Author Topic: The Many Faces of US Politics...  (Read 328742 times)

seafoid

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8880 on: April 20, 2017, 01:18:30 PM »
The American right's attitude to climate change is probably going to do more long term damage than anything else ever did. The Soviets destroyed the Aral Sea but they left the North Pole as it was.
Fill ar do chuid. Tremenjus

easytiger95

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8881 on: April 20, 2017, 01:27:17 PM »
MR2 what worse atrocities were there? Surely dropping a nuclear bomb on civilians (mainly elderly, women and children) is about as bad as it gets?

That's not the point here. No one has said it's not a horrific attack... it's the constant boring labling of how bad America is, course they are with the constant shit they do around the world but it's not a new thing or something they have just made up, it's happened for years, centuraries in fact... but I'd say as bad as it gets for that period is gassing 6 million Jews for starters....

Yes bash them as much as you like but you don't have to look to hard to find worse

The US has undoubtedly been the most malign influence on world affairs since World War II.

Consistent interference with no regard for the consequences, all over the world. No other country comes remotely close to their malign influence since 1945. US foreign policy since 1945 has been an absolute cancer.

Nice work trying to muddy the waters with references to the Holocaust.

That opinion would a hard sell for anyone living under the Iron Curtain for 45 years, in China/Tibet of the Great Leap forward etc

Whilst I was arguing earlier that I consider the Nazis to the ne plus ultra of 20th Century evil, the USSR was a gross and pernicious influence on world affairs, with far more countries directly under their influence than the US had, justice and penal systems that were tantamount to genocide for their own people, and a willingness (still being seen today) to meddle in other countries affairs that at least matched the US.

We can argue about how the US fought for their belief systems or sought to impose them on others - however, those beliefs, no matter how badly distorted they are through the prism of capitalism and greed, are still based on the ideas of individual freedom of speech and religion, a just state and providing economic opportunities for citizens, that fired the Enlightenment.

The Soviet system was based (and now the Russian system, if you are LGBTQ or Muslim) on the repression of individual rights. And they used every weapon in their arsenal against their own people and the people of client countries to achieve this repression.

The modern day left's refusal to reckon with the Soviet legacy always leaves them open to attack, and also weakens the credibility of their justified crticisms of American capitalism and empire building. I'd recommend you read "Korba the Dread" by Martin Amis on Stalin and the system he built before elevating the America of the post-war years to the role of Great Satan.

Soviet interference in other countries was obviously deeply malign.

But US interference across the world cast a longer and wider shadow than Soviet interference and continues to do so, whereas the Soviet Union collapsed in on itself and no longer exists since 1991.

The list of dictatorships supported by the US since World War II is incredibly long.

Also the Soviets didn't enable the spread of Islamist ideas like the US has done.

The Soviets are gone - but the Russian Federation is following down the path they trod before, ask the Chechens, or any Syrians living in fear of gunships, barrel bombs and poison gas.

The list of repressive communist regimes supported by the Soviets was as long, if not longer then the US list. Today, the list is getting as long of repressive, authoritarian states fostered by Putin - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan etc.

The hardline Iranian Revolution against the Shah (who was illegally installed by American and British interests) would have been hard pushed to survive had the Soviets not supported them, especially during the Iran/Iraq war.

The mujahedeen in Afghanistan were a resistance movement against the Russian invasion, and armed by the Americans. Both sides have tried to weaponise different factions of Islam.

The insistence on America as the Great Satan greatly downplays the atrocities and geopolitical manoeuvring that was taking place on the other side, and is, if you don't mind me saying it, quite naοve.

The great tradition of anti-capitalist political critiques on the left are necessary and rational, and I would consider myself to be in sympathy with and supportive of their aims. However, that doesn't prevent me realising that for all the validity of their critiques, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein etc would be hung up by their thumbs in dungeons if they aired those opinions in either the USSR or modern Russia.

Fish don't know what water is - they only realise how important it is when they are taken out of it. The same could be said of Western citizens and democratic freedoms - which is why we insist on gambling it on decisions like Brexit and morons like Trump.

johnneycool

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8882 on: April 20, 2017, 03:57:07 PM »
MR2 what worse atrocities were there? Surely dropping a nuclear bomb on civilians (mainly elderly, women and children) is about as bad as it gets?

That's not the point here. No one has said it's not a horrific attack... it's the constant boring labling of how bad America is, course they are with the constant shit they do around the world but it's not a new thing or something they have just made up, it's happened for years, centuraries in fact... but I'd say as bad as it gets for that period is gassing 6 million Jews for starters....

Yes bash them as much as you like but you don't have to look to hard to find worse

The US has undoubtedly been the most malign influence on world affairs since World War II.

Consistent interference with no regard for the consequences, all over the world. No other country comes remotely close to their malign influence since 1945. US foreign policy since 1945 has been an absolute cancer.

Nice work trying to muddy the waters with references to the Holocaust.

That opinion would a hard sell for anyone living under the Iron Curtain for 45 years, in China/Tibet of the Great Leap forward etc

Whilst I was arguing earlier that I consider the Nazis to the ne plus ultra of 20th Century evil, the USSR was a gross and pernicious influence on world affairs, with far more countries directly under their influence than the US had, justice and penal systems that were tantamount to genocide for their own people, and a willingness (still being seen today) to meddle in other countries affairs that at least matched the US.

We can argue about how the US fought for their belief systems or sought to impose them on others - however, those beliefs, no matter how badly distorted they are through the prism of capitalism and greed, are still based on the ideas of individual freedom of speech and religion, a just state and providing economic opportunities for citizens, that fired the Enlightenment.

The Soviet system was based (and now the Russian system, if you are LGBTQ or Muslim) on the repression of individual rights. And they used every weapon in their arsenal against their own people and the people of client countries to achieve this repression.

The modern day left's refusal to reckon with the Soviet legacy always leaves them open to attack, and also weakens the credibility of their justified crticisms of American capitalism and empire building. I'd recommend you read "Korba the Dread" by Martin Amis on Stalin and the system he built before elevating the America of the post-war years to the role of Great Satan.

Soviet interference in other countries was obviously deeply malign.

But US interference across the world cast a longer and wider shadow than Soviet interference and continues to do so, whereas the Soviet Union collapsed in on itself and no longer exists since 1991.

The list of dictatorships supported by the US since World War II is incredibly long.

Also the Soviets didn't enable the spread of Islamist ideas like the US has done.

The Soviets are gone - but the Russian Federation is following down the path they trod before, ask the Chechens, or any Syrians living in fear of gunships, barrel bombs and poison gas.

The list of repressive communist regimes supported by the Soviets was as long, if not longer then the US list. Today, the list is getting as long of repressive, authoritarian states fostered by Putin - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan etc.

The hardline Iranian Revolution against the Shah (who was illegally installed by American and British interests) would have been hard pushed to survive had the Soviets not supported them, especially during the Iran/Iraq war.

The mujahedeen in Afghanistan were a resistance movement against the Russian invasion, and armed by the Americans. Both sides have tried to weaponise different factions of Islam.

The insistence on America as the Great Satan greatly downplays the atrocities and geopolitical manoeuvring that was taking place on the other side, and is, if you don't mind me saying it, quite naοve.

The great tradition of anti-capitalist political critiques on the left are necessary and rational, and I would consider myself to be in sympathy with and supportive of their aims. However, that doesn't prevent me realising that for all the validity of their critiques, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein etc would be hung up by their thumbs in dungeons if they aired those opinions in either the USSR or modern Russia.

Fish don't know what water is - they only realise how important it is when they are taken out of it. The same could be said of Western citizens and democratic freedoms - which is why we insist on gambling it on decisions like Brexit and morons like Trump.

No they weren't. The Mujahedeen were in existence before the Russians invaded and threatened to overthrow the then moderate government in place. It was only when the Russians under invitation from a government being overwhelmed by Bin Laden and the other various well funded Saudi Mujahadeen members that the Russians moved in. They'd no economic interest in Afghanistan although they didn't want the then friendly Afghan government to fall and have extremists on their doorstep and boy did they regret that move, just like the Americans regretted training the same fanatics who flew planes into the WTC.

Try reading William Blums book on this, its a good read.


Found this for you;

https://williamblum.org/chapters/killing-hope/afghanistan
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 04:04:11 PM by johnneycool »

easytiger95

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8883 on: April 20, 2017, 06:11:09 PM »
Apologies for my inaccuracy Johnney - I suppose my point to Sid is that in as much as the US has thrown in behind Sunni/ Wahabbi Saudi Arabia, Russia went with Shia Iran - and both ended up weaponising Islamic extremism on both sides. Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll check it out.

johnneycool

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8884 on: April 20, 2017, 10:40:27 PM »
Apologies for my inaccuracy Johnney - I suppose my point to Sid is that in as much as the US has thrown in behind Sunni/ Wahabbi Saudi Arabia, Russia went with Shia Iran - and both ended up weaponising Islamic extremism on both sides. Thanks for the book recommendation, I'll check it out.

You're right to highlight the fact that all sides involved are more interested in maintaining / increasing their strategic interests in the Middle East as with the Russians with Assad in Syria, the US and Brits with Saudi Arabia, the French in Libya and so forth all able to turn blind eyes to various heinous crimes in the area in Yemen, Iraq, Israel, Syria and so on.
It'll be interesting how Turkey go with Ergodan taking full control and his impact on the region

Eamonnca1

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8885 on: April 25, 2017, 05:07:55 AM »
Quote
POTUS
• Spoke via video link with Commander Peggy Whitson aboard the International Space Station, who just set a new record for total time in space. He apparently is setting a goal for a manned landing on Mars during his second term.
The first manned mission of any type using the Orion capsule is not slated to take place until 2023.

Taxes
• The president has reportedly told his staff to craft a plan that will cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%, even if it will reduce revenues, by Wednesday so he can make the announcement he promised last week.

Roughly, each percentage-point cut in the tax rate lowers federal revenue by $100 billion over a decade, so a 20-point cut would cost the government $2 trillion over a decade, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

So really he wants to have a theatrical tax reduction moment and doesn't care if he blows up the budget in order to do it. Reduce revenue, up military spending. Wonder whose backs are going to bear that extra change.

Treasury Department
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the president's tax plan "will pay for itself" thanks to economic growth.

Supply-side economics has never worked. This is just unambiguously true. Even Bruce Bartlett, the author of Reaganomics, has been calling for higher taxes on the wealthy for years.

100 Days
• New Jersey governor Chris Christie gives the president a 'B' grade so far.

YOU'RE NOT GETTING A JOB, CHRIS. GIVE IT UP.

Never Ask Me About My Kleptocracy
• The U.S. Embassy to the United Kingdom ran an ad for the president's tony, members-only club, Mar-a-Lago on its website.

Trade
• The Department of Commerce announced it would impose countervailing duties of up to 24% on Canadian softwood lumber and Customs & Border Protection would be collecting cash deposits at the border. This has been a long-running trade dispute between the nations, but Canada has always prevailed when the matter was adjudicated by NAFTA & WTO panels. The previous agreement on the matter expired last October.

Border Wall
• On Friday Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney offered Democrats a deal: For every dollar you give us to build the border wall, we won't cut a dollar from the ACA subsidies. Literally holding the well-being of millions of citizens hostage in order to pay for this xenophobic boondoggle. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer effectively told him to get bent.

• Then in a meeting with conservative media reporters Monday, the president said he would be willing to let funds for the border wall wait for spending legislation in September.

Cuck.

The Best People
• Deputy Assistant to The President on counterterrorism and cybersecurity, anti-Islamist hardliner, anti-Semite, and former Breitbart security editor Sebastian Gorka was participating in a panel discussion at Georgetown University on fake news. The self-described "alpha male" stormed out after five students asked questions challenging him on his (very thin) credentials as an academic and as a professional.

Snowflake.

The Russia House
• 73% of respondents in an NBC/WSJ poll prefer an independent commission — instead of Congress — to investigate Russian interference in the election.

• The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation seems to have stalled, with only seven part-time staffers assigned to it. None of them have any investigative or counter-intelligence background. One is still in law school. There is no witness list, no interviews have taken place, and pretty much the only thing they've done is ask people to preserve communications and documents.

Spicey Meatball
• Won't be fired no matter how many times he effs up or yells at reporters. Why? "That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in," said the president.
This has been Day 95 in Trumpistan. Good night!

Eamonnca1

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8886 on: April 25, 2017, 04:59:28 PM »
Fish don't know what water is - they only realise how important it is when they are taken out of it. The same could be said of Western citizens and democratic freedoms - which is why we insist on gambling it on decisions like Brexit and morons like Trump.

Hear hear. This deserves to be framed on the wall.

omaghjoe

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8887 on: April 25, 2017, 05:26:43 PM »
Fish don't know what water is - they only realise how important it is when they are taken out of it. The same could be said of Western citizens and democratic freedoms - which is why we insist on gambling it on decisions like Brexit and morons like Trump.

Hear hear. This deserves to be framed on the wall.


This is kinda like blaming everything but the booze for a hangover.

Throughout the 20th century the propaganda of Democracy has become so ingrained into the psychology of Western society that we believe it is bedrock that our society is built on it and that only good can come from it.

The reality is tho that Democracy is a benefit of a stable society. Its only real usefulness to society is as a tool for keeping the people content by giving them the illusion they are having a say. Giving too much of it to the general populace inevitably means they will make emotional, populist, illogical and ultimately bad decisions as they tend to relate complex issues to themselves rather than in the macro context from where they stemmed from, which inevitably makes them worse and ultimately destabilises society.

Eamonnca1

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8888 on: April 25, 2017, 07:31:08 PM »
Some people in America talk about freedom being a product of guns, but the truth is freedom is a product of democracy and the rule of law.

I agree that giving people too much of a say can be a problem, like they do in California where voters get to micromanage everything. But I think that the kind of parliamentary democracy that's popular in Europe is a much better compromise.

omaghjoe

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8889 on: April 25, 2017, 10:10:32 PM »
Some people in America talk about freedom being a product of guns, but the truth is freedom is a product of democracy and the rule of law.

I agree that giving people too much of a say can be a problem, like they do in California where voters get to micromanage everything. But I think that the kind of parliamentary democracy that's popular in Europe is a much better compromise.


What is freedom tho Eammon? Ive been asking what it is and no one seems to able to give me a definite answer so I've concluded it must be subjective rather than objective. A state of mind, Which means you could have it anywhere... including an autocracy.

As you say (almost) rule of law, obedience to that law, which requires a carrot (usually some sort of ideal) and a stick (police, justice) comes first, long before democracy.And I dont believe any civilisation has existed in history without either being completely isolated or having some sort of defence

Europe has many different styles of government but they are all subject to the same problem of going with the consensus of an uninformed and manipulated electorate. Or to put it more simply putting power in the hands of the popular instead of the qualified.

J70

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8890 on: April 25, 2017, 10:31:00 PM »
Some people in America talk about freedom being a product of guns, but the truth is freedom is a product of democracy and the rule of law.

I agree that giving people too much of a say can be a problem, like they do in California where voters get to micromanage everything. But I think that the kind of parliamentary democracy that's popular in Europe is a much better compromise.


What is freedom tho Eammon? Ive been asking what it is and no one seems to able to give me a definite answer so I've concluded it must be subjective rather than objective. A state of mind, Which means you could have it anywhere... including an autocracy.

As you say (almost) rule of law, obedience to that law, which requires a carrot (usually some sort of ideal) and a stick (police, justice) comes first, long before democracy.And I dont believe any civilisation has existed in history without either being completely isolated or having some sort of defence

Europe has many different styles of government but they are all subject to the same problem of going with the consensus of an uninformed and manipulated electorate. Or to put it more simply putting power in the hands of the popular instead of the qualified.

What's your favoured system of government Joe?

omaghjoe

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8891 on: April 25, 2017, 11:11:01 PM »
I mentioned it numerous time on here prior to 2016.....Technocracy

easytiger95

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8892 on: April 26, 2017, 09:14:57 AM »
I mentioned it numerous time on here prior to 2016.....Technocracy

Short hop from technocracy to autocracy, Joe, no?

I agree with some of your analysis re democracy, but I think you put too little emphasis on the rule of law, or rather, what democracy means for the rule of law.

For instance, in a dictatorship like Nazi Germany, there were laws, but they were not equally applicable to all citizens, which essentially subverts the rule of law, which allowed genocide to be codified and regulated.

In Communist Russia, and in today's Russia, there are laws, but they are ignored in certain instances when dealing with certain citizens (for instance the murder of critics of Putin, or the Stalinist purges). This again subverts the idea of the rule of law.

So what is the rule of law? It is the idea that any and all citizens hold the same rights before the law of a nation, no matter their background or circumstances. This law derives from the people through their elected representatives or through direct voting like referendums, is decided by the majority or the majority of their legislative representatives, and is implemented for the benefit of all (which is the clause of the American constitution that causes the most ire between liberals and conservatives - what was meant by the benefit of all? Does that mean social security and welfare, or does it mean freedom from repressive regulation? Though that is an argument for another thread).

Of course, the democratic system employs coercive force - the police, the courts, the penal system - but crucially, this force is only employed after the breaking of laws agreed by the people, is not employed against one section of the population exclusively (which is why pre-Civil rights NI could never have been recognised as a democratic society, despite a Unionist majority) and is not employed without the authorisation of the law, unlike secret police forces such as the Cheka, Stasi and Gestapo.

All of the above is an ideal - democracy is an imperfect solution, the best bad idea we have. But it surely guarantees citizens far more benefits, rights and choices than any other system out there. Much as you might think a technocracy might differ from an autocracy, they are the same thing, and cannot exist without removing the individuals rights from the centre of the governmental system.

The current unrest a la Trump, Brexit, Syria, Isis, fake news, manipulation etc is not a symptom of democracy's failure - it is a symptom of what happens when we let democracy degrade. Remember, much of the manipulation that happened during the American election was aimed at that system by an autocrat. If a vicious kleptocrat like Putin thinks democracy is a bad idea, then, for me, that is an endorsement that we need more of it. And quick.

Declan

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8893 on: April 26, 2017, 09:51:04 AM »
+1 Easytiger

Rossfan

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Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« Reply #8894 on: April 26, 2017, 12:09:00 PM »
When in doubt about something my default position is to see who's for or against it.
That can get me off the fence fair quick.
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