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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 12:49

Scott SoCal wrote:
rhubroma wrote:
Scott SoCal wrote:
rhubroma wrote:

I've got no illusions of utopia. That's your obsession about what you think I'm on about, to not have to doubt, or even place up for discussion, your own convictions (creed). That's extremely limiting at best, at worst, among the arrogant powers that be at the moment, pernicious. Trump's oration at the UN was exemplary in this regard.

And the only one "telling" people around here anything, has been your smug disquisitions about the virtues of the "free market" and complacently dismissive voice-over on what "human nature" is. People finding their own balance and light car consumption in the USA? Whoa, that's deep man. Hey why don't you look into the boom in luxury yachts, or the wage gap between the executive class and workers now and what it was 40 years ago? Or how many hours of work does it take one (if that is even possible anymore) to meet basic family living standards (home, education, healthcare) over the same period?


I've got no illusions of utopia.


Unless you've changed your stance in the last 90 minutes or so then you are being more than a little disingenuous. Revolution to include happy downsizing followed by an economic equilibrium where central control bureaucracy focused solely on well being. Or something like that.

to not have to doubt, or even place up for discussion, your own convictions (creed)


Well show me something better. One thing I have that you don't is an open mind. I'm not married to any particular system but, like pro cycling, meritocracy has it's place.

And the only one "telling" people around here anything, has been your smug disquisitions about the virtues of the "free market" and complacently dismissive voice-over on what "human nature" is.


I'm not telling anyone anything. If you and others here have a problem when I offer my opinion regarding your lack of basic understand on issues connected with human nature then you have a problem with it. I'm either right or I'm wrong. Prove me wrong. So far you haven't. Frankly, I don't care either way. Head in the sand is head in the sand and you have the absolute right to live however you want.

that's deep man


It is deep. It debunks your nonsense... and world view but that's been debunked since forever.

Hey why don't you look into the boom in luxury yachts


Always gonna be outliers, bro. Quick question, what the luxury yachts per (world) capita? Don't bother. It's a small number.

or the wage gap between the executive class and workers now and what it was 40 years ago?


Hey, who's fault is it that an actor can make $40 million a picture and the best high school math teacher in my town makes $72,500 a year? Don't bother blaming that on corporate executives... just keep clamoring foot $15/hr.

Lastly, one should consider the cost of a family before having one. I realize that declaration is heresy to the committed, but...

There is currently an ongoing immigration crisis of epoch making proportions from impoverished and war torn zones into Europe. There is a concentration of wealth among the financial lords, while entire nations are on the brink of economic collapse, because lending institutions want their pound of flesh. There is the recall of nuclear armeggedon and the burden of environmental causes to end comfortable life on the planet. All of which should concern anyone who isn't a fanatic, or has a modicum of critical spirit. So this is what you call successful outcomes? If I want to learn more about human nature, I'll read Catulus or Seneca.


So it's global banking fault?
A large part of it yes.
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Re: U.S. Politics

22 Sep 2017 12:55

blutto wrote:
Pepe Escobar Unmasks Trump Doctrine: Carnage For New Axis Of Evil


Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

North Korea, Iran, Venezuela are targets in "compassionate" America's war on the "wicked few." It's almost as though Washington felt its hegemony threatened.

This was no “deeply philosophical address”. And hardly a show of “principled realism” – as spun by the White House. President Trump at the UN was “American carnage,” to borrow a phrase previously deployed by his nativist speechwriter Stephen Miller.


One should allow the enormity of what just happened to sink in, slowly. The president of the United States, facing the bloated bureaucracy that passes for the “international community,” threatened to “wipe off the map” the whole of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (25 million people). And may however many millions of South Koreans who perish as collateral damage be damned.

Multiple attempts have been made to connect Trump’s threats to the madman theory cooked up by “Tricky Dicky” Nixon in cahoots with Henry Kissinger, according to which the USSR must always be under the impression the then-US president was crazy enough to, literally, go nuclear. But the DPRK will not be much impressed with this madman remix.

That leaves, on the table, a way more terrifying upgrade of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Trump repeatedly invoked Truman in his speech). Frantic gaming will now be in effect in both Moscow and Beijing: Russia and China have their own stability / connectivity strategy under development to contain Pyongyang.

The Trump Doctrine has finally been enounced and a new axis of evil delineated. The winners are North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. Syria under Assad is a sort of mini-evil, and so is Cuba. Crucially, Ukraine and the South China Sea only got a fleeting mention from Trump, with no blunt accusations against Russia and China. That may reflect at least some degree of realpolitik; without “RC” – the Russia-China strategic partnership at the heart of the BRICS bloc and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – there’s no possible solution to the Korean Peninsula stand-off.

In this epic battle of the “righteous many” against the “wicked few,” with the US described as a “compassionate nation” that wants “harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife,” it’s a bit of a stretch to have Islamic State – portrayed as being not remotely as “evil” as North Korea or Iran – get only a few paragraphs.


The art of unraveling a deal
According to the Trump Doctrine, Iran is “an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” a “murderous regime” profiting from a nuclear deal that is “an embarrassment to the United States.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: “Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times – not the 21st century UN – unworthy of a reply.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again stressed full support for the nuclear deal ahead of a P5+1 ministers’ meeting scheduled for Wednesday, when Zarif was due to be seated at the same table as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Under review: compliance with the deal. Tillerson is the only one who wants a renegotiation.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has, in fact, developed an unassailable argument on the nuclear negotiations. He says the deal – which the P5+1 and the IAEA all agree is working – could be used as a model elsewhere. German chancellor Angela Merkel concurs. But, Rouhani says, if the US suddenly decides to unilaterally pull out, how could the North Koreans possibly be convinced it’s worth their while to sit down to negotiate anything with the Americans ?


Afghanistan comes to South America
The Trump Doctrine, as enounced, privileges the absolute sovereignty of the nation-state. But then there are those pesky “rogue regimes” which must be, well, regime-changed. Enter Venezuela, now on “the brink of total collapse,” and run by a “dictator”; thus, America “cannot stand by and watch.”

No standing by, indeed. On Monday, Trump had dinner in New York with the presidents of Colombia, Peru and Brazil (the last indicted by the country’s Attorney General as the leader of a criminal organization and enjoying an inverted Kim dynasty rating of 95% unpopularity). On the menu: regime change in Venezuela.

Venezuelan “dictator” Maduro happens to be supported by Moscow and, most crucially, Beijing, which buys oil and has invested widely in infrastructure in the country with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht crippled by the Car Wash investigation.

The stakes in Venezuela are extremely high. In early November, Brazilian and American forces will be deployed in a joint military exercise in the Amazon rainforest, at the Tri-Border between Peru, Brazil and Colombia. Call it a rehearsal for regime change in Venezuela. South America could well turn into the new Afghanistan, a consequence that flows from Trump’s assertion that “major portions of the world are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell.”

For all the lofty spin about “sovereignty”, the new axis of evil is all about, once again, regime change.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-20/pepe-escobar-unmasks-trump-doctrine-carnage-new-axis-evil

Cheers


Man. That last sentence is a mind bender. Who saw that coming? REALLY! WHO?

Are journalists like the vaunted pepe on a spin cycle salary just like scientists? Why yes. Yes they are. Good thing he's out there talking back to power.

I feel a new dawn coming.
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Re: U.S. Politics

22 Sep 2017 12:56

The Dream of Kurdistan leads where exactly?
Abadi

The Iraqi Kurdish parliament has voted for a referendum on the 25th of this month. The present Barzani leader of that parliament says that they might postpone that a bit if the somewhat frightened concerned powers propose an actual alternative date, one that is not just diplomatic pettifoggery and empty rhetoric.

The Iraqi parliament and Iraq's Shia Arab president, Abadi, have made it very clear that the state of Iraq will not accept a vote in Kurdistan for an independent Kurdish state. The history of Iraq as a country from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the present is an endless series of iterations of resistance to Baghdad's authority followed by various combinations of Kurdish factions cooperating with the government against the other Kurdish factions. This usually took the shape of the Talabani Kurds and the Barzani Kurds thinking of themselves as two sides of a triangular struggle with the government. This moiety in Kurdish society seems eternal.

Complicating the present situation is the nature of the Baghdad government which is now Shia while 90% of the Iraqi Kurds are thought to be Sunni Muslims.

A serious attempt to separate Iraqi Kurdistan from Iraq proper seems likely to lead to yet another war between Baghdad and the Kurds.

Iran, Turkey, Syria, the US are all opposed to the idea of an independent Kurdish state carved out of the existing countries of the region. Only the Kurds and the Israelis favor the idea. STT discussed their attitude in the wake of my piece "Is this what is driving US Kurdish policy?" on 12 September. The Israeli attitude on this seems a part of their general policy and desire to foster enfeeblement of the countries of the region so as to have greater relative weight in the region's business.
pl

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/09/httpssouthfrontorgkurdistan-region-parliament-approves-independence-referendum-on-september-25.html

Cheers
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 13:01

rhubroma wrote:
Scott SoCal wrote:
rhubroma wrote:
Scott SoCal wrote:
rhubroma wrote:

I've got no illusions of utopia. That's your obsession about what you think I'm on about, to not have to doubt, or even place up for discussion, your own convictions (creed). That's extremely limiting at best, at worst, among the arrogant powers that be at the moment, pernicious. Trump's oration at the UN was exemplary in this regard.

And the only one "telling" people around here anything, has been your smug disquisitions about the virtues of the "free market" and complacently dismissive voice-over on what "human nature" is. People finding their own balance and light car consumption in the USA? Whoa, that's deep man. Hey why don't you look into the boom in luxury yachts, or the wage gap between the executive class and workers now and what it was 40 years ago? Or how many hours of work does it take one (if that is even possible anymore) to meet basic family living standards (home, education, healthcare) over the same period?


I've got no illusions of utopia.


Unless you've changed your stance in the last 90 minutes or so then you are being more than a little disingenuous. Revolution to include happy downsizing followed by an economic equilibrium where central control bureaucracy focused solely on well being. Or something like that.

to not have to doubt, or even place up for discussion, your own convictions (creed)


Well show me something better. One thing I have that you don't is an open mind. I'm not married to any particular system but, like pro cycling, meritocracy has it's place.

And the only one "telling" people around here anything, has been your smug disquisitions about the virtues of the "free market" and complacently dismissive voice-over on what "human nature" is.


I'm not telling anyone anything. If you and others here have a problem when I offer my opinion regarding your lack of basic understand on issues connected with human nature then you have a problem with it. I'm either right or I'm wrong. Prove me wrong. So far you haven't. Frankly, I don't care either way. Head in the sand is head in the sand and you have the absolute right to live however you want.

that's deep man


It is deep. It debunks your nonsense... and world view but that's been debunked since forever.

Hey why don't you look into the boom in luxury yachts


Always gonna be outliers, bro. Quick question, what the luxury yachts per (world) capita? Don't bother. It's a small number.

or the wage gap between the executive class and workers now and what it was 40 years ago?


Hey, who's fault is it that an actor can make $40 million a picture and the best high school math teacher in my town makes $72,500 a year? Don't bother blaming that on corporate executives... just keep clamoring foot $15/hr.

Lastly, one should consider the cost of a family before having one. I realize that declaration is heresy to the committed, but...

There is currently an ongoing immigration crisis of epoch making proportions from impoverished and war torn zones into Europe. There is a concentration of wealth among the financial lords, while entire nations are on the brink of economic collapse, because lending institutions want their pound of flesh. There is the recall of nuclear armeggedon and the burden of environmental causes to end comfortable life on the planet. All of which should concern anyone who isn't a fanatic, or has a modicum of critical spirit. So this is what you call successful outcomes? If I want to learn more about human nature, I'll read Catulus or Seneca.


So it's global banking fault?
A large part of it yes.


Offer. Acceptance. Consideration.

So which of those does banking control?
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 13:17

@scott,

I'll try to get back to last nights posts tonight, but I'm curious why you would present these (offer, acceptance) and other things as if they occur in a neutral vacuum? Independent of say state, military and material pressures?
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 13:39

aphronesis wrote:@scott,

I'll try to get back to last nights posts tonight, but I'm curious why you would present these (offer, acceptance) and other things as if they occur in a neutral vacuum? Independent of say state, military and material pressures?


I'm not suggesting anything occurs in a neutral vacuum. However this...

There is currently an ongoing immigration crisis of epoch making proportions from impoverished and war torn zones into Europe. There is a concentration of wealth among the financial lords, while entire nations are on the brink of economic collapse, because lending institutions want their pound of flesh.


is an over-simplification to a staggering degree. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what Rhub thinks the issue is.

Throwing ones hands up and stating..."it's the fault of bankers" is perhaps the neutral vacuum you suggest.
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Re: U.S. Politics

22 Sep 2017 15:24

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/22/reclaiming-the-truth-about-vietnam/

Cheers

I don't agree with that article. The Men who were called on and in the majority of cases did not have a choice. They did fight many times honorably. They were basically abandon without the authority to do what warriors do.

Trying to blame the military men and women from that time is in a large part very shallow.

There were some atrocities as with many wars, some worse than others. the need to admit that yes, but trying to blanket the entire military is totally wrong, but as with many fishhacks that TRY to write about Vietnam it is a large FAIL on their part.
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22 Sep 2017 15:31

I might be missing something but - the argument with China is that the Chinese people are not better off than they were before? Is that it?
It seems that more Chinese have more money than before. They sure travel abroad much more than before. Does that = better off? My opinion is not really. They are still communist. The cities look modern - but the villages are still the same. Nothing much has changed there.
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Re: U.S. Politics

22 Sep 2017 15:32

Semper Fidelis wrote:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/22/reclaiming-the-truth-about-vietnam/

Cheers

I don't agree with that article. The Men who were called on and in the majority of cases did not have a choice. They did fight many times honorably. They were basically abandon without the authority to do what warriors do.

Trying to blame the military men and women from that time is in a large part very shallow.

There were some atrocities as with many wars, some worse than others. the need to admit that yes, but trying to blanket the entire military is totally wrong, but as with many fishhacks that TRY to write about Vietnam it is a large FAIL on their part.


....agree absolutely.....the article is just part of the sandstorm created by the Burns doc....becomes part of the noise that surrounds all complicated stories, the contrast state as they call it in history....

Cheers
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Re: U.S. Politics

22 Sep 2017 15:37

blutto wrote:
Semper Fidelis wrote:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/22/reclaiming-the-truth-about-vietnam/

Cheers

I don't agree with that article. The Men who were called on and in the majority of cases did not have a choice. They did fight many times honorably. They were basically abandon without the authority to do what warriors do.

Trying to blame the military men and women from that time is in a large part very shallow.

There were some atrocities as with many wars, some worse than others. the need to admit that yes, but trying to blanket the entire military is totally wrong, but as with many fishhacks that TRY to write about Vietnam it is a large FAIL on their part.


....agree absolutely.....the article is just part of the sandstorm created by the Burns doc....becomes part of the noise that surrounds all complicated stories, the contrast state as they call it in history....

Cheers

I do find the quote by President Obama very telling. He was and is very anti military, and from what I have read before he was against Vietnam in a big way. Why would he not add something along the lines that the Military Men were sent to a country to fight a war that was not ours to fight, in doing so a majority of them done their missions honorably for our country.
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22 Sep 2017 16:04

Another thing about Vietnam back in 1945 to 48. Ho Chi Minh had written letters to President Truman and the Secretary of State urging the United states to allow them to have independence or at the very least get rid of the French re-colonization efforts. From what I understand none of those letters were read by President Truman. I think the state department or the CIA kept them from him.

I know according to History when Ho Chi Minh went to France one last time in the 40's to try to get them to honor the independence of Vietnam, the members of the communist party rounded up many Vietnamese nationalist killed, jailed or they fled the country. I wonder if they would have done that if Ho Chi Minh would have not left the country. After all from what I understand Ho Chi Minh was a Nationalist first and a Communist second.

By the 1950's the USA was footing around 80% of the French war in Vietnam.
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Re:

22 Sep 2017 16:15

Semper Fidelis wrote:I might be missing something but - the argument with China is that the Chinese people are not better off than they were before? Is that it?
It seems that more Chinese have more money than before. They sure travel abroad much more than before. Does that = better off? My opinion is not really. They are still communist. The cities look modern - but the villages are still the same. Nothing much has changed there.


The question was.... is the Chinese standard of living/poverty level improving since capitalist reforms?

The answer is "yes."
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22 Sep 2017 16:23

Speaking of reductions: standard of living/poverty level is not the same thing when measured strictly against the US dollar, let alone Western norrms of living. There ate several questions. Not one.
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 16:40

Scott SoCal wrote:
aphronesis wrote:@scott,

I'll try to get back to last nights posts tonight, but I'm curious why you would present these (offer, acceptance) and other things as if they occur in a neutral vacuum? Independent of say state, military and material pressures?


I'm not suggesting anything occurs in a neutral vacuum. However this...

There is currently an ongoing immigration crisis of epoch making proportions from impoverished and war torn zones into Europe. There is a concentration of wealth among the financial lords, while entire nations are on the brink of economic collapse, because lending institutions want their pound of flesh.


is an over-simplification to a staggering degree. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what Rhub thinks the issue is.

Throwing ones hands up and stating..."it's the fault of bankers" is perhaps the neutral vacuum you suggest.


An interesting perspective is John Perkins' "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". The model was for him to go in with offers of lots of cash to the sitting government of whatever country in order for them to upgrade infrastructure in order to improve their economy. Lots of "incentives" were handed out along with sideshow after slideshow of how the economic model worked. Sold!

Inevitably, American corporations are contracted to do the work. The infrastructure gets updated and... nothing. The bill comes due and then Greece happens. All that sparkling new infrastructure and other public resources such as water, airports, ports gets sold off to pay *some of* the debt. Everybody wins except anyone living in said country.

And because the scam is obvious, any leader that hesitates gets a visit from the CIA and is told the good news. Get rich and screw everyone else, or you and your family are gone. Think Gaddafi et al and what happened in Brazil.

The banks are certainly part of it, and closer to home, sub-prime housing loans were a small scale version of the same thing. But there's a lot of "winners" in this scenario and it certainly helps further some political objectives.

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Re:

22 Sep 2017 16:46

aphronesis wrote:Speaking of reductions: standard of living/poverty level is not the same thing when measured strictly against the US dollar, let alone Western norrms of living. There ate several questions. Not one.


Sure.

There's also clear conclusions. Among them being Socialism/communism's inability to scale.
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22 Sep 2017 17:03

Scale up or down? Both? Decentralize?
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 17:25

ScienceIsCool wrote:
Scott SoCal wrote:
aphronesis wrote:@scott,

I'll try to get back to last nights posts tonight, but I'm curious why you would present these (offer, acceptance) and other things as if they occur in a neutral vacuum? Independent of say state, military and material pressures?


I'm not suggesting anything occurs in a neutral vacuum. However this...

There is currently an ongoing immigration crisis of epoch making proportions from impoverished and war torn zones into Europe. There is a concentration of wealth among the financial lords, while entire nations are on the brink of economic collapse, because lending institutions want their pound of flesh.


is an over-simplification to a staggering degree. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what Rhub thinks the issue is.

Throwing ones hands up and stating..."it's the fault of bankers" is perhaps the neutral vacuum you suggest.


An interesting perspective is John Perkins' "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". The model was for him to go in with offers of lots of cash to the sitting government of whatever country in order for them to upgrade infrastructure in order to improve their economy. Lots of "incentives" were handed out along with sideshow after slideshow of how the economic model worked. Sold!

Inevitably, American corporations are contracted to do the work. The infrastructure gets updated and... nothing. The bill comes due and then Greece happens. All that sparkling new infrastructure and other public resources such as water, airports, ports gets sold off to pay *some of* the debt. Everybody wins except anyone living in said country.

And because the scam is obvious, any leader that hesitates gets a visit from the CIA and is told the good news. Get rich and screw everyone else, or you and your family are gone. Think Gaddafi et al and what happened in Brazil.

The banks are certainly part of it, and closer to home, sub-prime housing loans were a small scale version of the same thing. But there's a lot of "winners" in this scenario and it certainly helps further some political objectives.

John Swanson


Lots of conspiracy there.

Generally when banks lend money they like to be paid back. In the Greek scenario there is way more to the story including massive amounts of tax evasion all the way down to the average Joe. And infrastructure spends were hardly the only problem. Automatic year-over-year public salary and pension increases without respect to performance or productivity. Then there were the public sector workers paid for 14 months of work in a 12 month year.

It was the Gray Davis/California model. Big tax evasion in a low productivity, un-competitive environment with leader that would borrow any amount to keep the plebs happy and the votes coming in.

Eventually the music will stop.
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Re:

22 Sep 2017 17:28

aphronesis wrote:Scale up or down? Both? Decentralize?


I should have said inability to scale with sustainability. I knew what I meant :)
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 17:35

Apart from Aphro's point, we can't live in a world of stockbrokers and bankers who suck all the wealth out of society, or one in which the corporations buy up all the small business. It's building an underclass and oligarchy.
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Re: Re:

22 Sep 2017 17:42

rhubroma wrote:
Apart from Aphro's point, we can't live in a world of stockbrokers and bankers who suck all the wealth out of society, or one in which the corporations buy up all the small business. It's building an underclass and oligarchy.


Offer. Acceptance. Consideration.

So which of those do banking and stockbrokers control? Take a stab at answering my question.

Hint: Most generally, none of the affected parties has a gun to their head.
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