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Everything posted by MtnGoat

  1. Action Against a War

    "We saw an unbelievably large movement of wealth into the hands of a few, with most people seeing a DECLINE in general standard of living indicators." Most people? Really? What indicators? "If I remember correctly, never since such stats have been kept, has such a small percentage of people controlled such a large percentage of total wealth in the US. " Why don't these stats take into account the value of all the goods and services delivered for this to occur? Economics is not a one way street, for money to go one way, received value must go the other. The only way for trillions of dollars in cash to go one way is for the equivalent amount of value in goods and services to go the other way. The other percentage of people must have received the goods and services worth all that money residing in the other fraction's hands. That's why it's called *trade*. "Of course this can be seen not as a failure of our system, but as a necessary consequence during a time of incredible technological growth, " I don't see it as a failure at all. Every penny has meant someone has gotten something they wanted. "More growth, more growth!" they yell, as if economic growth can be infinite within a finite time-frame...." It may not be possible to have infinite growth in a finite time frame (depending on it's length), but it is entirely possible to have growth be non bounded. Market economics *creates* wealth, it just doesn't move it around and then stay put at one end.
  2. Action Against a War

    "Neo-liberal capitalist reform didn't do much to solve their problems, did it? Nor has it done anything to solve the problems of most Latin countries. " Of course not, because they never actually did reform of the entire system in any of these places. You must also reform contract law, property rights, title law, banking, taxation, and how budgeting is carried out. You don't get working capital in nations where title to land is impossible to get for the average joe, where banks are still run by rules based on socialist systems, where legislators still base law on socialist models. In Eastern Europe where they had their fill of enforced socialism and totally redrew their system of property rights, law, banking, and all the rest, the story is quite different. There are quite a few formerly socialist nations kicking some free market butt these days, but only because they reformed *everything*.
  3. Action Against a War

    "Actually, as we see above, the word "community" DOES denote some of the implications intended in the post you were replying to. Just trying to keep our semantics clear. Anything else I can help you with?" Surely. You can note that the first instance mirrors my comments, for one thing. And that none of the latter indicate common interests means everyone agrees on what those interests are. "In your zeal to label socialism an intrusive politics of oppression, you conveniently forgot to mention the conditions it has often tried to correct-a condition supremely indifferent to the rights of certain individuals, often the poor and oppressed." Since socialists view those "rights" as placing the obligation for labor on others, this is not an oversight, merely a further example of the socialist view that people are to be used to further specific social goals by their use as means rather than as ends in themselves. I suspect the rights you speak of, are in and of themselves direct requirements that other people supply them with goods, labor, services, or cash. This is exactly the usage of others I am speaking of. Can you give me a short list of the rights you speak of? "Sharing means caring, even if I have to hold a gun to your head, you greedy bastard!" Yup, no oppression there! Few things are as easy as sharing someone elses labor at gunpoint.
  4. Action Against a War

    "Do we really expect to be a part of a global community, and yet avoid the blowback from those that don't agree with our cultural monopoly perspective?" We are part of a global community no matter how anybody gets along. Community has never implied that everyone thinks the same ways and does the same things and works for the same goals, only that they are all scrunched into contact with each other. Any nation that doesn't like the culture they are purchasing is entirely free to try and internally ban such culture as they are not comfortable with, or try and create an alternate that will be chosen to a higher degree than that of the culture they do not care for.
  5. Action Against a War

    "We have over 30,000 firearm related deaths with over 12,000 of them Murder Every year." Since the vast majority are suicides, the individual themself has made the choice to do these acts to themselves. As for the murders, these are already illegal and pursued by authorities the same as we pursue the murderers who perpetrated 9-11 and their allies. "We have over 41,000 traffic related deaths with over 15,000 of them alcohol related fatalities Every year." Every single person knows the risks of having the freedom to drive, and the alcohol related fatalities are already prosecuted. "Are you so scared of Osama you are willing to give the Federal Government the amount of control over your day to day activities they ask in order to protect you from him? " Are we so scared of liberty that some demand more and more control over our daily lives, over what we eat, what we put into our bodies, who we hire, who we buy from or sell to, and on and on and on? The answer there is yes. If we're concerned about liberty it's not just ideas like freedom from search, but freedom of association, freedom to control ones private property and personal choices as well. At such time as people stop demanding to control these also essential liberties of others, I for one will certainly take complaints about other violations more seriously. Until then, it appears the only liberties being supported are being chosen for highly political reasons.
  6. Action Against a War

    "but it's beome clear that to many in what passes for the Left these days, both the interests and the lives of "The People" are in fact considerably less important than the well-being of the ideology that they are being sacrificed on behalf of. " Clearer than usual, that's for sure. After all, the entire ideology of the left is not based in respecting "the people" as individuals, but only as a mass to be used to gain specific end goals regardless of the wishes of the individuals they claim to represent. Your life and wants are held to be subservient to their social goal driven ideals, ending this or that ill by direction from above. Our role as tools to be used supercedes our personal desires to have our *own* values, beliefs, and actions.
  7. Action Against a War

    "That seems rather simplistic, considering there are many more issues involved here" Not everything is overweeningly complex, no matter how personally satisfying it is to some to appear as masters of nuance and complexity, instead of actually getting a job done. The issue is quite straightforward. Saddam has violated the terms of his ceasefire and should be held to account for it. As for the other complexities: 1. religious jihad: What murderous fanatics believe cannot be ameliorated by the actions of those they already hate enough to kill. They believe in their culture of death every bit as much, and as fervently, as you believe anything in your culture, if not moreso. Our failure to deal with this *and* recognize that in their view, non response is not a desire for coexistence, or peace, but the moral weakness of the infidel, emboldens them, as we've amply seen and are now already in the process of ignoring, all over again. 2. cultural monopoly: There are zillions of cultures to choose from. No one forces anyone to drink coca cola and watch the simpsons dubbed into whatever language. If this and more is popular, it's because they like it. People complaining about cultural monopolism ought to be taking into account that each individual chooses what to value on their own terms. The French battle with words they don't like, entering their lexicon anyway, shows the futility of trying to force culture from the top down instead of accepting that it grows from the bottom up. 3. political cowboyism: If being committed to a point of view is cowboyism, so be it. 4. personal vendettas: The weakest of the bunch. There are ample reasons to take the actions we are comtemplating over and above any level of vendetta.
  8. Action Against a War

    "it appears, this administration has the dubious dinstinction of causing the largest protests in history ...." When the "cause" is seen as the US, instead of the guy with all the nasties who can end this issue in any given second with his compliance, all it shows us is there is a record number of folks completely out of touch with reality.
  9. The Tide is Changing!

    "There's a bit of a difference between Clinton finally giving in to our collective conscience to stop genocide on that kind of magnitude and Dubya's fishing for any excuse to wage a war that nobody wants." There certainly is, a lack of explanations for why the same standards were not applied to Yugoslavia which are now held out as inviolable standards for war. Where was the outcry from the left for proof the US was threatened? Where was the demand for UN backing of an action to bomb a country that had not bombed us? Where was all the concern about collateral damage, and concern over the lies used to start that action? And the lies include the magnitude of the genocide. Why don't you tell us what numbers you are thinking consitute "that magnitude"? Why didn't African genoncides of much larger scales demand US (non UN supported) intervention and massive bombing, if it's magnitude that drives the need for war? "I'm not sure there's ever a right war, but there's certainly are wrong ones. We're about to step into the middle of the latter. " Boy do you have it backward, Yugoslavia was the wrong war for the wrong reasons, and this is the correct one for the correct reasons. "By the way, there were protesters back then. They tended to be Republican voices whining about why we'd want to step into a fight where we had nothing to gain. " You mean they pointed out what lousy reasoning it is to go to war for no national interest? how terrible! The only time we should go to war is when we have no interests at stake, and we should not when we do? No wonder Dems and "progressives" have such a tough time convincing people they have a meaningful stance on defense, they support wars with people who present no US threat, and refuse to support them with those who do.
  10. Action Against a War

    sorry DFA, changed it.
  11. Action Against a War

    Scientific thought is an ideology like any other, it's main selling point being that it uses methods that are supportable by testing, which was exactly the point I made about why verifiability is more important than worrying about someone seeing past an ideology. If you can attack FW's verfiability great, attempting to claim his points are invalid merely because he has an ideology isn't a very good argument, since that factor is common to every observer. "Exactly. But one must take into account the differing theories, something Fairweather seems to have a hard time doing because of his ideological blinders." Why is it you don't take Fairweather's theories into account, after all you seem to dismiss them wholesale as you accuse him of. What standard must he, or I, use in order to show "taking them into account" is in operation? Surely one doesn't need to agree with them, for them to be considered taken into account. "Actually, if we are to believe in the notion of "bad people", then absolutely their existence leads to recursion; if everyone was good, then all would be good, right?" I think you're not using the right word if that point is your intent. Recursion springs not from simple opposition or existence of opposites, but instead is based on one action causing another, proceeding in a series of causal loops. I find it difficult to believe bad people cause good ones or vice versa, the existence of opposites may allow one to see that they are different from each other, but this doesn't extend to causation of same. "But, I for one don't believe in the notion of "bad people"; I believe more in the notion of a Platonic ignorance, where all really want justice (an ideology, extended from observation!)." Problem number one.. you are not accounting for different interpretations of justice. When Osama figures justice means killing non believers, and I don't, we both believe in justice yet have vastly different beliefs in what constitutes it. If you are unwilling to decide there is a standard for good or bad, you are likewise then unable to make any discernment between these differing standards for justice, so on that level I guess you can say all seek justice and therefore all are equal. I don't subscribe to this however. "Then here in this last part you kind of lost me. Sorry." You're trying to say FW won't consider other views because it makes him uncomfortable to think of himself in the role of enemy. I'm pointing out there are all kinds of people who consider me there enemy, and lots of people who think cops are the enemy, and it can be considered without any discomfort whatsoever. The relativism you appear to be touching on, the existence of many views seemingly meaning none is actually valid in an absolute way, the way in which viewing oneself as enemy is uncomfortable thus viewpoints espousing this cannot be validly considered, it's all part of a piece where everything is the same as everything else. If you've claimed the multiplicity of views and lack of good or bad people as a standard by which people cannot be judged, you have no basis to judge anyone here at home either, and no basis to compel others to follow your social norms. Any person alive has their own ideology, and for some reason you'll credit people in one place the right to maintain their own views and actions, while people in another must subscribe to some of yours, and all the while say there are no bad people, that everyone ascribes to the platonic ideal. Why do those thousands of miles away get the benefits of your philosophical largess and unwillingness to impose your standards, yet those right by you do not?
  12. The Tide is Changing!

    "Both positions are rooted in the legal frame-work of either country." With respect to Venezuela, I don't know about that, with respect to here ,being upset the Supreme Court upheld the constitution hardly squares with that. The FL legislature laid out guidelines and timelines for contested elections prior to the election , Florida courts usurped the legislative role and wrote, and attempted to impose, new guidelines and timelines. If Gore had really wanted all the votes counted using his newfound respect for all the votes (except those of military members, of course), and all the time the courts (illegally) granted him, he would have wanted *all* of FL recounted, not just the districts he thought he'd have an edge in, *and* the military votes he didn't want too. Geez.
  13. Action Against a War

    "It seems that approximately 6.2 million people worldwide disagree" Nearly the entire population of the earth thought it was flat for the bulk of recorded history, too. Regardless of all their belief, it wasn't. I've never quite figured out how quoting how many people support something is supposed to validate it.
  14. Action Against a War

    "Sometimes I think you won't look past your ideologies when analyzing situations." And you look past yours? You don't have an ideology you use to decide there are always two sides to an issue? It matters not wether someone has an ideology, because we all do and it's inescapable. What matters is how defensible, and self consistent, your ideology is. "You're so caught up in notions of right and wrong, assigning blame, that you can't at all begin to see that there are ALWAYS two sides to any given situation. " The existence of two sides, or ten, or fifty, does not eliminate the possibility that one is in fact correct. There is no justification at all for the supportability of ideas on the basis of lots of points of view existing. The existence of people who thought the world is flat did not make it flat, regardless of their being two sides. How many sides there are is irrelevant. Wether a side is supportible with evidence is all that matters. "Yeah, I admit it can be a bit scary to allow yourself to see the "enemy" as human, just like anyone else in many ways, but I think this is vital if we're going to understand at all the recursive international situation. " The existence of bad people willing to do bad things doesn't necessarily make anything recursive. There are bad people willing to do bad things in every society in every social strata, for no reason other than they want to. There is no cause, no injustice needed for this desire. It's not uncomfortable at all to imagine some people think I am their enemy, Bin Ladin certainly would consider me one if he knew me personally. I don't find it uncomfortable in the slightest to consider his hatred for my non submission to Allah, because it is a non sequitur that has nothing to do with me. His hatred of my life not lived by Allah's rule is something he decided on, and I don't value his judgements, or those of his cohorts, enough in any way to be made uncomfortable by them at all. Criminals think cops are the enemy too, but I don't think too many cops loose sleep over that. It's this kind of ludicrous relativism that leaves you open to all the maladies and contradictions this multiculturist mishmash is inevitably prey to. If it's all relative and you're so concerned about recursivism, why are you so interested in forcing domestic policies upon me against my will? Who made *you* so right if there is no right and wrong?
  15. The Tide is Changing!

    not at all, i'd just like a straight answer. none of your comments refute we've actually done all the heavy lifting.
  16. The Tide is Changing!

    "It means our politicians do things for those who contribute $ to their campaigns. The bottom line in the US is the "Bottom Line"" So does that mean we didn't do the heavy lifting?
  17. Anti-war rally today

    "But thanks for asking!" I'd rather have an answer, than a dodge and a thanks for asking. Since inspectors cannot account for what Iraq was known to possess when they were ejected in 98, and Saddam won't, I don't exactly call that a "good job".
  18. The Tide is Changing!

    "We have done the "heavy lifting" because the actions usually benefit US business interests." Does that mean we didn't do it?
  19. The Tide is Changing!

    The socialist debate society finally proves it's own irrelevance. Time to do what needs to be done and move on, UN support or no UN support. What are they gonna do, threaten us with talk, talk, and more talk? Pass another resolution and threaten us with waiting 12 years to do nothing about it? The US has done the heavy lifting on nearly every UN action everywhere in the world, when it's time to help *us* out, well, by golly, it's just too much. Stuff 'em, they can't, and won't, do anything about it anyway. Oops, forgot, they might pass a resolution!
  20. Anti-war rally today

    Will we see a single banner asking Saddam to disarm , or will this "peace" effort not pay any attention at all to the one individual with the power to end this issue by his compliance?
  21. Goodbye Columbia and crew

    you died doing what you had a passion for, and there's no better epitaph than that. A daring crew lost on the shores of space, yet bringing us a tiny bit closer to the eternal in doing so, you've earned a place in the never ending epic of history. Once again we each share the grief of inevitable human loss, as when sailors braved the wide ocean in wooden ships, and now when humans dare to defy the immutable laws of physics and probability applied on a cosmic scale, and the house wins. Your loss touches us deeply, for some part of the yearning to see new things, experience new places, and travel beyond the beyond is carried in each human heart. What you strived to do and see brought a small piece of the wonders of the cosmos back for each of us, the brave work of you, those who preceded you, and those who shall follow. Though the risk is often forgotten in an age when spaceflight is considered routine, your loss illustrates the boldness of the human drive to explore. In the face of tremendous, impersonal forces which must be held in check, while also held in delicate balance, for us to even take the tiniest steps off the surface of this world. Yet you risked it all to carry us farther along our destiny, to high orbit, and perhaps eventually to the stars.
  22. Leave Our Mtns. Alone - Go Home

    that makes two of us, glad I don't have to leave either.
  23. I Got The Axe Today

    Bummer trask! Join the club. Not a fun one, but it happens. Oh yeah.... Just so you don't think I'm coddling you... bite me!
  24. Scramble the fighters!

    "that the Iraqis are at about 30% strength that they were before the Gulf War, " And how much strength did it take for Al Queda to kill 3000 people? A handful of guys and a plan. It does not matter what strength Iraq has, what matters is their possession of weapons a handful could use to make 3000 people dead look like nothing. Iraq is a proven supporter of Palestinians hunting Israelis for bounties, a known supporter of Aby Nidal, who killed Americans, and now we see has links to the same people who flew planes into buildings in NY. Don't buy the links with Al Queda? Fine. He is known to have supported the actions I already listed with other groups, and any one of them could do the same thing given the will, and the tools, to do so. Iraq's relative strength is totally irrelevant. I am not concerned about them taking over the world, I'm concerned about the transfer of one vial of really nasty shit from their stockpiles, and no matter what their relative strength is, that can happen anytime as long as they have those stockpiles.
  25. State of the Nation Address

    betcha he's playing a shell game with inspectors. He's probably working from leaks from the UN, moving stuff around. I'd bet he's dissassembled the largest pieces of hardware to make them easier to hide and move, and has most if not all of what was known in 98, if he hasn't added to it or moved some outside Iraq. And the whole time, I'll bet they're having a good laugh at how gullible (some) westerners are. Time will tell.