Capitol Hill Blue
Posted By: jgw war and other stuff - 05/14/19 06:36 PM
Seems that Jackass is preparing to goto war with Iran. Also seems Bolton is firmly in charge of getting it done. We should all remember this is the guy who arguably gifted us with the Iraq war to save the Iraqis. Only about 500,000 civilians were killed and it was also arguably the most corrupt national undertaking in our history. We started that one with a lie, tortured, stole and raped and pillaged. Good times for all! Now Mr Bolton wants to do it RIGHT! Since basically any and all allies (except for our real pals, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Russia) are against this but then what do they know? Its not enough that we are already participating in the Yemen thing (disease, pestilence, bombs, children dying of starvation, etc. You know, generally considered the very worst of them) we also have to destroy them bad Iranians who are always out there trying to protect them evil barely human Shia. We should be thankful that we have, finally, picked a side in that thousand year old Muslim war between Shia and Sunni. Given our modern propensity to keep our armies blooded this one will be a dandy.

Anybody who has forgotten the Iraq war should take a look at a couple of the congressional reports (even the Republicans couldn't spin this one).

This is, however, not quite enough. We are also now in an all out trade war with China and are threatening any allies we have left (Europe, etc) that dare trade with who they want to trade with because we know better. This one will get more interesting as time passes. I am awaiting the next auction by the treasury when the Chinese choose to not participate until the interest rate goes up. By that time we will already be paying more on the interest than we spend on our military. If the Dems actually take over in 2002 any of the promises they are currently making will be impossible to fulfill because there will be no money left. If the Chinese also decide to sell our bonds Its actually gonna be a bit worse. Basically a depression which will make 2008 look like a picnic. We will be, basically, broke, hugely in debt (the current administration is well on its way to add another 4 trillion to the debt by the time they are done).

All in all we are, basically, screwed. Afghanistan has cost us between 1 and 2 trillion dollars (google "ongoing costs of afghanistan war"). Had we spent that much on Cancer and infrastructure both could have been fixed easily. Thank goodness our elected saved us from those kinds of things.

OH, also add in a student loan debt of approximately 1.5 trillion dollars. Then also consider that these debts cannot be bankrupted away. This is debt that 44 million kids get to pack around for the rest of their lives. Many of these also attended them for profit schools that screwed over students and jackass has made sure they get to pay back the money anyway. So, that means that we have created a substantial number of really pissed off, screwed over, folks as well.

Gotta say, we have all worked, very hard, to get into a bit of a mess. The interesting thing is that its all ongoing. Even if the Dems win in 2002 its not gonna make a whole bunch of difference, regardless of promises. Throw in climate change and I suspect its gonna get real interesting.

As usual - I wish us all luck.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/15/19 02:00 PM
Weren't you in support of military intervention in Venezuela, JGW?
If so, could you please explain how that would be O.K. but Iran would not be?
I'm confused by your positions is all....
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/15/19 04:02 PM
Has Trump really got the balls to start a war?

We know he's foolish enough, but does he actually have the balls?
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/15/19 05:42 PM
Chunk - I have never been for military intervention in Venezuela or any other place.

Greger - With Jackass I don't think balls are in it all. The man just doesn't have the capacity for that kind of thing. Given the his degree of thoughtlessness I am not convinced he even thinks before he does whatever. He is, after all, the man who knows everything, has all the money in the world, handsome and beloved of every beauty in the entire world! If you question any of the foregoing I would suggest you just ask the man - he will set you (and everybody else) right! <G>

The talking heads now say that Bolton is planning all of this without input from Trump. Its kinda interesting and just may be true. I remember when the current governor of Ohio, Kachich said that he was offered the vice president position and would be able to also run everything. Even then Jackass didn't have much interest in actually functioning as president. I think most of what he does depends on who is pulling his chain that day.

Off the subject but..... If we still had the draft we would not have 18 yearlong wars and republican administrations would not be so eager to do war and political division would be a lot harder to promulgate. When Jackass hired Bolton there was an outcry against him over his predilection for war. Turns out those who cried out were exactly right. Since I don't believe Jackass does anything on his own (except tweat) this also means there are other war hawks in his administration.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/15/19 06:21 PM
O.K. Glad to know. Sorry for the confusion or incorrectly inferring you might have been for it.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/15/19 10:30 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw
If we still had the draft we would not have 18 yearlong wars and republican administrations would not be so eager to do war and political division would be a lot harder to promulgate.


I mostly agree with that opinion. Wasn't the all volunteer force the brainchild of the beloved, by the far and center right parties, Alan Greenspan im the 70's?
I recall seeing his congressional testimony for the idea though I cant find the video on youtube for the moment.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/16/19 09:16 PM
Our current army was started with Nixon. At the time he wanted a 'professional' army. There were cries that we were created an army of mercenaries so, now, we have a professional army. Actually little changed except pay for the military was raised so that they all weren't on welfare anymore.

I have been against Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, anything in the middle east, Afghanistan, Iraq - the whole damned bunch. These days, of course, they are all about politics. If we don't like how somebody does something we 'help' them and thousands die. As far as I am concerned the politicians kills a grandson amongst other things. I have watched us abandon any number of fighters that helped us with this stuff. In vietnam we abandoned whole tribes to the commies, in Iraq we abandoned thousands who helped us, it just goes on and on.

Jackass is just proving its all politics. The Saudis, Russians, etc. bought and paid for him and he is doing exactly what they want insofar as Iran is concerned. After all, they are all still buying stuff from him, filling his hotels, etc. so its the least he can do. I don't think there is really any doubt about what is going on but, again, apparently it continues, unabated, and the rest of our elected class are simply incapable to putting an end to it.

Here is a link about the All Volunteer Army:
https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9195.html

If we have any later generations they are certain to look back on this one with hatred and disdain - with very good reason.

I am, incidentally, a supporter of the draft. It unites us, and sets a tone we have been missing for a very long time.
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 05/17/19 05:04 AM
The problem with an all-volunteer army is most of the public don't actually have very much skin in the game, and voluntarism also creates a tribe, a kind of "military class" in our society instead of doing a very ordinary and innocuous job of mainstreaming it as just another part of the family.
This is a form of balkanization, not good.

Of course the draft puts other issues to the fore, professionals, career military that is, like to talk of draftees as sometimes less motivated, or so I hear.
But with skin in the game, Americans will likely have much stronger opinions, and Congress will likely be pressured to take back their war powers, resume their role together with the Executive Branch.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/17/19 01:25 PM
It looks to me like Milton Freidman and Alan Greenspan helped sell the idea to congress, giving it an economic argument at a perfect time for that argument to be made.

Seems like they stole the idea from the mother country, Great Britain:
Provide the services of professional army, for a fee, to corporations managing their colonial economic territories. East India Co, Hudson Bay Co., etc...
Unless I missed something here, that seems to be the model that we now operate under.

I've yet to see how killing people in Syria, Libya or maybe Venezuela gets the water fixed in Flynt, the trains running right in NYC, or medical care facilities built in rural Iowa.

You have to admire the cunningness of the rich. They have it all now. The media, military and both political parties are now there's to control.

Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/17/19 01:29 PM
I would also add that Corporations no longer even have to pay a fee for military services rendered as they did in the previous colonial period. They've now externalized that costs to the tax payers. Not a bad couple decades work if you can get it.

The question is why anyone would continue to support such a system by voting for candidates that have proven to be in service to this system?
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/17/19 06:12 PM
One of the main problems with the All Volunteer Army (AVA) is that it makes it easy for many, when somebody gets killed or maimed, to remind everybody that they "volunteered" so its on them. Its kinda like the argument about personal information held by others. Its your personal information and you gave it to them!

Its the new, modern, American logic, ie. blame the victim! Yet another way to take care of that pesky 'responsibility' thing.
Posted By: Ujest Shurly Re: war and other stuff - 05/17/19 09:00 PM
That is the second problem with a volunteer military. The first and main problem is it makes it easy to enter into un-needed conflicts and the casualties are easy to hide. With a drafted military, the family is very aware that Johnny is in the military and will question the leaders as to why is the military being sent to fight and die. Remember Vietnam, we had a drafted military and look at the ruckus raised.

Do not get me wrong, I believe in a very strong military. I believe that sometimes it is a national imperative to commit the military and to make some place else a glass parking lot. But a Professional Military and a Democrocy do not go together; the rich escape service and the poor die.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/17/19 10:56 PM
Yeah...sorta...maybe?

I don't feel like anybody who doesn't want to be in the military should be in the military.

Ummmm....and Donald Trump was drafted but didn't serve because he was rich. So it doesn't exactly appear to level the playing field between rich and poor draftees.

I also believe we need to maintain a strong military. Ours would still be strong if we spent a quarter of what we spend now.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/18/19 05:55 PM
That is basically why I am for the draft. There is no way to hide the problems.

As a possibly interesting sidelight to all of this is the American penchant to use actual mercinaries as well as their own Army. This one pretty much flies under the radar but talk to anybody who has been there about that one. When those guys get killed its just "x number of deaths", or "other forces", etc.

Oh, mercenaries also don't have to adhere to the same set of rules that our troops need to so, I have been told, they tend to act out. Its a deal where our army may be blamed but it wasn't them.

America, I believe, was designed to have a citizen army. When they say "all volunteer" they, basically, mean anybody who is qualified. It used to be if a foreigner signed up for the army, did his, her, stint, they could also apply for citizenship. Now we are throwing them out of the country as soon as they leave the military.

Another example, I think, of creating more that hate us?
Posted By: Ujest Shurly Re: war and other stuff - 05/18/19 10:10 PM
Greger, I did not include my caveats in my above post.

Some of them are:

All males and females would be subject to National Service.

No deferments: none for college, none for bone spurs, flat feet, or any other correctable physical defect. If the prospect is on the Autism Spectrum they would be exempt from the military but not other national services. There are other medical and physical exemptions I support, but the list is to long to go into here.

Term of Service 3/4 years. Would earn credits and dollars towards your degree, available upon Honorable Discharge. Any funds personally contributed would be refunded upon discharge under less than honorable or lower conditions.

Standard education (like a GI Bill): available to anyone completing service with an Honorable Discharge from the military or other national services.

If the degree program you are in is for teaching, or medical or dental you can begin your service by serving part-time in your degree field and during summer breaks for a salary equal to that of an E5 and remain in college. Service to be completed after graduation.

etc.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/19/19 05:17 PM
Excellent!!!!!!!!!!! (GREAT idea!)
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/21/19 11:52 AM
Y'all are nuts!
A demobilized army is what gave congress control over the executives war fancy.
It's what's kept any meaningful progressive action from being implemented by the enormous costs born by the citizenry.
It's the largest single contributor of green house gas emissions.
It's socialized fascism.
It's fascists character bleeds into and influences the civilian cultere.

I can go on but why would anyone want a 'strong' military. Aren't you worried we might get a lunatic president someday who has Napoleonic tendencies?

Oh.... wait a minute...
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/21/19 01:31 PM
Like I said above...about a quarter of the military spending we have right now should give us all the military we ever need.

I think it's ridiculous that some think the lives of all children coming of age should be handed over to the military(or other government program) for indoctrination.

"Service to Your Country" is bullsh*t. My country should be serving me, not the other way around.

Our country should be serving us. It is not the governments job to make men and women of our young folks. How bout we educate them properly so they can go out and do what needs to be done in the world without the government calling the shots.

I know a lot of vets, most suffered for their service and gained nothing in return besides a few benefits and some dicey healthcare.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/21/19 09:14 PM
Chunk - I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about........
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/22/19 02:38 AM
I think he doesn't like the draft.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/22/19 11:41 AM
Correct Gregor.
With a rationale.
It can be confusing.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/22/19 03:13 PM
"War" has become too complex for its own good. $Trillion dollar$ airplanes and ships are ridiculous. Jets that can't fly at night or in the rain, I hear the pilots helmet alone is half a million buckeroos...ships so complex no one knows how to run them or repair them. Certainly not the poorly trained sailors driving them all over the ocean and running into things. Not just little things either...other ships minding their own business get slammed by the US Navy's gross incompetence.

None of this is to serve the country's "security" either. It's to secure the wallets of what used to be called the Military Industrial Complex.
We keep these little wars going for no other reason than to feed the bank accounts of the very wealthy.

We'll be far better off when folks just stop volunteering and refuse to be drafted.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/22/19 04:23 PM
They have been showing the latest and greatest rockets at Ft. Lewis on the news. Each one of the rockets, we are told, cost over 100,000.00 each. They look to be about 5 feet long. I suspect its the electronics that cost the fortune. I just don't get it. The first electronics cost the bucks, after that its automated and cost a LOT less. Seems we just pay for the first one, over and over again. The rockets are really neat and keen but the cost?

I also tend to believe that the military industrial complex for the 18 year long war in Afghanistan. I read someplace that the military has now tried exactly the same things a minimum of 4 times each and each has failed. Given that the mission remains a secret I wonder how they failed too.

Just wondering.............
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/22/19 05:24 PM
What was it, something like half a million people were ground up by our military/economic policy in Iraq alone?
We have commodified the grinding of up of human livestock since Korea with little end in sight or at least while there's money to be had.

No, I took my cues from 'Johnny got his Gun' decades ago.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/22/19 09:45 PM
The Age of War is over. All the land has been "discovered". It's all been divided up and international law pretty much forbids anyone from taking anyone else's land. Israel is the holdout on this one.

We have the technology to destroy the planet in a matter of hours.


Whatever the question may be..."War" is the wrong answer.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 06:54 AM
The electronics in those rockets has to be all high reliability components. They have to work right every time. Not like cell phones or TVs. That's a big part of why they are so expensive.
Posted By: Ujest Shurly Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 02:55 PM
Originally Posted By: Greger
The Age of War is over. All the land has been "discovered". It's all been divided up and international law pretty much forbids anyone from taking anyone else's land. Israel is the holdout on this one.

We have the technology to destroy the planet in a matter of hours.


Whatever the question may be..."War" is the wrong answer.




The Age of War has yet to arrive. It will come with the climate trying to kill us through world wide Famine, Disease, Thirst, break down of society, failure of Rule of Law and the institution of Us Over Them. In short; the arrival of the Four Horsemen and their cousins and lesser siblings.

Fully agree with your last statement, but we will never have the chance if we do not do something now.
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 02:59 PM
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
The electronics in those rockets has to be all high reliability components. They have to work right every time. Not like cell phones or TVs. That's a big part of why they are so expensive.


That is one of the reasons.
The very first official W-2 earning job I ever had was at Penril Data in Rockville, Maryland. Penril was one of the very first companies to make computer modems. We used to get the IC's stuffed end to end in long plastic tubes where they could be "spilled out" onto the test bench.
Imagine a Pez dispenser except without the cartoon character head on top, and this "dispenser" was about a yard long.

We typically culled about seven to ten percent of them and at that time that was considered to be a pretty good cull rate. This was 1973.

Transistors, capacitors, resistors all came rolled up in bandolier style packaging, almost like bulk nails for a nail gun but the microchips were in the "Pez" dispenser tubes. Some of the components, like certain resistors and capacitors, were "mil-spec" and guaranteed to be within very tight tolerances.

By the way, most of the assemblers were not only low skilled immigrants, most of them had no idea what they were even building.
A disc capacitor, being round and shaped like a little "cookie" was a "galleta".
Ponga la galleta en el hoyo marcado A..."Put the little cookie in the hole marked A", and "ponga la cuenta en el pequeño agujero marcado B, "put the little bead in the little hole marked B".
Or "Ponga la lata pequeña en el hoyo marcado con C, "put the little can in the hole marked C." Electrolytic capacitors were of course, little cans.

Capacitors were cookies and resistors were little striped beads. These little Mexican and Vietnamese ladies might as well have been doing beadwork.

When we started using CMOS chips, we had to ground their arms to eliminate static electricity, and some of the ladies thought they were being chained to their workstations, until we explained that they were to put the straps on and take them off themselves, and that they only needed to wear the strap when they were handling these specific parts.
Por la electricidad...

We had to pantomime the whole "rub your feet on the carpet and get a static electricity jolt" meme so that the ladies understood that this was about preventing the little spark from hurting these delicate parts.

Posted By: NW Ponderer Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 04:22 PM
I am a product of the "all volunteer" army. I enlisted at the age of 23, after I had a college degree, and while I was in law school. I had always felt (still do) that every capable citizen owes a debt to their country to serve (in some capacity) for the betterment of the nation and their fellow citizens. I didn't object to military service, so that is what I chose (rather than VISTA, or Peace Corps, or Red Cross). I had no idea when I joined that it would end up being a career.

I spent half my time on Active Duty, and half as a Reservist. I started as a Private First Class, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. When I joined it had been an "all volunteer" army for ten years, so I served with Vietnam-era draftees and volunteers alike (two of my drill sergeants were Vietnam draftees who stayed on for a career). But, don't get the idea that it is, even now, "all volunteer". There are many reasons why people "volunteer". Some, out of patriotism or duty, some out of "family habit", some to escape gangs or poverty, some for the benefits (college, retirement, and including citizenship), some for a career based on merit, some to challenge themselves. In some cases "volunteering" is the easier call, or better option. None (that I knew) volunteered to be mercenaries.

Military people, and their families, detest war and see it as both a last resort and a necessary evil. That's why you see so many Generals and former Generals resisting military intervention. They know the cost and, many have experienced it first hand. Though I was never deployed to combat (even when I volunteered to), I lost friends and colleagues in violent deaths in conflicts. Because of this shared experience, military families and communities are close-knit. It's also why they are particularly patriotic and passionate - they seek meaning in that sacrifice.

To me these issues are not academic, they are personal. It is true that the draft "broadens" the community that experiences military service, but a) why inflict pain randomly? and b) why would we need a draft now? We have as many service members as we need, and they are really, really good because they are motivated. It is also true that the military community is becoming more isolated and suffers privately and separately. That plight needs to be better understood and shared, but not by inflicting it on others.

I'm getting a little wordy. More thoughts later.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 04:51 PM
My father was a tanker in Korea. My one uncle drove ammo trucks one way, body bags the other in Vietnam. My Mom was a psych Nurse at the VA hospital which allowed me a good deal of exposure to the damaged veterans of three major seperate conflicts.

No war was ever waged on behalf of poor people. It has always been rich people arguing. Or as the soldiers in the south would say in the Civil War: "rich man's war, poor man's fight".

Now it seems to be how some people get rich.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 06:06 PM
I think this is your response to the draft (not sure). Anyway, if it is you just made another reason FOR the draft. The fact that some rich (Trump amongst them) were able to dodge the draft is just an example of the lack of responsibility and incompetence of gov to enforce its own laws and this is fixable.

I can remember, during Korea and Vietnam, when folks got caught dodging - they got severely hammered. The best way to dodge was to flee to Canada who seemed happy for the influx of mainly well educated Americans (many of who stayed in Canada after the war(s))

This was actually yet another boost to Canada. Another would be their auto industry which took off when American auto manufacturers found cheaper help in Canada because they had single payer healthcare which actually made their unionized auto workers cheaper than their American counterparts.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/23/19 07:11 PM
It is my response to a 'strong military' in a 'constant state of readiness' that we've allowed to do so much carnage, suck up so much of our nations resources and create so much danger for anyone who happens to be living on or near U.S. corporate boards interests.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/24/19 10:07 PM
I think blaming corporations for all ills is a bit of a stretch. Our main problem, right now, is that we have been doing political wars for a very long time. They can't be won and they have no reasonable reason to be happening, and, given Afghanistan, can continue forever. The winners are the military industrial complex and some politicians that started the war in the first place. This is what is going on with Iran right now. We are in bed with Israel and Saudi Arabia and those folks want Iran, and them bad Shia dead (man, woman and child) because they are not human. Not only that but they buy weapons from us too! Since this is a thousand year Muslim war that we are taking part in all we can do, I guess, is whine about it and wish it would stop. This is, incidentally, why I want the draft back (and I know its not gonna happen). I think this stuff has got to stop but its not and its getting worse.

One last - there is simply no way we can count on the American electorate to fix the problem. They continue to prove they are lazy, unable to vote in their own self interest, and we all think that if a turnout is anywhere near 50% voting we call that a landslide. I am no longer convinced that what they are yearning for is a situation where they can get rid of that voting stuff and get somebody who will make ALL their decisions for for them.
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 05/24/19 10:46 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw
I am no longer convinced that what they are yearning for is a situation where they can get rid of that voting stuff and get somebody who will make ALL their decisions for for them.


I'm convinced of just the opposite. The last guy Trump picked for chairman of the Fed, Stephen Moore, said openly that he has never been a big fan of democracy.
And by pretending that we're trending toward some kind of athenian direct democracy, he can acclimate Americans toward hatred of democracy. Of course, we've never been anything but a slightly limited representative democracy inside the framework of a constitutional republic, but that's just the point.
Moore knows that a fascist dictatorship can also be a constitutional republic, and so do the rest of the hardcore Trump Republicans.

And that's what they want. And they'll stop at nothing to get it.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/25/19 12:53 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw
I think blaming corporations for all ills is a bit of a stretch.


O.K. JGW, sure, if you say so.

Meanwhile, the left has been sounding the alarm over this for decades.

You can read about it from General Butler's ' War is a Racket ' or General Eisenhower's final warning.

I would simply say that our economic interests shape our foreign policy. Those interests aren't the average citizens interests. Their corporate economic interests. those interests are divided among the directors and shareholders.

That's a pretty small party and no one I know is getting invited. We just foot the bill.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/25/19 06:47 PM
I think what you are talking about is a consistent lack of regulation by gov. This, I believe, has to do with our system of campaign support which is little else than a system of bribery for an elected class that is, apparently, a lot more interested in keeping their jobs than actually doing them. I have, on occasion explained our system of lobbyists, the reaction remains the same; "are you telling me that the United States has formalized bribery?"

There are solutions but its unlikely any would pass. One is that only money from within a given state can be used for elections and those giving must live in the state in question. Another might be that when an elected retires all remaining campaign fund goto charity. I am sure there are move but those two, by themselves, would make a difference. I have no idea what to do about the choices made between keeping their jobs and doing them.

Useful site: https://www.opensecrets.org/

Part of the problem is that those on the Right are flat out against ANY kind of regulation. They actually believe that if somebody is given the chance they will always make the right decision. I know that can't be true but it is. Social Security, for instance, is bad because people would do the right thing if they were not forced to. This extends to a pile of other 'regulations' (they believe that SS is regulatory in nature). This is, incidentally, why its so important that both sides find common ground for ALL legislation because both sides tend towards extremes of one sort or another. I have often wondered what would happen if all legislation had to be signed off by both political parties before it could be enacted.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 05/29/19 03:16 PM
No, JGW, that's not quite what I was talking about.
I was giving an argument against the notion of a military thru an economic and class argument. You'd hope most would agreed about the morality of it. Morals are tricky things though.
Not that I disagree with you with the glaring need for alarm over campaign financing. Again, the 'LEFT' as traditionally understood, and currently exists in the U.S. is all over this issue. You would find much common ground.
I think it's reasonable to take issue with the notion of 'Regulation' being the answer to most of what ails us as a society. I would point out that much of the regulatory agencies are being seriously corroded and dismantled. On that list is climate data and reporting.
Regulatory capture has been an ongoing event thru both hard right and center right administrations since the S&L banking crises in the 80's and the radicalization of the farmers and their families.
As long as you allow the same power structures intact you leave the source and desire for regulatory capture and subversion intact to repeat itself. Which we've seen unfolding for the last 30 years.
Big Mo's been talking for some time now. Who said the only reason we can never have a third party in this country is because the rich won't pay for another one?


Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 05/29/19 07:05 PM
Sorry, I was not clear. I am for just, intelligent and honest regulation. The problem with regulation is simple but there are two sides. The sides are regulation and no regulation. These come in two flavors - extreme. The answer is for both sides to sit down, agree there will be regulation and then both sides find common ground. THAT is regulation and not regulations decided by one side or the other. That is how its all designed. Right now we have 1 side making some really bad decisions and that is hopefully going to get fixed in the future. I should add that the Dem/left side also goes to extremes when it comes to regulation which is why we need 2 sides as neither is perfect. The ultimate deciders are the people represented in the voting electorate.

As far as I can tell both political sides, as well as the electorate, have just failed. The difference, I think, is that one side has decided to make it all their way and that would be the Republicans and that started with Newt Gingrich who had the Contract for America which laid out their principles along with the determination not to compromise. They have stuck with that through thick and thin and was the basis for what we have now. That being said the Democrats have been playing catchup, and defense, ever since. They just never understood that the Contract killed the idea of both sides sitting down and finding the new mythic common ground and the system has been melting down ever since. I can Remember Obama, for instance, making overture over overture to the Republicans and they were ALL rejected. Its really time the Democrats came to terms, figured that one out and went back to the drawing board. People tend to forget that the Republicans, quite publicly, announced that they would reject and fight ANY legislation that Obama might propose. They stuck to that. Obamacare is a case in point. I remember when that got marked up. The Republicans actually were responsible for much of Obamacare but not a single one voted for it!

I really have no solution to these things. I do believe they are pretty much recognized but nobody seems to have a solution. What we probably need is a genuine leader as president who can make this his job, the only job, and get it done. This, of course, is simply wishful thinking, but one can hope?

I am not sure what power structures you are talking about. I do know that there is a left and right and both have the capacity to go too far. I also know that the right is like a dog with a bone. They have goals and they are neither pretty nor good for the nation and they are sticking to them. I also know that they are much better than the Dems at making their case as they march in lockstep, listen to their leaders, and understand how to demonize (not sure the Dems even know what that is). The Dems, on the other hand spend most of their time battling each other instead of the opposition and seem to agree with each other as much as the Republicans don't do that.

When there are two sides and one side has a problem getting along with itself and the other sides doesn't the side that presents a common front wins. This is true anytime you have two sides. If the generals are not in agreement they all lose. I don't think anybody disagrees with that and that is what we now have. This is not meant to start an argument or piss you off. However, your determination to label every belief as this and that, right and wrong, etc. when referring to the left (witch, according to you doesn't exist) is an excellent example of how the Dems seem to consistently demonstrate that they can "lose spectacularly". Sometimes they win, sometimes they don't but they never seem to really get it and its frustrating.

There is a consistent joke about the left joining hands and singing cumbaya. The problem is that they really don't and its a shame. The simple fact that Bernie supporters, rather than vote for a woman who had been demonized for over 30 years, that the opposition had spent over 100 million dollars trying to take down, etc. but was seen, by these particular members of the left as evil, the devil, who did monstrous things, etc. is another great example of what is wrong with the left. They say that the 'middle' is now more populated than either side. Those are folks who watch the left with a distrust and humor. Who in the world would support such a group? You really can't support a group that can't actually even support itself! They don't like the right and the left is a kindofa joke. They have some good ideas but they can't be counted on. The right is not a joke and they certainly can be counted on. Their problem is pretty simple - they REALLY don't represent the majority of the voting public.

The only thing that might actually save the left, this time, is Trump the Jackass. This is a rare instance wherein the left is actually in agreement about something - overwhelming dislike of Trump. That may actually save them - this time.

As an aside I would add that the House has now passed something over 200 pieces of legislation. That being said they have been curiously silent on what they have been doing, other than to state that they have been doing some legislating. Yet another example of Democratic obscurantism and that is a shame. One would think that they could, at least, stand up for their own actions!

Enough - apologies if you are offended.........
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 05/29/19 10:05 PM
Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

Big Mo's been talking for some time now. Who said the only reason we can never have a third party in this country is because the rich won't pay for another one?




No one here has ever said that, and far as I know, I've always said that the reason we can never have a third party is because no one is interested in doing the legwork to set up a power base first.
Every third party I know of in all the elections in my lifetime always does the same damn stupid thing, run some guy for POTUS.
Then, after the election, which he LOSES, that party shrinks down to a PO Box and maybe an 800 number or a website for the next 3.5 years.
Then the cycle repeats itself for six months, lather rinse, repeat:

3.5 years dormancy, 0.5 years POTUS campaign, 3.5 years dormancy.

Unless and until enough third party people gather the political will to build a groundswell of support FROM THE BOTTOM UP, you will not see any third party gain a foothold.
There is NO TOP DOWN model that works, or we would have seen it happen already.

Far as I can see, third parties in this country exist as a vote siphon, mostly to help the Republicans, with one notable exception, and that was by accident, in 1992.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 05/30/19 02:38 PM
Originally Posted By: chunkstyle

Big Mo's been talking for some time now. Who said the only reason we can never have a third party in this country is because the rich won't pay for another one?




Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
No one here has ever said that.....


Well let me be the first! Money is power, power is money. Third Parties want to usurp power. More often than not to take money from the powerful and give it to the powerless. Let's be honest here, the rich won't pay for a third party that aims to take their hard earned money and give it to the poor. Not even if it's just a tiny fraction, they will not give up one red cent to fund their downfall.

Presidential elections are high profile events, third parties don't imagine they can win but during a national election at least they can get the word out that there are other choices. Even though there really aren't.

Not enough donor money to run lots of candidates for local elections.
Money is power, power is money. If you aint got money...you aint gettin' no power.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/02/19 12:16 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw
Sorry, I was not clear. I am for just, intelligent and honest regulation. The problem with regulation is simple but there are two sides. The sides are regulation and no regulation. These come in two flavors - extreme. The answer is for both sides to sit down, agree there will be regulation and then both sides find common ground. THAT is regulation and not regulations decided by one side or the other. That is how its all designed.

Enough - apologies if you are offended.........


Lord knows you've stated many times how politics for you is between regulation and no regulation. You often mention how the 'left' is defined as politics that believe in sound regulation.
It's quite absurd and has no historical validity to say the 'left' is defined, more or less, by sound regulation.

The democratic party has been drifting further rightward for decades now by your fetish for capitulating to the demands of the right while punching left and alienating larger and larger portions of their base. You seem content with that but I'm not.

I'm not offended. Amused maybe, but not offended by your willful ignorance of leftism.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/02/19 12:33 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw


However, your determination to label every belief as this and that, right and wrong, etc. when referring to the left (witch, according to you doesn't exist) is an excellent example of how the Dems seem to consistently demonstrate that they can "lose spectacularly". Sometimes they win, sometimes they don't but they never seem to really get it and its frustrating.



What I do is offer a COUNTERARGUMENT to your cartoonish simplifications of left vs. right argument. Both parties have coalitions as they must in a rigid two party system. Both parties have disagreements over goals and priorities.
Republicans tend to be more dynamic and democratic, allowing for the voters to pick their representative that aligns with their ideology.
The Democrats are the opposite. Now more than ever they have become more insular, rigid and dogmatic. They will allow no challenges to their incumbent politicians and are hoping to fend off any and all primary challenges from progressive leftists preferring the more corporate aligned conservative.
The right gets enthusiasm from it's base by primary renewal. The Neolibs get a lock on the Democfratic party and have effectively made it a club.

That may be fine for some Eisenhower Republican retreads but not for a great many FDR New Dealists Democrats. I wish the party to be rid of these Hagfish but they are burrowed in deep and wont be removed without great effort.
Enjoy those tax enhanced savings accounts because that's all they have been able to muster as Democrats for the last 30 years or so. They are devoid of any meaningful ideas for addressing peoples very real material concerns. Quit the opposite really.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: war and other stuff - 06/03/19 03:19 AM
Quote:
that's all they have been able to muster as Democrats for the last 30 years or so


Except for gay marriage equality and the ACA, which matter very much to the people who need them. Looks like getting all the marijuana prisoners out of jail, as well. That has been a key strategy in voter suppression.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/03/19 11:29 AM
It was democrats punching left while fawning to the right that brought us the ACA. It was democrats that killed the single payer option.
It was democrats that passed the crime bill that lead to our privatized incarceration state and swollen prison populations. The 'Tough on Crime' posturing such as Kamala Harris is familiar with.
It was a democratic socialist that said we could not have social justice without economic justice. I'm all for social justice. But as the democratic party has largely abandoned economic justice in favor of corporate support, I don't know how solid any gains will be. Witness the current right to abortion...
On the other hand, run on ACA, gay marriage, big tent jargon in 2020. I'll see you at the victory party.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 06/03/19 09:39 PM
I still credit Democrats for what they've accomplished. It's been a long uphill struggle for progressives of all stripes.
Posted By: pondering_it_all Re: war and other stuff - 06/04/19 07:43 AM
At this point, Democrats can run on save Medicare and Social Security, too. And against Trump's tax cut for the rich that added $1.38 to your paycheck. And you don't run on "See how great ACA is?" You run on "Republicans want you to die."
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/04/19 01:37 PM
Yeah PIA. That's about it from these centrist shills.

"Hey, were not as bad as Republican!"


See you at the party...
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/04/19 01:46 PM
I haven't seen all that much for most of my adult life.
I have seen the biggest income disparity in US history grow.
In the face of widespread economic violence, the commodification of most every basic necessities, a reckless disregard of the ecosystem, betrayal of labor unions, etc etc it would seem time for a course correction. For the managerial class, maybe not. They got them 401's to think about.

Whatever gains have been made by progressives it has not been with the help of the neoliberals.

I've really distracted from the topic at hand. My apologies.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/04/19 08:07 PM
A timely interview in defense of third parties...

Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 06/06/19 05:55 PM
Yep, the Dems don't need any of the damned centrists. The simple fact is that there are more unaffiliated than party members, on either side. Most of those are in the center. They prefer not to support any extremism. Extremism, in this case is what the center would believe to be anything that goes too far. The trick, to get their vote, is to convince them that you are not representing an "extreme". Single Payer Healthcare is a good example because its to poorly sold to the public. The Republicans actually claim that one of the main things wrong with Single Payer is that there are no options! That is crazy, has nothing to do with single payer because Single Payer, in theory covers everything for everybody so "options" just don't exist because everybody is already covered. Single payer is also more economic, for the citizen, than the current for profit system ("For Profit Healthcare" is another term more descriptive than just "Healthcare", incidentally). Right now the nation is paying, on average, 50% more for their for profit healthcare than they would for a well designed single payer system. The problem is that the left/democratic fears the term "single payer" because the Republicans have demonized it. I don't think so - the left/demcrats have just done a seriously poor job of describing "Single Payer". Single payer is just another one of them things that gov can do better than for profit system. This includes Public Schools, Fire Departments, Police departments, etc. Some, like public schools, get blasted because, in come cases gov does a lousy job running the system. One of the main problems is that we measure against other systems, in other countries, that seem to be doing a better job. This means that our public school system, which provides something like 30% less instruction time than other systems that actually have no summer vacation, no Christmas vacation, no Easter vacation, teacher meetings, etc. Most government social efforts, like schools, police, firemen, etc are also the programs more likely to be cut in times of financial hardship.

Anyway, I guess this is another blather filled anti-democratic rant, sorry about that.................
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 06/06/19 06:04 PM
The last third party to survive is the Republican party. Its one of them things wherein there were actually politicians who had grown a couple and a spine to boot.

We have a 2 party system. 3rd parties have been tried, time and time again. There are several right now, Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, etc. All failed, basically because they are endeavors of extremist groups that, in the end, don't get the support of the middle.

What 3rd parties really do well is to suck votes away from the established parties in elections. There are some, for instance, that blame suck for Hillary's loss. In the current political system a third party would, absolutely, guarantee another Trump term.

In the current environment the Dems are the most likely to spawn a 3rd party effort as there are little groups of true believers who seemingly can't stand the idea of giving an inch on ANYTHING. From my viewpoint these folks are very like the current Republican party and its a shame.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/07/19 12:32 PM
Rubbish JGW. You have some kind of candy colored idea of what politics is that has no relationship to reality or historical record.
Now you want to run around yelling 'Extremist!' with anything that doesn't conform to your simplistic view.
By your political definition MLK and Senator Byrd were both 'left'.
Or todays Joe Manchin and Alexander Cortez are both 'Left'.

The idea of making common cause with the Left is more unpalatable to you than making concessions to the increasingly extreme right.
For what end? You and your political stripe, punching left while kissing right, have done this for decades now and is a major reason for where we are today.
Keep digging, there's gotta be a horse under all that horsesh!t somewhere.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 06/07/19 06:08 PM
Great reply! Has nothing to do with what I wrote but then .............. (kinda reminds me of how Jackass replies to stuff)
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 06/09/19 05:37 PM
Quote:
The idea of making common cause with the Left is more unpalatable to you than making concessions to the increasingly extreme right.


That's it in a nutshell. You're a bougy or a prole.

If you can't stomach the word "socialism" then you're a bougy.

Nothing wrong with that. I'm a prole. Every wishlist starts with higher wages.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 06/09/19 06:11 PM
Quote:
The last third party to survive is the Republican party.

The last third party to survive was the TEA Party and they completely transformed the Republican Party. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Donald Trump is the pinnacle of TEA Party influence.
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 06/09/19 06:49 PM
You could make that same argument for the Whigs. The difference is that the Whigs are gone and the Republicans survived. The destruction of the Whigs was over slavery. The TEA party was about changing the Republican party, the Republican party was an abandonment of the Whig party.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/10/19 12:40 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw


In the current environment the Dems are the most likely to spawn a 3rd party effort as there are little groups of true believers who seemingly can't stand the idea of giving an inch on ANYTHING. From my viewpoint these folks are very like the current Republican party and its a shame.


I was responding to this chestnut.
You mischaracterize.
I'm beginning to think it's on purpose.
Posted By: chunkstyle Re: war and other stuff - 06/10/19 04:00 PM
Why am I reminded of the know nothings....
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 06/10/19 08:09 PM
Originally Posted By: jgw
The last third party to survive is the Republican party. Its one of them things wherein there were actually politicians who had grown a couple and a spine to boot.

We have a 2 party system. 3rd parties have been tried, time and time again. There are several right now, Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, etc. All failed, basically because they are endeavors of extremist groups that, in the end, don't get the support of the middle.

What 3rd parties really do well is to suck votes away from the established parties in elections. There are some, for instance, that blame suck for Hillary's loss. In the current political system a third party would, absolutely, guarantee another Trump term.

In the current environment the Dems are the most likely to spawn a 3rd party effort as there are little groups of true believers who seemingly can't stand the idea of giving an inch on ANYTHING. From my viewpoint these folks are very like the current Republican party and its a shame.


In our entire existence as a nation I cannot think of a single third party that has ever built themselves from the ground up unless one is counting the original Republicans.
So called Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, etc. have all been doing the same idiotic thing forever, running a POTUS candidate, then going into hibernation for 3.5 years and then repeating all over again.

My daughter, at age fourteen, complained that the only jobs she'd ever be able to get when she was old enough would be all at the bottom. She could not understand why one couldn't start at the top.
One would think an independent third party would have more wisdom than a petulant entitled fourteen year old girl (who by the way just got her second promotion and raise - she DID learn eventually!)

Unless and until an independent third party does the GENERATIONAL work needed to BUILD, they will continue to do that one thing - - SUCK!
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 06/10/19 08:11 PM
Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
The last third party to survive is the Republican party.

The last third party to survive was the TEA Party and they completely transformed the Republican Party. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Donald Trump is the pinnacle of TEA Party influence.


Because that IS the only other way to "third party"...you take over one of the two major parties, tear them down and rebuild.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 06/10/19 09:56 PM
JGW, you seem upset that everyone doesn't take a centrist, Republican light stance such as yourself. I will not vote for Joe Biden. Okay?

If that's the best the Democratic Party can muster then I'd just as soon have another 4 years of Trump. In fact, I'd rather have Trump. He will continue to damage the Republican Party. Joe Biden on the other hand will make a case for just how useless and out of touch the Democrats really are.
This has nothing to do with parties, or our own supposed "two party system". All politics is about class warfare. The rich vs the poor, the workers vs corporations, the proletariat vs the bourgeoisie. The aristocracy vs the commoners, conservatives vs liberals. The landed gentry vs the landless. Labor vs management.
The House of Lords vs the House of Commons.

There are many factions. But there are only two sides.

Some call them right and Left.

Those with money vs those with none.

I have none.

During the French revolution the supporters of the King were seated to his right.
The supporters of the Revolution were seated to his left. The party of order vs. the party of movement.

Change vs the status quo.

Needless to say those who sided with the King were those with the most money...

Marx and Engles saw that this was a recurring theme. They sought to explain it and offer hope that the cycle could be broken and that finally men could be free!

Freedom is not the agenda of the right...despite what you might have heard.

Democrats are not the left. Despite what they might have led you to believe.

Socialists don't want "the government" to own anything. Socialists want the people to own everything. Not just a few people either...all of us.

The role of government is simply to be sure that order is maintained and everyone gets what they need.

Our current model is creating a Billionaire Class and a class of wage slaves. You may hate it to the roots of your very teeth but socialist policies are the only thing that's gonna save our asses.
Posted By: logtroll Re: war and other stuff - 06/10/19 10:34 PM
I reckon that pretty much sums it up.

Originally Posted By: Greger
...Socialists don't want "the government" to own anything. Socialists want the people to own everything. Not just a few people either...all of us...

Since the topic is War and Other Stuff, I thought I'd add that the closest thing we have to a pure, dictionary compliant example of Socialism is the Department of Defense. In the DoD, the government owns and controls everything, and the rank and file are more or less completely taken care of in exchange for agreeing to be told what to do and obeying without question.
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 06/11/19 01:37 AM
Originally Posted By: Greger
JGW, you seem upset that everyone doesn't take a centrist, Republican light stance such as yourself. I will not vote for Joe Biden. Okay?

If that's the best the Democratic Party can muster then I'd just as soon have another 4 years of Trump. In fact, I'd rather have Trump.



You're really serious??
Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas Re: war and other stuff - 06/11/19 01:42 AM
Originally Posted By: Greger

Our current model is creating a Billionaire Class and a class of wage slaves. You may hate it to the roots of your very teeth but socialist policies are the only thing that's gonna save our asses.


Maybe so but so far it looks like they SUCK at marketing.
Anyone who ever tried marketing understands that a label turn-off means the end of their product. They can make the best product of its kind but if people hate the name, it will not sell.

So, if you're going to sell socialism, and you already recognize that it's about the haves vs the have nots, then you'd better figure out what to call it so that the have not people in this country can relate to it.

General Motors could easily come out with a fast and lovely rear engine sports car if they want, but if they call it a Corvair...if they SAY that they are reintroducing the Corvair, it will be DEAD in the water.

Think about it.
Posted By: Greger Re: war and other stuff - 06/11/19 03:53 PM
You don't really see them trying to "sell" socialism in Europe do you?

No. Because higher wages and more paid time off sort of sells itself most places. So does accessible healthcare.

Only here in America are those things deemed evil socialist programs that will destroy our way of life and turn us into robots with no freedoms.....NO FREEDOMS!!!!!
Posted By: jgw Re: war and other stuff - 06/12/19 05:09 PM
Your 14 year old is going to be lucky to even have a job, along with the entire generation. Automation is going to take care of that. Even when it comes to the stock market its happening. Have you seen pictures of the bank upon bank of trading computers that trading literally millions of stock hourly?

I fear its gonna be like the current homeless thing in spades. I fear that, sooner rather than later, we are going to create a lower class without hope. I also suspect there are ivory tower folks working on this one right now. The problem is that, seemingly, we are no longer really into fixing problems in any meaningful way. Emigration, education, wealth distribution, etc., have been known for years but no fixes in place. Drugs were solved by Portugal about 18 years ago - we have been ignoring that one as we are into punish bigtime. Recidivism was solved by Northern Europe years ago - we ignored that too. None of this stuff is a mystery and none of it is actually being addressed.

I can only wonder what is going to happen when blood starts to run in the streets. I also wonder how is AI going to deal with stuff when humanity is no longer necessary for ANYTHING! This stuff is coming! (and fast) I can remember when they ordered tanks into Washington, DC - with their guns down. That got solved (Vietnam) but only because we had the draft now even that is gone and we are into forever wars.

Sorry, I am even depressing myself!
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