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 Post subject: Jimmy Carter's *State of the Union Address*
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:16 am 
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I believe that without a doubt Jimmy Carter was the best human who has sat in the Executive Office in my life. I also believe he had one of the worst Administrations in my life. Perhaps being Prez is a dirty job for a dirty man, because when Mr Carter plainly said *this is your country, the responsibility lies with you* Americans turned a deaf ear to him, and perhaps lost the last chance to rescue themselves from what seems to me now to be the inevitable outcome of our foolishness, lack of foresight, and most of all our inability to listen.

This isn't the real America

By Jimmy Carter

JIMMY CARTER was the 39th president of the United States. His newest book is "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," published this month by Simon & Schuster.


IN RECENT YEARS, I have become increasingly concerned by a host of radical government policies that now threaten many basic principles espoused by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican.

These include the rudimentary American commitment to peace, economic and social justice, civil liberties, our environment and human rights.

Also endangered are our historic commitments to providing citizens with truthful information, treating dissenting voices and beliefs with respect, state and local autonomy and fiscal responsibility.

At the same time, our political leaders have declared independence from the restraints of international organizations and have disavowed long-standing global agreements — including agreements on nuclear arms, control of biological weapons and the international system of justice.

Instead of our tradition of espousing peace as a national priority unless our security is directly threatened, we have proclaimed a policy of "preemptive war," an unabridged right to attack other nations unilaterally to change an unsavory regime or for other purposes. When there are serious differences with other nations, we brand them as international pariahs and refuse to permit direct discussions to resolve disputes.

Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world.

These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained. Even with our troops involved in combat and America facing the threat of additional terrorist attacks, our declaration of "You are either with us or against us!" has replaced the forming of alliances based on a clear comprehension of mutual interests, including the threat of terrorism.

Another disturbing realization is that, unlike during other times of national crisis, the burden of conflict is now concentrated exclusively on the few heroic men and women sent back repeatedly to fight in the quagmire of Iraq. The rest of our nation has not been asked to make any sacrifice, and every effort has been made to conceal or minimize public awareness of casualties.

Instead of cherishing our role as the great champion of human rights, we now find civil liberties and personal privacy grossly violated under some extreme provisions of the Patriot Act.

Of even greater concern is that the U.S. has repudiated the Geneva accords and espoused the use of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and secretly through proxy regimes elsewhere with the so-called extraordinary rendition program. It is embarrassing to see the president and vice president insisting that the CIA should be free to perpetrate "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" on people in U.S. custody.

Instead of reducing America's reliance on nuclear weapons and their further proliferation, we have insisted on our right (and that of others) to retain our arsenals, expand them, and therefore abrogate or derogate almost all nuclear arms control agreements negotiated during the last 50 years. We have now become a prime culprit in global nuclear proliferation. America also has abandoned the prohibition of "first use" of nuclear weapons against nonnuclear nations, and is contemplating the previously condemned deployment of weapons in space.

Protection of the environment has fallen by the wayside because of government subservience to political pressure from the oil industry and other powerful lobbying groups. The last five years have brought continued lowering of pollution standards at home and almost universal condemnation of our nation's global environmental policies.

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).

I am extremely concerned by a fundamentalist shift in many houses of worship and in government, as church and state have become increasingly intertwined in ways previously thought unimaginable.

As the world's only superpower, America should be seen as the unswerving champion of peace, freedom and human rights. Our country should be the focal point around which other nations can gather to combat threats to international security and to enhance the quality of our common environment. We should be in the forefront of providing human assistance to people in need.

It is time for the deep and disturbing political divisions within our country to be substantially healed, with Americans united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the historic political and moral values that we have espoused during the last 230 years.

_________________
Illegitimi non Carborundum.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:17 pm 
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I agree with you 100% that he was the best human who has sat in the Executive Office, possibly ever. I would tend to disagree that he had the worst administration though. Him and his people were actually too good for this post I think. He refused to lessen his standards. (though he admitted he did a couple times and was not very happy about it)

You hit the nail on the head when you said being a prez is a dirty job for a dirty man. I had the luck to catch a show on PBS about Carters life. It was a 4 hour show,(2 parts back to back) and I was transfixed throughout the whole thing. At the conclusion of the show, I had made my own conclusion. It was not this man nor his administration that failed the people. It was the people who failed this man. He did everything he could, short of getting down on his knees and begging, to make the country understand the things that needed to be done in order for this country to recover from the ills which we at that time faced, and also make our lives better for the future. The people though chose to ignore his words and continue doing exactly what they were doing because they obviously did not want to change, to make the sacrifices which were necessary.

This is the problem with America. We realize that there is something terribly wrong, but we are not willing (as a whole) to make the sacrifices which we know have to be done in order to fix the problems. Ask not what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your Country.
Great words, but words that we refuse to follow. We insist on continuing to live the way we live no matter the determent to our country, yet we demand that the government fix all of our ills. Well, I'm sorry. They cannot fix our ills. But we can. Each and every American working together could not only fix this nations ills, but could also through peaceful means fix much of the worlds ills. Instead of doing what needs to be done though, the majority of Americans would rather continue being dirty, greedy little hoar's to this system of corruption which we are now in.
By people as a whole refusing to change, we have brought about our own failure.

I find it sad that we have had great people throughout history who have told us what it would take for humans to live happily and in peace with one another, yet instead of listening to their unified wisdom, we have taken these men, and worshiped them instead of the words which they spoke. By fixation on the messengers, rather than the messages, we ignore what the real solution is. We take their words and twist them in ways which we see fit, and then expect all to follow this dogma which is taught and insisting that all follow these misguided religions.

I say again. If we look inside and honestly search, we know what the solutions are. Why do we choose not to live as our hearts dictate? If anyone decided to sit down and write a report on what they thought every human being would have to do in order to make this world a better place, I think you would be surprised to find that almost to a one, I believe they would be basically the same report. If people would then live in this way, we would not even need these governments because all people would be working towards the same goal.

As I said in some of my writings. The solutions are from within, not from without. I believe that Carter knows this, and he spoke the words from within, yet Americans, instead of also looking within, chose to ignore the wisdom which was being spoken to them. We wouldn't want to sacrifice our self serving ways now would we?

Carter was a great man. We were not worthy of him. Of course, this is my stance. Others can see different if they so choose.

CrimsonEagle


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:07 pm 
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CrimsonEagle wrote:
I agree with you 100% that he was the best human who has sat in the Executive Office, possibly ever. I would tend to disagree that he had the worst administration though. Him and his people were actually too good for this post I think. He refused to lessen his standards. (though he admitted he did a couple times and was not very happy about it)


No doubt, my friend.

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