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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 1:43 am Thread Starter
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Can you beleive it?

It's been about 20 years since the beginning of the fall of the Soviet Union (CCCP). Unbelievable...

My father was stationed at Templehof AFB in Berlin Germany from 89-91. I remember November 9th, 1989 like it was yesterday. We were watching AFN (Armed Forces Network) at around 6:30 in the evening (a rare night together with my parents at that young age of 18). The commentator announced the unconditional openings of all the check points throughout Germany (Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie) and people were flooding into the west with everything they could carry on their back, in their cars, on their motorcycles, on farm equipment (trucks and tractors), with disbelief and not knowing if they would make it to a safe haven of democracy and freedom before the checkpoints closed.

What is my point? The world has been without a major enemy staring down the US like the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries behind the Iron "Curtain" and this current generation does not know what it's like facing the constant threat of annihilation from a cold war enemy just waiting for an excuse to "push the button". To that, I wasn't alive during the Cuban Missile Crisis when it came down to hours to decide the fate for all humanity. I can't relate to that raw fear of everything you know going up in nuclear holocaust just like someone who is fresh out of college or just entering the workforce knows the constant and grating paranoia of going to war with an enemy that would rather destroy the world in the name of socialism vs. having the free loving peoples of the West corrupt their idealistic ways.

Most of the "kids" today, I count 25 years and down, just don't know what their parents and grandparents went through to field the threat from the communist party in their generations. Don't get me wrong, I welcome the fact that our country "won" the "Cold War" due to the leadership in the early to late 80's. Despite all the other engagements and wars / conflicts fought (1st and 2nd Gulf war, Somalia, Bosnia, Croatia, Afghanistan, Columbia, and a few others, most of the above I was involved in during my time in the service), I wish the current up and coming generation would realize WTF the 2 generations before it went through to keep the socialistic threat from tearing our country apart. I think people are also blissfuly ignorant (or just DONT want to see) the threat Iran and North Korea really are. I am not saying we should go attack them, just to know "Who's coming to Dinner".

It is my opinion that I see our country more and more lean toward socialism with a lot of the current policies being put into place and I fear for this nation. This is just my opinion and most likely we’ll go on as a country just fine but we (and our children, and perhaps later generations) will be paying for the folly of the current polices being put into place (even during the spending spree of G.W. Bush’s second term). Let me leave you with this piece of information that was given to us during my mock internment in a P.O.W. training camp during my flight training for the U.S.A.F.

“When Will Their Objectives be Met?”

“Corrupt the young, get them away from religion – get them interested in sex. Make them superficial, destroy their ruggedness. Get control of all means of publicity and thereby:

Get the peoples’ minds off their government by focusing their attentions on athletics, sexy books and plays, and other trivialities. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance. Destroy the peoples’ faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule, and obloquy. Always preach true democracy but seize power as fast and ruthlessly as possible. Encourage government extravagance, destroy its credit, produce fear and inflation with rising prices and general discontent.

Foment unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders, and foster a lenient and soft attitude on the part of the government toward such disorders. By specious argument, cause the breakdown of the old moral virtues: Honesty, Sobriety, Continence, Faith in the Pledged Word, Ruggedness. Cause registration of all firearms on some pretext, with the view of confiscating them and leaving the population helpless.”

The above is quoted from confiscated papers found in pre-World War I, Dusseldorf, Germany. These were written by a underground communist organization.


Thanks for letting me vent. Open and friendly discussion is welcome.

Cheers! - Walt
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 2:37 am
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I am not a socialist, I am uncomfortable with social and moral decline and I agree that this generation have little understanding and no empathy for sacrifices of generations past.
I do however think that your vent is a little one sided.
Russia lost 20 million people during the second world war and they are just the official deaths.
I think that any country that had its own beliefs, no matter which political persuasion, who suffered the way they did fighting the Germans who in their perspective was "the west" would become highly defensive.
Coming from Australia, the gun ownership laws of the US seem strange, especially when we read the statistics of gun related deaths. However whenever I engage anyone from the US regarding their attitude to this the answers are often about the right and/or need to defend oneself.
If you apply that same attitude to the cold war it is very easy to see a different point of view.
I dont mean to start a gun law debate but I think that its a relevant analogy.
I think that the point that you are trying to make is on the mark however from my perspective I think the shame is that this generation doesnt appreciate or understand the sacrifices and the tragic waste of life that occurred at the hands of ignorant and power hungry political and military leaders. As Sting used to sing "The Russians love their children too"

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 11:07 am
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sometimes it seems to me that nuclear programs of Noth Korea and Iran are their responce to American decision to rule the world. All those bombings of Yugoslavia and Iraq and absence of the Soviet Union as the principal and curbing enemy showed that nuclear weapons is the only way for them to protect themselves. So you have to thank your administrations for that mess.
BTW, a friend of mine rode his F800GS to Iran one month ago/solo/ - and he is still delighted of what he saw and how he was treated there.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 12:23 pm Thread Starter
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Great thoughts all.

A point I would like to make is that I have also been to a lot of "hostile" countries during my time and most of the time, the general population is welcome, friendly, and open. I am talking about the people of a country, not its leadership or government.

Most of everyone on earth loves Americans because all in all, we are a generous people and since we have accepted many different social, political, ethnic, ect groups over the life of this country, we are generally willing to help everyone because in the end, it helps us. Although when people mix politics into that picture, they believe that America hasn't done much of anything to assist anyone else in any time of crisis. I believe this to be totally untrue. I think we help the world more then we help ourselves.

I don't also want to slight the trials that the former Soviet Union (Russia) went through during any of its revolutions or WWII. A lot of people paid the price for their beliefs and it shouldn't be forgotten. Although we had 2 of them, I am sure one of these days we'll have another. That is an interesting point though Dadicool, I didn't know that the USSR during the time though of Germany as the "West" but also during that time they still were a up an coming union as well with a new belief in communism. I don't have to remind everyone here though of the capability of its politburo.

I cannot speak for my government but I don't think the average citizen (in any country) doesn't want to rule the world. Hell, we can diverge into many conspiracy theories here.

As for former Yugoslavia, we were asked to join a piece keeping force (NATO) to keep genocide at bay. I think that is a good thing. Same thing for Somalia. NATO needed a force to get food to the general population in that war torn and ravaged land. So being part of NATO we assisted where we needed to. I can't tell you how many tons of aid supplies and food during a year in and out of Africa that I flew into Somalia. I didn't even take in one bullet on our cargo jet. And Iraq, well, there is a lot of history there that I won't go into.

I think I see your point also EasyMan. However, i think you should say that they should thank both our governments for that mess, not just the US. We both had arsenals of significant size. Thank god for treaties like the SALT agreements and nuclear de-proliferation. Also, look at the "mad men" running those countries. In North Korea, you have a shut out world where they would rather starve their people to build up their armed services or take to give to the people in power. As for Iran, well they continue to preach the annihilation of a certain country and people. If the U.S. was this way and we already have nuclear weapons, why aren't we using them against our enemies? Nuclear war is a failed solution so why are other countries building up their "defenses"? I don't think they are intended for defensive purposes. Who knows those leaders intentions but I don't think they are defensive.

Also, not to spark a gun debate either, the official reason why we have weapons in the general population of America is because of the Second Amendment to the US Bill of Rights as part of our Constitution, which states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Now, there have been a lot of legal battles about what this means but the founding Fathers IMO meant that the government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around. In essence, it allows us to protect ourselves from the tyranny of government. Other than that, there are a lot of people out there that shouldn't have weapons because they haven't been trained on them properly and we really don't need them from a survival perspective (hunting for meat). But there are other reasons from a survivability standpoint as well. If we live in a perfect world all I would need is a baseball bat to protect myself and my wife from a home intruder or someone bent on making me a victim. I really don't want to stand for that and I can't put my life on the line waiting for a police person to show up. It's about self reliance IMO.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. I don't have a lot of people that I can talk with about this where I am living so it's great to have a "World view". I don’t' think the U.S. is perfect. As a matter of fact as a citizen I think we went sideways starting with Bush's second time in the White House and the current president, cabinet, and congress we have in there now isn't doing much if any better than their predecessor. Oh wait, they want to start calling it the "People's House" now. Hummm....

Cheers! - Walt
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 5:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyman05
sometimes it seems to me that nuclear programs of Noth Korea and Iran are their responce to American decision to rule the world. All those bombings of Yugoslavia and Iraq and absence of the Soviet Union as the principal and curbing enemy showed that nuclear weapons is the only way for them to protect themselves. So you have to thank your administrations for that mess.
BTW, a friend of mine rode his F800GS to Iran one month ago/solo/ - and he is still delighted of what he saw and how he was treated there.

Come on Vlad you really belive America wants to rule the world? When the wall that the former USSR put up came down how many American tanks did you see rush through? I was a New York City school kid in the 60's and remember very well the Cuban missile crisis, and the Cold war. I remember the nuclear fallout shelters all over New York City with that stupid yellow radiation symbol. I remember "Duck & Cover" That was fun, the bell would ring in class, and we were drilled to get under our desks into a fetal position until the blast effects passed. Really.... Bottom line, and I give the Russians all the credit for this, they did the hard part of the Cuban missile crisis, they backed down, because they didn't like the alternative, and like Andrew said it turned out The Russians loved their children too thank God, because Kennedy wasn't going to back down. Anyway I disagree with the statement America wants to take over the world. If we did not much stopping us.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Titanium5
Great thoughts all.

But there are other reasons from a survivability standpoint as well. If we live in a perfect world all I would need is a baseball bat to protect myself and my wife from a home intruder or someone bent on making me a victim. I really don't want to stand for that and I can't put my life on the line waiting for a police person to show up. It's about self reliance IMO.

....
That was my point re the cold war

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2009, 11:19 am
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Come on Vlad you really belive America wants to rule the world? ... Anyway I disagree with the statement America wants to take over the world. If we did not much stopping us.
All right, Dan, replace the word "America" by the word "the Wall Str."...
if it changes the sence...

btw, I spent 4 past week-ends hunting...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2009, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by Titanium5
Great thoughts all.

I think I see your point also EasyMan. However, i think you should say that they should thank both our governments for that mess, not just the US. We both had arsenals of significant size. Thank god for treaties like the SALT agreements and nuclear de-proliferation. Also, look at the "mad men" running those countries. In North Korea, you have a shut out world where they would rather starve their people to build up their armed services or take to give to the people in power. As for Iran, well they continue to preach the annihilation of a certain country and people. If the U.S. was this way and we already have nuclear weapons, why aren't we using them against our enemies? Nuclear war is a failed solution so why are other countries building up their "defenses"? I don't think they are intended for defensive purposes. Who knows those leaders intentions but I don't think they are defensive.

..
I have no will to justify the dictatorship in North Korea but my parents here, in Russia, did not have enough food also at the time of our nuclear development. And this is not a secret nowdays that your administration at that time was planning nuclear strikes on the Soviet cities/while we had no bombs/missiles to respond/.
Iran - I can see what you are driving at, but the friend I mentioned/F800GS/ is Jewish. I am quite critical about US propaganda since I am grown-up...

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Last edited by easyman05; May 14th, 2009 at 11:49 am.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2009, 12:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyman05
All right, Dan, replace the word "America" by the word "the Wall Str."...
if it changes the sence...

btw, I spent 4 past week-ends hunting...
Got ya, now I understand differently, but read a little Milton Friedman, greed is the driving factor behind every economy in a Democracy. It works, as long as the proper regulations are in place. Without regulations it's a disaster. He what kind of bird is that? Looks good, I like that Cabin too.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2009, 1:05 pm
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*/I should know this but...what kind of bird did you shoot there?? I don't recognize it! I hunt here in the USA, mostly whitetail/grouse/anything that moves (arharh, just kidding!!)...

I agree, we (the people) are not much interested in taking over the world. I'm personally more interested in nice, cold, Canadian Labatts

One thing I've never understood though is that we get all fired up when someone wants to put missiles close by (cuba), but that seems to be unilateral, when considering we want to put missiles close to Russia. My dad always used to tell me "people with glass houses don't throw stones".

I think folks around the world forget that we (USA) are a fairly young conglomeration of just about every type of person, nationality and religion from the whole world...so there is always pushback by those groups of folks when their home countries for instance, are under some sort of attack (not nessarily physical). That can also be reversed, some of these groups (re, Iraqi's, etc) WANT the USA to go in to change the reason the Iraqi had to leave his/her country to begin with.

North Korea is hardly worth talking about, another friggin INSANE leader. How the hell do these people get into power I'll never know...oops, wait a sec, how did Bush get...aww, never mind I'm in rare form this morning, sorry

ps...I'm half Lebanese but a born & raised ALL AMERICAN. I remember meeting an older Lebanses fellow here at a company I was working at and what he told me.."never forget your roots and who you are", something to that effect. I thought about it and ya know, daymmit, I'm American-Lebanese (ok ok, add half-hillbilly to that too), note what comes first..."AMERICAN". And thats the way this patrioit live's his life, here supporting our country all the way, while wishing that people of the whole world could share some of the things we have.
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