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Passions in Poetry

"The World is Against us........"

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Balladeer
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0 posted 04-05-2003 05:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


This is an excerpt from an article appearing in the Miami Herald on Friday….


“Bloodied corpses of U.S. soldiers or Iraqi civilians. A wounded coalition soldier with a serial number written in black on his forehead. Relentless commentary on the mistakes of "occupying" forces in Iraq. The sights and sounds are not from an Arab television network. They are from Russian t.v. Implicit is the message that America is not so great and Russia is not its knees, after all.

In France and Germany, two European states that partnered with Russia in most strongly opposing the war, the media tone has also been pointedly critical. "Superpower in the Sand: America's Stuck Blitskrieg" was the cover headline on the prestigious weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which last week called the war "terror-bombing for freedom."


German newspapers have focused exclusively on Iraqi civilian casualties. On the front page Sunday, the popular Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel featured the headline "Bloodbath in Baghdad Market". In Tuesday's Bild, under the headline "trench Warfare", a story asked "Will it be as terrible as World War One" alongside a file folder of a German soldier in the trenches.

In France last week, Le Monde questioned "Where is Bush's War Going?" in an article focusing on civilian casualties. Recently on the cover of the daily Liberation ran a U.S. soldier's "We're not afraid of anything" across a picture of Iraqis fleeing their homes with whatever they could carry.

Spain's top two newspapers, El Pais and El Mundo, have both taken an outspoken anti-war stand in their editorial pages. Their news coverage has focused on civilian casualties, Iraqi resistance and setbacks to the coalition forces. On Wednesday the front page of the Internet version of El Pais featured a photo of the Baghdad maternity hospital damaged by U.S. bombs.

"In their desire to subdue Iraq, the U.S. goes so far as to fight against children", said Yekaterina Andreyeva, anchor of the news program Vremya, Russia's on state network channel one, commenting on a report of a gun battle involving Iraqi boys and American soldiers. Nor can Russia's non-state stations resist the occasional jibe. "British soldiers only have enough courage to watch from afar through the optical sights of their sniper rifles, as hundreds of Arab men snatch boxes of canned and long-life food from each other's hands", reported Sergei Mikhailov, commenting on an aid distribution last week in Iraq."

Mexican newspapers are splashing photos of Iraqi babies slaughtered by American soldiers across their front pages.

The newspapers in the Arab world, such as Egypt and Jordan,  portray the coalition forces as criminals, sadists and murderers. Jordan headlines claimed that Americans are killing the civilians to rob them of whatever valuables they have.

People in these countries protest against us. Gee, I wonder why. These are the things being fed to the general populace by their own news agencies. Do they see anything factual? No. Do they see anything that is not detrimental to the United States or its allies? No. Their articles consist of lies, innuendos and misinformation. It is the only view they get.

Today the Iraqi minister of information claimed the Americans were defeated at the airport, have not entered Baghdad and are absorbing tremendous losses at the hands of the brave Iraqi fighters. It may sound ridiculous that they would make those statements when there is footage and all kinds of proof that those assertions are false but they know what they are doing. They know that their version will be the only one carried in the Arab world. To the footage of Americans in Baghdad they say it is a Hollywood trick, staged movies created in another town and not Baghdad. Dumb? Of course, but the arab in the streets will buy it. Iraq and the highest Muslim leaders claim now that the conflict qualifies as a jihad and they entreat all brothers to aid Iraq against these infidels. Egyptians are gonna be very surprised when they go to Iraq to where the Iraqi fighters are kicking the hell out of the yanks and find a McDonald’s at the outskirts of Baghdad!

The point I’m trying to make is this….the majority of the large foreign protests are protesting  due to a carefully orchestrated brainwashing of their own news agencies. This should come as a surprise to no one. Yet we have even Americans who look at these demonstrations and say things like “The world is against us” or “Everybody hates us”. These people are as brainwashed as the protestors. Those people are protesting because they were programmed to protest. Do many hate Americans? No doubt…..but the way the news is presented to them and the fact that they only see one side is what makes the protests frenzied. For those of you claiming the world hates us, please give it a little logical thought before making such claims.

As for myself, I have no problem with any country that did not join the coalition. I have no problem with those against our actions. I have no problem with those that protested against our actions. But for those countries that produced lies and misrepresentations and plastered them in their headlines in order to enflame their populace knowing full well that they were false accusations I have a BIG problem. I will not knowingly buy any products from these countries. I will not be a tourist in these countries nor will I try to do anything that would put a penny of mine into their economy. Yes, I know that this will not cause them economic chaos but it’s my small protest and, hopefully, there may be others who feel as I do and they change those plans to visit the Black Forest or the Awful Tower (or was that Eiffel?) and go to Austrailia instead. If this war has shown nothing else to me, it has certainly shown the true faces of the governments of those countries who have claimed to be America’s friends…..and I hope that the next time their hands stick out for foreign aid, our government takes a long look at their actions during this time..


End of rant…

(for now)
Ron
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1 posted 04-05-2003 06:53 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The point I'm trying to make is this….the majority of the large foreign protests are protesting  due to a carefully orchestrated brainwashing of their own news agencies.

So you're basically saying that the only reason baseball is popular in America is because the media shoves it down our collective throats all the time?

Conspiracy theories can be a lot of fun, especially for imaginative writers, but I've never seen an indication that ANY large group of people, in the absence of personal gain, can cooperate long enough to make one work. I find it much easier to believe that the media elsewhere is exactly like the media in America. They print and broadcast what sells, which of course, is just another way of saying they give the people what they want.

In this country, though we can be a little eclectic, we want to know which politicians are sleeping around, which athletes are on trial for murder, and which actors are shoplifting or breaking SEC rules. Those things are a lot more important to us than learning how many homeless died on the streets last night or how many pregnant teenagers dropped out of school last month. We like to tear down celebrities and our media gives us exactly what we want. Fortunately, it's not usually too hard for them to find a less-than-perfect hero in dire need of being knocked down a peg or two.

Why should anyone think the rest of the world is all that much different?
Balladeer
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2 posted 04-05-2003 07:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

quote:

"So you're basically saying that the only reason baseball is popular in America is because the media shoves it down our collective throats all the time?"

I have to say, Ron, I have absolutely no idea how that applies here. As far as it being a reason - yes - but the only reason? Of course not. Yes, newspapers have a great influence. I remember the year the Marlins won the World Series. Little old lady customers of mine who had never let the word "baseball" escape their lips for the 20 years i have known them wanted to talk about the Marlins the minute I opened their door. Everybody was talking baseball....people who hated baseball were talking baseball and a lot of it was because the newspapers were filled daily with baseball. They were caught up in the frenzy. Same with the Dolphins in football. The year the hockey team went to the Stanley Cup, those same old ladies were talking hockey!! Of course it was from the media coverage. So what? The newspapers didn't lie about baseball or misrepresent it. If the Marlins had actually been in last place and the newspapers were reporting they were in the Series, then I would accept it as an example.

quote:

"Conspiracy theories can be a lot of fun, especially for imaginative writers, but I've never seen an indication that ANY large group of people, in the absence of personal gain, can cooperate long enough to make one work. I find it much easier to believe that the media elsewhere is exactly like the media in America. They print and broadcast what sells, which of course, is just another way of saying they give the people what they want. "

This one is no fun and there is plenty of personal gain. Power, manipulation, guiding the population like blind sheep...this is personal gain for a government. They print and broadcast what sells...of course they do. They can also sell. Newspapers can create and manipulate public thought and opinion and I'm sure you know that. They can not only give the people what they want...they can create the want.

You feel that the American media is the same as them? I'm sorry to hear that. They are creating their own news with lies and selective editing. Perhaps you feel that a national American newspaper along the order of the NY Times or the Tribune would fabricate murder, torture and sadism on an individual or group in order to "give the people what they want". I don't.

If the countries in my post had given honest reporting, showing both sides in an unbiased manner, left out the deliberate lies, perhaps a sentence or two here and there about an American soldier risking his life to save an Iraqi citizen, distribution of food and water, doctors going in to the small towns to administer to the sick, the fact that Iraqis were using civilian clothing and women and children as shields, firing from holy sites.....do you really think the protests would have been the same? I seriously doubt it. The protest have been as violent as they have because of the deliberate orchestration of those in power, not some acquiescence to the will of the people.

We're not talking politicians sleeping around, movie stars smoking pot or whatever other examples you mention. We're talking murder, baby killing, slaughter...allow me to feel there is a difference.

You feel that we are no different? Ok, I'll believe that as soon as I start respecting Hussein

Midnitesun
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3 posted 04-05-2003 08:11 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

"The point I’m trying to make is this….the majority of the large foreign protests are protesting  due to a carefully orchestrated brainwashing of their own news agencies. This should come as a surprise to no one"
quoted from Michael, our Balladeer
*****************************************
Nope, and neither does the reporting our own government/media dishes out...often  a similar approach. Propaganda often seems to be the news-of-the-day.  
BTW, I have on my desktop, links to more than ten different countries' newspapers, so that I get a more "rounded" view of what people 'round the planet think and say.
No, it's not a perfect system. But having lived overseas and travelled a bit, I do know the American press tends to have some  definite slants that do not always show what is relly going on in other countries.


[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (04-05-2003 08:13 PM).]

Balladeer
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4 posted 04-05-2003 08:21 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

...a similar approach? My answer to you is the same as the one to Ron. Our "slants" do not involve the fabrication of murder, genocide and atrocities.

I'm finding it extremely hard to believe that you guys, who certainly know better, are not even irritated how we are falsely being portrayed to the point where so much more hatred is being created against us from people who don't know any better.

We see film clips of helping the civilians, saving their lives in some cases, doing everything in our power to protect the civilian population and we see the press accusing us of murder and butchery instead and all you can say is, "Well, our press is pretty bad, too". I just don't get it...and actually I think I'm glad I don't.
Denise
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5 posted 04-05-2003 08:33 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I also believe that those in power in these countries have an anti-U.S. agenda and that they, with the help of their press, are whipping up a frenzy among their citizens. Although I do agree that generally the press gives the populace what they want, what sells papers, I believe that they also use their power to influence, persuade and inflame the populace by a dishonest and/or incomplete reporting of events. I'd say that's even true of some papers here in the States, unfortunately, who are under the control of anti-Bush owners/editors.

Is the World against us? No, I don't think so. Sure, some are, some always have been and always will be, no matter what we do or say or don't do or say, and they are the most vocal ones which makes it seem as though the whole World is against us.

The thing that I have more of a problem with though is the way that some of the politicians in the U.S. are behaving at this time. The fact that Carter and Clinton and various Senators have not stood behind the Administration at this time is unprecidented and shameful. To me, it speaks to their character...politicians to the core,shameful, shameful.
Crazy Eddie
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6 posted 04-05-2003 08:42 PM       View Profile for Crazy Eddie   Email Crazy Eddie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Crazy Eddie


There are plenty of headlines of the sort you describe plastered across British newspapers and I’ll have to admit that I’m glad there are, it would be far more worrying if they were all of one voice and one opinion. We see pictures of dead babies and devastated suburbs and critical editorials of the current conflict and the American Governments actions, we also see the same dead babies and devastated suburbs alongside editorials supporting Americas action. I’d hazard a guess that the French and German newspapers contain a similar mixture of opinions, are the people of Europe protesting because of the editorials? I don’t think so, I’m not sure public opinion is so easily manipulated, I agree that the media can focus the minds of the masses on a specific topic (war, baseball, sex scandal)  but it has no direct control over the way people think. I agree with Ron in that respect, the media is simply reflecting what the populace thinks and believes and not the other way round.
Titia Geertman
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7 posted 04-05-2003 08:50 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman


Does it help if I say "I love you all"? coming from the Netherlands, where I look telly every day and don't see or hear anything you described above? Does it????

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

Denise
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8 posted 04-05-2003 08:55 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I agree, Michael. It infuriates me the way we are being portrayed as slaughterers of babies, women and civilians when we go to extraordinary lengths to avoid non-combatant injuries and deaths. The Iraqi regime knows that, too, and uses it to its strategic advantage.
Sunshine
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9 posted 04-05-2003 08:58 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Yes, Titia, it helps tremendously.  I have to agree with Balladeer...we are under tremendous observation by others just as President Bush knew we would be - and I truly believe it is one of the reasons WHY he held back so long...

but I also truly believe he did not begin this war.  One can only turn a cheek so long...and we only have four cheeks to deal with.....

I have heard for the last two years from those in the know [e.g. some Vietnam Vets], that "a war would be 'just what we need' to get us out of our economic slump"...

and yet...they were also the first to understand that they did not want our young men and women to face what they went through.

My underlying prayer in all of this?

That we give the respect and consideration to our returning military....

Kansas has already lost one man.  We may lose more.  But they know what they are going in to, and folks...we do NOT have a draft in process.  God bless our Military.

Crazy Eddie
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10 posted 04-05-2003 09:02 PM       View Profile for Crazy Eddie   Email Crazy Eddie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Crazy Eddie


On the question of whether the world is against America I have to say I honestly don’t think it is, what has happened, at least in the UK is a shift towards distrust and the evaporation of pro-American feelings in the majority of people, judging from those I’ve spoken to.

Denise,

If the people in power are to blame for whipping up the protesters in collusion with the media then Tony Blair is in a very strange situation indeed.
Titia Geertman
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11 posted 04-05-2003 09:13 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman


No serious, a lot of people in the Netherlands are against the war also, but I think they're just stupid. But lots of them, me included, know why it has to be as it is today, there was no other way to solve this.

I don't read foreign newspapers, don't have time to do that, but what I'm really convinced of is that Europe missed out on this one. The whole EEG is a laughing matter, and Europe will never act like one if they carry on like this.

Radio, television and newspapers in Holland are pretty objective about the whole thing. They show us exactly what is going on, from different angles and I didn't hear them talk ugly about the Americans.

That's my two dimes, I'm off to bed, it's almost morning overhere.

Carry on, don't eat each other because I love you all.

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

Larry C
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12 posted 04-05-2003 09:14 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

Denise,
I though Clinton already revealed his character long ago...
Ron
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13 posted 04-05-2003 09:16 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If the countries in my post had given honest reporting, showing both sides in an unbiased manner, left out the deliberate lies ...


You're lumping too many things under the same umbrella for one response to cover it all. I might buy into an argument that "some" news stories, in some countries where the media is actually controlled by the government, are purposely manipulating public opinion and doing it with deceit and lies. But everyone that disagrees with you? You complain because Le Monde publishes an article focusing on civilian casualties? Why shouldn't they? Would you prefer that particular news be swept under the rug? Or are civilian deaths part of the lie? Was the photo of the damaged Baghdad maternity hospital fabricated or retouched? Just because you feel something shouldn't be emphasized doesn't make it a lie.

Balanced reporting doesn't result from one news source writing unbiased copy, because that's just not possible. It comes from everyone being allowed to tell their own stories, concentrating on what they feel is important. How many stories in American papers have you read, Mike, about the courage and compassion demonstrated by an Iraqi soldier? Or do you honestly believe the common Iraqi man is incapable of those qualities? There is no such thing as unbiased reporting. Not here. Not there. You might be interested in reading Bias, by CBS correspondent Bernard Goldman. And then, because that book has its own agenda, you can follow it up with What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News by Eric Alterman.

Everyone is biased, Mike. Your complaint seems to be they're just not reporting your biases.


Denise
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14 posted 04-05-2003 09:17 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Eddie,

Just as here in the States, there are forces at work attempting to undermine your current leader. They wield whatever political power they have in an attempt to foster their own agenda.  
Denise
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15 posted 04-05-2003 09:24 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Yes he did, Larry, and he continues to lose ground in that department as far as I am concerned, and I didn't think that was possible!
Crazy Eddie
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16 posted 04-05-2003 09:28 PM       View Profile for Crazy Eddie   Email Crazy Eddie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Crazy Eddie


Denise,

I agree, in the case of the UK those trying to undermine Tony Blair are the people and in some cases members of his own party who believe war at this time was the wrong decision.
Balladeer
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17 posted 04-05-2003 10:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

quote:

"How many stories in American papers have you read, Mike, about the courage and compassion demonstrated by an Iraqi soldier? Or do you honestly believe the common Iraqi man is incapable of those qualities?"

That's a very good example, Ron, and one I can agree with. No, we do not run stories like that, even though they may very well exist.

On the other hand, however, we would not run a story about that soldier murdering and robbing an American if he hadn't. Yet those are the tactics being used against us.

Is my complaint that they are not printing MY biases? My complaint is that they are not printing facts, or that the ones they are printing are false and one-sided. Iraq says there are no Americans in Baghdad, we show there are...their "facts" get printed. Do they print anything about human shields? No. There were American prisoners executed with shots to the head. What were the questions at the next news conference? "How are the Iraqi soldiers being treated?" Not a word about the executions. Iraq says its forces are winning, wh know they are not...which gets printed? Anything about some civilians being killed because they were human shields? No...just that they were civilians and we killed them. My biases? I suppose so if my biases are facts. We certainly don't hesitate to print whatever Americans do wrong, otherwise Mai Lai would have never made the front page. This is nothing new. Back to after 9/11 the Arab news agencies printed only information favorable to Bin Laden. When asked by the US governement to put on some information against terrorist organizations, they flatly refused. To not print facts, or to hide facts from the public...that I can understand. To make up lies and print them as truths....that I cannot, and will not, accept or pardon.
Poet deVine
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18 posted 04-05-2003 10:11 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


I've stopped reading newspapers. One missing word can sometimes change the meaning of a sentence. So I watch cable news channels. I feel like I'm sitting in a tank driving into Baghdad. I sometimes mute the 'anchor' people who talk and talk and talk. I want to make up my own mind.

I think there are a lot of people like me around the world. We don't stand on a street corner and protest (for or against). We watch. We see the horrors of both sides - is there really any difference between a 19 year old American or British boy and a 19 year old Iraqi boy - all of whom are fighting for what they believe in? They all bleed red..and somewhere a mother cries over their body.
Brad
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19 posted 04-05-2003 10:33 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Is the whole world against us? I think it's the other way around. The whole world thinks we're against them.

Nobody likes Hussein (or at least until recently, nobody liked him), but nobody likes the fact that America can pretty much do anything at anytime to anyone and nobody can do anything about it.

In a movie I quite enjoyed, I'm going to quote the hokiest line in the whole thing (I cringed when I heard it), but I think many have forgotten it:

Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility."

Ron
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20 posted 04-05-2003 10:53 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Mike, I have no problem at all agreeing that Iraq, as well as a few of Iraq's allies, are engaged in blatant propaganda. To think otherwise would be foolish. If they had the infrastructure that included a free press, we probably wouldn't have to be there right now.

Iraqi news sources have to be biased. They have no choice in the matter. But we do.
Tim
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21 posted 04-05-2003 11:41 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Balladeer, facts have no importance to some when those facts get in the way of their agenda. It is no different on the world stage as it is in life of us peons.
Balladeer
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22 posted 04-05-2003 11:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Brad, it was your "Everybody is against us" comment that prompted the title of this post...

Tim and Ron...I suppose you are right but I still reserve the right to be outraged at the outrageous.....and my nights of sleeping on the Left Bank are over
Tim
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23 posted 04-06-2003 12:35 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

And who pray tell are Iraq's allies?  There are unquestionably those against the United States, but who are the allies of Iraq? Who supports a secular mass murderer of Muslims?  
Ron
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24 posted 04-06-2003 12:57 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Outraged is probably a little strong, but I definitely get irritated when I see people stretching the truth. And I seem to be seeing it a lot lately. On both sides of the fence. The weird part is, I don't think most people are intentionally lying as much as they are seeing only what they want to see. They are blinded by their own presumptions, apparently incapable of even the simplest logic.

If it wasn't so irritating, I guess it would almost be sad.
 
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