July 3, 2014

Bono Speech at Georgetown - Keeping Faith with the Idea of America

Now, now, let him speak.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at July 3, 2014 12:04 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

What Bono says is true, America is an idea, an idea with great drawing power and truth. Alas, fewer and fewer individuals are keeping the idea, the faith of the idea of America, alive and truthful to its roots. It's Independence Day tomorrow, in an America which now celebrates dependence rather than independence. The tree of liberty is rotten, let us pray that there remains a bit of health in its roots.

Posted by: John Venlet at July 3, 2014 1:06 PM

America is more than an idea, it is the expression of, the reality of, what the idea implies, condenses into words. The idea is analogous to the spirit that gives passion and motive to man. It is the people living it.
Ideas lead to consequences as actions of those imbued with the ideas -- whether beneficial or detrimental to some or to all.
The choice is ours.

And in these days of darkening doom, dimly seen, remember,
"... What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"
Let us be worthy.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 3, 2014 4:11 PM

It worries me when a do-gooder foreigner talks like that. What he is saying is open your pocketbooks and pay up to fix problems we think exist. Another meme is often open your borders after all aren't you a country of immigrants? Yeah right. Every country is a country of immigrants except some small location in Africa where human life began. Just because we needed immigrants 100 years ago and we still allow immigrants doesn't mean we should throw open our borders. We don't need immigrants! This country is the third largest population in the world and we can't take care of our own. If your own damn country sucks then fix it don't come here and make our country suck.

Posted by: GoneWithTheWind at July 3, 2014 4:24 PM

GWTW - hear, hear!

Bongo's still a self-righteous prick. As far as that "We're all immigrants here" horseshit, I've discovered, late in my 60's, that my forebears on both sides have been here for hundreds of years - on my Dad's side since 1600. Lots of them, including my Dad, died to keep us free. I'm the 13th generation of working-class white people, which damn sure makes me a native.

O thus be it ever, while free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, "In God Is Our Trust!"
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at July 3, 2014 7:12 PM

And there are people who hate the idea. They won the election. Now it's over.
Oh, you'll be able to have quaint discussions of how great America was. That will be nice.

Posted by: Trialdog at July 4, 2014 4:27 AM

Bono is one of many the celebrity meatheads that think they got all the answers to the world's problems.

Amazing how smart they get when they have millions of dollars.

I don't see them putting their money where their mouths are which would be a considerable sum seeing how big their flap traps are.

If they do throw money at a problem I see it as vain posturing - see how good I am?

In the same breath they criticize the country and culture that allowed them to make all that money.
All the "entertainers", actors and actresses and musicians, all them people deserve a good hard punch in the face.

Celebrate Assholes Get a Punch in the Face Day.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 4, 2014 4:28 AM

What Bono says is ok as far as it goes. It does not go far enough, that is the problem. Taken as the whole, which he and his adorers do apparently, one would think that our existence is nothing but a grand Idea. This reduces any people, any country, to moldable putty to be fashioned into whatever idealistic notion is fancied by the protagonist. It is the perfect medium for those who insist on constant change.

We are a particular people with a particular geography, history and heritage that is not suited to everyone on the planet. To deny this, to deny us, in universal language with appeals to little more than "opportunity" and "equality" is Evil.

The manipulation of rootless ideas such as democracy, globalism, socialism, even freedom, are testaments to the destructive power of simplistic pandering.

Posted by: Snickers at July 4, 2014 12:55 PM

I do not beg to, but I do differ in my understanding of Bono's brief presentation.
I heard it clearly, simply, pertinently as homage to America's founding principles (ideas) and Americans who put those principles into practice. That is what the world admires, Yes, we have our faults and have not always behaved angelically. But on the scales of justice and compassion for others the scale tips deeply in our favor. And it's that REALITY that cuts through the crap of im-propaganda perpetrated by the haters, the master-baiters, the envious and jealous sycophants for servitude, whether they be mind-caged and enraged socialists, communists, Maoists, Islamists, or ignorant domestic imperialists.

Bono speaks of allowing us the dignity and justice (of our founding principles) and, "We'll do the rest." Seems he's speaking of and admiring self-reliance in a land of opportunity. Grant the man his due -- admiration and justice -- for what he speaks here at Georgetown U., a bastion of derision for the USA.
If you believe he's simply a do-gooder, do a Ben Franklin analysis: list all the charities he's supported and describe the ways he sabotaged the beneficient values of those charities. If you cannot fairly do that, then consider STFU, and stop maligning him and his Georgetown presentation.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 4, 2014 1:56 PM

"Seems he's speaking of and admiring self-reliance in a land of opportunity."

Yet he is denying, simply by omission, the other half of the equation, which is who are these people who built a great nation.

Implicit in his appeal is that it is the *idea* that matters, and the particular people not at all. It could have been the Chinese or the Brazilians who developed such principles and such a nation. But it wasn't. It was an identifiable We The People and that is something to admire and celebrate today.

Recognizing the misleading incompleteness of his message is not maligning or imperialism. It is fair criticism.

Posted by: Snickers at July 4, 2014 2:33 PM

Howard Nelson: STFU, uh? That the way they teach you to talk at that bastion of derision? To brook no contradicting views?
From the sound of it you are all reading from the same set of vague generalities and meaningless phrases. Especially Paul David Hewson, King of Platitude. He'd never talk that way back in his homeland.

STFU ... or what? You and your milk & cookies chums gonna scowl at me?

Posted by: chasmatic at July 4, 2014 3:00 PM

Bono does not see why America is rich and Africa is poor. He admires America because we are rich and we aren't predators against other nations. That is still a remarkable thing.

I know anyone with a heart who has been to Africa wants to do something to relieve the misery. And many have. But they are only putting a band aid on what is the real problem, which is corrupt governance.

The question is, how do you change their governance? The answer lies in what the U.S did after WWII. Conquer the nation, install a democratic, free-market government, then stay until the majority of the people accept it as a better way. Usually a generation or more.

Shoveling money into Africa is like giving money to the wino on the street. It makes you feel better, but does no lasting good for Africa or the wino.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at July 4, 2014 3:08 PM

Chas, you have just chastised yourself, demonstrated by your lapse into dodging the issues I raised. You do not raise a counterargument to my hearing and interpretation of Bono's short statement, but you do take insult from the challenge to put your anti-Bono case to the simple test I suggested.
Further, I did not suggest that anyone STFU; I asked that if you could not give Bono a fair shake, then consider STFU.
You did not rise to the challenge of an honest argument, but lowered yourself, in this case, to baseless, besides-the-point BS.
".. contradicting views?" You have a permanent right to your views and opinions. My questions related to the facts presented in Bono's brief speech and the defamation they engendered by the ignoranti among the readership. Ignorance is easily cured if you have the integrity of honesty based in comprehensive truth of the matter in question. Stupidity, that is, the misuse of one's intelligence in service of a bias, or egomanic adherence to a previous erroneous position, requires a heroic effort. I believe you are capable of such an effort.
I would consider a punch in the face from you, the equivalent of a badge of honor. I appreciate your bluntness, so please use a hammer fist so as not to injure your knuckles. You're close to the top of the other 3085 people with whom I enjoy having an argument. Thank you and blessings.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 4, 2014 3:40 PM

"A shared history and extended kinship". Precisely.


None of us lives according to abstract notions of liberty or anything else.

Posted by: Snickers at July 4, 2014 5:13 PM

Chas, my apologies. In my previous comment I meant to say that the heroic effort required to extract oneself from any self-imposed stupidity, is one you or anyone is capable of, if they care enough.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 4, 2014 5:23 PM

Howard: I am not taking this dialog as seriously as you. Your debating style includes a condescending attitude and provocative words and phrases meant to trigger a defensive reaction.
Any who react to the jibes concede a tactical advantage. "self-imposed stupidity", C'mon Howard, cheap shots reveal the weakness of your argument.
I'm a cynical old fart like my uncle Louie Lozko. Lately I am paying more attention to the evidence and less to the arguments.
We all called him "Letsgo Lozko". He raised bantam chickens.
Here's for you: I Cor 10:13

Posted by: chasmatic at July 5, 2014 12:58 AM

Chas, you are correct that in my arguments I try to provoke those who contest my position. That's to urge them to present adequate evidence for their position -- thereby at least educating me. If the debate opponent is unable to present an adequate counterargument I hope he would reconsider his original position. This, to my mind, is the opposite of being condescending.
Opinions are fine for firing up debate/argument. Argument seeks to get at the truth. Debate seeks more to score points. Lastly, if you've the time, let me know what in Bono's short video you found disagreeable.
I commend to your attention what has educated me, Philipians 4:8.

Posted by: Howard Nelson at July 5, 2014 9:31 AM

It is as simple as this: I just don't like the guy. I think his music sucked too.
Howard, if you like everybody you meet, you are not meeting enough people.
My uncle's name was Louie Lozko. We all called him "Letsgo Lozko". He raised bantam chickens and he did not like every one of them.
Any perceptive reader will realize that mentioning my uncle Letsgo is my polite way of saying I have lost interest in this conversation.
I don't imagine that will stop someone such as you. Just chat amongst yourself.

Posted by: chasmatic at July 5, 2014 10:08 AM