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Thread: The 2016 Election will be awful. - Page 33







Post#801 at 03-05-2015 10:04 PM by JordanGoodspeed [at joined Mar 2013 #posts 3,587]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
The Detroit News had an article on ISIS and its attractiveness to the large Arab Muslim population in Greater Detroit... basically, almost none. ISIS has its strongest appeal to recent converts to Islam, often to people who know little about Islam.

What ISIS does is not Islam. Saudi Arabia and Iran, countries at odds on about everything other than a desire for the 'Zionist Entity' to disappear, concur in their excoriation of ISIS.

The Kurds fight ISIS in the name of Islam. Shiite Arabs in Iraq fight ISIS in the name of Islam. I doubt that you saw the decision of a large body of Islamic scholars that ISIS' behavior as fighters and administrators violates Islamic law...

ISIS is about as Islamic as Nazism was Christian.
As futile as it is talking you, for the benefits of those of you who are human, another take on the "ISIS isn't Islamic" argument from the Atlantic. Does this article I am linking then imply that all Muslims are closet IS supporters? Of course not, just that one should be wary of simplistic arguments of all sorts.







Post#802 at 03-05-2015 11:42 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Classic-X'er View Post
Well, you shouldn't expect Democratic reform of the private sector healthcare system to be imposed without running into and impacting the Constitutional rights of others who have as much of a right as you to enter a court and change things.
The perfect system would be one in which

1) a broad range of taxes, including a VAT and income taxes, would fund a single-payer system
2) the health-insurance system would be nationalized (let the insurance companies sell more life insurance connected to a partial privatization of Social Security)
3) relies upon tax-funded subsidies of education through graduate and professional schools to the extent that a student is qualified
4) allows competition in pharmaceuticals

We have had the worst system possible, a cost-loading system that ensures the highest possible cost and the lowest possible service. American businesses have been moving manufacturing operations to Canada because Canadian medical costs are lower.

As far as abortion, if liberals were willing to put their money where their mouth is and privately fund, peace would come.
Privately fund... what?

As far as gay rights, if liberals were able to recognize that homo's and hetero's are different and the term used shouldn't be the same term as each other, peace would come.
Some men can love only men; some women can love only women. Marriages between men or between women are not going to hurt me. Homophobia can hurt anyone if it turns violent, as seemed possible when some fool figured that my brother and I were a gay couple.

I'm straight. (Gay porn does not excite me, and little depresses me more than to see the parts of the male anatomy most usually covered up). I do not know why. But with homosexuality, there but for the grace of God go I. That said, if I had to choose between homosexuality and any of the following:

fascism
Marxism-Leninism
ISIS
racism
religious bigotry
drug addiction
alcoholism
sexual sadism
dishonest business practices
general criminality
pedophilia
terrorism
cruelty to animals
compulsive gambling
suicidal tendencies
mental illness
low intelligence
cancer
diabetes
bankruptcy
paraplegia

...I'd take homosexuality. Wouldn't you?
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#803 at 03-06-2015 12:43 AM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Quote Originally Posted by JordanGoodspeed View Post
I always found this line of thought to be quite odd. Are you seriously saying that some nebulous but inexorable change brought by the passage of time alone will prevent nuclear weapons from ever being used again in the future history of the world? Is this the same "force of history" that prevents countries from annexing pieces of other countries by force? How's that one working out?

For the record I think using nuclear weapons to resolve the present issues in the Middle East is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, but I think your argument is bad nonetheless.
All I am saying is that America will not strike with nukes first. We've been there and done that. Didn't like the way we felt later.
Sorry for any misconceptions.







Post#804 at 03-06-2015 12:47 AM by Classic-X'er [at joined Sep 2012 #posts 1,789]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
The perfect system would be one in which

1) a broad range of taxes, including a VAT and income taxes, would fund a single-payer system
2) the health-insurance system would be nationalized (let the insurance companies sell more life insurance connected to a partial privatization of Social Security)
3) relies upon tax-funded subsidies of education through graduate and professional schools to the extent that a student is qualified
4) allows competition in pharmaceuticals

We have had the worst system possible, a cost-loading system that ensures the highest possible cost and the lowest possible service. American businesses have been moving manufacturing operations to Canada because Canadian medical costs are lower.



Privately fund... what?
The perfect system for you is a single payer system that the government controls and pays for with more tax dollars. Hint..If the system you want requires more tax dollars and new tax revenue streams then the system itself is not viable and able to sustain itself. We're not getting any younger and our potential for adding significant costs to that system increases with age.



Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
Some men can love only men; some women can love only women. Marriages between men or between women are not going to hurt me. Homophobia can hurt anyone if it turns violent, as seemed possible when some fool figured that my brother and I were a gay couple.

I'm straight. (Gay porn does not excite me, and little depresses me more than to see the parts of the male anatomy most usually covered up). I do not know why. But with homosexuality, there but for the grace of God go I. That said, if I had to choose between homosexuality and any of the following:

fascism
Marxism-Leninism
ISIS
racism
religious bigotry
drug addiction
alcoholism
sexual sadism
dishonest business practices
general criminality
pedophilia
terrorism
cruelty to animals
compulsive gambling
suicidal tendencies
mental illness
low intelligence
cancer
diabetes
bankruptcy
paraplegia

...I'd take homosexuality. Wouldn't you?
I'd choose bankruptcy.
Last edited by Classic-X'er; 03-06-2015 at 02:33 AM.







Post#805 at 03-06-2015 01:07 AM by Classic-X'er [at joined Sep 2012 #posts 1,789]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
All I am saying is that America will not strike with nukes first. We've been there and done that. Didn't like the way we felt later.
Sorry for any misconceptions.
ISIS isn't a large enough threat to nuke. We can defeat them conventionally with a relatively small combat force. Once we put boots on the ground and start killing them then everyone will start killing them.







Post#806 at 03-06-2015 09:08 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
In terms of ''nuking'' anyone, we were a country that was willing to nuke another country ONCE.
And we still are

The very same president, Truman, was pressured to use nukes in Korea. He refused. It was too late to ''nuke 'em 'till they glow'' by 1950.
That is not what American hawks of the 1950's believed. It was an article of faith for them that Eisenhower successfully used nuclear blackmail to end the Korean War. It may still be for modern hawks.

It was likely already too late after American troops occupied Japan and began to see the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in late 1945.
Americans of that time also found torture beyond the pale. Today it's an accepted practice (Obama established this precedent by refusing to prosecute American torturers; polls show majority support for the practice) and official policy for Republican administrations. The arrow of history moves in both directions.
Last edited by Mikebert; 03-06-2015 at 09:40 AM.







Post#807 at 03-06-2015 10:34 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Classic-X'er View Post
The perfect system for you is a single payer system that the government controls and pays for with more tax dollars. Hint..If the system you want requires more tax dollars and new tax revenue streams then the system itself is not viable and able to sustain itself. We're not getting any younger and our potential for adding significant costs to that system increases with age.
It depends upon people getting paid more than the pittances that American elites have deemed adequate for the proles and peons who are to get sick, run quickly out of money or insurance coverage, and die. We had the worst medical-payments system in the world going into 2009. Obamacare is a response to some of the problems. But if you are a cop encountering a passed-out drunk on a cold winter's night, your first responsibility is to get the passed-out drunk off the cold street and into a place of comparative warmth -- a hospital ward that largely serves inmates of the jail. Then one deals with the hypothermia before even addressing the pathological drinking.

I'd choose bankruptcy (over homosexuality).
Most Americans are one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#808 at 03-06-2015 01:42 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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Quote Originally Posted by Classic-X'er View Post
Hint..If the system you want requires more tax dollars and new tax revenue streams then the system itself is not viable and able to sustain itself.
What I want is something like the Japanese system, which would cost less. An initial step in this direction (that would save big bucks) is to allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices like Walmart does with its suppliers. Everybody else in the world does that except America. And everywhere else people pay less for the exact same drugs as Americans do. Conservatives passed a law that forces Medicare to pay whatever price the drug companies want. Repeal that provision and taxpayers pay less.

Or we could go full-Japan and have Medicare. Medicaid, the VA and the big private insurers collectively bargain with medical care providers and drug companies for lower prices across the board. The Japanese consume far more medical services than do Americans but they pay much less, because the price their insurance companies get charged is less because of such bargaining pools.

In Japan, insurance is all private, but the fees the companies collect and the costs they pay are fixed by these collective negotiations. It's like a regulated utility. The competition is fierce because the business has a fixed margin, the more customers you can get to sign on with you rather than your identically-priced competitor the more money you make. So its all about operating efficiency, customer service, and extras (like coverage for certain cosmetic procedures not covered under the national program).

International pharmaceutical companies all do business with Japan (we do at Pfizer). They are the biggest buyer of drugs in the world. They won't allow our drugs in their formulary unless we charge a lot less that whan we charge Americans, so we do--its still good business. But since Medicare is required by law to pay us whatever we want, selling to Americans is truly great business. And with half of the American market price-locked in, we can bargain hard with private insurers and gouge them too. No other healthcare provider investment can remotely offer the return that political contributions can

Before you trot out that stale argument about recouping the costs of R&D, know that R&D isn't the big expense. Hell we've shut down almost all of the R&D. Kalamazoo (Upjohn) and North Chicago (Searle) got axed in 2004. A few years later they axed An Arbor (Parke-Davis). They shut down BM R&D and the Pfizer R&D in England. Now even legacy Pfizer in Conn is coming under the knife. I don't know who's left. I think all the other companies are dumping R&D too. Discovering new drugs is hard--too hard for out multimillion dollar a year executives to handle. Better to let someone else do it and buy the stuff they come up with. A big chunk of our costs nowadays is merger costs and writedowns for paying way too much for stuff we acquired. All the guys on the corporate office know how to do is financial deals. Its the same all over. If Congress had the balls to do what I suggest it would force us to cut all that administrative bloat or go out of business. Maybe that would force them to spin us off.

You know if you pay executives huge salaries for years and years, you will eventually get incompetence. It's the same principle that operates in spoiling children. The executives come to think they deserve their super-high compensation. A middling CEO today makes much more than a top man 40 years ago. That mediocrity is eventually going to think he is better than Alfred Sloan, and the result is bankruptcy, or the 2008 collapse caused by morally-challenged pygmies who think they are better than the greats of the past simply because they are paid more. And the nation goes to shit as a result.
Last edited by Mikebert; 03-06-2015 at 02:23 PM.







Post#809 at 03-06-2015 02:12 PM by Cynic Hero '86 [at Upstate New York joined Jul 2006 #posts 1,285]
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Only Restorationism and the implementation of reforms to create a more equitable society; the creation of the meritocratic elite, the civil-military education system and the establishment of the combined civil and military meritocratic caste would the country around and bring improved socioeconomic conditions to America.







Post#810 at 03-06-2015 03:59 PM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
What I want is something like the Japanese system, which would cost less. An initial step in this direction (that would save big bucks) is to allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices like Walmart does with its suppliers. Everybody else in the world does that except America. And everywhere else people pay less for the exact same drugs as Americans do. Conservatives passed a law that forces Medicare to pay whatever price the drug companies want. Repeal that provision and taxpayers pay less.

Or we could go full-Japan and have Medicare. Medicaid, the VA and the big private insurers collectively bargain with medical care providers and drug companies for lower prices across the board. The Japanese consume far more medical services than do Americans but they pay much less, because the price their insurance companies get charged is less because of such bargaining pools.

In Japan, insurance is all private, but the fees the companies collect and the costs they pay are fixed by these collective negotiations. It's like a regulated utility. The competition is fierce because the business has a fixed margin, the more customers you can get to sign on with you rather than your identically-priced competitor the more money you make. So its all about operating efficiency, customer service, and extras (like coverage for certain cosmetic procedures not covered under the national program).

International pharmaceutical companies all do business with Japan (we do at Pfizer). They are the biggest buyer of drugs in the world. They won't allow our drugs in their formulary unless we charge a lot less that whan we charge Americans, so we do--its still good business. But since Medicare is required by law to pay us whatever we want, selling to Americans is truly great business. And with half of the American market price-locked in, we can bargain hard with private insurers and gouge them too. No other healthcare provider investment can remotely offer the return that political contributions can

Before you trot out that stale argument about recouping the costs of R&D, know that R&D isn't the big expense. Hell we've shut down almost all of the R&D. Kalamazoo (Upjohn) and North Chicago (Searle) got axed in 2004. A few years later they axed An Arbor (Parke-Davis). They shut down BM R&D and the Pfizer R&D in England. Now even legacy Pfizer in Conn is coming under the knife. I don't know who's left. I think all the other companies are dumping R&D too. Discovering new drugs is hard--too hard for out multimillion dollar a year executives to handle. Better to let someone else do it and buy the stuff they come up with. A big chunk of our costs nowadays is merger costs and writedowns for paying way too much for stuff we acquired. All the guys on the corporate office know how to do is financial deals. Its the same all over. If Congress had the balls to do what I suggest it would force us to cut all that administrative bloat or go out of business. Maybe that would force them to spin us off.

You know if you pay executives huge salaries for years and years, you will eventually get incompetence. It's the same principle that operates in spoiling children. The executives come to think they deserve their super-high compensation. A middling CEO today makes much more than a top man 40 years ago. That mediocrity is eventually going to think he is better than Alfred Sloan, and the result is bankruptcy, or the 2008 collapse caused by morally-challenged pygmies who think they are better than the greats of the past simply because they are paid more. And the nation goes to shit as a result.
You, sir, are the CEO paradigm of the next 1T!

I hope I'm still around to see it.







Post#811 at 03-06-2015 09:44 PM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Quote Originally Posted by Classic-X'er View Post
ISIS isn't a large enough threat to nuke. We can defeat them conventionally with a relatively small combat force. Once we put boots on the ground and start killing them then everyone will start killing them.
I doubt that.
Let me put it this way. With March spring is coming and I will soon have to mow my grass again. If someone showed up and started mowing my grass for me for free, why would I trouble myself to get out my mower, buy gas for it and so on when I could be a free rider?







Post#812 at 03-06-2015 09:51 PM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
And we still are


That is not what American hawks of the 1950's believed. It was an article of faith for them that Eisenhower successfully used nuclear blackmail to end the Korean War. It may still be for modern hawks.
I always understood that the death of Stalin hastened an end to the active phase of the Korean War because the new Central Committee, including Khrushchev, wanted that nuisence near their extreme eastern border out of the way so that they could deal with other things.

Quote Originally Posted by Mike
Americans of that time also found torture beyond the pale. Today it's an accepted practice (Obama established this precedent by refusing to prosecute American torturers; polls show majority support for the practice) and official policy for Republican administrations. The arrow of history moves in both directions.
Unfortunately for now the myth of 'torture works'' has been bought. I wouldn't even want to think of what it will take to disabuse American of this idea.







Post#813 at 03-06-2015 10:12 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
I always understood that the death of Stalin hastened an end to the active phase of the Korean War because the new Central Committee, including Khrushchev, wanted that nuisance near their extreme eastern border out of the way so that they could deal with other things.
It was only a matter of time before a Soviet or Warsaw Pact crew would be shot down in area under control of South Korea and made prisoner. Khrushchev was much less reckless than Stalin.

Unfortunately for now the myth of 'torture works'' has been bought. I wouldn't even want to think of what it will take to disabuse American of this idea.
It is regrettable to say, but the pathologies developing in the American economic order and political practice may culminate in a forceful change of government, the result of either a revolution or a military defeat, that puts members of American elites (political, administrative, military, and economic) on trial for their lives or long prison terms, and of course ruins them economically. The alternative is that things quiet down and go back to 'normal' as they were in the 1950s (if without Jim Crow and McCarthyism).

That is how Germany and Japan got the extreme pathologies purged from culture, economics, and politics.
Last edited by pbrower2a; 03-07-2015 at 01:26 AM.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#814 at 03-06-2015 11:43 PM by Cynic Hero '86 [at Upstate New York joined Jul 2006 #posts 1,285]
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Perhaps the current elite in general could be overthrown and restorationist-type reforms implemented establishing a new civic consciousness and new normal.







Post#815 at 03-07-2015 09:34 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Cynic Hero '86 View Post
Perhaps the current elite in general could be overthrown and restorationist-type reforms implemented establishing a new civic consciousness and new normal.
We need to restore a culture of responsibility among our leaders. Humane values must trump economic power.

I see no reason to believe that we Americans are now better as a people than our Axis enemies. It may sicken me to say this, but in view of the coarsened rhetoric of politics, a depraved mass culture, an education that does nothing to improve the consciousness of future leaders, and an economic philosophy that could have developed in the minds of such fictional villains as Scrooge, Shylock, and Simon Legree, we need pervasive change.

In the 1960s and 1970s, American colleges began two major experiments. One was the Multiversity, the transformation of undergraduate education into a confusing smorgasbord of choices for 18-22-year-old kids. That did not work well. The other was to abandon the old purpose of most secular colleges of preserving WASP privilege in education by no longer using race and religion as criteria for determining who gets to attend and who gets shut out. The latter opened opportunities for first-rate education to non-WASPS. Mediocre sons of big contributors used to have an edge over kids with great scores but either dark skins or a proclivity to reject pork in the school dining hall.

The latter was a very good change. We need people who have more loyalty to rational thought and studied principle than to class privilege, consumerism, bureaucratic power, career advancement, and mass low culture. People need to ask the question "What is the meaning of life" before they even consider a career. The old liberal-arts school forced kids to answer that question. The answer was definitely not "sex&drugs&rock-n-roll".
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#816 at 03-07-2015 02:52 PM by Cynic Hero '86 [at Upstate New York joined Jul 2006 #posts 1,285]
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America should be Rome, not Periclean Athens.







Post#817 at 03-07-2015 05:04 PM by Classic-X'er [at joined Sep 2012 #posts 1,789]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
Unfortunately for now the myth of 'torture works'' has been bought. I wouldn't even want to think of what it will take to disabuse American of this idea.
It just shows that most Americans automatically recognize that there are times when chivalry and typical rules of conduct must be set a side in order to effectively engage and defeat a brutal, heartless enemy that obviously places no value whatsoever on human life and are commonly viewed and simply referred to as being evil.
Last edited by Classic-X'er; 03-07-2015 at 05:42 PM.







Post#818 at 03-07-2015 05:41 PM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Quote Originally Posted by Classic-X'er View Post
It just shows that most Americans automatically recognize that there are times when chivalry and typical rules of conduct must be set a side in order to effectively engage and defeat a brutal, heartless enemy who obviously places no value whatsoever on human life who are commonly viewed and simply referred to as being evil.
If torture worked you could have a point but in addition to being repugnant it is ineffective.

Quote Originally Posted by DailyBeast
A former senior interrogator in Iraq says that abusing prisoners results in unreliable information, costs American lives, and it still hasnít turned up Bin Laden.

There are valid reasons why we havenít had enough with ďtorture sanctimony,Ē as Christopher Buckley puts it in an article in The Daily Beast, and let me start with the most importantóitís going to cost us future American lives in addition to the ones weíve already lost.

Our policy of torture and abuse of prisoners has been Al Qaidaís number one recruiting tool, a point that Buckley does not mention and is also conspicuously absent from former CIA Director General Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael Mukaseyís argument in the Wall Street Journal. As the senior interrogator in Iraq for a task force charged with hunting down Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaida leader and mass murderer, I listened time and time again to captured foreign fighters cite the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as their main reason for coming to Iraq to fight. Consider that 90 percent of the suicide bombers in Iraq are these foreign fighters and you can easily conclude that we have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives because of our policy of torture and abuse. But thatís only the past.

When a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.

Somewhere in the world there are other young Muslims who have joined Al Qaida because we tortured and abused prisoners. These men will certainly carry out future attacks against Americans, either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or possibly even here. And thatís not to mention numerous other Muslims who support Al Qaida, either financially or in other ways, because they are outraged that the United States tortured and abused Muslim prisoners.

In addition, torture and abuse has made us less safe because detainees are less likely to cooperate during interrogations if they donít trust us. I know from having conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, that when a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.

Former officials who say that we prevented terrorist attacks by waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Muhammad or Abu Zubaydah are possibly intentionally ignorant of the fact that their actions cost us American lives. And letís not forget the glaring failure in these cases. Torture never convinced either of these men to sell out Osama Bin Laden. And thatís the other lesson I learned in Iraq.
Just because a lot of people want something to work as it makes them FEEL safer, doesn't alter the reality. That's post modernism and its worst and most dangerous.







Post#819 at 03-07-2015 06:02 PM by Classic-X'er [at joined Sep 2012 #posts 1,789]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
If torture worked you could have a point but in addition to being repugnant it is ineffective.

Just because a lot of people want something to work as it makes them FEEL safer, doesn't alter the reality. That's post modernism and its worst and most dangerous.
You say it won't work and stick to a belief it doesn't work. I determine that the situation calls for an attempt and try it and gain some information that eventually saves lives. What does that make you and the belief that you follow at that point? Your mindset is similar to the mindsets those who followed the belief that the world was flat.
Last edited by Classic-X'er; 03-07-2015 at 06:14 PM.







Post#820 at 03-07-2015 06:06 PM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Quote Originally Posted by Classic-X'er View Post
You say it won't work and stick to it doesn't work. I determine that the situation calls for an attempt and try it anyway and gain some information that eventually saved lives. What does that make you? Your mindset is similar to the mindsets of those who once believed the world was flat.
On you being a post modernist who believes in acting on feelings rather than facts I rest my case.







Post#821 at 03-07-2015 08:06 PM by decadeologist101 [at joined Jun 2014 #posts 899]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
We need to restore a culture of responsibility among our leaders. Humane values must trump economic power.

I see no reason to believe that we Americans are now better as a people than our Axis enemies. It may sicken me to say this, but in view of the coarsened rhetoric of politics, a depraved mass culture, an education that does nothing to improve the consciousness of future leaders, and an economic philosophy that could have developed in the minds of such fictional villains as Scrooge, Shylock, and Simon Legree, we need pervasive change.

In the 1960s and 1970s, American colleges began two major experiments. One was the Multiversity, the transformation of undergraduate education into a confusing smorgasbord of choices for 18-22-year-old kids. That did not work well. The other was to abandon the old purpose of most secular colleges of preserving WASP privilege in education by no longer using race and religion as criteria for determining who gets to attend and who gets shut out. The latter opened opportunities for first-rate education to non-WASPS. Mediocre sons of big contributors used to have an edge over kids with great scores but either dark skins or a proclivity to reject pork in the school dining hall.

The latter was a very good change. We need people who have more loyalty to rational thought and studied principle than to class privilege, consumerism, bureaucratic power, career advancement, and mass low culture. People need to ask the question "What is the meaning of life" before they even consider a career. The old liberal-arts school forced kids to answer that question. The answer was definitely not "sex&drugs&rock-n-roll".
But why would someone need to have that much expense to question things?







Post#822 at 03-07-2015 09:09 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Cynic Hero '86 View Post
America should be Rome, not Periclean Athens.
From MY favorite contribution to Wikipedia:

Quote Originally Posted by really, me
Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke

In contrast with the declining empire theories, historians such as Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke argue that the Roman Empire itself was a rotten system from its inception, and that the entire Imperial era was one of steady decay of institutions founded in Republican times. In their view, the Empire could never have lasted longer than it did without radical reforms that no Emperor could implement. The Romans had no budgetary system and thus wasted whatever resources they had available. The economy of the Empire was a Raubwirtschaft or plunder economy based on looting existing resources rather than producing anything new. The Empire relied on riches from conquered territories (this source of revenue ending, of course, with the end of Roman territorial expansion) or on a pattern of tax collection that drove small-scale farmers into destitution (and onto a dole that required even more exactions upon those who could not escape taxation), or into dependency upon a landed ťlite exempt from taxation. With the cessation of tribute from conquered territories, the full cost of their military machine had to be borne by the citizenry.

An economy based upon slave labor precluded a middle class with buying power. The Roman Empire produced few exportable goods. Material innovation, whether through entrepreneurialism or technological advancement, all but ended long before the final dissolution of the Empire. Meanwhile the costs of military defense and the pomp of Emperors continued. Financial needs continued to increase, but the means of meeting them steadily eroded. In the end, due to economic failure, even the armor and weaponry of soldiers became so obsolete that the enemies of the Empire had better armor and weapons as well as larger forces. The decrepit social order offered so little to its subjects that many saw the barbarian invasion as liberation from onerous obligations to the ruling class.

By the late 5th century the barbarian conqueror Odoacer had no use for the formality of an Empire upon deposing Romulus Augustus and chose neither to assume the title of Emperor himself nor to select a puppet, although legally he kept the lands as a commander of the Eastern Empire and maintained the Roman institutions such as the consulship. The formal end of the Roman Empire on the West in AD 476 thus corresponds with the time in which the Empire and the title Emperor no longer had value.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declin...nd_James_Burke

Yes, I wrote that. What I did not add was that Arnold Toynbee saw the Roman Empire as the decadent Universal State that encompasses an entire civilization (classical civilization once the Roman Republic conquered the Ptolemaic dynasty of Greek origin in Egypt), establishes uniform rule over that civilization, and stifles innovation in science and entrepreneurialism. The rot began in times of Republican Rome.

American neocons seek a globalized world that at the least consists of satellite states in all countries of undeniable Western culture, whether in the Americas, Europe, or the South Pacific (including the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand), and has a profits-first economy (neoliberalism) in which brutal management operates with fear as its sole motivator. Human needs are to become a tool of exploitation.

The Right would stifle science in the service of (fundamentalist or evangelical) Christianity and transform competitive capitalism into crony capitalism in a plutocratic oligarchy. As the opposite of such (a political quiz defines me as an anarcho-syndicalist) I might soon want to find another country. America became an economic behemoth when small business prevailed, but now that giant entities have been squeezing small business into oblivion or into control through debt, it could become a monster. We go back to what we used to do well and justly, or we become the new Universal State.

Western Civilization has had its candidates for the "Universal State" -- Spain (complete with the Inquisition) between Columbus' discovery of the New World and the Spanish Armada, Napoleon's French Empire, Wilhelmine Germany, the demonic Third Reich, and Stalin's Hell-Frozen-Over. America's perverse equivalent with neoliberal economics, neoconservative foreign policy, and anti-rational fundamentalist Christianity is an inchoate monstrosity to be stopped -- here and now in America.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#823 at 03-08-2015 12:36 AM by Classic-X'er [at joined Sep 2012 #posts 1,789]
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Quote Originally Posted by herbal tee View Post
On you being a post modernist who believes in acting on feelings rather than facts I rest my case.
To me, it's not about people wanting it to work so they can feel safer. It's a means to obtain information from prisoners directly associated with terrorism that could save lives.







Post#824 at 03-08-2015 02:47 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by decadeologist101 View Post
But why would someone need to have that much expense to question things?
Is it really that costly?

It would be easy enough to give a youth a collection of the Great Books -- absolutely FREE -- for download onto an inexpensive tablet (I recently found one for $49 at a well-known box store). That is most of what will be taught. Source of the miracle?

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

You guessed it, I suppose. Plato to Kafka.

What is so expensive? The classroom? Hardly. A college classroom isn't more expensive than a high-school classroom. The Great Books, except for some recent ones by the likes of Orwell, Hemingway, and Kundera are public domain -- and thus free to copy and download. Not multicultural enough in the recent past? W.E.B. Dubois could disabuse one of that. In view of the significance of non-Christian religions in shaping the world, Buddhist sutras and the Koran could be introduced. The expensive part is the college teacher who specializes in teaching a book -- let us say The Republic, Don Quixote, Candide, Faust, The Federalist Papers, Kapital, The Interpretation of Dreams... obviously Shakespeare makes more sense as drama on stage, even if as video.

Music? YouTube has plenty of it... des Pres to Shostakovich. I have my long list of great works of music to which people aspiring to some sophistication need exposure. Folk and Big Band music are part of the syllabus.

Art? This is tricky. A college near the interchange of Interstate 69 and the Indiana Toll Road is close enough to some fine museums in Chicago, Detroit, and Toledo (the latter is a surprising gem, and I endorse it to anyone!). Much of the Great Plains isn't. But even with that caveat, here's a good source:

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/



Cinema is a legitimate art... and people need to learn something. Do you have any problem with Double Indemnity?

OK, so one does need some foreign language, some mathematics, and science... and of course the obvious composition so that one can write coherently.

... Little of this is obvious to an 18-year-old, but it is the difference between being a brilliant, Philistine functionary and someone fully human as a leader. The examined life is worth some investment, and necessary for a leader.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#825 at 03-08-2015 04:35 PM by TnT [at joined Feb 2005 #posts 2,005]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
... People need to ask the question "What is the meaning of life" before they even consider a career. The old liberal-arts school forced kids to answer that question. The answer was definitely not "sex&drugs&rock-n-roll".
REALLY??!! Gosh, I'd like to know the answer to THAT question!

Could you share it with us?

That's a Truth with a Capital T that could be very useful! We could, like, post it on billboards and run PSAs and stuff, get the word around, ya know ...
" ... a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition."
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