an opinion, good sir. I could have been more accurate in my comment by saying "In my eyes..." up front but I think I made it clear that what I was referring to was my subjective view on the US and how it have changed from a kind of respect to fear and anger. This fear and anger might be totally unreasonable, built on my imagination, or maybe on the rabid lying evil communist news that hold Europe in an iron grip, but I think it may be more to it.
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Old 11-06-2003, 02:32 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquor Dealer
So - I guess we can assume from both of you that you can substantiate nothing - you're just here on an American bashing outing. Does that fit? It wasn't stated as an opinion - it was stated as fact.
You can assume whatever you want dude, but I was standing in and saying you were both wrong.

It's pointless starting this bullshit thread, as it's been done so many times before. I wasn't American bashing.

Grow up.

Mr Mephisto
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:49 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquor Dealer
So - I guess we can assume from both of you that you can substantiate nothing - you're just here on an American bashing outing. Does that fit? It wasn't stated as an opinion - it was stated as fact.
It's my policy to take everyone's posts as opinion rather than fact. Much safer that way, and more accurate, IMO.

Edit: i laughed after rereading my 'IMO'
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