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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Apollo-Soyuz on February 16, 2011, 11:12:02 am

Title: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on February 16, 2011, 11:12:02 am
Meanwhile,

back
on
Ceres

I'm guessing it's easier to start a new topic rather that convince everyone who wants to talk about 9/11 to start their own thread. Also, not everyone has the rights to create a new thread. Thus this.

Talk among yourselves. Topic is the current arc.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 16, 2011, 11:30:29 am
Thanks

This is a no blow up zone, please?

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: UncleRice on February 16, 2011, 12:15:57 pm
The big flaw I see in the UW's plan is that even if they can summon an overwhelming force to take Ceres, they instantly have a cat herding problem. The Belters are so used to making their own decisions that I can only see them taking their business elsewhere leaving the UW with a slum on an asteroid. Loosing Ceres strikes me as more of an inconvenience to the Belters than a full scale disaster. In essence, the UW can't take Ceres without killing the goose laying the golden eggs.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 16, 2011, 12:24:32 pm
True,

Ceres is the hub and the most obvious target but the Belt is big and distant assets saved the day last time. So say the UW steals the final assembly factory, the sub assembly and parts plants may be untouched and on back to the mines on some rock as far away as, well, way far away.  Centralized ecconomy trying to understand decentralized and then some.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 03:41:09 pm
Maybe they didn't know Reggie is away. Maybe the plan is a decapitation strike. Grab Reggie and hold him hostage, and then everybody has to do what they say.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on February 16, 2011, 06:02:27 pm
Maybe they didn't know Reggie is away. Maybe the plan is a decapitation strike. Grab Reggie and hold him hostage, and then everybody has to do what they say.


I assume that JThomas speaks in jest. The thing about Anarchy is that, ahem, it is a society with no rulers; that is, no single "head."

Sure, Reggie probably has a lot of influence - but he's not the only one. We see Prof Ed. quietly arranging a few things. No doubt others are doing likewise.

In fact, strip #638 has Bert saying "turns out the mall administrators already had the same idea." -- that's how decentralized decision-making works. A lot of people toss out ideas; some of those get implemented. People with a good track record tend to find it easier to promote their ideas. Troublemakers tend to be ignored.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on February 16, 2011, 06:51:28 pm
Maybe they didn't know Reggie is away. Maybe the plan is a decapitation strike. Grab Reggie and hold him hostage, and then everybody has to do what they say.

I assume that JThomas speaks in jest. The thing about Anarchy is that, ahem, it is a society with no rulers; that is, no single "head."

Sure, Reggie probably has a lot of influence - but he's not the only one. We see Prof Ed. quietly arranging a few things. No doubt others are doing likewise.

You know that and I know that. But does the UW know that? The last I heard they thought Reggie was the king who could sign treaties and give orders.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 16, 2011, 07:01:13 pm
That’s the point.  Its not what we know about Reggie that's important.  Its about what Earth thinks.  I still believe they are under the impression Reggie is important.  That fact they made their move while he was away is too much of a coincidence.

They think he is crucial.  The question is will he be important to this story at all.  I believe he will be, perhaps rallying the Martians to the aid of Ceres.

He might be the deus ex Machina.  This will be either a cop out or an exciting plot twist.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: wdg3rd on February 16, 2011, 10:27:53 pm
I suspect that this arc will be finished well before the happy couple finish rejuve.  Reggie and Babette the Elder will most likely be sitting this crisis out while various other competent Cerereans (there seem to be quite a few) take care of things.  But I Am Not One Of The Authors.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 16, 2011, 11:40:29 pm
Let them sleep. Prof Ed will save the day being a student of both physics and apparently Sun Tzu.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 17, 2011, 12:01:21 am
I wonder about any underground free market resistance groups on the other occupied worlds, Luna and Mercury are mentioned. There was some small amount of private business even under Stalin, bartering beets for shoelaces scale but it did happen.

So, do the other guys do anything?
What are the Belt's ecconomic ties to them?
If Ceres wins again and they find out, and the will via TN, then what?
The last like facebook helping overthrow Mubarak.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 11:44:08 am
The big flaw I see in the UW's plan is that even if they can summon an overwhelming force to take Ceres, they instantly have a cat herding problem. The Belters are so used to making their own decisions that I can only see them taking their business elsewhere leaving the UW with a slum on an asteroid. Loosing Ceres strikes me as more of an inconvenience to the Belters than a full scale disaster. In essence, the UW can't take Ceres without killing the goose laying the golden eggs.

Wouldn't it be more the resources they are interested in? After all Ceres is believed to be a big source of water off our world which seems to be what EFT goes by. That would be valuable in the region. Valuable enough to exert some effort to control but probably not valuable enough to go on a rampage for.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on February 17, 2011, 12:16:07 pm
The big flaw I see in the UW's plan is that even if they can summon an overwhelming force to take Ceres, they instantly have a cat herding problem. The Belters are so used to making their own decisions that I can only see them taking their business elsewhere leaving the UW with a slum on an asteroid. Loosing Ceres strikes me as more of an inconvenience to the Belters than a full scale disaster. In essence, the UW can't take Ceres without killing the goose laying the golden eggs.

Wouldn't it be more the resources they are interested in? After all Ceres is believed to be a big source of water off our world which seems to be what EFT goes by. That would be valuable in the region. Valuable enough to exert some effort to control but probably not valuable enough to go on a rampage for.

Because NEVER BEFORE in human history, have big countries go on rampages and unspeakable wars to gain negligible, some merely symbolic territories.

I don't think that a population of 100 000 people with a Hong Kong on steroid economy and hard currency in circulation would be a ''little'' price.

The UW can tax Ceres real gold, not fiat paper continentals
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 12:54:16 pm
Because NEVER BEFORE in human history, have big countries go on rampages and unspeakable wars to gain negligible, some merely symbolic territories.

I don't think that a population of 100 000 people with a Hong Kong on steroid economy and hard currency in circulation would be a ''little'' price.

The UW can tax Ceres real gold, not fiat paper continentals

True big nations have gone on rampages but always for a bigger goal. Even if that goal is simply survival.

As for taxing them gold. Gold is worthless, why would they want gold? Outside of a handful of industrial or tech uses there is no value to gold.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on February 17, 2011, 01:43:38 pm
As for taxing them gold. Gold is worthless, why would they want gold?

Tell it to all the central banks holding gold ::)

Outside of a handful of industrial or tech uses there is no value to gold.

Did you forgot that gold in currency not only for the Belt and for Mars, so the UW would have something else besides Continentals-fiat toilet paper and could make a shopping spree to import whatever they lack on earth.

Ceres industrial and mining base will be come handy for the UW also.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 02:08:44 pm
As for taxing them gold. Gold is worthless, why would they want gold?

Tell it to all the central banks holding gold ::)

Outside of a handful of industrial or tech uses there is no value to gold.

Did you forgot that gold in currency not only for the Belt and for Mars, so the UW would have something else besides Continentals-fiat toilet paper and could make a shopping spree to import whatever they lack on earth.

Ceres industrial and mining base will be come handy for the UW also.

Right here's something that will shock you.
Gold only has value because you THINK it has value. You think it has value because you have been TOLD it has value. Remove that and it has minimal if any value.

You can not eat it. You can not make basic tools with it. You can not make shelter or clothing with it. Outside of some very very specific uses it has no use. Ergo its value is low.

The value of gold is very similar to that of fiat currency in that it only has great value because people say it does.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on February 17, 2011, 02:23:23 pm
The value of gold is very similar to that of fiat currency in that it only has great value because people say it does.

The value of gold reside in the fact that it is a very handy to be used as a currency, since it is rare, can't be produced at toilet paper rate like fiat paper, it doesn't rust nor lose quality over time.

Sure in a free market something else can be used has a currency, but I don't see people using bottle of oil has currency so soon ... nor Cows or horse like in the past.

Back to Ceres after this breaf Reality Check gently provided by an Evil Oil Company employee :

Earth is running on low funds, this is why they sent guy to Ceres and this is why Robbyn and Co were used for forced labour on the moon ... maybe for the last one.

Holt and Co said that the whole arc made sense since the UW could just exploit the vast riches of the Belt ... but the point is that Ceres is already producing a lot of wealth just waiting to be harvested.

Once Ceres conquered the UW could exact in kind tribute or tax them for gold, which they could use to make purchase in Mars and the around the Belt.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on February 17, 2011, 02:26:20 pm

Right here's something that will shock you.
Gold only has value because you THINK it has value. You think it has value because you have been TOLD it has value. Remove that and it has minimal if any value.

The value of gold is very similar to that of fiat currency in that it only has great value because people say it does.

All value is subjective.  Anything has value because someone thinks it has value, even food, shelter and clothing.  The "value" of using gold for money (or any decent commodity) includes durabillity, fungibility, and a few other aspects, aspects that fiat currencies do not share.  Also, a commodity like gold puts a severe limit on inflation.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 02:31:05 pm
All value is subjective.  Anything has value because someone thinks it has value, even food, shelter and clothing.  The "value" of using gold for money (or any decent commodity) includes durabillity, fungibility, and a few other aspects, aspects that fiat currencies do not share.  Also, a commodity like gold puts a severe limit on inflation.



Nay food, shelter and clothing have value. They have a high need value. You need to eat to live. A use value as old Marx put it.

Gold doesn't have this. You're thinking in terms of money and economy. I'm thinking of terms of "What does a human need to live?"
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on February 17, 2011, 02:41:52 pm
All value is subjective.  Anything has value because someone thinks it has value, even food, shelter and clothing.  The "value" of using gold for money (or any decent commodity) includes durabillity, fungibility, and a few other aspects, aspects that fiat currencies do not share.  Also, a commodity like gold puts a severe limit on inflation.



Nay food, shelter and clothing have value. They have a high need value. You need to eat to live. A use value as old Marx put it.

Gold doesn't have this. You're thinking in terms of money and economy. I'm thinking of terms of "What does a human need to live?"

Right.  You certainly have good reasons to think that food has value, but the fact remains that food only has value because you think it does.  Likewise, there are good reasons for preferring a commodity like gold over fiat currencies as money.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 17, 2011, 02:51:11 pm
Nay food, shelter and clothing have value. They have a high need value. You need to eat to live. A use value as old Marx put it.

Gold doesn't have this. You're thinking in terms of money and economy. I'm thinking of terms of "What does a human need to live?"

Right.  You certainly have good reasons to think that food has value, but the fact remains that food only has value because you think it does.  Likewise, there are good reasons for preferring a commodity like gold over fiat currencies as money.

Then by all means. Go without it. The world will be better for it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on February 17, 2011, 03:26:34 pm
Nay food, shelter and clothing have value. They have a high need value. You need to eat to live. A use value as old Marx put it.

Gold doesn't have this. You're thinking in terms of money and economy. I'm thinking of terms of "What does a human need to live?"

Right.  You certainly have good reasons to think that food has value, but the fact remains that food only has value because you think it does.  Likewise, there are good reasons for preferring a commodity like gold over fiat currencies as money.

Then by all means. Go without it. The world will be better for it.

You're really getting to be absurd, if you weren't already.  Of course I value food--but once again, food only has value to me because I think it does, and I have good reasons for thinking that it has value.  Those reasons don't in itself give it value, they simply provide us with reasons for thinking it has value.

If that's not enough for you, then why do you think that surviving is important?  Don't make some smart-ass remark about whether or not I value survival--I wouldn't be here to comment if I didn't.  But what do you see is the value of life?  This really supercedes economics and goes into metaphysics, I think, but the subjectivity of it should be apparent, even to you.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 17, 2011, 06:04:05 pm
Pretend you are hungry, and you have no food, only plywood, lumber and nails. It has no value to you, you can't eat it.

Pretend you are building a house and you have no plywood, lumber or nails, all you have is a pile of food. It has no value to you, you can't make a house out of cornflakes.

Two specific and rather odd situations to be sure. but both valid. Lumber and cornflakes are not intercghangable. What you need is something that is interchangable for both.

We Humans have chosen gold among other things. While it would make lousy nails and has no nutritional value it can not only be exchanged for either, it can even let them be exchanged for each other. It can because we say it can.

Good enough for me.
 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 17, 2011, 06:25:09 pm
The value of Food ,Water and air is not determined solely by its importance to life, but also by its scarcity.

Thus for most of us a loaf of bread requires  the work of ten minutes or an hour , (depends on circumstances) water is pretty cheap and air is free, even though this is a reversal of the order of value based on how urgently you need the stuff. If it is easy to get it is thereby cheap.

Most of us work for days or months for a few scraps of noble metal even though we could actually live a full lifespan in its dearth.

That gold can pack a lot of working credit into a small package makes it usefull, for buying that bread.

I wonder what a months subscription to an air delivery service costs on Ceries?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on February 17, 2011, 06:26:13 pm
Nay food, shelter and clothing have value. They have a high need value. You need to eat to live. A use value as old Marx put it.

Gold doesn't have this. You're thinking in terms of money and economy. I'm thinking of terms of "What does a human need to live?"

Right.  You certainly have good reasons to think that food has value, but the fact remains that food only has value because you think it does.  Likewise, there are good reasons for preferring a commodity like gold over fiat currencies as money.

How much value does a pork chop have to a hungry Chinese? How much to a hungry, devout Muslim? Let's say I forget my wallet, and so have no lunch money when I am out. If I am offered a choice between a T-bone (which I love) or a Krugerrand, which one do you think I will take? I'd bet dollars to donuts, that everyone on this Forum--including Holt--would make the same choice. I'll take the Krugerrand and coast until I get home for dinner. macsnafu is right, value is always subjective. Read von Mises if you need a clue.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 17, 2011, 06:29:19 pm
Reggies signature might be quite valuable , to an interloping force.

The Cherokee cheifs were mostly against signing away their lands in Georgia and the Carolinas , but when one cheif was willing to sign , the Govener of Georgia and the President of the US accepted it as a treaty for all.

Yes this cheif was killed later and the Cherokee won their case in the US Supreme court , but by then they had been moved and the Executives involved were satisfied with the Faint accompli.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 17, 2011, 07:08:40 pm
Giving up their guns?  This is unexpected.  I hope an explanation of why the men are doing this explains their motivation.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 17, 2011, 07:16:05 pm
Probably a display of trust, meeting with empty hands on even terms.

Probably?

What if the BGs try to grab Reggie and get Guy instead, hmm.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on February 17, 2011, 08:57:32 pm
Holt, the answer to "what do we need to live" is not merely the basics of food and shelter.

There's a saying "give a man a fish, and you have fed him for a day."

People need capital - a fishing rod; a place to fish; or perhaps farming equipment and a place to farm, seed, yadda yadda.

People rarely are able to grow and make everything that they need, from food to water to shelter to nails to housing to wool, needles, a loom, butter churns, and so forth and so on. In short, people need to trade.

We could just barter - but that is not easy when you produce "farm wagons" or "rifles" and people have limited need for those particular products - how do you continue to acquire groceries when all the farmers in your neighborhood are satisfied with their capital good stocks?

Enter "money", which can be defined as "the most tradable good." Many things have served as money - tobacco leaves, shells, iron, copper, silver, gold, sacks of wheat, barrels of oil. Some of these are not durable (wheat, oil). Some are not easily divisible ( diamonds, or Picasso paintings, for example ). Some are not scarce enough ( faith-based printed money, for instance ).

Gold and silver have held up well for thousands of years because they are durable, scarce, valued, divisible, portable, uniform, and identifiable. If you've ever held gold and silver coins in your hand, you'd recognize instantly that today's coins are cheap junk. Gold in particular is one of the densest metals known.

The main advantage of precious metals ( gold, silver, platinum, etc ) is that they can't be created out of paper and ink. Have a look at this image: (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=177849302083&set=a.77776147083.78422.546092083)
That Zimbabwe $100 trillion note is worth about as much as one egg nowadays.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: stsparky on February 18, 2011, 12:06:51 am
Carlos is thinking. That makes this arc much better.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 18, 2011, 10:02:08 am
Giving up their guns?  This is unexpected.  I hope an explanation of why the men are doing this explains their motivation.

I can see where it's going and honestly? I'm disappointed.

It's going to follow one of two paths:

Path one: The anarchists win over the soldiers who all quit and become anarchists.

Path two: Things go well at first then a fight breaks out and despite holding every advantage the soldiers display retardation on par with a brain damaged squirrel and fuck everything up, eventually being beaten in a colossal display of stupidity by the anarchists who send them packing back to Earth except for the ones who convert.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 18, 2011, 10:20:31 am
Bravo Ed, absolutely Bravo!

No matter what happens the gesture was made, in public and on the record; this will count.

I suppose the army big shots are watching and the reasonable solider is done for.
He might as well defect.

Christmas War, I get it, like the WWI soccer game on Christmas. nice.

Bravo Ed, absolutely Bravo!


 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on February 18, 2011, 10:26:52 am

The UW can tax Ceres real gold, not fiat paper continentals

As for taxing them gold. Gold is worthless, why would they want gold? Outside of a handful of industrial or tech uses there is no value to gold.

Tell that to people who search for pirate gold.

When you have gold it means you're a winner, not a loser. If you can pay a blackmailer or a kidnapper with gold it means you're worth blackmailing or kidnapping.

Diamonds would be even better -- they can be far more valuable per gram -- but most people need a diamond appraiser they trust before they even know what they have. Without an expert you can't tell whether a diamond is flawed or synthetic. So they aren't as good after all.

If people are poor and they think the UW is bankrupt they're likely to revolt. If they are poor and they think the UW has lots of gold they won't. Does it make sense? No. People often don't make sense. But often they can predict what other people will do whether it makes sense or not. The UW can survive if it has a pile of gold to sit on like a dragon, and it's likely to fail otherwise.

What if they could somehow pretend they got a big pile of gold from the Belt, and nobody particularly denies it? Would that be enough? Yes. It probably would.

I can imagine you objecting to this. "It doesn't make sense! Why would people put up with a greedy UW that doesn't share its (fake) gold with them, when they wouldn't put up with a feckless UW that spends more than it can tax from them?" I'm sorry. It doesn't make sense.

If people made sense they'd probably have a lot less government.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 18, 2011, 04:33:32 pm

If people made sense they'd probably have a lot less government.


If people made sense then no doubt we'd have something better suited to us which wouldn't be either outright.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 19, 2011, 10:51:10 am
Can anyone please tell me what that last string of words means? Bits and pieces make sense but what the hell does the sentence mean?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on February 19, 2011, 12:32:26 pm
Can anyone please tell me what that last string of words means? Bits and pieces make sense but what the hell does the sentence mean?

Pretty often people do a sort of informal communication which doesn't officially make sense but which is understandable. And sometimes we get confused. I'll say how I intepreted Holt's statement, and maybe he'll say what he really meant.

I thought he was saying "If people made sense they'd build something that was not a statist autocracy or a full AnCap society, but which didn't completely fit either definition but which suited them and made sense".
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 21, 2011, 05:05:51 pm
If the Earth invasion is stopped by an invitation to play cards then I don't buy it.  I know the story is not over yet so I reserve judgement but this is not looking good.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on February 21, 2011, 05:13:54 pm
If the Earth invasion is stopped by an invitation to play cards then I don't buy it.  I know the story is not over yet so I reserve judgement but this is not looking good.

playing cards here probably symbolize the cultural angle of the question, since a AnCap society only survive not only by military force but also by being culturally able to absord aliens ... in this case the soldiers.

For if the UW is willing to control the place they must break the AnCap spirit and not have their own troops sucked into it.

but hey lets wait  :)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 21, 2011, 06:04:27 pm
That the Cerians are willing to accept the "Contental" paper money in a game on a par with their coin makes this episode a thinly disguised bribe.

Perhaps it will not be difficult for the Cerians to loose more in the games than the soldiers draw in pay.


Then when they go shopping a few don't return, their Commander is faced with mutiny like Captain Bligh on the Bounty.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on February 21, 2011, 07:17:25 pm
That the Cerians are willing to accept the "Contental" paper money in a game on a par with their coin makes this episode a thinly disguised bribe.

Perhaps it will not be difficult for the Cerians to loose more in the games than the soldiers draw in pay.

Then when they go shopping a few don't return, their Commander is faced with mutiny like Captain Bligh on the Bounty.

Perhaps the Merchant's Association can set up a fund for the UW troops to exchange their paper. Something like Germany's decision to take East German Marks on par upon reunification. It's in everyone's best interest to turn the UW troops.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on February 21, 2011, 08:04:05 pm
If the Earth invasion is stopped by an invitation to play cards then I don't buy it.  I know the story is not over yet so I reserve judgement but this is not looking good.

What Earth invasion?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: KBCraig on February 22, 2011, 02:03:10 am
If the Earth invasion is stopped by an invitation to play cards then I don't buy it.  I know the story is not over yet so I reserve judgement but this is not looking good.

What Earth invasion?

Invasion by UW/terran forces, not of Earth.

I think.  ;)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on February 22, 2011, 08:30:32 am
If the Earth invasion is stopped by an invitation to play cards then I don't buy it.  I know the story is not over yet so I reserve judgement but this is not looking good.

What Earth invasion?

Invasion by UW/terran forces, not of Earth.

I think.  ;)

Yeah, I got that. Let me make it simpler. "What Earth invasion, of Ceres?" So far, all we have seen is a bunch of--for want of a better term--tourists, who are on Ceres "legally." Why would one characterize that as a "invasion"? I see no initiation of hostilities or threats of force.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on February 22, 2011, 12:45:24 pm
Yeah, I got that. Let me make it simpler. "What Earth invasion, of Ceres?" So far, all we have seen is a bunch of--for want of a better term--tourists, who are on Ceres "legally." Why would one characterize that as a "invasion"? I see no initiation of hostilities or threats of force.
Fortunately, Cerereans aren't stupid, and they know that the UW does have an "ulterior motive" or "hidden agenda".

I would think that if this... operation... is successfully defused, though, they would at least consider bending their principles by screening arrivals at their spaceport from now on. It's going to take a lot of work to prevent the UW's scheme from succeeding, and maybe even some loss of life. (Of course, I suppose the UW is going to suffer such a humiliating defeat that they won't try this again. Fun story, but I keep thinking about the real-world applicability of AnCap.)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 22, 2011, 01:06:10 pm
I wonder if in a more real world someone on Luna might have seen the troops board and told their brother in law on Ceres via TN, hey, I just saw the damndest thing...

Gossip, it may be hard wired into us.

Were the first 4, the officers it seems, invaders or just troublemakers?

I go with the latter.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on February 22, 2011, 03:22:08 pm
Regarding screening: why tinker with what works?

AnCap does not chase after that idiot idea of "Perfect Security"; it will not be led down the path toward funding TSA goons who poke and prod and inspect and make nuisances of themselves, with no actual improvement security-wise.

Today's panel suggests Ed's plan: to drive a wedge between the enlisted men and the officers. Chang is reading the men the riot act for "fraternizing with the natives", I am sure. Meanwhile, the men now have a little bit of gold in their pockets; they will be tempted to go looking for food, women, other forms of entertainment. Some of them may switch sides, no doubt.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on February 22, 2011, 04:12:57 pm
I would think that if this... operation... is successfully defused, though, they would at least consider bending their principles by screening arrivals at their spaceport from now on.

I see you still don't understand the principles of voluntary cooperation.  Screening (whatever that means) arrivals wouldn't necessarily be a violation of basic principles.  Owners have the right to invite or exclude anyone from their property.  My guess is that the spaceport is owned by a group of quite a few people, with freedom of access guaranteed in the bylaws, so it would be hard (but not impossible) to change.  However, owners of other property could easily establish conditions for access.

I doubt "screening" would be established--why go to the expense when it is unlikely to improve security?  Besides, the Cerereans we've seen aren't as frightened of strangers as you seem to be.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 22, 2011, 04:51:34 pm
Its possible this is not an invasion from Earth, but clearly the writers is trying to make us think it is, in the comic, if not the message board. 

Let’s say its not.  Lets say its just an innocent group of military wannabees who like to march and follow orders, who just happened to come to Ceres under the authority of an ex military leader.

Its ok to have a red herring in a story but if the whole story is some elaborate trick by the write-in on the reader that get old real fast.

I’m suspicious whenever the writer gives hints about a current story outside of the actual story.  Either he can’t tell the story inside the lines or he is being cute.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on February 22, 2011, 05:06:19 pm
I would think that if this... operation... is successfully defused, though, they would at least consider bending their principles by screening arrivals at their spaceport from now on.

I see you still don't understand the principles of voluntary cooperation.  Screening (whatever that means) arrivals wouldn't necessarily be a violation of basic principles.  Owners have the right to invite or exclude anyone from their property.  My guess is that the spaceport is owned by a group of quite a few people, with freedom of access guaranteed in the bylaws, so it would be hard (but not impossible) to change.  However, owners of other property could easily establish conditions for access.

I doubt "screening" would be established--why go to the expense when it is unlikely to improve security?  Besides, the Cerereans we've seen aren't as frightened of strangers as you seem to be.


I believe that David Brin is the one who argues against the "right to privacy", that information is too easily gatherable and distributable, and that it's really better to embrace transparency.
In an Ancap society, where vices aren't crimes,  transparency might be easier to embrace, although some people might still be tempted to pretend to be something that they aren't.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on February 22, 2011, 06:52:22 pm
Its possible this is not an invasion from Earth, but clearly the writers is trying to make us think it is, in the comic, if not the message board. 
I don't think that's "clear".  To me the only strong suggestion that an invasion will come is the name "The Christmas War".  But maybe the arc ends with a big tug-of-war party. :D

Let’s say its not.  Lets say its just an innocent group of military wannabees who like to march and follow orders, who just happened to come to Ceres under the authority of an ex military leader.
Or it could be something in between.  Strip #601 says "most people figured them for deserters", and maybe most people are right.  Perhaps they expected Ceres to be lawless chaos.  Finding that reality didn't match UW propaganda, they are marking time until their leaders come up with a new plan.

I’m suspicious whenever the writer gives hints about a current story outside of the actual story.  Either he can’t tell the story inside the lines or he is being cute.
Maybe it's a real hint, maybe misdirection.  I took it as emphasizing that Cerereans don't know what's going on and neither do we.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on February 22, 2011, 09:44:36 pm
Its possible this is not an invasion from Earth, but clearly the writers is trying to make us think it is, in the comic, if not the message board. 

So, I guess it didn't occur to you that I might not be addressing the story, so much as the rush to assumptions about what is or is not implied by the elements within the story.

Its ok to have a red herring in a story but if the whole story is some elaborate trick by the write-in on the reader that get old real fast.

Yes, if.

I’m suspicious whenever the writer gives hints about a current story outside of the actual story.  Either he can’t tell the story inside the lines or he is being cute.

You really think those are the only two possibilities? Where's your imagination? Of course, I am cute, or so the ladies tell me.  ::)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: EchoMirage on February 23, 2011, 02:29:46 am
Greetings from Germany,

I am a big fan of EFT since I found it 6 months ago. I read the archives twice before
I got my eyes on this forum. And since then I liked it even more.

It took me a while to convince myself to sign in, because it would be my first english
forum and furthermore I don't know much about Ancap and similar topics.
(And if you know nothing about something, just shut up)

But this

Quote
If your first language was not English, you get a pass.

from SandySanford helped me to make a try.

So here I am, covered by a dictionary, and I hope I can be part of some smart and interesting discussions. Well I still don't know anything about AnCap, but I will just take my time and until
then will stay out of such topics.

But now back to the "The Christmas War" topic:

Well it is smart from Prof. Ed to disturb the speech from Cpt. Chang in public.
I don't think Chang is trained in public relations skills (exspecially for  society of Ceres )
so chances  he mess up are high.

Well but it is hard to stop fraternization in a non hostile situation in general. And the
soldiers are just waiting and I believe bored to hell if they just have to wait. And Boredom
is the seed for nearly every stupid action. (for the UW)

I also believe that the UW troops are just a preperation team for a bigger scale operation.
Just like Prof. Ed mentioned. But I think the UW just not only want to get a cause. I think
they have another use for the troops.

1. Step: get Information -> done
2. Step: prepare the battleground -> in action
3. Step: start invasion -> next to come

So, how to prepare a battleground on Ceres? A dwarf Planet in the belt.

Solid economic.
Extremly decentralized.
Unshakeable communication.
Zero-Aggression but still a hard punch.

Hooboy, thats a task no one want to have. Could there be a solution for UW?
And what is Ceres answer?

I cant wait to see what happens next.


 

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 23, 2011, 04:18:18 am
I would think that if this... operation... is successfully defused, though, they would at least consider bending their principles by screening arrivals at their spaceport from now on. It's going to take a lot of work to prevent the UW's scheme from succeeding, and maybe even some loss of life. (Of course, I suppose the UW is going to suffer such a humiliating defeat that they won't try this again. Fun story, but I keep thinking about the real-world applicability of AnCap.)

Oh no they will never violate their principles because their principles are flawless and perfect. Remember this is propaganda.
As for the real world applicability of AnCap? I can honestly say I doubt the writer or most of the folk on this board have ever thought that hard about it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on February 23, 2011, 04:39:48 am
I would think that if this... operation... is successfully defused, though, they would at least consider bending their principles by screening arrivals at their spaceport from now on. It's going to take a lot of work to prevent the UW's scheme from succeeding, and maybe even some loss of life. (Of course, I suppose the UW is going to suffer such a humiliating defeat that they won't try this again. Fun story, but I keep thinking about the real-world applicability of AnCap.)

Oh no they will never violate their principles because their principles are flawless and perfect. Remember this is propaganda.
As for the real world applicability of AnCap? I can honestly say I doubt the writer or most of the folk on this board have ever thought that hard about it.

Thought about it? We practice it, Holt.

While you tell us "it can't be done", we teach our own.

While you tell us "it can't be done", we defend our own.

While you tell us "it can't be done", we build our safety nets.

You rail against it as "impossible"; we do it.

As for you, thinking about AnCap clearly isn't your strong suit. It's far easier to condemn the idea out of hand.

Tell us, Holt, how many terrorists have been caught by the TSA? By my count, if they were to catch one more, that would bring the grand total to . . . one.

They have, however, caught a few breast-feeding moms, more than a few nail clippers, bottles of shampoo, and other "dangerous weapons" of that sort.

This you want to export to Ceres? Clearly, you haven't thought a lot about it.
 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on February 23, 2011, 08:35:11 am
Excellent first post. Good English too.

I am a big fan of EFT since I found it 6 months ago. I read the archives twice before I got my eyes on this forum. And since then I liked it even more.

It took me a while to convince myself to sign in, because it would be my first english forum and furthermore I don't know much about Ancap and similar topics. (And if you know nothing about something, just shut up)

Good idea, but I would add, that if you know nothing about something, do some outside reading so you can speak knowledgeably when you do decide to contribute. There are thousands of places to read about topics touched upon in EFT, but two easy introductions can be found in the Wikipedia:

   https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anarchocapitalism

   https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Zero_Aggression_Principle

These two principles form the basis for EFT's Belter society. Reasonable minds may differ, of course. It is okay with me, if you choose to disagree with AnCap and NAP/ZAP, but to criticize them intelligently, you first have to understand them. Though there is a "loyal opposition" on this Forum, sadly, there are also those who, through ignorance or malice, choose to loudly denounce AnCap and ZAP, by misrepresenting them. You are off to a great start and I believe you will be one of our best contributors, no matter what principle you choose to live by. Welcome.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 23, 2011, 11:24:47 am
Yes indeed welcome.

Your English far surpasses my German, you are way ahead.

Look at Sandy's links, Wikipedia being international, you may find something similar on the Duetsch version.

A reference to the Belgian government thread since you are so physically close to Belguim,
do the Belgians make good ice cream?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 23, 2011, 05:09:56 pm
Greetings from Germany,


 




Congradulations , your English is 1000% better than my German , I don't see why you should be shy about using it anywhere.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: EchoMirage on February 24, 2011, 04:41:08 am
Thank you all,

I appreciate your welcome and your praise.

Even though I still don't think I am very good with my english writing skills.
Because I need so much time to write, that it is far beyond disappointment.

But for now I will do my best for some smart contribute.


Strip 644:

So Capt. Chang got a problem now. Moments ago he gave his soldiers hellfire,
so they won't fraternize, and now Ed is holding his hand out for a handshake.

Problem for Chang is:

Either he takes his hand so that the cams take a good shot of good will UW.
But that would contradict his speech against fraternization and he will loose
credibility, which is a huge handicap as an officer.

Or he refuses the handshake and get his dogs in check.
But that would also hazard his further plans, because the cams will send pictures
of these action and that would show the unfriendly UW troops rejecting an offer
of peace.

It's all the same.

That reminds me of the windmill tactic in chess.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windmill_(chess) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windmill_(chess))


So what will Chang do? Or is there a third possibillity?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on February 24, 2011, 01:32:51 pm
Problem for Chang is:

Either he takes his hand so that the cams take a good shot of good will UW.
But that would contradict his speech against fraternization and he will loose
credibility, which is a huge handicap as an officer.

Or he refuses the handshake and get his dogs in check.
But that would also hazard his further plans, because the cams will send pictures
of these action and that would show the unfriendly UW troops rejecting an offer
of peace.
Sounds like good analysis to me.  I think the first option wouldn't be too bad (from Chang's point of view).  Common soldiers know that officers are allowed to do things that they are not.

Or is there a third possibillity?
Lots of possibilities.  Chang could fake a "fit" (Sherlock Holmes style) or say that he got an emergency call and must leave.  But my guess is that he'll shake hands.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 24, 2011, 03:13:41 pm
That's the bitch about being an officer, EchoMirage, if they won't obey it don't say it.

I wonder what he said to the troops about the natives. Stay away for sure but beyond that, did he say why? What are they to Chang, savages, tax dodgers, dope smoking hippie anarchists? I like that one.

Rhonda, if I remember right, that shapely woman in the foursome,  gave Chang an order when the bar fight fizzled then led the group out. Could she be the boss?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: EchoMirage on February 25, 2011, 03:06:52 am
That's the bitch about being an officer, EchoMirage, if they won't obey it don't say it.

Sorry Spudit I lost you there. I don't get it. What do you mean? Who is  Who and what is it?
Well I can still asume but please explain it.

And, for who is the boss, look here: 2nd panel upper right  http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=601 (http://www.bigheadpress.com/eft?page=601)

... .  I think the first option wouldn't be too bad (from Chang's point of view).  Common soldiers know that officers are allowed to do things that they are not.

I have to disagree. Even if common soldiers know that, the officer would still loose credibility.
At least if it was me I wouldn't trust my officer like before. I served my country as soldier and
I know I wouldn't believe my officers like before if there where a similar situation. Because in
a tense situation little gestures like a handshake have a much bigger impact than normal.


@ Stripp 645

And here comes the third posibillity.

Here you can see that Ed is experienced in public debate.

First (Strip 644) he disrupted Capt. Changs speech and stopped him in his active role, then he
offered him a handshake as in "Here, I give you an active choice". But then Ed stops that or rather
make Chang experience a neglected chance before Chang can really think about it.

Third now he drives Chang rapidly into a defensive position, and more he plants seeds of doubt.
After driving him into a corner Ed starts his last step.

He offers him help. Again he gives Capt. Chang an active Choice. But now this is interesting:
This choice looks just great at first but it is not really a good one for UW. But even if Chang
would realize that he has to accept. Because he doesnt want to miss a second chance like
before with the handshake.

Knowing your enemy is a good point, but from a military point of view you don't need to know why
people will resist. As a Capt. of a company of 150 Soldiers you must only know how much
resistence is awaiting you. As of why they resist is a question for higher ranks or politicians.

But thats the thing Ed offers. He offers him in general a chance to understand Ceres, covered as:
If you know us you have a better chance to survive.

That is what Chang sees, so he will have no other choice than to accept this offer regardless what
it will be because Ed made him think so. Well it is also really true that the soldiers will have a better
chance to survive if there wont be an invasion or a messy situation.

Well, Prof. Ed played his cards well.


But in the end the answer will have to wait until monday:

Will Capt. Chang accept this, or not? And what will Ed propose?

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Xavin on February 25, 2011, 04:34:21 am
That's the bitch about being an officer, EchoMirage, if they won't obey it don't say it.
Sorry Spudit I lost you there. I don't get it. What do you mean? Who is  Who and what is it?
Well I can still asume but please explain it.

I think I can help here - "they" refers to the soldiers being given orders, "it" refers to the orders being given.

I believe Spudit is referring to the principle of command that you should never give an order that you think will not be obeyed - all that does is undermine your authority.

In this case, it's probably a bad idea for Chang to order his troops not to fraternize - at least some of them will probably disobey that order. That will start them getting used to the idea that they can disobey his orders, and make it more likely that they will question and/or disbobey other orders in the future. That's a bad thing for the effectiveness of a conventional military unit that relies on its members instinctively obeying orders from above.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on February 25, 2011, 07:46:12 am
That's the bitch about being an officer, EchoMirage, if they won't obey it don't say it.
Sorry Spudit I lost you there. I don't get it. What do you mean? Who is  Who and what is it?
Well I can still asume but please explain it.
Xavin is correct. "If they won't obey it don't say it" can be transformed to

"If your soliders won't obey your orders, don't give those orders" -- which is more explicit, but not quite as pithy.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: happycrow on February 25, 2011, 08:27:36 am
Prof. Ed's alluded to the Tripwire situation Chang's men are in (if Ed's take is correct, I seem to have called that one correctly, c.f. the other thread pre-train-wreck).   Which is clever, but also dangerous.

1.  It assumes Chang values his men over his mission.  (Which may be true, and certainly WOULD be true in what we regard as a 'respectable' military.  But that's an assumption.  Example:  in 1956, the Soviet troops brought in to crush Budapest were cannon-fodder, Central-Asian conscripts who spoke none of the languages and were told that they were there to liberate the Suez Canal.  That the troops know 7-card holdem suggests that they're more informed, but says nothing about whether Chang is more loyal to the superiors who have put his men in harm's way than to the men being put there.  Recall he's taken an active part from the beginning, as the authors remind us c.f. Rhonda).

2.  He's called the UW's bluff on the Tanglenet.  Do the UW's leaders give a rat's butt about System Opinion?  Example:  Israel has one diplomatic advantage vis-a-vis the international system.  Since it's already a pariah state regionally, and its allies are for the most part decidedly unreliable, it has the advantage of being able to say "We're acting in our interests here and world opinion can go hang."  If the UW's circumstances are sufficiently bad, they can simply ignore whatever occurs, on the assumption that whatever PR damage occurs, not matter how bad, is better than failing on the Scylla and Charybdis of high debt and overpopulation.  Recall that the script shows a lot of social unrest and problems, but also that quite a number of folks in the UW have very definitely "drunk the kool-aid" and believe their own rhetoric.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on February 25, 2011, 09:51:14 am
... .  I think the first option wouldn't be too bad (from Chang's point of view).  Common soldiers know that officers are allowed to do things that they are not.

I have to disagree.
Chang agreed with you.  No surprise there.  I've made several predictions about the strip, every one wrong. :P
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 10:15:13 am
I screwed up.

I abused and overused pronouns. I left an undefined term hanging in the air. Then a guy who had to actually study my language caught me on it.

Bad Spudit, bad.  :'(

But then I blame society as a whole and take no personal responsibility for my misuse of my own native language. I blame the Chicago Public Schools for my ignorance, not me, that would be unfashionable.

Just kidding guys, I screwed up.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 11:12:01 am
EchoMirage, may I call you EM, again my apologies for the confusion.

I suspect Rhonda might be a political operative of some sort; she looks smart and flexible. Her being built like a Quantum Vibe Martian android might have skewed my opinion though.

Ed is a teacher and I'll bet a damned good one. A guy that good should still be teaching but then he is, a crash course in applied civics rather than physics.

Happy Crow mentioned the world's view of  Israel as a pariah state regionally.
Example:  Israel has one diplomatic advantage vis-a-vis the international system.  Since it's already a pariah state regionally, and its allies are for the most part decidedly unreliable, it has the advantage of being able to say "We're acting in our interests here and world opinion can go hang." 

I can only speak for myself but when I see on TV a well dressed eloquent man with a slight and pleasant accent, one who looks talks and acts like one of us I find myself sympathizing with him. When I see and hear a scruffy belligerent fellow who goes out of his way to scream foreigner, I go the other way. I am thinking here of Benjamin Netanyahu as opposed to the late Yasar Arafat. One looks like "us" one not. Hell, I'd buy a car from "Honest Ben". Damn he is good.

I realize most Israllies are descendant from Europeans, as are most Americans, so of course they look like us. And yes, I realize I am being manipulated by psychological genuises. It does not stop there and my critical thinking proceeds from that point but I fear the damage is done.

Am I alone in this? I would especially like to hear the opinion of those raised and living outside US culture, you know who you are.

That's one thing I love about this forum, the range of cultures. Any Aussies or Kiwis reading this? Please join in, most of us don't bite.

Too damned many pronouns again, damnit.
 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on February 25, 2011, 11:39:19 am
Quote
Am I alone in this?

Alone in being subject to manipulation by psychopaths?  Not hardly.  I find it helps to regard all politicians as psychopaths, regardless of suavity or scruffiness -- hey, the suave reasonable-sounding one and the screaming scruffy one might be playing "good cop, bad cop" with me for a double mental whammy.

Quote
but I fear the damage is done.

On my planet, just being able to have that specific fear means the damage isn't complete.  It's the ones who can't or won't even imagine that they might be being manipulated, whose minds are most vulnerable.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 04:08:28 pm
Good is good, no mistaking that. At least I can see it coming in the case of old Honest Ben, used car salesman and all around swell guy.

The fact that post war Palestine filled up with European Jews is the root of the locals' claim of invasion. The locals see them as Europeans, who are Jewish. Israelis see themselves as Jews, who's families used to live in Europe. Going back to the days of Islam's expansion through the region there have always been Palestinians, Jewish ones, Muslim ones and a scattering of Christian ones.

My solution, turn the region into an international religious park and put the Dalai Lama in charge. Like that's gonna happen.

Back to propaganda.
Imagine a world where Joseph Goebbels resigned from the party, got over his thing about Jews and moved to Madison Avenue.  Probably the same one where Yamamoto did indeed bail out of Japan as he threatened to when the Imperial Army put out a hit on him and ran off with his mistress to become a professional gambler in Monaco. This might have been a nicer place if both had.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on February 25, 2011, 06:24:48 pm
Prof. Ed's alluded to the Tripwire situation Chang's men are in (if Ed's take is correct, I seem to have called that one correctly, c.f. the other thread pre-train-wreck).   Which is clever, but also dangerous.

I don't think it's as risky as you suggest"

Quote
1.  It assumes Chang values his men over his mission.  (Which may be true, and certainly WOULD be true in what we regard as a 'respectable' military.  But that's an assumption.  Example:  in 1956, the Soviet troops brought in to crush Budapest were cannon-fodder, Central-Asian conscripts who spoke none of the languages and were told that they were there to liberate the Suez Canal.  That the troops know 7-card holdem suggests that they're more informed, but says nothing about whether Chang is more loyal to the superiors who have put his men in harm's way than to the men being put there.  Recall he's taken an active part from the beginning, as the authors remind us c.f. Rhonda).

Given that Chang's troops are seeing this, Chang must at least appear to value his troops as much as the mission.  If he fails to do this, he will lose the respect of his troops, and most if not all obedience.  I wonder if the UW troops are familiar with "fragging", or will need to reinvent it if that were the case.

Quote
2.  He's called the UW's bluff on the Tanglenet.  Do the UW's leaders give a rat's butt about System Opinion?  Example:  Israel has one diplomatic advantage vis-a-vis the international system.  Since it's already a pariah state regionally, and its allies are for the most part decidedly unreliable, it has the advantage of being able to say "We're acting in our interests here and world opinion can go hang."  If the UW's circumstances are sufficiently bad, they can simply ignore whatever occurs, on the assumption that whatever PR damage occurs, not matter how bad, is better than failing on the Scylla and Charybdis of high debt and overpopulation.  Recall that the script shows a lot of social unrest and problems, but also that quite a number of folks in the UW have very definitely "drunk the kool-aid" and believe their own rhetoric.

If this is observable (via Tanglenet) by the general UW citizenry, or by important "trading partners" (I'm thinking Mars here), then they will certainly be at risk of losing credibility and trust among some of them, thus weakening their continued control and influence.  A large subset of the UW population will be sufficiently motivated by the fear of loss of UW group identity that they will fall in line, but others will certainly begin to question and impede the actions (for US examples, think of Viet Nam war protests and the Tea Party movement).  Having to deal with this will divide their resources, which are already near the breaking point.  If they push too hard domestically, they risk a Middle East-type backlash, and if they can't censor access to the information and push too hard remotely, they cannot hold public opinion and the trust of their trading partners.

Thus, those making the decisions back on Earth will either have to work doubly hard to appear to be the "good guys" in this, or risk generating a much larger set of enemies at a time they cannot afford to defend against them, and will lose rather quickly as a result.  The latter, of course, is personally less desirable by Ed and his compatriots, but still probably survivable, given I expect they already have some tricks up their sleeves if things start to go badly -- and has already alluded to with Chang.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 25, 2011, 08:11:35 pm
The top point zero zero one of the UW is nearly as free as Ed and certainly richer. They have Tanglenet TV. Chang's bosses are watching either live or a synopsis. Picture Mr. Obama watching the Libya news today. If they are watching in real time they can give orders in real time. So Chang could be getting instructions from Earth, right now, through an implant or ear piece.

That brings up a point about communications, through the TN a weapon or probe could be controled as if hard wired in the next room, none of this waiting an hour to see a lander move an arm crap. Talk about tele-presence. So a bomb can be steered right under the dictator's pillow as he sleeps or an operator could be plugged into an automated mining tractor a light hour away and just drive it in his slippers from home. Cool.

Or to stretch it more, a holographic or mechanical you on every planet you do business with. Through virtual reality and maybe a programable maniken with a reprogramable face and you are there, in Tokyo, Toledo, Ceres and Mars.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 26, 2011, 12:35:34 am
Or to stretch it more, a holographic or mechanical you on every planet you do business with. Through virtual reality and maybe a programable maniken with a reprogramable face and you are there, in Tokyo, Toledo, Ceres and Mars.


I like that , Avis could be into the YOU rental business.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 26, 2011, 08:05:05 am
If Chang is anything like other leaders from Earth we have seen, he cares little or nothing about the men below him, though of course he would deny this.

If Chang is like other leaders from Earth, he does not have the ability or intelligence to understand how the professor outmaneuvered him.

If Chang is like other leaders from Earth, he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.  He plans to outsmart the professor and cannot conceive of a situation in which he won't.

We are still waiting for the capable opponent of AnCap society to rear his head.  If the antagonists are always as incompetent as Chang the story will suffer.  I want to see AnCap defend themselves against a realistic formidable opponent.  In comic book terms I want to see a Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor not a Penguin or Riddler.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 26, 2011, 10:57:30 am
Honestly I am not surprised by how this has turned out.
Disappointing as usual EFT.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 11:34:47 am
We are still waiting for the capable opponent of AnCap society to rear his head.  If the antagonists are always as incompetent as Chang the story will suffer.  I want to see AnCap defend themselves against a realistic formidable opponent.  In comic book terms I want to see a Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor not a Penguin or Riddler.

Well put.

In cartoon terms, a little less Elmer Fudd please. Non AnCap works too, though not nearly as well. Just look out the window. Communisim didn't work very well either, but it was neither stupid nor harmless.

Good to have our old buddy back Holt, been a while.

If EFT disappoints may I suggest a box set of The Smurfs DVDs?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 26, 2011, 11:42:57 am
We are still waiting for the capable opponent of AnCap society to rear his head.  If the antagonists are always as incompetent as Chang the story will suffer.  I want to see AnCap defend themselves against a realistic formidable opponent.  In comic book terms I want to see a Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor not a Penguin or Riddler.

Well put.

In cartoon terms, a little less Elmer Fudd please. Non AnCap works too, though not nearly as well. Just look out the window. Communisim didn't work very well either, but it was neither stupid nor harmless.

Good to have our old buddy back Holt, been a while.

If EFT disappoints may I suggest a box set of The Smurfs DVDs?

Yeah I always liked the Smurfs. Glorious Comrade Papa Smurf leading the workers in their revolt against the capitalist oppressor.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 11:52:01 am
Yeah but that one and only girl Smurf, come sunset I bet she was a capitalist. Once you go Blue you never go back.

Honest question, who were the bad guys? Was it some mean old man or some sort of animals? I honestly don't recall.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 26, 2011, 12:09:54 pm
Yeah but that one and only girl Smurf, come sunset I bet she was a capitalist. Once you go Blue you never go back.

Honest question, who were the bad guys? Was it some mean old man or some sort of animals? I honestly don't recall.


Gargamel. Some kinda hedge wizard or alchemist who wants to use the smurfs in a potion to turn things into gold.
He actually created Smurfette as part of a plan to accomplish that. See the smurfs are actually sexless.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 12:19:59 pm
Thanks, I am not up to snuff on Smurfs. Sexless, no wonder they're happy and harmonious.

And congrts, Full Member
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 26, 2011, 12:24:52 pm
Thanks, I am not up to snuff on Smurfs. Sexless, no wonder they're happy and harmonious.

And congrts, Full Member

I read the comics when I was younger.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on February 26, 2011, 06:56:06 pm
Quote
We are still waiting for the capable opponent of AnCap society to rear his head.  If the antagonists are always as incompetent as Chang the story will suffer.  I want to see AnCap defend themselves against a realistic formidable opponent.  In comic book terms I want to see a Doctor Doom or Lex Luthor not a Penguin or Riddler.

Bullshit.

This is a work of fiction.  Therefore whatever happens, a UW win, a Cererean win, or something entirely unexpected, it will occur because the author said so.  Therefore, if Ceres wins at all, no matter how, you can point to whatever combination of Cererean strengths and UW weaknesses apparently caused the win as evidence that the opponent was not "realistically formidable".

When you paint yourself into a corner, you've got a problem. 
When you paint someone else into a corner, he might as well leave bootmarks in your paint job.

If you really want a sufficiently-formidable opponent, set up a LARP.  You play the UW, and have some AnCapper play Ceres. 

And even then the results will say nothing about the military formidability of either the UW or the Cererean system, and everything about the relative formidability of you and whoever you're playing.



Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 26, 2011, 07:23:15 pm
The problem is Mell that a good story requires a good villain and a good hero. To use the old term: "Garbage in, garbage out"
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 07:55:31 pm
Maybe you gents can create a good bad guy and i am not kidding. Everytime someone asks, but what if something like this happens, it's a challenge and a hole to plug.

Some here say gold's value is illusionary so use it.

We have seen what happens when someone cheats at cards for instance. It has been explored. When Rhonda almost slapped that cad Carlos, Ed stopped it and we were shown how a bar fight might be stopped dead on Ceres. And the sticks and stones aspect of ZAP too.

OK. I'll start the thing and cut and paste this into the first entry on the worthy opponent thread.

Since the UW inherited Fort Knox along with the old USA so they have gold and ships to move it. So they back those fiat bills with gold, maybe they are special bills somehow like blue gold based Continentals just for export or flood the precious metals market. They do some kind of Goldfinger gold scam to reveal one of the many holes missed by the author.

See what I mean, I will start a thread just for that. Just to explore what a really smart bad guy might do. You guys have plenty of examples, use them.

Sandy might just use it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 26, 2011, 08:05:14 pm
OK, I did it and planted a seed, lets grow a Lex Luthor or a Blowfeld.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 26, 2011, 09:37:13 pm
One of the best villans I remember was the "mule" of Asimovs foundation.

His mutated Psi ability made it hard top keep a secret from him and easy for him to manipulate minions.

What could you do against someone who was really reading your mind?

The "mule" could have the stupidest political and economic ideas , but would not care , he would make you behave his way or elese.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on February 26, 2011, 10:05:15 pm
Honestly I am not surprised by how this has turned out.
Disappointing as usual EFT.

Who is forcing you to stay?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 11:24:07 am
The Mule would not work here.  He was a super powered individual.  This universe seems to want to stick to more realistic science based standards.

I would suggest someone like Stalin as an antagonist.  He was nobody's fool.  His enemies feared him for good reason.  He made mistakes and his system eventually fell to the West but he was a worthy adversary.

By the way I am not giving orders to Mr. Sandfort.  I would not if I could.  I don't even want to give suggestions. I just think the story would be better if the bad guys were not idiots.  Of course they still have to lose in the end.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 27, 2011, 11:27:46 am
Stalin was kind of comical in how bad he was though. Although all things considered he may well be exactly what the author wants in a villain. He'd slot into the propaganda style of the comic very neatly.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on February 27, 2011, 02:04:55 pm
Put up or shut up, fish or cut bait and all those other ways of saying, Just Do It (tm)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 06:13:05 pm
Stalin was kind of comical in how bad he was though.>>>>


Yeah, he was hilarious.  His victims died laughing by the millions.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 27, 2011, 06:20:59 pm
yeah, he was hilarious.  His victims died laughing by the millions.

You get what I mean though right?
He was so bad it is hard to make him believable.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 06:31:51 pm
I did not at first but now I might.  Are you saying Stalin is just too evil for this story, or are you referring to his mistakes like the Five Year Plans and the treaty with Hitler?

In either case I disagree.  Earth seems to already be a kleptocracy.  A strong man like Stalin could take over through fear and intimidation, especially if all Earth leaders are as dumb as the ones we have seen.

I don't want a perfect villian I just want a competant one.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 27, 2011, 06:34:53 pm
What I mean is he's over the top. He's much more than is needed.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 06:44:15 pm
I see your point and you might be right but for me he sure would be an interesting challenge for Ceres as opposed to the paper tigers they have faced so far.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Holt on February 27, 2011, 06:52:26 pm
He would. He'd fit into the tone of the comic perfectly but he wouldn't really bring as much to the comic as a more thought out villain.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on February 27, 2011, 09:17:46 pm
The Mule would not work here.  He was a super powered individual.  This universe seems to want to stick to more realistic science based standards.


http://frontiernerds.com/brain-hack
http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=the-ultimate-hack-reverse-engineeri-2009-09-08


True the "Mule " was a very unlikely mutant, but technical means for mind controll are getting more plausable all of the time.

Suppose a mega state were to make mind controll a manhattan project , secret and well funded, I think the first victim would be the head of state ,a coup without a change of face.

Some lab tech would run everything , stupidly of course , but he would have good security.

Hey with the storyline as it is , this could have already happened.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on February 27, 2011, 10:33:46 pm
The technical means for mind control are not getting more plausible.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: happycrow on February 28, 2011, 08:35:47 am
Hoo!  This is an active forum!  I'll try to keep up, but my RL demands will almost certainly mean I lag replies -- not ignoring folks, I promise.

Responses:
1.  "Fragging" is much more likely in fiction than reality (and while Rhonda almost certainly understands that these people are a tripwire, Chang himself may not have caught onto that.  Ceres is, after all, not exactly the DMZ.)  Desertion, on the other hand, would be a complete and utter PR disaster, which Chang would need to nip in the bud at all costs.  (The stakes of their conversation are pretty high.)

2.  Regarding the credible salesman, most folks internationally tend to "back the strong horse" and accomodate a powerful player who seems willing to acknowledge their interests.  The rub here is that the UW cannot do this in regards to Ceres.  First, their political goals are in zero-sum opposition to each other, and Second, there is no "Ceres" to have a specific interest.  As in the original thread, Reggie King is "King of Ceres" because people like him, he's got the name, and also because the Belters involved think that's hilarious.

3.  Chang's not where the action is, except insofar as he's the easy and obvious leg of the stool to go after.  The crucial details right now would involve where Rhonda is, who she's meeting with, and what she's promising them.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on February 28, 2011, 10:22:51 am
So what kind of bad guy would be the worst?  Someone who believes the UW propaganda and runs with it, or someone who is simply in it for the power and knows the propaganda to be false?  Most likely, the worst opponent would be someone who's a little crazy, because he would be less logical, less predictable, and less likely to give up when all is really lost.  Of course, he would also be the kind to go out in a really big way.

In any case, this kind of thing is not common.  So, if you wish to illustrate a particular view or ideology, do you go for the most common and most likely scenarios?  Or do you ignore that and go for the most dramatic scenarios possible, however unlikely?   Bond villains are most uncommon in the real world.

A writer of fiction always has to balance the real and the fantastic, to make a story believable, but still dramatic and interesting.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on February 28, 2011, 10:41:15 am
Regarding the credible salesman, most folks internationally tend to "back the strong horse" and accomodate a powerful player who seems willing to acknowledge their interests.  The rub here is that the UW cannot do this in regards to Ceres.  First, their political goals are in zero-sum opposition to each other,
Not zero-sum.  Negative-sum, to various degrees depending on exactly what happens.  (The rest of your analysis seems sound, so I suspect you realize that.)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: happycrow on March 01, 2011, 10:59:40 am
Regarding the credible salesman, most folks internationally tend to "back the strong horse" and accomodate a powerful player who seems willing to acknowledge their interests.  The rub here is that the UW cannot do this in regards to Ceres.  First, their political goals are in zero-sum opposition to each other,
Not zero-sum.  Negative-sum, to various degrees depending on exactly what happens.  (The rest of your analysis seems sound, so I suspect you realize that.)

Granted, but by putting this to the Tanglenet, our Professor has dramatically upped the stakes.  Rather than the narrative:

1.  UW off-duty troops intervene to save a woman from assault, are butchered, we have to go "help" Ceres from its horrible violence (and its natural evolution to "violent Belters went after our troops for doing nothing but enjoying a little R&R").

the game now shifts to

2.  We have to support the reasonable Belters (as defined by whoever agrees to play ball with Rhonda) against the predatory terroristic folks, and isn't it a shame those schucks killed that nice Professor guy?

If the UW guys are even vaguely competent, one must assume there are out-of-uniform agents and operatives arriving daily and doing their best to blend into regular civilian traffic preparatory to moving as Rhonda and her handlers order.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 07, 2011, 11:18:21 pm
So what kind of bad guy would be the worst? 

How about a week long roller coaster ride?  No no , a week long description of a roller coaster ride.  Oh the humanity.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 07, 2011, 11:21:07 pm
Ain't you got papers to grade?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 08, 2011, 06:30:35 am
And this is where I retort with the classic: "Don't you have fries to cook?"
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 08, 2011, 11:15:56 am
Or burgers to flip?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 08, 2011, 06:22:38 pm
In any case, this kind of thing is not common.  So, if you wish to illustrate a particular view or ideology, do you go for the most common and most likely scenarios?  Or do you ignore that and go for the most dramatic scenarios possible, however unlikely?   Bond villains are most uncommon in the real world.

Bond villains are extremely common in the real world.  A big Bond style showdown with Colonel Gaddaffi is going down right now.  How about Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Tojo, and the rest?

Tojo wanted every single Japanese to die with him, but at the last minute the emperor had other ideas, and asserted his theoretical authority.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 08, 2011, 09:56:36 pm
Or pimps to get slapped by.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: dough560 on March 14, 2011, 01:14:17 am
Life interfered and I'm just starting to catch up.

Echomirage.  Welcome.   :)  Your English is excellent.   ;D

The easiest and cheapest way to support UW Government ?  The UW puts their own crews into space to mine the metals necessary to support their monetary system.    ::)

Libby and her competitors already "screen" incomers.  Guy, the group of four and the company of soldiers are prime examples of their effectiveness.

Capt. Chang, appears to be an officer who is interfering in situations the non-commissioned officers should be handling.  

Example:

   We received a Lieutenant who had just graduated from West Point....  He decided he would run his new his platoon without his Platoon Sergeant's input.  The Platoon Sergeant disagreed.  The Lieutenant went to the Company Commander to report the Platoon Sergeant's disrespect and disobeying of orders.  The Company Commander ordered the Lieutenant to back to his platoon.  The Lieutenant was to listen to this Platoon Sergeant.  When the Platoon Sergeant thought the Lieutenant was ready, the Commander would allow the Lieutenant to run his platoon.  Until that time, the Platoon Sergeant would have operational control of the platoon.  With proper examples and guidance by the senior non-commissioned officers and officers, the Lieutenant became on of our finest leaders.

      (We subsequently learned the Lieutenant had at least one instructor at the point who told every class he taught, the non-commissioned officers could not be trusted and were generally incompetent.)  

For Capt. Chang to act as portrayed, I suspect the distrust of non-commissioned officers has become institutionalized or is important to the story line.

The interesting thing about this unit is the personnel.  Are they a collection of discipline cases or are they straight arrow, true believers who may or may not be competent soldiers.  Either way I'd suspect a  hand picked unit, who may or may not have been together long enough to be effective.  It would depend on the desired outcome.  Stuck out on a limb like they are, the chances are high they are throwaways.  The question becomes; are the soldiers smart enough to figure a way around their unstated purpose, in-spite of their orders or lack there of.

The UW is acting to expand its political power.  The monetary crisis is just the excuse.  The powers that be will go ahead.  If this scheme fails or not, doesn't matter.  There's always tomorrow.  As long as they draw breath.

THE QUESTION BECOMES;  When someone stops reacting and decides to act.  That will be interesting.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 14, 2011, 06:54:42 am
We are back to Ceres!  Yeeeeah!
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 14, 2011, 11:00:56 am
A-men Brudder,

But no Bucky-mobile, wah.

Hey Glenn, guess the latest greatest fad on Ceres,
Roller Coasters!!!!

Just had to..
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 14, 2011, 12:19:56 pm
Well, I presume there was some delay in writing or drawing the strips for the situation on Ceres. So we needed something to give time to have that part of the comic handled properly.

The rollercoaster was better than blank pages. That's good enough for me as a justification. When we get back to the Dymaxion Car, yes, then I'll be hopeful for some interest... but I don't think we will be disappointed. This comic has been good so far, but some story lines take time in developing.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on March 14, 2011, 01:05:26 pm
Quote
The rollercoaster was better than blank pages. That's good enough for me as a justification.

I'm enjoying the contrast between the carefree holiday on Mars and the dicy situation back home.  I wonder when, or if, Reggie & Babbette will tune in the live-from-Ceres video?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 14, 2011, 03:22:04 pm
Well, I presume there was some delay in writing or drawing the strips for the situation on Ceres. So we needed something to give time to have that part of the comic handled properly.

Nope. It's just part of the KING AND I arcs. We are visiting and sampling all the terrestrial planets (minus Terra) that Reggie and Babbette are visiting while on holiday. You are just going to go ga-ga for the "Mercurian Missile," the fastest roller coaster in the solar system...  ;D
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 14, 2011, 04:00:44 pm
Quote
Hey Glenn, guess the latest greatest fad on Ceres,
Roller Coasters!!!!

Just had to..

I'm just glad Sandfort finally knuckled under to my demands
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 14, 2011, 04:03:53 pm
Cruel, Sandy, a touch sadistic and down right mean, I like that.

How about the system's slowest one, maybe on Deimos since you skipped that moon. The Deimos Demon, it falls straight down, in that gravity, that'd fill a week and drive off the weak. ;D
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 14, 2011, 04:53:20 pm
Quote
Hey Glenn, guess the latest greatest fad on Ceres,
Roller Coasters!!!!

Just had to..

I'm just glad Sandfort finally knuckled under to my demands

 ::) 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 15, 2011, 12:21:36 am
I see from today's comic that Captain Chang is... perceptive.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 15, 2011, 12:52:18 am
Will we see the troops R&Ring at an amusement park, like on a roller coaster? That'd be swell!
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: bjdotson on March 15, 2011, 08:40:35 am
I think that what is being lost in the discussion is that these men were not sent to Ceres to invade; they were sent there to die. The idea being to provide earth with a "valid" excuse to establish "justice and order" on a criminal world. Ed has stated this himself. How would a military mid-level leader react to this?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: happycrow on March 15, 2011, 09:42:24 am
I guess that would depend on whether Chang agreed with Ed's assessment.
re: officers and NCOs, I would generally disagree.  That analysis is very good in a US context, but other militaries worldwide regularly have officers performing functions an American NCO would do -- so this isn't that big a stretch.  Whether they're a throwaway unit, on the other hand, is a very good question.  Was Chang originally intended to get gunned down in a bar fight?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 15, 2011, 11:28:40 am
Yeah, what would a nut case like Stalin have in mind.

Remember too, the UW top brass is watching all this live in real time via TangleNet and can send real time orders too. Operationally, they are in the next room. For instance, some harder core type could take Chang out for being too reasonable.

Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 15, 2011, 04:47:15 pm
Yeah, what would a nut case like Stalin have in mind.

Stalin was not one for subtlety.  This sort of scheme is typical of the ruling elite of a decadent democracy, where public opinion, or a plausible simalcrum thereof, still matters.

Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 

Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Tucci78 on March 15, 2011, 05:53:30 pm
Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Secular states - whether nominally "democracies" or not - commonly acquire or deliberately develop cadres of fanatics, people so emotionally invested in the collective that they might as well be religious fanatics. Authoritarian states survive not only on the basis of their ability to terrorize their subject populations but also upon the sense of moral (as well as material) benefit derived by their supporters. 

We necessarily have to let Godwin's Law have its way here.  Anyone who has looked into the history of the Third Reich has got to acknowledge the effectiveness of the pervasive National Socialist conditioning throughout the 1920s and then as a matter of formal and increasingly powerful government policy after 1933.  The military-age population in the Greater Reich grew up in the midst of "Hitler's economic miracle," with focus upon the simple, stupid, seductive messaging of a brutal secular order centered upon a godlike Pharaoh figure.

More than just nominally, National Socialism was a democratic political system, a genuinely majoritarian tyranny, and the truly comprachico'd young adult individuals engaged as components of this totalitarian state felt themselves bound not so much by ties of personal self-interest but by identification with their families, their communities (Burg und Kreis), their nation, and even the fantasy of their "race."

The word "fanatic" was an accolade among the National Socialists during World War Two.  They strove to imbue their Soldaten with "fanatic" spirit, to praise "fanatic" dedication. 

As late as July and August 1944 in Normandy, as the German forces had been hammered to the point that they could no longer resist the breakout to the west of St. Lo, we get stories of seriously wounded young German enlisted men taken prisoner and under treatment in Allied field hospitals (not Waffen SS or parachute troops, but plain cannon fodder in Feldgrau) rejecting medical care with the words "I die for Adolf Hitler."

These guys were out of their frelking minds, and "Islam" had nothing to do with it.

If the United Worlds has undertaken anything remotely resembling this kind of conditioning anywhere in its domain - leveraging the kinds of Myrmidon cadres that any permanently incumbent ruling class cultivates - then, yeah, we should expect that they'd be sorely tempted to deploy units composed of people equivalent to "Hitler Youth" alumni. 

How thoroughly has the United Worlds been backgrounded in this fictional plenum?  Considering how important they are as the "Big Bad Guys," I would think that there's been thought and time invested in this. Not so?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 15, 2011, 07:05:23 pm
Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Secular states - whether nominally "democracies" or not - commonly acquire or deliberately develop cadres of fanatics, people so emotionally invested in the collective that they might as well be religious fanatics. Authoritarian states survive not only on the basis of their ability to terrorize their subject populations but also upon the sense of moral (as well as material) benefit derived by their supporters. 

In the end, in the Soviet Union, there were no fanatics left.  And in today's western democracies, there are no fanatics left either.  Google the blogs for astroturf.  All the loyalists are in it for the money.  Observe the rentamob protesters signing off on a time sheet in front of the government provided bus that bused them to the protest .  http://sharpelbowsstl.blogspot.com/2011/03/union-rally-turns-st-louis-into.html (http://sharpelbowsstl.blogspot.com/2011/03/union-rally-turns-st-louis-into.html)   (your education dollars at work)

We necessarily have to let Godwin's Law have its way here.  Anyone who has looked into the history of the Third Reich has got to acknowledge the effectiveness of the pervasive National Socialist conditioning throughout the 1920s and then as a matter of formal and increasingly powerful government policy after 1933. 

People believed in National Socialism before national socialism came to power.  That is why a majority voted for totalitarian terror, and a plurality voted for National socialism.  After they came to power, corruption and decadence set in, and faith declined.  Does anyone today believe in Democracy the way Robespierre, Rosseau, and Thomas Paine believed in democracy?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 15, 2011, 07:26:14 pm
Something to that last part there.

Obama's administration is letting Gadafi win in Libya, not doing anything activly anyway and not doing a thing but watching and fretting as Bharain, a monarchy is being supported by Saudi Arabia, a monarchy, as people Paine might have sided with are suppressed. They are stuck between pragmatic expediency and the ethics of freedom. Poor babies.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 15, 2011, 09:36:37 pm

Obama's administration is letting Gadafi win in Libya, not doing anything activly anyway and not doing a thing but watching and fretting as Bharain, a monarchy is being supported by Saudi Arabia, a monarchy, as people Paine might have sided with are suppressed. They are stuck between pragmatic expediency and the ethics of freedom. Poor babies.

Obama loses either way. Let Khadaffi win and we look bad for letting him. Give his opponents shoulder-fired missiles, and within 5 years some of those missiles will be used against targets we don't want them used against.

There's a saying that FDR (or Cordell Hull) said about Trujillo, "He's an SOB, but he's our SOB". Just now, hardly anybody in Libya is our SOB. Anybody we support is going to have disagreements with us later, and Obama will get blamed for it. And he'll also get blamed if he doesn't support anybody.

But the USA can come out of it well. It's like, near the end of WWII the Russian army was approaching Warsaw, and when they almost got there the underground worked to help them. They cut communications, blocked roads, they did all the things they could to help the invading force, and the Nazis did their best to kill them. And the Russian army stopped and waited. They sat outside Warsaw for 63 days while the poles and the germans fought. Polish casualties were 150,000 - 200,000. German casualties were less than 20,000, and they lost hundreds of armored vehicles.

When the Russian Army did move in they faced significantly less opposition than they would have earlier. The Poles who were killed would probably have opposed Russian domination of their country. The Germans would have fought them. They did much better to let their enemies kill each other as long as they would, and then move in and mop up the survivors.

Both sides in LIbya are working for themselves, or perhaps for Libya. But if we wait and set up a force that answers to us, we can beat Ghadaffi and install a government that will definitely be friendly to us, that owes us, that probably can't survive without us. That's what we want, isn't it?

If Obama supports the current rebels and later they don't do what he says, we'll blame him. So don't we want them to get killed off and later we install an AstroTurf pretend-democratic regime that will do what we want instead of what Libyans want?

If we wanted actual democracy in Libya then we wouldn't mind if Obama helped get that.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 15, 2011, 10:19:02 pm
If Obama supports the current rebels and later they don't do what he says, we'll blame him.
This is always a problem.

But my choice would be: support the current rebels quickly, without delay. After all, they'll blame us for how many of them get killed by Qadaffi's forces.

If, later, they "don't do what we say" in some serious way, well, we can deal with that then. A bigger worry is that they won't get the chance, because while they're unlikely to really love either America or Israel, they probably aren't Islamists either. But Islamists are there to take advantage of any power vacuum - which, in the Middle East, seems to be any regime less iron-fisted than that of Saddam Hussein or Kim Jong-Il.

Short of micromanaging these countries by returning them to colonial status, I see no good option. So, in each individual confrontation, do what is best - and worry about the future when it comes.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Tucci78 on March 15, 2011, 11:09:58 pm
Does anyone today believe in Democracy the way Robespierre, Rosseau, and Thomas Paine believed in democracy?

First, is the United Worlds a democracy?  In any sense other than a theatrical seeming?  I see no evidence of any real private sector in the UW.  With "continentals" being pure fiat, there would be no way to conduct market exchange except by barter.  Such debauchment of the currency can only imply a damn' near pure command economy running on Terra, in which "The government pretends to pay us, and we pretend to work." 

Kinda makes taxation on Terra superfluous.  If the UW is grinding out the "continentals" as depicted, currency inflation would effect the confiscation of all purchasing power in the UW government's jurisdiction.

(And this gives occasion to speculate about just what kind of commodities or services the Belters and the Martians might seek from Terra or Luna in exchange for what fruits of the High Frontier can be gathered outside cislunar space.  What the hell do they make on Terra that anybody outside the UW might want or need?  Luxury foodstuffs and beverages?)

Second, in the EFT plenum we're not talking about "today."  This is some time in the future, isn't it?

I get the impression that the UW has enough of a hold upon the feedlot cattle masquerading as people on Terra that the ruling cabal can afford to devote some expensive resources to messing with the Belters, but they want some kind of "Operation Himmler" to give 'em a casus belli cover with what remains of Terran popular opinion. 

This detachment of light infantry (have they shown any evidence of heavy crew-served weapons as yet?) doesn't look like rigorously conditioned "fanatic" strike troops, and Captain Chang certainly isn't showing himself to be obdurately hostile, but if these guys are a tripwire token, there'd be no reason for the UW military to waste a STRAC unit (doubtless blooded in the streets of El Paso, disarming former citizens of the reactionary old United States) in such a role.

Anybody wanna bet that these people are just a provisional odds-and-sods aggregation of random clowns fresh out of basic training?  They look that homogeneous, don't they?  No visible older guys (non-ranking specialists or technicians), no obvious non-commissioned officers, not even any officers at all except for Captain Chang. 

If nothing else, the United Worlds will have the equivalent of CoDominium Marines (h/t Jerry Pournelle) in formed units available to "quell unrest" wherever the politicians want them to go.

That much seems to be within the reach of any bunch of bandits calling themselves a government, "democracy" or not. 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 16, 2011, 12:09:43 am
Good Gawds!

Did they send F Troop, as seen on TV, to Ceres?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F_Troop
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 16, 2011, 12:14:21 am
Did the send F Troop, as seen on TV, to Ceres?
Who are you going to call?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 16, 2011, 12:47:48 am
Yeah, what would a nut case like Stalin have in mind.

Stalin was not one for subtlety.  This sort of scheme is typical of the ruling elite of a decadent democracy, where public opinion, or a plausible simalcrum thereof, still matters.

Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 

Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Islam is not the only group or religion with fanatics.  Christians, mostly Protestants, can be just as fanatical as Muslims.
Decadent democracies do have fanatics.  Just look at the bought and paid for Tea Party.  No one said the fanatics had to be true believers.
Decadent democracies do not fail because of a lack of faith in themselves; they fail because internal power struggles destroy them one citizen at a time.
Islamists may not need astroturf, but Fascists do.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 16, 2011, 04:05:35 am
Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 

Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Islam is not the only group or religion with fanatics.  Christians, mostly Protestants, can be just as fanatical as Muslims.

As demonstrated, doubtless, by all those Christian suicide bombers.  Why if you make a movie that criticizes Christianity, some Christian is going to stab you in the street crying "Allah Akhbar"!   That is why Christians never write stories like "Canterbury tales" - they would have their throats cut if they tried it.

Decadent democracies do have fanatics.  Just look at the bought and paid for Tea Party. 

Well if they were bought and paid for they would not be fanatics would they?  And in any case, they oppose democracy in the sense that they argue that the constitution forbids a system where the government can use their money to buy as many votes as it needs.

So let us look for the protesters that are protesting for the system the tea partiers are protesting against: http://sharpelbowsstl.blogspot.com/2011/03/union-rally-turns-st-louis-into.html (http://sharpelbowsstl.blogspot.com/2011/03/union-rally-turns-st-louis-into.html) No fanatics in sight.  The protesters are bused in taxpayer paid buses, they sign off, which implies they get paid for showing up, and they receive mass produced signs that are made to look like individually produced signs.


Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 16, 2011, 05:44:56 am
Yeah, what would a nut case like Stalin have in mind.

Stalin was not one for subtlety.  This sort of scheme is typical of the ruling elite of a decadent democracy, where public opinion, or a plausible simalcrum thereof, still matters.

Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 

Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Islam is not the only group or religion with fanatics.  Christians, mostly Protestants, can be just as fanatical as Muslims.

It makes me laugh how much ignorance people have in relation to Christianity ::)

Show me the suicide bombers, execution squads and kidnapping of little atheist children for indoctrination purposes.

Also there is no comparison between the Bible and the Quran, saying that '' the old testament got some nasty things'', it just show the ignorance to how the Bible works.

The old Testament was the Law, then Jesus Christ came and supper seeded the Law and provided us mercy, so the Old Testament is more of a ''see how awful things were before'' thing. The Quran is completely different.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on March 16, 2011, 11:08:15 am
So the Quran needs a new Testiment to let some of the pressure off?


I think that development is ongoing, Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity, what were Christians doing 600 years ago? Tearing Europe up ?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 16, 2011, 11:16:25 am
I am a happy heathen and intend to stay that way; in matters of religion an impartial observer.

Christianity, despite the gentle words of Jesus, has been used to justify stuff just as crazy and horrible as what Islam is being used to justify today. Some Muslims see the current cruelty as payback for the Crusades, or claim to.

It is all very silly. The whole bunch of lunatics can grow up any time now.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 16, 2011, 11:20:51 am
An Islamic New Testament, makes sense to me. God and Allah help the poor bastard who brings it. Jesus got off light in comparison to what he'll get.

Wonderful insight on the relative ages there Plane. But then Judaisim being as old as both put together...
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 16, 2011, 02:00:32 pm
An Islamic New Testament, makes sense to me. God and Allah help the poor bastard who brings it. Jesus got off light in comparison to what he'll get.
We've already got, at least, an Islamic Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, if not an Islamic Book of Mormon.

And, yes, the Ahmadis are taking it on the chin for that one.

And then there are the Baha'is.

I'm not sure if Kahlil Gibran counts...
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 16, 2011, 07:58:22 pm
Good questions.

[First, is the United Worlds a democracy?  In any sense other than a theatrical seeming?

Yes, in exactly the US is a democracy. Does that make anyone feel better? (It's United World, BTW.)

I see no evidence of any real private sector in the UW.  With "continentals" being pure fiat, there would be no way to conduct market exchange except by barter.

Not really. The Continental is no more fiat than say..., the US dollar. People still take the dollar, even thought it is basically based on nothing. There is always a private sector, though it may be called the "black market" by the official counterfeiters.

Kinda makes taxation on Terra superfluous.  If the UW is grinding out the "continentals" as depicted, currency inflation would effect the confiscation of all purchasing power in the UW government's jurisdiction.

Oh, officially, there is no "inflation," just "quantitative easement" (i.e., inflation).

(And this gives occasion to speculate about just what kind of commodities or services the Belters and the Martians might seek from Terra or Luna in exchange for what fruits of the High Frontier can be gathered outside cislunar space.  What the hell do they make on Terra that anybody outside the UW might want or need?  Luxury foodstuffs and beverages?)

Ones and zeros, among other intangibles; just like the US. Give some thought to how Hollywood and Silicon valley are able to make billions by selling strings of ones and zeros, overseas.

Second, in the EFT plenum we're not talking about "today."  This is some time in the future, isn't it?

About a hundred years hence.

I get the impression that the UW has enough of a hold upon the feedlot cattle masquerading as people on Terra that the ruling cabal can afford to devote some expensive resources to messing with the Belters, but they want some kind of "Operation Himmler" to give 'em a casus belli cover with what remains of Terran popular opinion. 

First, you have to have resources. Second, All resources are expensive when the government tries to collect them. Third, trying to act outside the market means that what expensive resources you do collect will be used inefficiently or ineffectively. Remember, neither Reagan, nor anyone else, "contained" or "defeated the Soviets. Cannibalism can only go on so long. Economically, the USSR ate the seed corn. It took 70 years, but only because they ate other people's seed corn too. (For example, a lot of Soviet industry was based on entire German factories, chopped into bite-size pieces, shipped to the USSR and rebuilt.) "Ruling cabals" only rule by smoke and mirrors. Tanks help, but their dirty little secret is that they are all destined for the wall, when--not if--the "cattle" get pissed off enough. They know this and fear it.

This detachment of light infantry (have they shown any evidence of heavy crew-served weapons as yet?) doesn't look like rigorously conditioned "fanatic" strike troops, and Captain Chang certainly isn't showing himself to be obdurately hostile, but if these guys are a tripwire token, there'd be no reason for the UW military to waste a STRAC unit (doubtless blooded in the streets of El Paso, disarming former citizens of the reactionary old United States) in such a role. 

I guess we will just have to wait and see...
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 16, 2011, 08:29:39 pm
So the Quran needs a new Testiment to let some of the pressure off?

Been tried.  It has received the same response as the original new testament - which is to say, deadly violence.

Maybe the Christians would have succeeded even if the Romans had not demonstrated that strict adherence to the warlike parts of the old testament was bad for one's health, or perhaps not.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 16, 2011, 08:56:46 pm
I have to say, the current story is showing us a very reasonable representative of Earth in Chang.  He is not a blithering idiot.  He might be bending over a bit much for the professor but he is reasonable so far.

What will I complain about?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 12:03:34 am
Christianity, despite the gentle words of Jesus, has been used to justify stuff just as crazy and horrible as what Islam is being used to justify today. Some Muslims see the current cruelty as payback for the Crusades, or claim

The Jews committed genocide against the Cannonites, mind you they only needed to march around with the Arc and let God do the heavy lifting.

Plenty of examples of crazy Christians. The Crusades to special magic underwear to the Spanish inquisition, to the Salem witch trials.

The thing with crazy Christians is that I'm not afraid to call them crazy. I don't see moderate Muslims denounce the suicide bombers, probably because they're afraid of getting a Fatwā label themselves.

While they seem to be able to get plenty of suicide fanatics, I also see them get plenty of people willing to do anything from "musicians" willing to do "mock bomb assembly" on a plane, to grocery store coupon fraud to buying a u-haul van full of cigarettes in Virginia and selling them up in New York City.  Don't these people know what kind of terror their work supports?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 12:11:07 am
The old Testament was the Law, then Jesus Christ came and supper seeded the Law and provided us mercy, so the Old Testament is more of a ''see how awful things were before'' thing. The Quran is completely different.

"Superseded", I assume. Remember though, special people with a better relation to God than you have reserved the right to pick and chose, like Cafeteria Catholics, from the Old Testament.

This way we can keep the prohibition against homosexuality, but still allow you to eat a bacon cheeseburger almost any day of the week.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 17, 2011, 12:44:56 am
The old Testament was the Law, then Jesus Christ came and supper seeded the Law and provided us mercy, so the Old Testament is more of a ''see how awful things were before'' thing. The Quran is completely different.

"Superseded", I assume. Remember though, special people with a better relation to God than you have reserved the right to pick and chose, like Cafeteria Catholics, from the Old Testament.

This way we can keep the prohibition against homosexuality, but still allow you to eat a bacon cheeseburger almost any day of the week.

You cannot prevent ignorance to run amok.

But Homosexuality is still condemned somewhere in Galates or John book, if I can remenber.

Jesus said that it ''Doesn't matter what enter your mouth, but what gets out of it'', going around Pharisee Vegan diet will being a bastard wont save you.

Christianity is based on the personal salvation through Jesus Christ, for He came and offered himself for us. Before you could trust the priesthood to kill goats ... but hey it didn't worked well because of power hungry warmonger.

It really makes me laugh when people talk about ''Killing on the name of christianity'' ... heck more people were killed on the name of ''the children'' and ''progress''.

Bottom line is that power corrupts absolutly and thus even tough Christ preached a personal relation with God, the Catholic Church got a staff of power hungry dudes running the thing as a for profit Corp ... WHICH WASN'T WHAT CHRIST PREACHED.

Heck Hitler and Mao did it ''for the children'' ... could we please separate pretext and reality
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 06:33:27 am
Remember though, special people with a better relation to God than you have reserved the right to pick and chose, like Cafeteria Catholics, from the Old Testament.

This way we can keep the prohibition against homosexuality, but still allow you to eat a bacon cheeseburger almost any day of the week.

The New Testament permits any animal to be eaten.  There is nothing in the old testament forbidding meat cheeseburgers. The New testament prohibits homosexuality.

You had better find some other examples of picking and choosing.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 06:44:36 am
Plenty of examples of crazy Christians. The Crusades to special magic underwear to the Spanish inquisition, to the Salem witch trials.

The Spanish inquisition killed four thousand people over several hundred years.  How many infidels did Indonesian Muslims kill last year?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Bob G on March 17, 2011, 06:57:26 am
. . . even tough Christ preached a personal relation with God . . .

I'm assuming that the tough Christ was the one who booted the moneylenders out of the temple, as opposed to the gentle Christ who asked for the little children to be brought to him.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on March 17, 2011, 06:59:42 am
Quote
The thing with crazy Christians is that I'm not afraid to call them crazy. I don't see moderate Muslims denounce the suicide bombers, probably because they're afraid of getting a Fatwā label themselves.

Are you in a position to tell the difference between "I don't see moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers because they're afraid to do so" and "I don't see moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers because it doesn't get reported in the sources available to me"?  I'm not saying it's one or the other, I'm just wondering how you are sure it's the one.

Since we're all humans here, and all capable of serious orneryness, there's another group I'm afraid to call crazy, or even "terrorists" even when they gun down everyone in a mosque and then kill themselves.  It's OK to speak openly of "Muslim" terrorists, of "Christian" terrorists, even of "American" terrorists, but not this other bunch.

Quote
It really makes me laugh when people talk about ''Killing on the name of christianity'' ... [...] ... could we please separate pretext and reality

Translation:  When they do things I don't like, they aren't "real" Christians, so their religious motivation doesn't count.

sams, honestly, it doesn't matter if they're not truly following Christ -- what matters is they believed that they were.  As long as they thought they were Christians and as long as they thought they were serving God, then what they did, they did in the name of Christ and of God.  That's what motivated them.


On picking and choosing:  you can't escape picking and choosing.  You must pick and choose.  The only difference between the full-menu Catholic and the "cafeteria Catholic" is the level on which the choice happens.  One chose to have someone else select the items in the meal, and feels virtuous for eating it all whether he approves of it or not (and he may in fact find some of it whiffy); the other chooses personal accountabililty for each and every item and feels virtuous for not having the luxury to say, "I was just following orders!"


Quote
The Spanish inquisition killed four thousand people over several hundred years.  How many infidels did Indonesian Muslims kill last year?

How many civilians did the US kill last year?

Oh, that's right:  "It's OK when we do it, because we are the embodiment of virtue and only do it when it's right to do so."
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 07:33:16 am
Plenty of examples of crazy Christians. The Crusades to special magic underwear to the Spanish inquisition, to the Salem witch trials.

The Spanish inquisition killed four thousand people over several hundred years.  How many infidels did Indonesian Muslims kill last year?

There were a bunch of inquisitions. The generally accepted estimates are only 40,000 to 100,000 witches killed total, but the paperwork of legal trials only shows about 12,000. But see, people who killed witches didn't always keep good paperwork. Especially in medieval times. And when somebody was looking for an excuse to kill people, calling them witches was an obvious start. There are a collection of folktales from the Appalachian mountains about witches. Old women who lived alone or with each other, who borrowed things, might be witches. They borrow because if they have one of your possessions they can use it to spell you. They had to be shot with silver bullets. How many people were shot with silver bullets in the Appalachians? I have no idea.

And 100,000 deaths back when the population was much lower than it is now had a proportionally bigger effect. A human life when there are 7 billion of us is worth much less than when there were only 500 million.

But the Spanish inquisition was different. It wasn't about witches, it was about jews who pretended to convert to Christianity but really stayed Jews. At the time the Catholic church said forced conversions were not legitimate, but it was convenient for the spanish government to persecute jews and muslims, so they did it anyway. They also went after converted muslims, regular christian heretics, witches, bigamists, etc. There were an estimated 80,000 legal cases and maybe 5,000 deaths. So probably in most cases it was a serious warning more than anything else. Not nearly as lethal as other inquisitions.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 17, 2011, 08:54:49 am
. . . even tough Christ preached a personal relation with God . . .

I'm assuming that the tough Christ was the one who booted the moneylenders out of the temple, as opposed to the gentle Christ who asked for the little children to be brought to him.

Call it property rights , The Temple of Salomon was built by the Israeli to be the House and exclusive property of The Almighty.
Jesus Christ being Son of God, it was on His right to to expel the vendors from His property.

Next misrepresentation please ?

On ever other case Jesus preached respect for each and everyone free will and property, it each personal responsibility to accept salvation

Quote
It really makes me laugh when people talk about ''Killing on the name of christianity'' ... [...] ... could we please separate pretext and reality

Translation:  When they do things I don't like, they aren't "real" Christians, so their religious motivation doesn't count.

sams, honestly, it doesn't matter if they're not truly following Christ -- what matters is they believed that they were

Nope it does matter whether they are using religion has a pretext and a cover for their nefarious purposes.

Having the Spanish King rouding up jews and taking their stuff under pretext of ''christianity'' doesn't erase the fact that the jerk wanted their money. Same way with the Catholic Church, which was for a long time an instrument of power and mass bullying than anything else.

Quote
As long as they thought they were Christians and as long as they thought they were serving God, then what they did, they did in the name of Christ and of God.  That's what motivated them.

Translation : No matter how shrewd, Doctrinally wrong, contrary to the Holy scripture and sin full, every single damn moron claiming divine mission must be taken on his word ?

Very important tip : People are sometime motivated by their imagination and what they want to see, thus weak minded are very prone to tailor a divine mandate that fit in their nefarious plans.

But hey even if it doens't fit Christian doctrine lets take them at their word  ::)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 09:10:44 am
The New Testament permits any animal to be eaten.  There is nothing in the old testament forbidding meat cheeseburgers. The New testament prohibits homosexuality.

You had better find some other examples of picking and choosing.

Cite please.  Could I have some quotes from the New Testament?

I said bacon cheeseburger because pork is forbidden, and so is mixing dairy with meat.

Leviticus 11:7-8

    And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he [is] unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they [are] unclean to you.

Deuteronomy 14:8

    And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it [is] unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.

On the dairy-meat prohibition, I guess all the fuss comes from this:

Exod 23:19, Exod 34:26, Deut 14:21
     It is forbidden to boil a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk.

This is said three times and to me seems pretty specific. I don't quite understand how we get to the Orthodox practice of two different china patterns, two different silverware patterns and two dishwashers installed in the kitchen.

For bonus food taboo, Chez Trief could use a meat patty made of venison. Both Muslims and Jews have rules for the proper killin' of meat animals that pretty much prohibit hunting. Although I'd recommend a patty of mixed beef and venison just so it was taboo to Hindus also.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 17, 2011, 09:36:01 am
The New Testament permits any animal to be eaten.  There is nothing in the old testament forbidding meat cheeseburgers. The New testament prohibits homosexuality.

You had better find some other examples of picking and choosing.

Cite please.  Could I have some quotes from the New Testament?

I'm going to jump in here and give some christian context here :

The Old Testament provide The Law, which included the Ten Commandment and all the instruction in the five first books, so that following This Law Israel could be saved.

But however it didn't worked out so well and Israel was descending in the culture of Hypocrisy of the Pharisee, who perfectly followed each and every part of the Law but were self-righteous power monger.

Thus come Christ to provide salvation through His Grace and no more through the Law, ie it was superseded.

John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:14
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Those alimentary restriction were lifted when Christ said that ''It doesn't matter enter your mouth, but what comes out of it''

If you don't grasp this important change on the doctrine then all you doing nothing.

 Heck Christianity IS an updated version of Judaism essentially, so why throw around ''funny'' passage just to for your amusement ?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 09:37:41 am
Quote
The thing with crazy Christians is that I'm not afraid to call them crazy. I don't see moderate Muslims denounce the suicide bombers, probably because they're afraid of getting a Fatwā label themselves.

Are you in a position to tell the difference between "I don't see moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers because they're afraid to do so" and "I don't see moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers because it doesn't get reported in the sources available to me"?  I'm not saying it's one or the other, I'm just wondering how you are sure it's the one.

I get my view of the world from a diverse assortment of traditional news sources and the unconventional, always striving for a wide array of opinions. However, my main limitation is that the source must be in English.  Nevertheless, if there's a Muslim sect/group/mosque communicating in English and  trying to convince westerners like myself that Islam = "religion of peace" , (and there are quite a few), invariably they don't seem to criticized teh guys with the semtex Underoos.  

One interesting source is the twitter feed for the Cordoba^H^H^H^H Park51 crew.  Yes, they are trying to palm themselves off as moderate Muslims, but I don't see them denouncing others that use violence as a way to bring about political change.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 09:46:44 am
I'm going to jump in here and give some christian context here :

Nice, but when I said this:
Cite please.  Could I have some quotes from the New Testament?
What I was looking for were quotes that supported dropping the old taboos about eating roadkilled wild boar alongside other quotes that still supported a prohibition against monogamous gay partnership.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 09:50:23 am
Those alimentary restriction were lifted when Christ said that ''It doesn't matter enter your mouth, but what comes out of it''

So, can we twist this  around to say that Jesus said that sodomy was OK? ;-)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 17, 2011, 09:59:03 am
Those alimentary restriction were lifted when Christ said that ''It doesn't matter enter your mouth, but what comes out of it''

So, can we twist this  around to say that Jesus said that sodomy was OK? ;-)

Sodomy by the mouth ? Buddy you really need to stop letting people stay with you in your basement ... or at least get a Play Boy magazine for education purposes

I'm gonna have lunch now, so later I will compile verses for you.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 17, 2011, 10:50:05 am
What I was looking for were quotes that supported dropping the old taboos about eating roadkilled wild boar alongside other quotes that still supported a prohibition against monogamous gay partnership.
It is ambiguous whether or not Jesus really repealed the prohibition on eating pork. What the New Testament has is a vision which involved eating pork that an Apostle had which was explicitly stated as changing only one part of the old covenant: the new Christian church was not to require men converting to Christianity to be circumcised.

That Christians are allowed to eat pork, and that they go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday, can only be inferred from what the early Christian church did - on the basis that they had access to authentic oral tradition.

In the case of homosexuality, what the Christian church has is Romans 1:26-27. Which perhaps could be primarily a condemnation of homosexual promiscuity, since that's what would receive a "reward" of venereal disease, but as it also sets forth heterosexuality as natural, and homosexuality as unnatural, if one takes Scripture as inerrant, there is not much latitude for regarding it as acceptable conduct for Christians in any form. That isn't the same as toleration, however: since when is the religion of turning the other cheek supposed to license its members to initiate force?

But the perceived need to live in state societies, once, after Constantine, Christians ceased to be the persecuted minority, pretty much made that teaching a dead letter even for the most literal of Christians.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 17, 2011, 10:55:24 am
Sodomy by the mouth ?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sodomy

Quote
I'm gonna have lunch now, so later I will compile verses for you.

I recommend the bacon cheeseburger, BTW
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 11:50:06 am
The New Testament permits any animal to be eaten.  There is nothing in the old testament forbidding meat cheeseburgers.

I said bacon cheeseburger because pork is forbidden, and so is mixing dairy with meat.

Leviticus 11:7-8

    And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he [is] unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they [are] unclean to you.

That's pretty clear.

Quote
On the dairy-meat prohibition, I guess all the fuss comes from this:

Exod 23:19, Exod 34:26, Deut 14:21
     It is forbidden to boil a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk.

This is said three times and to me seems pretty specific. I don't quite understand how we get to the Orthodox practice of two different china patterns, two different silverware patterns and two dishwashers installed in the kitchen.

Maimonides claimed that the original prohibition came because this was part of the sacrament of another religion. By specifically forbidding this, they forbid members of their religion from participating in the other religion, without actually mentioning the other religion's name etc.

There were other examples. The priests of another religion wore an article of clothing woven from the hair of two specific animals, and so Israelites were forbidden to wear cloth made from the combination of those two materials. I don't remember any other of them now.

The stories make sense but I haven't confirmed them from any other source. Some of the sources RamBam used may no longer be available.

About the two dishwashers, the justification is "putting a fence around the law". The idea is that if you skirt too close to breaking a prohibition, you might actually break it by accident. So they try to make sure they don't get close. So, the original says not to simmer a kid in its mother's milk. It's easy to expand that to calves. And it's easy to expand that to not simmering goats in the milk of any other goat. After all, it *could* be its mother's milk. Best to be sure. And not in cow's milk, unless you milked the cow yourself somebody could have slipped some goat's milk in.

By the time we get to not eating chicken with milk products we are in new territory.

I think a lot of it can be explained in terms of prestige and keeping up with the Joneses.

"I wash my pot extra well to make sure I don't mix milk and meat."
"I have a separate pot for milk so I don't mix them."
"I have a separate sink to wash them in."

If they had been rich enough, that might have turned into

"I have a separate kitchen for milk products."
"I have a second home, and we eat meat in one home and milk in the other."

I don't really want to make fun of somebody else's religious customs. This sort of custom seems to me completely harmless, not like deciding that it's OK to kill people who aren't in the in-group because those people are all full of hatred and want to kill you.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 11:58:56 am
Those alimentary restriction were lifted when Christ said that ''It doesn't matter enter your mouth, but what comes out of it''

So, can we twist this  around to say that Jesus said that sodomy was OK? ;-)

It could be interpreted to mean that oral sex is OK provided you don't spit.

But I'm pretty sure that wasn't Jesus's point.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 12:12:45 pm

I get my view of the world from a diverse assortment of traditional news sources and the unconventional, always striving for a wide array of opinions. However, my main limitation is that the source must be in English.  Nevertheless, if there's a Muslim sect/group/mosque communicating in English and  trying to convince westerners like myself that Islam = "religion of peace" , (and there are quite a few), invariably they don't seem to criticized teh guys with the semtex Underoos.  

Yes, I've had the same exact problem with ProLife enthusiasts. They usually say that they wouldn't bomb abortion clinics themselves, but you have to understand how somebody would feel that way. So sad that there's all this violence in the world. So many innocent unborn children killed. The best way to stop the people who try to stop abortions is to make abortion illegal as quick as we can, and then the problem will be solved completely.

Somehow they never seem to agree that abortion clinic bombers should and will burn in hell forever.

I guess they're just hypocrites.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 03:49:19 pm
Plenty of examples of crazy Christians. The Crusades to special magic underwear to the Spanish inquisition, to the Salem witch trials.

The Spanish inquisition killed four thousand people over several hundred years.  How many infidels did Indonesian Muslims kill last year?

There were a bunch of inquisitions. The generally accepted estimates are only 40,000 to 100,000 witches killed total, but the paperwork of legal trials only shows about 12,000. But see, people who killed witches didn't always keep good paperwork. Especially in medieval times

So you are accumulating all the crimes committed for Christian religious reasons over the last several hundred years world wide,and then imagining that it might be ten times as big due to poor record keeping, but somehow overlooking all the crimes committed for Muslim religious reasons over the last year,

Here is a list of recent Muslim terrorist attacks on unarmed peaceful infidels  http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks (http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks)

Every year they murder ten thousand or so innocents - pretty close to your grand total of all the inquisitions. 

History is that they have been doing this stuff pretty much continuously for thirteen hundred years.   

Now to balance the account, you will probably point to the arab Israeli wars and the crusades, but Islam started the arab Israeli wars and Islam started the crusades.  The crusades were Christians successfully finishing what Muslims started.

It has always been like this.  There has never been a time when Muslims were not attacking, and everyone else defending.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 04:09:52 pm
Are you in a position to tell the difference between "I don't see moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers because they're afraid to do so" and "I don't see moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers because it doesn't get reported in the sources available to me"?  I'm not saying it's one or the other, I'm just wondering how you are sure it's the one.

I do see supposedly moderate Muslims denouncing suicide bombers - in English - and then recruiting suicide bombers in Arabic.

The US establishment is full of “moderate” muslims – they get affirmative actioned into the elite in an effort to promote peace, much as Major Hasan was affirmative actioned to Major - and most of them are no more plausibly moderate than Major Hasan was, though I have not heard of any of high elite presenting powerpoint presentations on why they intend to murder the audience as Major Hasan did.  One of the top three Muslims in the US elite recently became an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist case, and the only reason he was not indicted is that members of the ruling elite never are.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 04:28:36 pm
I'm going to jump in here and give some christian context here :

Nice, but when I said this:
Cite please.  Could I have some quotes from the New Testament?
What I was looking for were quotes that supported dropping the old taboos about eating roadkilled wild boar alongside other quotes that still supported a prohibition against monogamous gay partnership.

Well you have already seen New Testament quotes that allow you to hunt and eat boar.  Here is a quote for male homosexuality:

Quote from: 1:Corinthians:6:10
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
[10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Quote from: Romans:1:26
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
  (New Testament says that the numerous vile diseases that male homosexuals are apt to get reflect the wrath of God)

Quote from: 1:Tmothy:1:9
the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons
(If you don't do anything dreadfully bad - such as being a pimp or a homosexual - you can blow off all the rest of the law)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 04:32:43 pm
It is ambiguous whether or not Jesus really repealed the prohibition on eating pork.

What is not ambiguous is that his brother James, who eventually inherited leadership after various others were executed, interpreted Jesus as lifting the prohibition on pork.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 04:39:05 pm
Exod 23:19, Exod 34:26, Deut 14:21
     It is forbidden to boil a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk.

This is said three times and to me seems pretty specific. I don't quite understand how we get to the Orthodox practice of two different china patterns, two different silverware patterns and two dishwashers installed in the kitchen.

The writers of the Talmud wanted to prove that they were taking the old testament very very very seriously, rather than finding legalistic excuses to deny that it says what it says and meant what it means.,
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 04:47:47 pm
Quote
On the dairy-meat prohibition, I guess all the fuss comes from this:

Exod 23:19, Exod 34:26, Deut 14:21
     It is forbidden to boil a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk.

This is said three times and to me seems pretty specific. I don't quite understand how we get to the Orthodox practice of two different china patterns, two different silverware patterns and two dishwashers installed in the kitchen.

Maimonides claimed that the original prohibition came because this was part of the sacrament of another religion. By specifically forbidding this, they forbid members of their religion from participating in the other religion, without actually mentioning the other religion's name etc.

There were other examples. The priests of another religion wore an article of clothing woven from the hair of two specific animals, and so Israelites were forbidden to wear cloth made from the combination of those two materials. I don't remember any other of them now.

Similarly, Paul the apostle forbids eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols - but only if one is doing it as a religious observance, or it looks to someone else that one is doing it as a religious observance.  If one is just tucking into the meat, that is fine.  So a Christian can eat halal meat if he does not know it is halal meat, and he can eat halal meat if he knows and does not care, but he cannot eat halal meat if he knows that someone else knows and cares.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 05:28:25 pm
Plenty of examples of crazy Christians. The Crusades to special magic underwear to the Spanish inquisition, to the Salem witch trials.

The Spanish inquisition killed four thousand people over several hundred years.  How many infidels did Indonesian Muslims kill last year?

There were a bunch of inquisitions. The generally accepted estimates are only 40,000 to 100,000 witches killed total, but the paperwork of legal trials only shows about 12,000. But see, people who killed witches didn't always keep good paperwork. Especially in medieval times

So you are accumulating all the crimes committed for Christian religious reasons over the last several hundred years world wide,and then imagining that it might be ten times as big due to poor record keeping, but somehow overlooking all the crimes committed for Muslim religious reasons over the last year,

Why do you feel that this sort of murder-sizing will get you anything worthwhile?

Quote
Here is a list of recent Muslim terrorist attacks on unarmed peaceful infidels  http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks (http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks)

Every year they murder ten thousand or so innocents - pretty close to your grand total of all the inquisitions.

OK. If you want to do this sort of thing. You're talking ten thousand per year by a population of size 1.5 billion. So if we were to compare that to the Jewish population of Israel, about 6 million, to be about the same Israel would kill about 40 innocents per year. Do you really want to go there?

Quote
Now to balance the account, you will probably point to the arab Israeli wars and the crusades, but Islam started the arab Israeli wars and Islam started the crusades.  The crusades were Christians successfully finishing what Muslims started.

?? You call the Crusades a success?

This stuff about "who started it" is extremely silly too. The Nazis argued that Czechoslovakia started the war that resulted in their getting conquered and occupied. Surely Nazi claims that germans were mistreated in czechoslovakia, poland etc and so they deserved to own those lands, will be familiar to people who listen to Zionists. And of course it's true that France declared war on Germany and then invaded Germany before Germany did anything to them. Germany attacked first against British shipping, but only after the British declared war first. We can make this sort of excuse until the cows come home, but it's still just excuses for terribly bad  behavior.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 05:43:53 pm
Exod 23:19, Exod 34:26, Deut 14:21
     It is forbidden to boil a kid (young goat) in its mother's milk.

This is said three times and to me seems pretty specific. I don't quite understand how we get to the Orthodox practice of two different china patterns, two different silverware patterns and two dishwashers installed in the kitchen.

The writers of the Talmud wanted to prove that they were taking the old testament very very very seriously, rather than finding legalistic excuses to deny that it says what it says and meant what it means.,

But then, what it says is not to cook a kid in its mother's milk. What it means is ... up for interpretation.

My own interpretation would be that it says not to do a special kind of cruelty that I don't have a name for but that is very clear in my mind regardless.

Like, if you execute a political prisoner by firing squad, and then you send his family a bill for the bullets that killed him, that's an example.

If you rape a woman repeatedly and send her home pregnant to her family that you are ethnic-cleansing, that's another example.

If in wartime you do airstrikes on another nation's irrigation projects, and convince them that if they try to rebuild you will destroy those projects again, and then you show new military pilots that your country is green while theirs is dust-colored, and tell them that's what they're fighting for -- that comes pretty close.

I don't have words for the concept, but "cooking a calf in its mother's milk" is close to a name.

Only Talmud says it's about recipes for cooking.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 17, 2011, 08:30:58 pm
So you are accumulating all the crimes committed for Christian religious reasons over the last several hundred years world wide,and then imagining that it might be ten times as big due to poor record keeping, but somehow overlooking all the crimes committed for Muslim religious reasons over the last year,

Why do you feel that this sort of murder-sizing will get you anything worthwhile?

Molehills are not mountains.   Comparing Christians – including past Christians, including the crusaders and the Spanish Inquisition – with Muslims, such as today's Muslims is ludicrous.  Islam is a warlike faith that has been murdering and raping for a thousand years, Christianity is the religion of peace, and history proves it.  Not only is it safer today to criticize Christianity than Islam, it always was safer, even when the Spanish Inquisition was in town.

Quote from: sam
Here is a list of recent Muslim terrorist attacks on unarmed peaceful infidels  http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks (http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks)

Every year they murder ten thousand or so innocents - pretty close to your grand total of all the inquisitions.

OK. If you want to do this sort of thing. You're talking ten thousand per year by a population of size 1.5 billion. So if we were to compare that to the Jewish population of Israel, about 6 million, to be about the same Israel would kill about 40 innocents per year. Do you really want to go there?

Israel is under attack.

Israel kills innocents because it is under attack - because other people are making war on them.  Jews don't randomly shoot up pizza parlors the way Muslism do - not forty per year, not one per year.

Quote
Now to balance the account, you will probably point to the arab Israeli wars and the crusades, but Islam started the arab Israeli wars and Islam started the crusades.  The crusades were Christians successfully finishing what Muslims started.

?? You call the Crusades a success?


For three hundred years, the crusades greatly reduced Muslim terror against Christians.


This stuff about "who started it" is extremely silly too. The Nazis argued that Czechoslovakia started the war that resulted in their getting conquered and occupied.

But the Czechs did not start it.  Similarly, Jews were not making war on Germans.  Muslims are making war on us.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 17, 2011, 08:48:24 pm
Any resolution in sight yet guys?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 17, 2011, 11:32:13 pm
Any resolution in sight yet guys?

Not much possibility. Every attempt at resolution gets replaced by an argument about whose fault it is.

If the problem isn't your fault, you can't be expected to solve it.

If somebody else started it, then the obvious way to end it is to kill them until they give you whatever you want.

If the entire problem is the other guys are implacably bad, then there is no possible solution except to kill them until they stop being bad. Of course you will inevitably kill some innocents too, but that's the bad guys' fault. If they weren't bad you wouldn't have to kill innocents.

There's no room for any compromise, because if you give anything to the bad guys they will only use it to attack you with while they demand more. The more you take from them, the less they can attack you. They deserve for you to take everything because they are bad.

You need a good strong government army to hit them with, but also you need good people who will live close to the enemy and terrorize them. The more you terrorize them, the less they will terrorize you. It's all entirely their fault for being bad.

And if other people have trouble telling the difference between you and the bad guys, if it looks like you're just like the bad guys but more successful at it, still there are two fundamental differences. One is that you're good and they're bad. And the other is that they started it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: stsparky on March 18, 2011, 01:03:54 am
If you want to be silly, it would a meal of shrimp and crab cocktail, lobster bisque, bacon cheeseburger using horse meat, etc. ... The actual intent was to not eat everything, pigs are taboo because of how they'd eat vegetation. They eat a plant - root and all. It's moot. I annoy my more orthodox brethren for eating turkey burgers with cheese. I doubt I've ever had milk from a bird.

----

The trick here is to force these soldiers to undo their brainwashing themselves. And it is looking like our young Sherlock was indeed the person to link the "mugger" with what Chang is telling the Professor.  Kudos.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on March 18, 2011, 07:03:54 am
Quote
My own interpretation would be that it says not to do a special kind of cruelty that I don't have a name for but that is very clear in my mind regardless.
[....]
I don't have words for the concept, but "cooking a calf in its mother's milk" is close to a name.

I stand and salute.  That is elegant.

Another example:  recently (in the last month, I believe) a man wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years was set free and immediately hit up, by the same State that wrongfully imprisoned him, for 17 years' worth of back child support.  The deadbeat.


Quote
Israel is under attack.

War is peace.  Slavery is freedom.  Bulldozing someone else's house to make space to build your own is being "under attack".
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 18, 2011, 07:12:40 am
Quote
Israel is under attack.

War is peace.  Slavery is freedom.  Bulldozing someone else's house to make space to build your own is being "under attack".

I think we have a underdog problem here, being that people generally simpatize with the loosing side.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 18, 2011, 09:27:54 am
Any resolution in sight yet guys?
Actually I was refering to you guys, here among the pixels and electrons. Has anyone's unshakable resolve been shaken yet?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 18, 2011, 09:51:07 am
Quote
My own interpretation would be that it says not to do a special kind of cruelty that I don't have a name for but that is very clear in my mind regardless.
[....]
I don't have words for the concept, but "cooking a calf in its mother's milk" is close to a name.

I stand and salute.  That is elegant.

I agree.  Very well stated, J Thomas.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 18, 2011, 10:13:28 am
BTW, as you may have noticed, today's strip referred to there being a "Christmas Truce." The original Christmas Truce--as Brugle correctly noted--was the inspiration for "The Christmas War" arc. He got it right even though I screwed up the time scale with regard to the illegal and immoral invasion and annexation of Hawaii. Kudos to Brugle.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 18, 2011, 10:29:58 am
Any resolution in sight yet guys?
Actually I was refering to you guys, here among the pixels and electrons. Has anyone's unshakable resolve been shaken yet?

My view has changed during the course of this discussion. I more and more see that what I have been thinking was out of date.

My old view was that the demonizing of Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims was preliminary to an attempt at genocide. People want to think that their opponents are not humans before they kill them. So they come up with reasons to think that and repeat them over and over. So we get people who know far more about Israel than about any Islamic nation repeating over and over that muslims have no concept of peace or peace treaties but only hudna, a temporary truce intended to delay war until the odds are better. The repeated claim that muslims never stop fighting in your country until they are too busy defending their own to attack. That muslims always rape nonmuslims, given the chance. Etc etc etc. Presented by zionist experts on Islam whose opinions get repeated by ignorant zionists until with sufficient repetition they come to believe that they are themselves muslim experts and they know in their bones how every muslim will respond to any situation. And the intention is to prevent any attempt at peace.

And my view was that peace must be attempted, because there was no adequate alternative. If Israel tried to get a fair solution while they were strong, they could see whether it could hold and go back to fighting if it did not. That gave some possibility of a good solution, and all other choices wound up extremely bad.

I thought Israel had one real chance at that, with Rabin. There was no chance before, and there was far less chance after. But maybe there wasn't really a chance then either. Rabin was one man who presented the choice, and when he was murdered no one was ready to replace him. Israel was not ready. So I thought the Israeli peace movement would have to persuade Israel to try for peace, and then they would get a second chance. It might not work, but it would be their chance to find out whether it could work.

What I see now is that the Israeli peace movement is gone. It has been reduced to a few kooks who are barely tolerated. Whatever chance there may have been for peace is gone, and there's no particular reason to think that another chance will ever arise. Even if Israel is ever ready to take that chance, the longer they wait the smaller the chance their chosen enemies will reach out to them. Their self-fulfilling prophecies become more certain every year, if they were ever false.

Israel's chance for peace has been reduced to only this -- that at some point Israel loses a war, and is defenseless, and the victors choose to impose an acceptable peace. If Israel does not lose there is no chance. If they lose and get genocided then it fails. If they lose and must surrender to unacceptable terms then it fails. A slim chance.

Holding my obsolete view I tended to believe that zionist bloggers who insisted that peace with arabs was impossible were doing hasbarah, that they were presenting the government view because they thought it was patriotic to do that. I tended to discount them as puppets. But this is a tiny forum, and the Zionists here spend most of their time discussing unrelated issues. Coming here to do hasbarah would be like fishing in their breakfast cereal. They really believe it. And there are no moderate zionists here. There are no moderate zionists anywhere. Peace is really dead.

So that leads to implications about what the USA should do. All along the USA has taken the stand that we are working toward peace in the middle east. We have tried to get a peace treaty, one that would be acceptable to both sides. When we have repeatedly failed we have vowed to try harder.

But peace is not an option. If that is our goal we cannot win. We must choose another goal.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 18, 2011, 01:25:37 pm
As long as some good came out of it.

I see no solution there myself besides carpet neutron bombing the whole area, which is rude and violates ZAP, or a few generations of seperate time outs.

In the fictional,  And Then There Were None, Voyage From Yesteryear, and probably EFT next week, the sane ones self select and go native amongst the sane natives. The insane ones stay nuts and go away or are eliminated. How to let the sane Palestinians of all faiths out and leave the fanatics behind to consume each other, I have no idea.

Bummer for us all if they trash the place in the process. Way worse than tearing down the original Yankee Stadium even, the scum.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 18, 2011, 02:29:42 pm
]Actually I was refering to you guys, here among the pixels and electrons. Has anyone's unshakable resolve been shaken yet?

That expose of "Pollywood" video a few years back and the fact that Israel appears to have tried to trade land for peace by giving back Gaza , only to suffer from about a thousand missile attacks per year probably tipped me over towards Israel a few years back. 

Nothing really since then though.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 18, 2011, 02:38:33 pm
People want to think that their opponents are not humans before they kill them. So they come up with reasons to think that and repeat them over and over. So we get people who know far more about Israel than about any Islamic nation repeating over and over that muslims have no concept of peace or peace treaties but only hudna, a temporary truce intended to delay war until the odds are better.

Koran says that that a Muslim should launch an attack on any infidel he has made a peace treaty with within months of making it - generally interpreted as "as soon as possible", so that months are apt to become years in practice.  But if years become many years, a Muslim is pretty clearly becoming unfaithful.

Hamas has repeatedly and publicly stated its fidelity to this principle - which is kind of stupid, since the Koran also says you are supposed to violate the peace treaty by surprise.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 18, 2011, 02:47:54 pm
As long as some good came out of it.

I see no solution there myself besides carpet neutron bombing the whole area, which is rude and violates ZAP, or a few generations of seperate time outs.

In the fictional,  And Then There Were None, Voyage From Yesteryear, and probably EFT next week, the sane ones self select and go native amongst the sane natives. The insane ones stay nuts and go away or are eliminated. How to let the sane Palestinians of all faiths out and leave the fanatics behind to consume each other, I have no idea.

Bummer for us all if they trash the place in the process. Way worse than tearing down the original Yankee Stadium even, the scum.

We can't possibly stop the thing, because it provides deep meanings to people's lives. People who think about their side being threatened by implacable enemies who want to genocide them all, get a big thrill out of it. They get to think about noble sacrifice, and about pulling together with the whole team for the common good against the implacable enemy. They get to think about tough decisions, about killing large numbers of people not because they want to, but because they have to, and so many soft-headed people don't have what it takes to face reality and do what is absolutely necessary.

That life has a lot of meaning that's all spilled out and lost with peace. Is it any wonder that many Israelis and Arabs refuse to let go of it?

Maybe if they had some other meaning that was even stronger, a lot of them would switch.... But peace doesn't automatically provide that. Peace provides meaning only when you're part of a minority that wants peace, that is working desperately against the odds to achieve it ... and any time peace looks likely the personal meaning leaks away.

My thought for what the USA and the world should do about it is:

1. Arrange to turn the middle east into a nuclear-free zone.

Middle east wars will affect the rest of the world a whole lot more when they turn nuclear. We need that not to happen. If we can inflict thorough inspections on all middle east nations, we can stop them from building nukes. And there's a strong chance that all of them would put up with that -- they are all better off when their enemies do not have nukes than when they do. It's just, they would each prefer to be the only one with nukes.

Israel would have to give up nukes, while Iran etc would only have to prove they aren't making them. Probably the USA would give Israel something special for doing that.

The USA is the primary obstacle to a nuclear-free middle east, with Israel as a secondary obstacle. So we would need a US public consensus that Israel would be better off in a nuke-free middle east than with nukes and one or more nuclear enemies. That's probably doable, over a few years.

In the short run, the US government could publicly declare that Israel has nukes. As it is, when Israel feels the need to threaten to nuke some non-nuclear nation, they make the threat. But when it's inconvenient for them to discuss their nukes, they say that they have not officially said whether they have nukes or not, and then they refuse to discuss the topic. So if the world got it officially established that yes, Israel has nukes, then at least governments could discuss the topic.

And the more the world listens to Israelis explain why they want to have nukes, the crazier it will sound. Because it is in fact insane.

In a world where Israel will inevitably have a series of wars with palestinians/arabs/muslims that will end only when one side or the other is exterminated, pretty much everybody in the world will be better off when the middle east is a nuclear-free zone. This should be the highest priority for the region, at least among Americans, Russians, Chinese, the EU, etc. Also for all middle east nations.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 18, 2011, 04:03:16 pm
Quote
I'm guessing it's easier to start a new topic rather that convince everyone who wants to talk about 9/11 to start their own thread. Also, not everyone has the rights to create a new thread. Thus this.  Talk among yourselves. Topic is the current arc.


Ha, Nice try Spud.  I have seen a lot of message boards but never one that got off topic so fast. 

Anyway, it looks like the Prof is just going to talk his way out of the invasion.  The position of the author seems to be that any reasonable person, given time and opportunity will see and accept the Ceren/AnCap way of life.  I am not so sure.  Its has been my experience that people hold on to their traditional way of thinking with a great deal of tenacity.  Well reasoned arguements might work in fiction but not in real life or for that matter in good fiction.

So far this is all a bit predictable.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 18, 2011, 05:07:40 pm
Well Glenn, all I can say is
"these people are like that." ;D

But wait, does my very good, clever and handsome friend Sams still have that swimming pool full of beer?  Probably drank it already just to keep up here, sigh.

This is a libertarian type forum. There is no moderator here, nothing slows down the thought neutrons and it's hard to control. The closest we have is Mr Sandfort Sir,  the plutonium control rod. I dunno about that.

We are doomed and have a nice day..
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on March 18, 2011, 05:24:55 pm
As far as this "no fanatics in mature democracies", my bullshit detector went off.

Why are America's young men over in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, risking their lives and engaged in a war which is opposed by about 2/3 of Americans?

It sure isn't the high pay and perqs.

I suggest that it is a fanatical and irrational belief that their actions are "defending our freedoms."

They must know, at some level, that America becomes less free every time it goes to war; the security apparatus reaches deeper into every American's daily life, robbing people of privacy, property, and liberty. Yet, our soldiers are trained to believe that something far more terrible would take place, if not for their heroic efforts.


Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 18, 2011, 05:57:31 pm
Anyway, it looks like the Prof is just going to talk his way out of the invasion.  The position of the author seems to be that any reasonable person, given time and opportunity will see and accept the Ceren/AnCap way of life...

You sure about that Sparky?  ::)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sams on March 18, 2011, 06:34:17 pm
But wait, does my very good, clever and handsome friend Sams still have that swimming pool full of beer?  Probably drank it already just to keep up here, sigh.

Sorry I had to trash myself, I have gotten kidney stones this week and staying sobers is unbearable  :'(

Anyway, it looks like the Prof is just going to talk his way out of the invasion.  The position of the author seems to be that any reasonable person, given time and opportunity will see and accept the Ceren/AnCap way of life...

You sure about that Sparky?  ::)

Libertarianism happens to people, just get your pay-check raided or thrown in jail for a change of mind
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 18, 2011, 06:41:54 pm
Anyway, it looks like the Prof is just going to talk his way out of the invasion.  The position of the author seems to be that any reasonable person, given time and opportunity will see and accept the Ceren/AnCap way of life...

You sure about that Sparky?  ::)
The 1914 Christmas Truce only stopped the slaughter for a few days (in some areas).  Fairly quickly, soldiers went back to dying (and being maimed, etc.) for the state.  I won't guess how far Sandy will push the analogy, but (using spudit's examples) it looks to me more like Voyage From Yesteryear than And Then There Were None.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 18, 2011, 07:06:28 pm
The 1914 Christmas Truce only stopped the slaughter for a few days (in some areas).  Fairly quickly, soldiers went back to dying (and being maimed, etc.)...

Actually, they were threatened and forced by the generals, who pontificated about duty as the lead from the rear. The fact that it happened at all still amazes and awes me. War is never the soldiers' idea. It is an inspiration for all people who want peace.

I won't guess how far Sandy will push the analogy...

As I said, that wonderful event was merely the inspiration for the arc. What I wrote seems appropriate for the EFT universe. GMMV (Glenn's mileage my vary.)  :D
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 18, 2011, 07:14:51 pm
And the more the world listens to Israelis explain why they want to have nukes, the crazier it will sound. Because it is in fact insane.

In a world where Israel will inevitably have a series of wars with palestinians/arabs/muslims that will end only when one side or the other is exterminated, pretty much everybody in the world will be better off when the middle east is a nuclear-free zone.
You seem to be contradicting yourself here.

If, indeed, we do live in "a world where Israel will inevitably have a series of wars... that will end only when one side or the other is exterminated", then in what way is it insane for Israel to prefer it having nukes, and the others not having nukes, to both sides not having nukes? That would seem like one way to ensure that they aren't the ones that get exterminated in the end.

Although, I am more optimistic than you are. There are people in the Islamic world, yes, who are willing to die to fight against Israel. The educated people in the cities, though, most of them would rather live. So, as time goes by, and their countries become more educated and prosperous, and with some help and pressure by the U.S., the governments in the Arab world would clamp down enough so that their countries couldn't be used by terrorists. Israeli nukes just help to reinforce the idea that that's the only worthwhile choice.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 18, 2011, 07:48:49 pm
And my view was that peace must be attempted, because there was no adequate alternative.

But for thirteen hundred years, infidels of all religions have been attempting peace, starting with Charles the Great, without success.  After the first Barbary war, Islam violated the peace two years later.  After the second Barbary war, they violated the peace immediately Commodore Decatur had sailed over the horizon.

The only thing that eventually made peace stick was French settlement of Algeria backed by a threat of genocide, a threat made credible by the French making a good start on genocide and planting settlers in the land thus cleared, as one might clear a forest to plant farms.

There never has been peace between infidels and Islam, there never will be peace.  It is a basic principle of Islam that the only peace is submission to Islam.

So I thought the Israeli peace movement would have to persuade Israel to try for peace, and then they would get a second chance.

No one in authority on the Palestinian side has ever made a peace offer.  Only truce offers.  Peace is not on the table.

Instead of telling us what Israel should give in return for more terror, hatred and murder, tell us what Palestinians should ask for, in return for true and permanent peace and normal relations between normal nations.

What do you think that Palestinians should settle for?  Answer me.

Israel has tried peace, got rockets.  What do you suggest that they do?

No one on the Muslim side has made an offer "Give us X and we will stop trying to kill you for ever and ever".  The offer is always, "give us X, Y, and Z", and then maybe we will stop trying to kill you for some brief period, but we will not say how long that period may be."

You are proposing that if Israel gives them X,Y, and Z, unconditionally, without asking for anything in return, then maybe the war will stop.  But Israel has already tried giving them X and Y, and the war has not stopped.  What reason is there to suppose that if Israel also gives them Z unconditionally, things will improve?

Islam always attacks.  It is a basic requirement of their religion.  No Muslim may accept any lasting peace, and any agreement he makes, he is required to break within a short period.  The only thing that keeps them out of mischief is war closer to home.  They stopped attacking during the crusades, and they stopped attacking during the colonial period.  To stop Islamic terrorism, we not only need infidel terrorism.  It has been tried, repeatedly, over the past thousand years and has not sufficed, even when carried out on a quite horrifying scale.  We also need settlers backed by terror.  That is what worked the last few times.  In thirteen hundred years it is the only thing that has ever worked, worked in the sense that we get to choose the battlefield, and send in people who are prepared to do battle, which is the closest thing to peace with Islam that infidels have ever had.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 18, 2011, 08:47:42 pm
There are people in the Islamic world, yes, who are willing to die to fight against Israel. The educated people in the cities, though, most of them would rather live. So, as time goes by, and their countries become more educated and prosperous, and ...

This is the progressive theory:  That they will convert Muslims from Islam to progressivism in the way they have converted Christians from Islam to progressivism.  It is not working.

It is not working in the middle east, and it not working among Muslims in the west.

It has worked against Christianity.  Even the Christian right has converted wholesale away from Christianity to progressivism – they continue to oppose divorce, gay marriage, and abortion, but have conceded on patriarchy and endorsed a system of family law that legally treats men and women as identical and interchangeable, which means that in practice it treats fathers as expendable, dangerous, and harmful.  Having accepted the legal interchangeability of men and women they have no principled grounds to oppose gay marriage and so forth.  If there are no differences between men and women, if equal in the sense of interchangeable, how can one oppose interchanging them?  If men cannot be made carry children, how can you make women carry them?  And so on and so forth.  Having conceded on patriarchy and unequal marriage, having abandoned biological reality, all else follows, the entire liberal program follows, leaving the Christian right with a program that is logically and morally incoherent, as well as quite unappealing.

So, if it has worked against Christianity, why not Islam?

Progressivism, transnationalism, wins against Christianity not by appeal, for it is demonstrably unappealing. Observe that  the more progressive the church, the emptier the pews.  Nor does it succeed by reason, for Christianity has religious beliefs about the next world, which can never be disproven by reason, while progressivism has religious beliefs about this world, which beliefs are quite demonstrably false.  Progressivism wins against Christianity because progressivism is a theocratic religion, and uses the power of the state to inculcate Christian children in progressivism, and to pressure churches to preach progressivism instead of Christianity.  If a Christian church preaches illiberal Christianity, the state will disfavor its leading adherents in a variety of unpleasant ways, up to and including spurious sex abuse charges, state abduction of wives and children, Waco massacre, and so on and so forth, while if the preacher preaches liberal Christianity, he quietly gets all manner of favors,  faith based state initiatives and so on and so forth, so if a preacher wants to get ahead, he gets with the progressive program.

Progressivism has defeated Christianity not because we are more educated and prosperous, but because we are more brainwashed and intimidated.  The proposition that men and women are the same, that blacks and whites are the same, is demonstrably sillier than the proposition that men and women have immortal souls, thus an education that inculcates people with progressivism is necessarily more authoritarian, rigid, doctrinaire, and dogmatic than an education system that inculcates people with worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Theocracy does not work against Islam, for Islam is also a theocratic religion, like progressivism, unlike Christianity, and forcibly resists this.  Teach Muslim children liberalism, and someone might cut your throat.  Pressure the mosque, and they will pressure right back.  Howard, the Australian prime minister, attempted a program of state sponsored “moderate Islam”, and as long as his hand was on it, any Muslim preacher that wanted the benefits of state sponsorship sounded at least a little bit “moderate” – but as soon as Howard was removed from power the strings that Howard had attached were swiftly snipped, leaving only state sponsorship of violently illiberal Islam.

So in the US Christians kids are forbidden to participate in collective prayer in school while Muslim kids are compelled to participate in collective prayer in school.  As a result of this and many similar measures throughout the west, Muslim mosque attendance is high and rising, Christian Church attendance is low and falling.

In the West we see many converts to Islam, few converts to Christianity. We particularly see unmarried women in their most fertile years converting to Islam.

One article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343954/100-000-Islam-converts-living-UK-White-women-keen-embrace-Muslim-faith.html) claimed total Christian converts to Islam in Britain 100,000, (mostly women), with 5,200 converted in the most recent year

Another article (http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14689.htm) claimed total Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain was 3000 – a ratio of thirty to one total converts in favor of Islam.

Sample lists of Muslims in the west converting to Christianity are overwhelmingly male (http://www.muslimjourneytohope.com/watch.asp) – typically about one woman for every three males, while western converts to Islam are mainly women, (http://www.islamfortoday.com/converts.htm#COTW) mainly women (http://www.defendtheprophet.com/study-white-women-in-uk-converting-to-islam-more-than-men).

Since the converts in one direction are mainly men, and converts in the other direction mainly women, this indicates the ratio in Britain is  near a hundred female converts to Islam, for every female convert from Islam to Christianity.

The progressive program of gender abolition does not seem to appeal to its supposed beneficiaries.  It is often said that in all of history there has never been gay marriage, but the reason that in all of history there has never been gay marriage, is that in all of history, there has never been a society in which marriage and family law treated husbands and wives alike as “spouses”.  The one is as unnatural as the other.  Perhaps gender abolition will work in the future when biotechnology has progressed to the point that children are decanted, rather than born, but it is not working today.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 18, 2011, 09:02:48 pm
Progressivism, transnationalism, wins against Christianity not by appeal, for it is demonstrably unappealing. Observe that  the more progressive the church, the emptier the pews.  Nor does it succeed by reason, for Christianity has religious beliefs about the next world, which can never be disproven by reason, while progressivism has religious beliefs about this world, which beliefs are quite demonstrably false.
Reason might not cause people to convert to the whole current left-liberal progressive agenda, but that does not mean that the fact that Christianity's religious beliefs about the next world can not be proved true by reason isn't a good enough reason to reject some of the demands Christianity makes of people in this world.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 18, 2011, 09:25:41 pm
As far as this "no fanatics in mature democracies", my bullshit detector went off.

Why are America's young men over in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, risking their lives and engaged in a war which is opposed by about 2/3 of Americans?

It sure isn't the high pay and perqs.

That could easily be a part of it, particularly when they start. You get out of high school and there are no jobs. You can sort of get by with temporary jobs etc, would you like fries with that, working retail, a little over minimum wage, no sign of any particular prospects. You talk to a recruiter and he points out the benefits -- go through the military and then get a college education, veterans benefits, maybe learn useful skills while you're in, etc. There are obvious disadvantages, but when you're already living the alternative and there isn't much meaning in it, an alternative which doesn't give you a lot of meaningless choices can look pretty good.

Quote
I suggest that it is a fanatical and irrational belief that their actions are "defending our freedoms."

That's a good justification after the fact. You can believe that everything you put up with has some sort of purpose. When you're a civilian working near-minimum-wage and all the stuff you put up with at work only gets you a minimum existence with money for a few beers and maybe the chance each week to pick up some girl who isn't too picky, that isn't real good. You can come up with whatever purpose you can find, and look for ways to fulfill it with the resources you have available.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 18, 2011, 09:28:39 pm
Progressivism, transnationalism, wins against Christianity not by appeal, for it is demonstrably unappealing. Observe that  the more progressive the church, the emptier the pews.  Nor does it succeed by reason, for Christianity has religious beliefs about the next world, which can never be disproven by reason, while progressivism has religious beliefs about this world, which beliefs are quite demonstrably false.

Reason might not cause people to convert to the whole current left-liberal progressive agenda, but that does not mean that the fact that Christianity's religious beliefs about the next world can not be proved true by reason isn't a good enough reason to reject some of the demands Christianity makes of people in this world.

Rationalism is losing in the west, and it never got started in the middle east.  The high point of the age of reason was 1830 or so.

An appeal to reason could well make people give up on some aspects of Christianity, and some aspects of Islam - but what we have seen people give up on are not those aspects of Christianity that are unsupported by reason, but those aspects of Christianity that are supported by reason, but opposed by Progressivism.  People are not converting to rationalism, but to Gaia worship, New Ageism, and such.  God does not talk to Hillary Clinton, but Eleanor Roosevelt does talk to Hillary Clinton, or so believe Hillary Clinton and a great many good progressives.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 18, 2011, 10:15:42 pm
Quote
I suggest that it is a fanatical and irrational belief that their actions are "defending our freedoms."

And I suggest it is the desire to protect a way of life that has never been seen on the face of this Earth until the last 200 years.  That, and getting to blow things up real good.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 18, 2011, 10:16:37 pm
Quote
You sure about that Sparky?  ::)

Sparky?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 18, 2011, 10:21:59 pm
Quote
War is never the soldiers' idea.

This common assertion that soldiers don't like to fight and want to avoid war has always amused me.  Every piece of evidence in the world points in the opposite direction. 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 18, 2011, 10:53:51 pm
And the more the world listens to Israelis explain why they want to have nukes, the crazier it will sound. Because it is in fact insane.

In a world where Israel will inevitably have a series of wars with palestinians/arabs/muslims that will end only when one side or the other is exterminated, pretty much everybody in the world will be better off when the middle east is a nuclear-free zone.

You seem to be contradicting yourself here.

No, I don't see any contradiction.

Quote
If, indeed, we do live in "a world where Israel will inevitably have a series of wars... that will end only when one side or the other is exterminated", then in what way is it insane for Israel to prefer it having nukes, and the others not having nukes, to both sides not having nukes?

It isn't insane for Israel to prefer that, any more than it was insane in 1946 for the USA to prefer to have nukes while the USSR did not. But that didn't last for us.

Israel can do more to prevent arabs from getting nukes than we could do to stop the USSR. They can get us to attack arab nations that look like they might be heading for nukes. But that isn't good for the USA, and there's surely a limit to it.

The USA couldn't afford to attack the USSR to keep them from getting nukes. The Soviet Union was too big, and we didn't have nearly enough nukes. Back in the day when we had nukes and they didn't, we only had a few nukes. The things were very very expensive to produce and we couldn't make them very fast back then. But Israel has an estimated 200-450 nukes, and some fraction of them are H-bombs. Israel could prevent an arab country from getting nukes.

In informal discussion, Israelis claim they would only use their nukes if they were in danger of losing a war -- if their existence was in danger. They prepared nukes and threatened to use them in 1973, when they had lost a war but their borders were in no immediate danger. They have threatened to use nukes various other times but have never actually done so yet. They informally discussed whether it would be necessary to nuke Iran to keep Iran from getting nukes.

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That would seem like one way to ensure that they aren't the ones that get exterminated in the end.

Well see, that depends.

-----
When Israelis informally discuss what would get them to use nukes, the usual story has them about to be exterminated, and like Samson in the temple, they kill everybody they think deserves to die with them. That's good for Israel because they can make sure that nobody gets away with killing them. Perhaps in addition to nuking their enemies, they might also nuke every friend who did not give them *enough* support. Why should those people survive when Israel dies? They don't publicly discuss that part nearly so much.

So OK, Israel is destroyed and the world has to deal with the results of say 500 H-bombs. Who benefits? It makes Israelis feel better to think of it happening that way, but there's nothing good in that story for me. I am much better off with a world where 500 H-bombs have not gone off in one day, than one where they have. And after all, if they're revenge weapons Israel has every reason to make them as dirty as possible, maybe with cobalt etc. They get revenge, I get fallout.

Similarly for lesser situations. Israel uses nukes. Somebody in Israel thinks they're better off for using nukes or they wouldn't do it. Am I better off? Very unlikely.

In this situation, Israel's interests are opposed to the interests of everybody else in the world.

-----
But then, what if Israel fails to keep all their enemies from getting nukes? Pakistan already has nukes but Pakistan needs them against India, and has no interest in nuking Israel. Pakistan does not give nukes to anybody who would nuke Israel. What if Iran got nukes? Probably the same thing, they wouldn't nuke anybody and wouldn't give nukes away. What if Syria and Egypt got nukes? Same thing still, but Israel would have a harder time attacking any of their neighbors.

And yet, with two enemies who have nukes, there's always the chance a nuclear war would happen. That would be bad for everybody. Israel probably would not survive, and even if they nuked Syria when the wind blew in the right direction, toward Turkey, still to some extent Israel would be contaminated -- profaned -- by fallout. Nobody in the world would be better off. If Israel was hit by 4 bombs they would lose a lot. One large H-bomb would leave them with very little.
----

So it seems to me that Israelis would think they were the best off when they were the only ones with nukes. They would have the choice what to do. They wouldn't use nukes unless they thought they were better off doing so, so there's no harm for them that way.

And next best for Israelis is when nobody has nukes. Obviously.

Worse than that is when one or more of Israel's enemies has nukes. That sucks for them.

All of Israel's enemies/victims have already got the worst case possible. Israel has nukes and they don't. They would be far better off if nobody had nukes.

And nobody in the world outside of Israel is better off when Israel has nukes. Everybody else in the world is better off when nobody in the middle east has nukes.

Israelis' efforts, primarily by military action, to prevent all the nations they don't trust from getting nukes, is probably doomed and at a minimum is a giant bother. I don't think the USA will invade Iran for Israel. If we do, we probably won't be ready to do Israel more favors after that. And it will only get worse from there.

Unless Israelis are sure they can forever keep every potential enemy from getting nukes, they are better off with the middle east as a nuclear-free zone.

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Although, I am more optimistic than you are. There are people in the Islamic world, yes, who are willing to die to fight against Israel. The educated people in the cities, though, most of them would rather live. So, as time goes by, and their countries become more educated and prosperous, and with some help and pressure by the U.S., the governments in the Arab world would clamp down enough so that their countries couldn't be used by terrorists. Israeli nukes just help to reinforce the idea that that's the only worthwhile choice.

Well, you may be right. But how effective has the USA been at keeping our country from being used by terrorists? How well have we stopped abortion clinic bombings?

How about Israel? Israel once failed to keep their own Prime Minister from being killed by Israeli terrorists. They are only moderately effective at stopping terrorists, except for members of despised minorities.

And when occasional terrorists do get through into Israel, or attack Israeli tourists, and Israel bombs those cities in response, how can you expect tensions to fall?

You are the closest we have here to a moderate Zionist. The only one. Every other Zionist here says that Muslims will inevitably attack at most opportunities, and will continue to do so as long as they are Muslims. Against Israel, and the USA, and the EU, and everywhere they are not in control. While Zionists believe that, how can Israel ever have peace? Whether or not they are correct about Muslims.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 18, 2011, 11:11:20 pm
The USA couldn't afford to attack the USSR to keep them from getting nukes. The Soviet Union was too big, and we didn't have nearly enough nukes.

The USA could easily have done so, and it had amply sufficient nukes. It chose not to do so because, Communism being a this worldly religion, the US correctly predicted that the balance of terror would deter the Russians from making full scale open conventional war on the West.

Obviously the balance of terror is unlikely to deter Muslims from nuking infidels.  If Pakistan gets genuine democracy, there is a good chance the world will go up in flames.  If Iran gets working nukes, they are very likely to use them, even if Israel has more and better nukes.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 19, 2011, 01:28:26 am
The USA couldn't afford to attack the USSR to keep them from getting nukes. The Soviet Union was too big, and we didn't have nearly enough nukes.

The USA could easily have done so, and it had amply sufficient nukes.

Well, no, we didn't.

It went like this -- we thought we had a monopoly on  nukes, that we could nuke the USSR and they couldn't hit us back. We had no stomach for a conventional invasion of the USSR. During WWII they had raised an army of more than 3 million men, and they could do it again. Our fighter planes were much better than theirs, and our bombers, but our tanks were not nearly as good and most of our troops had no experience surviving extremely cold weather. We did not want to fight WWII over again against a stronger opponent.

But the USSR exploded a nuke in 1949. They were, say, 4 years behind us. Did they have two more nukes? Could they get them to the USA? Probably. They could, for example, put them in ships and send one of them into New York harbor and the other up the Potomac.

It was a very different idea for us to nuke Russia when they couldn't hit us back, versus nuking them and getting nuked ourselves. If we wanted to nuke the USSR to keep them from getting nukes, we had to do it before 1949.

How many nukes did we have then?

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Nwfaq/Nfaq8.html#nfaq8.1.5

We actually had 7 bombs as of July 1946, and 13 bombs by July 1947. We could have had over 100 atomic bombs if we had a high priority to build them. These were Nagasaki-type bombs, not H-bombs.

http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/nudb/datab7.asp

By 1949 we had 200 atomic bombs, and we had more than 500 strategic bombers to carry them. Prop planes. The best of them had a combat radius of 4000 miles but all of them could be refueled in air.

If we had decided in 1949 to attack the USSR, we could have damaged 200 cities or soviet military bases. But if we had decided in 1948 to attack in 1949, we could have had more bombs -- perhaps 800. We could have damaged 800 cities or bases, provided enough planes reached their targets.

We did not know where the russian nuclear sites were. We had not yet done significant overflights of the USSR to even get good maps.

What would you expect as the result of a US nuclear attack which crippled the USSR but did not hit their nuclear sites? Would they hit us back when they could?

We would need to defeat the USSR on the ground and occupy them indefinitely after a nuclear sneak-attack.

Do you suppose that might lead to some hard feelings?

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It chose not to do so because, Communism being a this worldly religion, the US correctly predicted that the balance of terror would deter the Russians from making full scale open conventional war on the West.

Another thing that slowed us down was we thought it would take them years longer to get nukes. Somehow we were sure that even though we got nukes in 4 years after we started trying, the USSR would take much longer. We did not particularly predict the balance of terror. What we did, was to experience the balance of terror. We went from arguing about whether we ought to nuke Russia to being scared to nuke Russia, in roughly one day. Part of the reason a whole lot of military officers argued that we should nuke Russia was that they did not know that our nuclear threat was largely a bluff. We carried a lot of bombs that were dummies, whose cores were lead and not plutonium. Only those with a need-to-know were told which were which. So for example when a US bomber crashed over British Columbia and the bomb trigger exploded, it did not matter because, unknown to the crew, the bomb was a dummy.

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Obviously the balance of terror is unlikely to deter Muslims from nuking infidels.

You say that as if it's obvious. But at the time we thought it would not deter the USSR, who we said were atheist fanatics. And the Russians said it would not deter the chinese who they said were insane Maoists. So far it has deterred Pakistan from nuking India.

The balance of terror seems to deter most people most of the time. But it might fail at any moment for somebody. We don't have data how often that happens because it has never happened yet.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 19, 2011, 01:39:26 am
No beer Sams?

Spudit is sad, and about the kidney stones too. Maybe you can get someone to kiss it and make it better.

The good news is that nobody in either country got nuked, yet. Better that way.

I heard about a guy who was at Hiroshima on business on august 6th 1945, got a broken arm and somehow managed to catch a train out and get home only 2 days later, to Nagasaki.

Yet he lived to a ripe old age.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 19, 2011, 02:26:15 am
But the USSR exploded a nuke in 1949. They were, say, 4 years behind us. Did they have two more nukes? Could they get them to the USA? Probably. They could, for example, put them in ships and send one of them into New York harbor and the other up the Potomac.

Russia never had the capability to sail a surface ship near the US if the US resisted.  The US always had air and sea superiority over everyone - and the Soviet Union would even less have that capability after every port, airport, and industrial center was nuked.

We had them entirely at our mercy, and every sensible reason to destroy them, yet chose not to do so - pretty much as Israel is choosing not to do with Iran.

Had the situation been reversed, they would have certainly destroyed us, and Iran would certainly destroy Israel.

We actually had 7 bombs as of July 1946, and 13 bombs by July 1947.

By 1949 however, we had several hundred bombs - amply sufficient to utterly destroy the Soviet capability to make more bombs, or to deliver bombs - sufficient to destroy every major Soviet industrial center, every airport, and every sea port.

We chose not to use them, though we had every reason to use them.

What would you expect as the result of a US nuclear attack which crippled the USSR but did not hit their nuclear sites? Would they hit us back when they could?

If the US nuked the USSR in 1949 and kept on nuking whenever and wherever there were any signs of recovery, they could no more hit us back than the Congo could.

Further, since the regime ruled by terror, terror imposed by a highly centralized party, there was an excellent chance that communism would collapse once the central committee was no more.

And if it did not collapse, just keep on nuking them until it did, or until communism mutated into something less aggressive.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 19, 2011, 08:22:12 am
But the USSR exploded a nuke in 1949. They were, say, 4 years behind us. Did they have two more nukes? Could they get them to the USA? Probably. They could, for example, put them in ships and send one of them into New York harbor and the other up the Potomac.

Russia never had the capability to sail a surface ship near the US if the US resisted.  The US always had air and sea superiority over everyone - and the Soviet Union would even less have that capability after every port, airport, and industrial center was nuked.

Russia certainly had the capability to sail a cargo ship from Norway, or from Greece, etc. We did not at that time have the technology deployed to tell whether a cargo ship held a nuke without inspecting it.

They had bombers which could reach us, one-way. We did not then have adequate radar set up to detect them coming. The DEW line came online in 1957.

"Air superiority" didn't mean quite the same thing then that it does now. They could shoot down our B29s if they could find them. We thought they could not shoot down our B38s, and we had a few dozen of those. We could shoot down their bombers if we could find them. "Air superiority" means something different over a country than it does over an active battlefield. If they don't try to bomb your troops because they're afraid they'd lose their bombers, but you can bomb their troops, then you have an advantage. Very different from needing fighters in the air constantly over every city you think they might bomb.

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We had them entirely at our mercy, and every sensible reason to destroy them, yet chose not to do so - pretty much as Israel is choosing not to do with Iran.

There were actually some americans who believed just what you believe.

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Had the situation been reversed, they would have certainly destroyed us, and Iran would certainly destroy Israel.

Two claims which can never be tested. I'm not clear why I bother to argue with you. Your faith is unpleasant.

To the extent that the USSR was communist, you figure they wanted to kill off the US proletariat? Wouldn't they believe it was inevitable that the US proles would eventually wake up and throw off their chains and join the USSR in amity?

And to the extent that Iran is influenced by Islam, would they nuke Jerusalem and the Palestinians? Sure, if they *had* to for a greater goal, but wouldn't they likely believe that God will eventually give them victory without that?

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We actually had 7 bombs as of July 1946, and 13 bombs by July 1947.

By 1949 however, we had several hundred bombs

200, none of them H-bombs. Think Nagasaki.

[/quote] - amply sufficient to utterly destroy the Soviet capability to make more bombs, or to deliver bombs - sufficient to destroy every major Soviet industrial center, every airport, and every sea port.[/quote]

Destroy them the way Nagasaki was destroyed. That is, heavily damaged but not destroyed.

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We chose not to use them, though we had every reason to use them.

There were some Americans who believed that we had every reason to use nukes.

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What would you expect as the result of a US nuclear attack which crippled the USSR but did not hit their nuclear sites? Would they hit us back when they could?

If the US nuked the USSR in 1949 and kept on nuking whenever and wherever there were any signs of recovery, they could no more hit us back than the Congo could.

That's true. I don't have the figures at hand, but by 1949 we probably could have built say 12 bombs a month. We could have kept up a low-level bombing campaign, and we could have kept bombing the survivors as fast as we noticed them. Then when we got H-bombs we could have continued to hit the russians with those. Probably within the first few months their nuclear sites would run out of spare parts etc and would no longer be able to make new bombs. And if we persuaded their various neighbors to blockade them, they couldn't get those bombs out to cargo ships.

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Further, since the regime ruled by terror, terror imposed by a highly centralized party, there was an excellent chance that communism would collapse once the central committee was no more.

Maybe. But what does that matter? As you pointed out, we would need to keep nuking them for the indefinite future. Because after we killed, say, 20% of them in a sneak attack, we couldn't expect the survivors to shake hands and forgive us. We would be afraid they would hit us back if they ever could, and so we would have to keep killing them whenever they looked like they were starting to recover. Whether they were still communists or not.

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And if it did not collapse, just keep on nuking them until it did, or until communism mutated into something less aggressive.

Well, see? How could we tell whether communism was mutating into something less aggressive, when we had to keep nuking them in case they were still aggressive?

The Nazis fell into this same pit. Once they treated Jews *too* badly, they had to try to kill them off. They couldn't chance that their victims ever got power.

And the Israelis are halfway down the slope. They do their best to keep Gaza from having any economy at all, because they can't trust Palestinians to have anything. If Gazans can get foreign exchange they might use it to buy weapons. If they can get concrete, they might use it to build bomb shelters. It's official Israeli policy that Gazans should go to bed hungry, not actually starve but never quite get enough to eat. And 70% of them do go to bed hungry most nights.

The worse you treat your victims, the more you fear that they might someday get free. The more you expect them to want revenge, the more irresistible the urge to kill them off.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 19, 2011, 09:13:58 am
Had the situation been reversed, they would have certainly destroyed us, and Iran would certainly destroy Israel.

Two claims which can never be tested. I'm not clear why I bother to argue with you. Your faith is unpleasant.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, under Stalin, was not very different from Nazi Germany - it had labor camps for political prisoners, secret police, and so on.

For Americans, therefore, not to believe that a Soviet nuclear monopoly would have almost certainly resulted in Americans becoming enslaved by Communism - in much the way that the Poles and the Czechs and the Hungarians and so on were enslaved by Communism - is what would have required a willingness to take risks; a leap of faith. Being unwilling to accept risk does not require faith.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 19, 2011, 09:21:51 am
Had the situation been reversed, they would have certainly destroyed us, and Iran would certainly destroy Israel.

Two claims which can never be tested. I'm not clear why I bother to argue with you. Your faith is unpleasant.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, under Stalin, was not very different from Nazi Germany - it had labor camps for political prisoners, secret police, and so on.

For Americans, therefore, not to believe that a Soviet nuclear monopoly would have almost certainly resulted in Americans becoming enslaved by Communism - in much the way that the Poles and the Czechs and the Hungarians and so on were enslaved by Communism - is what would have required a willingness to take risks; a leap of faith. Being unwilling to accept risk does not require faith.

Considering risk does not require faith.

Had the situation been reversed, they would have certainly destroyed us, and Iran would certainly destroy Israel.

To be unwilling to consider the possibility that the USSR might not have nuked us, or Iran might not nuke Israel, that's faith.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 19, 2011, 10:31:07 am
They must know, at some level, that America becomes less free every time it goes to war; the security apparatus reaches deeper into every American's daily life, robbing people of privacy, property, and liberty. Yet, our soldiers are trained to believe that something far more terrible would take place, if not for their heroic efforts.
Gosh, it certainly sounds like they're believing something irrational.

And then I look at what life was like in Eastern Europe under Communism, or in Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany... and I quickly wonder what you're smoking. And yet, I can't help but think that while your point of view as represented here is ridiculous on its face, it's not as if it's entirely wrong either. I'm just not sure of what to do about the problem you identify that wouldn't be fatally stupid.

It would be simple indeed if our enemies were hoaxes concocted by our political elites to tighten their noose of power around us. I think there's a tiny bit of truth in that... but also that our enemies are very real, and pretty much are the fearsome monsters they're painted as.

Universal morality - as opposed to slaughtering the adult males of a defeated enemy, and taking the women and children as slaves - is pretty much still a recent innovation, confined to a small part of the world.

In any event, I've started a new thread over in Talk Amongst Y'selves to try and absorb some of the Middle East discussion.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 19, 2011, 11:28:33 am
They must know, at some level, that America becomes less free every time it goes to war; the security apparatus reaches deeper into every American's daily life, robbing people of privacy, property, and liberty. Yet, our soldiers are trained to believe that something far more terrible would take place, if not for their heroic efforts.

Gosh, it certainly sounds like they're believing something irrational.

And then I look at what life was like in Eastern Europe under Communism, or in Stalin's Russia or Hitler's Germany... and I quickly wonder what you're smoking.

And yet the Soviet army had pretty good morale most of the time, didn't they? The rest of the Warsaw Pact military not so much, by reputation, though I never discussed it with any of them.

So maybe what gets soldiers to get enthusiastic is not the details of their society, or the particular ideology they were raised with, or how good their economy is doing relative to the rest of the world. Probably it's mostly something else.

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And yet, I can't help but think that while your point of view as represented here is ridiculous on its face, it's not as if it's entirely wrong either. I'm just not sure of what to do about the problem you identify that wouldn't be fatally stupid.

It would be simple indeed if our enemies were hoaxes concocted by our political elites to tighten their noose of power around us. I think there's a tiny bit of truth in that... but also that our enemies are very real, and pretty much are the fearsome monsters they're painted as.

That might be part of it. No matter how kind and compassionate our enemies are, we still don't want to be at their mercy. And we sure don't want to trust their kindness. Anything they do that sounds bad will get a lot of our attention.

Probably everybody else is like that too. When we tell the world they can trust us to enforce human rights etc wherever we are in control, they instinctively distrust us. Then when they see things go wrong like in Panama or Iraq, they feel like they have reason to distrust us.

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Universal morality - as opposed to slaughtering the adult males of a defeated enemy, and taking the women and children as slaves - is pretty much still a recent innovation, confined to a small part of the world.

The whole world claims they don't take slaves any more. There's a certain amount of female slavery pretty much everywhere, but not all that much. And there wasn't very much slaughter in the last half of the 20th century. Lots of wars didn't go that way. There were a few examples in africa, and then there was cambodia where they didn't have enough food or transport to feed people in cities anyway. Suharto in Indonesia killed up to 2 million communists who were his own citizens, but we didn't much mind because he said they were communists. There was ethnic cleansing in Israel/Palestine and ex-Yugoslavia, but in both cases the intention was not to kill off the population but just to persuade them to leave by whatever method necessary. It may have been more like genocide in Burma and Tibet and maybe genocide was intended in East Timor.

But on the whole we've done pretty well.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 19, 2011, 01:00:08 pm
Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 

Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Islam is not the only group or religion with fanatics.  Christians, mostly Protestants, can be just as fanatical as Muslims.

As demonstrated, doubtless, by all those Christian suicide bombers.  Why if you make a movie that criticizes Christianity, some Christian is going to stab you in the street crying "Allah Akhbar"!   That is why Christians never write stories like "Canterbury tales" - they would have their throats cut if they tried it.

Decadent democracies do have fanatics.  Just look at the bought and paid for Tea Party. 

Well if they were bought and paid for they would not be fanatics would they?  And in any case, they oppose democracy in the sense that they argue that the constitution forbids a system where the government can use their money to buy as many votes as it needs.

So let us look for the protesters that are protesting for the system the tea partiers are protesting against: http://sharpelbowsstl.blogspot.com/2011/03/union-rally-turns-st-louis-into.html (http://sharpelbowsstl.blogspot.com/2011/03/union-rally-turns-st-louis-into.html) No fanatics in sight.  The protesters are bused in taxpayer paid buses, they sign off, which implies they get paid for showing up, and they receive mass produced signs that are made to look like individually produced signs.

Aha, I see that your only linked source is a "credible" news reporting agency.  You should know by now how skilled anti-Americans are at using modern video editing technologies.  James O'Keefe and his employer (the guy who runs the website Big Government) have already showed the power of selective editing.

Also, I notice you did not link to any videos showing Tea Partiers checking in to their rallies next to their corporate-provided buses, which implies that Dick Armey and his "army" of for-profit corporate funded astro-turfing are too smart to be caught on camera.
Besides, what legitimate protester yells "Get your government hands off of my government subsidized health care"?

Because your one link shows a bias that defends your point, I dont see how you can be taken seriously.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 19, 2011, 01:32:17 pm
Yeah, what would a nut case like Stalin have in mind.

Stalin was not one for subtlety.  This sort of scheme is typical of the ruling elite of a decadent democracy, where public opinion, or a plausible simalcrum thereof, still matters.

Or, Or, an undercover UW fanatic, an obvious Belter, starts shooting the place up. 

Islam has fanatics.  Decadent democracies do not.  They fall from lack of faith in themselves.  Islamists do not need astroturf.

Islam is not the only group or religion with fanatics.  Christians, mostly Protestants, can be just as fanatical as Muslims.

It makes me laugh how much ignorance people have in relation to Christianity ::)

Show me the suicide bombers, execution squads and kidnapping of little atheist children for indoctrination purposes.

Also there is no comparison between the Bible and the Quran, saying that '' the old testament got some nasty things'', it just show the ignorance to how the Bible works.

The old Testament was the Law, then Jesus Christ came and supper seeded the Law and provided us mercy, so the Old Testament is more of a ''see how awful things were before'' thing. The Quran is completely different.

IN AMERICA, the biggest terrorist threat comes from Christians, not Muslims.
IN AMERICA, the terrorists are some form of Christian, not Muslim.
Fox News, the favorite "news" channel of this forum, does not report on acts of terrorism performed by white Christians, because it is not what they are paid to do.
Most mainstream media outlets do not either because there are always "more important" stories to cover that also happen to be less upsetting to their white christian audience.

There are a few suicide bombers, they're just not reported as such; and often they are prevented from suiciding by the people around them.  In the cases where they are successful, it is often related to abortion.
If Americans were more like Europeans in temperament, there might be more suiciders.
The execution squads have pretty much been put out of business, because both society and government forces decided to do so.
Currently there are people who claim to be Christians who do kidnap children for indoctrination purposes.

Remember, just because its not in the news, doesnt mean its not happening.  Tomorrow, try to watch a media source that is not Fox News or ones of its ideological followers.

I'm sorry I wasnt clear, but I am talking about terrorist activities inside the United States.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 19, 2011, 01:57:57 pm
Plenty of examples of crazy Christians. The Crusades to special magic underwear to the Spanish inquisition, to the Salem witch trials.

The Spanish inquisition killed four thousand people over several hundred years.  How many infidels did Indonesian Muslims kill last year?

There were a bunch of inquisitions. The generally accepted estimates are only 40,000 to 100,000 witches killed total, but the paperwork of legal trials only shows about 12,000. But see, people who killed witches didn't always keep good paperwork. Especially in medieval times

So you are accumulating all the crimes committed for Christian religious reasons over the last several hundred years world wide,and then imagining that it might be ten times as big due to poor record keeping, but somehow overlooking all the crimes committed for Muslim religious reasons over the last year,

Here is a list of recent Muslim terrorist attacks on unarmed peaceful infidels  http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks (http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks)

Every year they murder ten thousand or so innocents - pretty close to your grand total of all the inquisitions. 

History is that they have been doing this stuff pretty much continuously for thirteen hundred years.   

Now to balance the account, you will probably point to the arab Israeli wars and the crusades, but Islam started the arab Israeli wars and Islam started the crusades.  The crusades were Christians successfully finishing what Muslims started.

It has always been like this.  There has never been a time when Muslims were not attacking, and everyone else defending.

Ah.  So what you are saying is that all Muslims everywhere need to be wiped from the face of the earth and any and all documentation that mentions Islam must be destroyed in order for there to be peace.

To quote Aliens: "Nuke 'em from orbit; its the only way to be sure."

Boy I'm glad I'm anonymous; Otherwise you would have come to my home and killed me by now.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 19, 2011, 03:28:55 pm

IN AMERICA, the biggest terrorist threat comes from Christians, not Muslims.
IN AMERICA, the terrorists are some form of Christian, not Muslim.
Fox News, the favorite "news" channel of this forum, does not report on acts of terrorism performed by white Christians, because it is not what they are paid to do.
Most mainstream media outlets do not either because there are always "more important" stories to cover that also happen to be less upsetting to their white christian audience.

Reality check: how many abortion clinic bombings per year are there? 

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There are a few suicide bombers, they're just not reported as such; and often they are prevented from suiciding by the people around them.  In the cases where they are successful, it is often related to abortion.

Reality check: how many Christan suicide bombers, successful or not, have happened in the US over the last ten years?

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I'm sorry I wasnt clear, but I am talking about terrorist activities inside the United States.

I remember maybe one assassination in a church and less than a dozen arson or bomb attempts in the last ten years.  While these are serious crimes, let's remember that the total body count was a fraction of what the Ft. Hood shooter did.

Maybe I'm missing a vast swath of ideology-targeted terror instigated by Christians here in the US every year, but I don't think so. If you could shed some light on this I'd appreciate it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 19, 2011, 04:22:28 pm
It has always been like this.  There has never been a time when Muslims were not attacking, and everyone else defending.

Ah.  So what you are saying is that all Muslims everywhere need to be wiped from the face of the earth.

During the colonial period, France induced civilized behavior among Muslims by credibly threatening to wipe all Muslims everywhere from the face of the earth.  They made a good start on it, but eased up when Muslims quieted down.

We are at war with Islam.  To win a war, you don't need to kill everyone, but you do need to persuade the enemy that you can, and will, if they don't quiet down.  That is war.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 19, 2011, 04:52:05 pm
No Sam.
That is your war.
Not mine.
Have fun.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 19, 2011, 04:52:45 pm
Poking my head in where it don't belong again.

The Christian terrorism I encounter today is cultural, annoying and below any scale blamed on the other religions.

I am a perfectly happy heathen. In a pinch I claim to be a gaian shamanic objectivist, pretty close and it does shut them up.

Despite my heathen happiness some Christian folks try to "fix"' me and it does get so very very old but being all talk it does not violate ZAP so like the rain, there it is but I sure wish it would stop; this is quite a run on sentence isn't it, it could go on forever and, no, kill it; kill the bad grammer, there done

Calmer now

A list.
The statement that this, the US, is a Christian country elicits the response and so if you are not it is not your country?

Then I hear it was a Christian country at first then went to crap. Nope no known Buddhists and Muslims early on, but plenty of Jews, Catholics, nonbelievers, atheists, agnostics and some fairly cranky armed animists out in the woods.

Note, if one sailor from each of the first 2 faiths jumped ship in colonial/revolutionary times, they could have been here all along too. unknowable.

And then the, usually subtle, pressure to conform, accept Jesus, be "saved". No, sorry, does not compute, incompatible software/wetware formats and have a nice day.

Why does the popular term Christian only apply to fundamentalist offshoots generally Baptist in origin? As in a friend's daughter is a missionary in Ecuador. Oh, to the heathen natives up in the mountains, no to everyone. But South America is mostly Christian, ain't it. No, they aren't Christians, they are Catholics, gotta fix that. Que?

Then the arrogance, the we know best so let us drive crap. As I heard someone say, Christianity is the only true religion because it's the only one confirmed by Scripture. What scripture is that, why the New Testament of course.

Of course.

Then the official national religious holidays. I am mostly indifferent to them but if I was on a jury for the murder trial of a guy who got harassed one time too many for lack of Christmas spirit, he'd walk. I am him. Know which president signed the law making Christmas a legal holiday, US Grant. So for the first one hundred years in this Christian Country, it wasn't. Hmm.

Christian means Christ like. Jesus was a great teacher, a great rabbi indeed, and who is the most like him today? Who comes to my mind as a gentle and wise holy man preaching love and tolerance today? When I answer dunno, probably the Dalai Lama, I get the strangest looks. How can a Tibetan Buddhist be Christ like? Ain't my definition man but he fits yours.

Sharia law sounds like no fun but living under Christian law is no prize either. Look into the Pilgrims, compare them to the Taliban, the difference, mostly the hats.

But it's all talk and as long as it stays that way I will tolerate it along with the other second class citizens. It needn't, and that's scary. If a trusted clergy-person told some gullible minion/parishioner God says the prohibition against suicide is lifted and they get extra bonus points in heaven for taking out a some bad thing, like a mosque, watch out.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 19, 2011, 07:12:20 pm
Sharia law sounds like no fun but living under Christian law is no prize either. Look into the Pilgrims, compare them to the Taliban, the difference, mostly the hats.

Did the pilgrims execute anyone for apostacy?  Where was the mob of Pilgrims raping and sexually mutilating a woman while screaming “Jew! Jew!”?

Today, everyone is terrified to speak unkind words of Islam, and no one is frightened to speak unkind words of Christianity, and back when the inquisition was in town, it was also the case that everyone was terrified to speak unkind words of Islam and no one was frightened to speak unkind words of Christianity.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 19, 2011, 07:38:25 pm
Today, everyone is terrified to speak unkind words of Islam, and no one is frightened to speak unkind words of Christianity...

Seriously, compare the outrage between Everybody Draw Mohammed Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody_Draw_Mohammed_Day) and this SouthPark episode (http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s07e12-all-about-the-mormons) about the Mormons?

Which one ridicules the core-beliefs of the sect more?

Which one resulted in death threats?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 19, 2011, 08:08:38 pm
No Sam.
That is your war.
Not mine.
Have fun.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on March 19, 2011, 10:10:45 pm
There are people in the Islamic world, yes, who are willing to die to fight against Israel. The educated people in the cities, though, most of them would rather live. So, as time goes by, and their countries become more educated and prosperous, and ...

This is the progressive theory:  That they will convert Muslims from Islam to progressivism in the way they have converted Christians from Islam to progressivism.  It is not working.

It is not working in the middle east, and it not working among Muslims in the west.

It has worked against Christianity.  Even the Christian right has converted wholesale away from Christianity to progressivism – they continue to oppose divorce, gay marriage, and abortion, but have conceded on patriarchy and endorsed a system of family law that legally treats men and women as identical and interchangeable, which means that in practice it treats fathers as expendable, dangerous, and harmful.  


Extremely thought provoking!

This meshes well with understanding why American "soft power" appeal through media is so irritateing to conservative Muslims.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on March 19, 2011, 10:19:57 pm
Poking my head in where it don't belong again.

The Christian terrorism I encounter today is cultural, annoying and below any scale blamed on the other religions.


   As a Christian I am prepared to tolerate your attitude, If I ever point you once in the right direction my duty is done.

    If you describe the people you describe the nation, how a Christian people chose willfullly to establish a secular government need not be explained unless you think Christians are intolerant , then you gotta come up with something.

Why is Christmass overemphasised?  It indeed is , I blame Dickins and his tour of the US reading "A Christmass Caroll".
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 19, 2011, 10:41:51 pm
Thank you Plane.

All I ask is live and let live.

No, I don't think Christrians are neccesarilly intolerant, some surely are but most no. Their world view seems odd to me but so be it; I am no one's livestock, even a diety's -- as in sheep.  Note, I was raised Presbyterian, like any good Scotch-Irish white trash, go team, didn't take.

That need to convert Ecuadorian Catholics to Christianity, still, que, huh?

I found Heinlien at a young age. His Nemmiah Scudder and archangel Foster still scare me. Then I see Palin and Gingrich in the news and think of them.

A thousand years ago or so when the world and I were young, Mad magazine or maybe Cracked, ran a one page comic of a Hitler analog. But every single place you'd expect to see a swastika, armbands, flags, banners, bunting, there was a smiley face :). It was way funny and way creepy.  

The do gooders are in charge. Oh crap.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Sieggy on March 19, 2011, 10:51:03 pm
What I find amusing about this discussion is your assumption that 'as it was. it is now, and ever shall be'. Islam is going to have to go through the same bloody growing pains that christianity did. Consider the protestant/catholic wars that lasted literally for centuries. We got better, for the most part, dropped the murderous fanaticism (for the most part), and no longer slaughter each other over minor doctrinal differences (for the most part). We learned tolerance because we found the price of intolerance too high. And we did it the hard way, without any guides or goals, plans or purpose . . . we wound up with what he have through numerous accidents, quirks, and misunderstandings of fate. And no, I don't think this is all part of god's divine plan . . . unless he's a drunken sadist.

A lot of what we in the west think of as being 'religious' differences are political and cultural. It has a religious veneer, but is more than merely that. Islam never had to modernize before - they were insular, and inward facing. Like the japanese when confronted with the Black Fleet, the world has kicked in their front doors. Now they have to face modernity, if only because the younger generation sees what we have in the west, and they want it for themselves, too. The current uprisings in the middle east are proof of that. There is a muckin' HUGE demographic bubble coming up that will sweep away the turban wearing, birka demanding old farts that hold back any culture. You will NEVER hear about muslims playing rock music, hip-hop or rap on Faux Noise . . . but they do. And the old fogeys there are just as upset about it as they are here.

Ataturk was just the forerunner of what we're seeing today. As the old mullahs, imams, and ayatollahs die off, they'll be replaced with increasingly moderate (once again, for the most part) people who have been exposed to the world. The greatest revolutionary force in the islamic world is the satellite dish and the internet, which the conservative theocracies regard (rightly so) with horror and dread. Knowledge is that great destroyer of restrictive societies. As christian conservatives know all too well.

You don't move from the 9th century to the 21st century overnight. It'll take them at least a couple of generations, and you'll have crazies who will want to kill anyone who threatens their status quo, their cultural purity, or who threatens to bring enlightenment into their darkness. You know, like southern baptists.  You have that anywhere. They'll get over it - we did. In a century or two, they'll look back at their excesses with the same embarrassment that christians do when regarding their own witch trials and inquisitions.

So get over it. We got better, they'll get better. And history marches on . . .
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: wdg3rd on March 19, 2011, 11:21:04 pm

A thousand years ago or so when the world and I were young, Mad magazine or maybe Cracked, ran a one page comic of a Hitler analog. But every single place you'd expect to see a swastika, armbands, flags, banners, bunting, there was a smiley face :). It was way funny and way creepy.  

The do gooders are in charge. Oh crap.

I know there was such a cartoon by Gahan Wilson, but I can't recall where it was originally published if indeed I ever saw the original publication, as I definitely saw it in one of his collections.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 12:01:00 am
Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
The current uprisings in the middle east are proof of that. There is a muckin' HUGE demographic bubble coming up that will sweep away the turban wearing, birka demanding old farts that hold back any culture.

The young are more Islamic, not less Islamic - both in Egypt, and among Egyptian migrants to the west.  As the public gang rape and sexual mutilation of Lara Logan demonstrated, these are Islamic uprisings.

The history of theocratic religion is that theocratic religion only becomes more extreme until it faces a credible threat of genocide.  Both progressivism and Islam are displaying that evolution.

In a monarchic or aristocratic regime, as for example Dubai and the Byzantine empire, theocracy remains moderate.  However in a meritocratic regime, merit tends to be measured by holy zeal for the theology.  Thus, for example, students to Harvard are admitted more on their political orientation than their ability: the extracurricular activities which are so important are political extracurricular activities.  Saving the whales counts.  Boy scouts counts against you.

http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html (http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html)
Quote
Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis ....  The admissions disadvantage was  greatest for those in leadership positions in these  activities or those  winning honors and awards.

Selection on theocratic merit causes the theocracy to become ever more extreme, in both Islam and the west. Thus Dubai remains tolerant, while Iran and the US go ever more demented in different directions.

Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
You will NEVER hear about muslims playing rock music, hip-hop or rap on Faux Noise .

Isolated behind your self installed Berlin wall, you remain  breathtakingly ignorant of what goes on in the world.  If you watched Fox news, you would have discovered that it is the wealthy educated hip hop generation that is blowing themselves up in pizza parlors.  Yusuf Islam is a big fan of terror, and Islamic terrorists are big fans of Yusuf Islam's music.

I say, if we cannot find Islamic terrorists, we can find Yusuf Islam, so let us blow him up to silence his music and frighten his fans.  Muslims have always used terror, and the only times that we held our own against Islam is when we used terror also.

Britney Spears is incompatible with Islamic terrorism for some reason, but Yusuf Islam is alarmingly compatible.  So yeah, bombing them with Britney Spears videos might work - but it would work a whole lot better if we first murder Yusuf Islam and every rocker and pop singer that resembles him.  That is the way to do cultural warfare.

Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
Ataturk was just the forerunner of what we're seeing today.

If you got outside your cave and listened to something other than NPR state sponsored propaganda, you would know that Atatürk's reforms have been brutally and thoroughly reversed, and support for Atatürk's reforms, program and ideology will get you imprisoned or executed in today's Turkey.  In today's Turkey, anyone who sounds insufficiently Islamic is accused of being pro Atatürk, and loses his job.  It is like being suspected of saying "nigger" in today's America.

Some America politician called a black guy a "macaca".  Oops.  Sounds like "nigger".  Suddenly he is out of politics and permanently unemployable.  That is pretty much how the most trivial symptoms of Atatürkism get treated in today's Turkey.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 12:22:07 am
IN AMERICA, the biggest terrorist threat comes from Christians, not Muslims.
IN AMERICA, the terrorists are some form of Christian, not Muslim.

Don't be silly.  In America, Muslim terrorists have murdered thousands, and the most recent major act of Islamic terrorism in the US was Major Hasan in 2009 who murdered thirteen after doing a power point presentation on why he was going to murder people.

How far back do you have to go to find a murder in the US motivated by Christianity?


Fox News, the favorite "news" channel of this forum, does not report on acts of terrorism performed by white Christians, because it is not what they are paid to do.

So abortion clinics are being bombed, and no one hears about it?

You are insane.  Where are these exploded abortion clinics?

Not only is Christian terrorism insignificant today compared to Muslim terrorism, it always has been insignificant. 

If you want to up the Christian count, you could point to Charles the great creating a desert between Dar al Islam and dar al Harb, but his massacres were defensive.  In response to numerous dreadful Islamic attacks over the previous hundred years Charles was creating deep unpopulated zone in order  to stop Muslim terrorists infiltrating into Dar al Harb.  He killed everyone because he had no way of telling the terrorists from all those "moderate" Muslims.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 20, 2011, 04:37:12 am

If you describe the people you describe the nation, how a Christian people chose willfullly to establish a secular government need not be explained unless you think Christians are intolerant , then you gotta come up with something.

The usual explanation is that many Christians in the american colonies had been pretty much intolerant of each other. Some of the colonies were originally established by refugees from Massachusetts, where the christians were exceptionally intolerant. Virginia was officially Anglican. Little tolerance there. At one point Virginia threatened war with Maryland, which was Catholic. Etc.

To get all those states to join together, the people who wrote the Constitution agreed that the federal government would not persecute any religion, and would not promote any one sect over others.

They were weak former colonies that needed each other. If they bickered too much, if they had trade wars or military wars, the British would take them over. So the fundamental idea was that quarrelsome people who didn't much like each other could still work together for the common good.

That idea eventually let to a nation that was the strongest in the world. And to keep it going they tried to be multicultural, and that appears to be failing. What's the point in being part of a nation that dominates the world, if it doesn't enforce traditional American values? Better to throw out the bad guys with their foreign ideas and if it means we aren't all that powerful, at least we preserve something.

No, the existence of the US government does not much imply Christian tolerance. Though the existence of the US government has created a fair degree of Christian tolerance. And there were in fact a lot of tolerant Christians in the USA, particularly Christians who had been weak and persecuted by other Christians in the USA. Being too weak to defend themselves isn't necessary to get somebody to be tolerant of others, but it helps.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 20, 2011, 10:01:56 am
As far as this "no fanatics in mature democracies", my bullshit detector went off.

Why are America's young men over in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, risking their lives and engaged in a war which is opposed by about 2/3 of Americans?

It sure isn't the high pay and perqs.

I suggest that it is a fanatical and irrational belief that their actions are "defending our freedoms."

They must know, at some level, that America becomes less free every time it goes to war; the security apparatus reaches deeper into every American's daily life, robbing people of privacy, property, and liberty. Yet, our soldiers are trained to believe that something far more terrible would take place, if not for their heroic efforts.

Terry, most soldiers, especially the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, know that these wars are bullshit and nothing but Bush wanting revenge for Saddam trying to kill Bush Sr.
As for why people continue to enlist and get sent over to die in the name of America, the reason IS the pay and benefits.  Most of the new recruits come from a life that is unpleasant and has no future and no upward mobility.  They know that military service provides better pay and, should they return in one piece, better prospects at social mobility.

Even Marine recruits arent doing it for political reasons.  I know some and they have told me so.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 10:54:00 am
Once again, JThomas makes sense, explains well and writes well. We were a fine herd of cats then and the management at the time did what they could to keep them alive.

Twain made a point in Conneticut Yankee by having Sir Boss say America had so many conflicting religions they kept each other in line.

Nuff said.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 20, 2011, 11:57:08 am
Quote
Even Marine recruits arent doing it for political reasons.  I know some and they have told me so.

I know many and you are wrong.  I see kids who go from ROTC to the military and few do it for the money.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 12:28:36 pm
My underage grandfather ran away from home in Nebraska to join the Navy in WWI. My father joined the Navy as soon as he could to see more of the world than Chicago, so they stationed him at Great Lakes. The navy folks will get that joke. Adventure draws young folks, always has.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 20, 2011, 12:32:58 pm
My underage grandfather ran away from home in Nebraska to join the Navy in WWI. My father joined the Navy as soon as he could to see more of the world than Chicago, so they stationed him at Great Lakes. The navy folks will get that joke. Adventure draws young folks, always has.
I've even seen that joke used in connection with the Army on a card from Magic: the Gathering -

http://magiccards.info/query?q=!Border+Guard&v=card&s=cname (http://magiccards.info/query?q=!Border+Guard&v=card&s=cname)
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 12:51:04 pm
Is true. It beats Gramps spending the war in the engine room of a destroyer in the North Atlantic. Clearly he did not have my best interests at heart there.

Better to take the streetcar home on weekends.

Or the friend who bitched about being stationed in Korea in 1968. So you would have prefered the other Asian country on the list? Silence.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 20, 2011, 12:58:08 pm
If they bickered too much, if they had trade wars or military wars, the British would take them over.
This doesn't sound plausible.  The British (at least some of them) would certainly realize that trying to take over a former colony would likely result in an immediate end to the squabbling and a massive effort to throw out the invaders (that would be more united than the original American revolution).

There wouldn't have been much public support for wars between colonies.  The governments of New York and New Hampshire threatened to come to blows over the region now known as Vermont, so most of the people living there rejected both governments, and most of the people in the rest of New York and New Hampshire didn't mind.

"Trade wars" were primarily directed at the people in the former colonies by their governments, and for the most part the people ignored them.  Tariffs (to benefit politically powerful manufacturers) were avoided by smuggling.  You probably were taught the same government propaganda that I was taught--that the Constitution was needed because tariffs between states were stifling trade--but the truth is exactly the opposite.  The tariffs were poorly enforced--the borders were long with much movement across them--so the Constitution was needed to enable the government (of a much larger area) to stifle trade with much more easily enforced tariffs.

Once again, JThomas makes sense, explains well and writes well.
I disagree.  The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 01:11:11 pm
As you like.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 20, 2011, 04:32:49 pm
I disagree.  The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.
The post of his that I think is being discussed seemed to be factual and correct to me.

In Britain, "Puritan" is a dirty word. Americans talk about the Puritans coming to America, for example on the Mayflower, in order to flee from religious persecution. In Britain, the Puritans are remembered for having engaged in religious persecution of everyone else - for example, outlawing the celebration of Christmas while they were in power.

This is just one example of what he was describing. The Salem witch trials can also be considered. Many of the initial Thirteen Colonies were, just as he says, religiously intolerant. A religiously tolerant society, which later developed into a secular society, at least partially, did come about for the precise reason he identified: mutual necessity in the face of Britain's abuses of the colonies, and the need to obtain and maintain national independence for the United States of America.

I don't see how that post is so vague that it could mean anything. The claim that the First Amendment, therefore, is not automatic proof that Christians are naturally highly tolerant is at least made plausible by the argument. However, one can also look at the history of toleration in Britain, and the secularization of Europe despite its many established churches to see that there does seem to be a correlation between Christianity and religious tolerance. But is that due to Christianity itself, or a high level of education, a high level of material prosperity, and the disruption in tradition and parental authority that war usually causes, intensified by two World Wars in rapid succession?

Even when a religion is intrinsically highly tolerant - such as syncretistic Hinduism - or highly nonviolent - such as Buddhism - it hasn't prevented sectarian violence against Christians (not just Muslims, from whom Hindus had received quite a bit of violence) in India, or against Tamils in Sri Lanka. Christianity isn't as tolerant as Hinduism, or as nonviolent as Buddhism. So education and prosperity are very likely suspects.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 20, 2011, 04:38:25 pm

If they bickered too much, if they had trade wars or military wars, the British would take them over.

This doesn't sound plausible.  The British (at least some of them) would certainly realize that trying to take over a former colony would likely result in an immediate end to the squabbling and a massive effort to throw out the invaders (that would be more united than the original American revolution).

The british continued to make half-hearted attempts at that for a long time. If the new states got into big enough disagreements that some of them wanted British help, that could turn into them rejoining the empire. After the War of 1812 the closest chance was the Civil War, which didn't turn out. But apparently there were plots to take California while the rest of the nation was busy with that war.

In general, when we make arguments of the form "Some government would not try to do this particular thing because they would have seen it was too stupid and it could not work" we are making a leap of faith in the competence of governments.

Quote
There wouldn't have been much public support for wars between colonies.  The governments of New York and New Hampshire threatened to come to blows over the region now known as Vermont, so most of the people living there rejected both governments, and most of the people in the rest of New York and New Hampshire didn't mind.

The war between Virginia and Maryland didn't come out to much either. Still, that's two examples in a relatively few years. There's something about governments that seems to encourage them to explore every faint chance at going to war.

Quote
"Trade wars" were primarily directed at the people in the former colonies by their governments, and for the most part the people ignored them.  Tariffs (to benefit politically powerful manufacturers) were avoided by smuggling.  You probably were taught the same government propaganda that I was taught--that the Constitution was needed because tariffs between states were stifling trade--but the truth is exactly the opposite.  The tariffs were poorly enforced--the borders were long with much movement across them--so the Constitution was needed to enable the government (of a much larger area) to stifle trade with much more easily enforced tariffs.

Again, the British had decided that we were outside their trade empire. That made us a natural market for goods pirated from them, or from the spanish. Tariffs between states were still a cost of doing business -- smugglers sometimes got caught and paid extra, and turning in smugglers was something that competitors or dissatisfied customers etc could do. If you believe that free trade is better, then states were better off to do free trade with each other even when their efforts to restrict trade were leaky.

Quote
The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.

Well, but defining all those terms would make it much longer. I hoped to evoke ideas. If you give meanings to the terms that make the ideas make sense, then you might as well assume that's what I meant until you find out otherwise. I write too long anyway, so some shortcuts are needed.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 05:22:01 pm
Even when a religion is intrinsically highly tolerant - such as syncretistic Hinduism - or highly nonviolent - such as Buddhism - it hasn't prevented sectarian violence against Christians (not just Muslims, from whom Hindus had received quite a bit of violence) in India, or against Tamils in Sri Lanka. Christianity isn't as tolerant as Hinduism, or as nonviolent as Buddhism. So education and prosperity are very likely suspects.

Hinduism is not tolerant compared to Christianity.  It executes apostates - less than Islam, but far more than Christianity.

Buddhism has a genocide going right now in Burma, and throughout its history has usually had several genocides going - far more genocides on the basis of religious identity than Christianity.

You are comparing the claims of these religions with the actual practice of Christianity, which is like comparing theoretical socialism with actual capitalism.

If you compare claim with claim, Christianity is the most peaceful and tolerant, and if you compare actual practice with actual practice, they are all pretty nasty, but Christianity is the least bad - which situation has not changed much over the last couple of thousand years.

Christianity had a bloody period from 1277 to 1648.  Education and prosperity did not set in until 1800 or so, long after 1648, and education and prosperity did not fall until quite some time after 1277.

So rather than education and prosperity causing tolerance, the pattern suggests that tolerance causes education and prosperity.

And right now, in the west, we are seeing a massive decline in tolerance.  You can be any race, gender, or sexual preference, and that is OK, but thinking certain thoughts is quite definitely not OK.  We are not as repressive as today's Iran, but are rapidly coming to resemble today's Turkey.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 05:32:16 pm
Right here's something that will shock you.
Gold only has value because you THINK it has value. You think it has value because you have been TOLD it has value. Remove that and it has minimal if any value.

Over my life, I have purchased several thousand dollars of gold for three different non monetary uses, due to its corrosion resistance, high electrical conductivity, beauty, and remarkable ductility.  Those non monetary uses took the gold permanently out of circulation.  Gold jewelry returns to circulation, but items that are merely gold plated do not.

The current price of gold primarily reflect monetary use, but if gold demonetized, the price would not fall to zero, whereas treasury bonds certainly would fall to zero, and probably will in the next decade or two.

It took a very long time for gold to become money, so will take a very long time to cease to be money, thus dramatic falls in the value of gold can never be as drastic as dramatic falls in the value of paper money.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Plane on March 20, 2011, 05:42:37 pm
    One of My ancestors was jailed in Virginia for preaching as a Babtist, the colonies were full of refugees of religious intolerance as Europe practiced it.

        Thomas Jeffersons letter to the Danbury Babtists was his explanation to them and his reassurance to them that Religious tolerancxe was a central and important idea for the founding of the US.

http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

The Danbury Babtists wanted to know that they would not be arrested for preaching anymore. T.J. assured them that the Constitution was good for that.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 06:23:02 pm
In Britain, "Puritan" is a dirty word. Americans talk about the Puritans coming to America, for example on the Mayflower, in order to flee from religious persecution. In Britain, the Puritans are remembered for having engaged in religious persecution of everyone else - for example, outlawing the celebration of Christmas while they were in power.

They outlawed Christmas to an extent not very different to today's PC - banned public merry making on public property and socially discouraged Christmas.    Ebenezer Scrooge, before his reform, is a parody of a puritan.  He reluctantly gives his clerk Christmas day off with pay, but sneers "Bah.  Humbug!"

Private, family scale celebration of Christmas continued just fine under the Puritans, just as it does under the rule of the politically correct, who reluctantly wish us "happy holidays". They banned that which was most vulnerable to banning, and socially and culturally discouraged the rest from a position of superior power.

Christmas is a pagan celebration, lightly spray painted with Christian pixie dust.  The fact that Christians, including Puritans, have always celebrated it, sometimes making more fuss about the spray paint than others, is compelling evidence of the fact that Christianity has always been tolerant.

The Puritans, like the PC police, forced Christmas inside.

I don't see how that post is so vague that it could mean anything.

That post presupposes a deep familiarity with PC jargon and PC history.  To people unfamiliar with the holy doctrine, it in substantial part reads like gibberish.  It means something specific to those that have been well indoctrinated, or have long engaged in debate with the well indoctrinated.  To outsiders, not so much.  Just as Bin Laden's speeches to the faithful need extensive footnotes regarding Muslim theology and the religiously correct version of history when translated for us infidels, the posts by Thomas and Spudit similarly need extensive footnotes for the infidels that abound in this forum.

The claim that the First Amendment, therefore, is not automatic proof that Christians are naturally highly tolerant is at least made plausible by the argument. However, one can also look at the history of toleration in Britain, and the secularization of Europe despite its many established churches to see that there does seem to be a correlation between Christianity and religious tolerance. But is that due to Christianity itself, or a high level of education, a high level of material prosperity, and the disruption in tradition and parental authority that war usually causes, intensified by two World Wars in rapid succession?

The problem with this theory is that along the bloody borders of Islam, the standard of living and education is often the same on both sides of the border - or was before the Muslims made themselves supreme - but one side is markedly more repressive than the other.

Further, on the Muslim side of the border, we see bloody Muslim on Muslim holy wars motivated by obscure and trivial differences in holy doctrine, for example Pakistan versus Bangladesh, Iran versus Iraq, while on the infidel side of the border we rarely do, and when we do see it, as for example Burma, Christians are usually the ones under attack for their religion, and are never the ones attacking because of their religion (except, of course, in PC's peculiar version of world events and history)

The Iranian government told children that they should clear minefields by marching across them on the grounds that twelve hundred years ago one of the four rightly guided Caliphs was murdered, and the mines were laid by people who had a different list of who the four rightly guided Caliphs were - the mines were laid by people who claim the murdered Caliph was not rightly guided, and his murderer was rightly guided.  Christians have never done anything remotely similar, even when they were a lot poorer and less educated than today's Iranians.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on March 20, 2011, 06:34:33 pm
quadibloc, the question is what are YOU smoking. In America, the biggest threat is not Islam, it is not the USSR, it is not China. The biggest threat to life and liberty and property is the government of the United States of America.

You can speculate about hypothetical threats from other governments, but it is this government, our supposed protector, which deprives people of life, liberty, and property on a daily basis. Americans slave for 5 or 6 months every year just to pay the cost of government. Their children will slave even longer to pay for those costs which have been deferred - $1.6 trillion this year alone.

Americans are deprived of life-saving medicines by government fiat.

Americans are deprived of employment by government fiat.

Numerous Americans are deprived of liberty - more per capita than any other country in the world - by government fiat.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 06:43:31 pm
    One of My ancestors was jailed in Virginia for preaching as a Babtist,

Jailed for five months.  Today's Muslims will cut your head off for preaching in Muslim areas.

Further, western governments, under pressure from muslim minorities, have a tendency to treat preaching in Muslim zones as "hate speech", so today there are places even in the west where you can still get jailed for preaching.

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54125 (http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54125)
Quote
Arlene Elshinnawy, a 75-year-old grandmother of three, and Lynda Beckman, a 70-year-old grandmother of 10 (along with nine others), were arrested for sharing their faith on the public sidewalk in Philadelphia, Pa., USA. They faced 47 years (the rest of their lives) in jail for spreading the Gospel

http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2010/06/arrested-for-being-christian-preachers.html (http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2010/06/arrested-for-being-christian-preachers.html)
Quote
It cannot be said that we were arrested for causing a disturbance, because we did not approach anyone, rather everyone with whom we spoke first approached us. It cannot be said that we were harassing anyone, because the moment anyone said "stop talking to me", we would stop talking to them. And it cannot be said that we were spreading hate speech, because we said virtually nothing about Islam at all. On the contrary, we repeatedly affirmed our love for all Muslims. Whenever I was asked "Why would you love me?" I said "Because Jesus loves you, and he told me to love you."

http://www.getreligion.org/2008/06/evangelism-as-hate-speech/ (http://www.getreligion.org/2008/06/evangelism-as-hate-speech/)
Quote
The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a “hate crime” and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned.

the colonies were full of refugees of religious intolerance as Europe practiced it.

And today, we see people fleeing areas within the west with a large Muslim minority.

The worst persecution you can dig up among American Christians is similar to today's PC.  For the salem witch trials, compare today's trials for "ritual child abuse"

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 07:01:27 pm
quadibloc, the question is what are YOU smoking. In America, the biggest threat is not Islam, it is not the USSR, it is not China. The biggest threat to life and liberty and property is the government of the United States of America.

Quadribloc's argument is that absent the government of the USA, very soon Islam and whatever would be a considerably bigger threat to liberty.  Similar to the argument that with no state we would have no money and no healthcare, the argument is that with no state, we would have no defense.

To argue that state defense is about as useful as state provided midnight basketball, because Islam and whatever are nice guys, or will soon be turned into nice guys by watching pop music videos, is not all that persuasive.

Let us inquire how things are going to look when anarchists find among themselves Muslims intent on imposing submission to Islam, muslims who have a sharia law that is intended to apply in anarchic situations, and requires that any dispute resolution between a Muslim and an infidel will be done by Muslims, will systematically favor the Muslim over the infide, that infidel testimony may not be taken seriously, and that attacks on infidels who do not submit, rape, murder and robbery, are entirely legitimate.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on March 20, 2011, 08:21:12 pm
quadibloc, the question is what are YOU smoking. In America, the biggest threat is not Islam, it is not the USSR, it is not China. The biggest threat to life and liberty and property is the government of the United States of America.

Quadribloc's argument is that absent the government of the USA, very soon Islam and whatever would be a considerably bigger threat to liberty.  Similar to the argument that with no state we would have no money and no healthcare, the argument is that with no state, we would have no defense.


The rebuttal to such an argument, were it dealing with healthcare, is not that there is no need for health care. Therefore, why do you assume that I am arguing that there would be no need for defense?

My argument is two-fold. First, which was clearly stated above, and which you did not rebut, is that the existing government is a worse evil _at_present_ than any other evil _presently_ faced. If we were debating health care, this would be as if hospitals were actually more deadly than whatever illnesses we would normally cope with. No wonder you prefer to ignore the argument, since it is so irrefutably true that our own government has imprisoned many, killed many, and impoverished many.

The second point is that we could do a better job of defending ourselves without such a bloated, expensive, and inefficient system. In health care terms, this would simply be pointing out that socialized medicine is less efficient than private-sector medicine.

If you are going to claim that the socialized provision of "defense" is magically exempt from the laws of economics, there is little to discuss; I prefer to deal with people who are at least rational enough to assume that economic laws do generalize, instead of riddling economics with special-case nests for their preferred brand of statist grubs.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 09:32:35 pm
Same old Sam song.

Muslims are bad people, dangerous crazies out to get us all. Do you know any other songs? Do you have any interest in anything else?

Only a couple Shuttle flights left, what do you think about that, the program and the private market spacecraft due to replace it?

Have Tokyo Electric and the two militaries handled the reactor problems well enough so far? Could anyone on Earth do better?

What's your ideal self defence gun? I'm a big slow bullet .45 kind of guy, how about you?

Is the Tea Party a bunch of Republicians pretending to be Libertarian or the seed from which a true libertarian style party can grow?

Do you think you could make it on the Ceres in the comic, live like that among such people?

Please, ANYTHING else.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 20, 2011, 10:10:53 pm
My argument is two-fold. First, which was clearly stated above, and which you did not rebut, is that the existing government is a worse evil _at_present_ than any other evil _presently_ faced.

The status of Christians in Egypt seems pretty evil to me.  If the abolition of the US government would result in infidels suffering a status similar to Christians in Egypt, that is a considerably worse evil than the presently existing US government.

If this was 1950, I would point to the status of people under communism.

The second point is that we could do a better job of defending ourselves without such a bloated, expensive, and inefficient system.

Possibly, but a little explanation of how we would deal with such problems would be more persuasive.  The problem being that Muslims do act collectively, but anarchists might not, and you have been arguing that anarchists should not, an argument that to me smells more of political correctness than anarchism.

Observe that with freedom of speech, Muslims hammer down the nail that sticks up.  Observe what happened to “everybody draw Mohammed day”.   The lady that proposed it had her life destroyed, and no one wanted to protect her by joining in.  Instead all the cowards rationalized their fear and submission by chanting that to protect freedom of speech by exercising it was racist, sexist, and reactionary.

So how are anarchists going to secure the right to draw Mohammed?

I would suggest that every time they nail a notable artist for exercising freedom of speech, we nail ten notable Muslim preachers.  Every time they nail a Christian for preaching, we kill a proportionate number of random Muslims.  You don't like that plan?  Propose a better one.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 10:17:05 pm
Quote
I would suggest that every time they nail a notable artist for exercising freedom of speech, we nail ten notable Muslim preachers.  Every time they nail a Christian for preaching, we kill a proportionate number of random Muslims.  You don't like that plan?  Propose a better one.
 
Are sure you are in the right place?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 20, 2011, 11:00:02 pm
There are people in the Islamic world, yes, who are willing to die to fight against Israel. The educated people in the cities, though, most of them would rather live. So, as time goes by, and their countries become more educated and prosperous, and ...

This is the progressive theory:  That they will convert Muslims from Islam to progressivism in the way they have converted Christians from Islam to progressivism.  It is not working.

It is not working in the middle east, and it not working among Muslims in the west.

It has worked against Christianity.  Even the Christian right has converted wholesale away from Christianity to progressivism – they continue to oppose divorce, gay marriage, and abortion, but have conceded on patriarchy and endorsed a system of family law that legally treats men and women as identical and interchangeable, which means that in practice it treats fathers as expendable, dangerous, and harmful.  Having accepted the legal interchangeability of men and women they have no principled grounds to oppose gay marriage and so forth.  If there are no differences between men and women, if equal in the sense of interchangeable, how can one oppose interchanging them?  If men cannot be made carry children, how can you make women carry them?  And so on and so forth.  Having conceded on patriarchy and unequal marriage, having abandoned biological reality, all else follows, the entire liberal program follows, leaving the Christian right with a program that is logically and morally incoherent, as well as quite unappealing.

So, if it has worked against Christianity, why not Islam?

Progressivism, transnationalism, wins against Christianity not by appeal, for it is demonstrably unappealing. Observe that  the more progressive the church, the emptier the pews.

Maybe where you live... but I forgot, you actually believe right-wing propaganda.
In America, the churches that are the worst off are the ones preaching the true Gospel: Jesus Christ.
The ones that are the best off are preaching the false gospel: the gospel of wealth.
These mega-churches are hardly "progressive" churches.

Quote
 Nor does it succeed by reason, for Christianity has religious beliefs about the next world, which can never be disproven by reason, while progressivism has religious beliefs about this world, which beliefs are quite demonstrably false.  Progressivism wins against Christianity because progressivism is a theocratic religion, and uses the power of the state to inculcate Christian children in progressivism, and to pressure churches to preach progressivism instead of Christianity.

Citation(s) please.

Quote
 If a Christian church preaches illiberal Christianity,

Definition please.

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the state will disfavor its leading adherents in a variety of unpleasant ways, up to and including spurious sex abuse charges, state abduction of wives and children,

Citation(s) please.

Quote
Waco massacre,

The Branch Dividian compound was not a church any more than Jonestown (of the Kool-Aid fame) was a church.  Please do not include political anti-government rants in the middle of your religious essay.
Thank you.

Quote
and so on and so forth, while if the preacher preaches liberal Christianity,

Definition please.

Quote
he quietly gets all manner of favors,  faith based state initiatives and so on and so forth, so if a preacher wants to get ahead, he gets with the progressive program.

So what you are saying is that every preacher, pastor, priest, minister, rabbi and imam in the United States is a filthy, whoring, money-grubbing, bastard no matter the size of their church or their congregation.

You must be a happy Atheist.
 
Quote
Progressivism has defeated Christianity not because we are more educated and prosperous, but because we are more brainwashed and intimidated.  The proposition that men and women are the same,

You're right; obviously men and women are not the same.  Obviously men must own and subjugate women.

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that blacks and whites are the same,

You're right and the Ku Klux Klan are also right.  How could the rest of us have been so blind?  Obviously, the white man must subjugate and enslave all people of a different skin tone than that of the middle european.

Quote
is demonstrably sillier than the proposition that men and women have immortal souls, thus an education that inculcates people with progressivism is necessarily more authoritarian, rigid, doctrinaire, and dogmatic than an education system that inculcates people with worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You say that like their is something wrong with recognizing the glory of His Noodly Appendage.  Can I get a Ramen?

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Theocracy does not work against Islam, for Islam is also a theocratic religion, like progressivism, unlike Christianity, and forcibly resists this.  Teach Muslim children liberalism, and someone might cut your throat.  Pressure the mosque, and they will pressure right back.  Howard, the Australian prime minister, attempted a program of state sponsored “moderate Islam”, and as long as his hand was on it, any Muslim preacher that wanted the benefits of state sponsorship sounded at least a little bit “moderate” – but as soon as Howard was removed from power the strings that Howard had attached were swiftly snipped, leaving only state sponsorship of violently illiberal Islam.

So in the US Christians kids are forbidden to participate in collective prayer in school while Muslim kids are compelled to participate in collective prayer in school.  As a result of this and many similar measures throughout the west, Muslim mosque attendance is high and rising, Christian Church attendance is low and falling.

The only church attendance that is falling is that of churches who preach conservatively and hold true to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Quote
In the West we see many converts to Islam, few converts to Christianity. We particularly see unmarried women in their most fertile years converting to Islam.

One article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343954/100-000-Islam-converts-living-UK-White-women-keen-embrace-Muslim-faith.html) claimed total Christian converts to Islam in Britain 100,000, (mostly women), with 5,200 converted in the most recent year

Another article (http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14689.htm) claimed total Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain was 3000 – a ratio of thirty to one total converts in favor of Islam.

Sample lists of Muslims in the west converting to Christianity are overwhelmingly male (http://www.muslimjourneytohope.com/watch.asp) – typically about one woman for every three males, while western converts to Islam are mainly women, (http://www.islamfortoday.com/converts.htm#COTW) mainly women (http://www.defendtheprophet.com/study-white-women-in-uk-converting-to-islam-more-than-men).

Since the converts in one direction are mainly men, and converts in the other direction mainly women, this indicates the ratio in Britain is  near a hundred female converts to Islam, for every female convert from Islam to Christianity.

The progressive program of gender abolition does not seem to appeal to its supposed beneficiaries.  It is often said that in all of history there has never been gay marriage, but the reason that in all of history there has never been gay marriage, is that in all of history, there has never been a society in which marriage and family law treated husbands and wives alike as “spouses”.  The one is as unnatural as the other.  Perhaps gender abolition will work in the future when biotechnology has progressed to the point that children are decanted, rather than born, but it is not working today.

The program of gender abolition you speak of was not created by liberal abolitionists, although they have taken it up, it was created by the CEO's of major manufacturers and big businesses who did not wish to employ newly freed black people.
The end result of this was the abolition of traditional male jobs, leading to men working more jobs for less money.  This forced the women of the household to seek productive work to prevent the household from slipping into poverty.
Gender roles have never been the same since.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 20, 2011, 11:03:23 pm
Quote
War is never the soldiers' idea.

This common assertion that soldiers don't like to fight and want to avoid war has always amused me.  Every piece of evidence in the world points in the opposite direction. 

Well, Glenn, then I suggest you are mistaken.  You seem like a nice Liberal, but here you may have swallowed a little too much Kool-Aid.

People do not join the military because they like to fight.  They join for a number of reasons, most of them economic.

As the forumers like to tell me, you might want out get out a little more.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 20, 2011, 11:13:38 pm
But the USSR exploded a nuke in 1949. They were, say, 4 years behind us. Did they have two more nukes? Could they get them to the USA? Probably. They could, for example, put them in ships and send one of them into New York harbor and the other up the Potomac.

Russia never had the capability to sail a surface ship near the US if the US resisted.  The US always had air and sea superiority over everyone - and the Soviet Union would even less have that capability after every port, airport, and industrial center was nuked.

We had them entirely at our mercy, and every sensible reason to destroy them, yet chose not to do so - pretty much as Israel is choosing not to do with Iran.

Had the situation been reversed, they would have certainly destroyed us, and Iran would certainly destroy Israel.

We actually had 7 bombs as of July 1946, and 13 bombs by July 1947.

By 1949 however, we had several hundred bombs - amply sufficient to utterly destroy the Soviet capability to make more bombs, or to deliver bombs - sufficient to destroy every major Soviet industrial center, every airport, and every sea port.

We chose not to use them, though we had every reason to use them.

What would you expect as the result of a US nuclear attack which crippled the USSR but did not hit their nuclear sites? Would they hit us back when they could?

If the US nuked the USSR in 1949 and kept on nuking whenever and wherever there were any signs of recovery, they could no more hit us back than the Congo could.

Further, since the regime ruled by terror, terror imposed by a highly centralized party, there was an excellent chance that communism would collapse once the central committee was no more.

And if it did not collapse, just keep on nuking them until it did, or until communism mutated into something less aggressive.

I can tell sam does not believe in the ZAP.  Honestly?  Nuke 'em till they glow and then nuke 'em in the dark?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 20, 2011, 11:50:25 pm
One of my favorite lines from Footfall, CG, except I remember it as then shoot "em in the dark. I could be wrong again. Great sentiment though, I gots me a list...

I suspect sam can't spell ZAP, pity.

So if a Muslim kid ran in front of his car, would he stop?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 20, 2011, 11:57:40 pm
Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
The current uprisings in the middle east are proof of that. There is a muckin' HUGE demographic bubble coming up that will sweep away the turban wearing, birka demanding old farts that hold back any culture.

The young are more Islamic, not less Islamic - both in Egypt, and among Egyptian migrants to the west.  As the public gang rape and sexual mutilation of Lara Logan demonstrated, these are Islamic uprisings.

Two things:
1) Muslim youth are not more radical than their fathers, they are more moderate.  Like Sieggy said, they have seen the products of our culture, and they want it.
If we wanted to destroy the Islamic leadership of Iran, we would drop every sanction and blockade and offer to sell them the same stuff we offer everyone.  Cheap.
The youth of Iran would overthrow the mullahs the same way they overthrew the Shah.  Bloody, yes, but successful.
The reason European muslims are seen as a threat is because they are forced to live in squalid ghettos and are not allowed into society.

2) Lara Logan was assaulted by thugs loyal to Mubarak. Because she was a reporter, and handy, she was attacked.  Do you know who saved her?  About 20 young muslims.

I think you need better sources.  or start believing what you are seeing.

Quote
The history of theocratic religion is that theocratic religion only becomes more extreme until it faces a credible threat of genocide.  Both progressivism and Islam are displaying that evolution.

In a monarchic or aristocratic regime, as for example Dubai and the Byzantine empire, theocracy remains moderate.  However in a meritocratic regime, merit tends to be measured by holy zeal for the theology.  Thus, for example, students to Harvard are admitted more on their political orientation than their ability: the extracurricular activities which are so important are political extracurricular activities.  Saving the whales counts.  Boy scouts counts against you.

Getting into Harvard is more of a matter of who you know rather than what you know.

Quote
http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html (http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html)
Quote
Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis ....  The admissions disadvantage was  greatest for those in leadership positions in these  activities or those  winning honors and awards.

Given your previous sources, I find I cant believe any of these sources either.  If you can find a government report that says that diversity harms republican non-whites (that is published by someone who is a white liberal) then I will believe you.  But not until then.

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Selection on theocratic merit causes the theocracy to become ever more extreme, in both Islam and the west. Thus Dubai remains tolerant, while Iran and the US go ever more demented in different directions.

Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
You will NEVER hear about muslims playing rock music, hip-hop or rap on Faux Noise .

Isolated behind your self installed Berlin wall, you remain  breathtakingly ignorant of what goes on in the world.  If you watched Fox news, you would have discovered that it is the wealthy educated hip hop generation that is blowing themselves up in pizza parlors.  Yusuf Islam is a big fan of terror, and Islamic terrorists are big fans of Yusuf Islam's music.

I say, if we cannot find Islamic terrorists, we can find Yusuf Islam, so let us blow him up to silence his music and frighten his fans. 

Yay, American justice!  Yay ZAP!  I think I can safely say that sam is not an AnCap.

Way to go; since we cant find the enemy, we'll find some innocent guy who has the same religion and blow him up instead!

Quote
Muslims have always used terror, and the only times that we held our own against Islam is when we used terror also.

Britney Spears is incompatible with Islamic terrorism for some reason, but Yusuf Islam is alarmingly compatible.  So yeah, bombing them with Britney Spears videos might work - but it would work a whole lot better if we first murder Yusuf Islam and every rocker and pop singer that resembles him.  That is the way to do cultural warfare.

Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
Ataturk was just the forerunner of what we're seeing today.

If you got outside your cave and listened to something other than NPR state sponsored propaganda, you would know that Atatürk's reforms have been brutally and thoroughly reversed, and support for Atatürk's reforms, program and ideology will get you imprisoned or executed in today's Turkey.  In today's Turkey, anyone who sounds insufficiently Islamic is accused of being pro Atatürk, and loses his job.  It is like being suspected of saying "nigger" in today's America.

Since I hate being out of date, I Googled this thing about Turkey being islamified, and, while it isnt being Muslim Brotherhooded, it is going the way sams mentioned.

Sams should be happy, cause 1 out of 3 aint bad.  Course, all this "being right" stuff will just go to hir head.

Quote
Some America politician called a black guy a "macaca".  Oops.  Sounds like "nigger".  Suddenly he is out of politics and permanently unemployable.  That is pretty much how the most trivial symptoms of Atatürkism get treated in today's Turkey.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 21, 2011, 12:07:04 am
If they bickered too much, if they had trade wars or military wars, the British would take them over.
This doesn't sound plausible.  The British (at least some of them) would certainly realize that trying to take over a former colony would likely result in an immediate end to the squabbling and a massive effort to throw out the invaders (that would be more united than the original American revolution).

There wouldn't have been much public support for wars between colonies.  The governments of New York and New Hampshire threatened to come to blows over the region now known as Vermont, so most of the people living there rejected both governments, and most of the people in the rest of New York and New Hampshire didn't mind.

"Trade wars" were primarily directed at the people in the former colonies by their governments, and for the most part the people ignored them.  Tariffs (to benefit politically powerful manufacturers) were avoided by smuggling.  You probably were taught the same government propaganda that I was taught--that the Constitution was needed because tariffs between states were stifling trade--but the truth is exactly the opposite.  The tariffs were poorly enforced--the borders were long with much movement across them--so the Constitution was needed to enable the government (of a much larger area) to stifle trade with much more easily enforced tariffs.

Once again, JThomas makes sense, explains well and writes well.
I disagree.  The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.


You find it poor because you are an AnCap and not a scholar.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 21, 2011, 12:22:56 am
quadibloc, the question is what are YOU smoking. In America, the biggest threat is not Islam, it is not the USSR, it is not China. The biggest threat to life and liberty and property is the government of the United States of America.

Unfortunately for us, the citizens, Terry is correct.

Quote
You can speculate about hypothetical threats from other governments, but it is this government, our supposed protector, which deprives people of life, liberty, and property on a daily basis. Americans slave for 5 or 6 months every year just to pay the cost of government. Their children will slave even longer to pay for those costs which have been deferred - $1.6 trillion this year alone.

Unfortunately for Terry, this part, while damning, is not the part that threatens life and liberty.  This part is only tax policy.  This can be fixed.  The other cannot, not without a wholesale revolution.

Quote
Americans are deprived of life-saving medicines by government fiat.

No, Americans are denied life-saving medicines by corporate fiat.  Wall Street is far more AnCap than is thought.

Quote
Americans are deprived of employment by government fiat.

No, again, by corporate fiat.  With the amount of governmentally seized fiat money (Buzzword Bingo!) being given to the corporations every day, you'd think they could hire one or two (hundred thousand) people.

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Numerous Americans are deprived of liberty - more per capita than any other country in the world - by government fiat.

I aint gonna refute that.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 21, 2011, 12:41:20 am
Same old Sam song.

Muslims are bad people, dangerous crazies out to get us all. Do you know any other songs? Do you have any interest in anything else?

Only a couple Shuttle flights left, what do you think about that, the program and the private market spacecraft due to replace it?

Have Tokyo Electric and the two militaries handled the reactor problems well enough so far? Could anyone on Earth do better?

What's your ideal self defence gun? I'm a big slow bullet .45 kind of guy, how about you?

Is the Tea Party a bunch of Republicians pretending to be Libertarian or the seed from which a true libertarian style party can grow?

Do you think you could make it on the Ceres in the comic, live like that among such people?

Please, ANYTHING else.

In response to your questions, since sam wont answer them:
The last shuttle flights are a crying shame, that America should be reduced to the status of begging hitch-hikers to get into space. The private market rockets are a looooooong way off, and we wont care about space by the time they get here.
The damned space-haters wont even allow rocket launches by then.

The Dai-Ishi reactors, it turns out, are GE Mark One reactors, and incredibly old. Or at least the design is really old even if the reactors arent.
I have heard, from a not entirely believable source, that Tokyo Electric and its contractors skimmed a little of the top when these reactors were being built and things might not have been as good as they ought to have been.
As far as handling the problem, what more could have been done?  I do think the US suggestions of minimum safe distances are probably more accurate than those of the japan govt.

My ideal self-defence gun is the Belgian made FN P90.  Designed as self-defense gun for people with little or no training (such as vehicle crews, REMF's, clerks, janitors etc.).  It comes in .577 or 9 mm.
I prefer the .577, but damn the bullets are expensive.
Yes, I know its a sub-gun, but you didnt ask for pistols.  ;D

The Tea Party is an astro-turf movement fully bought and paid for by the Fortune 500.  They are worse than any of the current political parties.

Sure I could.  I'm a friendly type of guy, and, to quote Scotty, "crazy to get to space."   ;D

There you go.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 21, 2011, 12:45:59 am
Quote
I would suggest that every time they nail a notable artist for exercising freedom of speech, we nail ten notable Muslim preachers.  Every time they nail a Christian for preaching, we kill a proportionate number of random Muslims.  You don't like that plan?  Propose a better one.
 
Are sure you are in the right place?

If hir reads the comic, yes, hir is in the right place.  Obviously sam does not agree with the comic, or the principles stated therein.

But how often do I?   ;D

Of course, i only went against the ZAP in two posts, in direct response to a question.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 21, 2011, 12:50:01 am
One of my favorite lines from Footfall, CG, except I remember it as then shoot "em in the dark. I could be wrong again. Great sentiment though, I gots me a list...

I suspect sam can't spell ZAP, pity.

So if a Muslim kid ran in front of his car, would he stop?

You got the quote right; it is "...then shoot 'em in the dark."  I modified it it.

No, he wouldnt.  sams would floor the accelerator.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 12:51:20 am
Two things:
1) Muslim youth are not more radical than their fathers, they are more moderate.

Look at what the girls are wearing.  In the 1950s, upper class Egyptian girls went to university wearing western dress.  Now they don't go to university, and if they did so wearing western dress, would be gang raped and sexually mutilated.

Like Sieggy said, they have seen the products of our culture, and they want it.

And they think we stole the stuff from them, and the way to get it back is to kill us. Obama told them we stole science and technology from them – which is pretty much what he was taught in Indonesia.

Muslims, in the middle East, in Britain, and in the US, are becoming more extreme, and have been becoming more extreme ever since the tide of colonialism receded.  See http://foseti.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/copts/#comment-2652 (http://foseti.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/copts/#comment-2652)

Let us take a look a how your beloved Egyptian revolution is turning out.  http://michaelyoussef.squarespace.com/michaels-blogs/the-folly-of-the-leftist-media.html (http://michaelyoussef.squarespace.com/michaels-blogs/the-folly-of-the-leftist-media.html)
       As for your beloved Libyan revolution, Al Quaeda is also on the side of the revolutionaries.  Who do you think has better knowledge of how the revolution is turning out?

The reason European muslims are seen as a threat is because they are forced to live in squalid ghettos and are not allowed into society.

And why then did Major Hasan, who was affirmative actioned to Major, murder all those people?

Further, look at who the terrorists are:  They are not from the squalid ghettos.  The kids from the squalid ghettos set fire to your car and rape your girlfriend.  It is the kids from the best universities, the kids who have been taught what Obama was taught, taught PC hatred and ignorance, that blow up your plane.  Terrorism, like protesting globalism, is a rich kids sport.

2) Lara Logan was assaulted by thugs loyal to Mubarak

Bullshit.  She was gang raped and sexually mutilated by the cheering mob of revolutionaries chanting revolutionary slogans - who have been busily assaulting Christian women and women dressed in an insufficiently islamic manner ever since.  If it was Mubarak's thugs, how come since Mubarak has been gone, any Egyptian women who is dressed in an insufficiently islamic fashion gets gang raped and sexually mutilated the way Lara Logan was?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 01:43:25 am
Progressivism, transnationalism, wins against Christianity not by appeal, for it is demonstrably unappealing. Observe that  the more progressive the church, the emptier the pews.

Maybe where you live... but I forgot, you actually believe right-wing propaganda.
In America, the churches that are the worst off are the ones preaching the true Gospel: Jesus Christ.

The leftmost churches are the Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Unitarians and suchlike.  Presumably you think they are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, that gospel according to progressivism being to give all of other people's wealth away to the poor. Highly progressive.  No one shows up, except for the more conservative Catholics.  Empty pews.

The ones where the believers show up, are those that are most socially conservative.

 Nor does it succeed by reason, for Christianity has religious beliefs about the next world, which can never be disproven by reason, while progressivism has religious beliefs about this world, which beliefs are quite demonstrably false.  Progressivism wins against Christianity because progressivism is a theocratic religion, and uses the power of the state to inculcate Christian children in progressivism, and to pressure churches to preach progressivism instead of Christianity.

Citation(s) please.

Oh come on.  From kindergarten to college, it is nonstop propaganda, a continual screaming spew of hatred, ignorance and rage.  Thanksgiving is a opportunity to tell the kids that the Puritans were starving because incompetent, were saved by the Indians, and then robbed the Indians.  "The grapes of wrath" set in a fictional alternate universe where Marx's monopoly capitalism actually came to pass and caused the great depression, is taught as documentary.   In the grapes of wrath universe, big capitalists give orders to little capitalists who give orders to proletarians, which orders are then enforced by police. The founding fathers were supposedly dead white male slave raiders.  The pioneers supposedly scalped the Indians.  America invaded the Barbary coast supposedly because it hated Muslims. And so on and so forth.   

Children are forbidden to engage in collective Christian prayer, but required to hug a tree and taught to recycle and love the earth.

If a Christian church preaches illiberal Christianity,

Definition please.

New testament commandments command patriarchal marriage similar to that implemented in 1830s England.  Husband and wife are one person, and that person is the husband.  No divorce except for female adultery or female lack of virginity.  No remarriage for divorced women.  Homosexuals are supposedly damned.  Illiberal Christianity preaches what is in the New Testament.

the state will disfavor its leading adherents in a variety of unpleasant ways, up to and including spurious sex abuse charges, state abduction of wives and children,

Citation(s) please.

Politically selective investigations into the Roman Catholic church, digging up supposed evidence of crimes so ancient that the truth can never be known.  Kidnapping the women and children of the FCLDS.

Waco massacre,

The Branch Dividian compound was not a church any more than Jonestown (of the Kool-Aid fame) was a church. 

The number of religions deemed not-a-church seems to be growing at an alarming rate.  How come progressives are in the business of deciding what is, and is not, a church?  Other Christian churches seemed to think the Branch Davidians were a church.  Or did they stop thinking that when they discovered that thinking that might get them deemed not-a-church also?

In the West we see many converts to Islam, few converts to Christianity. We particularly see unmarried women in their most fertile years converting to Islam.

One article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343954/100-000-Islam-converts-living-UK-White-women-keen-embrace-Muslim-faith.html) claimed total Christian converts to Islam in Britain 100,000, (mostly women), with 5,200 converted in the most recent year

Another article (http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14689.htm) claimed total Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain was 3000 – a ratio of thirty to one total converts in favor of Islam.

Sample lists of Muslims in the west converting to Christianity are overwhelmingly male (http://www.muslimjourneytohope.com/watch.asp) – typically about one woman for every three males, while western converts to Islam are mainly women, (http://www.islamfortoday.com/converts.htm#COTW) mainly women (http://www.defendtheprophet.com/study-white-women-in-uk-converting-to-islam-more-than-men).

Since the converts in one direction are mainly men, and converts in the other direction mainly women, this indicates the ratio in Britain is  near a hundred female converts to Islam, for every female convert from Islam to Christianity.

The progressive program of gender abolition does not seem to appeal to its supposed beneficiaries.  It is often said that in all of history there has never been gay marriage, but the reason that in all of history there has never been gay marriage, is that in all of history, there has never been a society in which marriage and family law treated husbands and wives alike as “spouses”.  The one is as unnatural as the other.  Perhaps gender abolition will work in the future when biotechnology has progressed to the point that children are decanted, rather than born, but it is not working today.

TThe program of gender abolition you speak of was not created by liberal abolitionists, although they have taken it up, it was created by the CEO's of major manufacturers and big businesses who did not wish to employ newly freed black people.

Ceos are prosecuting christian preachers for this and that, which Christian preachers just happen to be the ones that refused to go along?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 01:48:07 am
I can tell sam does not believe in the ZAP.  Honestly?  Nuke 'em till they glow and then nuke 'em in the dark?

Nuke 'em till they glow, then shoot 'em in the dark.

And it is not aggression when they started it.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 01:55:50 am
The second point is that we could do a better job of defending ourselves without such a bloated, expensive, and inefficient system. In health care terms, this would simply be pointing out that socialized medicine is less efficient than private-sector medicine.

I asked "Let us inquire how things are going to look when anarchists find among themselves Muslims intent on imposing submission to Islam, muslims who have a sharia law that is intended to apply in anarchic situations, and requires that any dispute resolution between a Muslim and an infidel will be done by Muslims, will systematically favor the Muslim over the infidel, that infidel testimony may not be taken seriously, and that attacks on infidels who do not submit, rape, murder and robbery, are entirely legitimate."

You are not answering.

Let us suppose you are an Egyptian coptic Christian anarchist, and that the Egyptian government has collapsed, which is not all that far from today's situation.  What are you going to do?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 02:02:54 am
I disagree.  The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.

You find it poor because you are an AnCap and not a scholar.

There are scholars that study the world, and scholars that study holy religion, the sacred consensus of the most holy synod.  Any scholar that studies the world, rather than progressivism, is going to find Thomas and Spudits rants difficult to follow.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 02:35:53 am
Two things:
1) Muslim youth are not more radical than their fathers, they are more moderate.

http://theredhunter.com/middle_east/ (http://theredhunter.com/middle_east/)
Quote
Nonie Darwish' book Now They Call Me Infidel .... Darwish grew up in Egypt in the 1950s, and now lives in America. Her visits back to her home country have convinced her that Egypt is moving backwards, becoming more Islamist, rather than less. They are rejecting Western ways, not embracing them.

As should have been obvious to any moron when they gang raped and sexually mutilated Lara Logan, and then proceeded to destroy some ancient Christian churches.

Every time a howling mob of Muslims reduce an ancient church to rubble, it shows Islam is winning.

Progressivism and Islam are two equally theocratic religions, but Progressivism is less believable, less appealing, and lacks the will to fight, so is bound to lose to Islam in the long run.

Similarly, during the theocratic period in the west, Christendom was losing to Islam.  They are just better at theocracy than we are.

The crusades failed in the end because the west succumbed to theocracy – a chronic hazard of holy wars.   The Knights Templar were destroyed by the Pope, not the Muslims.

Three hundred years ago King John Sobieski remedied this error by himself conducting the mass, on the other side of the hill from the Turkish army, making the point that Polish nobility did not need no stinking intermediaries between man and God, and then, as soon as he had finished substituting himself for the priest, gripped his sword by the handle and let go of the blade, so that it ceased to be a priestly crucifix, and became a sword once again, then charged the Turkish troops, shattering them and beginning a Christian advance and a Muslim retreat that continued until 1960 or so.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: terry_freeman on March 21, 2011, 02:37:50 am
My argument is two-fold. First, which was clearly stated above, and which you did not rebut, is that the existing government is a worse evil _at_present_ than any other evil _presently_ faced.

The status of Christians in Egypt seems pretty evil to me.  If the abolition of the US government would result in infidels suffering a status similar to Christians in Egypt, that is a considerably worse evil than the presently existing US government.

If this was 1950, I would point to the status of people under communism.


So now you want to make the American government the policeman of the world? First off, it is not my thesis that Americans should do police the world - that's your objective. Second, how's that program working out so far? People who are ten times more credible than you assert that the main real-world effect of WW II was to "make the world safe for the USSR," so the American government must shoulder much of the blame for the status of people under communism.

Quote
The second point is that we could do a better job of defending ourselves without such a bloated, expensive, and inefficient system.

Possibly, but a little explanation of how we would deal with such problems would be more persuasive.  The problem being that Muslims do act collectively, but anarchists might not, and you have been arguing that anarchists should not, an argument that to me smells more of political correctness than anarchism.

The reason Muslims are trashing the much-touted Western armies in Afghanistan and Iraq is precisely because they are not acting as a "collective" with one head, but as something far more like an anarchy. In spite of not having having a trillion-dollar budget, they are blowing up multi-million-dollar tanks -- and you seriously want us to believe that the guys with the expensive toys are doing a better job?

You could not come up with a more counter-factual theory in a month of Sundays.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 02:54:59 am
My argument is two-fold. First, which was clearly stated above, and which you did not rebut, is that the existing government is a worse evil _at_present_ than any other evil _presently_ faced.

The status of Christians in Egypt seems pretty evil to me.  If the abolition of the US government would result in infidels suffering a status similar to Christians in Egypt, that is a considerably worse evil than the presently existing US government.

If this was 1950, I would point to the status of people under communism.


So now you want to make the American government the policeman of the world?

Non Sequitur .  I did not propose to liberate Egyptians, but to prevent the enslavement of Americans.

Indeed, it is progressives who want the US to be a policeman - installing a Marxist tyrant in Haiti, the terrorist Muslim brotherhood in Egypt a month ago, and today installing the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood in Libya

I want to the US military to kill those that threaten us.  Progressives, such as Barack Obama are trying, and conspicuously failing, to everywhere install governments as good and nice as they believe themselves to be.

People who are ten times more credible than you assert that the main real-world effect of WW II was to "make the world safe for the USSR,"

One should try to destroy one enemy at a time.  The US probably should have given Germany and the USSR more time to destroy each other, but it is easy make such judgments the morning after.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 04:52:22 am
The reason Muslims are trashing the much-touted Western armies in Afghanistan and Iraq is precisely because they are not acting as a "collective" with one head, but as something far more like an anarchy.

And Egypt, right now, is something far more like an anarchy - but one in which people who believe in the direct rule of God have the upper hand.  If you were one of a large bunch of secular and christian anarchists in Egypt, what would you do about it?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 06:27:06 am

My argument is two-fold. First, which was clearly stated above, and which you did not rebut, is that the existing government is a worse evil _at_present_ than any other evil _presently_ faced.

I doubt there are many people here who'd disagree with that. We could have potential evils looming that might be worse, but this is the biggest present one.

On the other hand, the existing government does a variety of things which we need. We could potentially do them better other ways, but currently they are being done by this government, and to the extent that it does achieve them it's currently doing some good. The classic example is the highways. The government chooses what highways need to be built and pays for that with our money. If we need highways then somehow we would have to decide where to build them and find ways to pay for them. I'd like to believe we could find better ways to do that, but the current government does somehow get some highways constructed. Potential good alternatives have a similar status to potential evil threats....

Quote
The second point is that we could do a better job of defending ourselves without such a bloated, expensive, and inefficient system.

That's got to be true. Every other nation in the world defends itself with a less-bloated and less-expensive system, and most of them manage to deter us.

The question is precisely how to arrange things. If it was easy to defend without a traditional army, there would be lots of examples of it happening. It ought to be possible, but just as we don't get factories without somebody putting a lot of thought into it, it's probably the same for warfare.

Quote
If you are going to claim that the socialized provision of "defense" is magically exempt from the laws of economics, there is little to discuss; I prefer to deal with people who are at least rational enough to assume that economic laws do generalize, instead of riddling economics with special-case nests for their preferred brand of statist grubs.

There ought to be ways to apply economics. I see some of the same problems we get with insurance, and some that are special to warfare. If we need to spend lots of money to prepare for war that doesn't come immediately, how do we tell how well it's being done? Lots of it can't be tested until we actually have to fight. And our current military people say that running small perpetual wars does not prepare us for large wars. The skills to defeat a large army are different from COIN, and the vehicles and weapons are different.

Governments have traditionally found that they can't depend on mercenary armies. Those are fine for suppressing your own people, provided you can keep paying them what they want. But national armies fight harder and are more willing to take casualties, and so private-enterprise armies tend to fail when they have to face that.

It's hard for me to imagine fighting a foreign army using say, 1000 private contractors and pay more to the ones that have more success. I can sort of imagine a free-enterprise war where competing businesses see who can most profitably win the war. I think it would need some special treatment.

It does look to me like a special case. There have got to be better ways to apply economic theory than are currently being used, but that might not be an easy problem. No, I'm wrong, it would be easy to do it better than we do it now, but finding a *good* way likely wouldn't be easy.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 07:39:22 am
Quote from: Sieggy link=topic=534.msg12744#msg12744
The current uprisings in the middle east are proof of that. There is a muckin' HUGE demographic bubble coming up that will sweep away the turban wearing, birka demanding old farts that hold back any culture.

The young are more Islamic, not less Islamic - both in Egypt, and among Egyptian migrants to the west.  As the public gang rape and sexual mutilation of Lara Logan demonstrated, these are Islamic uprisings.

Two things:
1) Muslim youth are not more radical than their fathers, they are more moderate.  Like Sieggy said, they have seen the products of our culture, and they want it.
If we wanted to destroy the Islamic leadership of Iran, we would drop every sanction and blockade and offer to sell them the same stuff we offer everyone.  Cheap.
The youth of Iran would overthrow the mullahs the same way they overthrew the Shah.  Bloody, yes, but successful.

The Shah tried for modernization. He wanted an educated hi-tech population that did what he told them. His people didn't want to be somewhat-pampered slaves.

They got a lot more meaning out of being muslim, and the war with Iraq solidified that. People get a lot of meaning out of struggling hard against a strong evil foe.

People get meaning for their lives out of religion, and they don't get that from cheap consumer junk. Still, they'd usually like to have both.

So I think the central thing is not being their enemy. Selling them stuff is part of that. "Want to buy some heroin? Oxytocin? Meth? No? Alcohol? No? Pornography? No? Copies of the Koran? What kind? Cheap ones to give away? Expensive ones for graduation gifts? Durable ones with waterproof pages? Rosaries? What kind? Kama sutra, that respects women may please your wife?"

The less we look like their enemy, the less meaning they get out of fighting us. Unfortunately, the CIA has given them reasons to think we are their enemy. Plus our support for Saddam, and our unconditional support for Israel, etc. And it's hard for us to stop being their enemy when they are afraid of us, and when we tell ourselves they want to be our enemies.

Quote
The reason European muslims are seen as a threat is because they are forced to live in squalid ghettos and are not allowed into society.

Sure, that's a lot of it. The rare ideological terrorists tend to be richer kids who're looking for meaning. The ones who get mad and riot and burn things down are poor and see no good way to improve their conditions.

Quote
2) Lara Logan was assaulted by thugs loyal to Mubarak. Because she was a reporter, and handy, she was attacked.  Do you know who saved her?  About 20 young muslims.

How would we test that? There are liars on every side of political issues, and that was politics.

Can we trust that it even happened? She was with a CBS team and presumably the whole team would not agree to fake it. But they said she got separated from them. If it was her own people who took her off, they could fake it. Is she an agent for somebody or other? It would have to be somebody who wanted to discredit the reformers in Egypt.

Say it happened. What political side did the rapists take? It could have been just random apolitical people who got caught up in the confusion, who took an opportunity because they wanted to. It could have been random people who supported either side, who had a bad way of celebrating. It could have been Mubarak's people, trying to discredit the reformers. The reformers were already making that claim for everything that went wrong. Somebody breaks a window and does some looting, it's the secret police trying to discredit them. Somebody stages a counter-demonstration supporting Mubarak, it's the secret police. Of course they will make that claim regardless what happened.

Can we depend on evidence? Maybe the reformers caught the rapists and got positive ID that they were secret police? I dunno. That could happen. It would be far easier for them to fake it, if they were willing to fake evidence. I'd tend to give the reformers more credit than the government, because they were amateurs and might tend to tell the truth. But the Egyptian government made it clear it was happy to kill them wholesale or retail provided it didn't get in too much trouble. Amateurs learn fast in that environment.

I don't know what happened. The big conclusion I get is that politics in Egypt is played real hardball. But we already knew that.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 08:49:06 am
If they bickered too much, if they had trade wars or military wars, the British would take them over.
This doesn't sound plausible.  The British (at least some of them) would certainly realize that trying to take over a former colony would likely result in an immediate end to the squabbling and a massive effort to throw out the invaders (that would be more united than the original American revolution).

There wouldn't have been much public support for wars between colonies.  The governments of New York and New Hampshire threatened to come to blows over the region now known as Vermont, so most of the people living there rejected both governments, and most of the people in the rest of New York and New Hampshire didn't mind.

"Trade wars" were primarily directed at the people in the former colonies by their governments, and for the most part the people ignored them.  Tariffs (to benefit politically powerful manufacturers) were avoided by smuggling.  You probably were taught the same government propaganda that I was taught--that the Constitution was needed because tariffs between states were stifling trade--but the truth is exactly the opposite.  The tariffs were poorly enforced--the borders were long with much movement across them--so the Constitution was needed to enable the government (of a much larger area) to stifle trade with much more easily enforced tariffs.

Once again, JThomas makes sense, explains well and writes well.
I disagree.  The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.

You find it poor because you are an AnCap and not a scholar.

Brugle accused me of taking the orthodox, common knowledge position. He was right about that. He presented a reasonable argument for something else. He could be right about that too, and probably is partly right.

He didn't like my later argument and complained about it without offering anything in its place. He has a right to do that. Lots of people have the (IMHO stupid) belief that silence implies consent, and so they want to say they disagree even when they don't want to argue the topic.

If we look at the things we were discussing, we run into the problem that powerful governments tend to suppress information just by being powerful. Assume that Brugle is right and tariffs had little influence on trade because they could not be enforced. Suppose a businessman from that time stood up and said "I don't care what tariff the state of New York puts on my goods because it's so cheap and easy to smuggle that I will not pay any tariff anyway". He would be just asking for it.

People lie. Official government records lie. We are discussing things which surely have had multiple doctoral dissertations. I haven't read those, much less studied them well enough to decide what truth they contained. I went along with the consensus view because it made sense to me. Brugle presumably has read dissenting views and they made sense to him. I have had mixed results deciding what's true by how much sense it makes. So I try to be tolerant of other people's stupid opinions....
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 21, 2011, 10:03:37 am
I want to the US military to kill those that threaten us.  Progressives, such as Barack Obama are trying, and conspicuously failing, to everywhere install governments as good and nice as they believe themselves to be.
Here I thought I was one of those people "to the right of Genghis Khan", but then you say things like this and I rediscover the fact that I'm just a mushy bleeding-heart liberal progressive at heart after all.

I think there is a real likelihood that the Muslim Brotherhood will end up taking over a newly democratic Egypt. I would prefer that Egypt be ruled by people like the demonstrators in the cities who drove out Mubarrak who really do want a peaceful Egypt that treats its Coptic citizens fairly. Even if they don't love the United States and Israel as much as we would like.

So what is my ideal solution?

The United States, or Britain, occupies Egypt and manages it firmly as a colonial power. Any organization that tries armed revolt is firmly suppressed. But there are elections, there's an Egyptian parliament that can handle Egypt's local affairs subject to our oversight and approval - they supply the legislature, we supply the Supreme Court and the executive. If the rural areas return too many non-violent legal Islamists, we just exclude them from the voting.

We prevent our enemies from taking control of Egypt, with as little interference in the lives of the ordinary Egyptian people as possible.

The problem with that plan, of course, is that the Islamists will try as hard as possible to force us to take highly intrusive security measures to protect not just ourselves, but the ordinary Egyptians - following the course in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is why we're not invading Egypt until we have no choice, so it won't be our fault the country is plunged into misery and war. I can't fault such a decision, even if I resent the lack of omnipotence on the part of the United States on which it is based.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 10:53:27 am
Same old sam song, boring.

Thanks for the answers CG since sam seems kinda stuck but I'm still waiting for his.

The shuttle was a mistake 30 years ago and still is. Big chunks of it are great but overall, nope. Just a great big blob of corporate welfare.

The orbiter weighs roughly as much as the old Skylab station, roughly. Over 100 orbiters have been put in and out of orbit. Imagine the same mass still up there, living volume equal to a 100 house subdivision. If each mission flew 5 people, 500 people living in it. No, not the same people, details, details.

It is also a deathtrap.

I hope Seattle's Museum of Flight gets one so I can go see.

If anyone hasn't read Footfall, a good read, the evil space elephants had already initiated force big time, it was their turn.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 11:00:49 am
Sam, have you seen this thread, it's a nice one, the perfect venue for your endless samsong.

http://forum.bigheadpress.com/index.php?topic=550.msg12734;boardseen#new
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on March 21, 2011, 11:30:01 am
Wait a sec--someone wants to kill Cat Stevens as a warning to his fans??  Does this person have any idea WHO are Cat Stevens' fans?   Or what Cat Stevens even believes in?

Immediately following the 11 September 2001, attacks on the United States, he [Cat Stevens] said:

    I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action. The Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims of this sorrowful moment.


Attack the wrong targets, get the wrong response, whatever...
I don't like the irrationality of religion, but anything that's peaceful...

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 01:09:09 pm
What the hell did Cat Stevens ever do? He's an olde hippie who took on a different religon no different than the Beatles and their Indian phase.

Harmless.

Ain't he the Peace Train guy, woo scary stuff.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 01:18:23 pm

I think there is a real likelihood that the Muslim Brotherhood will end up taking over a newly democratic Egypt. I would prefer that Egypt be ruled by people like the demonstrators in the cities who drove out Mubarrak who really do want a peaceful Egypt that treats its Coptic citizens fairly.

How do you know that's what the demonstrators want?

Quote
So what is my ideal solution?

The United States, or Britain, occupies Egypt and manages it firmly as a colonial power. Any organization that tries armed revolt is firmly suppressed. But there are elections, there's an Egyptian parliament that can handle Egypt's local affairs subject to our oversight and approval - they supply the legislature, we supply the Supreme Court and the executive. If the rural areas return too many non-violent legal Islamists, we just exclude them from the voting.

You, sir, are an imperialist warmonger. I doubt you realize you are asking for more wars, you probably think everybody would just do what we want. What particularly irks me about your plan is the amount of oil it would burn for no good result, when we are having oil shortages.

And yet, I notice I have a superficially similar plan for Libya. One difference is that Libya has only 6.5 million people, while Egypt has around 85 million. That makes a big difference.

Another difference is that I propose a fairly short peacekeeping mission. Occupy the place (which by Shinsheki's rule of thumb should take about 60,000 troops) to stop military attacks. Have local elections within 2 weeks of arriving at any town. Have each town hire their own police and manage their own jail. After another 4 weeks, have a plebiscite about which neighboring towns they want to cooperate with, and create regional districts based on those votes. At 10 weeks, elect regional leaders. Regional police and regional prisons. At 14 weeks, regional plebiscites for which other regions to ally with. At this point they have one or more nations. So at 18 weeks, national elections. By 24 weeks we should be gone.

Make it absolutely clear that we'll be gone in 6 months and we aren't such a target.

Point out that elections can get the same result as revolutions, but cheaper and faster. Possibly require voters to bring guns to elections. "One man, one gun, one  vote.") Prove that your vote can't be completely ignored.

Let anybody run for office. If Gadaffi wins we'd look kind of bad, but my guess is he wouldn't. Unless a part of the nation that supports him splits off from the rest. Point out that anybody who wants violence instead of elections probably assumes the majority is against him, and he's likely to lose (unless he's particularly well armed).

When we pull out there's an independent police in each town and each region, and national police etc have to establish jurisdiction before they carry somebody off. That might cramp them some, although the national government would get oil revenues while local governments must collect taxes.

Something AnCap might be better, but I think there's a better chance to get a web of democracies going than that, in the short run. Democracies would be better than another Gadaffi, and the concept would be easier to explain to Libyans -- this year. Easier to get support from NATO, EU, USA, etc too.

I think the big disadvantage of the plan is that somebody would have to pay for 60,000 troops for 6 months, and they wouldn't get anything out of it except the warm glow that they did a good deed for Libya.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 01:36:23 pm
Call me issolationist maybe but I don't give a damn about them places and not much about the people beyond wishing them well. They are not my problem.

I very much would like to see nice things happen to our trading partners, here and abroad, Europe, both Chinas, Japan and a few others. Egypt, Libya even the places we are already fighting in, screw them all.   What's the point? If they want to act like a big box of rabid weasels, let em. I'm sure not gonna stick my hand in it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on March 21, 2011, 01:47:19 pm
What the hell did Cat Stevens ever do? He's an olde hippie who took on a different religon no different than the Beatles and their Indian phase.

Harmless.

Ain't he the Peace Train guy, woo scary stuff.

Moonshadow, Morning Has Broken, and oh yeah, Wild World.
Scary stuff, all right.  Darned Islamic, rabble-rousing, troublemaker.  No more gold records for you.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 01:53:56 pm
Well, I hear those people are like that.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 21, 2011, 03:35:19 pm
Quote
The rest of the post is so full of ambiguous terms (such as "nation", "multicultural", "failing", "traditional American values", "bad guys", "foreign ideas", "something", and "Christian tolerance") that it could mean very different things to different people.  As communication or argumentation I find it quite poor.

Well, but defining all those terms would make it much longer.

Yes, it would, but why do that?  Why not simply use terms that aren't so ambiguous?  The total length wouldn't change much.

I hoped to evoke ideas. If you give meanings to the terms that make the ideas make sense, then you might as well assume that's what I meant until you find out otherwise.

I would expect that, when people choose meanings for terms in such a context, they would do so in ways which are familiar to them.  If you want to give someone a new idea (any new idea), I'd expect that spelling out your idea would be much more successful.  New ideas typically take people out of their comfort zones.

It wouldn't take me long to come up with quite a few sets of meanings for those terms, so that the whole passage makes (at least some) sense.  I doubt that any of the passages that I came up with (whether I agreed with it or not) would be a new idea for me, because I chose the meanings.  But if you had communicated your idea, it would have a better chance of being a new idea for me.

I write too long anyway, so some shortcuts are needed.
Shorten your posts by eliminating the fluff.  I want to read your ideas.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 21, 2011, 05:21:46 pm
Quote
Americans are deprived of life-saving medicines by government fiat.

No, Americans are denied life-saving medicines by corporate fiat.  Wall Street is far more AnCap than is thought.

Don't be silly.  Haven't you ever heard the expression "capitalists are the biggest opponents of capitalism"?

Wall Street loves government controls of the economy.  Big businesses supported the controls of the late 19th-early 20th century progressive movement, Wilson's "war socialism", the New Deal, WWII controls, financial controls, education controls, health care controls, war after war, TARP, etc.  Can you name a single major government program that wasn't supported by big businesses?

KV Pharmaceuticals sells progesterone shots for $1500 that were formerly available for $10.  Does KV Pharmaceuticals hire thugs to prevent people from obtaining the shots for $10?  No.  Government thugs do that:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/price-preventing-premature-births-skyrockets-drug/story?id=13104588&page=1

KV Pharmaceuticals supports government violence and threats of violence against peaceful people.  Are you sure you want to be on their side?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 05:48:22 pm
Call me issolationist maybe but I don't give a damn about them places and not much about the people beyond wishing them well. They are not my problem.

That's certainly a legitimate point of view. They have become our problem because we need their oil, but we desperately need to find a way to do without foreign oil and not depend on them for anything.

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I very much would like to see nice things happen to our trading partners, here and abroad, Europe, both Chinas, Japan and a few others. Egypt, Libya even the places we are already fighting in, screw them all.   What's the point? If they want to act like a big box of rabid weasels, let em. I'm sure not gonna stick my hand in it.

Libya has oil, and they don't have a whole lot of people. If we want to throw our weight around there, we have some chance to do it. And if we choose to do that, I'd rather we settle for showing them a way to settle their disputes with minimal violence and then back off. That isn't usually the sort of thing the USA does, but it's what I'd want us to do if we do get involved.

Egypt is important to us because they are a big poor nation that's next door to Israel. We have a long history of taking care of Israel and getting them out of their problems with their neighbors.

Israel has 5 million citizens they can depend on, plus they can depend on maybe 4 million US citizens who'd do anything in the world for them. Egypt has around 85 million people, and a lot of them are unemployed. If somebody wanted to give Egypt the money to build a great big army, they could do it. Would Saudi Arabia do that? The Saudis are just across the water from Egypt too. Maybe they'd hesitate. But if anybody did, Egypt could have an army which could beat Israel, not taking into account Israel's nukes and poison gas and smallpox etc.

So we have to do something about Egypt for Israel. It's our responsibility to make sure that Egypt stays too poor to have a big army, and that nobody else pays for them to have a big army.

Apart from that we could let them all starve and most Americans wouldn't much care. For the last 30 years they had a dictator who did whatever we wanted. What we wanted was mostly that they stay weak and poor, and he obliged us. Now he's gone and it isn't at all clear what they might accomplish without him. They might possibly get a muslim government.

So to reduce this threat to Israel, Quadribloc suggests that the USA occupy Egypt. We would set up a puppet government and let Egyptians vote among candidates we chose for them -- no Muslim candidates would be allowed. Egypt would of course not have an army, and would not do anything we didn't like.

This would normally require around 850,000 US troops permanently. As a first estimate the cost would be somewhere between a quarter trillion and a trillion dollars a year.

Quadribloc points out the single problem with this plan. Arabs would fight us, and fight each other, and the more we tried to impose order on the chaos the more we would interfere with Egypt and the more resistance we'd stir up.

So he says we won't do it until we "have no choice". That way the chaos and misery and death won't be our fault.

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Call me issolationist maybe but I don't give a damn about them places and not much about the people beyond wishing them well. They are not my problem.

I would say then, that if you are an American and Egypt is not your problem, then Quadribloc is your problem. Because if you don't do enough to stop him he will turn Egypt into your problem.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: UncleRice on March 21, 2011, 06:00:00 pm
If there is a weakness in the content of this story, it is the existence of "beta" people. People who psychologically need an "Alpha," a leader, to tell them what to do. Someone, generally con artists and other opportunists, will fill this roll. Once they feel confident they have enough "betas" to command, these con artist start trying conquest and expansion of control. Unfortunately, the third type of person, the type that is neither alpha or beta, neither "needs" a leader nor wishes to be one, is too rare to keep the other two types in check. To achieve a sustainable AnCap system, one needs to root out both alpha and beta instincts from the gene pool. That, however; brings up all sorts of ugly history.
The New Testament permits any animal to be eaten.  There is nothing in the old testament forbidding meat cheeseburgers. The New testament prohibits homosexuality.

You had better find some other examples of picking and choosing.

Cite please.  Could I have some quotes from the New Testament?

I said bacon cheeseburger because pork is forbidden, and so is mixing dairy with meat.
I'll give you 3:

Acts 10:9-16 Technically this was about opening Christianity to the Gentiles, but it is relevant I believe.

Act chapter 15: Synopsis: Jewish Christians tried to bully the Gentile Christians Samaria to Antioch into obeying the Mosaic Law Covenant. Paul, Barnabas, and Peter intercede, send a request to the older men in Jerusalem for a judgement on the matter. The decision: in verses 28 & 29: "For the holy Spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you, except these necessary things to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!"

1 Corinthians 10:23-33: Verse 25 in particular: "Everything sold in the meat market keep eating, making no inquiry on account of your conscience;"

There are other scriptures detailing why the mosaic law covenant ended with Jesus, but that would be a discussion for another time.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 08:24:38 pm
So what is my ideal solution?

The United States, or Britain, occupies Egypt and manages it firmly as a colonial power.

To do that, would need someone like Lord Cromer – someone who confidently believes Muslims are savages and we are civilized and few hangings will educate Muslims about this fact.  The likes of Lord Cromer were considered violently objectionable one hundred years ago, and are pretty much unthinkable today.

Today's ruling elite lacks the civilizational confidence to do what it is trying to do.  To civilize the world at gunpoint, requires that your civilization be superior, and you believe it to be superior - which they are forbidden to believe.  They are trying to civilize the world at gunpoint while at the same time trying to faithfully believe and practice an ideology that tells them we are the savages, just as the Knights of Malta were trying to destroy the enemies of Christendom, and turn the other cheek.

I expect our government to collapse some time in the next decade or two, largely due to inability follow a budget, or even pass a budget and due to the total collapse of the rule of law, so that even if we had the likes of Lord Cromer available, this would not be the time to try to set up governments in other countries.  Some time in the near future our army will not be getting paid, and will at best looking for work as mercenaries, and at worst will be shaking down travelers on the major roads, the way the Soviet Army was towards the end.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 08:30:59 pm
Wait a sec--someone wants to kill Cat Stevens as a warning to his fans??  Does this person have any idea WHO are Cat Stevens' fans?   Or what Cat Stevens even believes in?

Whatever Cat Stevens once believed in, he changed his name to signal he now believes in something considerably more violent.

Immediately following the 11 September 2001, attacks on the United States, he [Cat Stevens] said:

    I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action. The Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims of this sorrowful moment.

Al-taqiyya

The guys who argue that the Jews that carried out the 9/11 attack make that argument precisely because they know it was not the Jews - if they actually believed it was the Jews, they would not care enough to make the argument.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 08:54:05 pm
Another difference is that I propose a fairly short peacekeeping mission. Occupy the place (which by Shinsheki's rule of thumb should take about 60,000 troops) to stop military attacks. Have local elections within 2 weeks of arriving at any town. Have each town hire their own police and manage their own jail. After another 4 weeks, have a plebiscite about which neighboring towns they want to cooperate with, and create regional districts based on those votes. At 10 weeks, elect regional leaders. Regional police and regional prisons. At 14 weeks, regional plebiscites for which other regions to ally with. At this point they have one or more nations. So at 18 weeks, national elections. By 24 weeks we should be gone.

Worked great in Afghanistan and Iraq, did it not?

These people are savages.  If they could rule themselves, would not need us to tell them to do it.  If we could be out in twenty four weeks, we could be out in zero weeks and not bother going in to begin with.

Either we rule them Lord Cromer style, which is politically unthinkable, or we let them be apart from the occasional punitive raid to ravage and loot should they they cause us grief.  There is no politically correct way to civilize other people. 

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Apollo-Soyuz on March 21, 2011, 08:59:41 pm
Hah, Cat Stevens is on the no-fly list. We know this because Ted Stevens' (R- "series of tubes") wife Catherine tried to fly under her nickname "Cat".

What the hell did Cat Stevens ever do? He's an olde hippie who took on a different religon no different than the Beatles and their Indian phase.

Harmless.

Ain't he the Peace Train guy, woo scary stuff.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 09:39:23 pm
I hope this endless endlessness hasn't scared off EchoMirage.

Libya sells oil to Europe, let them colonize it.

If the US wanted, felt justified in conqurering, anyone for oil Venezuela tops the list, the president is a jerk, we have no shortage of Spanish speakers and it is so damned convienient.

If Obama starts another war I won't vote for him, but then... ;D
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 21, 2011, 10:08:32 pm
I would say then, that if you are an American and Egypt is not your problem, then Quadribloc is your problem. Because if you don't do enough to stop him he will turn Egypt into your problem.
Ah, but fortunately those wily Americans have already done enough to stop me from making Egypt their problem!

Article II, Section 1:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

While I definitely am older than thirty-five years, having been born in Montreal, and not resided at all in the United States, not even Hawaii or the Panama Canal Zone, in my younger years, I would be quite incapable of making any pretense of being a natural-born American. Your country is not like Germany, where anyone from Austria could just waltz right in and get elected with tragic consequences.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 10:22:28 pm
Another difference is that I propose a fairly short peacekeeping mission. Occupy the place (which by Shinsheki's rule of thumb should take about 60,000 troops) to stop military attacks. Have local elections within 2 weeks of arriving at any town. Have each town hire their own police and manage their own jail. After another 4 weeks, have a plebiscite about which neighboring towns they want to cooperate with, and create regional districts based on those votes. At 10 weeks, elect regional leaders. Regional police and regional prisons. At 14 weeks, regional plebiscites for which other regions to ally with. At this point they have one or more nations. So at 18 weeks, national elections. By 24 weeks we should be gone.

Worked great in Afghanistan and Iraq, did it not?

Nothing like that was attempted in either place.

Quote
These people are savages.  If they could rule themselves, would not need us to tell them to do it.

Of course you think that. You've told us your opinion repeatedly.

But I have a definitive proof that democracy can work for savages sometimes. Here is my proof:

Sometimes democracy has worked for the USA.

So, since democracy has sometimes worked for the USA, maybe it can work for awhile for Libya too.

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If we could be out in twenty four weeks, we could be out in zero weeks and not bother going in to begin with.

You could make the same exact argument for Panama. But in practice whenever we think democracy is not working there we send in the Marines and tell them to establish a working democracy, and then we mostly pull them out again.

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Either we rule them Lord Cromer style, which is politically unthinkable, or we let them be apart from the occasional punitive raid to ravage and loot should they they cause us grief.  There is no politically correct way to civilize other people. 

No need to civilize anybody. I figure that it's all-round cheaper to pick a government by voting than by fighting. Fewer people killed and less stuff blown up. And the result is likely to be about the same. You might win a war when you're the weaker side using superior strategy etc, but then if you find yourself governing an unwilling majority, what good is it? A constant struggle to keep them from revolting, and you have to consider how loyal your secret police are, and so on. Easier to let the majority win, if there's a majority. Or if you don't trust the majority not to mistreat you, find a corner of the country where you're the majority and secede. Then you only have to worry they might invade....

A vote is a sort of straw-poll to show who'd win in a fight. If you lose the vote in a fair election, you're probably better off not fighting over it because you're likely to lose.

A vote allows you to pick a government with less killing, less property damage, and generally less hard feelings than a civil war. If you have to have a government at all, this is a good way to choose who runs it. Whether you're a savage or not.

But Gadaffi tried to use military force to intimidate his opposition, and naturally they fought back. If he succeeds he might have a bloodbath and afterward a more paranoid Gadaffi will be running Libya. Not good.

On the other hand if the fighting continues bloody and violent for some time, likely oil facilities will be damaged. Our speculators have already used the possibility of that happening to get us $100/bbl oil. That's no good either.

And if the rebels win, what will they do? We really don't know. We don't know them. Gadaffi is likely to damage the oil facilities on his way out, from spite. That isn't very good.

But if we can stop most of the violence for awhile we can probably get elections. Tell Gadaffi "OK, you say your people love you, so now's your chance to win an election." Will he run or will he head for the border? Either way is better than him fighting.

I can't guess who'd win an election, but if they win with the oil stuff undamaged, that's better than most other ways it can go.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 10:24:09 pm

The guys who argue that the Jews that carried out the 9/11 attack make that argument precisely because they know it was not the Jews - if they actually believed it was the Jews, they would not care enough to make the argument.

I don't follow your thinking at all. You must have left out some of the steps in your reasoning.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 21, 2011, 10:41:28 pm
Your country is not like Germany, where anyone from Austria could just waltz right in and get elected with tragic consequences.

Hey, that only happened once.

I wish the US could mind it's own business like "those people" :) to the north.

PS, thank you for Red Green.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 11:10:21 pm
Another difference is that I propose a fairly short peacekeeping mission. Occupy the place (which by Shinsheki's rule of thumb should take about 60,000 troops) to stop military attacks. Have local elections within 2 weeks of arriving at any town. Have each town hire their own police and manage their own jail. After another 4 weeks, have a plebiscite about which neighboring towns they want to cooperate with, and create regional districts based on those votes. At 10 weeks, elect regional leaders. Regional police and regional prisons. At 14 weeks, regional plebiscites for which other regions to ally with. At this point they have one or more nations. So at 18 weeks, national elections. By 24 weeks we should be gone.

Worked great in Afghanistan and Iraq, did it not?

Nothing like that was attempted in either place.

That is exactly what was attempted in both places.  Immediately after our highly successful intervention in Afghanistan, we encouraged the locals to create government at every level, which they promptly did - with the results that you now see.  This was so utterly catastrophic that we proceeded to do the same thing more slowly and carefully in Iraq - with the results that you now see.

There is no significant difference between the Bush plan in Afghanistan and your plan for wherever, and the only difference between the Iraq plan and  your plan is that the Iraq plan involved more time, more money, and more patience.

If we could set up democracy among vicious savages with a theocratic religion in twenty four weeks, we would not need to set it up.  They would have set it up already.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 11:14:28 pm
Hah, Cat Stevens is on the no-fly list.

Because there is reason to fear he might explode the plane.

Though I think it considerably more likely that his latest fans might explode the plane.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 21, 2011, 11:27:33 pm

The guys who argue that the Jews that carried out the 9/11 attack make that argument precisely because they know it was not the Jews - if they actually believed it was the Jews, they would not care enough to make the argument.

I don't follow your thinking at all. You must have left out some of the steps in your reasoning.

The intervening steps being that the guys who say the Jews did it, also say the US had it coming - much like Bart Simpson saying:  “I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything”  The excessive supply of excuses contradict each other.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 21, 2011, 11:42:26 pm
Worked great in Afghanistan and Iraq, did it not?

Nothing like that was attempted in either place.

That is exactly what was attempted in both places.  Immediately after our highly successful intervention in Afghanistan, we encouraged the locals to create government at every level, which they promptly did - with the results that you now see.

We made strong attempts to prevent Taliban from running in the elections, right? We attempted to install a puppet government which would do what we wanted, and we made no preparation to leave in the foreseeable future. We wound up with a puppet government that needed US troops to protect it in its capital city.

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This was so utterly catastrophic that we proceeded to do the same thing more slowly and carefully in Iraq - with the results that you now see.

In Iraq, while Bremer was in control there was no attempt at democracy whatsoever. Bremer made it clear that we won the war so we were going to keep the country. For almost all of Bush's reign he refused to speculate about when we might leave Iraq. He gave the example of Germany, where we still had troops. When we finally did allow a degree of democracy, we insisted that no one who had been in Ba'ath could run for office, nor could religious candidates. We did our best to set up a puppet government that would do what we wanted, and we wound up with a puppet government that needed US troops to protect it in the Green Zone. The puppet government kept getting more independent until eventually they told us to go away and we couldn't figure out any way to refuse that wouldn't look real real bad.

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There is no significant difference between the Bush plan in Afghanistan and your plan for wherever, and the only difference between the Iraq plan and  your plan is that the Iraq plan involved more time, more money, and more patience.

If you don't see the difference then you probably are imagining a very different Iraq than I am.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 22, 2011, 12:07:18 am
Immediately after our highly successful intervention in Afghanistan, we encouraged the locals to create government at every level, which they promptly did - with the results that you now see.

We made strong attempts to prevent Taliban from running in the elections, right?

Taliban boycotted the whole business, saying that it represented the rule of man, rather than God – which critique seems to be true in the sense that everyone who got power under the new arrangement acted corruptly and oppressively.

We attempted to install a puppet government which would do what we wanted,

If we attempted that we certainly failed quite spectacularly, since the new government is Islamist, hates us, hates heretics, hates Christians, and has been fighting on all sides - with the taliban, against the taliban, with us, against us, and against itself.

They don't look, or sound, like puppets.  If puppets, would give lip service to our official ideology instead of burning bibles and persecuting heretics,  if puppets, would be more discreet about fucking small boys, and so on and so forth.

and we made no preparation to leave in the foreseeable future

Rather, our plans to leave got repeatedly postponed.  Remember “Mission accomplished”.  The same thing would happen to your “twenty four weeks”

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This was so utterly catastrophic that we proceeded to do the same thing more slowly and carefully in Iraq - with the results that you now see.

In Iraq, while Bremer was in control there was no attempt at democracy whatsoever. Bremer made it clear that we won the war so we were going to keep the country.

You are nuts.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 22, 2011, 12:18:28 am
I guess tomorrows strip is when Ed shares some information, and Captain Chang finds out that Belters can push asteroids around, and many of them happen to have devices for blasting away rock that stands between them and valuable minerals in asteroids. Thermonuclear devices.

He will be... chagrined.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 22, 2011, 03:44:13 am
In Iraq, while Bremer was in control there was no attempt at democracy whatsoever. Bremer made it clear that we won the war so we were going to keep the country.

Bremer was talking democracy the whole time, and doing lots of stuff that looked like preparing for democracy.  You may not believe what he said, or what he did, but he most certainly did not say the country was ours and we were going to keep it.

The argument that Bremer was not really sincere since democracy could have been introduced faster is falsified by the fact that fast introduction of democracy in Afghanistan was total disaster, and even though they went slower in Iraq, was still a disaster in Iraq.

Going fast failed horribly.  Going slow also failed.  Exporting democracy at gunpoint to savages generally has not worked.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 22, 2011, 05:55:36 am
In Iraq, while Bremer was in control there was no attempt at democracy whatsoever. Bremer made it clear that we won the war so we were going to keep the country.

Bremer was talking democracy the whole time, and doing lots of stuff that looked like preparing for democracy.

It did not look like preparing for democracy to me, and it did not look like preparing for democracy to many Iraqis. If it looked like preparing for democracy to you then I guess you and I have very different perceptions. But we already knew that.

Bremer appointed an iraqi council to give him advice, but the council had no power. Then he offered to set up a caucus system -- which would have no power. Then he offered to allow actual elections to appoint legislators -- who would have no power. Meanwhile he arranged an Iraqi administration where US-appointed bureaucrats in each bureaucratic office could fire any Iraq-appointed bureaucrats, and had ultimate veto on anything done in those offices. The only Iraqi organization he tried to give any power to was the Iraqi army, which was commanded only by Americans. Somehow the Iraqi army did not get very effective under his rule.

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You may not believe what he said, or what he did, but he most certainly did not say the country was ours and we were going to keep it.

He made it clear that we then had no intention of ever pulling out from Iraq.

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The argument that Bremer was not really sincere since democracy could have been introduced faster is falsified by the fact that fast introduction of democracy in Afghanistan was total disaster, and even though they went slower in Iraq, was still a disaster in Iraq.

In neither case did we attempt democracy. We attempted puppet governments that we claimed would be democratic. Of *course* they were corrupt. Why would anyone join such a thing except for the money, or to spy on it?

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Going fast failed horribly.  Going slow also failed.  Exporting democracy at gunpoint to savages generally has not worked.

When we tried to export democracy to the Philippines, it took us around 50 years. They thought they were ready for democracy before we occupied them, but it took us a long time to get a democracy we thought would do what we wanted. But then in another 40 years or so they got a democracy they wanted and they finally threw us out.

When we tried to export democracy to Korea, it took 30+ years of dictatorships before the South Koreans threw out the last US-supported autocrat and established a democracy themselves.

When we tried to export democracy to Vietnam, we got upset about the way the democratic government was going and we supported a coup, and then another coup.

When we tried to export democracy to Greece....

To Chile....

To Panama....

To Honduras....

To -- OK, the USA has in the past been extremely incompetent at spreading democracy. The issues are deeper than "fast" or "slow". I suggest that a lot of the problem is that we have the stupid idea that we will teach democracy with armies until our victims do democracy to our satisfaction. And that doesn't work very well, it's like "enforced freedom" or "supervised recreation". If we ever turn into an AnCap society will we send the army out to enforce AnCap on other people?

So next time (whenever that comes) let's just try elections, and then we leave. The new democracy can sink or swim. That's hardly likely to get a worse result than keeping our victims under occupation for a long time. Faster and cheaper, too. The only problem is that we don't get to keep them under occupation for a long time making them do what we want while we talk about democracy.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 22, 2011, 04:14:40 pm
When we tried to export democracy to Greece....

I am not sure what happened in your fantasy universe, but in my universe, the Greeks held a free and fair election and the communists lost:  With Stalin's money and arms, the communists then launched a war from bases in adjoining Soviet puppet states to undo the results of democracy .  We intervened to protect existing and functional democracy.  In the middle of the war, or in a short pause in the war, the Greeks held another free and fair election.  The Greeks won again, the communists lost again.  After the war the Greeks then held various free elections, plus the occasional coup and whatever, all of which the Greeks won and the communists lost.

To Chile....
In your fantasies we intervened in Chile.  What actually happened in Chile is that the elected president Allende smashed democracy with the aid of thirty thousand foreign goons and unleashed against the people of Chile the most terrible weapon in the communist arsenal:  Artificial famine.  The communists seized all the food, and if you were not in the communists good books, you, your family, and sometimes your entire area did not get any rations.  The Chamber of deputies, by a two thirds majority, issued a declaration that democracy had been destroyed, that law and legal measures had become irrelevant, that this was no longer a job for politicians and politics, and called for the military to make a coup to save the nation by armed violence.

For a truthful account of what happened in Chile, see the declaration by the Chamber of deputies http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_of_the_Chamber_of_Deputies_of_Chile (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Agreement_of_the_Chamber_of_Deputies_of_Chile) passed by a two thirds majority.

To Honduras....
In Honduras the dictator Arbenz banned anti communist protests, imprisoned opposing political parties, suspended civil rights, and his socialistic measures permanently destroyed Guatemala's fruit export industry and caused lasting damage to the rest of the economy.  He seized United Fruit's railway, and so mishandled the railway that not only could United Fruit not export fruit, but no one else could export fruit either, causing widespread economic disaster.  

This, of course, caused a great deal of opposition, so on 1954, May 31, he rounded up the opposition.

He arrested the supreme court.  He wrote laws that gave his men police powers immune from
judicial review, and then proceeded to disregard his own laws.

According  Mario Rosenthal on pages 253 254 of "Guatemala"  Arbenz murdered numerous conservatives, and tortured and murdered hundreds of anti communist demonstrators, employing such methods as electric cattle prods rammed up peoples arses.  (p253 254) He imprisoned most of the most  prominent and powerful people in Guatemala, and murdered many of their employees.

This led to armed revolution against him.  He then sought, and received, Soviet aid to make war upon the people of Guatemala.

His opponents, citing the Soviet aid, then sought and received US aid - but only after Arbenz had received Soviet aid in his war against his subjects.



Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 22, 2011, 04:21:55 pm
When we tried to export democracy to Greece....

There's the problem; trying to export "democracy", rather than "freedom".

I am not sure what happened in your fantasy universe, but in my universe, the Greeks held a free and fair election and the communists lost.

If it was free and fair, those that didn't want anyone over them would have been permitted such.  Instead, in Greece, there was an election, and the thugs won.  If others had been elected, the thugs would have still won -- just different thugs.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 22, 2011, 04:43:46 pm
It did not look like preparing for democracy to me, and it did not look like preparing for democracy to many Iraqis.
If it looked like preparing for democracy to you then I guess you and I have very different perceptions. But we already knew that.

Bremer appointed an iraqi council to give him advice, but the council had no power. Then he offered to set up a caucus system -- which would have no power. Then he offered to allow actual elections to appoint legislators -- who would have no power.

Abruptly giving power to elected bodies in Afghanistan led to murder and robbery.  Bremer's policy was to start off with guided democracy, like swimming with water wings.  The theory was that they had to learn how to engage in democratic politics before we granted them authority to kill each other and confiscate each others stuff.

So we set up democratic institutions without real power so that they could practice at toy democracy in preparation for giving them the alarmingly dangerous and highly explosive real democracy.  When we gave them the real thing, it predictably blew up in their faces, despite the extensive period of preparation.

You may not believe what he said, or what he did, but he most certainly did not say the country was ours and we were going to keep it.

He made it clear that we then had no intention of ever pulling out from Iraq.

Liar.

The argument that Bremer was not really sincere since democracy could have been introduced faster is falsified by the fact that fast introduction of democracy in Afghanistan was total disaster, and even though they went slower in Iraq, was still a disaster in Iraq.

In neither case did we attempt democracy. We attempted puppet governments

If the Kabul government was a puppet government, it would not be composed of Islamists who execute apostates and punished our Afghan allies.  We should have killed the lot of them, but were reluctant to do so since that would have obviously been undemocratic.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Tucci78 on March 22, 2011, 05:29:22 pm
If it was free and fair, those that didn't want anyone over them would have been permitted such.  Instead, in Greece, there was an election, and the thugs won.  If others had been elected, the thugs would have still won -- just different thugs.

There's always that truism:  "No matter how thoroughly you consider the issues, or how wisely you vote, a goddam government always gets elected."

The older I get, the more convinced I become that the only way in which to get a valid representative form of civil government is to select the legislative, executive, and judiciary officers completely at random (one utterly involuntary term "in the barrel" and then you're back in the real world). 

But we'd still have elections.  Every year.  Only one yes-or-no choice in an annual national referendum, to be held every April 16th.

The question?

"Shall all federal, state, and local government employees be subjected to decimation?"

A plurality "Yes" vote imposes random one-in-ten firing throughout the bureaucracies, no exemptions, no appeal, no possibility for the "decimated" government thugs to be employed on the taxpayer's dime ever again.  Permanent blacklisting.

If on the morning after Tax Day a majority of voting citizens gets up with sufficient rage that they want to slash the parasite payroll, let the axe fall.   

Think of the cathartic value. 
-
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 22, 2011, 05:32:29 pm
If the Kabul government was a puppet government, it would not be composed of Islamists who execute apostates and punished our Afghan allies.
That makes no sense.  The US government kills (and otherwise harms) many innocent Afghans, so why should they care if their puppet government does the same?  Why should they care about the religion professed by their puppet government officials?  Not everyone is a religious bigot.

By any objective definition, the Afghan government is a puppet of the US government.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 22, 2011, 05:48:45 pm
If it was free and fair, those that didn't want anyone over them would have been permitted such.  Instead, in Greece, there was an election, and the thugs won.  If others had been elected, the thugs would have still won -- just different thugs.

There's always that truism:  "No matter how thoroughly you consider the issues, or how wisely you vote, a goddam government always gets elected."

The older I get, the more convinced I become that the only way in which to get a valid representative form of civil government is to select the legislative, executive, and judiciary officers completely at random (one utterly involuntary term "in the barrel" and then you're back in the real world). 

But we'd still have elections.  Every year.  Only one yes-or-no choice in an annual national referendum, to be held every April 16th.

The question?

"Shall all federal, state, and local government employees be subjected to decimation?"

A plurality "Yes" vote imposes random one-in-ten firing throughout the bureaucracies, no exemptions, no appeal, no possibility for the "decimated" government thugs to be employed on the taxpayer's dime ever again.  Permanent blacklisting.

If on the morning after Tax Day a majority of voting citizens gets up with sufficient rage that they want to slash the parasite payroll, let the axe fall.   

Think of the cathartic value. 
-

Collective trials??  Catharsis isn't worth that much.

Roderick Long describes one period of ancient Athens, where many government officials were chosen by lot and audited (at the end of the one-year term):
http://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long8.html
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 22, 2011, 07:59:38 pm
If the Kabul government was a puppet government, it would not be composed of Islamists who execute apostates and punished our Afghan allies.

That makes no sense.  The US government kills (and otherwise harms) many innocent Afghans, so why should they care if their puppet government does the same? 

The Kabul government is killing the people we don't want killed, and failing to kill the people we do want killed.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 22, 2011, 08:25:58 pm
The Kabul government is killing the people we don't want killed, and failing to kill the people we do want killed.

Who is this mysterious "we"?  It isn't me--I don't want any innocent people killed.  From what you've said, it isn't you--you want all Muslims killed.  It isn't most members of the US government--they don't care who is killed, as long as the war can be used to increase government power and divert wealth from the American people into the pockets of the politically powerful.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 22, 2011, 09:17:15 pm
The Kabul government is killing the people we don't want killed, and failing to kill the people we do want killed.

Who is this mysterious "we"?  It isn't me--I don't want any innocent people killed. 

The Kabul government is hostile to those Afghans that fought on our side when we threw the Taliban out of Kabul, executes preachers that propose to give blander and more peaceable reinterpretations to the bloody bits of the Koran, and does not execute those preachers who deduce from the the bloody bits of the Koran that Afghans should die as martyrs while killing as many Americans as possible.

Therefore, quite obviously, not a puppet government.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 22, 2011, 10:04:49 pm
The Kabul government is killing the people we don't want killed, and failing to kill the people we do want killed.

Who is this mysterious "we"?  It isn't me--I don't want any innocent people killed. 

The Kabul government is hostile to those Afghans that fought on our side when we threw the Taliban out of Kabul, executes preachers that propose to give blander and more peaceable reinterpretations to the bloody bits of the Koran, and does not execute those preachers who deduce from the the bloody bits of the Koran that Afghans should die as martyrs while killing as many Americans as possible.

Therefore, quite obviously, not a puppet government.

You are in a no-win argument.

To the extent that you are wrong, it is a puppet government and not a democracy that we are imposing on Afghanistan.

To the extent that you are right, what the hell are we doing there? The people we are supporting, who appear to have so little support they could not prevail without our continuing assistance, are hardly any worse than the ones we want to kill off.

You lose either way.

You must be very frustrated.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Tucci78 on March 22, 2011, 10:23:13 pm
Misunderstanding the concept of random decimation, we get from Brugle the following:

Collective trials??  Catharsis isn't worth that much.

Who said one damned thing about "trials"?  Or about a selective ostracism (in the manner of the Athenian demos)? 

Read what was posted and quoted.  A simple "Yes-or-No," and then with a plurality affirmative vote the names come randomly out of the list of malevolent jobholders designating those arbitrarily selected individuals for immediate firing - without cause, but with permanent prejudice against their ever being employed by government at any level in these United States at any time ever again. 

No "trials" at all.  Simply negative feedback imposed pour encourager les autres, requiring no due process because it deprives them of no rights whatsoever. 

These guys have any right at all to slurp at the public trough? 

If a simple plurality of voters in our polity decide that they've been treated badly enough by the bureaucrats to give cause to tick the "Yes" option in the privacy of the voting booth, should not there be some immediate manifest of their dissatisfaction as the sovereign employers of these officials?

Think of the mass of government employees as a manure pile, a great stinking mound of waste which is arguably necessary for various reasons, and may even be turned to some positive use if (to continue the analogy) its contents are composted properly.  To get that outcome, the dungheap must be forked over, no? 

With a random tenth of the bureaucrats torn from the government teat every time the electorate votes "Yes" on the Day-After-Tax-Day referendum each year, there will be a need for new personnel to be hired to fill those positions vacated, and certainly a great many positions will go for some time without occupancy. 

What person reading here would not like to see the agencies of civil government learning how to get along with fewer "swarms of Officers [sent hither] to harrass our people, and eat out their substance"?

Many other outcomes might also develop.  The electorate may be persuaded that the inconveniences of this practice outweigh the benefits and vote "No" every now and again.  Certainly the bureaucrats themselves will quickly understand that their performance in public office had best not be popularly perceived as arrogant, overbearing, vicious, or even less than courteously helpful. 

And the best of them will leave government work altogether, seeking careers not so uncomfortably under this Damoclean sword.  This cannot help but improve the general economy, foster social comity, and encourage the process of civil government under conscientious adherence to the rule of law.

By all means, let us offer the citizenry this opportunity for catharsis, giving them the responsibility and authority to decide for themselves if such a discharge is "worth that much."
-
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 23, 2011, 12:11:59 am
To the extent that you are right, what the hell are we doing there? The people we are supporting, who appear to have so little support they could not prevail without our continuing assistance, are hardly any worse than the ones we want to kill off.

Hence I have argued from the beginning that we should kill the Kabul government, and should make it as dangerous as possible for any Muslim anywhere in the world to vote, that we should make our enemies fear us rather than trying to make them love us, that Bush was being an idiot when he tried to make the US army into heavily armed social workers.

The program of democratizing our enemies and making them into good little progressives is a left wing policy, and Bush was a left wing president - well to the left of Clinton, who was in turn somewhat to the left of Bush senior, who was in turn far to the left of Ronald Reagan.

When we made war on Germany and Japan, we set about killing everyone, man woman and child, until they really had surrendered.  That is how you fight wars.   You don't win by being nice to people.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 23, 2011, 12:25:33 am
Hence I have argued from the beginning that we should kill the Kabul government, and should make it as dangerous as possible for any Muslim anywhere in the world to vote, that we should make our enemies fear us rather than trying to make them love us, that Bush was being an idiot when he tried to make the US army into heavily armed social workers.
Our enemies are the people who are trying to hurt us.

Not the people who happen to be of the Muslim faith.

The only way you can make someone love you with a gun is if you point that gun at his enemies. So Clinton did something right in Kosovo. Unfortunately, regime change in Russia and China is beyond America's current military strength.

While we may have to lean a trifle harder on Karzai, neither he nor the Afghan people are our enemies. The enemies are that little rag-tag band of guerillas that are menacing the civilians of Afghanistan. The Afghans are not our enemies any more than the South Vietnamese were during the Vietnam war, despite the fact that the Viet Cong did conduct operations within South Vietnam.

Bush, with his connections in the oil industry, had it right - the Muslims of the world mostly want to be America's friends.

And, yet, despite the point of view you are expressing being so extreme as to be rejected by almost everyone, there is still a kernel of truth to it.

Muslims aren't wild-eyed rapists, or terrorists. Not in general. Like everyone else, they have a few bad apples among them, though. The problem is, however, that there is stuff in the Quran that is generally followed today in most of the Islamic world that makes them enablers for those few bad people.

It would be harsh to kill people for that, but eventually that is where it's going to end - unless we can reach them and get them to see what they have to do not to be reviled as a faith of aggressors. Even though most of them aren't aggressors themselves, as long as they enable the few aggressors among them, it won't make much difference in practical terms to their victims.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 23, 2011, 01:45:21 am
Hence I have argued from the beginning that we should kill the Kabul government, and should make it as dangerous as possible for any Muslim anywhere in the world to vote, that we should make our enemies fear us rather than trying to make them love us, that Bush was being an idiot when he tried to make the US army into heavily armed social workers.

Our enemies are the people who are trying to hurt us.

People who are trying to hurt us are a large majority of Afghan voters and Egyptian voters, a majority of Pakistani voters (though fortunately for us, democracy is not effective in Pakistan) and large plurality of Turkish voters, among many others.  The situation in Iraq is unclear because they hate each other so much more than they hate us, that it is hard to tell how much they hate us.

We should kill as many of them as we conveniently can, until they fear us more than they hate us.  We did not defeat Japan and Germany by aiming for their hearts and minds.

Not the people who happen to be of the Muslim faith.

In World War II, would you have tried to make a distinction between good Nazis and bad Nazis and only made war on the bad Nazis?

The only way you can make someone love you with a gun is if you point that gun at his enemies. So Clinton did something right in Kosovo.

The Kosovars are pro American, but are slowly rationalizing their way back to hating the infidels.

While we may have to lean a trifle harder on Karzai, neither he nor the Afghan people are our enemies.

If the Afghan people are not our enemies, how come our troops have so many cases of brain damage caused by IEDs?  Karzai is our enemy, and in many areas of Afghanistan, 100% of the people are trying to kill us.  They are trying to kill our troops, but if our troops were back home, they would still be trying to kill us.

The enemies are that little rag-tag band of guerillas that are menacing the civilians of Afghanistan.

Possibly that is true in some parts of Afghanistan, but in the embed reports that I read, from the more difficult parts of Afghanistan, it is 100%.  Every man, every boy, and you don't see any women.

Muslims aren't wild-eyed rapists, or terrorists.

But when some Muslims commit wild eyed rape, the rest will give them protection and deny their guilt.  Have any of those who very publicly raped and sexually mutilated Lara Logan been punished?  Egyptians will tell you the Jews did it, the Americans did it, Muslims are totally opposed to rape, and she had it coming.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 23, 2011, 10:56:14 am
As to not turning the Army into social workers, I could not agree with sam more. As to mass slaughter, not at all.

And thanks again sam about the Atlas Shrugged movie hint, I had no idea it was coming. This is no Starship Troopers, they actually read and respect the book. Supposedly due out in a month folks but I suspect it's running late. Ah if only I had Fox News.

My parents worked in war industries back home. My uncle was one of Patton's many minions. The man with the gun was a threat, the one turning a wrench in a factory was not. Not unless you keep expanding the definition until you include killing the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.

Another way to see it sam, those with TVs have probably seen footage of the Japanese quake and tsunamai. I saw some Utube clip. Waves washing away a town while the lucky ones stood on a hill along side the camera. Women sobbed, men looked grimly helpless, children screamed. You know, dumb old human crap. Flashback to 1944, replace water with fire and
  no  one   got   out!

Such actions are beneath us, me anyway.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 23, 2011, 11:30:42 am
If the Afghan people are not our enemies, how come our troops have so many cases of brain damage caused by IEDs?

That one's a no-brainer; it's because  your troops (they aren't mine in any realistic sense of the word)  went to their country and land without invitation while being heavily armed, and began abusing (killing, among other things) the people living there.  If some group came to the US under similar circumstances, many of them would end up with brain damage caused by IEDs.

Quote
They are trying to kill our troops, but if our troops were back home, they would still be trying to kill us.

As far as I know, they wouldn't be trying to kill me -- you, however, have threatened them to the point that some of "them" just may want to.  Even then, the number interested in doing and motivated to take such action would be rather small, and probably ineffective.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 23, 2011, 03:45:02 pm
Quote
Americans are deprived of life-saving medicines by government fiat.

No, Americans are denied life-saving medicines by corporate fiat.  Wall Street is far more AnCap than is thought.

Don't be silly.  Haven't you ever heard the expression "capitalists are the biggest opponents of capitalism"?

Wall Street loves government controls of the economy.  Big businesses supported the controls of the late 19th-early 20th century progressive movement, Wilson's "war socialism", the New Deal, WWII controls, financial controls, education controls, health care controls, war after war, TARP, etc.  Can you name a single major government program that wasn't supported by big businesses?

KV Pharmaceuticals sells progesterone shots for $1500 that were formerly available for $10.  Does KV Pharmaceuticals hire thugs to prevent people from obtaining the shots for $10?  No.  Government thugs do that:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/price-preventing-premature-births-skyrockets-drug/story?id=13104588&page=1

KV Pharmaceuticals supports government violence and threats of violence against peaceful people.  Are you sure you want to be on their side?


The government didnt force KV Pharma to raise the price, KV decided to it themselves, by fiat.

Yes the govt enforces rules favoring corporations, but, except small, rare cases, the govt does not tell their corporate masters what price to sell at.

My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Anarchist Capitalism would be just as bad for me as govt sponsored corporatist capitalism is now.
Both entities would raise prices by fiat.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 23, 2011, 04:04:34 pm
So what is my ideal solution?

The United States, or Britain, occupies Egypt and manages it firmly as a colonial power.

To do that, would need someone like Lord Cromer – someone who confidently believes Muslims are savages and we are civilized and few hangings will educate Muslims about this fact.  The likes of Lord Cromer were considered violently objectionable one hundred years ago, and are pretty much unthinkable today.

Today's ruling elite lacks the civilizational confidence to do what it is trying to do.  To civilize the world at gunpoint, requires that your civilization be superior, and you believe it to be superior - which they are forbidden to believe.  They are trying to civilize the world at gunpoint while at the same time trying to faithfully believe and practice an ideology that tells them we are the savages, just as the Knights of Malta were trying to destroy the enemies of Christendom, and turn the other cheek.

I expect our government to collapse some time in the next decade or two, largely due to inability follow a budget, or even pass a budget and due to the total collapse of the rule of law, so that even if we had the likes of Lord Cromer available, this would not be the time to try to set up governments in other countries.  Some time in the near future our army will not be getting paid, and will at best looking for work as mercenaries, and at worst will be shaking down travelers on the major roads, the way the Soviet Army was towards the end.


Yes, I agree with you about the collapse of the govt, because of the desire of the Republicans for absolute power.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 23, 2011, 05:17:44 pm
As to not turning the Army into social workers, I could not agree with sam more. As to mass slaughter, not at all.

In World War II, we deliberately struck at civilian targets, including refugee ships and residential housing.  In the Civil war, we mostly minimized civilian casualties, but when we took a city we burned it, when we took a farm, we killed the cattle and burned the crops.  That is how you win wars.

My parents worked in war industries back home. My uncle was one of Patton's many minions. The man with the gun was a threat, the one turning a wrench in a factory was not. Not unless you keep expanding the definition until you include killing the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.

In world war II, we did kill the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 23, 2011, 05:22:14 pm
My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Supply and demand controls the price.  Corporations do not, cannot.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on March 23, 2011, 05:42:34 pm
My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

All a business corporation -- or indeed any business owner -- can do, is control price they sell stuff at.  No one is obligated to buy that stuff from them.  A business can make it difficult for others to sell comparable stuff, for example, by not telling others how to create something comparable, but the higher the price that such a business charges, the more incentive there is for others to figure out how to create it on their own.  A business can also directly or indirectly use force to stop others from selling comparable stuff; however that is expensive and will result in driving customers away as long as there are others selling such things.  The other businesses can also fight back with force.

Governments, by employing a supposed monopoly of force, however, can stop others from selling comparable stuff; they don't care about the cost or losing customers (taxpayers) because they take that by force as well.  Also, since they have optimized the art of conning people into believing foolish things (having conned them into recognizing them, by and large, as possessing the monopoly of force), they will again do so by conning most potential customers into thinking it's for their own good.

Once that's in place, businesses (corporate or otherwise) are often happy to persuade those making decisions in government to stop others from selling comparable stuff.  Of course, only those with much to offer (large businesses) can afford to do so, and we end up with Crony Capitalism.

BTW, government, as an entity with a legitimate monopoly of force, isn't real.  It goes away when people stop believing in it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 23, 2011, 05:46:34 pm
Quote
Americans are deprived of life-saving medicines by government fiat.

No, Americans are denied life-saving medicines by corporate fiat.  Wall Street is far more AnCap than is thought.

KV Pharmaceuticals sells progesterone shots for $1500 that were formerly available for $10.  Does KV Pharmaceuticals hire thugs to prevent people from obtaining the shots for $10?  No.  Government thugs do that:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/price-preventing-premature-births-skyrockets-drug/story?id=13104588&page=1

KV Pharmaceuticals supports government violence and threats of violence against peaceful people.  Are you sure you want to be on their side?

The government didnt force KV Pharma to raise the price, KV decided to it themselves, by fiat.

Yes the govt enforces rules favoring corporations, but, except small, rare cases, the govt does not tell their corporate masters what price to sell at.

My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Anarchist Capitalism would be just as bad for me as govt sponsored corporatist capitalism is now.
Both entities would raise prices by fiat.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It depends on how it would work. If there was no attempt to enforce patents, and if small businesses could produce everything at competitive prices, with low startup costs, and it was reasonably hard to keep trade secrets, and the society was good at stopping attempts to control things by force, then there would be limited room for businesses to exploit bottlenecks to achieve tremendous "undeserved" profit. If one or two of those failed then we might have many sectors of the economy where cut-throat competition kept profits low and products both cheap and plentiful and high-quality, and a few sectors that were money sponges where the owners became the new super-rich who would not have to live by the same rules as the rest.

I like the AnCap ideals and I'd like to see it work. I think it could be possible under some circumstances, and some parts of it could work most of the time.

As it is, pharma companies tend to be very profitable, and to be profitable they must be very large. It costs them pretty much to develop new drugs. Then it costs a whole lot to test them to government standards. The less effective or safe the drug, the more it costs to test -- up to 20 times more, because if it will only get a statistically-significant improvement 5% of the time, it might take 20 studies before one of them turns up statistically-significant. That's expensive. Then it costs a whole lot to market the new drug to conservative physicians. They won't prescribe it if they don't hear about it, and they aren't likely to start prescribing it unless they get some sort of bribe. The pharma company has to recoup that money, so they have to set prices high and depend on the government to keep anybody else from undercutting them.

Meanwhile the pharma profits are paid mostly by insurance companies. It's hard for them to keep costs low because in theory MDs know what's best for their patients and insurance adjusters are thought not to know and not to have the customers' best interests at heart -- even though the insurance companies have far better statistical data available than any physicians do. But it's easy for insurance companies to raise rates and pass the increased costs on to US businesses.

But our international competitors tend not to pay employee health insurance -- that's done either by individual employees or by government -- and so the insurance burden must be tacked onto the price of our products, but not our competitors. That makes it harder for us to compete either for exports to the rest of the world or compete with imports on domestic markets.

And every attempt to get that burden removed from our companies is vigorously resisted by ... who?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 23, 2011, 05:48:51 pm
Quote
Americans are deprived of life-saving medicines by government fiat.

No, Americans are denied life-saving medicines by corporate fiat.  Wall Street is far more AnCap than is thought.

Don't be silly.  Haven't you ever heard the expression "capitalists are the biggest opponents of capitalism"?

Wall Street loves government controls of the economy.  Big businesses supported the controls of the late 19th-early 20th century progressive movement, Wilson's "war socialism", the New Deal, WWII controls, financial controls, education controls, health care controls, war after war, TARP, etc.  Can you name a single major government program that wasn't supported by big businesses?

KV Pharmaceuticals sells progesterone shots for $1500 that were formerly available for $10.  Does KV Pharmaceuticals hire thugs to prevent people from obtaining the shots for $10?  No.  Government thugs do that:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WomensHealth/price-preventing-premature-births-skyrockets-drug/story?id=13104588&page=1

KV Pharmaceuticals supports government violence and threats of violence against peaceful people.  Are you sure you want to be on their side?


The government didnt force KV Pharma to raise the price, KV decided to it themselves, by fiat.

You're getting even sillier.

Yes, KV Pharmaceuticals sets the price for drugs which they offer to sale.  People and organizations are still sometimes allowed to voluntarily cooperate in some ways.  (Those ways are getting fewer and fewer, due to the efforts of people like you and organizations like the Republican Party.)

The problem is not that KV Pharmaceuticals is allowed to voluntarily cooperate with willing buyers--the problem is that government goons prevent compounding pharmacies from voluntarily cooperating with willing buyers.  Why would anyone switch from paying $10 per dose to paying $1500 per dose?  Only because government goons give them no other choice.

Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Could you be any more blind?  Corporations do not send goons to prevent voluntary cooperation.  Governments do.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 23, 2011, 05:55:38 pm
My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Supply and demand controls the price.  Corporations do not, cannot.

This is true pretty much by definition in a bona fide free market.

So when corporations control prices, that's evidence that what we have is not a bona fide free market.

So then we can say that by golly it ought to be a free market, and it's a damn shame that it isn't.

That and $5000/month will get you a decent private health insurance policy. Once when I was self-employed I found a deal that looked good for an individual health insurance policy for only $300/month. But then I got suspicious about them and I contacted the Texas Better Business Bureau at their headquarters. The BBB said that they could not release any information because there were unresolved cases pending. When I asked what was the last date that this company had not had unresolved cases pending, the BBB would not say. I found it hard to get reliable information about how trustworthy they were, so I cancelled.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 23, 2011, 06:59:49 pm
My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Supply and demand controls the price.  Corporations do not, cannot.

This is true pretty much by definition in a bona fide free market.

So when corporations control prices, that's evidence that what we have is not a bona fide free market.

I don't observe that corporations control prices in most of the economy, and if someone claims they do, I conclude they have locked themselves away from reality - that they see ideology and propaganda, and mistake it for the evidence of the senses.

The only areas where corporations control prices are the most highly regulated parts of the economy: banking and medicine, where regulators control the prices, and corporations control the regulators.  Corporations used to control trucking prices, but Reagan deregulated that.

Also, any activity that requires digging up the pavement - electricity delivery, cable television, local government controls the prices, and corporations control local government.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 23, 2011, 08:59:56 pm
Quote
In world war II, we did kill the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.
Such actions are beneath us, me anyway.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on March 23, 2011, 10:40:35 pm
Quote
In world war II, we did kill the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.

For some people, survival is the be-all and end-all, the ultimate value.  There is nothing they will not do, in order to stay alive.  It's kind of a necessary evil:  honor, for example, is a luxury.  Those who forgo honor in favor of survival will, well, survive when all the honorable ones have honorably died.

Of course, it rather does beg the question of what it means to be "human".


As to who or what controls the prices of things:  hello?  That question does not have one single simple answer.

There are conditions under which the owner of the company controls the prices, e.g. a monopoly (however obtained).

There are conditions under which the employees control the prices, as when unions are powerful enough that the company must raise prices in order to meet employee demands for pay.

And there are conditions under which the customers control the prices, by being able to take their money to Company B, C, or D, or by simply not buying the product from anyone.

Government can always meddle.  Its meddling power is for sale to the highest bidder.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 23, 2011, 11:40:03 pm
My point is still valid.  Because I am not an anarchist, I dont blind myself to reality.  Yes corporations control the govt, but, corporate fiat still controls the price I buy stuff at.

Supply and demand controls the price.  Corporations do not, cannot.

This is true pretty much by definition in a bona fide free market.

So when corporations control prices, that's evidence that what we have is not a bona fide free market.

I don't observe that corporations control prices in most of the economy, and if someone claims they do, I conclude they have locked themselves away from reality - that they see ideology and propaganda, and mistake it for the evidence of the senses.

What sort of observation would you use?

When I see lots of small businesses competing, and a few of them go out of business every year or so, and their prices tend to be low, then I figure they don't control prices. Locally, I see that with hairstylists. I see it with drycleaners.

I don't see it with hardware stores. I can go to three Home Depot branches locally, and if I'm willing to drive 14 miles I can get a True Value, and at 16 miles I get a Lowes. There are two other paint stores, big companies, and there's a nearby locksmith, but mostly for my hardware needs I have Home Depot.

If I want to buy computer parts locally, I have one store in easy driving distance. There was a second one but it went broke.

If I want an internet connection over coaxial cable, I have one choice. But there are two phone companies that offer DSL, one of them a small company with atrocious service for their frequent failures. If I want electricity I have one choice. I have one choice for natural gas.

I have many choices to buy gasoline, and the prices vary by about 2%. Gasoline prices change in big jumps in lockstep. I never see gasoline stations compete on price. I see a couple of gas stations which have been out of business for years, but I hardly ever see one go out of business. The one I use the most went out of business about 5 years ago and then re-opened with some cosmetic changes. It looks like there are a lot of owners and somebody's setting the price.

If I want to buy a mass-market book locally, my choices are Borders and Barnes&Noble. The prices are exactly the same. They compete on pleasing store layout and on pastries. They compete on premium memberships. For $25 I can get a 10% discount on many books at Barnes&Noble for a year, with some other specials. If I had the card and bought $250 a year of the books that they discount, I'd break even. It's very hard for customers to tell whether they will break even this way, but once they buy a membership they are likely to shop there instead of with the competitor, hoping they can break even or better on their sunk costs.

I have a large variety of grocery stores I can shop at, within 10 miles. I like broccoli, and I watch broccoli prices. Most of the stores have prices for non-organic broccoli that are pretty similar, and they go up and down in large jumps all at the same time. (Whole Foods is more expensive.) The Korean market is consistently about 55% to 60% of the usual price. When the others are at $1.75, it's 99 cents. When they are at $2.50, it's at $1.50. When they're at $3.00, it's at $1.79. All the prices go up and down together. Nobody ever decides they'll have a big sale on broccoli, when the others don't. I would naturally expect that some chains would lock-in long-term contracts while others would depend more on spot market, and prices would vary. But they don't. I tend to think that somebody is setting prices. I don't know for sure, but I think they all buy their broccoli from the same source, and that source raises and lowers his price for whatever reason, and they apply different fixed markups to that price.

Maybe it's different where you live.

Quote
The only areas where corporations control prices are the most highly regulated parts of the economy: banking and medicine, where regulators control the prices, and corporations control the regulators.  Corporations used to control trucking prices, but Reagan deregulated that.

Those look like the most obvious examples, don't they? It's looked to me like bankers are willing to compete on price to small businesses. But then they tend to pull extra costs out at the last minute of a complex deal. Extra fees they never mentioned, and what do you do? Start over? Yes, if you don't really need the deal.

Quote
Also, any activity that requires digging up the pavement - electricity delivery, cable television, local government controls the prices, and corporations control local government.

Sure. Keep going, and you can find more examples. One that isn't regulated here is restaurants. You can get a meal from MacDonalds or Burger King for under $3 if you choose carefully. And there are sit-down restaurants where you can get good food for no more than an average fast-food place. Prices go up to around $250/plate. There are lots and lots of restaurants, and some of them go out of business every year, to be replaced by new tries. I know a site which has had 6 startups in 8 years. Maybe the location is jinxed though I don't see anything obviously wrong with it. It's been a Texas steak house, a kid-friendly family restaurant, a sports bar, a music-themed bar with an ABC license, etc. Another spot has been Persian, Afghan, Italian, and the last I saw was a lebanese piano bar. Lots of places keep running year after year. Bob Evans. Denny's. IHOP. Red Lobster. Etc. But lots more come and go, with a big variety in pricing.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 24, 2011, 04:05:16 am
BTW, government, as an entity with a legitimate monopoly of force, isn't real.  It goes away when people stop believing in it.
That's true, but irrelevant for at least some purposes. Someone with a gun or a knife demanding my wallet doesn't go away when I stop believing in him. Thus, all our belief does to government is grant it legitimacy, but it doesn't affect its existence as a reality. The tax collectors are still there - one just stops calling what they're agents of "the government".
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 05:08:16 am
Quote
In world war II, we did kill the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.

Such actions are beneath us, me anyway.

Ok, suppose you don't shoot up Mosques.  Then the enemy will store weapons in mosques, and shoot at you from Mosques - similarly, ambulances, orphanages.  Ambulances become arms transports, orphanages become missile batteries. 

You can only have a rule “X is off limits for attack”, if the enemy has a rule “X is off limits for weapons”.  Just as it takes two to make peace, but only one to make war, it takes two to fight war within limits.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 05:57:23 am
BTW, government, as an entity with a legitimate monopoly of force, isn't real.  It goes away when people stop believing in it.

That's true, but irrelevant for at least some purposes. Someone with a gun or a knife demanding my wallet doesn't go away when I stop believing in him.

One person asking for your wallet can be easily killed.  The problem is a gang of people asking for your wallet.

Now if there is a gang of ten people, the gang exists so long as members of the gang believe in it.  And if the gang is making a profit taking people's wallets, they are not going to stop believing in it.

But suppose the gang is a hundred people, or a thousand, or ten thousand.  Then the gang is going to need some institutional structure - rules, bureaus, budgets, organization charts. It is going to have accountants and double entry book keeping, to keep all gang members supporting the gang.

As it gets bigger, it gets much harder to prevent it from falling apart like a string made of sand, from becoming an arrangement where the gang supports the gang members, but the gang members do not support the gang.

This is why hyperinflationary events tend to be associated with regime change.  The usual cause of hyperinflation is that large numbers of people that are part of the government do not really have a budget.  They can get away with spending whatever they please - which is a manifestation that the government has become a string of sand.

Until quite recently, until around 2004 or so, the way the US federal government worked is that to spend money on X, the house, the senate, and the president had to agree to spend money on X.  Today, however, the way it works is that to not spend money, the house, senate, and the president have to agree to not spend money on X - and otherwise, money does get spent on X.  This represents a massive collapse of cohesion.

Similarly, with the federal register.  Just as the federal government no longer has budgets any more, it no longer has regulations any more.  Instead, bureaucrats exercise their discretion, case by case, and laws are long lists of objectives that the legislators would like bureaucrats to pursue - but the very length of these long lists means that they have no means of ensuring that bureaucrats pursue any particular objectives.

The disappearance of budgets and regulations means that the government exercises more power over the private economy - but it means that the government exercises less power over the government - the government is becoming a string of sand.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: mellyrn on March 24, 2011, 08:05:16 am
Quote
Ok, suppose you don't shoot up [churches].  Then the enemy will store weapons in [churches], and shoot at you from [churches] - similarly, ambulances, orphanages.  Ambulances become arms transports, orphanages become missile batteries.

Is sam advocating shooting up churches, ambulances and orphanages?  It doesn't matter how many other people you kill, so long as you kill at least one of your stated enemies?  And the bystanders don't mind, and don't turn into brand-new enemies?

Quote
You can only have a rule “X is off limits for attack”, if the enemy has a rule “X is off limits for weapons”.  Just as it takes two to make peace, but only one to make war, it takes two to fight war within limits.

I can have a rule "X is off limits for attack", whether or not my enemy does.  It's exactly what makes me "better" than my enemy.

I'm . . . impressed that someone can argue that [their group] is a danger and a threat because, look, they do terrible things like terrorize innocents, and also argue that [our group] therefore must go out and do even worse things to make them stop because [our group] are the "good" guys.

If being honorable and decent gets you killed, then the bad guys inherit the earth.  So it's necessary to become a bad guy in order to make sure the "right" bad guys inherit the earth.  And because you are the "right" bad guys, you get to claim that yours is a "moral" war -- and that you really didn't stoop to their level of badness even though you had to out-bad them in order to win (or "win").

What profiteth it a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 09:42:31 am
Quote
In world war II, we did kill the farmer's unborn child because one day he might feed the army.

Such actions are beneath us, me anyway.

And such things did not actually help us in WWII. They made the enemy fight hrader and be less willing to surrender. And then after the war was won the former enemies were among our best allies, and what good did it do us to kill their unborn children? Of course, when we did that by accident there was no point arguing whether we ought to.

Quote
Ok, suppose you don't shoot up Mosques.  Then the enemy will store weapons in mosques, and shoot at you from Mosques - similarly, ambulances, orphanages.  Ambulances become arms transports, orphanages become missile batteries. 

You can only have a rule “X is off limits for attack”, if the enemy has a rule “X is off limits for weapons”.  Just as it takes two to make peace, but only one to make war, it takes two to fight war within limits.

Well, it depends. In WWII the Germans captured over a million Russian soldiers in one big operation. They had no use for that many POWs, and it would have been hard to feed them. So they didn't. They kept Russian POWs starving, and they didn't try hard to have escape-proof POW camps for them because it was almost easier and cheaper to kill them escaping. (And if an escaped POW made it back to the Soviet lines, the Russians assumed he was released on purpose by the Germans to do something against them, so he was typically shot or sent to Siberia.) And German soldiers captured by the USSR were typically tortured for information and often shot.

Meanwhile, the Germans had British POWs who were not starved, who got visits from the Red Cross and were allowed to get aid packages. And American POWs weren't treated so badly either. Then there was a prisoner swap and the Germans found out how the Americans treated POWs. They immediately gave their US prisoners far better treatment. They were happy to treat our guys well since they saw we did the same with theirs. A whole range of treatments for different POWs by the same Nazis.

But now, imagine that your military enemy is a bunch of AnCaps. They have no high command that can make agreements. A whole bunch of independent resistance groups who might not even communicate with each other except informally. You announce policies. "If insurgents shoot at ambulances then we will shoot at ambulances." Will any of them shoot at ambulances? Who knows? Will one of them use ambulances to make trojan-horse attacks? Probably. Will one of them use churches to store munitions etc? Probably somebody will.

It looks like that's what the USA faced at Fallujah. We cordoned off the city and let women and children leave, but our policy was that military-age males had to stay and be killed. Lots of MAMs did manage to sneak out through our lines or across the river, though, and the number killed attempting to escape was not published. There were an estimated 2000-5000 MAMs left in the city when we attacked, and there's no reason to think they were organized. One group of 12 or so of them made a surprise attack from an ambulance. After that we shot ambulances regularly. A mosque was found to have a small amount of munitions. After that we bombed mosques. Also we bombed any mosque that had a minaret which could be used as an observation point. Some Marine snipers had been killed by a 10-year-old Iraqi sniper, and after that our snipers killed women and children regularly, because they thought women and children were being used to find their positions. We started using white phosporus to kill people. We committed various war crimes because we had reason to think the enemy was doing war crimes too. But the enemy had no communications to pass orders over, they were improvising as they went along. One small group does a war crime and we retaliate against everybody. And then if they could, they would have retaliated against us.

Why did we need to occupy them? Something about protecting them from Saddam and bringing democracy?

It certainly isn't just Arabs. I had a friend who told me about his Vietnam experience. They used to give candy to the kids when they were patrolling. Then some guy in his battalion was doing that, and a kid taped a grenade to his back and pulled the pin and ran. The guy was killed. After that, they all pointed guns at children whenever they saw them to warn them not to get close, and some of them killed children on sight. It's understandable. But how did that help our "hearts and minds" program? We were officially patrolling there to protect the vietnamese from the communists. But I doubt they felt protected.

Perhaps you can see some common thread in all this. Not so much about arabs or muslims -- the vietnamese were not muslims, and neither were the filipinos that we did things to which would later be considered warcrimes, etc.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 24, 2011, 10:14:49 am
Sam, I believe, does not believe in the individual and once again I have to ask if he is in the right place.

This is a loose group, Christians, at least one heathen, some lean left, some right, some into some unknowable dimension. But I believe most of us do have that belief in common. We, at least, are individuals despite the many categories we all fall into on occasion. I recognize all the people here as individuals who have different views to which they have every right. In general I value their opinions, in general, the more diverse the better.

In life we have to make some assumptions about people as a short of shorthand. It's a gamble, always a gamble. Every year people are killed by home invaders pretending to be from some trusted outfit like a utility company, yet we still trust the meter reader in our yards. Life is too short. But it has a limit, a point of absurdity. In WWII, saying the infant John Lennon had to die, deserved to, because Liverpool is and was a strategic seaport is absurd.

If it is not absurd to you sam, I really must ask again if you are in the right place.

Kill those people because they are all those people, part of that group no more individual than atoms, that's nuts.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 11:01:39 am
Quote
Ok, suppose you don't shoot up [churches].  Then the enemy will store weapons in [churches], and shoot at you from [churches] - similarly, ambulances, orphanages.  Ambulances become arms transports, orphanages become missile batteries.

Is sam advocating shooting up churches, ambulances and orphanages?  It doesn't matter how many other people you kill, so long as you kill at least one of your stated enemies?  And the bystanders don't mind, and don't turn into brand-new enemies?

If the bystanders are all already your enemies, then they won't turn into brand-new enemies. And if they are all already fanatics who will do whatever they can to hurt you with no rules about how they do it, then they won't hit you back any harder if you break your own rules which they never recognized.

In that case the only way to subdue them is to show them that they cannot win, that they cannot even survive, unless they give up trying to attack you. Show them that you are so much more powerful than they are that it's completely self-destructive to try to hit back. Then they will keep trying to hit back and you can keep killing them, until the survivors all choose not to attack.

Suppose you are wrong and they aren't all your fanatical enemies? Then the more you follow this policy, the more it will become true after all. You don't need to ever find out that it used to be wrong.

And it only works when in fact you are far, far more powerful than your enemies. Otherwise it can turn into an extremely destructive war which you might lose.

And it is pretty much necessary when your enemies are totally fanatical and they can hurt you severely and also you are far, far more powerful than they are.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 24, 2011, 11:14:36 am
Suppose you are wrong and they aren't all your fanatical enemies? Then the more you follow this policy, the more it will become true after all. You don't need to ever find out that it used to be wrong.
And that's why I agree that this is the wrong policy. It makes for wasted effort, if one isn't going to be persuaded by a moral argument.

And people considering such policies probably won't be. Not necessarily because they're lacking in morals, but because they feel, perhaps with good reason, that they are being menaced by fanatics.

In World War II, we didn't, generally, try to kill women and children or blow up hospitals. We did destroy factories, because people making weapons were helping the enemy to fight, and we really had to win that war.

We did attack civilians on some occasions - Dresden followed Coventry. While it may have stiffened German resolve - it's not as if the Germans were told about Coventry - the British knew about it, and it would have been quite harmful to British morale if it seemed as though being a German civilian was the way to get through the war scot-free. I don't expect anything analogous to that to come up in the War on Terror, which is the good news; the bad news is that there has been already too much collateral damage.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 11:19:52 am
Quote
Ok, suppose you don't shoot up [churches].  Then the enemy will store weapons in [churches], and shoot at you from [churches] - similarly, ambulances, orphanages.  Ambulances become arms transports, orphanages become missile batteries.

Is sam advocating shooting up churches, ambulances and orphanages? 

As we did in World War II.  That is how you fight a war.

In World War I, people tried to avoid shooting up hospitals and such, but in the end, targeted everything and anything.  If it moves, shoot it, if it does not, bomb it.  In World War II, not much troubled by such distinctions.

It doesn't matter how many other people you kill, so long as you kill at least one of your stated enemies?  And the bystanders don't mind, and don't turn into brand-new enemies?

When you are in a war, you win by being feared, not by being loved.  

Quote
You can only have a rule “X is off limits for attack”, if the enemy has a rule “X is off limits for weapons”.  Just as it takes two to make peace, but only one to make war, it takes two to fight war within limits.

I can have a rule "X is off limits for attack", whether or not my enemy does.

And you can lose.  If you are going to lose, why fight at all?

It's exactly what makes me "better" than my enemy.

During a war, you have to be worse than your enemy.  Time enough for being better than your enemy after victory.

I'm . . . impressed that someone can argue that [their group] is a danger and a threat because, look, they do terrible things like terrorize innocents, and also argue that [our group] therefore must go out and do even worse things to make them stop because [our group] are the "good" guys.

They started it.

If being honorable and decent gets you killed, then the bad guys inherit the earth. 

So you follow a rule of tit for tat.  Do unto others as they do unto you.  And if they are stubborn, do it harder.

After Egyptians arrest the guy who ripped off Lara Logan's clothes on camera and started beating her on the breasts, then we should make distinctions between one Muslim and another.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 12:16:01 pm
And such things did not actually help us in WWII. They made the enemy fight hrader and be less willing to surrender.

The war with Japan demonstrates otherwise. For example the Australian take no prisoners policy caused Japanese resistance to collapse, with most Japanese soldiers pursuing each one's own safety individually, rather than holding together to the end.  The take no prisoners policy was adopted because collective surrender was unreasonably delayed, Being nice was not working.  Not being nice did work.

Similarly, the Emperor surrendered because the Emperor in Cabinet believed the allies were preparing to nuke Japan from end to end,  Nothing less could have induced surrender.  In the case of Japan, Okinawa demonstrates that ruthless indiscriminate slaughter not only saved American lives, but also saved Japanese lives.  If we had tried to deal with the main islands in  the selective and relatively civilized way way we dealt with Okinawa, Japanese casualties would have been enormously higher, because resistance would have continued to the very end, the way it did on Okinawa.

With the Japanese, we tried varying degrees of barbarity, and only the most savage barbarity worked.  Okinawa failed, Nagasaki worked - and the only reason that Nagasaki worked is that after Nagasaki the Japanese cabinet was given false information that the Americans had lots of nukes, and were about to begin a mass nuking campaign.

And then after the war was won the former enemies were among our best allies, and what good did it do us to kill their unborn children?

Killing their unborn children induced total surrender, which made it possible for them to become our best allies.

Ask yourself what would be needed to transform Islam into something we could live with, that they could become our best allies.

It looks like that's what the USA faced at Fallujah. We cordoned off the city and let women and children leave, but our policy was that military-age males had to stay and be killed. Lots of MAMs did manage to sneak out through our lines or across the river, though, and the number killed attempting to escape was not published. There were an estimated 2000-5000 MAMs left in the city when we attacked, and there's no reason to think they were organized. One group of 12 or so of them made a surprise attack from an ambulance. After that we shot ambulances regularly. A mosque was found to have a small amount of munitions. After that we bombed mosques. Also we bombed any mosque that had a minaret which could be used as an observation point. Some Marine snipers had been killed by a 10-year-old Iraqi sniper, and after that our snipers killed women and children regularly, because they thought women and children were being used to find their positions. We started using white phosporus to kill people. We committed various war crimes because we had reason to think the enemy was doing war crimes too. But the enemy had no communications to pass orders over, they were improvising as they went along. One small group does a war crime and we retaliate against everybody. And then if they could, they would have retaliated against us.

But after we did that, there was a spectacular outbreak of moderate Islam in Fallujah and vicinity.  Lots of Muslims came over to our side, not out of fear, though fear was undoubtedly part of it, but out of respect for our demonstrated virtue in that we stopped doing bad things when resistance collapsed, though we could have easily continued, entirely unopposed.

Fallujah was our one big success.  Fallujah turned the war around.  Before Fallujah, everything was going to hell.  After Fallujah, for quite a while, looked a lot like victory. 

In the entire Muslim world, the only place and time where "moderate" Islam actually looked plausibly moderate for a while was in Fallujah and vicinity, after the battle you so accurately describe.  That is what we have to do for Islam to become moderate.  Islam became moderate under the colonial regime, and it became moderate after Fallujah.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 12:37:36 pm
In World War II, we didn't, generally, try to kill women and children or blow up hospitals.

Pious baloney.  We sunk refugee ships.  We blew up hospitals that were clearly marked as hospitals.

And we were right to do so.  Lesser means were counterproductive in World War I.  In the war with Germany, we observed some limits, because they observed some limits, but in the war with Japan, the Japanese observed no limits, and we steadily escalated to ever more dreadful means, and in the process it was demonstrated, that attempting to be selective not only led to higher American casualties, it led, as at Okinawa, to higher Japanese casualties.

Just as Israeli efforts to be selective result in Hamas herding women and children around missile batteries, in Okinawa American efforts to avoid civilian casualties led to Japanese herding Japanese women and children off cliffs to horrify our naval forces.  Japanese policy was that every single Japanese would die fighting, and that non combatants would suicide or be forcibly suicided rather than surrender, and they showed every indication of carrying out that policy.  Okinawa came as a tremendous shock, because until then the US had not believed that the official policy was the real policy.

The official Japanese policy was that every japanese should die rather than surrender.

The official deeds carried out in Okinawa showed they were not kidding, they were serious about that policy.  All combatants should die fighting, and everyone else should be compelled to "commit suicide".

That remained official policy, on record, after one nuke.

After two nukes, the emperor overruled a split cabinet, and ordered surrender.  A coup attempt immediately followed.  In order to give his speech ordering surrender, he had to put down a military mutiny.

The mutiny, and the events of Okinawa, indicate that the official policy was not pro forma, but was the real policy, manifest in real deeds.

The Japanese had an elaborate system of plans to make sure that every single Japanese would die in the conquest of Japan.  Those who did not die fighting were supposed to commit suicide.  Those who declined to
commit suicide were supposed to be assisted in performing their duty - in other words executed man woman and child. These plans were put in effect during the allied invasion of Okinawa.  A very large number declined to suicide, and evaded efforts to suicide them, but a very large number did die fighting, committed suicide, or were "assisted" to commit "suicide".

These plans had been organized and set in motion everywhere throughout Japan.  There was nothing special about Okinawa.  It was just one part of Japan like the rest. It is striking that in Okinawa those who fled to the allied troops to avoid being sucided seem to hate the allies twice as much for saving their lives, and love the emperor twice as much for trying to kill them.

Nuking Japan not only saved an enormous number of US lives from Japanese soldiers.  It also saved an  enormous number of Japanese lives from Japanese murderers.

I don't expect anything analogous to that to come up in the War on Terror, which is the good news; the bad news is that there has been already too much collateral damage.

Fallujah demonstrates that if we do that sort of stuff, we win, in that people lose enthusiasm for Islam, and if we do not do that sort of stuff, we lose.

The war with Japan provided a similar demonstration.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 12:53:11 pm

After Egyptians arrest the guy who ripped off Lara Logan's clothes on camera and started beating her on the breasts, then we should make distinctions between one Muslim and another.

On camera? Do you have a link to that? The closest I could find is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Auj8f6SpM

But I see no particular reason to think that was Lara Logan.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 01:03:05 pm

Fallujah was our one big success.  Fallujah turned the war around. 

?? I was not there. Were you there?

I base my understanding of it entirely from second-hand reports. So I could be wrong about what happened and what results we got.

But I find once again that you appear to have slipped in through some sort of dimensional portal from a very different world, and when you describe history and recent events from your world, I marvel.

Like, in my world male snakes very often have two penises, but men -- male humans -- almost always have only one. How many penises do the men have on your world?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 24, 2011, 01:20:08 pm
Regarding the justification for killing ALL of Liverpool because it was there, I am still waiting to hear if the baby Beatle had it coming from the parents of his unborn fans in that Hamburg club.

Pardon me for a moment but I have this very non PC Elmer Fudd sort of image of sam running around singing, Kill da Wagheads, Kill da Wagheads...

My apologies to Mr Fudd and this universe in general.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 24, 2011, 02:14:27 pm
Nuking Japan not only saved an enormous number of US lives from Japanese soldiers.  It also saved an  enormous number of Japanese lives from Japanese murderers.

Chaos! I am so tired of hearing that lame old canard and self-serving excuse for mass murder. Everyone who utters it bases his "reasoning" on a false dichotomy. To wit, EITHER the US nukes Japan OR the US invades Japan. Do you really think those were the only two options? I leave the revelation of a third (and probably 4th, 5th, etc.) as an exercise for the student. Come on, this is a brainy group. "Nuke or invade;" is that all you got? Think people!
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 03:18:28 pm
After Egyptians arrest the guy who ripped off Lara Logan's clothes on camera and started beating her on the breasts, then we should make distinctions between one Muslim and another.

On camera? Do you have a link to that?

A bunch of people reported seeing it on you tube, but it came down quickly, and no one took a copy, or no one who has a copy is circulating it.  
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 03:24:39 pm
Chaos! I am so tired of hearing that lame old canard and self-serving excuse for mass murder. Everyone who utters it bases his "reasoning" on a false dichotomy. To wit, EITHER the US nukes Japan OR the US invades Japan.

If the US had not invaded or nuked Japan, they would still be at war or near war with us.   We have the minutes of their cabinet meetings.  There was absolutely no willingness to make peace ever except on terms of their victory and our defeat.  The basic idea was that their determination would outweigh our material superiority, and after Okinawa, looked like it was working.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 03:38:00 pm
After Egyptians arrest the guy who ripped off Lara Logan's clothes on camera and started beating her on the breasts, then we should make distinctions between one Muslim and another.

On camera? Do you have a link to that?

A bunch of people reported seeing it on you tube, but it came down quickly, and no one took a copy, or no one who has a copy is circulating it.  

Do you have strong reason to believe it was real and not a fake? The one I found, the woman had approximately the right build but I saw no reason to think it was not faked.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 04:01:46 pm
Fallujah was our one big success.  Fallujah turned the war around. 

?? I was not there. Were you there?

I base my understanding of it entirely from second-hand reports. So I could be wrong about what happened and what results we got.

You are entirely right about what happened, and as for what results we got, google "sons of Iraq"  "sunni awakening movement" and "Fallujah massacre"

You will notice that most, probably all, the hits for "Fallujah massacre" refer to an earlier event, where the US acted with much more restraint - that later when the US actually did the things you describe, did something that could plausibly be described as a "Fallujah massacre" then no one spoke of a "Fallujah massacre".

Similarly, google "Sunni Awakening Movement".  After the events you describe, we got genuinely moderate Islam in the area centered on Fallujah - the only time, and only place, where we have seen Islam moderate since the colonial era.  In other words, we have only seen moderate Islam in times and in places where we did the stuff you complain about.  We got some moderate Islam during and shortly after the Crusades, quite a lot of moderate Islam during and shortly after the colonial period, and a brief spurt of moderate Islam during and shortly after the fall of Fallujah

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 24, 2011, 04:06:30 pm
Chaos! I am so tired of hearing that lame old canard and self-serving excuse for mass murder. Everyone who utters it bases his "reasoning" on a false dichotomy. To wit, EITHER the US nukes Japan OR the US invades Japan.

If the US had not invaded or nuked Japan, they would still be at war or near war with us.   We have the minutes of their cabinet meetings.  There was absolutely no willingness to make peace ever except on terms of their victory and our defeat.  The basic idea was that their determination would outweigh our material superiority, and after Okinawa, looked like it was working.

Cabinet meetings are often just formalities.  Members typically make deals at private meetings, trading favors for maximum advantage.  What makes you think that WWII Japanese politicians were so different from other politicians?  I understand that your bigotry requires you to consider people who don't share your religion to be inherently different, but does it require you to consider WWII Japanese politicians to be much more honest that other politicians?

But, just for fun, let's assume that your bigotry is correct, and that Japanese politicians were different from other politicians and always expressed their sincere thoughts at cabinet meetings.  Also, just for fun, let's assume that those thoughts would not change for 60 years (contrary to everything we have learned about social science).  In that case, congratulations! :) You came up with an alternative (to nuking or invading Japan): let them stay at war and ignore them.  The US controlled the air and sea around Japan, so they couldn't trade.  In particular, they couldn't import oil.  Japanese war-making would quickly become laughable.

That might have been a lousy solution for the Japanese people, but Sandy simply asked for options (not necessarily the best).  You came up with the first.  I'm sure there are more.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 24, 2011, 04:35:31 pm
The incineration of most cities with conventional firebombs and a total air and sea blockade of an island nation, now why would that discourage anyone? He was the Emperor for some diety's sake, his will was their command. When he says shave your head, everyone's bald, when he said enough it was enough.  The Imperial Palace was in Tokyo, maybe his advisors hid the burning down of huge swaths of town from him?

Sam, are you there? Message recieved? Blink your eyes once for yes, twice for no.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 04:55:07 pm
The incineration of most cities with conventional firebombs and a total air and sea blockade of an island nation, now why would that discourage anyone?

We have the minutes of the meetings of the Japanese Cabinet.  It did not discourage them.   The war would have gone on forever, like the war in Gaza.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 05:05:13 pm
Cabinet meetings are often just formalities.  Members typically make deals at private meetings, trading favors for maximum advantage.  What makes you think that WWII Japanese politicians were so different from other politicians?  I understand that your bigotry requires you to consider people who don't share your religion

I am an atheist.  You, however, are a believer in progressivism, a religious system in which beliefs that Christians used to think were applicable to the next world are transliterated to this world - Christianity without Christ, salvation or forgiveness of sins.  When applied to the next world, these beliefs can never be disproven.  Applied to this world, they have been disproven.

Since I don't believe that your beliefs are true of this world, you conclude I believe they are true of the next - but in fact your beliefs are just plain wrong.

to be inherently different, but does it require you to consider WWII Japanese politicians to be much more honest that other politicians?

1.  They did not expect the records of their cabinet meetings to become available to outsiders.

2.  When the emperor ordered surrender, he had to put down a military rebellion - therefore, when these guys said "no surrender" they were deadly serious.  When he had successfully put down the rebellion, some of the cabinet suicided, or were "suicided" by loyalist troops.

let them stay at war and ignore them.  The US controlled the air and sea around Japan, so they couldn't trade.  In particular, they couldn't import oil.  Japanese war-making would quickly become laughable.

Observe Gaza.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 05:14:43 pm
Nuking Japan not only saved an enormous number of US lives from Japanese soldiers.  It also saved an  enormous number of Japanese lives from Japanese murderers.

Chaos! I am so tired of hearing that lame old canard and self-serving excuse for mass murder. Everyone who utters it bases his "reasoning" on a false dichotomy. To wit, EITHER the US nukes Japan OR the US invades Japan. Do you really think those were the only two options?

Unfortunately, yes. There were no other options.

The USA was unwilling to consider a Japanese surrender before the invasion. We had no mechanism set up to discuss surrender with Japan, and when various individuals and nations tried to set up mechanisms for us, we refused to accept that.

In hindsight some of us look at what the top levels of the Japanese government was saying privately at the time, and they assume that had some sort of reality.

But for example when Vietnam invaded Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge government was almost completely unable to function. They sent commands to schools and orphanages to start the children practicing to kill Vietnamese soldiers with wooden spears. Some little girls actually did practice with wooden spears. But in practice, they did not fight to the last child. They fell apart and the Cambodian soldiers threw away their weapons and hid among the refugees.

Giving orders for the civilians to mass-kill themselves attacking invading troops is something that governments do when they are falling apart. It does not have much reality.

But Japan could not negotiate a surrender, because we did not listen to them at all. They could announce an unconditional surrender over the radio, but they could not negotiate privately. They desperately wanted to be reassured that we would not kill the emperor. It would not have hurt us to tell them that we would kill Japanese soldiers and officers only after a trial that established proof they were guilty of war crimes. It would probably have helped if we had told them we did not intend genocide or even mass rape. These were things that we actually intended not to do. Would it have hurt us to tell them so? Well, but Wilson had announced the sort of peace he wanted leading up to the end of WWI, and then it didn't turn out that way. Everybody knew our word wasn't good.

One of the reasons we could not negotiate a surrender was our ally the USSR. They would have objected if we negotiated a surrender without them, and there's reason to think they would not have allowed anything but unconditional surrender. So unconditional surrender was our public demand, and we had no private communication with Japan.

There were various alternatives to invasion. But we could not consider any of them. The official plan had already been set -- we would have a full-scale invasion. This required intricate logistics. It would be a tremendous invasion, which required tremendous amounts of supplies. Food, munitions, etc. Adequate amounts of everything we would need, moving across the Pacific, and everything would have to arrive at the right time. We could not call off that project without many months' notice. We were unwilling to consider alternatives. Probably we lacked the logistic ability to consider alternatives. That was the plan, and we were going to carry it out. Anyone who suggested an alternative plan would be ignored.

And if Japan somehow surrendered before the invasion? Presumably we would
carry out roughly the same invasion plans, but would adapt to lack of resistance.

Another reason we could not consider alternatives is that many alternatives would be slower. The US public was ready to end the war as soon as possible. If we did things that dragged the war out until 1946 or 1947, they would get upset. So we had to take whatever casualties it took to invade Japan as quickly as possible.

But the plan was obvious and there were no alternative invasion routes. The Japanese knew where it would be. They pretended to set up an effective defense, as if they were putting so many trained men with adequate supplies in defense of the landing sites that we might actually fail. There are claims that Marshall considered calling off the invasion or making big changes, like major use of poison gas. He couldn't consider an alternative that looked like a good idea, but he could call it off rather than accept a defeat.

We had not decided to use gas when the nuclear option was revealed. It was obviously better.


There was no third alternative because we were not capable of considering any third alternative. Nobody who had the authority to pursue alternatives was willing to do so. And mostly, nobody had the authority.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 24, 2011, 05:15:03 pm
I have never said this before on a forum and never want to again.

Sam, you are an idiot, stupid, narrow minded and a waste of space here. You contaminate the conversation by even showing up. Comparing you to Elmer Fudd was an insult to the charactor.  When is the last time this thread had much to do with the strip? I blame you for that, you say stupid bigoted things and the rest of us waste time and electrons trying to be reasonable. All viewpoints are welcome here but they need to make at least some sense.

I am not a Christian but many good people here are. If I went on a Christian forum and did nothing but say over and over again, hail satan, in as many different ways as I could, do you know what I would be? I would be rude, obnoxious, abrasive and in the way. In a word, I would be you here.

Shunning works in this medium. I can speak only for myself but I am done with you, you are noise, a contamination. I myself think this is the proper way to deal with your crap. Perhaps others do too, that is for each unique and irreplacable individual to decide
 
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 05:51:46 pm
But for example when Vietnam invaded Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge government was almost completely unable to function. They sent commands to schools and orphanages to start the children practicing to kill Vietnamese soldiers with wooden spears. Some little girls actually did practice with wooden spears. But in practice, they did not fight to the last child. They fell apart and the Cambodian soldiers threw away their weapons and hid among the refugees.

However, on Okinawa, the Japanese did not fall apart, and systematically murdered the refugees.  They did fight to the last Japanese soldier, the civilians made a good start on killing themselves, and the Japanese soldiers made a pretty good start on killing off the civilians that declined to kill themselves.

Further, you exaggerate the success and ease of the Vietnamese conquest of Cambodia.  To pacify Cambodia required a lengthy period of terror and mass murder which killed hundreds of thousands.

Giving orders for the civilians to mass-kill themselves attacking invading troops is something that governments do when they are falling apart. It does not have much reality.

Worked on Okinawa.

And in Cambodia, was not totally disconnected to reality either.  The mass terror required to defeat the Khmer Rouge was something that western regimes would have found very difficult - indeed, did find very difficult.

But Japan could not negotiate a surrender,

Sure they could.  It is quite easy.  Emperor just has to go on radio and tell his people "Lay down your arms"

The Japanese had emissaries in various places.  One of their diplomats talked to Stalin seeking to detach him from the western alliance with promises of future assistance in the coming conflict between the west and communism.  If they could talk to Stalin, they could talk to anyone.  Or they could make proposals over the radio, could for example say that if left alone, they promise to be good in future.

They could announce an unconditional surrender over the radio, but they could not negotiate privately.

They could negotiate privately with Stalin, therefore nothing stopping them from negotiating privately with us.  And if there was something stopping them from negotiating privately with us, then negotiate publicly.

Some people have interpreted their negotiations with Stalin as proposing a conditional surrender, but what Stalin understood them to be proposing was a separate peace - which proposal implied an intent to continue the war for many years.

They desperately wanted to be reassured that we would not kill the emperor.

In my universe those resisting the Emperor's order to surrender shot up the imperial palace, so they did not seem all that worried about the emperor's survival.  They were trying to capture the emperor alive, but did not seem unduly worried by the risk of putting a few bullet holes in him.

Another reason we could not consider alternatives is that many alternatives would be slower. The US public was ready to end the war as soon as possible. If we did things that dragged the war out until 1946 or 1947,

The Japanese plan was to drag the war out to 1955 or so, by which time they expected the US public would become entirely sick of it.  This plan appears to me to be totally realistic, and based on an excellent understanding of the vulnerabilities of democracies. Weak though the Japanese were by 1944, they were far stronger than Islam - and Islam is winning.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 24, 2011, 07:07:59 pm
If the US had not invaded or nuked Japan, they would still be at war or near war with us.   We have the minutes of their cabinet meetings.  There was absolutely no willingness to make peace ever except on terms of their victory and our defeat.  The basic idea was that their determination would outweigh our material superiority, and after Okinawa, looked like it was working.

So you admit, by omission, that those are the only two possibilities you can think of. That is sad.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 24, 2011, 07:30:35 pm
Sam,
...
Shunning works in this medium. I can speak only for myself but I am done with you, you are noise, a contamination. I myself think this is the proper way to deal with your crap. Perhaps others do too, that is for each unique and irreplacable individual to decide

You may be right, but shunning doesn't always work.  sam may feel that he is doing the right thing by being obnoxious to everyone who doesn't share his religious bigotry.  In any case, I enjoy sam's silliest posts, such as:

You, however, are a believer in progressivism, a religious system in which beliefs that Christians used to think were applicable to the next world are transliterated to this world - Christianity without Christ, salvation or forgiveness of sins.

Wrong again.

I hope you (sam) realize that you have much in common with typical traditional progressives, most importantly your collectivist outlook.  Other similar traits are bigotry and warmongering.  (Not all traditional progressives were bigots and warmongers, but eugenics and war were important parts of the progressive program.)  You also share the aversion to logic of many progressives, but that isn't a defining trait.  Even though you have many progressive (in the political sense) traits, I don't know if you have enough of them to be called a progressive.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 24, 2011, 07:55:46 pm
Unfortunately, yes. There were no other options.

The USA was unwilling to consider a Japanese surrender before the invasion. We had no mechanism set up to discuss surrender with Japan, and when various individuals and nations tried to set up mechanisms for us, we refused to accept that.

So let me get this straight. Your interpret of the unwillingness of the US to consider a Japanese surrender, somehow makes a surrender not an option? We are talking about US options; nuke, invade, or...? Wouldn't accepting a surrender be a third option? Wouldn't that have save US and Japanese lives too? Unfortunately, we will never know, because that evil little man, Harry Truman, wanted to scare the Soviets. Monstrous.

At any rate, Brugle had a correct answer. Perhaps there were other options.

Giving orders for the civilians to mass-kill themselves attacking invading troops is something that governments do when they are falling apart. It does not have much reality.

Getting people to actually line up for the cool-ade by the millions is easier said than done. And don't mention Okinawa. Some people committed suicide, but only in the face of actual invaders. Quarantining sea and air traffic would require no invasion... That is why it's a third option. (One which Sams was unable even to conceive of.)

But Japan could not negotiate a surrender, because we did not listen to them at all. They could announce an unconditional surrender over the radio, but they could not negotiate privately. They desperately wanted to be reassured that we would not kill the emperor. It would not have hurt us to tell them that we would kill Japanese soldiers and officers only after a trial that established proof they were guilty of war crimes. It would probably have helped if we had told them we did not intend genocide or even mass rape. These were things that we actually intended not to do. Would it have hurt us to tell them so? Well, but Wilson had announced the sort of peace he wanted leading up to the end of WWI, and then it didn't turn out that way. Everybody knew our word wasn't good.

You and Sams seem to be saying that the unwillingness to consider a surrender came from the US. My understanding was that the US was unwilling to accept a surrender unless it was "unconditional." At the end (before the nukes) the only condition that the Japanese asked was that the emperor not be executed. Now, if you and Sams believe that it was better to horrible murder 100,000 children, than to agree to let the emperor live (which he did anyway), then you have certainly lost your moral compass beyond redemption.

One of the reasons we could not negotiate a surrender was our ally the USSR. They would have objected if we negotiated a surrender without them, and there's reason to think they would not have allowed anything but unconditional surrender. So unconditional surrender was our public demand, and we had no private communication with Japan.

There were various alternatives to invasion. But we could not consider any of them. The official plan had already been set -- we would have a full-scale invasion. This required intricate logistics. It would be a tremendous invasion, which required tremendous amounts of supplies. Food, munitions, etc. Adequate amounts of everything we would need, moving across the Pacific, and everything would have to arrive at the right time. We could not call off that project without many months' notice. We were unwilling to consider alternatives. Probably we lacked the logistic ability to consider alternatives. That was the plan, and we were going to carry it out. Anyone who suggested an alternative plan would be ignored.

I don't see how that makes it not an option. Granted, it is hard to organize an invasion, but it is far easy to call off. Just about everything needed for an invasion would serve to support a blockade. And by the way, who gives a fukc what the Soviets would have objected too? As allies, I suppose the US was obligated to listen to the Soviets, but that's it. The US was not required to kowtow to them. The rest of your arguments boil down to, "If you are feeling grumpy, it is okay to kill your enemy's children than to "lose face" with the USSR and the Japanese.

So to recap. I stated that invasion and nukes were not the only alternatives. As best as I can determine, your position is that other alternatives were actually not alternatives, not because they weren't there, but because the USG wouldn't consider them. Huh? So in reality, the US had at least three alternatives and dismissed a blockade out of hand, irrespective of how many lives it would have saved? So my original thesis stands.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 24, 2011, 08:24:01 pm
Brugle please go right ahead and enjoy his silliness but that is all he has to offer, comic relief.

Forget Japan, everyone not silly, maybe it's alien to a few here. Imagine instead it is a different 1942, the U boat offensive worked. All of Europe is under Nazi control except of Great Britain, the US sat it out in this time line. With the German navy in control of the water and their planes flying from France and Norway, nothing moves in or out of Britain without their consent. No food, fuel, munitions, nothing. Fighter patrols strafe anything moving and bombers are finishing the blitz; most cities are toast.

This UK is in the state Japan was in 1945. As inspiring as Churchil was, no is that good. They'd fold.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: GlennWatson on March 24, 2011, 09:45:21 pm
I have never said this before on a forum and never want to again.

You have not known me very long.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 24, 2011, 09:49:54 pm
I have never said this before on a forum and never want to again.

You have not known me very long.
  Huh?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 10:35:39 pm
Unfortunately, yes. There were no other options.

The USA was unwilling to consider a Japanese surrender before the invasion. We had no mechanism set up to discuss surrender with Japan, and when various individuals and nations tried to set up mechanisms for us, we refused to accept that.

So let me get this straight. Your interpret of the unwillingness of the US to consider a Japanese surrender, somehow makes a surrender not an option? We are talking about US options; nuke, invade, or...? Wouldn't accepting a surrender be a third option?

I guess I'm saying it wrong. We were not capable of considering other options because of the kind of people we were. If we had been somebody else, we could have considered other choices and perhaps even tried other choices.

The US public had been exposed to a whole lot of propaganda to persuade them that Japanese were subhuman. It appears it was effective. They were ready to strenuously object to humane treatment.

The Marines had gotten thrown headfirst against a bunch of very well fortified positions. They didn't hate their officers for it, they hated the Japanese.

Japan had a very different culture, they didn't overtly criticize authority much, they obeyed and cooperated in obvious ways, etc. Americans were appalled at the suicide attacks. We weren't at all good at predicting what they'd do. So there were Americans who confidently predicted that many millions of Japanese civilians would attack us with impromptu spears etc, committing national suicide. When Japan did surrender they assumed that it took atomic bombs to make them change their minds and that nothing less would work -- because those people believed they did understand precisely what went on in strange Japanese minds.

There were other things. Maybe if we didn't get an unconditional surrender they would think they didn't really lose and they'd build up their forces and try again. There were people who claimed that we didn't get an abject enough surrender after WWI and that's why we had WWII. Kick them hard enough and they'll learn not to get up.

I know there were individual Americans who came up with alternative ideas and tried to push them. And they got precisely nowhere. The USA was not ready to consider any alternatives. You could consider that a moral failure. But all the individual human beings were trapped in a system which did not let them follow up on alternatives. Americans had a culture that strongly encouraged obedience and cooperation. We criticized the leaders but we did nothing to help them lead better. Things like the Milgram experiments show that Americans are mostly controlled by consensus and the common wisdom; they usually deny it but in the actual experiments they almost always obey.

The alternatives were not open to us. As a group we could not imagine them.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 24, 2011, 11:03:48 pm
I have never said this before on a forum and never want to again.

You have not known me very long.

I'm not sure I followed that.

Are you Sam, and you replied under a different handle by mistake?

Or do you figure that Spudit will want to say it again about you after he gets to know you better? Or what?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: SandySandfort on March 24, 2011, 11:16:42 pm
I guess I'm saying it wrong. We were not capable of considering other options because of the kind of people we were.

What you mean WE, white man. First, I would not have dropped the damned bomb and I suspect there were plenty of others who wouldn't have either. The American people didn't decide to murder innocent people, their government did. Second, to the extent Americans agreed with the decision after the fact is irrelevant, because their government had lied to them to support that decision. They did not have all the facts. If the damned government had decided to simply blockade Japan, they would have slanted the propaganda to justify that solution too. Ditto for the supposed hatred of the Japanese by military personnel. They were not in the decision loop. So their opinions one way or the other were not relevant.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 24, 2011, 11:26:28 pm
Forget Japan, everyone not silly, maybe it's alien to a few here. Imagine instead it is a different 1942, the U boat offensive worked. All of Europe is under Nazi control except of Great Britain, the US sat it out in this time line. With the German navy in control of the water and their planes flying from France and Norway, nothing moves in or out of Britain without their consent. No food, fuel, munitions, nothing. Fighter patrols strafe anything moving and bombers are finishing the blitz; most cities are toast.

This UK is in the state Japan was in 1945. As inspiring as Churchil was, no is that good. They'd fold.

Today's British would fold, but if you read old books, it is perfectly obvious that yesterdays Britons would not fold.

Churchill said, and sounds to me like the simple truth:
Quote
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,

The Dutch, facing the holy Roman Empire, said something like that, and proceeded to do it.

When English met Japs, the Japs showed that they were more serious about that stuff than the English, so if the English would do it, Japs would do it ten times over.

Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 24, 2011, 11:54:20 pm
decided to simply blockade Japan, they would have slanted the propaganda to justify that solution too.
The usual justification, that the atom bomb cost far fewer lives than an invasion, makes enough sense.

But a blockade, as suggested here, seems like it should have worked, given that they would be, as noted, cut off from raw materials, particularly oil. Maybe there is some reason why it wouldn't, but I don't know enough of the military history of the time to see any reason why not. One question comes to my mind, though; would that really have been more humane? Given that the militarists in Japan were willing to defy even the Emperor, it could well have been the case that mass starvation and disease would have taken place before a blockade would have led to a surrender.

And the other fact, of course, is that a blockade would take longer. Many of those who do attack the decision to drop the bomb on Japan do so because they feel the reason for doing so was to pre-empt a Soviet role in the war against Japan. So, you avoid Hiroshima and Nagasaki... but a big chunk of Japan winds up like East Germany or North Korea. Is that necessarily an improvement?
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 25, 2011, 12:10:58 am
An old Marine who was staging for the invasion told me he and the guys felt nothing for the people killed or how, just a vast sense of relief that they didn't have to do it. He'd been in action since Tarawa and was tired of it all.

I read a book which stated the anchorage where the invasion fleet was going to form up was hit by a sudden violent typhoon just about when they were due to be there. It was nasty as it was but had a Normandy size invasion fleet been there, yuck.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 25, 2011, 12:28:13 am
An ugly thought occurs, all blue sky stuff.

Say they had done a demonstration instead, maybe nuked some rock in the Inland Sea so no one is hurt. It was enough and then they quit. Good, though LaMay cries himself to sleep.  Five or 10 years pass about as expected. Deliverable H bombs get made, loaded onto B36s or Soviet equivalent, then, having not learned better in the kiloton kiddy pool someone shows off his big boy parts in the megaton range. 

Hmm.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 25, 2011, 05:05:07 am
Say they had done a demonstration instead, maybe nuked some rock in the Inland Sea so no one is hurt. It was enough and then they quit.

That is absurd.  The Japanese certainly would not quit for a mere demonstration.  Hiroshima did not make them quit.  Even Nagasaki did not make them quit.  What made them decide to quit was false intel telling them that the US had hundreds of these bombs, and was retrofitting the bombers to drop hundreds of nukes every night.

Indeed, a demonstration would have been an utter disaster.  It would have given the Japanese reason to hope that the US lacked the will to nuke Japan from end to end, which would have made it necessary to actually demonstrate that will, making necessary slaughter on an enormous scale.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 05:28:46 am

Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.

That is probably not true. We took close to 10% of the Japanese force prisoner. And Okinawan civilians helped  us find Japanese soldiers who disguised themselves as civilians. 
Quote
The Okinawan language differs greatly from the Japanese language; with Americans at their sides, Okinawans would give directions to people in the local language, and those who did not understand were considered Japanese in hiding who were then captured.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa

Of course, you could argue that there was no difference between Okinawa and Japan.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 06:04:26 am
I guess I'm saying it wrong. We were not capable of considering other options because of the kind of people we were.

What you mean WE, white man. First, I would not have dropped the damned bomb and I suspect there were plenty of others who wouldn't have either. The American people didn't decide to murder innocent people, their government did.

The American people did not have a structure set up to make those decisions, which could come to a better choice. So they were unable to come to a better choice. The structure they had available to choose how to fight the war was the US government and the US military.

Quote
Second, to the extent Americans agreed with the decision after the fact is irrelevant, because their government had lied to them to support that decision. They did not have all the facts. If the damned government had decided to simply blockade Japan, they would have slanted the propaganda to justify that solution too.

Yes, that's true. But many Americans are particularly fervent about their belief that the bombs were the best choice, probably because it seems so horrible they can't stand to think it was wrong. Somehow they don't even argue whether firebombing Japanese cities was wrong -- they assume it was wartime and it helped the war effort so it has to be OK. Is there an important difference? The only thing I see that's different in principle is the radioactivity. And it was something new, something Americans weren't used to.

Perhaps similarly, Americans argue about the attack on Iwo Jima. Japan had a lot of men defending Iwo Jima, and our Marines marched up and attacked them headfirst, mostly making no attempt to take prisoners which may have stiffened Japanese resistance. A whole lot of US casualties basicly for nothing, but when it was first planned it seemed like a good idea. Would have been better to skip Iwo Jima and let the Japanese troops there starve alone until after VJ day? There are people who vigorously argue that it was absolutely necessary, or at least that nothing went wrong, because we lost so much they don't want to imagine it could have been a total waste.

Quote
Ditto for the supposed hatred of the Japanese by military personnel. They were not in the decision loop. So their opinions one way or the other were not relevant.

Agreed. Except to the extent that did make a difference. The best judgement of high military officers was mostly what we were going on. They presented their plans to the civilians who mostly went along, while giving their own opinions about what civilians would put up with. To the extent that military opinions about the Japanese filtered up into the higher ranks, they would make a difference in the military planning. But yes, that would be a subliminal thing, something that might slip by without being noticed much but probably not very important.

As a side issue, we made a big deal about Japanese soldiers refusing to surrender. But on the other hand the US forces often refused to accept surrender but just killed Japanese soldiers who tried. That can go a long way toward discouraging the practice. And there were lots of stories circulating among the troops of Japanese who pretended to surrender and them ambushed the forces who accepted the surrender. Japanese who left wounded men to be discovered, who were booby-trapped to kill US medics who tried to move them. Etc.

The Japanese military believed their soldiers would fight harder if they were trained not to surrender, and that could make the difference between victory and defeat. Similarly, the US military taught its soldiers they must not reveal military secrets under torture -- they should reveal nothing but name, rank, and serial number. There were stories from Korea about US soldiers being tortured to death without revealing more, and soldiers who did break down under torture felt tremendous guilt over it. After decades of argument the US military decided that this doctrine was not worth keeping, and they accepted that Americans will sometimes give false confessions under torture.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: bjdotson on March 25, 2011, 07:56:03 am
Forget Japan, everyone not silly, maybe it's alien to a few here. Imagine instead it is a different 1942, the U boat offensive worked. All of Europe is under Nazi control except of Great Britain, the US sat it out in this time line. With the German navy in control of the water and their planes flying from France and Norway, nothing moves in or out of Britain without their consent. No food, fuel, munitions, nothing. Fighter patrols strafe anything moving and bombers are finishing the blitz; most cities are toast.

This UK is in the state Japan was in 1945. As inspiring as Churchil was, no is that good. They'd fold.

Today's British would fold, but if you read old books, it is perfectly obvious that yesterdays Britons would not fold.

Churchill said, and sounds to me like the simple truth:
Quote
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,

The Dutch, facing the holy Roman Empire, said something like that, and proceeded to do it.

When English met Japs, the Japs showed that they were more serious about that stuff than the English, so if the English would do it, Japs would do it ten times over.

Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.
They had another option than surrender; they could have gone the Masada route and just mass suicided. Seems to fit the culture of the time.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: ContraryGuy on March 25, 2011, 09:28:02 am
If it was free and fair, those that didn't want anyone over them would have been permitted such.  Instead, in Greece, there was an election, and the thugs won.  If others had been elected, the thugs would have still won -- just different thugs.

There's always that truism:  "No matter how thoroughly you consider the issues, or how wisely you vote, a goddam government always gets elected."

The older I get, the more convinced I become that the only way in which to get a valid representative form of civil government is to select the legislative, executive, and judiciary officers completely at random (one utterly involuntary term "in the barrel" and then you're back in the real world). 

But we'd still have elections.  Every year.  Only one yes-or-no choice in an annual national referendum, to be held every April 16th.

The question?

"Shall all federal, state, and local government employees be subjected to decimation?"

A plurality "Yes" vote imposes random one-in-ten firing throughout the bureaucracies, no exemptions, no appeal, no possibility for the "decimated" government thugs to be employed on the taxpayer's dime ever again.  Permanent blacklisting.

If on the morning after Tax Day a majority of voting citizens gets up with sufficient rage that they want to slash the parasite payroll, let the axe fall.   

Think of the cathartic value. 
-

Cathartic, yes, but also catastrophic.  Since you are young person who has never lived in a time when the government didnt attempt to do everything, you dont know what could happen with a civil service.

Most people here in this forum will partly agree with you and then say, but we dont need any government because Wall Street can pave roads, install sewer and water systems, provide disaster assistance and put out fires, and provide medical care better.

Which is blatantly untrue.  Unlike most of the forumers, I live in the lower end of the economic spectrum and the view from down here is not so favorable towards Wall Streets idea of market capitalism.

This first hand experience is one of the reasons I believe that large-scale AnCap will never work.  In a small village or commune, such as Ceres, it would work beautifully because their is no outward pressure on it and every reason to make it work ("we'll all die").

Is government corrupt?  Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes they are just making decisions based on information they have that you dont.
The entire reason governments exist is so that the big picture decisions can be made by representaives of the people who are elected.  So happens so that every person in society doesnt have to spend all of their time trying to figure out how to do everything for themselves.
An organized group figures out power generation and distribution, another does water transportation, filtering and distribution and maybe sewer.

All of the things that make modern life possible have become so invisible to the government haters that they dont realize what their life would be like without those now-invisible things.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 10:08:42 am

Most people here in this forum will partly agree with you and then say, but we dont need any government because Wall Street can pave roads, install sewer and water systems, provide disaster assistance and put out fires, and provide medical care better.

Which is blatantly untrue.

It's true for the people who can best pay for it. And they might provide services to the poorer out of a sense of compassion, or because they notice that it's good for them, maybe. Like, public health is good for rich people because they are better off living in  society that does not have great big lethal epidemics. They are better off if their lower classes are not mostly infected with STDs. Etc. If even a few of the extremely rich put money into such things, everybody benefits. There's room for a 'tragedy of the commons' but it doesn't have to come out bad.

Quote
Unlike most of the forumers, I live in the lower end of the economic spectrum and the view from down here is not so favorable towards Wall Streets idea of market capitalism.

Well, duh! People who put their money into lotteries and dog races and such are not going to be so much in favor of the gambling that needs big money.

Quote
This first hand experience is one of the reasons I believe that large-scale AnCap will never work.  In a small village or commune, such as Ceres, it would work beautifully because their is no outward pressure on it and every reason to make it work ("we'll all die").

There could be other circumstances where it would work for awhile. Arguments from first principle are inevitably flawed because we can't be sure which real-life circumstances the principles will apply to, and we can't be sure which second principles will be important. I expect that AnCap wouldn't always work, but to say it could never work is reaching too far.

Quote
Is government corrupt?  Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes they are just making decisions based on information they have that you dont.

Is their secret information correct? How would you know? How would they know?

Quote
All of the things that make modern life possible have become so invisible to the government haters that they dont realize what their life would be like without those now-invisible things.

There's no reason to think that the way we do it is the only possible way. On the other hand, if we tried to quickly switch to something else and those things got disrupted, a lot of people would die quick. So I think our choices include looking for ways to build the new stuff while the old stuff still exists, so it will be ready to use, and switch over gradually -- assuming we really do get the new approaches working. Or else wait for a big collapse and then after a lot of people have died and the survivors can sort of manage, then build a new system from scratch. Or go someplace like outer space where you can start from scratch without having to worry about what came before.

The first approach is what people used when they were first switching from manual to computerised accounting etc, right? You get the computer system working, and you use it for awhile, and you keep using the old manual system at the same time until you are absolutely certain that the new system works reliably. It's only common sense, right? A lot of extra work and expense, but consider the alternatives....

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 25, 2011, 11:55:21 am
With the nuking incidents and invasion.

I expect the entire country was as exhausted as my old Marine friend.
To the Japanese, Okinawa is part of Japan, as we consider the Aluetians the only part of the US to be invaded.   

CG, I'm broke too and my chosen lifestyle as blathered about earlier is pretty much third world on purpose. Most, not all, of the nice stuff is unneeded. Some of it's sure nice to have though. I'll happily concede that. Now if we could just get to pick and choose.

A town near here is being forced to go from septic systems to city sewers. They have to go from mostly free private sanitation systems, already paid for and in place, to a centralized system for something like $50 or $100 a month and pay a couple grand for the hookup. Some few septic systems leak, true, but it seems a bit intrusive. Especially when farm fields full of cow pies on the same drainage flood every year. Similar crap goes on with people being forced to disconnect ther wells for inferior city water. $$$ for nothing.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 25, 2011, 12:08:46 pm
The thing with government, I think, is to paraphrase a page from Karl Marx's book. Let it shrink until it withers away. Prune it, starve it and then we'll see.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: macsnafu on March 25, 2011, 12:32:48 pm
The thing with government, I think, is to paraphrase a page from Karl Marx's book. Let it shrink until it withers away. Prune it, starve it and then we'll see.

The trouble, I think, is that it won't wither away until enough people empower themselves to take care of their own problems.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 25, 2011, 01:39:32 pm
Japs in Okinawa proved they would do it.  Every Japanese soldier died, and a great many of the civilians.

That is probably not true. We took close to 10% of the Japanese force prisoner.

Oh wow!  So only a mere ninety percent of the Japanese soldiers fought to the death.  Hey, nothing fanatical about that.  Clearly a nation that is looking for the opportunity to surrender if asked nicely.  It was a dreadful crime that we failed to ask them nicely enough.

A very large proportion of civilians that lived, lived by fleeing to the US troops from soldiers that were making sure they "committed suicide", and to this day they feel guilty about it, and most of them hate US twice as much because of it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: spudit on March 25, 2011, 01:43:17 pm
The thing with government, I think, is to paraphrase a page from Karl Marx's book. Let it shrink until it withers away. Prune it, starve it and then we'll see.

The trouble, I think, is that it won't wither away until enough people empower themselves to take care of their own problems.

We gotsa learn'em good, but they are comfy where they are. Life on your hind legs is hard, falling down hurts, but their ancestors managed so the potential is there.

I'm not asking for the Roundup just yet, maybe start by cutting off the financial fertilizer.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 25, 2011, 02:05:27 pm
Perhaps similarly, Americans argue about the attack on Iwo Jima. Japan had a lot of men defending Iwo Jima, and our Marines marched up and attacked them headfirst, mostly making no attempt to take prisoners which may have stiffened Japanese resistance.

The Australian experience was that a take no prisoners policy actually diminished resistance.  Units collapse when men run away.  Men run away if they think you are going to kill them.

A policy of taking prisoners only benefits the side following that policy if it induces the enemy to surrender while they still have unit cohesion and are still inclined to obey their officers and can still find some officers to obey.  The Japanese rarely surrendered early enough for the policy of taking prisoners to provide any benefit.  To defeat Japanese military units, they had to be broken, and a kill-em-all policy is more intimidating.  The Japanese fought as long as any unit cohesion remained, and sometimes continued to fight even after unit cohesion collapsed.  So, to minimize casualties when defeating Japanese, need to destroy unit cohesion as rapidly as possible, hence, take no prisoners.  Once unit cohesion collapses, killing the remainder of them is cheap and convenient. 

A whole lot of US casualties basicly for nothing, but when it was first planned it seemed like a good idea. Would have been better to skip Iwo Jima and let the Japanese troops there starve alone until after VJ day? There are people who vigorously argue that it was absolutely necessary, or at least that nothing went wrong, because we lost so much they don't want to imagine it could have been a total waste.

An airport can sink an aircraft carrier, but an aircraft carrier cannot sink an airport.  We had to take Iwo Jima because it was an airport.   There was no cost to leaving Japanese troops behind isolated on Islands, with no airstrip, which we did whenever possible, but the cost of leaving behind us Japanese airports would have been unthinkably horrifying, far too terrible for the US public to accept.  We would have been defeated.

Iwo Jima is a natural airport - most of it is a flat plain formed by an eruption of very liquid molten lava, which froze flat as a lake.    It had to be taken.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 04:03:01 pm


A whole lot of US casualties basicly for nothing, but when it was first planned it seemed like a good idea. Would have been better to skip Iwo Jima and let the Japanese troops there starve alone until after VJ day? There are people who vigorously argue that it was absolutely necessary, or at least that nothing went wrong, because we lost so much they don't want to imagine it could have been a total waste.

An airport can sink an aircraft carrier, but an aircraft carrier cannot sink an airport.  We had to take Iwo Jima because it was an airport.   There was no cost to leaving Japanese troops behind isolated on Islands, with no airstrip, which we did whenever possible, but the cost of leaving behind us Japanese airports would have been unthinkably horrifying, far too terrible for the US public to accept.  We would have been defeated.

Iwo Jima is a natural airport - most of it is a flat plain formed by an eruption of very liquid molten lava, which froze flat as a lake.    It had to be taken.

This is a controversial question and I don't claim, as you do, to know the correct answer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima
Quote
None of these calculations played much if any of a role in the original decision to invade, however, which was almost entirely based on the USAAF's belief that the island would be a useful base for long-range fighter escorts. These escorts proved both impractical and unnecessary, and only ten such missions were ever flown from Iwo Jima.[37] Other justifications are also debatable. Although some Japanese interceptors were based on Iwo Jima, their impact on the American bombing effort was marginal; in the three months before the invasion only 11 B-29s were lost as a result.[38] The Superfortresses found it unnecessary to make any major detour around the island.[39] The capture of Iwo Jima did not affect the Japanese early-warning radar system, which continued to receive information on incoming B-29s from the island of Rota (which was never attacked).[40] Some downed B-29 crewmen were saved by air-sea rescue aircraft and vessels operating from the island, but Iwo Jima was only one of many islands that could have been used for such a purpose. As for the importance of the island as a landing and refueling site for bombers, Marine Captain Robert Burrell, then a history instructor at the United States Naval Academy, suggested that only a small proportion of the 2,251 landings were for genuine emergencies, the great majority possibly being for minor technical checkups, training, or refueling.

It looks to me like the Japanese were utterly unable to resupply Iwo Jima, so their ability to launch planes from the airfield was strictly limited. They were not a big threat. Or maybe I'm wrong, it could depend on tiny details I don't know.

I have read from several sources that the initial decision to take Iwo Jima was mostly because the Air Force said they wanted an airfield to do fighter-escorts from. The AAF changed their mind but the planning was already in full swing and went ahead through inertia. But it's possible that other important reasons were found later, and were not particularly discussed since there was no threat the project would be cancelled.

From what I have seen, the preponderance of evidence was that the invasion was a tragic mistake. But that evidence isn't completely overwhelming; there could be secret reasons that would make sense even while the public rationalizations appear to be mostly bullshit.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 04:39:43 pm
Perhaps similarly, Americans argue about the attack on Iwo Jima. Japan had a lot of men defending Iwo Jima, and our Marines marched up and attacked them headfirst, mostly making no attempt to take prisoners which may have stiffened Japanese resistance.

The Australian experience was that a take no prisoners policy actually diminished resistance.  Units collapse when men run away.  Men run away if they think you are going to kill them.

Putting aside the argument about whether take-no-prisoners is more pragmatic or less pragmatic, and putting aside any argument about morality, I want to note that you claim the Japanese were fanatical and refused to surrender, and at the same time it was often the case that our side refused to let them surrender. And Japanese officers told their men that the Americans would not let them surrender -- to a large extent correctly.

So I say that "fanatics" is an over-simple explanation. People who believe they will be killed if they try to surrender are likely not to try to surrender. They don't have to be unusually fanatical. Davy Crockett at the Alamo wasn't necessarily a fanatic to fight to death rather than try to surrender to the Mexicans, when the Mexicans had loudly announced they offered no quarter.

Quote
A policy of taking prisoners only benefits the side following that policy if it induces the enemy to surrender while they still have unit cohesion and are still inclined to obey their officers and can still find some officers to obey.  The Japanese rarely surrendered early enough for the policy of taking prisoners to provide any benefit.  To defeat Japanese military units, they had to be broken, and a kill-em-all policy is more intimidating.  The Japanese fought as long as any unit cohesion remained, and sometimes continued to fight even after unit cohesion collapsed.  So, to minimize casualties when defeating Japanese, need to destroy unit cohesion as rapidly as possible, hence, take no prisoners.  Once unit cohesion collapses, killing the remainder of them is cheap and convenient.

It's possible that if we had encouraged japanese surrenders, our psywar guys could have persuaded a lot of them to surrender. This is not currently testable, since we did not try it then and it's too late to try it now. We assumed the Japanese would not surrender and we often killed them when they tried -- sometimes in line with official policy -- and so we got the result we expected. I  understand that the logistics are easier when there is no need to feed or guard POWs, and so it's some ways cheaper and more convenient to slaughter them. I have doubts that this is cheaper and more convenient in the long run, but I'm not ready to argue definitely that it isn't, and maybe it's the best thing sometimes and very bad other times.

Going back to morality -- I would not be surprised if you have a lot of bad dreams. You are living in a waking nightmare, one that's hard to wake up from. It probably affects your night-time dreams too. And yet it might be possible for you to wake up. Human beings can fit a variety of ecological niches, we are not stuck with just one.

When you find yourself thinking about what methods work best for an entirely amoral government that is in no way influenced by vestiges of humanity, you might notice that you do not have to fill that ecological niche. You can be some other kind of person and leave the robot-monster role to somebody else. You can, if you want, look for ways that groups of human-type human beings can stop or avoid the robot-monster-government groups and live well despite them.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Brugle on March 25, 2011, 05:43:55 pm
Most people here in this forum will partly agree with you and then say, but we dont need any government because Wall Street can pave roads, install sewer and water systems, provide disaster assistance and put out fires, and provide medical care better.
Wrong again.  I've followed most of the posts on this forum, and I don't recall anyone saying that Wall Street could or would do any of those things.  The only forumers I remember who support Wall Street have been you and a few other government apologists (since government power is invariably used to benefit the politically powerful, which in the US today means primarily Wall Street).

The entire reason governments exist is so that the big picture decisions can be made by representaives of the people who are elected.
I suppose what you mean is that you can't think of any other reason for government to exist.  The rest of us are not so mentally challenged.  The primary reason governments exist is to enrich those who control them.

So happens so that every person in society doesnt have to spend all of their time trying to figure out how to do everything for themselves.
An organized group figures out power generation and distribution, another does water transportation, filtering and distribution and maybe sewer.
Yes, voluntarily cooperating people can do all that.  No need for aggressive violence.

All of the things that make modern life possible have become so invisible to the government haters that they dont realize what their life would be like without those now-invisible things.
You actually think that All of the things that make modern life possible exist solely because of government aggression?  You can't even imagine people voluntarily cooperating for mutual benefit?  That's very sad.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 25, 2011, 08:50:33 pm

The entire reason governments exist is so that the big picture decisions can be made by representaives of the people who are elected.

I suppose what you mean is that you can't think of any other reason for government to exist.  The rest of us are not so mentally challenged.  The primary reason governments exist is to enrich those who control them.

I don't really want to argue teleology, but maybe something else.

It could be argued that the entire reason you exist is your parents' purposes for you. But once you got a life of your own, you developed your own purposes too.

Quadribloc apparently is thinking that the only purpose for government is the good goal he imagines for it. But whatever the purposes the Founding Fathers had when they first created it, every individual cog in the government has his own purpose for it, and influences it. And the government itself takes on a sort of life of its own. The people in it prefer that their lives not be disturbed without strong reason, and their inertia turns into a sort of personality for the government -- it acts as if it cares about self-preservation and expansion.

Complex systems generally develop a life of their own and behave as if they are trying to survive and grow. And whatever purpose other people have for them, the systems' own purposes come first.

I'm not clear what to do about that, beyond notice what's going on, and look for ways to exploit it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 26, 2011, 03:38:46 pm
Putting aside the argument about whether take-no-prisoners is more pragmatic or less pragmatic, and putting aside any argument about morality, I want to note that you claim the Japanese were fanatical and refused to surrender, and at the same time it was often the case that our side refused to let them surrender.

There was never a case in which our side refused to let them surrender in a timely fashion.  The problem was that the Japanese never attempted to surrender until things had gone far past the point where our side had anything to gain by accepting surrender - and accepting surrender at that point would merely encourage resistance in the next battle.

And Japanese officers told their men that the Americans would not let them surrender -- to a large extent correctly.

In the battle of Okinawa, the Americans did accept surrender, made it glaringly obvious that they would accept surrender, went to extraordinary lengths to facilitate Japanese surrender, suffering grave and easily avoidable casualties in their efforts to save the lives of their enemies, and still there was no surrender.

In the battle of Okinawa, as in every other battle, attempts to follow the strategy you suggest merely prolonged the battle and got Americans killed - probably resulted in the Japanese successfully killing a lot more of their own civilians than they otherwise would have been able to.

It's possible that if we had encouraged japanese surrenders, our psywar guys could have persuaded a lot of them to surrender

In Okinawa we did encourage Japanese surrenders, at considerable cost in American lives, and our psywar guys attempted, quite unsuccessfully, to get them to surrender.

In Okinawa, Americans died so that Japanese could live, and it did not work.  Not even a little bit.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 26, 2011, 04:16:45 pm
[A whole lot of US casualties basicly for nothing,
This is a controversial question and I don't claim, as you do, to know the correct answer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima
Quote
None of these calculations played much if any of a role in the original decision to invade, however, which was almost entirely based on the USAAF's belief that the island would be a useful base for long-range fighter escorts. These escorts proved both impractical and unnecessary, and only ten such missions were ever flown from Iwo Jima.[37] Other justifications are also debatable. Although some Japanese interceptors were based on Iwo Jima, their impact on the American bombing effort was marginal; in the three months before the invasion only 11 B-29s were lost as a result.[38] The Superfortresses found it unnecessary to make any major detour around the island.[39] The capture of Iwo Jima did not affect the Japanese early-warning radar system, which continued to receive information on incoming B-29s from the island of Rota (which was never attacked).[40] Some downed B-29 crewmen were saved by air-sea rescue aircraft and vessels operating from the island, but Iwo Jima was only one of many islands that could have been used for such a purpose. As for the importance of the island as a landing and refueling site for bombers, Marine Captain Robert Burrell, then a history instructor at the United States Naval Academy, suggested that only a small proportion of the 2,251 landings were for genuine emergencies, the great majority possibly being for minor technical checkups, training, or refueling.

Your source also says:
Quote
The loss of the Marianas during the summer of 1944 greatly increased the importance of the Ogasawaras for the Japanese, who were well aware that the loss of these islands would facilitate American air raids against the home islands, disrupting war manufacturing and severely damaging civilian morale.

and
Quote
In a postwar study, Japanese staff officers described the strategy applied in the defense of Iwo Jima in the following terms:
Quote
In the light of the above situation, seeing that it was impossible to conduct our air, sea, and ground operations on Iwo Jima toward ultimate victory, it was decided that in order to gain time necessary for the preparation of the Homeland defence, our forces should rely solely upon the established defensive equipment in that area, checking the enemy by delaying tactics.

Which implies that Japanese military officers believed that the US could not attack Japan unless it first seized Iwo Jima.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 26, 2011, 07:09:39 pm

Your source also says:
Quote
The loss of the Marianas during the summer of 1944 greatly increased the importance of the Ogasawaras for the Japanese, who were well aware that the loss of these islands would facilitate American air raids against the home islands, disrupting war manufacturing and severely damaging civilian morale.

and
Quote
In a postwar study, Japanese staff officers described the strategy applied in the defense of Iwo Jima in the following terms:
Quote
In the light of the above situation, seeing that it was impossible to conduct our air, sea, and ground operations on Iwo Jima toward ultimate victory, it was decided that in order to gain time necessary for the preparation of the Homeland defence, our forces should rely solely upon the established defensive equipment in that area, checking the enemy by delaying tactics.

Which implies that Japanese military officers believed that the US could not attack Japan unless it first seized Iwo Jima.


Good! You looked at it! Very often people don't follow up on such things.

So, the Japanese realized that they were at a severe disadvantage and they had essentially no chance to win or even to break even. Lacking any effective strategy they settled on attempts to delay the defeat which was inevitable unless for some reason their enemy chose not to press its advantage.

In that context, given a choice to defend Iwo Jima or abandon it, which would they do? They would of course defend it, because if they didn't the US could just move in and establish air bases with no opposition. And if Japan tried to defend it then if the USA did not attack then that particular island would not be used for US airfields, and if the USA did attack, there would be delays due to Japanese defense.

They had even more troops at Chichijima, which presumably would have been harder to attack, and there were some sort of defenses at Hahajimi. I haven't heard of any defenses at any of the other nearby islands. Presumably if the USA just wanted an airfield we could have had one at some undefended island. But we didn't really need an airfield near there.

So I wouldn't say the Japanese high command was exactly clueless, it was more that they had no hope so they made useless plans because there was no other kind available to them.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 26, 2011, 07:16:41 pm
When you find yourself thinking about what methods work best for an entirely amoral government that is in no way influenced by vestiges of humanity, you might notice that you do not have to fill that ecological niche.

Takes two to make peace, only one to make war.    No point in persuading me, you have to persuade the mob that raped Lara Logan.

The alternative to war that you lot are pursuing is to convert Islam to progressivism - as Lara Logan thought you were successfully doing in Egypt.  The US government's efforts to convert Islam to progressivism are conspicuously failing - largely because progressivism really sucks - it is unappealing, collective suicide, and contrary to the evidence of the senses.  It only seems to be winning within the west because of increasingly massive, drastic and overt state backing.  It is winning as the official state religion, but buying enough votes to maintain it as the official state religion without overtly abandoning democracy for theocracy has become impractically expensive.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 26, 2011, 09:57:16 pm
The entire reason governments exist is so that the big picture decisions can be made by representaives of the people who are elected. 

Historically, the entire reason any particular government exists is usually that some bandit made himself supreme, became a bandit king, for example William the Bastard, or Romulus.

As time goes by, his apparatus starts grow cancerous. Laws, bureaucrats, and taxes multiply.  After a while, the burden becomes alarming, so the increasingly expensive apparatus looks for some way to obtain legitimacy.  Democracy is the latest public relations offensive by the sock puppets of this ever growing band of bureaucrats.

Government originates in a stationary bandit, a bandit king, a bandit so  successful he deters or exterminates all competition.  The government at  first consists of little more than the bandit himself.  Taxation  consists of him suggesting that the eminent give him and his boys land  and money, thus taxes, though capricious and erratic, are quite low.  Laws are few, verging on nonexistent, but enforced with brutal  efficiency, the main law being that no one else does any banditry.

Over time bureaucrats, laws, taxes, quasi governmental organizations,  and regulations multiply like vermin. Eventually, laws, taxes and  meddling bureaucrats become a serious burden, and the bureaucrats face  the need to persuade everyone that a horde of bureaucrats is a good thing.  As the burden increases, the "consent of the governed" becomes more and more important, and more and more effort is put into obtaining it.

Ever since the efficient and effective government of the original bandit chieftain, government has moved ever further leftwards, and will always move ever further leftwards until checked by crisis and collapse, or reformed by internal totalitarian terror, "leftism" being whatever rationalization is currently deployed to justify and excuse the unavoidable and uncontrollable expansion of government.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 26, 2011, 10:07:51 pm
So, the Japanese realized that they were at a severe disadvantage and they had essentially no chance to win or even to break even.

Now if they were good little progressives, this would indeed induce an inclination to surrender, but, though I know you will find this hard to believe, not everyone is a good little progressive.

In Christian theology, the good guys turn the other cheek, the bad guys win, then the bad guys go to hell and suffer eternal torment while the good guys laugh at them from heaven - which theory can never be disproven.

In progressive theology, Christian theology is transliterated to this world, so the good guys turn the other cheek, and the bad guys lose - which theory can, however, be disproven.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 27, 2011, 12:51:05 am
We are talking about US options; nuke, invade, or...? Wouldn't accepting a surrender be a third option? Wouldn't that have save US and Japanese lives too? Unfortunately, we will never know, because that evil little man, Harry Truman, wanted to scare the Soviets. Monstrous.

But, when Japan chose to surrender, we did accept surrender.

The fact is, that after the first nuke, the emperor and cabinet reviewed the situation, and decided to fight to the death.

After the second nuke, they again reviewed the situation and decided to fight to the death.  The Cabinet was then given (false) information that the US had hundreds of nukes, and the delay was just fitting the planes to carry them.  The emperor then ordered surrender - and promptly faced a military mutiny that attempted to take him prisoner before the surrender order could be made public.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 27, 2011, 08:43:44 am
When you find yourself thinking about what methods work best for an entirely amoral government that is in no way influenced by vestiges of humanity, you might notice that you do not have to fill that ecological niche.

Takes two to make peace, only one to make war.    No point in persuading me, you have to persuade the mob that raped Lara Logan.

Well, no. You are taking a messy situation where everything is blurred, and turning it into something with crisp sharp lines.

There are occasional gang rapes, sometimes even when society hasn't particularly broken down. It isn't always political.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7489488.html

But this might have been political. It might for example have been by government employees who were trying to cause trouble, as the "reformists" were accusing them of doing for some time. They said that the secret police were posing as civilians and breaking into buildings and stealing stuff etc so they could claim the reformers were violent and justify suppressing them, and doing mass attacks, etc. Was that true or was it only an excuse for the demonstrators who couldn't police criminals who came out and did their crimes during the disorder?

And there's a possibility that it was entirely disinformation, that Lara Logan was part of a group who staged a pretend-rape intended to influence public opinion, and that you fell for it because it precisely fit your preconceptions.

So, do you want to eliminate group rape worldwide? How would you do that? Inside the USA would it help to disband all the college fraternities? Yes, that would help some, but it wouldn't be enough and it probably wouldn't be worth it. This is something we have to live with. Protect your own women as best you can. Teach them to avoid the worst situations and be ready to protect themselves. My own wife does not want firearms at all -- she doesn't trust herself with them. The one time somebody maybe was starting to rape her, she got mad and warned him if he touched her again she'd hurt him, and he ran away. That approach doesn't work every time, but it worked for her that time.

Quote
The alternative to war that you lot are pursuing is to convert Islam to progressivism - as Lara Logan thought you were successfully doing in Egypt.  The US government's efforts to convert Islam to progressivism are conspicuously failing - largely because progressivism really sucks - it is unappealing, collective suicide, and contrary to the evidence of the senses.  It only seems to be winning within the west because of increasingly massive, drastic and overt state backing.  It is winning as the official state religion, but buying enough votes to maintain it as the official state religion without overtly abandoning democracy for theocracy has become impractically expensive.

?? You make no sense. We have by far the strongest military in the world. But you are still afraid.

We probably have the most nukes. (The Russians are likely to lie and overestimate the number of functional nukes they have.) But you are afraid.

We have the best molecular biologists exploring the questions of how lethal bacteria do their thing. You are still afraid.

We have the best nerve gas. But you are still afraid.

What would it take for you to relax for awhile? If we killed off everybody but our kind of people, would that do it? I don't think so. Because if we are the kind of people who kill off the others, when they were gone we'd pretty quick decide that we weren't all the same kind of people after all....

So, relax. We might at get into a situation where we have implacable enemies who are actually dangerous in the short run. We might have to kill them. We might leave it off until it's almost too late and there's a serious chance they'll kill us instead. That's all stuff that can happen. But for now, in the USA, you're about as safe as you can be. If you waste the good times being scared the bad times will come back. what good does that do you?

And if you're scared of the mob that might have raped Lara Logan, don't go to Egypt. But if you're some sort of bodhisattva who can't rest until everybody in the world is permanently safe from the bad guys, then Lord have mercy on you.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: J Thomas on March 27, 2011, 09:37:42 am
The entire reason governments exist is so that the big picture decisions can be made by representaives of the people who are elected. 

Historically, the entire reason any particular government exists is usually that some bandit made himself supreme, became a bandit king, for example William the Bastard, or Romulus.

<snip complex explanation of Randite theory of government>

You have a theory there which is reasonably logical. But it does not fit all the facts. Sometimes governments form from bandit gangs. Sometimes governments form around something else.

Half of my family spend a lot of time in the Appalachian mountains. The tax collectors didn't come around much, and neither did the mailmen. My grandfather's little brother was shot by revenuers. In the early days there was no government at all. The colonial government just didn't reach that far. They tended to organize around churches. All the people who went to one church would meet each other every week and discuss whatever there was to discuss. Some people went to two or more churches and shared the news. The church elders decided most of what there was to decide. You respected them or you didn't go to that church. And if they decide against you, you can go to a different church provided they disagree with your church's elders enough to accept you. If you don't have a church then you're a hermit.

There were stories about some bandits. They never seemed to last very long in the stories.

Sometimes they'd raise a militia, when there was need. Everybody who was going would pack his weapons and food and go. I don't know how they got a leader. The guy who called out the militia might be the leader because he was the one they showed up for. He needed some prestige to even do that. The shopkeeper might be the leader if he wanted to -- he had bullets and gunpowder and flour and beans, if they were going to be gone long they needed him. The most prestigious veteran of the last time might be the leader. I don't know.

For them it wasn't bandit gangs. I strongly doubt that it's always bandit gangs. Probably it is, sometimes.

In the Old Testament, the story is that people thought they wanted a king so they went to Samuel the priest to ask him for one. Samuel tried to talk them out of it, but they insisted. So Samuel picked somebody he thought would be a bad king. A younger son from an undistinguished family, who'd shown no special aptitude. Saul hired a palace guard and started collecting taxes. When there was an invasion or something, Saul and his palace guard went out and arranged a skirmish they could say they won. Then the reserves would pour out and fight the enemy. But if the palace guard lost the first battle then the people would stay home and accept defeat. Whoever won would appoint a new king who would give them tribute until he was ready to fight them. This is my interpretation, it's been awhile since I've read it and I may have some details wrong. Saul did not start out as a bandit, he was appointed to be a bandit-king. The next king, David, did start out as a bandit. He and his men were mercenaries who bandited elsewhere until somebody who conquered Israel chose him to be king there.

Where does this idea come from, that all or even most governments started out as bandit gangs? Did Rand make it up out of thin air? No, I think it has very old roots. In the old days, when one kingdom conquered a smaller one, doesn't it make sense that the conquerors would spread the story that the losers started out as a bandit gang and never got very far from that? That they oppressed their people until the conquerors came in to liberate them and give them a better life? Of course it does. And who among the conquered people will deny it? "No, Massah, them old guys they oppressed us something horrible. We only pretended to support them because we had to. You are soooo much better that we kiss your feet cause we're grateful."

I expect it went every which way. Likely many governments started out as consensual arrangements, and turned ugly when they needed quick results and chose to oppress small minority holdouts rather than convince them.

But the clear simple story is so easy to believe....
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: quadibloc on March 27, 2011, 09:58:28 am
So, relax. We might at get into a situation where we have implacable enemies who are actually dangerous in the short run. We might have to kill them. We might leave it off until it's almost too late and there's a serious chance they'll kill us instead. That's all stuff that can happen. But for now, in the USA, you're about as safe as you can be. If you waste the good times being scared the bad times will come back. what good does that do you?
Taking common-sense precautions, like having a military, doesn't seem to me to be wasting the good times. Reacting to imminent threats is not that either.

I think we can expect to convert most of the Islamic world to "progressivism" - not the silly version of it, but the same more sensible version that most Americans share - over time, though. Most Muslims do just want to live their lives in peace.

Right now, though, the terrorists are people they have to live with, while we're just strangers far away. This is the same sort of thing that explains why in a small Canadian town, a woman of Native American origin was brutally raped and murdered, and it was claimed that the "whole town", more or less, knew who did it, and yet it took years for the police to complete their investigation, and bring the perpetrator of this heinous deed to justice.

Exterminating the Muslims of the world for the crime of being no better than us seems a bit unfair. Which is why I'm looking for a way to avoid it that I can sell to the people of the Western world... if major terrorist attacks, followed by quagmires on a larger scale than Afghanistan and Iraq, start making that option look attractive, given our high standards of comfort and safety.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 27, 2011, 04:50:55 pm
Takes two to make peace, only one to make war.    No point in persuading me, you have to persuade the mob that raped Lara Logan.

Well, no. You are taking a messy situation where everything is blurred, and turning it into something with crisp sharp lines.

There are occasional gang rapes, sometimes even when society hasn't particularly broken down. It isn't always political.

Gang rapes in the US do not take place in times square.

When they yell "Jew Jew", do the gang rape in public, and there is not the slightest prospect of any of them being punished, it is political.

When they do the same thing over and over again to people less prominent than Lara Logan, and still none of them get punished, or are likely to get punished, it is political.

But this might have been political. It might for example have been by government employees who were trying to cause trouble, as the "reformists" were accusing them of doing for some time.

The reformists also say that the Jews did it, that it was not done at all, and that Lara Logan had it coming.

The government had fallen at the time, and if perhaps it had not entirely fallen at the time, it has fallen now, so if it was government employees trying to cause trouble, they would now be dead or imprisoned.

Further, this is just the sort of stuff the reformists do, have been doing for years, and are now continuing to do to coptic Christians on a bigger scale.  They are rapists, mass murderers and terrorists, and this has been perfectly obvious to everyone except you lot for a decade before they took power in Egypt.  Progressives have been in stubborn denial ever since 9/11, which denial is now turning into full on psychotic delusion.  It resembles the progressive reaction to Major Hasan presenting a powerpoint presentation on why he is going to murder his audience, and your reaction to the victory mosque at ground zero celebrating 9/11.  You are fucking insane.  These guys intend to kill me, but they want to kill you first because they hate progressivism most of all.

They said that the secret police were posing as civilians and breaking into buildings and stealing stuff etc so they could claim the reformers were violent and justify suppressing them,

The government had already fallen at the time, and the police, let alone the secret police, had made themselves scarce - and any that did not make themselves scarce, would have been hanging from the lampposts.

Plus, these guys are still at it.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 27, 2011, 05:48:07 pm
I think we can expect to convert most of the Islamic world to "progressivism" - not the silly version of it, but the same more sensible version that most Americans share - over time, though.

Yet observe.  The high points of what you would call sensible progressivism in the Muslim world were during the crusades, and during the colonial era - and during the colonial era, they got their progressivism from rule by the likes of Lord Cromer, who most Europeans in 1907 viewed as horrifyingly reactionary.

And since the days of Lord Cromer, Muslims have been becoming less and less progressive.  What makes you think this trend, displayed most recently in the mass rape and sexual mutilation of Lara Logan, and similar treatment of large numbers of Coptic Christians while the world averts its gaze, is going to reverse?  Female circumcision and so on and so forth is increasing, not decreasing, and has been ever since the colonial tide receded.

The underlying forces driving this trend is that sensible progressivism is not sensible, but vicious and suicidally crazed - most people in 1950 or so would have considered the sensible progressivism of 2000 or so as completely insane, and most people in 1910 would have considered the sensible progressivism of 1950 or so as completely insane, and most people in 1840 or so would have considered the sensible progressivism of 1910 as suicidally insane.  It was the people in 1840 whose sensible moderate progressivism successfully influenced the Muslim world, and if you want to succeed in moderating Islam, you have to return to what people in 1830 or so considered moderate progressive.

This is the same sort of thing that explains why in a small Canadian town, a woman of Native American origin was brutally raped and murdered, and it was claimed that the "whole town", more or less, knew who did it, and yet it took years for the police to complete their investigation, and bring the perpetrator of this heinous deed to justice.

Perhaps because the whole town did not know who did it, and it is probable that the guy who was scapegoated for the deed did not do it.  That story is a load of baloney, similar to the Duke rape case and the "lynching of Emmet Till for whistling at a white woman"

Exterminating the Muslims of the world for the crime of being no better than us seems a bit unfair.

When we had the upper hand, during the colonial era, there was peace and justice - or there was once Muslims submitted, though the means employed to obtain submission were apt to be drastic.  When Muslims had the upper hand, for example 1400 to 1700, there was mass state sponsored rape, widespread enslavement of white Christians, and frequent mass murder.  Compare the treatment of Muslims in Egypt when Christians ruled, with the treatment of Copts in Egypt today.

And supposing, as good progressives believe, that there was no peace and justice during the colonial era, that we are no better than they.  Then they would be bad enough that it would necessarily be war to the knife.  Whether or not we are better than them, it is better for us that we win than that they win.

Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: sam on March 27, 2011, 06:10:45 pm
Where does this idea come from, that all or even most governments started out as bandit gangs? Did Rand make it up out of thin air?

The Kings of Israel were supposedly appointed by God, but they acted a lot as if they were bandit kings.

Romulus was a bandit.

The government of England started out with William the Bastard, who, as the declaration of Arboath says, was a pirate and bandit, and most governments in the world today are descended from the government of England.

From time to time there are revolutionary movements, whose leaders claim, with varying degrees of plausibility, appointment by the people.  Robert the Bruce was appointed by the Scottish people - he was, however, also appointed by the King of England, before he turned on the King of England and denounced the King as a descendant of a bandit.

The best post colonial governments are those, like the government of Singapore, who can trace their founding to some British bandit, rather than to the guys from Whitehall.  This is consistent with the theory that government gets steadily worse and worse, the longer the duration between it and the original founding bandit.
Title: Re: The Christmas War (continued from ..low-key invasion)
Post by: Scott on March 27, 2011, 10:12:36 pm
Alright, this thread has drifted so far from being about Escape From Terra that I'm shutting it down. If you guys want to mix it up over politics in general, take it to Talk Amongst Yourselves.