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Posts posted by MtnGoat

  1. Then we must conclude that you, I and Rush Linbaugh are all bleeding heart liberals. While Mula Omar and Bin Laden are right wingers.


    I think it depends on which scale you use. Most I've seen label anarchy as extreme right and totalitarianism as extreme left. The farther you go left, the more control over all aspects of society is assumed to belong to the state.


    IMO this places all of us to the right of Omar and bin Ladin, since they desire total subservience of personal life, state law, and buisness to Islamic rules.


    Wether or not they desire religious rule, to agnostic or humanistic reasons for totalitarianism, they share the goal of total control and the idea that all spheres of life must be regulated by the state with say, the fascists of Europe in the 30s and early 40's, not to mention Marxist ideologies.

  2. You are basically saying right and left are defined only by ideas not people.


    That's exactly what I am saying. Believing in socialism does not make it not socialism, no matter how many people do it, and believing in capitalism does not make it not capitalism, no matter how many people do it.


    Left and right (to me anyway) are defined by the characteristics of the systems themselves, related to a set of ideas and morals which do not change, while the number of people adhering to them may.


    What your position is as a "moderate" may change as people go one way or another, but on the scale between the actual fixed differences in philosophies, your position is not relative to numbers.


    Gowans list includes many if not most tenets of a left to far left ideology. Why someone would be upset at recognizing this, I don't understand. If your beliefs are what they are, why not admit it and stand up for them?

  3. It looks to me as if you and your pal Mountain Goat refuse to directly engage with people who disagree with you,


    What, debating back and forth with them isn't engaging those people? What fulfills "engagement" if discussing points back and forth doesn't count?


    Seems to me what your asking for is agreement, not engagement. It strikes me as similar to the cries that no one is listening to war dissenters, when one couldn't help but listen, but listening does not necessarily manifest itself as agreement.


    but instead keep flinging the same old tired rhetoric that we've read here so many times before.


    Seems to me the ideas tossed out in opposition are at least as old as anything else offered up here. Do ideas lose validity because they're old? Nope. Only the content matters and if the content can be beaten, then that's what invalidates the idea, not it's age.


    and the U.S. should not enter into cooperative relationships with any nation that won't hop to our command and that we should only maintain those relationships as long as they suit our immediate purposes


    I don't remember anyone saying we shouldn't cooperate with nations that won't hop to, but I did say we shouldn't consider "cooperation" to be one sided, where we pay and pay and the nation getting the cash does not aid us in supporting our position. Cooperation means both sides do something for each other, not one side pays and the other just does what it wants anyway.


    Newsflash: Gowans' "over the top" laundry list is really a rather mild set of ideas probably shared by nearly half of all Americans. It is not some far leftist manifesto.


    This "mild set of ideas" has more in common with the far left than it doesn't. How many agree with it hardly save it from having properties and ideas espoused by the far left. If half of Americans actually agree with this list, all it shows is how many are closer to being far left than not, not that the ideas don't have a lot in common with the far left.

  4. you'd rather if i used imperial?


    Can you show US law for the requirements for Iraq to pay tribute, for Iraq to permanently have a US governor of it's territory, and other such attributes of imperial control?

    funny how a few month ago we were refusing the UN more time and all this show was supposed to be over in 6 months.


    The UN needed more time after 12 years, refuses to act on a resolution passed only months before, and you're asking me why I say they're ineffective?

  5. and ineffective relative to what?


    ineffective relevant to their functionality, that's what. From Rwanda to Srebrenica, Sierra Leone, and anyplace else they go, the UN is either backed by the US to provide some semblance of functionality or it gets it's ass wiped. When your deployed "peacekeepers" stand by as civilians are slaughtered instead of getting in there and fighting back, when they're nearly overrun and captured by ragtag rebels (Sierra Leone), when they're indicted in sex trafficking (Balkans), that's not real great evidence of effectiveness. UN forces have one of the worst records of any supposedly coherent fighting forces.


    the colonial administration we installed in iraq?


    You mean Iraq will be a colony?


    every day we see how effective it is at keeping peace and finding the WMD's.


    Nothing happens overnight. It will probably take years to get the situation stable.


  6. Do you guys realize something like 40% of the new posts to this thread are now being made by MtnGoat?


    Gee, what percentage is being made by people crying big fat tears about who posts? Seems pretty high. Even my opponents j_b and J Gowans more or less stick to content instead of whining about who posts.

  7. yeah right, the people of this country fully realize that if this iraq war was to be for the benefit of iraqis and that to deflect iraqi anger away from coalition troops, the UN (an independent body) has to control the process of reconstruction and the people suddenly become a mob? you shmuck.


    If they insist a body as ineffective in peacekeeping as the UN take these roles, yup, a mob.



  8. "What do you call thousands of people getting turned away from the polls or restricted from voting because of felonies they supposedly committed in the state of Texas (!), despite the fact that they did no such thing?"


    I call it BS on the first instance (if you're talking about Florida) , and a resolvable problem in the second.


    Whatever irregularities occur, be they intentional (and illegal) or unintentional, the fact is no law resident on the books says an legal citizen who is not a felon may not vote.


    It's tough to keep faith in such a cornerstone system of our country when it can be so shamelessly and blatantly manipulated by parties interested in grabbing power (i.e. Bush et al).


    You mean like Al Gore trying to get the state of florida to change the rules for an election after the fact, and getting slapped down by the supreme court? Or demanding "all votes" be counted, "all the votes" meaning the only certain counties and only certain constituencies, and oh yes, lets count overvotes (and use ESP too?) That kind of manipulation? smile.gif

  9. dude your argument is falling apart. you always rail against those that would want to enforce their views upon you and take away your dear 'freedom' and here you are defending minority rule.


    I'm merely stating a reality.


    The "minority" running things is only because many of those eligible to vote choose not to do so. If all legally eligible choose to vote, or not to, that's their buisness, but the outcome will not be 100% voting in any case and those who can vote but don't are excercising their right to choose to allow someone else to have a say for them.


    By the time you take slice of the entire population eligible to vote, then take a slice of that who decide to vote, then take a slice of that who are on the winning side, of course it's not that many people. But it's not due to coercion to not vote.


    I'd bet that if you look at the percentage of people in any western democracy who actually support the winning candidates, out of the population as a whole, it's a non majority. Having an actual majority run things doesn't seem real likely anywhere. All you can do is make sure the voting is open to all eligible.

  10. it's always a pleasure to expose how deeply anti-democratic you fundamentally are


    Since your definition of "democratic" often seems to basically be nothing more than mob rule without any basis in principle, I'd have to agree.


    If you however agree on holding some values higher than what a mob wants, then we probably share more in common than you expect. What a bunch of people want must be tested against what it is right to let them do in the first place.


    For an example of this, no matter how many people vote yes, it's not OK to hold slaves. Is this anti democratic, or merely holding certain values above those of what lots of people might vote is OK?


    Now what in any of what I've posted here indicates I care wether or not you think I'm callous? Why should anyone want innocents killed by old mines or ordnance?

  11. MtnGoat, given your past arugments, you should be stating that the mines don't really affect you, so you shouldn't share the cost of removing them. Shouldn't the people near the mine fields that care about that give money to have the mines removed?


    You misconstrue my past arguments in light of what you mistakenly believe is my position. The mines may not directly effect me, but they indirectly effect me and they directly effect those they kill and maim, which is a very bad thing.


    If the folks living near the mines played a role in laying them, they should definitely play a part in paying for their removal. And I, since I do care wether they are removed or not wether or not the US placed them, am also willing to help pay for it.


    What you seem to be mistaking here is the idea that people need to be forced to care about other people, for approval of doing so, when we're perfectly capable of deciding to do so on our own.

  12. who is we, the 25% of the electorate that currently controls US politics?


    that's about as many as usually control it. We do not live in a pure democracy, thank god. Get used to it.


    make no mistake, 2/3 of the US population in the latest polls wants the UN to have control of economic development, government building, etc .. in iraq. don't take your fantasies for realities.


    With the UN's sterling record in all the nations still in turmoil, what any 2/3 want is not necessarily actually a good idea.


    The "we" would be the people of this nation who live under a system based on the idea that it is not the govt that grants rights as goodies to be provided by someone else, but are due to our existence alone by birthright, not govt fiat. That the state exists to protect these rights, not create them. The difference between systems based on negative rights (US) and ones based on positive rights (most of the world) is deep and fundamental.


  13. if wanting to put an end to random murder and shameless greed is 'collectivism' ... so be it.


    it's not at all. lots of people, myself included, think mines and old ordnance need to be dealt with immediately and properly. Wether it's "collectivism" depends on the way you go about it.

  14. Regarding the whole world going collectivist: I think that in every day scenarios that may hold true. Political Correctness to the nth degree is a good example. However, I think that it's not so simple as to just see this as a cosmic happening whereby humankind has aligned itself so. Rather, the masses have been consistently manipulated by the elite using the media as their primary vehicle and ably backed up by power hungry politicians that are more than eager to appease their needs in exchange for much needed campaign funds. That's not really collectivism as such but merely corruption on a grand scale.


    I agree that the corruption you describe is not collectivism, but the political viewpoints which treat people as not owning themselves, their labor, and their moral choices, are pretty much collectivist by definition. Sure there are varying levels of implementation, but the core principle is that they are less valuable as individuals than as units to be used in service of someone elses ideals.

  15. Trying to paint this in terms of Ayn Rand's objectivism versus collectivism is absurd.


    I agree. The US is not a nation of objectivists. It should be, but it isn't.


    But since you bring it up, the US constitution and psyche does have elements of objectivism that place it inevitably in conflict with more socialist/collectivist worldviews.

  16. See, here we are talking about some issues, and you then have to jump into Ayn Rand's camp and label the rest of the world a bunch of collectivists.


    So what? You're busy labeling the US all kinds of things, and if someone disagrees with your "issues" you get all ticked.


    But lets discuss the collectivists. The reason I use that word is it is a valid descriptor of much of the rest of the world. Any country that exhibits collectivist behaviour or structure can be described as collectivist. You guys are certainly busy describing the US as having all kind of nasty characteristics, what's the problem with recognizing the characteristics of other nations? Seems the only nation you're comfortable with applying broad labels to is US, even if this broad label is completely applicable.


    Are you trying to imply that the U.S. is the strong Howard Roark that's going against the grain for ideological purposes?


    I wouldn't say it is as clear cut as a character in a novel , no, but to ignore that we have severe and deep ideological differences is to ignore what you've been complaining are our differences from the rest of the world. Here you are wishing to discuss why the world supposedly hates us, and now you seem to have a problem with the idea that ideological differences play a role in this.


    Your amateur philosophizing is ridiculous to say the least.


    Yeah, internet message boards are the place you professionals go for professional analysis and philosophical discussion!

  17. "wanting to do something about landmines maiming populations for decades after conflicts has nothing to do with 'collectivism', but don't let it bother you. (i know it won't)"


    You're correct. Wanting to do something, has nothing to do with it. However, the devil is in the details, and when people start from a nice idea and then start adding specifics to it, it frequently happens that ideology creeps in. In fact, it always does, or making plans consistent with ones morals wouldn't be possible.


    Now I can't say for certain that the mine issue has this problem (with respect to collectivist philosophy, that is), but I can tell the ICC does, as does the UN Human rights charter.


    Are you going to claim an ideological document as intrinsically filled with morality and it's various flavors, as the idea and expression of human rights must be, is not intentionally constructed to reflect an ideology?


    Why should the US sign treaties containing ideas not consistent with the US foundation of negative rights just because other people want us to?


    Fairweather, some of these guys have some pretty serious issues with their acceptance of other points of view. It's not like anyone is asking them to take them at face value, merely respond on content, but as you can see that's only possible between the posters who more or less already agree with each other. If someone challenges them, it's hissy fit time. It's kind of ironic, I come here to intentionally see some differing points of view and check out what's going on, while the "open minded" go apeshit if you don't sign on board with the game plan they've laid out. Lots of talk about open minds and smart people, but my oh my question them and the crap starts flying.


  18. "according to goat, there is no relationship between governements and the policies they follow. brilliant."


    Is it possible for you to post a response without substuting your words and claiming they're mine? Is this standard practice for you, or acceptable in your circles?


    How bout this: according to me, it's more important to look at content and the reasons for rejection of a treaty than base judgements on such basis as who is on what side.


  19. "i talk about our wasting resources while others are starving, and you reply about socialism and private property."


    If you're willing to point out these issue, but unwilling to discuss their possible causes unless you personally agree, that's your loss. If you had the open mind I'm sure you think you have, you'd readily admit that of the poorest nations on earth, *all* of them adhere to socialist tenets. What an unusual concindence, right?


    Of course this isn't of interest to you, you're concerned about "jingoism" instead of content.


    "or you don't want to address that our ruling the world for our sole benefit is not making many friends."


    That's interesting. We're the world leader in foreign and food aid, and yet you're telling me we rule the world for our sole benefit. Doesn't seem to fit.

    "you'd rather act like it?"


    How is recognizing each persons rights is acting like "the chosen people"? My trip for a beer does not make somebody in Zimbabwe poor. I'm sorry if this isn't convenient for your argument. Well, not really.



    "of course it includes me, this is my world as well. yet it does not mean i have to condone it. anyhow having contradictions does not mean one has to shut up"


    And yet you do condone it, by not acting in concert with your concerns. as usual, I also need to respond to your seeming need to insert unstated extras. I don't expect you to shut up, but I do expect you to admit what you're doing.


    "a handfull of rogue nations and the US are systematically against treaties addressing crimes against humanties, landmines and unexploded ordinance that maim 1000's every year, doing something about climate warming as recommended by the immense majority of scientists, etc .... and it's all a coincidence."


    Not at all. Each one of these treaties contains elements or launguage designed to undermine our national sovereignty, or contain other ideological issues not consistent with US policy and law, such as the ICC.


    As for the "immense" number of scientists claiming to be able to predict processes they can't successfully model for the past, nor account for natural variability, and who think we should all sign something even it's proponents acknowledge will have little to no measurable effect, well, we've been around the block on that one.


    If the international community expect us to sign onto treaties, they need to realize the US will not A) buy into hysteria (Kyoto), B) undo it's sovereignty by submitting it's citizens to non constitutional trials outside the protections guranteed by the constitution to US citizens(ICC), nor allow itself to be bound by treaties internally framed/containing an unacceptble political viewpoint for the US.


    Why it's a surprise that the US will not sign so many treaties formulated by latent collectivists using a collectivist morality as a starting point should not be a surprise. The insertion of their morals into the treaties they expect is as much their responsibility as it is ours to reject them.

  20. Here we all are grappling with some fairly macro level questions and issues. Each of us tries to argue our point on the same plane, and along comes MtnGoat at the 11th hour and proceeds to drag the discourse into the most microscopic analysis possible so that the rest of us are left scratching our heads and wondering why Hitler drinking water is analagous to the U.S. refusing to sign human rights treaties.


    If you're concerned about the plane of your argument, perhaps you need to deal with the person who changes the content of the arguments, from content of treaties to look who signed what as a indication of some kind of validity. Interesting how that's OK, but if I address it as the bogus evidence it is, using some colorful examples, it's a big deal. whoa there, cookie!

  21. right goat, we are all morons, we all believe that we are just giving'em freebies


    I'm not sure what your deal is with adding stuff I didn't say, to make a point for you of some kind, but it doesn't serve your arguments at all doing so. If you want to call yourself a moron, go ahead, but I didn't and didn't make the inference either.

  22. Here's a guy who won't answer content, instead switching to name calling, trying to make a case for "childish" conclusions? Now that's a good one.


    If you can't make any headway against critiques of your points, switch to complaining. What an intelligent position. You guys crack me up.



  23. "i was only saying that being aligned with the like of n.korea, iran, syria, israel on issues such as landmines, crimes against humanities, disarmaments, etc ... was symptomatic."


    So now we're going to work on the principle that "alignment" is signaled by trivialities like signing a treaty for a vast variety of differing reasons? I guess now we can look for the 3 world nations signed onto some popular treaties and by picking out the ones with lousy govts and actions, conclude anyone else who signed is somehow associated with them.


    It's more sensible to look at the content of a treaty, and each nations reasons for joining or not joining, than to play this game of guilt by association with no attention to content.