Don't Join Hugo's Book Club

Hugo Chavez has evidently read a book. Too bad it is a book by Noam Chomsky, an obsolete linguist who should have stuck to his own narrow specialty. Hugo made a big deal of showing his reading prowess by holding up Chomsky’s book during his UN speech where he spoke of President Bush and occult powers. Evidently some of Hugo’s fans can also read, or at least they buy books, since the Chomsky tome is now a top seller. Buying Chomsky’s book is bad enough, but buying on the advice of crazy Hugo is way over the edge.

Why do people cut so much slack to boisterous authoritarians and smiling thugs? All the great dictators have their apologists. Listen to Hugo's speech. It would be fine for late night comedy but not for a serious leader. He gets up on his hind legs and brays about president Bush because he knows he we are too civlized to respond. Bolton called it comic strip behavior and so it is. What else can you say about something like that. Mainstream Dems are doing the right thing. Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel have come down hard on Hugo. But some fellow travelers have organized rallies in support. We should not tolerant such folks. They have the right to free speech, but we have the right and perhaps the duty to call them fools at every opportunity.

It might be not rational but I will not buy gas at Citgo, which is where Chavez gets cash and I will not go to a Danny Glover movie. (I always like Danny Glover when he played those simple minded big guys. I did not realize it was no act.) I have already read enough of Chomsky never to want to do it again. You do not need to eat the whole egg to know it is rotten.

As for Hugo, let the little fool talk, but put him where he belongs - on "South Park". It is not polite to laugh at the cognitively challenged, but Hugo has it coming. The price of oil is coming down. When it does, so will Hugo.

Posted by Jack at September 22, 2006 6:10 PM
Comments
Comment #183271

“After seeing the failure of Washington-backed capitalist reforms in Latin America, I no longer think a third way between capitalism and socialism is possible. Capitalism is the way of the devil and exploitation. If you really want to look at things through the eyes of Jesus Christ — who I think was the first socialist — only socialism can really create a genuine society.

Bush wanted Iraq’s oil and I believe he wants Venezuela’s oil. But the blame for high oil prices lies in the consumer model of the U.S. Its reckless oil consumption is a form of suicide.”

Hugo Chavez
quote from Time Magazine

Jack,
So, there are the “cognitively challenged” words of “the little fool.” His own words. You suggest he is a “boisterous authoritarian” and a “smiling thug.”

“He gets up on his hind legs and brays about our president because he knows he we are too civlized to respond.”

The irony is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

It is a small matter, a tempest in a teapot. But just one question:

The Bush administration backed the overthrow of the democratically elected Chavez. Jack, do you approve of overthrowing democratically elected governments?

Posted by: phx8 at September 22, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #183275

Actually, I had read Chomsky’s book before Mr. Chavez’s recommendation.

Only buy my gas from Citgo, too.

I have a measured and cautious opinion of Hugo—but one thing I do like about the man. He pisses off all the right people. There’s something to be said for that, even if he is a ‘dictator.’

“Why do people cut so much slack to boisterous authoritarians and smiling thugs? “

Well, I guess when you’re the President of the United States, towing the imperialist US line makes more economic sense than worrying about human rights and freedoms—just ask Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Columbia, Israel,
Iraq (or what’s left of it)….


Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #183277

The quote sounds like something I would have said in HS. I was not well educated back then. In fact, I was a lot like Hugo is now, so I understand him.

When I was 16, I lived off my parents, so I could boldly talk about the injustice of things. Hugo lives off oil revenue. He has no idea how to create wealth. He is good at passing it around. That certainly wins friends. He is the guy who buys beer for the underaged girls.

If he would read a few books besides Chomsky and take a little more understanding of history, the smiling little thug, or if you like the Kook from Caracas, would know better. Maybe he does. I suspect we give him too much credit for integrity. I think he knows what he is doing is not sustainable, but he figures either he will be gone when the party is over or he will - in fine Latin tradition - be able to blame the U.S. when the fecal matter approaches the cooling device.

In case you cannot tell, I have nothing but comtempt for the little creep. He is good at grandstanding, but with billions of dollars of money to throw around, that is not so hard to do.

Posted by: Jack at September 22, 2006 6:51 PM
Comment #183282

Obsolete linguist? Good grief, Jack, Chomsky is one of the giants in the field. One of the reasons I respect him is that he helped kill off the behaviorist nonsense of Skinner and his gang. I would think a good conservative would approve of his slams against poststructuralism and postmodernism. He slams Lenistic modes of socialist thought, and is a great admirer of the Enlightenment, which I hope we all are. He’s one of those guys who says what he thinks, and has gotten blasted by both the right and left for that.

Chomsky is a powerful thinker, well worthy or reading. That is not the same as saying anyone should wholeheartedly agree with everything he says, for, as I said elsewhere, that is worship, not critical thinking.

Posted by: Trent at September 22, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #183292

Tim Crow
“imperialist line”????
Define what you mean by imperialism.
To me it is just a leftist line to throw into a discussion for whatever impact one can make, which usually is very little.

Posted by: tomh at September 22, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #183296

There you go Jack. Proving Chavez’ point that Bush and his followers speak as if they should rule the world. The arrogance of condemning people’s choice of reading material, and condemning another nation’s choice of a freely elected leader appealing to their needs and desires at least in rhetoric, if not in action, is becoming a Republican trademark.

America has its hands full trying to justify its own actions with its own majority population according to the polls. Perhaps we should focus more on American leaders and American problems and let Venezuelans evaluate the propriety of their elective choices, eh?

Clearly Chavez would make a horrible U.S. President. But, then, Bush would likely be assasinated or overthrown if he were president of Venezuela.

Let’s stop distracting from our own issues and problems right here at home using the reading material of foreign leaders as a means to obfuscate incompetence, criminal political behavior, and corruption of our own democratic republic, shall we?

When America’s leaders halt our runaway deficit spending and national debt, when our leaders can claim there is no more significant voter fraud or manipulation of election results, when our leaders have found the means to provide an affordable and sustainable safety net for all its citizens who play by the rules and love their country, when our leaders bring peace, prosperity, and pre-9/11 freedoms and liberties back to our people, then there may be room for American leaders to offer advice to other nation’s leaders.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #183304

uhhhh - Tim,

Imperialism, hmmmm - so frickin what.

I’m all for it in other words. The general pursuit of freedom for all people is a worthy objective. If you have to perform some “back room” operations for a group of people that don’t know any better that they’ll eventually be better off being part of a free electorate who chooses leaders than, well, screw them. So we circumvent a couple wackos in the process.

After all, just who are we harming in the process? (well, I guess certain people who would choose to oppress others, stifle freedom, etc.)

And, if part of it is ensuring our continued existence (as a FREE nation - supporting other freedom seeking nations/peoples with our tremendous wealth) through the ensuring the continued flow of natural resources for our consumption then I say …

GIT ER DONE!!


Posted by: echop8triot at September 22, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #183307

Jack

Boisterous, cognitively challenged, good at grandstanding, smiling thug, authoritive, fool, billions to throw away, lives off oil revenue, no idea how to create wealth, gets up on his hind legs and brays…..what words of discription….of George W. Bush.

Posted by: mark at September 22, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #183308

“…they’ll eventually be better off being part of a free electorate who chooses leaders than, well, screw them. So we circumvent a couple wackos in the process.”

Just out of curiosity, where’s this free electorate whose choosing their own leaders? I don’t see any.

“So we circumvent a couple wackos in the process.”

Problem with that is, everywhere ‘we’ turn, there ‘you’ are. With moveable principles like yours, everything is up for grabs.


Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #183313

Tim Crow
If this country was an imperialist country, we would own the world. We do not seek additional territory. Our sphere of influence is strong because of people asking for assistance in getting thru their periodic times of crisis.

Posted by: tomh at September 22, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #183315

I know this is off topic, but when I saw this little news item a few minutes ago, I just about lost it. There’s a new movie coming out that some of the wingnuts on the left will love.

In this movie, called “D.O.A.P.” (“Death Of A President”), the current president of the United States, George W. Bush, is assasinated.

Tom T. Hall was right. The country is going to hell in a hand basket!


Posted by: ulysses at September 22, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #183316

Jack said
“Listen to Hugo’s speech. It would be fine for late night comedy but not for a serious leader.


Bush said

“I think — tide turning — see, as I remember — I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of — it’s easy to see a tide turn — did I say those words?” —George W. Bush, asked if the tide was turning in Iraq, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006

“No question that the enemy has tried to spread sectarian violence. They use violence as a tool to do that.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., March 22, 2006

“And so I’m for medical liability at the federal level.” —George W. Bush, on medical liability reform, Washington, D.C., March 10, 2006

“Those who enter the country illegally violate the law.” —George W. Bush, Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 28, 2005

Oh and Jack, the “dictator” was elected.

Posted by: 037 at September 22, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #183317

tomh:

“Our sphere of influence is strong because of people asking for assistance in getting thru their periodic times of crisis.”

That statement’s pretty funny. Except when I think of places like Iraq.

Uh, just out of curiosity, where do the American poor, the working classes whose paychecks aren’t keeping up with inflation, the veterans living on the streets, the retarded and the disabled, the elderly living on dog food to pay for medication at price-gouging prices, the family that can’t pay it’s medical bills for the wife’s breast cancer treatment (even though they have insurance), the fifty-five year old warehouse worker living paycheck to paycheck whose job just got shipped to India to save the company some money and fatten some CEO’s golden parachute, where do they apply for help?

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #183319

tomh
It helps to know what the word means

Imperialism is a policy of extending control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires. This is either through direct territorial conquest or settlement, or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of these other entities. The term is often used to describe the policy of a nation’s dominance over distant lands, regardless of whether the nation considers itself part of the empire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

Posted by: 037 at September 22, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #183321

037, excellent debate point for your corner. First rule of debate, define your terminology. Well done! It is so easy to win debates with those who choose to make up their own language where black means white if they need it to.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #183323

Thanks David, I read some Chomsky

Posted by: 037 at September 22, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #183326

Using the defination provided, then we can agree that the Islamic fundamentalist are themselves imperialists, starting from OBL all the way down.

They fit the second part of your defination like a glove.

I am amazed that posters here still wax partisan after what Chavez said on US soil.

He is a disgrace and his actions indefensible.
Family fueds (left-rights) are one thing…this wasn’t a family fued…it was an attack on America itself…..He will hook up now with the nacrco-terrists on trhe Columbian border and South American beheadings are right around the corner.

Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at September 22, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #183328

Tim Crow said, “I have a measured and cautious opinion of Hugo—but one thing I do like about the man. He pisses off all the right people. There’s something to be said for that, even if he is a ‘dictator.’”

His coup fails in the early 90s and he becomes president. Dictator, yes, he talks of changing Venezuela’s constitution to keep himself in power. As he buys favors around the world with oil and money, his own poor at home are suffering. Why is he helping our poor? He is trying to buy us off and make himself a “good guy” to the world. This the same man who said we brought 911 on ourselves.

Just because he is radical left does not mean the radical left here has to support him. He is very good friends with Iran. Do you consider Iran o.k? His government takes land from its people without compensation. He is Castro with money.

When did jackasses from other countries gain civil liberties in our country?

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 22, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #183330

“When did jackasses from other countries gain civil liberties in our country? “

When they became governor of California.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #183332

SE

I don’t agree with what he said or like what he said but did he attack the USA or did he attack GWB?

Posted by: mark at September 22, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #183333

Tim

Best comeback I’ve heard in a long time.

Posted by: mark at September 22, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #183339

Yeah, Arnold is a dictator from another country.

The left’s whole fascination with hating GW remains me of a high school football game. Your team just got their butts kicked all over the field and your only comeback is, “Well, our cheerleaders are pretty than yours.” You lost two games in a row. You get a chance to lose again in two years. Get over it and address what is actually posted for a change. It seems your democratic leaders are at least smart enough to distance themselves from Chavez. They realize that most Americans are not going to approve of the neighbor coming in our house to attack our brother.

It is nuts like Chavez the will keep the republicans in charge.

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 22, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #183340

echop8triot,

You said:

“After all, just who are we harming in the process? (well, I guess certain people who would choose to oppress others, stifle freedom, etc.)”

About 45,000 Civilians have been killed in Iraq due to our military interventionism. The death rate is accelerating.

Not to mention the 2700 US soldiers that have died or the 20,000+ who have have limbs and other bodiy parts blown off.

I don’t know the causulaties to Insurgents or terrorists and don’t really care. I would hope that a leader of our country would care about innocent civilians and our soldiers. I would hope that a US citizen would, too.

If we were fighting a war against Osama, or defending our shores, I could understand this. But we are not. We are in the middle of a civil war between Sunni’s and Shiites, who I might add are being supported by Iran. So we are helping Iran. This is a stupid blunder that GW cannot admit to making,so more Americans will die for it.

Its ourselves we are harming. Wake up.

Posted by: gergle at September 22, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #183341

SE
Don’t take my lack of support for Tomh and Jack points as support of Chavaz. I am no fan. But, neither do I think that OBL or the terrorist are exerting control or dominating us. Wishing does not make it so. Wanting to be an imperialist does not make you an imperialist. The better point would be to demonstrate the value of our imperial policy rather than deny it. Getting rid of the Taliban would be the place to start IMO.

Posted by: 037 at September 22, 2006 10:32 PM
Comment #183344

Jack,

Your last post was a great post and then this.

I did not listen to Chavez’ speech at the U.N. He always rants and drifts into hyperbole that makes him look stupid. Bush has a tendency to quote from old westerns like High Noon. Neither are great speakers. Chavez’s point that America has been imperialistic is not, however, lost on his South American audience.

Thumbing your nose at Chavez and Chomsky does nothing to advance your ideas. They have the ring of truth even if some of their ideas carry little weight to serious thinkers. Having the humility to understand this first would be advantagious to all Americans who want to improve our society. The time of our empire is waning, like it or not. Learning to live with the world, rather than bullying it, might be in our interest.

Posted by: gergle at September 22, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #183351
“The left’s whole fascination with hating GW remains me of a high school football game. Your team just got their butts kicked all over the field and your only comeback is, “Well, our cheerleaders are pretty than yours.” You lost two games in a row. You get a chance to lose again in two years.

This metaphor illumines your position more than it captures reality.

Let me make myself clear on Mr. Chavez. I think I indicated earlier that I am watching him carefully, trying to ascertain just where he stands on things, without embracing the trumped up hysteria of the Right about him. This is called, “Thinking for yourself.”

Now, I am able to concede, because I am a Leftist, that I am willing to cut him a little more slack than my friends here in the red column. But I am not about to condemn the man or his policies on your collective say-so. Obviously, some of you have enough evidence to convict. I don’t. Frankly, I must say your track record on things regarding honesty, truth and general factual gleaning leaves a lot to be desired.

And the United States’ track record in South America and the Caribbean is equally dismal. I suspect that the Left’s wins in Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil are a backlash to lousy governance on the Right. Such is life, assuming we’re letting democracy have its way—this month.

So, if Chavez turns out to be another Stalin, or Pol Pot, I’m sure the evidence will come rolling in shortly. And he will fail without any help from us. Until then, I will bide my time.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #183352

Gergle, 45,000 civilians killed “as a result of our military intervention” in Iraq is a sickening, contemptable and loathsome lie.

That site you link to, Iraqbodycount, should be ashamed of itself for perpetuating such a loathsome distortion under that label.

Look at their “database” on that site. On the first page alone, which is all I had the stomach to look at, all of the deaths were caused as far I could tell by terrorist suicide bombings, bombs, executions and drive-by shootings.

For example, 67 killed by car bombs, mortar rounds, rockets, roadside bomb, and a bomb in a building on one day.

Ridiculous. This is exactly like saying that the US military intervention during World War II killed 6 million Jews.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at September 22, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #183354

The real book that Chavez fans and Chavez himself need to read, the next selection of the Latin American Dictator’s Book Club, is right here.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at September 22, 2006 11:13 PM
Comment #183357

gergle,

you crack me up. I read hear quite a bit but post very little. Mostly because I’m either laughing too hard at irrelevant facts or too ticked off to respond.

Neo-con is exactly right, your facts stink.

Further, the price our ENEMY pays is of nada, zero, zip concern to me - the more the better. If they want to hide among civilians, then so be it - civilians will be harmed.

Regarding OUR sacrifice. I honor those fighting, those who have dies, those who have been injured with my SUPPORT - both in spirit and monetarily.

And, this is a WAR we are fighting.

Are we “creating” future terrorists? Maybe, but its no excuse to give up the fight. I bet your ancestral line thought we should just leave Germany alone too. I mean, hey, we don’t want to tick off the Nazi’s - we might create more angry ones. oops, yeah, thats not how history went down on that one.

Our sacrifice will be worth it when the world is a safer place for my children’s, children thanks to our victory over the islamic radicalism of these times.

Posted by: echop8triot at September 22, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #183370

That’s not fair the two Biggest Jackass governors of california were Jerry (I wanna Sleep in my tent with linda ,and Then look at the Sun Brown He was a bizarre person! ) and Gray (give them the money and power for my office) Davis Or recalled Davis that is.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at September 23, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #183377

Echop8triot and Neo-Con Pilsner:

How many cars bombs went off prior to our invasion of Iraq again? Not our fault at all. Sorry, but this is the Pottery Barn, just like Powell warned, even if you hide the broken pieces behind the bean bag chairs. But then like that weasel, Paul Wolfowitz said, “hey that’s not my problem, I work for the World Bank, now.”

As to the Accuracy of IBC, read more.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 1:05 AM
Comment #183382

The number of car bombs that went off before we invaded Iraq is irrelevant. Who is carrying out those car bombings? Us or the people we are trying to defeat?

How many people were dying in Saddam’s prisons? How many children were dying because of UN sanctions? For that matter, how many Jews died in concentration camps before England and America declared war on Germany in World War II?

Blaming America for the sick actions of its enemies is pathological.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at September 23, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #183383

Echop8triot:

Just a small note: Iraq did not invade poland, France, etc. nor is it amassing tanks and using BlitzKrieg forces across europe. Al Qaeda isn’t either. Creating a fiction to justify your reasoning doesn’t exactly help your argument. Al Qaeda thrives in failed states. We are in the process of creating another failed state. You do the math. Bush’s Freedom Domino theory isn’t panning out either.

War isn’t a joke or some punch line for your privilege to spew. It kills people.

Invading Iraq may have been justified for kicking out weapons inspectors or No fly violations, but imagining that it was a center of terror or attempting world domination is pure fantasy.

Other than that, your analysis is completely irrelevant.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #183386

Tim Crow, “Frankly, I must say your track record on things regarding honesty, truth and general factual gleaning leaves a lot to be desired.”

What track record of mine are you speaking of?

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 23, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #183390

llplus2,

I think you give Chavez too much credit. Its nuts like Pelosi and her cohort of idiotic minions that will keep the Republicans in power.

gergle,

You are right that there wasn’t terrorism in Iraq from al Quaida etc, but the reason for this is that good ole Saddam was a far more effective terrorist. A few mortars etc can’t compete with a few hundred VX rounds, just ask the Kurds who survived his gas attacks.

The main problem we face in Iraq right now is that we are in a political hell straight out of Machiavelli. He said that the two ways to rule are by love or by fear. The reason for our problem is that we are neither loved nor feared. It was probably unrealistic to expect to be loved, the Iraqis thought we should be able to restore their entire infastructure in a matter of days. However, they fear the terrorists more than they do us. Since our entire goal is to free the people of Iraq from fear, making them fear us is probably not an option. Making Iraq safe requires that the terrorist be killed, period. We are not creating a failed state, the terrorists are.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 23, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #183391

Let’s see, Bush calls Chavez’ buddies evil as in Axis of Evil. Chavez calls Bush the devil. Sounds like a school yard spat to me - “I know you are, but what am I?”

My alltime favorite though is where Bush says to among others, Arab nations : “You are either with us or against us”. The Arabs take one look at each other and agree they aren’t with Bush. So, Bush has left them with only one other option. And low and behold, they act increasingly as if they are against us. DUH!!!!

Somebody needs to sit Bush down and explain that highly complex term to him “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”. Never mind, he would screw that up like he did “You can fool some of the, all of the ….”

What a blessing it will be for America if it can muster an intelligent and educated president in 2008.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2006 2:41 AM
Comment #183392

lllplus2:

“Tim Crow, “Frankly, I must say your track record on things regarding honesty, truth and general factual gleaning leaves a lot to be desired.”

Here, I meant the collective ‘your’, meaning the Right representing this blog. This wasn’t meant to be addressed specifically at you.

Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 23, 2006 2:45 AM
Comment #183395

Trent

I know you read the Apology of Socrates. Remember what Socrates says re people who know a lot about one thing and then think that makes them experts in all others. I should not have made fun of his contribution to linguistics. You are right about that. But just like I would not trust his advice about a heart ailment, I do not trust his analysis of politics. I have read some of his stuff and heard him speak. It makes sense what he says; it is just wrong. That is what makes him so pernicious. He can put into fine words all those misguided feelings we all had as 17 year olds. He bringa adolescent analysis into the adult world and makes it respectable to some people by giveing it adult clothes and teaching it to smoke.

David

Nobody in the world, including Hugo seems to have any problem condemning our choices or our leader.

He is the leader of Venezuela. So what? He has come into a lot of money that he doesn’t know how to earn or steward. He is in process of ruining his country’s fortunes. And when he is done he will blame us. It is a tragedy, like Argentina, which SHOULD be one of the richest countries in the world but for its mismanagement. Remember how they all loved Evita and some still do?

It has been the bane of Latin America for a century. They get a right wing dictator who doesn’t not believe in market forces who tries to manage the economy and “care for” the shirtless poor. Then along comes a a left wing (or populist) dictator who also tries to manage the economy and care for the shirtless poor. If they would just get out of the economy management business, things would be okay. But neither the left nor the right trusts the people. They prefer to give them gifts, sort of like a national Oprah Winfrey, and garner their “love”.

You are right that it is not my business to change it, but it is my business to point it out, especially when the little creep shows up in New York to trash my country.

Tim

Re imperialism - it is not clear what the really means. At the same kook fest that Hugo attended with had Robert Mugabe and whatever his name is from Sudan complaining about imperialism. It would be imperialism if UN or Western troops saved the people of Darfur or Zimbabwe from the predations of their local tyrants. Much of imperialism was like that. We forget that aspect.

The local bully proudly tells the world the he has exclusive right to murder and oppress local people and if anyone tries to stop him, it is imperialism. Maybe he is right. The leftist intelligentsia believes it is, until after the genocide. Then the blame the world for not being imperialistic enough - but they rarely use the word.

Gergle

The ring of truth is not the truth.

Re my posts, some are analytical others are polemical. I like to do both. People praise the analytical ones, but not many people read them.

Let me give you a provocative analytical post. I am traveling these days and I was recently in Serbia. I have noticed that in Slavic Europe the women are very beautiful, but the men are not correspondently handsome. Think Anna Kornikova and Vladimir Putin. Why is that? I know this is off topic, but I wonder.

Besides, little Hugo just p*sses me off.

Posted by: Jack at September 23, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #183398

Just in time for Kwanza and the unreligious lefts
secular chrismas giving… it’s the “Tickle Me
HUGO” doll. Don’t worry, if you can’t afford one,
the government of Venezuala will give it to you.
Just stop by your neighborhood Citgo station for
a fill up. And if that wasn’t enough. For those
too poor to heat their gas homes, if they tickle
their Hugos long enough, the plush adorable dolls
( dressed in full Venezualan military garb ) will pee enough gas to last you ALL winter. Just don’t
ever refer to your Hugo doll as “crazy” or it
might accidentally blow up your house.

Also new out for Fall by the toy makers at Psycho
and just in time for Halloween, is the El Diablo/
Dubya mask. Watch as this high tech mask slowly
changes from the lefts least favorite U.S.
President, to their favorite demon to blame, when
THEY do something wrong. But liberals are warned
to exert caution when wearing this mask for too
long as its chameleon technology will eventually
change from El Diablo/Satan to an even more
frightening face…Hillary Clinton.

Not to be outdone, rival toy company, Nottell
will be coming out with the new series following
“Where’s Waldo?” Where’s OSAMA will be a drawing
of “the tall one” hopelessly lost in a sea of
turbins. “Where’s WMD’s” will be the 2nd in the
series. With this game you must surgically
remove a variety of mass murdering weapons from
a game board shaped like Syria. If you touch the
sides of the board with the U.N. approved
removal instruments a buzzer will sound and the
game board will explode.

All products inspected & approved by
JIHAD Industries Inc., an Allah for Prophet corp.

Posted by: Dale G. at September 23, 2006 3:38 AM
Comment #183402

Jack,

My girlfriend and future fiancee (I’m reluctant to shop for diamonds in Iraq) is Russian, and I’ve noticed the same thing about eastern European men and women. Part of it, at least for me, is that as a straight man, I find the male form repulsive, at least those other than my own. The other thing, I think, is the lingering effects of the Cold War. We were so used to seeing them as enemies that even when they are not (a whole other debate) we continue to see them as enemies.

Good response to gergle. I generally like his/her (I honestly don’t know) writing, though I usually don’t agree with it. My problem with most of the liberal idea of warfare is that we are completely responsible. In my opinion, this is equivilent to me saying that some liberal (in my dreams, Michael Moore) pisses me off, so I go and punch him in the face. By liberal logic, its his fault that I hit him for holding and expressing an opinion that pissed me off. The entire argument of liberalism sounds like an argument of white guilt that says that any attacks against us are our own fault and the chickens coming home to roost.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 23, 2006 4:22 AM
Comment #183403

This nation is in the middle of a cultural war. The likes of Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi are waging a radical, dishonest, propaganda war to take down what they view as “Christian Capitialist” America and replace it with an amoral socialism…or “political correctness” if you will. This is the heart and core of the progressive movement, which is really a socialist movement.

Its on the backs of this anti Capitalist-America politically correct movement that we see the likes of Chavez, Castro, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Insurgants in Iraq find propaganda support and brothers-in-propaganda against the US/Bush/Republicans…inside the very left wing of the democratic party support flows toward our nations enemies.

Chavez recently embarrassed the left wing nuts though by coming to the US just before the elections and spouting their very propaganda, thus offending the voters. Now we see a parade of the dishonest left trying to distance themselves from the would-be dictator, the very nutcase they were gleefully and smugly embrassing from a distance the voters find distasteful up close so now the libs are temporarily pretending they don’t support the guy, until he gets out of town and they can safely support him from a distance.

The radical lefts’ dishonest propaganda is seen by the left as sort of a fun game and a tool to bring about political change. Thus their “ends justify the means” approach for the barrage of dishonest crap they put out endlessly. But we see around the globe the division these lies and hate create, the very real damage this creates to US foreign policy efforts, and the damage this creates to humanity because the american press and american liberals are supporting the very ones they should be standing against. The pale cover up of the left (that it is Bush who is the “divider”) is a fragile shield to cover their abysmal, unpatriotic and sometimes treasonous behavior.

These thugs who crush humanity and seek to enslave rather than liberate should not be supported in any shape or form but the left embraces them from afar. Whether they be terrorists or dictators the left is supporting the wrong crowd. When these brutalizers of freedom and human rights move up close even the left will hold it’s nose and reaquire (momentarialy) reality. When the gangsters the progressive libs support are on display to the voters this closely, it’s apparently too embarassing for the left to support them openly as they did only days before.

Posted by: Stephen at September 23, 2006 4:36 AM
Comment #183408

Tim Crow, apology accepted. The right doesn’t have the market cornered on bad info.

I keep reading insults the GW’s intelligence.

GW 2.

Smart dems 0.

SCORE BOARD!

If you can’t outsmart the “village idiot”, how smart are you?

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 23, 2006 5:11 AM
Comment #183409

1- Tim Crow is simply wrong about things, but he does indicate he is thinking, which will lead him to a more conservative view point. Milestones on the path to mature thought are the realization that you cannot help others who will not help themselves; that mommy and daddy, as played by the government love all of the kids equally and cannot meet the needs of any one; and that magical thinking, such as socialism can work if it;s done right begs the question of “who gets to make the decisions in my life?”.

2) In any direct debate with Mr. Chomsky, he will quickly fly to calling you a racist because his leftist views are transparent to the facts of history which must be set aside to suit his arguments. This is 1st hand as I corresponded with him about 5 years ago and stopped when he could not profer a coherent argument and used personal attack. I have his letter.

3) Workers are anyone collecting a paycheck. A manager and a janitor are both workers. The manager is less likely to be a leftist because he is most likely smarter and worked harder at his own life. Those who waste their school years and never grow up tend to be the lefties and democrats (voters, not leaders). Lefty leaders are manipulitive power mongers. Gee, that sounds like Hugo!

JohnL

Posted by: JohnL at September 23, 2006 6:58 AM
Comment #183412

o07 et al

Cleary the Muslims had the franchise on imperialism long long before America was a glimmer in anyone’s eye.

Consider this:

Prior to the British occupation of India (itself an imperialist occupation according to the defination above), for 4 centuries Muslims occupied India.

During this period, it has been estimated that between 60 to 80 MILLION Hindus were annilihated…in the name of Allah.

This ranks second, in the history of the world (next to the Spanish slaughter of the Indians in South America) as the greatest example of extermination of an indiginous peple EVER.

What Stallin did in Russia, Hitler did in Germany, Pol Pot in Cambosia, Turkey to Armenia COMBINED pale next to this attrocity.

While this was going on in the east, Muslim imperialism was threatening the west…North Africa, Sicily (where tens of thousand were horribly killed, Spain),the list goes on.

Simply put, fundamentally, we must study this history ourselves, both on the events that happened to the east and to the west, inoder to understand the essence of this religion.

Yesterday calls were made for the crucification of the pope. Mull that one over.


“Wanting to be an imperialist does not make you an imperialist. The better point would be to demonstrate the value of our imperial policy rather than deny it.”

Posted by: sicilianeagle at September 23, 2006 7:30 AM
Comment #183413

Jack,

Why do people cut so much slack to boisterous authoritarians and smiling thugs?

Who is cutting Chavez slack? As far as I can tell, no one in the US of any consequence is defending him.

Too bad it is a book by Noam Chomsky, an obsolete linguist who should have stuck to his own narrow specialty.

I know Trent hit this point, too, but you are vastly underestimating Chomsky. Leaving aside his political writing, he is one of the most important intellectual figures of the twentieth century. He essentially founded modern linguistics and also had a huge impact on psychology. Calling him an “obselete linguist” is like calling Einstein an “obselete physicist”. Seriously.

As for his political writings, he is overly dogmatic but seems to have some good points. (I have only read one book.)

Posted by: Woody Mena at September 23, 2006 7:31 AM
Comment #183415

037 et al

The last paragraph of my post was 037’s comment that I in turn commented on.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at September 23, 2006 7:32 AM
Comment #183423

sicilian eagle
If you go back in history far enough most nations can be seen as imperial on some scale.

Is your point that we are war with the religion of Islam?

Posted by: 037 at September 23, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #183426

Jack,

One of the reasons I respond to your articles instead of just rolling my eyes or tossing off something glib is that you are genuinely thoughtful. When you are being analytical, you tend to do it more fairly than most, and when you are being polemical, you are doing it with deliberate self-awareness.

And in the interests of fairness, I admit I haven’t read Chomsky in well over a decade, and even then, it was not his overtly political stuff. In fact, I usually thought others got it more right — in the famous Foucault/Chomsky debates of the early ’70s, I favored the bald French guy.

As far as Hugo is concerned, I think the guy is over the top, at least in his rhetoric. You know, I have sympathy for his efforts to make the lives of the poor better, but I distrust his authoritarian stance and methods. His admiration for Castro, for instance — a dictator is a dictator, regardless of where he falls on the political spectrum. That said, some of his criticisms of the United States are valid, in my eyes. I know you don’t think this, but in my eyes the our government’s use and justification of torture, its violation of fundamental Constitutional principles, and its ideologically grounded invasion of Iraq (which to me has clearly been demonstrated to be as counterproductive as many warned it would be) are nothing to be proud of.

I think there is an authoritarian streak in the current administration, and I distrust all authoritarians.

Posted by: Trent at September 23, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #183427

What is lost in this post discussion is the real issue and motivation behind Chavez. Chavez certainly did himself and his casue a dis-service through his UN speech. He certainly looks like a luanatic and fool(but so does Bush when he talks). But was the content of his speech wrong? What did he say that was really wrong or different than the way GWB talks?

GWB: “Avis of Evil Iran, Iraq and N.Korea”
Chavez “Bush is the devil”

GWB: “You are with us or with the Terrorists”
Chavez “Bush acts like he owns the world”

In addition, GWB sponsored a US coup against Chavez. And it is quite possible (based CIA/US history in that region) assassination attempts as well. So isn’t Bush a natual enemy to Chavez?

What about Chavez’s criticism of the UN? Was he wrong? He sounded like many folks here in the US, including Bolton.

There is a major anti-American backlash taking root in Latin America against the US. Populist Social Democraies are gaining popularity and they are building an Anti-American alliance(anti-capitalism, anti-globalization, anti-US business, anti-US influence). To Latin America, freedom means being free from the US. This is the real problem and Chavez is the sympton.

What we also see in the Middle East and in Latin America is that Democratic countries will not neccessarlily be pro-US.

Cause and effect is finally catching up with us. Our immoral, ruthless and imperialistic history - especially in Latin America has created this backlash(much has been written about this and needs to be understood to put things in persepctive - Recommended book “The Empire’s Workshop”-Greg Grandin).

Venezuela makes it more complicated becasue of its oil and an OPEC member. If Chavez dosen’t keep that oil flowing and/or works with OPEC to raise oil prices. The US will get him out of there. Oil rich countries will never be democratic and will alwyas have a love/hate relationship with us.

So were do we buy our oil? From Exxon/Mobil who gets most of its oil from Saudia Arabia where oil money will support terrorists or from Citgo and Shell which gets its oil from Venezuala where money supports Chavez and anti-Americanism. Every time we buy gas, we lose. We are really stuck….

Posted by: Stefano at September 23, 2006 9:26 AM
Comment #183428

Posted by: echop8triot at September 22, 2006 08:36 PM

And, if part of it is ensuring our continued existence (as a FREE nation - supporting other freedom seeking nations/peoples with our tremendous wealth) through the ensuring the continued flow of natural resources for our consumption then I say …

GIT ER DONE!!

EC;

1) War and eternal occupation, of another country, does not “ensure our existence”; it will only serve to ensure our continued struggle. (Internally and externally).

2)Free elections, does not guarentee a “free prople”.

3) Our wealth is being squandered in the attempt to rule, or at least influance, another nation. The Russians learned the folly of this in the 80s when they could not keep up financially with the “cold war”. It broke them. And, world domanance of the oil market will eventually break us, too. (And distroy our enviornment - our world, in the process).

4) Never ending consumption without the responsibility that goes along with it, will continue to threaten us, our country and global enviornmental stability, (unto the very end of our world, as we know it…)

If you want to say, “get er done” to that theology? Then you are a bigger threat to our country, (to our world) than any so-called “terrorist” threat, could ever be !!!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #183429

It really all about oil. If we could some how use less we would not fund these nuts. I long ago traded in my suv for a focus that gets 35 mpg. And when my friends are crying about gas prices I just smile.

Posted by: Jeff at September 23, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #183431

Posted by: tomh at September 22, 2006 09:19 PM

Tim Crow
If this country was an imperialist country, we would own the world. We do not seek additional territory. Our sphere of influence is strong because of people asking for assistance in getting thru their periodic times of crisis.

Tomh;

The current struggle in Iraq is not “for the people”, it is not for more “territory”. It is for world dominance in oil, (and the fact that Sadam was considering doing business in Euro dollars, and that would break us).

And, “we have a strong infulence in the world”, all rightie. Almost all Arabs, hate us now! And, because of the way we have acted in the world, (in the past 5 years), rather than stopping Al Quida, we are now, their flipping poster-boy for recrutement!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #183432

Eagle,

You might be amused by an editorial cartoon I saw. It features the Pope standing at the window of his balcony saying “Thanks for proving my point.” Enough said.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 23, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #183433

It seems it would be fun to a liberal. Blaming everything bad on the powers that be. Feeling bad for everyone. And then, partying ALL NIGHT LONG! YEAH!
Just feeling bad and just wanting to do something, is not good enough. You have to DO something about it. And you cant cry for your mommy every time you stub your toe. Solutions take a lot of hard work. Intent is not enough. You need action.
And, oh yeah…
Chavez is not cool.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 23, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #183435

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 22, 2006 10:06 PM

“When did jackasses from other countries gain civil liberties in our country?”

When they became governor of California.

OMG, Tim,
I think I wet myself, … laughing !!!!!!!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #183437

If the USA has such a big SUPPLY of oil, then why isnt gas 15 cents a gallon?
Good Ol’ Saddam wasnt dealing in Euros because he just wanted more food instead to feed his poor citizens.
Who was on the recruitment poster before W?
Bubba wants you… to join Al Qaeda.
All Arabs dont hate us. Just the terrorists. Turkey is having a great time with their capitalism. When there are turkish companies making fashionable burkas, it shows that capitalism anywhere in the world.
And, oh yeah…
Chavez is not cool.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 23, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #183438

We are not stuck with buying oil form terrorists. We have plenty of space in our own backyard to find oil.
Crying over gas prices?
Blame politicians who will not let us dig.
Do Dems care about the poor?
Tell them to remove the 60 cent per gallon tax. It means a lot to poor people. Rich people can pay that tax all night long.
Buying oil form Chavez is not cool.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 23, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #183440

Getting rid of the Taliban would be the place to start IMO.

Posted by: 037 at September 22, 2006 10:32 PM

037,
It would be helpful to the conversation, if you actually knew what was happening under this administration. We went into Afganistan to supposedly throw the Taliban out. But, Osama escaped to Packistan. (Remember Tora Bora?). Now, Afganistan is in shambles, not unsimilar to Iraq. And, when GW said last week that he could not go into Packistan to get OBL because it was a “soviergn nation”? Well, one week later he changed his mind (someone obviously brought up Iraq to him, duh!), and he now says that he would go into Packistan after OBL if he had intel about where OBL was. He could ask Packistan I guess. They might know. But unfortunately they were too busy last week letting 200 Taliban out of prison, so that they could go back to Afganistan to continue the fighting there. Thwarting our civilian and military efforts there, for “peace”.

Before you jump in, you may ask yourself here, …

Just who, is in bed, with who?

Ref: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/9/10/10951/5080

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #183441

Jack wrote: ‘Why do people cut so much slack to boisterous authoritarians and smiling thugs? All the great dictators have their apologists.’

Good question. I often ponder that question myself as I read posts put forth by the Red Column supporters here on this very blog apologizing for the current, law breaking administration.

Re: Chavez
Look, if you do not understand that most of the underdeveloped nations with any appreciable resources have been strong armed by European and US governments so that we can send our mega-corporations in to make huge profits, then there’s nothing I or anyone can say to you to convince you that these nations have a legitimate gripe against the US.

Is Chavez the answer for his nation and people? I don’t know.

But think of this… Recall the citizens in the Northeast whose homes were condemned, confiscated, then handed over to big private developers? Imagine you were one of those people, maybe someone who had foresight and planning, who intended to stay there and maybe reap some future financial gain by being smart enough to invest in an area with potential. Imagine living in an area that was not ideal, but you were willing to live there because you saw a future. Now imagine the government coming in and taking your home. Without your permission, and in fact after you fought it tooth and nail. You’d be really pissed right?

Now think of living in a country for generations. An outside force (our government) continually meddles with the government and strong arms in dictators friendly not to its own citizens, but to the big money corporations of the USA. For generations you see money being made, but not by you or your family. You see your nations goods “taken” by big business from the good ol’ USA while you and your family sit by and watch the money and the wealth ship out one freighter at a time.

I think, were you a citizen of Venuzela, you might view Mr. Chavez differently. If they have a view of our country and our president that is a polar opposite of your insulated view, then too bad. I think Mr. Chavez got the largest applause of any of the speakers at the UN.

Again, I’m not saying I support Mr. Chavez’s position on all things, I disagree with his open remarks comparing Bush with the devil, and I am certain that he did himself no favors with his tirade, but the people of Venuzela have a right to their own leaders… no matter what we think. You want other world leaders to respect us? Treat them as equals and consider their citizens to be as valuable as our own. We clearly don’t. They clearly have some strong feelings about the US because of it.

As a side note: have you been following the accomplishments of Clinton’s Global Initiatives? Republicans should truly be ashamed of their treatment of President Clinton. I have heard only Joe Scarborough half-heartedly apologize for the right wing extremism that hounded and hunted this basically very good man. Because of that vitriolic witch hunt by the right… and I mean ALL the right, even the moderates… I will never, ever consider voting for a Republican again. Even if I disagree with the Democrats (and I often do) Neither will my wife, nor my young adult children ever vote Republican (they have admitted as much to me).

When I see what Mr. Clinton is doing and trying to accomplish, and I compare that with what Mr. Bush/Cheney is doing and trying to accomplish (and don’t say DEMOCRACY in the middle east - he had no plan for that), well, who is the liar, the cheat, the breaker of the ‘rule-of-law’? Clearly it is Mr. Bush/Cheney. From the entire Whitewater debacle I KNOW what kind of evil there can be in the hearts of some Americans, so Mr. Chavez’s remarks… as vitriolic and as uncalled for as they were… were a bit more understandable to me.

Posted by: LibRick at September 23, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #183442

PlayNice,

Yes, I wish we and our government was even a fraction as concerned with serious efforts to dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil as we are to devoting massive military resources to topple a nation that at least helped get the lid on terrorism and which served as a counter balance to Iran. The middle east is of huge strategic interest to us primarily because our economy depends on foreign oil. For national security as well as environmental reasons, we have to stop with the baby steps toward energy independence.

Posted by: Trent at September 23, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #183443

Joe;

“Good Ol Saddam wasnt dealing in Euros because he just wanted more food instead to feed his poor citizens.”

Yes, because of our 10 years or so, of boycotts. He was dealing “oil for food” to feed his peopole, and he was broke, had no intent to support “terrorists” and was still hurting form the Gulf war of 1991, and all his WMD had long since broken down in the desert, since 1988.

That is why he was planning to go to Euro-dollars, to get more for his oil. (We had been screwing him for 10 years, now - he was planing to screw us, right back). And, that would have been a disaster to America, who was already having problems with the Euro-dollar, in 2001.

Iraq was mearly a business oppurtunity in the making. Oil for us, more money for big business, (no bid contractors), and a foot-hold in the middle east for GW. A pretty tempting carrot. Especially when he (Bush), could in his eyes, be a bigger man than his father was in 1991, and finish the job that his father failed to do.

Q: “Who was on the recruitment poster before W?”
A: OBL

Q: “Bubba wants you… to join Al Qaeda.”?

A: No, “SEE THIS MAN, (Bush) HE IS OUR ENEMY”

“All Arabs dont hate us.”

You mean they dont show it. Yes, some admire our “freedoms” untill they see just how shallow that really is, and until we are finished throwing money at them.

“Just the terrorists”.

Yes, we must remember the “terrorists”.

Well, conservative figures state that there are only about 5,000 dangerous zealots, world wide, that are of any importance. So, invading Mid-Eastern countries, for just 5,000 zealots? That somehow seams impractical. Especially, when those actions only serve to increase more “terrorist” threats, than they actually curb.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #183444

AMEN TRENT!!!

But, I would like to see serious development in renewable energies rather than alternatives; that would just change one “adiction”, for another.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #183446

ILT B,

I agree Sadam was a terrorist, or Machiavellian Dictator, or my guess, a Paranoid Leninist. But to me, the issue is whether he was a true regional threat or threat to the U.S. In my opinion he was contained. That was awful for Iraqi’s, but relatively cheap for us. He provided a balance for Iran and negotiating tool for us with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. He was efectively defanged, and it seems to have been a mistake to invade especially given all the warning that were given regarding destabilizing Iraq.

We are now stuck in hell, as you noted, with no good ways out. Now the world sees us as irresponsible and puts us in a light of being either cruel and callous or weak. It was a strategic mistake.

Jack,
The ring of truth is not the truth, but since there is no magic arbiter of what is true, what is the point?

My point was, we have behaved in imperialistic fashion in South America at times and other places in the world, which gives creedance to Chavez’s rants. That is how they percieve us. We have played into terrorist propoganda in Iraq. It would be smarter for us to evaluate our moves with regard to an understanding of both our goals and our image. Our actual behavior may have impact, or it may not. Politics, including world politics, is partly a game of perception.


As to the Slavic perception of beauty, I have no idea how to respond. I was interested in Darwin’s observations of beauty in his book the Voyage of the Beagle. He noted that in some darker skinned culture his white pasty skin was seen as grotesque, but then he kinda freaky looking.

I often see women in this country with creepy guys. Being of the ugly and nice guy persuasions myself, no matter how much I rant about it women don’t listen. But then I have dated attractive women at times(including some Czechs) and found them sometimes like attractive men, self absorbed and supeficial.


Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #183448

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at September 22, 2006 11:02 PM

“45,000 civilians killed as a result of our military intervention in Iraq is a sickening, contemptable and loathsome lie.”

Yes, I agree. It is more like over 100,000 civilians killed because of our invasion and more than 3,000 Americans killed and as many as 20,000 - 40,000 permently injured (or a lot more because the figures comming out of this Administration are squed).

“For example, 67 killed by car bombs, mortar rounds, rockets, roadside bomb, and a bomb in a building on one day”.

Yes, and 47 bodys found murdered (who had signs of torture and mutilation) in one day, 3 Iraqui police dead, 2 Americans, and that is in one day, but over 225 in just one week, (last week) !

“Ridiculous. This is exactly like saying that the US military intervention during World War II killed 6 million Jews.”

No, these were not deaths found after we got there. These are deaths that are a result of our being there.

You are saying that Hitler did not kill any Jews, they only were killed after we got there. That is an unintelligent response. We killed no Jews in Germany. And it is not a like comparison to what is happening in Iraq today.

Sadam has done his share of killing his people. He will answer in this world or the next, for his crimes against his people. Who is supposed to answer now? TODAY?

According to you,,,It sure as hell, isnt GW !

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #183450

An afterthought,

I think our best defense against Chavez is his own legacy in Venezuala. I equally think our strategy in Cuba has been ineffective. Taking the part of Corporations that have victimized South Americans does us no favors.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #183453

PlayNice,
I think IBC has done a great job of verifying their numbers. Many people on the left used them at the beginning of the war because the numbers were higher than what the Bush administration was admitting to. Now the left attacks their numbers because they want them to be higher. That’s a pretty good indication of fairness to me. 45,000 is a lot of civilians, to me. So much for precision bombing.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #183455

Yes, Gergle, 45,000 civilians dead is a lot of human beings to you and I. But if it were just 30,000 that would be an acceptable number to ‘people’ who support this kind of war. Mainly this is because the human beings are more brown skinned than we are, and are not Christian. Therefore, these casualties don’t ‘count’ as much as real human beings (American whites). Face your prejudices, you war supporters!

Posted by: LibRick at September 23, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #183457

Posted by: JohnL at September 23, 2006 06:58 AM

John L

Q: #!1- “who gets to make the decisions in my life”?
A: Well, with GWs track record, it isnt him!

#3 - Sounds more like your a classist, instead of a racist. Something that I am sure, you have in common with GW.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #183460

gergle,

You just dont get it do you? The “precision bombing” remark. Where did that come from? Is that ment to support our troops or is it a back-ward slam, against our troops?

My figures are accurate. Or, at least as accurate as any figures can be, taking into account that this Administration is as secretative about the Iraqui body count, as it is about everything else that it does.

You should try talking to some returning officers from Iraq. I have. They will tell you some very clever ways that this Administration uses to cover up the true Hollacost, going on over there.

The problem is that those on the right will never come to reality about Iraq and what is truly happening over there, until it is splayed all over the 6 O Clock news (like Viet Nam was). And, we can see the sea of caskets, drapped with American Flags, that flood onto our T.V. screens, over dinner.

But, with this Administration, THAT.., will never happen. No windows will ever open to show the fresh light of day and let the stench out.

Maybe, that is because, “WE HAVE A LIBERAL PRESS,” …(you know?).

(PS: the last scentance, in case you missed it? That was sarcasm)

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #183461

PlayNice
I am painfully aware of what has been going on under this administration. Do you find that we should not have attempted to rid afganistan of the Taliban? In my opinion that was the war on terror. I personally think we did not spend enough time or resources their. After that we should have gotten rid of the tin-horn dictaors in African and flooded it with food, water, and medicine and tried to win the hearts and minds of the people their. That would have been a proper use of our imperialist tendencies.

Posted by: 037 at September 23, 2006 12:50 PM
Comment #183462

Iraq tally:
2002-2006

3,000 + Americans dead
100,000 + Civilians dead
20,000 + Americans permently damaged
Tortured by Iraquis: Unknown
Tortured by Americans: Unknown
Terrorists Killed or Captured: 0

And, these are only the figures that we know about. I am sure that the actual tally is much, much higher.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #183463

037,

We went to Afganistan to get “Osama”, that is why we were there. That is not what we did. We have not done one thing against “terror”. But, we have sure done a lot to support it, under this Administration!

As far as our concerns with the rest of the world. We should have gotten the real people that attacked us on 9/11. That was our first priority. After that, attacking other countries should only be done in self defense, and not as a form of - business expansion.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #183464

037

And, oh yes.
We do not have a very good track record for “winning the hearts and minds” of other Nations, under this Administration.

Better leave that to someone else, (that is more equipt for it, in the future).

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #183466

The precision bombing remark is to point to the oxymoronic nature of the term. There is no such thing. Bombs blow up. They are not precise. Wars do not punish only the bad guys. It punishes everyone.

It’s a comment on the people who sell that sort of propoganda.

You say your numbers are accurate. Where is your documentation? IBC does back up their numbers rather than throwing out some number and avering that as truth.

I think a significant portion of Americans are waking up to lies of Iraq. I think that is reflected in the polls. I may want more to recognize that Bush is sacrificing US soldiers for the sake of domestic politics, but we are not there yet. I think in part that is due to no draft being in effect, which helped us get to this situation.

The refusal of Bush to admit to an understaffing of the occupation of Iraq, should be criminal, in my opinion. This has done more to hurt the US than the terrorists or or any antiwar activity. I suspect it is now too late to be effective without a massive force and 20 years of occupation, which is unlikely to be supported by the electorate. Even James Baker III has more or less stated this. The game is now to shift the blame to the Iraqi government, the anti war crowd, and the liberal press.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #183467

Trent

Thanks. I always enjoy your responses. Glad you decided to stick around.

LibRick

Latin America is a very interesting case. Some people blame its problems on the U.S. and the U.S. has interfered in Latin America. I would argue as much on the plus side as the minus. But if you look at the chronology, you find that blame the Yankee just does not make much sense.

Latin America was settled well before the most of what became the U.S. Some of the best land that became the U.S. (California for example) were controlled by Mexico. New England compared to California is not well endowed with resources and it is really cold much of the year. You would certainly expect the people who controlled California & Texas to dominate the people who controlled New England and Virginia, wouldn’t you, especially if you gave them a hundred year head start?

Yet both California and Texas were virtually undeveloped by 1840s. That is why it was so easy for the U.S. to move in. There was almost nobody there except a string of missions and a few cowboys.

As for the rest of Latin America, the U.S. was not a particularly powerful country until late in the 19th Century. When we went to war with Spain, a lot of people in Europe expected Spain to win. We didn’t project any significant power into Brazil or Argentina, except the more or less benign idea that others should not interfere. Peron was hostile the U.S. and favored the Nazis. Getúlio Vargas was more fond of Mussolini’s brand of revolutionary socialism, but joined our side because he saw we would win. (Give the Brazilians their due. They fought bravely on the allied side in Italy).

Take the case of Argentina. In 1900, with lots of British investment (just like the U.S. in that respect BTW) Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world per capita. Then it when the state control route under Peron. They nationalized industries and they never worked well again.

The problem of almost every country in Latin America is state control. Both the left and the right in Latin America believed in it, although with a different set of winners and losers. Brazils motto “Ordem e Progresso” comes from the positivist thinking of August Comte. Great theory as long as you do not try to apply it.

Lately some Latin countries have begun to do better. Chile leaps to mind, but so does the big one, Brazil. Even the leftist there (as often has been the case in the U.S.) respect the market. The people most annoyed by Chavez, if he really gets going, will be the Brazilians.

A very perceptive Latin writer is the Peruvian Herando De Soto (the economist, not the explorer). Read him, not Chomsky. De Soto identifies the problem of Latin America as having too weak property rights. I think he is exactly right. The state is always ready to step in and interfere with private property. This affects the poor most of all, since many of them HAVE property w/o title and they cannot get title because of the way the governments work.

Anyway, if imperialism were the cause of poverty, Korea, Taiwan, Poland, Ireland and Norway would be very poor. They became independent only in the last century. Places like Estonia or Lithuania should be even worse off. If American interference was the problem, most of these same countries suffered a lot of that and not very long ago. Obviously, something else is at work. Wealth creation is an indigenous problem. Foreign investment, if allowed, can help jump start economies, but it is primarily to the credit or blame of the local guys.

America was built with investment from Holland and the UK. They bought much of our country but we bought it back and made much more of it. Latin Americans got similar foreign investment, but it didn’t grow as well in that stiffling climate of state control.

Brazilians used to say that they had to work at night so that they could make money while the government was sleeping. I think the productive people of Venezuela need to do the same when Hugo isn’t looking.

Posted by: Jack at September 23, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #183468

Gergle

Re precision bombing. As I mentioned, I was recently in Serbia. I saw some of the damage NATO bombs did. Serbs seem to have recovered well. The bombed buildings (such as the Defense Ministry) are well destroyed, but not much else was touched.

Since this was Clinton time, I suppose people will say the targeting was better, but pictures of Iraq I have seen tell the same story.

Posted by: Jack at September 23, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #183470

Jack, well a single bomb is better than carpet bombing, I suppose. I went through my home town after an F5 tornado tore through it. It appeared as though a half mile wide bulldozer had leveled and cleaned off the center of town.

As I walked through the path of destruction, I saw several older houses ripped in half. It was as though a giant meat cleaver had been dropped through the house and half was missing. Yet on the second story on one of these, I recall seeing a mirror on the wall with a small shelf under it and small nik-naks sitting undisturbed, mere inches from the newly cut “edge” of the house..

I’ve never heard anyone describe a tornado as precise, nor would I feel safe hanging out in it’s path or in the vincinity of “precision” bomb attacks. It’s a term suited to video games and arm chair war vets, not reality.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #183471

Family fueds (left-rights) are one thing…this wasn’t a family fued…it was an attack on America itself…..He will hook up now with the nacrco-terrists on trhe Columbian border and South American beheadings are right around the corner.
Posted by: Sicilian Eagle at September 22, 2006 09:55 PMp

Eagle I’ve never heard of Chavez involvement with “narco-terrists”. Perhaps you’re confusing him with the Regan Admins involvement with the Contras? See link below;

http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm

It seems that the real objection to Chavez from the US right, is that he is investing his countrys resources in the education health and welfare of its people. He was in fact elected with a far greater margin that Bush. Dictator indeed! The masses in Venezuela were consigned to generational poverty by a small wealthy class who collaborated with US economic imperialism. For his opposition to that at least, I say’ Viva Chavez!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 23, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #183472

Gergle,

“You say your figures are accurate, where is your documentation”?

Sorry this is old, almost a year and a half old, but the 100,000 of March 2005 has risen now, to 200,000 plus, in Sept. 2006.

http://home.comcast.net/~ndpwnew/PeaceAndWar/TheCivilianDeathTollInIraq.htm

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #183473

Jack said: “You are right that it is not my business to change it, but it is my business to point it out, especially when the little creep shows up in New York to trash my country.”

I agree, you have every right and even some duty to speak up if leaders of other nation’s are causing harm to their own people or ours. Perhaps I missed it, but, I didn’t hear Chavez trash America. I heard him trash our president as our President has trashed other other nation’s leaders. Ahmadinejad did the same but was more explict than Chavez verbally, that it is not the good American people that he has a problem with, but, their leaders. Clearly, Chavez is providing good deals for many Americans with heating energy at discount and contracts with New York. Chavez’ actions say it is not the American people he has a problem with, but, their government officials like Bush.

Polls show the American people share this view of being critical of our government leaders, but, not America herself. The days of placing our President as the symbol of all that is America ended with Nixon’s impeachment and the Viet Nam War. The American president is not the symbol of America. An American president can dishonor America and her people with his/her actions and lead the country down paths of actions which the majority of America’s people do not agree with.

So, I find your characterization of Chavez’ remarks aimed at Bush the man, a bit outdated when you take personal insult against your country when a foreign leader condemns the actions of our President. And your logic which assumes that because the United Nations sits on American soil, all foreign leaders in attendance must pay homage to our President, is flawed at its core. For all intents and purposes, including legal immunity, foreign representatives in the U.N. are ON NEUTRAL ground, not American holy soil.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #183477

Excellent point David

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #183478

Gergle,

re Saddam: Paranoid Leninist seems like a good description, perhaps paranoid Maoist as well. Your analysis seems pretty good. In terms of realpolitik, it may have been a mistake for us to kick Saddam out of Kuwait. Saddam was a bloody dictator, but he was OUR bloody dictator. While there was no way to foresee 9/11 in 1991, at the expense of sacrificing the sovriegnty of a small nation, we might well have used Iraq as a way of influencing Saudi Arabia and as a threat to Iran. I doubt Saddam would have much good to say about a nuclear Iran, it might be interesting to imagine U.S. troops in Iraq not trying to occupy but fighting alongside Iraqis against the Iranians.

re smart bombs: Again, good analysis. We developed these bombs to reduce the number of Airmen and planes exposed to hostile fire. These bombs can reduce civilian casualties, but only if the same civilians aren’t near the target. In the event that this happy turn of events does not occur, the casualties are bound to be high.

re women’s tastes in men: I think I’m in the same boat as you, though I can’t call myself ugly (no offense, but you did write it yourself) as my girlfriend might cut me off. It has been my observation that women seem to like guys I describe as “shitbags” because of the perceived danger and the belief (very naïve, in my book) that they can change them. I’ve often found it very ironic that the most beautiful women seem to end up with crappy guys because they seem to seek them out, don’t even ask me why.

LibRick,

Since you obviously haven’t been paying much attention, let me tell you a secret. It’s the terrorists who are killing Iraqis. They’ve been killing Iraqi civilians since we got here, and it was only the fear of Saddam that prevented this before. Perhaps you think that we should start killing people like Saddam so we can be feared and end this insurgency. As for the nonsense about the Iraqis being brown, what a bunch of crap. We killed 100s of thousands of Germans, far more than in Iraq, and they’re white Christians. One would think that people were more racist in the 40s than today. Do yourself a favor and grow up. If we really wanted to kill these horrible brown people, there’d be a lot more dead than even those bullshit inflated numbers of yours.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 23, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #183481

Jack

Your history of Latin America is incomplete and again you gloss over US indiscretions. You are always too forgiving and rationalizing when it comes to the US - a blind patriot. You need to look at it from the end of the second World War until today. And you will the US has been a destructive force.

The CIA and The School of Americas has trained Latin American Armies in the art of terrorism and torture to be used against its own people.

The Reagan Administration alone supporting the dictatorships of Guatemala, El Salvador, Hondorus and Nicaragua contras - these allies killed 300,000 people, tortured thousands and millons of people in exile, all with US tax dollars and training. (source; Empire’s Workshop p71.)

Do you remember in the 1980’s when the CIA handbook for training the Contra’s was made public - Leaked? It explains in detail how to torture (do not ever say we do not torture, it is there in writing in detail explaining exactly what we do) and it states “We will use the Contras to bring explicit and implicit terror to discredit the Sandanistas”. So are we terrorists too?

Shall I list the Latin American governments we have overthrown or leaders assasinated including deomcratic governments?

What about economics, the explotation of cheap labor, taking of resources, USAID, the IMF and World Bank. All to to promote US business and bring economic austerity into poor countries that need to feed its people.

The paying off leaders to cut corporate taxes, reduce environmental regulations, outlaw labor unions and keep wages low. A business Utopia for US corporations. And you think property rights is the issue? 90% of the property is owned by the ruling elite.

And with NAFTA farming has decreased forcing the people to be dependent on food imports causing food prices to rise and more unemployment.

If a Democratic Socialist is elected and he cuts back on these US business interests and nationalizes industries, He will be assasinated or overthrown by the US.

An economic strategy that is intentionally designed to perpetuate poverty. There is a book called the “Confessions of an Economic Hit man”. The author explains how working for US corporations and the US government his job was to sell debt to latin American Countries. By creating overly optimistic economic forcasts(using loans and development using US business) he knew was a fabrication, forcing them to accept loans knowing they will never be able to pay back. Then we move in so that we can control the countries resources, economy and UN vote. And if they do not take the loans and accept our pay-off(bribes), they will be overthrown or assasinated by the CIA. It is made to look like an accident.

The United States is the “devil” in Latin America. We have a history there we cannot be proud of or show any success. We have supported the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in the name of fighting communism, but mostly to support our globalization. We do not want them to be free or democratic, but business interests.

We do it by proxy. Becasue we are a rich country, we pay other people to do our dirty work and we can hide it from the American people. So there is amazing ignorance of what we have done there. The people of Latin America do want freedom, it is freedom from the US.

After all our meddling, poverty and political instability still dominate. Looking at all this, who is the bigger thug Chavez or the US?

Posted by: Stefano at September 23, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #183484

David

It is an old technique for a country’s enemies to try to divide and conquer. Hugo dislikes most things about America, at least as it is today AND as it was when Bill Clinton was president. The little creep hopes to detach Americans who don’t like their president by telling them that it is a personal thing between him and our president.

You and I have lived through several presidents. I have often seen foreign enemies try to imply it was a personal thing. The first president of my adult life was Jimmy Carter. I recall the Soviets tried to portray him as a stupid, out of touch dreamer, whose human rights were his personal crusade. Of course, the bad guys tried to demonize Reagan. During the unpleasantness in Kosovo or even in 1998 in Iraq, our opponents claimed it was Bill Clinton trying to hide his affairs with Monica. Some of my Republican friends fell for that ploy back then as some Dems are falling for the same thing today.

If a Dem is elected in 2008 and Hugo is still around, it will not take him long to shift. Phx8 did us the service of quoting the little guy above. Is that kind of talk compatible with any mainstream American policy? Don’t fall for it.

Re the UN, I don’t think he needs to pay homage. But imagine the outcry if Bush had spoken of little Hugo as I do. Little Hugo called Bush the devil. He did it theatrically. Does he believe in the occult? Is he so black/white, good/evil? If Bush has spoken of any other leader in the way the little creep talked about Bush, what would you think?

All the little guys want to go one-on-one with the U.S. president. Whether that president is Bush, Clinton or Clinton II, they don’t deserve that honor. The Little guy is important, but don’t confuse ONE little guy (like Hugo) with THE little guy.

Posted by: Jack at September 23, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #183490

Stefano

The U.S. has done good and bad. But the idea that we created Latin underdevelopment just does not make sense. If it was U.S. action that did things like that, Korea, Taiwan etc would be very poor. Argentina would be very rich.

In fact, the most successful Latin countries these days are some of those that “suffered” from a lot of recent U.S. attention. I suppose you think it would be better if Fidel Castro types ruled in Central America or Chile.

It is inevitable that when an economically less developed country is close to a more advanced one, there will be an unequal relationship. Read about what is going on today with Brazil and Bolivia.

I have not done an analysis for a long time, but a before Nafta the U.S. had more investment (and made more profit) in Scandinavia than in all of the countries south of the Rio Grande. Those Norwegians are not doing so bad considering all the U.S. “intervention”.

Jeez

I read Chomsky and heard him speak. After doing that, I judged him lacking. I might be wrond, but I have given the guy a read.

My opinions have changed a lot since I was young. There was a time when I thought guys like Chomsky were right. Experience has cured me of that. You know the old saying, if you are not a lefty when you are 20 you have not heart; if you are still a lefty when you are 40 … well you recall.

I don’t know what you are talkng about re Armageddon. I am usually optimistic about the future. In fact, my sunny outlook is what the leftist dislike about me.

Posted by: Jack at September 23, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #183499

Jack,

YOur sunny disposition is what the left doesnt like about you? No. Its the fact that you, knowingly, choose to follow your fearless leader off a cliff. (And, the fact that you would love for the rest of us to follow).

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #183500

NEWS FLASH OBL dead old age does what bush can’t. In other news three more U.S. troops die in Iraq today.

Posted by: Jeff at September 23, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #183503

PlayNice,

I hadn’t heard of the Lancet study, but had heard of numbers as high as 100,000. I’m not sure if you are confusing casualties as direct result of US military actions versus casualities due to the Insurgents/ terrorists. Irregardless, all studies do agree casualties are accelerating and exceed, by far, what Al Qaeda or Saddam ever has done to us.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #183506

where the hell is senator Mc Carthy when you need him ?

Posted by: califrep at September 23, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #183507

Does anyone else think that Hugo is bizzaro-bush?

Posted by: censor that (_|_) at September 23, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #183515

http://members.tripod.com/~wwx2/mccarthy.html

Posted by: califrep at September 23, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #183517

gergle,

I am not confused. I am refering to civilian casualties in Iraq. (Since our invasion). It is unimportant at this point, who has killed them. Military action from US, or the “insurgents” (themselves) or “terrorists” (as you call them). The fact is that they are dead, and that they would not be, if we were not there!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #183519

Califrep;

“No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.” E.R. Murrow

(That goes for Bush and for OBL).

You want to know where another Mc Carthy is? I want to know where the man is, that spoke those words so very long ago, in a similar situation, at a similar time, in our Nations History.

http://www.evesmag.com/murrow.htm

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #183520

playnice

There would still be plenty of dead in Iraq if Saddam was still in power . He wouldn’t let the outside world inside Iraq to count the bodies of the people he had murdered.

I know the left thinks the commercial with the Kurds thanking us is just propaganda. You probably think Saddam’s crimes against humanity and his trial are all propaganda, also.

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 23, 2006 8:39 PM
Comment #183523

111plus2, I haven’t seen the commercial you’re talking about. I can well believe that the Kurds are thankful. They managed to effectively set up their own state within a state following Bush 41’s interdiction on flying in their area following gulf 1. At the moment the Shia and Sunni as too busy either trying to kill Americans or each other to turn their attention to the Kurds. The 2003 invasion of Iraq did not change greatly the situation of the Kurds day to day, it just meant that they have managed to consolidate their position somewhat. But the Turks are uneasy at the idea of an independant Kurdistan, and may yet attack the Kurds. So what exactly is the point of an ad by the Kurds thanking the US?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 23, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #183527

Paul,

go here.

www.theotheriraq.com

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 23, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #183530

I decided to read for myself what Chomsky is saying nowadays. Here’s the Amazon link to Failed States.

Posted by: Trent at September 23, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #183532

playnice

There would still be plenty of dead in Iraq if Saddam was still in power . He wouldn’t let the outside world inside Iraq to count the bodies of the people he had murdered.

I know the left thinks the commercial with the Kurds thanking us is just propaganda. You probably think Saddam’s crimes against humanity and his trial are all propaganda, also.

lllplus2;

Sadam is on trial. Most of the charges against him are pre - 1991. Most of these charges are about the Iranians and the Curds gassed from pre - 1990. If SR. Bush knew about these things, (and I assure you that he did) then why didnt he think that they were important enough to enter Bagdad, when he had the chance in the first Gulf War? (1991)

As to your “Curds thank us” piece. Well in that piece you will note that they have been free and independant for a decade now.

HOW LONG HAS BUSH BEEN PRESIDENT?

I thought so !!!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #183537

So Saddam has been a good guy since 1991?

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 23, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #183540

He is not being tried for crimes after 1991, if that is what you mean.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #183542

Actually, I am talking about you saying lots of people in Iraq wouldn’t be getting killed if we weren’t there.

Posted by: lllplus2 at September 23, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #183550

I think it is ridiculous to speculate about the number of dead if Saddam was still in power. It is a fantasy argument. I try to deal with reality.

Playnice, the response I made to Echop8triot was about those civilians killed by US troop actions.

I agree, the conflict we have allowed to rise due to mismanagement of the “afterwar” has also been deadly. If I lived in Iraq, I would likely not differentiate which faction killed my family, I would just know that neither power was acting in my interest, but that both were sick and twisted enterprises whom I would come to hate.

Posted by: gergle at September 23, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #183554

But Jack, is Chavez any different than Bush when Bush calls Ahmadinejad and Kim Jung Il evil? Isn’t calling a person the devil roughly equivalent to calling them evil. This is tit for tat, Jack. And yes, international leaders have been calling each all sorts of things since the clan of the cave bear. Your point still is moot!

You don’t have to like what Chavez said about your president, nor does Chavez have to like what Bush’s White House officials have said of Chavez. Fact remains, Chavez has not harmed Americans. Insulted their President, yes. But, shared his oil at discount with the American people in need.

This fact is counter balanced by a President who chose to stock up on oil reserves as oil prices climbed, doubling the negative impact on Americans by forcing higher tax dollars paid for the national reserve and tightening supply driving prices even higher for American consumers.

Then, magically, 2 months before elections, oil prices drop, at the very same time analysts are warning they will rise again significant only a few months after the election.

When all is said and done, Chavez seems to be helping Americans in their time of need with cheaper oil prices while the president sits on a decline of oil prices “magically designed” to fall only around election time. Curious, That! Very Curious. Well, I am curious anyway. Surely Republicans will say it is nothing more than market forces.

Interesting market forces when the Bush administration gives billions of tax payer dollars to oil company buddies for lease subsidies during a period of the oil industries highest profits in history.

Curiouser and curiouser. I haven’t enough evidence to call this an evil political plot against the American consumer, but, it certainly is a conincidence that demands curiosity and investigation. But, of course, the first rule of evil is to avoid scrutiny, isn’t it? All attempts to investigate have been sqashed by the Republican leadership. Curiouser and Curiouser.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #183564

Jack - You claim we have done good in Latin America, but you have not cited any examples. For my education, please tell me what they are.

Posted by: Stefano at September 24, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #183568

David
What too many people (and the media) are doing is treating these conflicts are one-on-one matches between our president and the leaders of Iran, N. Korea, Venezuela etc. The U.S. is the world’s largest economy, the remaining superpower leader in science etc. The president represents the U.S. N. Korea cannot even feed its people. It is a giant concentration camp. Iran is a local power with lots of oil and not much else. Ditto Venezuela but a little less than Iran. The leaders of these places just are not of the same stature as our president, no matter who holds the office.

You can not like Bush and say so, but that does not mean you have to compare him to the president of Iran. There are about 190 countries in the world. I am sure that many of them has characteristics we would find attractive, some not. Tony Blair, for example, articulates the Bush position better than our president.

Some perspective might be in order. Venezuela is a big producer of oil and is making big money from this resource. Under Hugo’s leadership, however, production is dropping. When prices come down, he will be in serious trouble. This a small and poor country that is poorly run. Many American states have a bigger GDP than Venezuela and so do some American private firms. If we want to one-on-one with our president, there are lots of contenders - heads of other countries, states, regions and even private firms - who would stand ahead of little Hugo.

Stefano

Foreign investment is by far the most important. We (in the U.S.) built our economy on investment from Europe and most countries still seek it. It is always a source of criticism, since it is an easy target, but w/o foreign investment neither the U.S. nor Latin America would be as well off as they are. The U.S. has been the biggest investor.

Security is the great unmentioned. Let me again compare our own history. In the 19th Century, the Royal Navy gave the U.S. defacto protection from bigger and more powerful countries. We could maintain very small military as a result. We have long provided the same service to Latin America. Those small military establishments they maintain would not have been sufficient to protect them from foreign powers. Consider the case of Mexico. The French installed Maximilian as emperor of Mexico when the U.S. was occupied with the Civil War. They continued their support until after the war when the U.S. sent Phil Sheridan to menace the border. After that it was possible for the Mexicans to throw off the emperor.

U.S. foreign policy has a more mixed record, but during the Reagan administration (and beyond) the U.S. worked hard to promote democracy in what was then mostly dictatorships. What people often do when criticizing the U.S. is to focus on one part of the relationship. Of course we maintain relationships with the people who lead the countries involved and that helps them stay in power. I read an article (I think in WSJ) complaining about how the U.S. props up Hugo. We have if you count in all the usual connections between states, even when they are not friendly.

In fact, this is the general problem with criticism of the U.S. We are involved in almost everything because we are so big and powerful. Anything you say about the U.S. is true. You could well argue that the U.S. is “propping up” N. Korea, since our aid has at times kept the place alive, literally. Of course you could also argue that the U.S. is an enemy of N. Korea. Even during the height of the Cold War, much of the technology the Soviet Union used came from America. You could argue we propped up the Soviet Union. You could also argue that we tried to bring it down. The U.S. was the biggest donor to the Taliban. Our aid kept Afghans from starving in the 1990. You could argue that the U.S. propped up the Taliban. Or you could argue we worked against them. My favorite, of course, is Saddam Hussein. For most of his time in office, the U.S. maintained very cool relations. During the Iran war, we figured (accurately) that an Iranian victory was worse than Saddam. We tilted toward Iraq and prevented a Iranian victory, mostly by allowing our Arab allies to share intelligence information. Our contribution to Saddam’s arsenal, however, was 0.47% of the total. (Brazil, BTW, provided more arms to Saddam than we did) You could argue we propped up Saddam. You could also argue that we stood in his way for most of his reign.

What you need to do is look at the big picture.

Posted by: Jack at September 24, 2006 3:21 AM
Comment #183572

“Actually, I am talking about you saying lots of people in Iraq wouldn’t be getting killed if we weren’t there.”

Posted by: lllplus2

Yes, that is true. Now if you are asking me to prove it I cant; but, then I do not have to. see,

WE WENT IN THERE,

WE SCREWED THINGS UP,

THEREFORE IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY ….

not Sadams, …..
ours.

How many HE (Sadam) may have killed in the mean time, if we were not there, is a very moot point indeed.

Hello,,,,,Sadam isnt in charge now, we are.
And do not even dare to tell me its the Iraqui government. No. The reason that many Iraquis today are being killed is the very fact that…

WE ARE STILL THERE!

Terrorists are not killing people there, they are killing each other, (Iraquis are killing each other, it is called a “civil war”), and we are in the middle, and they are killing each other for power yes, but - also because ….

WE ARE STILL THERE!

We have been asked to leave, but we havent. We said we would leave if we were asked, but we didnt. The President of Iraq asked us to leave last July. But we didnt. We have not done what we promised to do, therefore …

WE ARE STILL THERE!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 24, 2006 3:42 AM
Comment #183573

And Iraquis are still dying because of us, not because of “Sadam”.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 24, 2006 3:47 AM
Comment #183576

Play

You have hit on the fundamental problem with facing down any threat. If you fight it, people die. You could argue that nobody should resist evil, since it will cost lives. If the French and Brits had allowed Hitler to take Poland, fewer French, British & German lives would have been lost, at least in the short term. It worked with Czechoslovakia, when it brought “peace in our time.”

This approach has something to recommend it, as long as others are civilized. Ghandi and Martin Luther King could use non-violence in the U.S. and India for this reason. Their tactics would have been less effective against Hitler or Saddam.

If we refuse to confront bad guys, we encourage them and create more of them. If we refuse to confront bad guys, we become permanent hostages to whomever is the most agressive and cruel.

I am not arguing that we should fight all monsters everywhere. I am not arguing (here at least) for a particular case such as Iraq. But the general argument that WE are causing deaths because our enemies are killing in response to our action leads to pacifism, which has its place, but you have to be careful deciding where.

Returning to Iraq - who is asking us to leave? Sunnis have become less enthusistic about our immediate withdrawal and I don’t recall a request from the current Iraqi government.

Posted by: Jack at September 24, 2006 3:59 AM
Comment #183583

We have always gone into other countries to help out. The US has always been a force for good in the world. Its difficult to know what is going on because of the MSM reporting, but if we look at our country’s track record, we can trust that we are doing the right thing.
Conspiracy theories about oil do not make sense. If we went in to get Iraqi oil, the supply would increase and the price of oil would go down. Big Oil would not like that. Oil companies make more money when the price of oil is high than selling a lot of cheap gasoline.
Something that would be good for all of us is, drilling along our coast. Castro is looking to drill off of our coast. We should beat him to it. This would increase our supply. Also, lets reduce our gasoline taxes.
We must act in our benefit around the world. Spreading freedom is a tact that is mutually beneficial. The UN cannot help us while the same Oil for Bribes people are still there.
I dont think Saddam wanted Euros. US dollars are easier to deal with worlwide. Besides, Germany and France wouldnt want Saddam to be caught with Euros. Dollars, albeit counterfeit, are also what Hezbollah deals with.
Hugo and Mahmoud can be taken seriously because they have power, but they are either too dumb to know what they are saying or they are purposely communicating to the ignorant masses that keep them in power.
Iran has the bigger problem, though. The US is watching it, Israel is threatening it, and it has plenty of internal problems. The gangsters that really run the country are not satisfied with the politicians and neither are the people.
Iran is the stage where the next act will play.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 24, 2006 4:33 AM
Comment #183584

Jack,

Great post!

Playnice,

Apparently you didn’t see my earlier post, but your logic is jacked up. You hold an opinion I don’t like. By your logic, if I find you and punch you in the face for it, its your own fault for holding and expressing this opinion. All you are doing is giving insurgents a free pass to commit murder.

It never fails to amaze me how the loony left looks at military power. Our presence in Iraq is causing death in a Muslim civil war, so let’s pull out. Once we do that, we can go to Darfur and try to stop an insurgency there. But wait, won’t our presence then make us responsible for the murders there? I swear, from listening to the arguments of many on the left that while it is completely unconscionable for the U.S. to use its military in its own defense, we should send our soldiers to die for a bunch of povs in Africa where we have absolutely no interests whatever. Of course, maybe we don’t want Darfur turning into another terrorist haven. Well, by the left’s own argument, that’s what we’ve done in Iraq. So, should we go to Darfur Playnice?

Posted by: 1LT B at September 24, 2006 4:44 AM
Comment #183589

111plus2, what is your point with the link? I’ve already accepted that the Kurdish region is different, at least for the moment. And as the web link says, has been for ten years.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 24, 2006 7:10 AM
Comment #183598

This falls under the heading of No Surprise:

The Iraq war gave birth to a new generation of Islamic radicals and the terrorist threat has grown since the September 11 attacks, according to a U.S. intelligence report cited in The New York Times on Saturday. A National Intelligence Estimate completed in April says Islamic radicalism has mushroomed worldwide and cites the Iraq war as a reason for the spread of jihad ideology, the newspaper reported.

“The estimate concludes that the radical Islamic movement has expanded from a core of Qaeda operatives and affiliated groups to include a new class of ‘self-generating’ cells inspired by al Qaeda’s leadership but without any direct connection to Osama bin Laden or his top lieutenants,” the newspaper said.

The Times cited more than a dozen U.S. government officials and outside experts with knowledge of the classified document.

It is the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by U.S. intelligence agencies since the war began in March 2003 and represents a consensus view of the 16 U.S. spy services.

Posted by: Trent at September 24, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #183606

Jack seems to be the only one with the faintest understanding of Latin America— not that anyone cares. But I live part of each year in Peru, and let me bring to your attention that Chavez is no joke to his neighbors. His intervention is WAY more than the US could ever be accused of, at least in the last 20 years. Ever heard of his collaboration with the FARC? Ever heard of his protection of Vladimiro Montesinos? Ever heard of his support for his clone Ollanta Humala? His activities in Nicaragua?

He is not a harmless fool. Anyone who supports him because he is anti-Bush should be ashamed.

Posted by: pbtax at September 24, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #183609

Jack said
“The first president of my adult life was Jimmy Carter. I recall the Soviets tried to portray him as a stupid, out of touch dreamer,”

Jack you know how many times I have heard this same thing about from the people on the right? On this same blog no less.

Posted by: 037 at September 24, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #183610

Jack – Thank you for answering my question. But you I have to disagree with your interpretation. I do not want to rehash my points in my previous post. But you gloss over my facts claiming to look at the big picture. But the devil is in the detail.

“Foreign investment is by far the most important. We (in the U.S.) built our economy on investment from Europe and most countries still seek it. It is always a source of criticism, since it is an easy target, but w/o foreign investment neither the U.S. nor Latin America would be as well off as they are. The U.S. has been the biggest investor”

Are we looking at the same Latin America? Latin America is well off? How are they better off from our foreign investment? 50% of the people live in poverty. But you got the second half right, US business did benefit. With US corporate control of the countries resources and NAFTA to promote US business and goods in these countries, unemployment and poverty is rampant. So now we see there is an increase in leftist populist socialistic movements that are anti-American. When Bush visited Latin America last year, the anti-American protests were deafening.

But are you saying the people of Latin America are better off thanks to the US, they just don’t know it?

“during the Reagan administration (and beyond) the U.S. worked hard to promote democracy in what was then mostly dictatorships”.

Wrong! – Dead wrong. The promotion of democracy was propaganda to sell the wars to the American public in El Salvador and Nicaragua to the American People. The “Office of Public Diplomacy” was setup during the Regan years to spread propaganda to get public support for these wars. American action does not support your statement. The US with its support for democracy will overthrow any democratic elected official or government that does not support US business interests. It is not enough for a Latin American Country to be democratic. They must be a pro-US business, support globalization and implement a liberal capitalist economy. They have no choice.

Allende – A democratically elected socialists we all know was removed by Nixon.

Chavez, democratically elected socialists, when he criticized the IMF model Bush openly backed his overthrow.

Evo Morales in Bolivia was singled out by Bush as suspected terrorists because he criticized how democratic reforms have not delivered goods and services.

“Security is the great unmentioned. et me again compare our own history. In the 19th Century, the Royal Navy gave the U.S. defacto protection from bigger and more powerful countries. We could maintain very small military as a result. We have long provided the same service to Latin America. Those small military establishments they maintain would not have been sufficient to protect them from foreign powers.”

Were we really providing security to the Latin America or really protecting our interests? The greatest threat to the people of Latin America is the United States itself and their own government. The US trains Latin American military to wage war on its own people. There are no border wars between Latin American countries. Just wars on any movement that has the appearance of being or labled leftist.

The point I am making is that we have had a deliberate policy of imperialistic control in Latin America. We were ruthless on the level of Saddam without any regard to human rights and the concern and well being for the people of region. We supported major crimes against humanity and genocide against our southern neighbor, far beyond anything we did in any other region of the world. This is American foreign policy at its worst.

This dosen’t make sense to you becasue you do not see the “big picture” correctly. This is not some academic exercise were you can sit back and compare some good and some bad. Equate it to our policy in other countries. You cannot compare this to Iraq, N. Korea, Taiwan or S. Korea. There is no comparison.

This was an unchallenged testing ground for us - our sphere of influence. The other regions and countries of the world really had no strategic interests and knew better to stay out. This was a free for all to test out our imperialistic ambitions and ideology. To do whatever we wanted without challange or consequence. We have false sense of success. This is the big picture that you miss.

Posted by: Stefano at September 24, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #183616

037

Re Carter - Yes we did. As AMERICANS can criticize Bush today and they do. The difference is that you didn’t hear Carter’s critics (on the right at least) comparing Carter unfavorably to Brezhnev or saying that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was justified because of Carter.

You can criticize Bush. Hugo can too. But no American should mistake Hugo for an equal of our own president.

Stafano

I expect it depends on the sort of soil the seeds fall upon. U.S. direct investment has been very good in E. Europe, Asia etc. Of course economic growth creates winners and losers. To the extent the U.S. investment produces growth, it also has that effect.

Latin Americans ares poor because of Latin organization and believe in state control. Again, I ask you to look at the Argentine example. When it had lots of foreign (mostly British) ownership, it was one of the richest countries in the world. After it nationalized and directed its industry, it became third world.

I lived in Brazil in the 1980s. Let me hasten to add that Brazil has come a long way since, but back then they had a “law of similars”. If Brazil could make something, they would not let it be freely imported and they directed investment. That meant a lot of low quality products and factories located in silly locations. SOME American firms supported this, since they were already in Brazil. Most American firms and the U.S. government was against it. We believed in a freer market.

A free market produces wealth. Firm property rights help the poor. Moderate regulation is needed to keep things moving and a government that knows it limitations is essential. Latin America has not had those things until recently.

Now consider the example of Chile. The coup was bad and violent 35 years ago, but Allende was wrecking the economy and fomenting a creeping leftist coup. (The U.S. BTW did not instigate the coup) The military did manage to reform the economy and make it more market oriented. Now there is a general prosperity and they can even afford the moderate socialist leader.

Re security w/o U.S. protection, things would have been very bad in Latin America many times. In the 1930s the Nazis were working with Latin governments. You would have had the same types of fifth column activities as you saw in E. Europe. W/o the U.S. Latin countries would have to maintain military to defend themselves against each other and there would be more wars.

Let me give an analogy again to a real world recent example. It was NATO and the U.S. security umbrella that allowed the formation of the EU. Otherwise France and Germany would never have been able to let their guards down. NATO preempted remilitarization of E. Europe after the fall of the Soviet Empire. How many times do you think Greece and Turkey would have fought had both not been members of NATO.

You recall Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Security is essential. After that, you can do other things.

Latin America is starting to differentiate more. You will (are) seeing Chile become a fully developed country and Brazil taking the role it should have a century ago. Meanwhile, Venezuela and Bolivia are going down the toilet.

We have indeed sought to preempt dangers in Latin American. We did the same in Europe and E. Asia after WWII. This is what powers do. We benefit, but we provide services to others. Who do you think guarantees the sea lanes that allows Latin America to trade with the world? The Brits did in the past; we do now. If you want to give that job to the UN prepare to see a big reduction in trade and a poorer world.

Posted by: Jack at September 24, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #183617

1ltb

1-We are not defending ourselves in Iraq. They are not and never were a threat.

2-It is not the insurgency that is the problem in Darfur it is the counter insurgency that is the problem. The insurgents to which you speak were tying to overthrow dictatorships in Sudan and Libia, do you remember Libia? They blew one of our plane out of the sky over Scotland. The Government of Sudan armed the janjuweed to stop the insurgency

“we should send our soldiers to die for a bunch of povs in Africa where we have absolutely no interests whatever.”

“I thought part of our reasoning for going into Iraq was because Saddam killed his own people?
I guess if they are poor or povs as you call them then their slaughter is of no consiquence to us? I have trouble getting a moral fix on that statement could you it clarify for me? When do we have a moral obligation to stop genicide and when do we not?”


http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/03/02/darfur10228_txt.htm

Posted by: 037 at September 24, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #183632

1LT

“Playnice,

Apparently you didn’t see my earlier post, but your logic is jacked up. You hold an opinion I don’t like. By your logic, if I find you and punch you in the face for it, its your own fault for holding and expressing this opinion. All you are doing is giving insurgents a free pass to commit murder.”

OK, … (pause), last year they were “Al Quida”, to you. Last month they were “Hesbolla”, to you. Last week they were “terrorists”, to you. Now, they are called- “insurgents”.

And, today its me.

So, just who will you want to kill and torture; who will be your hate dour-jour, tomorrow???

Posted by: PlayNice at September 24, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #183633

Jack - You make some good points and an intelligent argument.

But you assume that American intentions in Latin America were designed to help. The “seeds” in my view were never intended to grow or were never planted.

Today you are right we are seeing some progress in some countries. But as the US gets less involved in Latin America (more involved in the Middle East) these countries are freer to go their own way. As long as they reject leftisit socialist values and remain pro-American. These are the rules of the game.

So in Argintina, Chile and Brazil we see progress and In Venezuela and Boliva we see setbacks. And in Latin America, no progress.

The state control you mention is repuccusions of what they view as failed democracy. Farm rights have never been a mainstay of their economic model. Land is owned by the elite few. But NAFTA has reduced farming as more food is imported. Redistribution of land will cause a coup. In their view democracy and capitalism as proposed and implemented by the US and Globalization has failed. It does not deliver the goods and services. So we see a rise in Social Democracies.

Your analysis of Latin American Security before WWII is interesting, but the focus and impact of what we are seeing today is our policies after WWII.

Posted by: Stefano at September 24, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #183656

The real issue as we, your kids, see it:

It is sad that so much of your generation has abandoned the concept of self-sacrifice and community, choosing instead to self-indulge and pretend life down here lasts forever.

Too many people in your generation simply don’t care about the world you’re leaving us. They’re obese, anxious, impatient, uncharitable, faithless, filled with botox, unproductive, divorced, drinking, partying, swapping spouses, acting financially irresponsible or illiterate or both, and worst of all, self-righteous. Do I lie? Do I mispresent the statistics that have come from organizations of all different political persuasions? No, I do not lie and I do not distort stats for my own ends — unfortunately, this is the truth. I deeply wish it were not so.

Think about the world they’re leaving us. Wages in most sectors will remain stagnant because of globalization (others will gladly do the same job for less, and you understand the economic implications). We are going into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt just to get an “education” from spacey and useless professors, which is even less valuable in the marketplace because we think we have to get these degrees just to compete so more of us do. We will have no job security, and certainly no pensions/gold watches/defined benefit plans and other perks. Land and housing prices will continue to soar astronomically. All this, not to make mention of the soaring cost of other necessities like transportation, grocerties, and health care. Or the tiny problem of the environment and natural resources, or the fact that millions around the world now hate everything we as Americans stand for.

Worst of all, they want us to subsidize their lazy and self-indulgent lifestyles, and their second homes in Florida, with our tax money. They want us to pay for their health-care because they want their flat-screens and SUVs and trips to Europe and manicured lawns — which they cannot afford because they don’t work hard or smart. So, we will confront a more hostile and expensive and competitive world, and be taxed at higher rates, because of their selfishness and their laziness. While it is a stretch to say we won’t see Social Security, you know we won’t get the same value out of it that you did.

One other thing: stop them from criticizing us for not participating in politics! Although the corruption they’ve created is actually a good reason to get involved, we don’t participate because we don’t think government is any longer a place to help people. Our system of government is old and outdated, and funds a massive, useless and therefore elitist bureaucracy (they’re usually too narrow-minded to know how inconsequential they are, and end up thinking they’re indispensable to justify their cost of living increases with no basis in merit), and hurts far more people than it helps. When we do see a place we can make a difference, such as volunteering in non-profits, we do so in droves. Of course, who would expect such a narrow-minded and self-absorbed part of your generation to understand?

Stop discussing these current events and please start doing something that will at least limit the damage done by less engaged members of your generation. Otherwise you will deserve to share in their pathetic and worthless legacy, which is nothing more than a lack of one.

You, the conservative Boomers, are our last hope before they tax us out of any chance at prosperity and slide toward a stagnant, European-like economy together.

Posted by: YourKids at September 24, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #183667

It’s amusing that most Republicans believe every liberal reads Noam Chomsky like his stuff is holy scripture. You want an honest admission here? I have never once read any of his books! I’m not even really that interested in it.

The Republicans want to see their mirror image in Democrats, because that justifies the shape of their party, one which is weighted heavily towards the most extreme, rather than the most moderate of its members.

If they can say that liberals are extremists and have unfair advantages, then the far right can justify an angry crusade to take power away from them.

Truth is, Liberals are not that extreme. The difference is more in the arrangement and history of those beliefs than in some absolute alienation of values of the left from the right.

Of course, though, you’re not going to scare people into electing you by telling them that they’re more similar to each other than they realize.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 24, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #183672

Stephen D,

Yes, that’s the reality. The two main parties in this country are far, far more alike than not.

Everyone I knew who read Chomsky read him with a very critical eye. In fact, most of us challenged the primacy of the inherent psychological structures he saw through his linguistic lens.

What is useful about critical reading, as I’ve read enough of your posts to know you realize, is that it forces one to get at the root of base assumptions and to scrutinize the logic a writer uses to get from his assumptions to his claims. Often I find something useful, even if it’s just a fact or perspective, from works I deeply disagree with.

I don’t know why people are scared of thinkers like Chomsky or feel the need to mock and ridicule them. There is a very strong anti-intellectual strain in this country.

Posted by: Trent at September 24, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #183682

People are not scared of “thinkers” like Chomsky; that’s just a comfortable delusion to overlook the reality that most people know his critique holds no currency in the real world, where socialists enrich themselves and keep the people poor while hiding behind righteous motives while capitalists enrich the most people and ignore whining from those too afraid to engage in free market competition.

And as for this: “In fact, most of us challenged the primacy of the inherent psychological structures he saw through his linguistic lens.”

Well, let’s just say there’s someone at an independent coffee shop who would be real impressed.

Posted by: TheNorm@hotmail.com at September 24, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #183692

Norm,

Um, ok, pardon me. Sheesh.

Posted by: Trent at September 24, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #183693

Trent said: “There is a very strong anti-intellectual strain in this country.”

Yes, led by intellectuals themselves. That’s what empirical education does to folks. Causes them to question authority. Which is an absolute necessity in a democracy if that democracy is to be kept from morphing into something far more authoritarian.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #183695

Norm,

Since you clearly have thoroughly debunked Chomsky, of whom I’m not a particular fan (if that point was not clear to you), are there any serious critiques of society you find worthwhile? Do you consider the problem of power a real problem? I invite a serious, non-sneering answer.

By the way, I haven’t worn black, sat in a coffee house, and read Nietzche in at least 20 years, and yeah, it was a hell of a way to get girls.

Posted by: Trent at September 24, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #183697

Hi YourKids,

I am one of those old ducks that you are talking about. So lets take it issue by issue. First let me tell you a little about me.

Believe me, “we” know the meaning of sacrifice and hard work. Our parents came out of the great depression, something passed down to us, so that we appriciate every day, the great wealth and priviledge that we have, being an American. My father was a share chropper in Mississippi and made 30 cents a day picking cotton, on which his whole family of 11, ate what they could. This is why he only finished the 6th grade. My mother was a factory worker through WWII, and there were many days when the choice was food or nylons, (and nylons were necessary to keep her job - until they allowed her to ware pants, which almost took as an act of God, back then).

Our family is not rich, (just like our parents) but we have never wanted for the things in life that are really, really important. I have raised my two kids to believe that it is the heart, family and friends that are the true wealth in this life, and not what is in their bank accounts. I have two precious middle-aged kids that would do anything for me without asking. What ever they could, and when ever they could. Just like I did for my parents.

I never raised my kids in religion although I am a Christian/Jew. I believe that it is up to every individual to believe in a higher power, or not, according to their own will; and, by the will and Grace of God Almighty (and in their own way). I have talked very little to my children about politics. I do not believe that it is necessary. Your children “get” who you are, and are intitled to make up their own minds. Besides, my son is a Republician and my daughter is a Democrat, which accounts for lively discussions around the dinner table at holidays. (I am refered to as “The Communist” by my son, and as “I just love the way you think” by my daughter.)

Now, that you have a little history, lets discuss the issues that you raised.

WAGES AND JOBS: We never thought that we would be able to retire up until about 5 years ago. Not until we found a way to live on the small pittance of a union retirement and a very small S.S. check. I am lucky yes. Because I will still get my S.S. But, for how long? Now, that Bush has privatized the medical part of S.S. you may as well kiss doctor visits, lab tests, hospitilazation and medicine or drug coverage “good bye”. But, the good news is that Wall-greens is starting a new drug program that will offer genarics for $4.99 per RX. Now, that I can live with!

(And, in the back of my head I wonder if this and the new low gas prices are just an election ploy, right before a big election that will determine if Bush can protect his butt enough to not get indited for several crimes, that he is guilty of.) But, I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth just yet. True, there was a problem with wages and jobs under Clinton as well. He was a corportist also. But, no where as bad as with Bush, now. At least Clinton wanted to play to his rich supporters, sure, but he still cared about the “little guy”.

Ever since the 1980s, in the Bush Reagan years, there has been a war on, against fair trade and Unions. The Republicians have made a deliberate effort to break the backs of Unions and stiffle the ability for Union workers to get fair wages and retiremet benifits. The outsourcing of jobs as well as the illegal import of workers has gone a long way to try to eliminate the “middle-class” in America. We are on the fast track under Republician rule, to “the super rich”, and the “rest of us”, with the middle class only a dream of what once was.

Most Americans are just like you. They want a job, with a living wage, and they do not want to be 90% of the tax base while the super rich and large corporations skate away from tax obligations “Scott Free”. If Exon was in the same tax bracket as I am, (who is slightly below “middle-class”) then we wouldnt have any problem with good jobs, money flowing into the economy, money for advanced technology, and health care for all.

It is this enormous pandering to big business that has erroded our worker rights. The right to collective barganing, the right to retire with dignity and the right to keep a job unless we are actually fired for “cause”. Unions used to provide this kind of job security. Now, no one, and no job is safe. Corporate raiders can now opporate in a Monopolistic society with perfect government protection thanks to big buck lobbiests. When the employer has all the power and the worker has none….well you see what that is doing to our job market today. Republicians will call me a “communist” for saying this; but, that is why we need to re-establish “worker rights”, what we once used to have before 1980.

HOUSING AND OTHER GOODS: The world market is determined by our economic policies. The old economic ethic used to be a trickly down theory. (And, I do not mean money). The company treated its employees right, the employees treated their customers right, customers went away happy and returned again and again. The new Republician policy is that big business does not have to be receptive to its employees, or to their customers. Employees are expendable or replaceable, and customers are locked in automatically when you have a monopoly. This, and the government favortism to big business, and big oil, sets the whole economy into a down hill slide, with the appearance of a moving economy being shored up by a higher and higher debt load. (One that your generation and your children are going to pay for.)

This also exculates the price of goods, housing, food, health care etc. And, with stagnant wages and rising prices this forces the government to manufacture more money to filter into society to keep a stable economy. Of course if big business were to pay the same tax load as the rest of us, we would not be in any economic trouble at all. But, again with our elections as they are, when you need special interests to get into office and big money? That is only accomplished when you are politically in bed with big business. And, big business wants 1) cheap wages 2) no compatition 3) no taxes + tax credits 4) enormous profits.

(It was amazing to me that when the big oil companies, recently went before congress to explain why they were experiencing record profits while gas prices were at record highs, that 1) They were not made to be under oath 2) They had the nerve to say that their first obligation was to their share holders. (Not the public) 3) They were not made to pay a capital gains tax on their absolute rape of the American economy.

HEALTH CARE AND THE ENVIORMENT: Well we have hit on most of this really. Big oil doesnt want you or I off the gas pump titt. They want us to suck up all we can, with little reguard to the enviornment or the death of the polar bears, not to mention the world weather changes that bring about things like Katrina. Forget the fact that 1/3 of the air polution in California this winter will actually be imported, by fossil fuel buring, done in China! Just buy bigger and less gas efficient cars, (the auto lobby) and suck up more gas (the oil co. lobby ).

Health Care? Health care is a joke. It wasnt that long ago that my insurance covered a doc visit with no co-pay. (Clinton) Now it is a co-pay + it may not be covered at all with my insurance. That depends upon what the code is that the doctor puts on the form. And if the doc puts down too many codes that costs the insurance too much money, that doc is out of business. Your health care provider is the one that dictates what medical care you get today. Not your condition, nor your doctors true recommendations for your true physical condition. Do not ever ever fool yourself about that!

Medicare is the largest Nation wide consumer of RX today. It took Bush to turn that over to the drug companies to write their own blank check for medicare drugs for the elderly, with no more barganiing or negociations for price cuts or special deals that once helped to keep Medicare costs low. Medicare used to cover almost everything. Now there are a miriad of companies to get Part B from, and all ment to be confusing and worthless. Each company comes with a disclaimer that states that what ever policy you sign up for now, and what ever drug that company may cover now, is no guarentee that that drug will continue to be covered in the future. (Hows that for ineffective, sub-standard, health care for our oldest Americans???).

GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY INVOLVMENT: I applaud you for helping on an individual basis. Volunteer work is admirable and certainly benificial to the individual that is being helped. Wouldnt it be wonderful if you could help hundreds of people? How about thousands of people? Maybe Millions of People !!!

Well you can. You can make a difference. Government is old and stale. It has lost its heart. It has lost respect in the eyes of the people of this country, so that they, of all ages, are discouraged. We feel that we dont matter because our government treats us like … we dont matter. BUT WE DO MATTER; see, WE ARE the government, and they have forgotten THAT!. Look what a small band of true Americans did. They started a huge country like ours. They put their heads together and came up with a plan, a fair, equitable and just plan for a well balanced, efficient and effective government “of the people, by the people, and FOR THE PEOPLE”. Government is only old, stale and selfish when we let it be. It is a reflection of us. Our hopes and our fears, our dreams, and our desire to “do good”, (or not).

Do not stand on the side lines. What we have screwed up…you can change. A good start would be to help pass a bill that would make elections and campaign funds equally distributed by the Federal Government, to both parties, or even to 3 parties (Democrat, Republician, Independant - wow, wouldnt that keep EVERYONE, on their toes!!!). Each candidate gets $$$ (so much, equally). They are in charge of how that is spent, and no more. That would take the business interests out of politics, and put people back into first place, in the drivers seat, as it should be. Especially if the DC lobbists were out of work, as well.

Take you and mulitply it by a thousand, by 10,000, by a million, 10 million. And, you have a good start for a revolution, my friend.

And, when you change things my friend….(and you will)…..just remember,

A business is not a person, and does not exhist to rule over a person,

Only a person is a person, and if business does not serve its people?(Its employees, its customers, and operates for both its own profit AND the public good),

Then it has no right to —- stay in business!

American companies do count … But, Americans and their needs and their welfare count a hell of a lot MORE!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 24, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #183710

The trouble is, there’s the rules we claim to work, and the ones we actually follow and carry out. Socialism is supposed to be more fair and more equitable, but many times you get the Animal Farm formulation that some people are more equal than others.

Then again, Capitalism is supposed to be practiced in free markets, and many of the free markets, in practice, are anything but, and many who claim to push them actually defend and uphold market practices that are antithetical to their theories.

What are we seeing here? I’d say there’s no philosophy that ensures things and people go right. It’s a choice, and what’s more, it’s a dynamically assessed choice.

Also, there’s a great deal of subjectivity, ignorance, and blind eye-turning involved in these kinds of things, which is many times facilitated by the abstract nature of the subjects at hand.

What matters is not what you call the philosophy you apply to life, but the results of that philosophy, and which philosophies allow the best balance of abstracted thought and real-world grounding and correction. Your mind has to be free enough to think past the inevitable illusions our perceptions present, yet not so unbound by other things that it loses touch with any measurement of the world around it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 25, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #183711

I think all liberals should damn Charlie Rangel and Pelosi for criticizing Chavez, the left’s champion!!

Those 2 dems did not represent their people by condemning Chavez. Pelosi and Rangel did not get elected to offer their common sense. They were elected by democrats to represent liberals in Congress … which has nothing at all to do with common sense of course.

GO BAFSLA! (Blame America First / Self Loathing Americans) BAFSLA RULES!!!

“I’m Hugo Chavez and I approve this Liberal Ad.”

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 25, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #183724

YourKids,

You won’t see any Social Security because of lazy indulgent politicians that have pilfered the fund for years.

I too, am a member of that generation you criticize, and I don’t know about you, but I worked 65 hours last week, and I will probably work 70-75 hours this week.
That’s life, and I get that.

Why is it that children whine and bitch when they don’t get what they perceive is theirs?

Nobody ever said life was fair pal. You have to go out and get what is yours on your own.


Ken Strong,

Why is it that the right isn’t known for it’s cognitive thinking?

Posted by: Rocky at September 25, 2006 6:39 AM
Comment #183725

SE,

I am amazed that posters here still wax partisan after what Chavez said on US soil.

Sorry but UN Headquarters in NY are owned by the UN, it’s an international territoriy. So in fact you should have wrote “… what Chavez said on UN soil.”

Whatever he said, he was NOT on US soil.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 25, 2006 6:58 AM
Comment #183726

Trent,

I don’t know why people are scared of thinkers like Chomsky or feel the need to mock and ridicule them. There is a very strong anti-intellectual strain in this country.

European, when bashing americans (sorry but yeah it happened sometimes, not as much as french bashing in american, though) like to call this the Brains vs Balls War.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 25, 2006 7:04 AM
Comment #183742

Ken Strong-
They are politicians, so they did what they thought their constituents would want them to do. Their constituents are liberal, so therefore there’s a good chance that liberals would not have their words twisted by a leader with much different intentions than theirs.

We are loyal to this country, just not your vision of it. You need to make that distinction if you want unity instead of division in the face of our enemies. Otherwise, you will please our enemies to no end by fomenting more discord.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 25, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #183743

Why the hell is everybody writing in italics??

037,

1.Since you think Iraq was never a threat, please do two things for me. Thing the first, find one intelligence agency who went on public record before we went into Iraq who said that they did not have weapons of mass destruction. Try the same for Democratic leaders aside from Howard Dean who were against the war before it began. Thing the second, since the Iraqis “are not and never were a threat”, please admit for the record that Clinton’s cruise missile attacks against Iraq were nothing more than political wag the dog. (Just for the record, I took quite a bit of flak back in college for defending Clinton over this, first because I didn’t get to see the intelligence he did and second because it makes perfect sense to me that Saddam might’ve tried to take advantage of Clinton’s domestic troubles.)

2.I’m assuming you mean Libya. Yes, I do remember Libya, and as I recall, Kaddafi dropped his weapons program, admitted responsibility, and is currently cooperating with the United States in the GWOT. As far as the insurgency or counter-insurgency, liberals have said that we can’t win against the Iraq insurgency and that we are militarily overextended, so what makes you think we can defeat the Sudan counter-insurgency and avoid becoming further overextended?

3.The fact that we did stop Saddam from killing his own people, if not the Iraqis from killing each other, doesn’t seem to stop you from thinking that Iraq is a mistake. Personally, I don’t think we have any obligation to stop genocide. We haven’t before, and neither have our “noble” European allies, even when it was on their own borders in the Balkans. Further, neither have Russia, China, Venezuela, nor Iran. We didn’t go into Iraq to save Iraqis, though this is good. In my opinion, the only time the US military should be used is when we have a clear threat to our security. Sudan is beyond help in my opinion, If it is not worth one Soldier’s death to maintain influence in a region vital to our economic and security well-being, why the hell should it be worth one Soldier’s life to die in a region where we have no interests?

Playnice,

Apparently, even the simplest of analogies fly well above your head. As I said, your logic is jacked up. You argue that America is to blame for the deaths in Iraq from insurgents. You don’t even mention that it is not American Soldiers, but the insurgent groups, who are killing the Iraqis. If you in my example are America or innocent Iraqis and I’m an insurgent, then your argument says that your opinion, which I find offensive, is at fault, not me for being a violent asshole and punching you in the face. I really didn’t think it was that complicated, I’ll bear in mind not to use multi-syllabic words when responding to you in the future. As far as your little rant about what I label these murderers, let’s just say that they’re bloodthirsty young men who, by the strangest and most improbable set of coincidence, all tend to share the trait of being radical Islamists. Instead of whining like a 7 year old child, why don’t you make a coherent argument?

Posted by: 1LT B at September 25, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #183744

Now I’m writing in italics!? WTF??

Posted by: 1LT B at September 25, 2006 11:53 AM
Comment #183756

1LT B-
In the days leading up to Iraq, the Congress was presented with a sanitized version of the NIE that deleted most of the qualifications, the contradictory footnotes, and the dissenting opinions. This was all but eight Representatives and Senators, who were called upon to decide whether to go to war.

Those people would have been under obligation to keep the real NIE a secret. So, most of the congress and most of America voted on an Authorization for war not even knowing the full facts of the opinions of the intelligence community.

The Iraqi regime was a problem, but the threat was mostly taken care of by the time Clinton left office. The cruise missiles sent after Saddam were meant to eliminate as much of that threat, in the wake of the pulled weapons inspectors, as possibly could have been done.

If Clinton and Bush 41 didn’t do a good job of destroying Saddam’s program, then why did our troops find nothing older than the Gulf War when they invaded? They took the threat Saddam posed serious enough. Bush took it far too seriously, even to the exclusion of a worse danger in Bin Laden.

On the subject of Libya, he didn’t cave in on that because he was caught. He was building a Nuclear program right up to the point where the shipment was intercepted. If he had caved before then, he could have lost face. The CIA and others, though, wanted him to remain cooperative, so they arranged this little deal: act like you were betrayed by the Pakistanis, so you don’t look like you gave up willingly. In return, Bush gets to act like he scared you out of the water.

On the subject of genocide, we have an obligation to intervene. Those who are willing to engage in the systematic destruction of one group of people are emboldened to take actions on other fronts. It reflects a certain distaste for the rule of law and the rights of man that we should be damned if we’re going to tolerate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 25, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #183773

This is about Chavez. But again the libs make it about Bush, because for them it is always about Bush, and will always be about Bush. It’s Bush! Bush! Bush!

Meanwhile, long after Bush is gone, el presidente-for-life Chavez (by changing his constitution) will still be threatening the U.S.

Chavez is brokering a nuclear WMD deal with Iran, and has the oil $ to pay for it.

Someone said: Chavez loses when gas prices drop. Actually, as a dictator-in-chief, Chavez can cut giveaways for the poor (poverty is getting worse under Chavez) to finance his foreign aid and other international hobbies.

As usual, the libs have head in sand about Chavez.

Comments by Chavez are a wake up call.

If Chavez gets his UN seat on security council, look for UN to be even more impotent while Chavez controls the seat, as nothing positive will be done by UN during that time frame.

Posted by: Jimmy at September 25, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #183787

Jimmy-

Why would one seat on the security council be worth that much? Its not a veto seat. Look back at the countries that have had seats over the years. There’s more than a few bad apples in there.

Not that there’s necessarily any good to come from giving him a seat. But it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Posted by: David S at September 25, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #183788

We should all boycott Citgo! To show your support, click here.

Let’s show Chavez that he can’t come to our soil and insult our President.

Posted by: Mr. Tastic at September 25, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #183790

Tim Crow:

If you want a clearer picture of human rights than those in the countries you mentioned, why don’t you ask the rank and file peasant in Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or the United States.

I think you’ve got your head where the sun don’t shine.

Posted by: Swampfox at September 25, 2006 5:38 PM
Comment #183796

Yea then we can boycott oil from Iran and every country that hates us we would not be buying much oil now would we?

Posted by: Jeff at September 25, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #183803

1ltb

1- 2001- Powell and Rice Declare Iraq Has No WMD and Is Not a Threat

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/powell-no-wmd.htm

1a- I believe Sadamm was violating the terms of the cease fire and targeting US planes.

2- Baghdad is (was) a modern city with vast amounts of technology, explosives for civilian and military use and access to more from neighboring countries. Sudan has none of these things and a poulation that might truely want our help since they have already started an insurgency, they are poor as hell, starving and dying by the boat load of AIDS and other diseases.

3-WWII comes to mind as well as Kosovo. “We never did it before so we shouldn’t do it now” is tough to swallow.

Bush seems to think we have a moral obligation to help in Sudan.

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-


Posted by: 037 at September 25, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #183810

My first response after reading Jacks post was that there would be few if any responses since who would posibly disagree with a criticism of an anti-American 3rd world dictator. Then I remembered that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It sounds to me that a number of Bush haters will embrace any person or idea as long as that person or idea opposes the current administration.


Posted by: Carnak at September 25, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #183860

Playnice: I appreciate your thoughtful and respectful post. Although I suspect our worldviews differ, I plan on thinking about what you wrote and responding to it in a way your writing merits. Thank you for your post.

Rocky: I really don’t mean to be disrespectful, but did you notice that I used the word “they” throughout my post to implicitly acknowledge that there are some hardworking, responsible Boomers? If you just needed to go after somebody, fine - I can take it — but your post doesn’t flow logically from what I wrote.

And then there’s these comments:

“Why is it that children whine and bitch when they don’t get what they perceive is theirs?”

Rocky, my problem is that too many members of your generation spent what was theirs, spent what wasn’t theirs, and now want to take too much of ours to continue in their ways. I’m not angry that we won’t get the same benefits you got — just angry that they’ll be taking a disproportionate share of we rightly earned because too many Boomers lacked self-discipline. Different issues, friend.

“Nobody ever said life was fair pal. You have to go out and get what is yours on your own.”

We’re trying to do that. We don’t want anything from your generation. We just don’t want to have to pay an unfair share of our fruits to subsidize your excesses. Again, I am referring only to those members of your generation who are lacking in discipline.

The curse words, of course, do not merit a response.

Posted by: yourkids at September 25, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #183870

1LT

ALL RIGHTIE THEN !

I will take out all the personal assalts from your rant, (Posted by: 1LT B at September 25, 2006 11:52 AM),(OMG, I must have struck a nerve somewhere), and I will keep it down to just a few erronious points that you brought up. That ott to shorten this, a might.

“You argue that America is to blame for the deaths in Iraq from insurgents. You dont even mention that it is not American Soldiers, but the insurgent groups, who are killing the Iraqis.”

You are so narrow minder, and brainwashed that you cant even see what is happening there. Who are these mythical “insurgents” that are killing Iraquis, dispite our herroic efforts to “Bring them Democracy and Peace”? Havent you heard of the saying, “The Iraq war is over, and Iran won”. If you are saying that these “terrorists” are Iranian, then why would they be? The government in power in Iraq (that we have caused by our invasion) has strong millitant Iranian ties. Why would they try to cause trouble for their own sympathetic partners?

Ever hear the story about the 2 truck loads of ballots found in Iraq just before the election? Our government said, “We are not concerned and find that the elections were fair”. And if these mythical insurgents are Iranians,,,,,then we paved the road to bring them there. If they are fellow Iraquis, that want to have an influence and a say and some power in their government, then the killings of “inocent Iraquis” is being done by other inocent Iraquis.

Iraq has been a seperatist nation for over 5 thousand years. But old Bushie didnt even know that their was 3 war-ing factions of tribes in Iraq, and have been for over 5 thousand years. That is why he said that they would greet us as liberators. “Liberate” them into what? Splitting them into 3 Nations that all want to be “king of the hill”? Into 3 seperate Nations that all want to kill each other, so that one will rise to the top again, like under Sadam, (like under all the other dictators for the last 5 millinium)???

Are you saying that these so called insurgents are Al Quida? Or some other terrorist group? Highly unlikely. Firstly, I am sure that Osama is far too busy sitting in the desert somewhere, laughing his azz off at us, to get involved. We seam to be doing a bang-up job by being his poster-boy for new recutes, because most of the Arab world hates us now, because of Iraq. So why would he want to mess up a good thing for himself? And secondly, We are doing just what he wants. We are helping to distroy our military on a fruitless mission to bring “Democracy” to a Mid-East country, that has about as much taste for that, as bringing ice cubes to Alaska. You may as well try to bring a bird to a fish, for its dinner.

Plenty of knoweledgable people tried to tell this administration, that Democracy in the Mid-East would not work. But, Bush seamed to know better. Bush and many in this country, forgot that we got our Democracy by our own efforts. France never occupied us for dozens of years and tried to fight the Brittish off for us. We got democracy because we fought for it, OURSELVES.

And, it is funny that a success (our democracy), that has lasted for over two hundred years, has to be taken down, and dismantled, by this jerk-weed!

“then your argument says that your opinion, which I find offensive, is at fault”

My opinion is at fault, because you dont like my opinion, and my opinion makes you want to punch me in the face, so therefore you say that I say that my opinion is at fault? WHAT???

NO,,,NO NO NO. See, my opinion is just that. It is MY opinion. Now, if you want to punch me in the face for it? THEN THAT IS YOUR FAULT! (Not my fault, and not my opinions fault.) Because I am intitled to MY OPINION. (Did I use enough mono-syllabic words for you?)

“lets just say that they are bloodthirsty young men who, by the strangest and most improbable set of coincidence, all tend(ing) to share the trait of being radical Islamists.”

(Oh, now you mean the “insurgents”), OK. Lets just say that. (But there would be no “insurgents with out us, dont forget).

It is still strange that yesterday however, they were probably just going about their own business, doing what? Owned a grocery store, that now has no food to sell? Maybe they worked for the water company, that is now in shambles? Maybe they were in the Iraqui Army that is now abandoned (and, there is NOW, 60% unemployment, Nation-wide). Or, maybe they are part of some nasty religious dictator want-to-be(s) rag tag army, that is sent into town(s) to plant as many bombs as possiable?

Hey, maybe they could be Bathists, you know, the ones that were in power before we walked in and outed their leader? Must be a bummer now, with nothing left, and every other faction of people in your country wanting your blood on their hands! How about some of them could be a group of militants with religious ties that want to get power from a lame, mock government group that is just a puppet in disguise? Or, maybe it is just one group against the other because no one is really in charge now. Now, that we have come in, and SCREWED UP THEIR COUNTRY!

Dont worry about all the…, what was that? Oh yes, “bloodthirsty young men who, by the strangest and most improbable set of coincidence, all tend to share the trait of being radical Islamists”. Yea, those guys. They are all in Abu Grabe, and being tortured by private contractors. BUSH HAS SPOKEN.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 1:45 AM
Comment #183872

Mr Tastic,

Know where I can find a Citgo station near me? I want to buy all my gas there, from now on.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 2:01 AM
Comment #183873

YourKids,

Thank you for the nice reply. Dont take Rocky too hard. People like him are why I no longer vote Republician.

But dont you give up on “Democracy”. It has been around more than 200 years. It has withstood two world wars, and countless military actions. And “she” (our ship of state), can sure stand and recover from this one a-hole, and all his minions.

You are the future. Make it what you want. Get the dollar signs out of WA DC, and put the welfare of the “people” back in, like it was ment to be!

Good Luck!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 2:13 AM
Comment #183882

Stephen Daugherty,
I might be willing to believe your argument about the NIE, but what about the same reporting of Great Britain, France, etc? They said the same thing. Meanwhile, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee has oversight and sees the same intelligence as the President, he can’t change that. Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton, all of them said that Iraq was a clear threat.
As far as the Iraq weapons program, our intelligence services monitored Iraqi radio traffic instructing the Iraq Army to dispose of these weapons by taking them out into the desert and opening them. These orders came about 2 weeks before we invaded, which means that Bush was right up until a few weeks before the invasion kicked off. The reason we went ahead was that based on 12 years of deceit, we believed that the radio traffic was deliberate disinformation designed to try and preclude the invasion.
Please document the Libya allegations you make, I haven’t seen anything to suggest that.
As far as genocide goes, I do not feel that we have a moral obligation to stop it. If you feel that we do, perhaps you should form a homemade army (we do have the 2nd Amendment after all) and lead it to Sudan yourself. It is very easy for people not in the military to suggest that we go traipsing all over the world playing policeman, it is different for those of us that do serve.
As long as we’re going to Darfur, perhaps we can go to some other places as well. China springs to mind. How about Cuba? Or Iran? Maybe North Korea? Perhaps Venezuela? I know, we can go back to Somalia, I’m sure you remember how thrilled they were to see us last time? The left has consistently argued that we were wrong to go into Iraq, why do you think that going into any of these other places would be different? Hell, they’re setting up camps to train “resistance fighters” to expel the “Crusaders” from Darfur. And I’ll be damned if I go there under the UN.
037,
1. Powell, Rice, Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton (both of them) Lieberman, and every other intelligence service said that Iraq had WMDs.
1a. Since when has the left or the UN cared that Saddam violated the cease-fire and was shooting at British and US planes? The fact that it was a cease-fire also means that the US was more than justified in moving against Iraq. Technically, North and South Korea are still at war, there’s only a cease-fire there too. Iraq was in violation of 12 UN resolutions, all of which justified our actions irrespective of any other arguments.
2. The very nature of Sudan makes it just as difficult for us to do anything about the problems in Sudan. What they do have are camps designed to train their militias to fight us and a call to radical Islamists worldwide to go there and fight us. All this for no possible gain to the US.
3. World War II was not about stopping the Holocaust, it was about defeating a major threat to our nation and our way of life. In Kosovo, we had an interest in maintaining peace in Europe to ensure its economic stability. Even then, I doubt very highly that we would even have a proper ROE to do anything. If you don’t believe me, ask the French about how their troops got to watch the Serbs kill a large number of Bosnians because they couldn’t shoot them unless they were shot at first. As far as disagreeing with Bush, I thought that was all the rage these days.
Playnice,
Wow, you blow me away. You think these insurgents are mythical? Let me tell you something, sweetheart, I’m in Iraq right now, I see it far better than you, and they are real. Things were going well before Zarqawi, who by the admissions of bin Laden is al Qaeda, bombed the mosque in Samarra. This unleashed a tide of vengeance killings across the country. As far as splitting the country, the Iraqi government is debating that very plan right now, so what’s your point? As far as the Arab world hating us now, was it a deep-seated love of us that was causing these animals to dance in the streets on 9/11?
As far as my example about you blaming yourself for me hitting you in the face, what’s so confusing? You blame America for the deaths of Iraqis here. It is not US Soldiers planting bombs and sending suicide bombers into markets. Americans’ opinions (ie freedom of religion, the press, expression, etc) are part of the reason that they try to kill us. You don’t place any blame on the insurgents for killing people, so when the tables are turned in my little example, by your own argument I don’t bear any responsibility.
So, you don’t think Saddam screwed up Iraq either, I guess. Your constant apologist arguments for dictators is disgusting. Furthermore, if you really believe that all of them are in Abu Ghraib, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 4:53 AM
Comment #183883

Mr. Tastic,

We should all boycott Citgo! To show your support, click here.

Indeed, put your money where is you mouth. Even if it cost a little bit of money. Oh, BTW, Iranian president did (and will continue, no doubt) insult Bush too recently. Stop buying gazoline made from iranian oil field right now.

Put your money where is you mouth. Stop support oil dictatorships. Stop being so much oil-oolic.

Let’s show Chavez that he can’t come to our soil and insult our President.

Should be “Let’s show Chavez that he can’t come to UN soil and insult our President”. UN headquarters are like embassies: it’s international territory.
Chavez was not on US soil. But he did insult Bush, indeed. And? Why should we care about insults!?

Do you… fear insults?
Or do you fear many in the world laught at Bush being insulted?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 5:18 AM
Comment #183890

1LT B,

It is very easy for people not in the military to suggest that we go traipsing all over the world playing policeman, it is different for those of us that do serve.

Indeed, Bushies neocons think it’s easy. Ask them why.

1. Powell, Rice, Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton (both of them) Lieberman, and every other intelligence service said that Iraq had WMDs.

Powell said in february 2001 the contrary.
Rice said it too, before 2002. Then everyone change their mind: Saddam build WMDs during 2001 and 2003!

WMDs that are still NOT found.

Since when has the left or the UN cared that Saddam violated the cease-fire and was shooting at British and US planes? The fact that it was a cease-fire also means that the US was more than justified in moving against Iraq. […] Iraq was in violation of 12 UN resolutions, all of which justified our actions irrespective of any other arguments.

You can’t justify going to Iraq unilaterally, aka without any UNSC agreement, by the repeated UN resolutions Iraq violations. The UNSC members didn’t found these violations enough to invade Iraq. [b]US[h] did. His/your choice. Not the UN one. In fact, no vote was casted at the UN, the US+UK march 2003 draft resolution never reach the council office. This alone tell how much they failed (and that was not due to lack of backstage diplomatic and economic pressure!) to convince the UNSC members about the need to go to war.
Still, she offer to help Iraq war aftermath in 2003 summer, even after the UN headquarter in Iraq was bombed. It was US rejected the offer.
UN rejected to justify US vs Iraq War. Period. Deal with that.

Should the US convinced the UN these violations was enough, combined with *credible* proofs of WMDs (to oppose to the shame Powell “drama” speech), the Iraq War would have been under a clear UN mandate.

But it’s not. Quite the reverse.
So stop using the UN resolutions to justify it, because it doesn’t work both way.

The very nature of Sudan makes it just as difficult for us to do anything about the problems in Sudan. What they do have are camps designed to train their militias to fight us and a call to radical Islamists worldwide to go there and fight us. All this for no possible gain to the US.

So, what happen in the Bush War On Terror when the US can’t project anymore its power where the real terrorism is? Does it means this war is already lost? GIs can’t go in Lebanon nor in Sudan, soon it’ll be hard for them (along others, ~200 french included) to stay in Pakistan and Afghanistan either? How Bush will ever win his self-declared Global War On Terror if he only could spread freedom and democracy in such bad places remotely? Via the mythical domino effect?!? By eroding the US constitution, americans’s freedom and democracy? Or does he believe, helped by Rummy, that air strikes could “drop” freedom and democracy “packs” on these areas?

Is WOT still winnable? Was it ever?

Even then [Kosovo], I doubt very highly that we would even have a proper ROE to do anything. If you don’t believe me, ask the French about how their troops got to watch the Serbs kill a large number of Bosnians because they couldn’t shoot them unless they were shot at first.

So true. Hence why Chirac insisted in changing this for the UN 1701’s “FINUL II” mandate, before sending more french troops. He was talking for many other europeans nations who wants to contribute but was sharing the same fear about weaky ROE. Lesson learned.
Let’s see if it could help…

As far as disagreeing with Bush, I thought that was all the rage these days.

These “years”, you mean, right?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 5:56 AM
Comment #183895

YourKids,

“Rocky, my problem is that too many members of your generation spent what was theirs, spent what wasn’t theirs, and now want to take too much of ours to continue in their ways.”

I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s.
No computers, no Internet, no FM radio, black and white TVs, and cars the size of tanks.

My generation marched for civil rights.
My generation pushed for equal rights, and equal pay for women.
My generation pushed for less air pollution, and clean drinking water.
My generation has made the effort to leave the world a better place than where we found it.

Somehow I can’t see this as excess.

What has “your” generation done?


PlayNice,

“Dont take Rocky too hard. People like him are why I no longer vote Republician.”

You know, in the two years I have been posting here, that’s the first time anyone has accused me of being a Republican.

Posted by: Rocky at September 26, 2006 7:00 AM
Comment #183916

1LT B-
It’s called incestuous amplification. You steer one source through multiple fronts to make it look like a bigger deal. It’s called perhaps Bush’s definition of “same reporting” is different from yours and mine.

A funny thing has happened to the intelligence committees: two out of each committee on intelligence actually see the entire classified information. The Bush administration has starved everybody else, the congress that is supposed to decide whether we go to war, of such information.

As far as the radio traffic goes, We never saw anything or found anything. What was our Satellite surveillance doing at the time? My guess as an armchair general would be that our people were keeping eyeballs on troop movements in Iraq all the time. Where and when did we see corresponding movement? Where and when did we find the corresponding evidence? And how, despite waiting until two weeks before the start of the war, does Saddam manage to completely hide all the evidence of what happened then?

Moreover, if we’re getting intelligence that Saddam is dumping weapons, why not jump on him then and there? Why not go before the UN like Kennedy did during the Cuban Missile Crisis with this evidence and say “Here’s your evidence!”? If we can launch a strike meant to decapitate the regime early, why are we waiting for Saddam to destroy the evidence?

The Libya allegation is in the book The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind. In a way, I think the incident represents how to do things right, with the criticism mainly being in how Bush exploits it, concentrating on the image, rather than the reality of this war.

On the subject of Sudan, if they have training camps for terrorists there, I don’t see why there’s resistance on the notion of clearing that place out, putting an end to the Islamists not merely religiously intolerant but also racist, genocidal behavior. Our gain would be the restoration of America as a power with moral standing. Our gain would be the destruction of terrorists training camps. Same with Somalia. It would also be symbolic in Somalia’s case of Bin Laden’s error in thinking.

On the subject of the late Zarqawi, let’s review the facts: the guy had to petition to become affiliated with al-Qaeda. Originally, it was thought he was already part of it, but it turns out not to be the case.

Even the assertion that his leg had been amputated was wrong. We took a man out of that rubble with both still attached.

The problem here is that you’re far to invested in the political rhetoric. We invaded in insufficient force. We didn’t detonate the bombs ourselves, but our absence in good numbers and the lack of a good policy at our backs made it too difficult for us to effectively counter that play by our enemy. If we felt it was necessary to invade to save the Iraqis from themselves, the least we could do is secure Iraq, both from the inside and the outside.

It’s disgusting that people still repeat the slander that we support dictators in lieu of Democracy. Dissent from a policy of regime change does not have to mean approval for the continued existence of the regime. It can simply mean that we find the means and the justifications for doing so ill-fitted to the goal.

It’s convenient for politicians trying to use it as a wedge issue to paint our position as approval for the rape-rooms and the mass graves, but then it’s convenient for politicians to speak many lies when telling the truth requires them to do something they don’t want to.

Bush doesn’t want to admit his own defeat. He doesn’t want to admit he’s wrong. He doesn’t want to show his weaknesses to his political enemies. You may agree with that, but consider that sometimes our weaknesses develop because our views conflict with the truth. Any strategy aimed at sealing up all weaknesses through rhetoric and politics then becomes at deny and distracting from the truth.

Good government has the integrity to sacrifice political fortune in order to deal with the truth, to admit vulnerability, then resolve that weakness, rather than just papering it over with rhetoric and emphatic, zealous belief.

I can understand why you’ve stuck with Bush. I can understand the fear of the other side. I can understand that you don’t want to quit, don’t what to show weakness, don’t want to let folks you think of as inferior govern. The picture of strength, though, is not one the rest of the nation agrees with, and for good reason. Too many facts have been made known. The big picture for the average American is too persuasive. There is no defense that can explain away what they have seen.

We need a new plan. That doesn’t mean we lose. That doesn’t mean we don’t go after the terrorists. That doesn’t mean abandoning the Iraqis. If you saw the polls, you would find most Democrats and moderates don’t want that anyways. What we want is the promised end to this war. What we want is our defense in good shape. What we don’t need is more political apologia for failed policy and negligent leadership, regardless of which party gives it, or who’s to blame for whatever injustice. We’ve let the fantasy-land of political agenda become the basis for policy. We got to return a measure of rationality and care to our defense, or else our enemy is going to make short work of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 26, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #183938

Chavez is a fool.

So, is there anything of real substance in that Noam Chomsky book ? I’m not going to buy it to find out.

Who wants to make a bet gas prices go back up after the elections in November ?

Did gas prices fall world-wide as fast as they just fell here in the U.S. ?

I suppose it could be a coincidence ?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 26, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #183942

d.a.n,

Did gas prices fall world-wide as fast as they just fell here in the U.S. ?

It does in France, at least.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #183959

Rocky,

You wrote: “You won’t see any Social Security because of lazy indulgent politicians that have pilfered the fund for years.”

The actual figures for S.S. are that it is sound until 2048. Sure by then, we may have some problems, because there will be too few people in our society working to pay for the huge amount of people that will be on S.S. then. But, until then, there is no problem with S.S. other than what Bush wants us to believe so that he can “privatise” it, like he wants to privatise everything else in our society. (Like health care, schools, medicare and just about everything else that can be diverted into the hands of big business interests instead of the government, or into the true hands of the people, or consumer, where they belong). Sure some have used S.S. as their own private little piggy bank without check. But, that is pitance compared to what Bush wants to do to disytroy it, by turning it over to large business interests that will give very little back in true benifits to the people but make large corporate profits that will be of course “tax free”.

Have you heard Bush talk about “intitlements” like they were the plague from hell? He is doing away with intitlelments like welfare support, S.S., VA benifits, S.S + VA Disability, at the same time his party looks upon Unions as the scurdge of the earth and thinks workers rights is a joke, and importing illegal workers to steal American jobs is just another part of doing business “as usual”.

It has nothing to do with “lazy indulgent politicians” but it has everything to do with politicians that pander to big corporations to rob us blind and treat us, its citizens, the people that they rely upon to get elected, like dog poo!

Then you said: “Why is it that children whine and bitch when they don’t get what they perceive is theirs?”

I think that YourKids just wants a level playing field. An equal opportunity to get along in this world. The same opportunity that our parents gave us. Our parents, who came out of the “Great Depression”, who knew what it was to really be broke, and hungry. Our parents that really knew what “Morality” and personal ethics and personal sacrafice really ment and wanted us to have a better life than they had. THAT IS WHAT WE ALL OWEOUR CHILDREN, THAT IS WHAT WE ALL OWN THIS NEXT GENERATION. It is a public trust, that we leave this world better than what we found it, (not worse). It is not up to them to scratch and dig for that which was left us in loving care. It is up to us to hand them something that at least works, so that they can improve it for THEIR children. It is their inheritance.l

And, you finished with: “Nobody ever said life was fair pal. You have to go out and get what is yours on your own.”

To go out and “get” what is “yours” you first have to have the tools. Its pretty hard to pull yourself up by the “boot straps” when you have no boots.

It is pretty hard to have the tools to get by in this world, when your government keeps sh$tting in your sand box!

In the past 28 years in Washington DC we have had only 8 years with a Democrat in the White House and in only 4 of those years did he have any kind of Congress that would possiably work with him. And, even then, as good as Clinton was, and as much as he truely cared about “people”, he still was not completely clean of the stench of “big business”. Hilery was treated like a leaper, and her compresensive national health care program (that would have side-stepped the nightmare we are in right now), were looked upon as a dirty joke, at the local bar, at Happy Hour.

So when you say that YourKids generation wont have S.S. because of fat lazy politicians in Washington. At least be fair about this. It is not the “fat, lazy, greedy” politicians that is the problem. It is the politician that cares more about getting his/hers from his/her big-business supporters (and partners), than he/she does about giving back to the Americans that put him/her in office, in the first dam place!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #183978

To all those who responded to my initial post, all I can tell you is that Chavez didn’t do any right wing bookselling. You’ll never hear Chomsky accused of being a Conservative.

So I’ll make sure all the extremist right wingers keep their singing down in church if you lefties will handle your extreme idiots like Chomsky.

Thanks for the American spirit.

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 26, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #183982

PlayNice,
Social Security is being plundered.
Politicians are pilfering the surpluses.
There actually is no money in Social Security except what they receive monthly in taxes, and send right back out in benefit payments (hence, the term “pay as you go”).
Social Security will be in trouble before 2048, because there are 77 million baby boomers retiring at a rate of over 2000 per day, and there is really no surpluses. Actually, Social Security has a 12.8 trillion debt. The so-called surplus in Social Security is in the form of worthless government bonds. The Government is going to borrow, print a lot more money, raise taxes, and reduce benefits. That may not be necessary if there was even a shred of fiscal responsibility in the federal government, and quit plundering the Social Security surpluses. But there isn’t and they won’t. Irresponsible incumbent politicians will continue to spend irresponsibly. I think some politicians want to end Social Security by making it completely dysfuncitonal. Well, they may succeed. And, it probably won’t last until 2048. Not with $8.5 trillion in National Debt, $12.8 trillion of Social Security Debt, $450 billion of PBGC pension debt, huge trade imbalances, and over $20 trillion of personal debt nation-wide (over $42 trillion of debt nation-wide). Look out … more money-printing is in our future.

Who thinks this type of funny-money-printing, massive borrowing, spending, and debt can keep growing for much longer?

We have borrowed trillions from other nations too! So, our fiscal irresponsibility may bring great harm to other nations too.

Slumbering voters had better wake up, reject the distracting, petty partisan warfare, and do what they were supposed to be doing all along, always:

  • Stop repeat offenders.
  • Don’t re-elect irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians.

Unfortunately, our form of government runs in cycles. Corruption grows, voters get tired of it and vote out a bunch of incumbents, things improve slightly (2 steps forward, 1.999 steps backward) but the voters are never consistent, so the cycle starts all over again. The longer slumbering voters wait, the worse it is for themselves. We are not invincible. An economic meltdown is not far fetched. Some are being fooled by the illusion of a healthy economy that is really being financed by maxing out all our credit cards. How long can that last ?

Also, watch gasoline prices go back up almost as fast as they fell. Why? Watch the oil producers now start to cut production slightly. And, what good is the Department Of Energy ? What are we getting for our $23.5 billion (DOE’s 2007 annual budget)? That’s $64.4 million per day !. For that kind of money, some corporation(s) could have developed many alternative energy sources and more efficient automobiles. Is there something severely wrong with this picture?

Lots of bloated, do-nothing government departments are like this. What do they produce? Charts and ever bigger budgets every year?

But, we will learn, even if it is the hard way. Pain and misery is a good teacher. We need to get some prioritization of our most pressing problems, and soon.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 26, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #183995
d.a.n wrote: Did gas prices fall world-wide as fast as they just fell here in the U.S. ?
Philippe Houdoin wrote: It does in France, at least.

Interesting. Maybe it is just a coincidence? But, what country uses the most gasoline? Who owns most of the oil companies? Corporations in the U.S. have been having record profits for the last few years. While the FTC (May 2006) found no wide-spread evidence of price fixing, the recent fall in prices does make one wonder.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 26, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #184001

d.a.n.,

You should actually look at the DOE budget. Here’s the breakdown of the 2007 budget request of $23.6 billion:

$9.3 billion for nuclear weapon maintenance, stockpiling, anti-nuclear weapon proliferation, etc.

$5.8 billion for Office of Environmental Management.

$4.3 billion to the Office of Science for basic scientific research.

$1.2 billion to the Office of Energy Research and Reneable Energy — “Much of this funding is an integral part of the Advanced Energy Initiative and expands key programs that focus on developing new energy choices, including: Hydrogen Fuel Technology ($114 million); Fuel Cell Technology ($82 million); Biomass ($150 million), including research into cellulosic ethanol, made from switch grass, wood chips and stalks; the Solar America Initiative ($148 million); Vehicle technology ($166 million); and Wind projects ($44 million).”

$637 million to nuclear power programs.

$544 million to Yucca Mountain in a effort to deal with the waste caused by nuclear power facilities.

$648 million for fossil fuel programs.

Anyway, there’s more, but as you can see, the name Department of Energy is a bit of a misnomer. Frankly, I think more research needs to be done on alternative and renewable energy, and well as energy efficiency.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #184004

Ken Strong,

You may disagree with Chomsky (if you’ve ever seriously read him), but he’s not an idiot by any stretch of the imagination. Find flaws with his reasoning, examine his evidence, challenge his assumptions, whatever — all that is fair game. Ad hominem attacks, though, reveal far more about the attacker than the attackee, so to speak.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #184020

Trent,

Yes, I’ve looked at it, and would bet a sizable chunk of money that a large percentage of it is wasted, corporate welfare, graft, and pork-barrel (if it were possible to prove, since government accounting is ridiculously inaccurate (by design)).

$9.3 billion for nuclear weapon maintenance, stockpiling, anti-nuclear weapon proliferation, etc.? How many nuclear weapons do we need? We already have enough to destroy the planet (as we know it) a few times over.

$5.8 billion for Office of Environmental Management? Hmmmmm … they are a farce, when you consider the violators and polluters, and the massive “looking the other way” at big business.

$544 million to Yucca Mountain in a effort to deal with the waste caused by nuclear power facilities?
See … nuclear power is a relatively bad idea, when you start adding up all the real costs. And, what is the “Office of Environmental Management” stand on all of this toxic waste?

$1.2 billion to the Office of Energy Research and Reneable Energy?

Now, that may be one of the few worthwhile endeavors, provided it isn’t mostly waste and corporate welfare. These programs should produce results or be terminated. After all, with this kind of money being spent, you’d think we’d see more results?

Posted by: d.a.n at September 26, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #184040

d.a.n.,

I don’t disagree with much of what you say. But the only program I really know much about is EERE because a company I used to work did some work for the Office. I believe there are demonstrable results that have more than paid for themselves in monetary terms. Many are unsexy — I mean, who ever reads about improvements in lowering energy intensity for various industrial processes? Yet they are there, and are very significant. Check out the EERE’s Industrial Technologies Program. There are many such success stories. When I worked with the EERE, they had to justify program expenditures in economic terms. Now, I’m no expert here, so I can’t say much about how accurate these program evaluations were, but it was a hoop they had to jump through. At any rate, much of the advances in fuel cell technology is due to EERE/industry partnerships. Lots of other stuff, too. In general, I’m a fan of basic and applied research. Anyway, these efforts are such a small fraction of the DOE and federal budgets.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #184069

This is exactly why the democratic party is wack…they are aligning themselves with republicans and conservatives on Hugo Chavez when he has positioned what they SHOULD HAVE BEEN saying all along.

This is why African Americans will never give full support to Jesse Jackson or Charles Rangel.

These hustler “leaders” have said aligned with the white supremacist in the democratic party and again have turned their backs to the people and real leaders like Hugo Chavez. A leader that the whole world has given support and a standing ovation to.

Posted by: Lando at September 26, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #184078

Well, Lando, even as a self-designated Lib, I think Chavez’s rhetoric is over the top. And cozying up to dictators such as Castros sucks, even when someone on the Left does it.

Posted by: Trent at September 26, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #184158

PlayNice,

Your reply is full of metaphors that really don’t mean much.

“To go out and “get” what is “yours” you first have to have the tools. Its pretty hard to pull yourself up by the “boot straps” when you have no boots.

It is pretty hard to have the tools to get by in this world, when your government keeps sh$tting in your sand box!”

There is no such thing as a level playing field, never was, never will be. There are those that will work their ass off to get ahead, those that will do only what is necessary, and those that will attempt to skate by and want everything given to them.
My tools weren’t supplied to me, they were taught to me by my parents, and I had to actually give forth the effort to learn them and how they applied to life.

On Social Security;
This fund has been pilfered by politicians for decades to help support their favorite pork projects.


Jack,

Chavez is a half-vast actor playing to a vast audience. To get upset by his histrionics before the UN gives him more credit than he deserves.

Unfortunately Mr. Bush makes an all too easy target.

Posted by: Rocky at September 26, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #184374

D.A.N.

Stop spreading the lies and drinking the “S.S. is broke”, cool aide:

http://www.cepr.net/publications/social_security_2005_03.htm

THERE IS NO REASON TO PRIVATIZE S.S. EXCEPT FOR MORE OF A DEBOCKLE TO ITS RECIPITANTS AND MORE ABILITY FOR HUGE CORPORATIONS TO MAKE MORE HUGE RECORD PROFITS. (tax free, I am sure!)

Posted by: PlayNice at September 27, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #184380

Rocky,

“There is no such thing as a level playing field, never was, never will be.”

B.S. I went thru a trade school, raising 2 children on my own, and it was part of a government program to help people, (single parents) get back on their feet. That program doesnt exhist any more. Government cuts. I have been independant ever since, and am a tax payer. This program helped me, but is now - not available to others (since the Raegan “cut and slash” years).

A woman I know raised 6 kids on S.S. death benifits. All 6 finished school, are raising families and contribute to the tax structure and contribute to society.

In the 1960s to 1070s many families got survivor benifits, welfare benifits, unemployment benifits (They are called “intitlements” and are what Bush wants to continue to cut and distroy even more). S.S. benifits, VA benifits, many many more government programs that are too numerous to name, have helped people, families, struggleing Americans for decades. All in very deep trouble if not dying or dead.

When you take the support system away from society, you take away its safety net. And when you do that you increase crime, poverty, and the wide gap from the haves and the have nots. You place undue burdens upon people that could otherwaise survive legally in this society and eventually be a contributing factor. And when people loose hope…….

THEN USUALLY, THEY DO BECOME YOUR PROBLEM ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

D.A.N.

S.S. is a promise. You have no control over it being taken out of your pay. It is a promise that when you get to a certain age, you get to retire. It is a government pledge, a promise for a secure future. For the governemnt to not stand by that promise is abominal and criminal. It the U.S. Governemnt is so broke that it can not keep its promises? Then it better look to the Trillion dollar debt that it feels free to squander in another country to plunger oil. And it better get its priorities straight. Cause 40 million old people would be a terriable thing to tick off. And we just might make Iraq look like a walk in the park.


Posted by: PlayNice at September 27, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #184381

OOps sorry should have read 1960s to the 1970s.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 27, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #184399
PlayNice wrote: Stop spreading the lies and drinking the “S.S. is broke”, cool aide: www.cepr.net/publications/social_security_2005_03.htm THERE IS NO REASON TO PRIVATIZE S.S. EXCEPT FOR MORE OF A DEBOCKLE TO ITS RECIPITANTS AND MORE ABILITY FOR HUGE CORPORATIONS TO MAKE MORE HUGE RECORD PROFITS. (tax free, I am sure!)

PlayNice,

I have never written that Social Security should be privatized.

I wrote Social Security is “pay-as-you-go”.

In fact, I was mostly agreeing with you, and merely pointing out that Social Security surpluses should not be plundered as they are now, so that Social Security will be sound in the future.

Perhaps you should more carefully read what people write before you start jumping to incorrect conclusions, and rudely calling people liars, erroneously accusing people (that are mostly agreeing with you) of supporting things they don’t support, or saying things they never said, and alienating potential supporters ?

As for Social Security being broke, I said that it is pay-as-you-go. If you don’t believe that, then you are simply wrong. Also, there are no surpluses in Social Security, because the so called surpluses are in the form of government bonds, and there is nothing in the budget to pay for those unfunded liabilities. Also, as the number of recipients increases (e.g. 77 million baby boomers, over 2000 retiring per day) and the ratio of tax-payers per recipients decreases, it will require changes to avoid shortfalls. Again, if you don’t believe any of that, then you need to do the math. By the way, that CEPR report you provided a link to erroneously fails to recognize that the current Social Security surpluses are essentially worthless government bonds. Where do you think the money to pay for those bonds will come from, eh? I’ll tell you where. They will borrow more, run up more debt, print more money, raise taxes, and/or reduce benefits. If you don’t believe that, just wait and see. After all, that prediction is based on track-record.

That is why it is important to make congress stop plundering the current surpluses, and protect those Social Security funds from be plundered.

If you are going to so blatantly call me a liar, I challenge you to point out which part of anything I wrote was a lie. ?
_ _ _ _ _ _
Trent,
You are right. It is hard (if not impossible) to spend $23.5 billion and not have some results (e.g. Fuel Cell technology) to show for it. It’s just that $23.5 billion is a lot of money ($64 million per day), the DOE has 16,100 federal employees, 100,000 contractors, and taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth. After all, despite such massive amounts of taxpayer money going to the Department Of Energy, it is interesting that:

  • the best hybrid automobiles are foreign made,

  • the most efficient automobiles are foreign made,

  • Brazil has a better ethanol infrastructure than the U.S.,

  • the U.S. (with a mere 4.5% of the world population) emits 28% of all the world’s CO2 emissions, making the U.S. the largest polluter on the planet.

For $23.5 billion, are we getting enough results? No. If we closely examined all the spending by the DOE (or most any bloated government departments, agencies, branches, committees, etc., etc., etc.) it would easily show that a large portion of it is wasted, and a misuse and abuse of taxpayers money, and worsening as our bloated government continues to grow to nightmare proporations.

So, to be fair, I should not discount everything done by the Department of Energy. But, it is severely bloated, like much of government. And, with massive debt, borrowing, rampant spending, pork-barrel, waste, and money-printing, we have got to start getting a handle on the massive fiscal irresponsibility, or none of it will matter, because this path may lead to an economic meltdown that makes the Great Depression look mild. It’s easy to look prosperous while maxing out all your credit cards, but the consequences will eventually catch up with us.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 27, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #184522

d.a.n.,

And to be fair myself, yeah, $23 billion is a ton of money. And most of it has nothing to do with energy. Maybe that is what happens with Departments; they get saddled with tons of stuff that appear to be out of their purview. Missile maintenance stuff, etc. — why isn’t that in the Defense budget? Perhaps to keep that budget down; I don’t know.

At any rate, Japan produces the best hybrids because their industry with government help has been working on the problem for the past 30 years, and we are Jonny-come-latelies.

The ethanol stuff — well, I’m not sold on large-scale ethanol use. As we have discussed before, there are studies that say the cost in energy to produce ethanol exceeds the energy you get from it. I don’t know.

Departments are subject to executive whims. After 9/11, a lot of things had to be sold in national security terms. The company I worked for went bananas — much of the same work we were doing now had to have a national security spin; you had to get those magic words in as many proposals as you could. Meanwhile, there are very talented people working in EERE who genuinely just want to solve some technical barriers to competitive comercialization of a host of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.

As far as waste goes, hard to dispute that. I got sick of writing reports that had to be spun in such a way as to justify whatever half-baked notion was in the project manager’s head. I maneuvered somewhat to get involved in the energy stuff because it was less corruptive to me than other work. The Energy Star program, for example, has done good work.

Anyway, I really can’t speak about the DOE budget outside of a relatively narrow field.

Posted by: Trent at September 27, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #184689

D.A.N.

If I mis-spoke and called you personally a “lier” then I am sorry. I ment that the lie that S.S. was brok,e therefore we must privatize it, I ment that this was a lie.

Actually if people would take a position of your and my position, of keeping it the way it is, and to stop squandering its resources by dipping into it for anything other than S.S. benifits; then perhaps it would last longer than 2047.

What this country needs is prudent managment. This does not seam to be an asset of this Administration. We have the natural resources and the foundations, to become great again. We need to hold those in charge, more responsible.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 28, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #184703

Trent,

Thanks for the info. You speak from experience, which means a lot. I too once worked for a government contractor building F16 fighters (in the 1980’s). The level of waste duplication, dead-weight, and vaporware (useless software) was staggering. It was not far fetched to say that 33% (or more) of the work-force was unnecessary dead-weight, but it was “cost-plus”, which is why it was so bloated. You probably remember the $5000 hammers and other nonsense … that sort of thing is very common (then and now). Also, as you noted, the paperwork was ridiculous. Each F16 had 3 eighteen-wheeler semi-trucks full of paperwork to go with it. There were also an out-of-control union to deal with. A union secretary once filed a grievance on me for printed my own letter to a vendor (on a dot-martix printer). That’s her job, she said. So, after that, it was necessary to give her the computer print-out so that she could type it up on a type-writer. Ridiculous, eh? Another union person filed a grievance on me for merely moving a desktop PC from one location to another. That’s their job, they said. What I did in 5 minutes would have taken days (and filing out forms) to get the union workers to do it. Ridiculous! Unions have their usefulness, but that sort of thing is what hastened their demise in the U.S. (among other reasons).

The one thing about ethanol though is the reduced CO2 emissions and reduced toxicity. Getting oil out of the ground, and transporting it vast distances is fairly expensive too (not to mention the harm done by oil spills during transport), and could give us more independence from foreign oil. This is one area where government could lead and do something no one else can, but government is FOR-SALE to big-money-donor-puppeteers, crippled by corpocrisy and corporatism. There are valid reasons for reducing dependence on oil. A very good reason is CO2 emissions and health. The U.S. is the biggest polluter on the planet. Talk about crappin’ in our own nest. While we are all gettin’ whipped up into a frezy about this-and-that, we may be overlooking one of the most serious issues facing the nation (the world). Especially with China (2nd worst polluter) and 4 times more people (1.4 billion) and growing fast (starting construction of one power generation plant per week), and India (with 1.1 billion people) growing too. Looking at the polluters (sorted by emissions per person) is interesting too. Oil and coal (fossil fuels) are the source of most CO2. It will take time and discipline to stop this trend, or we may learn the hard way. The results of increasing world temperatures by one mere degree (Fahrenheit) could have devastating results. It could also be that world temperatures are on the rise anyway, and we are greatly exacerbating the problem? As the world grows smaller (i.e. world population now at 6.63 and growing by 85 million per year; do the math), the need for good government is increasingly important. The U.S. could lead in reducing CO2 emissions instead of being the worst polluter on the planet, but it will require good government. The serious problem, which we can’t afford to gamble on, is the potential enviromental impact of ignoring so much CO2 emissions (and growing fast), and the long-term effects. What we are doing now could have impacts on the environment for decades (or more)?

PlayNice wrote: D.A.N. … Actually if people would take a position of your and my position, of keeping it the way it is, and to stop squandering its resources by dipping into it for anything other than S.S. benifits; then perhaps it would last longer than 2047.
Yes, I’m 100% for protectiing Social Security. It was wrong for congress to pilfer $12.8 trillion from Social Security surpluses over the last 65+ years. Privatization is a scheme to dismantle Social Security and hand over hard earned income to banks and stock brokers. Why not merely stop spending the surpluses? Social Security would have been just fine, now and forever, had it not been severely mismanaged. One way to keep it going now is to merely stop spending the surpluses, and even (perhaps) pay back some for the funds taken from it. At any rate, Congress should stop plundering the surpluses now. What’s so difficult about that? Slumbering voters need to wake up and oust the irresponsible politicians responsible for this probelm (and many other pressing problems growing in number and severity). In the beginning, the surpluses in Social Security were supposed to be protected (an untouchable fund), but Congress, being fiscally and morally bankrupt, soon devised a clever way to use the Social Security surpluses, by replacing the surpluses with worthless I.O.U.s (i.e. government bonds). That can accurately be described as true ponzi-scheme.
PlayNice wrote: What this country needs is prudent managment. This does not seam to be an asset of this Administration. We have the natural resources and the foundations, to become great again. We need to hold those in charge, more responsible.
Exactly, but well-meaning newcomers to congress can never pass any badly-needed, common-sense reforms because they are always out-numbered by irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians that like things just the way they have perverted them, and will never allow newcomers to ever pass any badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms that might even remotely reduce the incumbent’s power, opportunities for self-gain, or reduce the security of their cu$hy, coveted seats of power. That’s why it is now up to the voters to do what they were supposed to be doing all along, always. Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect them.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at September 28, 2006 10:40 AM
    Comment #185218

    PlayNice,

    I am neither blind nor deaf.

    I am aware that the government expects the private sector to pick up the slack from cuts in government spending. I am also aware that it just doesn’t work that way.

    That said, it’s time for Americans to wake up and smell the pavement.
    The only person you can depend on is yourself, and while there are those folks that truly need the help, there are also those people that really don’t want to fend for themselves, and expect the rest of us to furnish them with a free ride.

    The pie is only so big, and can only be sliced into so many pieces.

    Those that truly need the help should get it, everybody else should be doing the helping.

    Posted by: Rocky at September 29, 2006 8:11 PM
    Comment #185322

    Hey Playnice,
    I am thankful that some Boomers do know the meaning of hard work and living on a budget, and have no doubt that you are one of those. It is also refreshing that you took time to discuss current events with your children, rather than taking the easy way out and letting their minds rot in front of a television.

    I must disagree with you to an extent on Social Security. Although everyone is playing fast and loose with the numbers, I still think people should have the option of investing their own funds. But they must accept the consequences as well. Also, it must be noted that Wal-Mart really got the ball rolling on generic drug rollbacks by offering many generics at $4 – although the program is neither perfect nor complete, it’s a start. And not one that Target initiated.

    Gasoline: Who the heck knows what’s going on? Prices fell steeply after 25% of major supply line was disrupted, Chavez threatened our country’s interest, and Iran didn’t back down from its line. It therefore must be admitted that your theory is plausible.

    I am conflicted about the issue of outsourcing, less so unions. On the one hand, economies evolve and we must evolve with them. On the other, that causes tremendous pain – real, meaningful pain – for those of us who have trouble managing he disruption.

    As for unions, I’m not sure if I would ever join one. While some things such as good working conditions should be guaranteed, I find that unions often reward excellence and mediocrity the same, demand more than they are contributing to an enterprise, and are really as cutthroat as the management they claim to revile – but have the luxury of hiding behind righteous, “little man” arguments.

    I know those are strong words, but I’ve seen unions discourage so much productivity and reward so much mediocrity. It frustrates me, even when I’m understanding of the very real plight members face. Union leaders are most blameworthy, because they rarely acknowledge that people are not owed jobs. They never acknowledge the long long hours and huge risks undertaken to start businesses. They never acknowledge that businesses must grow or die. Worse, they tell people that businesses owe them something just for showing up and working. Union members are mostly smart and competent people – yet rather than demanding benefits from an enterprise begun with no risk to their necks, they seem to think they should get more and more just for showing up – even when others will do the same job for less. Then there are people like you, who work hard and are honest and reasonable union supporters. Thus I’m conflicted.

    I am a Republican but think it wrong to call you a Communist. You are a capitalist who is concerned about the extent workers are rewarded for the profits THEY help create. Fair enough.

    While I do support tax breaks for starting businesses, I do not support unfair tax giveaways to certain businesses or certain industries. That oil execs should not be placed under oath is shameful – God will avenge such actions.

    As for health care, I would support peoples’ rights to organize and bargain for lower prices, or for every American to have a right to buy into the federal plan. Competition is necessary for the best and most efficient results (delivery), but the government is playing favorites so the system is broken.

    Thank you for your encouragement. Although much of my generation has abandoned politics or chosen not to care, I do hope to contribute to solutions without demonizing those who disagree with me. Although I believe God is the difference, I think He enables us to make a difference. Therefore I will always be an optimist and will never sit on the sidelines or adopt cowardly, selfish cynicism. I in turn urge you to continue encouraging members of my generation.
    We need our parents to set examples and to encourage us, not to look to us to relive their lost youth or be their best friend.

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