Indeed, like I've always said: democracy is capitalism's best henchman.
democracy is capitalism's best henchman.
That continues to be true: the United States continues to pursue two wars whose sole raison d’être is capitalist access to the natural resources of the people who actually live in the countries we’ve invaded. It’s the same thing we did in Vietnam; although, thanks to technology, far fewer front-line soldiers than the 58,000 who died losing the war in Vietnam are now dying in Afghanistan, the main theater. The U.S. will, of course, lose this war, too: ask the British and the Russians…
BTW, Neil: here’s your precious Capitalism at work…
@oldnick:the United States continues to pursue two wars whose sole raison d’être is capitalist access to the natural resources of the people who actually live in the countries we’ve invaded.
As if the war in Afghanistan wasn't about bringing Osama bin Laden to justice for 9/11, and continues because it's about stamping out the Taliban to protect the Afghan people from them. No, it's all about becoming able to exploit their copper and other minerals.
As if the war in Iraq wasn't about how that country's regime, which was allowed to continue after being defeated in the war it started to invade Kuwait, hadn't defied the conditions of the peace treaty by hampering UN weapons inspectors seeking to prevent that rogue nation from gaining weapons of mass destruction - and continues because terrorists are menacing the ordinary Iraqi people. No, it's all about stealing their oil.
After 9/11, any radical Muslim - by this I mean one that is willing to use force, not in self defense, but to impose either his brand of Islam, or subservience towards those who practise it, on others, instead of living side by side with them in peace and tolerance - should consider his days are numbered. So, just as Pearl Harbor was good news for the British, 9/11 was good news for the Coptic Christians and other minorities - as well as for Israel.
It's about ending an ideology that has proven itself a menace to the lives of Americans peacefully going about their daily lives, not about oil.
Also, your use of the word "capitalist" makes me wonder if you are confused about the horrors of the Soviet totalitarian regime - and how, therefore, the Arab oil embargo of 1973, inspired by that part of the world's petty quarrel with Israel, coming as it did during the Cold War, constituted treason against humanity.
Israel only expanded after the Arab world tried to throw it into the sea, and it was only founded - instead of Jews simply living as citizens of Palestine - because of violent attacks against Jews in Palestine. But in 1967, and again in 1973, the Arab world, instead of accepting the consequences of its wrongdoing, and leaving well enough alone, dug itself in deeper.
The U.S. will, of course, lose this war, too: ask the British and the Russians…
It's not as if the U.S. is trying to impose things on the Afghan people; it's fighting a very small band of terrorists. The war is already over, the Taliban have been defeated, and Hamid Karzai now governs Afghanistan; the U.S. is simply assisting the new state in dealing with a menace to order in its midst.
Pakistan might be the Taliban's Cambodia, but they don't have a North Vietnam.
Again, Neil, your naïveté is astounding: please do get a grip…
That's not Neil.
But John, you are indeed being entirely too naive. And in the context of the world there's nothing "peaceful" about how America has been behaving since day one (the American Indian genocide being one of the saddest events in all of human history - much worse than the Armenian Genocide). The fact that it feels relatively peaceful on our little island is a "feature", and only makes long-term resolution more elusive.
Oops: sorry, Neil. Thanks, Hrant, for pointing out the errors of my ways.
John: please get a clue. The East India Company started as a corporation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company#Founding
Eventually, the cost of containing native populations became prohibitive, and the East India Company managed to convince the British citizenry that the taming of the savage was England’s Manifest Destiny; consequently, the British population assumed the financial burden of this Grand Enterprise and, in the process, drew their famous Red Line around 40% of the world’s nations.
From its beginnings, the United States armed forces have effectively been goon squads, who work for the highest bidder (which lately has been, quite often, British Petroleum). American politicians appear to be particularly effective at turning these ventures into Holy Wars of one kind or another. In fact, one such Holy War is being pimped now: Israel is begging the world to save the Civilized Man (in other words, Israeli Jews) from the Savage (that is, Iran, successor to the the Persian Empire, which was far more vast, influential and civilized than the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah ever were).
@oldnick:(that is, Iran, successor to the the Persian Empire, which was far more vast, influential and civilized than the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah ever were)
So? Is a Canadian computer programmer on death row in Israel because his anti-virus program happened to have been bought by a porn site?
Ancient history is a poor guide to who is behaving in a civilized manner in the present day.
They kill you in Israel for much less complicated reasons, like being a Palestinian or even an American defending Palestinians.
Yes, let's focus on the present. Especially compared to how it's perceived in the US (with John serving as a small piece of clear evidence) Israel isn't "behaving in a civilized manner", and really never has.
I wish I had written this:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20178655
I wish I had written this:
Israel isn't "behaving in a civilized manner", and really never has
True; the lex talionis prescribes an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. The Israelis, on the other hand, are more likely to kill ten Palestinians for every Israeli killed…
Quite the opposite! In fact Israel just recently did a prisoner exchange in which an Israeli soldier was freed for more than 1,000 Palestinians.
1,000 for 1!!!
And don't forget, Hamas is still declared at war with Israel ...and not the other way around with Israel declared at war with Palestine.
Just like how native Americans declared war on England, while England never declared war on them.
I ran across this article today;
It would be unfair to contrast the death of Rachel Corrie with that of Tali Hatuel,
because, after all, terrorists aren't the official representatives of a state. But when Israeli settlers commit criminal acts of violence they are subject to prosecution by Israeli authorities. Who in the Arab world cares to bring Tali Hatuel's killers to justice?
It's worse to have a system that is happy to murder than no system at all. But most of all it's the fault of a superpower for having such a lowly ally.
Neil— I said nothing about prisoner exchanges; I was talking about revenge killing. Do you never tire of getting it wrong?
John—Your powers of non sequitur are astounding: get a grip.
Do you never tire of getting it wrong?
Hm... that's a tuffy to answer. If I say No ... then that implies that I'm always wrong. If, on the other hand, I say Yes, then that implies that I'm always wrong.
Seriously oldnick stop sounding like an Obama socialist, ok? Instead, try asking questions that will shape a healthy exchange. Asking questions you've already answered is being left of left .... Obama² ...lol!!
You're trying to paint Israel as the bad guy, and Hamas as the good guy. That my fiend is going to require a lot of paint and a very very wide brush!!
Q: What do you call something that isn't nailed down?
One can definitely cite a lot of bad things in American history, like the "Trail of Tears", for one example.
Nearly all of human history has been the story of the wars fought between one unjust, repressive regime and another unjust, repressive regime.
But the Western world of today is pretty much the one place and time where an intelligent young man can live with honor without having to pay with his life - not being forced, in order to survive, to turn people in to the secret police, or to obsequiously sing the praises of the local tyrant, or to give silent assent to lies in order to avoid threatening the local religious sect.
For this, it is reasonable to give the West some gratitude, and to assist in protecting it from its enemies.
The West is the heir to ancient Greece, in which the valuable accomplishments of the ages are respected and preserved and built upon. Thus, it must survive and prevail, or humanity will have wasted millenia in its struggle to give meaning and purpose to its past ages of suffering.
Thanks for answering the question: no, you never tire of being wrong. The inferences you draw have no relation to what I actually say.
Obama socialist? Where did you get that preposterous notion? Obama is as much a corporate stooge as the next guy; worse, he’s an Oreo, whose misguided Affirmative Action programs are settling race relations back sixty years or more. Furthermore, I never mentioned Hamas; I said that Israelis—despite their protestations—are not behaving morally, and have no claim whatsoever to the title “Civilized Men.”
Do pull your head out of the Capitalist ass…
That phrase is far to rich for you oldnick. You're a socialist who enjoys wallowing in selfpity.
You know, since this is so close* I just realized it's going to be fun. Since I don't think the results matter much I'm not tense like the rest of the country. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to make some popcorn and enjoy the drama. Finally a reality show worth watching.
* I mean in the popular vote; in the Electoral College I'm calling a 30-point advantage for Obama (which BTW is a great reason for concocting such a subversive system). You heard it here first.
That phrase is far to rich for you oldnick
You mean far too rich? Hardly: I am willing to match my understanding of the last six thousand years—essentially, all of recorded history—point by point against yours any day of the week. And, no: I don’t pity myself; I pity fools like you, who have bought the party line along with the hook and sinker…
I've felt that U.S. politics have been dysfunctional ever since LBJ.
In John F. Kennedy, America had a President who was what a President should be: on the one hand, someone who stood for the rights of minorities and women to equality, and who recognized the economic interests of the ordinary working man as vital to the nation, and on the other hand, someone who was a strong champion of liberty against the dictatorships which were hostile to the Free World.
Compare that to the 2008 election.
George W. Bush's statesmanlike and responsible response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (he didn't go and nuke Afghanistan, like some people were advocating; he didn't even convert the Islamic world to Christianity at gunpoint as someone else advocated, possibly in jest) was met with howls of outrage by the Democratic Party. Bush had to be defeated, or the world was doomed!
And so the Democratic Party, leading up to 2008, had a primary process in which the leading candidates were an African-American and a woman.
It's critical to defeat the Republicans, in order to prevent World War III, and instead of choosing a safe, electable candidate, you're going to indulge yourself in a long-shot attempt to make history?
And, indeed, once chosen, Obama promised to irresponsibly pull America out of Afghanistan and Iraq regardless of whether or not that would lead to the terrorists taking control of those countries.
In the case of Afghanistan, though, he was honest enough to relent before the election.
McCain was narrowly ahead; some commentators speculated on the "unthinkable" - if another 9/11 happened before the election, he would win in a landslide instead of squeaking through.
Well, it happened - just in the other way. The stock market crashed.
This pushed voters towards the Democratic party, the party of FDR - the party that cares about whether working-class Americans have jobs.
And then McCain was so out of touch that he did a Herbert Hoover impression in response to the crash... noting that the fundamentals of the economy were sound.
America wasn't ready for a black President - but the perfect storm happened.
But that election was just an extreme example of what had been true in just about every election - Humphrey versus Nixon, Mondale versus Reagan - the voters are presented with a Hobson's choice between someone who will neglect national security and someone who will neglect the economy and the less fortunate.
@Ryan: Could you please rename this thread to something like ‘Endless and boring political discussion’ as a gesture to people who search for information re Mr Devroye?
This HAS gone completely off topic.
A search for information about Baskerville led me to the entry on Identifont for URW Baskerville; it stated that it was designed by Yelena Tzaregorodtseva in 1923. I found the date hard to believe; thanks to Luc Devroye's site (who he is was answered well by the first reply on this thread) I found she designed it at Polygrafmash in 1961.
What a show! It was so real, just like those reality shows. And there was something for everybody, especially stats: if you want to believe it was very close so you can complain and sabotage the future you look at the statistically-insignificant actual 2% difference; and if you want to believe the country is happily united you just look at the scam Electoral College* landslide! We're clearly going in the right direction. Same if Romney were elected!
* Not counting thankfully-irrelevant Florida.
Here comes Obama's socialism ... redistribute wealth*. He has successfully split the country in half. If he ever claims again that he is one who unites a people ... I'm going to laugh for days and days ...lol!
*I strongly suggest business owners bank their wealth off shore as smartly as possible.
Yes, indeed: you never tire of getting it wrong. There is really no point talking to a brainwashed bigot like you: give your mad-dog Capitalist propaganda a rest.
George W. Bush's statesmanlike and responsible response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? What the hell is in your Kool-Aid?
@oldnick:What the hell is in your Kool-Aid?
It's true he didn't really have UN permission to invade Iraq. And, I suppose he could have waited to see if Afghanistan's offer to subject Osama bin Laden to an Islamic trial was genuine or useful; after all, we might not like the Taliban, but they were the government of Afghanistan, and one is supposed to respect the sovereignity of national governments.
However, several thousand innocent Americans were killed out of the blue.
Many Americans did favor, seriously or not, the simple visceral response of using America's thermonuclear might to turn Afghanistan into a lake... or to wipe Islam from the face of the Earth. That kind of thing didn't happen.
So I'm just using a different value of "compared to what" than liberals might, reminding them that while Bush may have fallen short of their hopes, he still remained well within the realm of conventional actions, and in no way approached their worst fears.
and in no way approached their worst fears
Really? Evidently, you have been fortunate enough not to receive any undue attention from the Department of Homeland Security, or any of its above-the-law operatives. Eights glorious days in a brainwashing facility—patterned after those employed by the Chinese during the Korean War—might change your mind on the subject. For me, the experience merely confirmed a few hypotheses which I had developed…
Nick, are you saying that the Department of Homeland Security took you into custody for 8 days and attempted to brainwash you? Why?
the experience merely confirmed a few hypotheses which I had developed…
That socialism is your only friend, comrade oldnick.
I am saying that an Independent Contractor—masquerading as a police officer and working for person or persons unknown—coaxed my apartment manager into filing three bogus charges against me, which resulted in my being arrested, brutalized twice, knocked on the noggin hard enough to cause my brain to bleed, then tossed into the Restricted Issue division of the Fairfax County Jail, with the intent of intimidating me, and, I suppose, to “change my attitude”—precisely why, I am not certain, but the most likely reason is the major flaw in the ACH check-processing system which I accidentally stumbled upon, and then announced to the world. Well, okay, not the world: here and on Craigslist. Or, maybe, people just find me annoying: I don’t know. In the process, my common-law rights were violated and my civil rights were violated. I will spare you the gruesome details.
The Supreme Court ruled that Independent Contractors working abroad are, essentially, above the law. Call me paranoid if you wish, but my experiences lead me to believe that some contractors working in this country operate as if the same were true on American soil. So, DHS is the most likely culprit…IMHO.
Sounds like the US people are getting subjected to state-sponsored lawlessness, then.
Oldnick, nice story. Got another???
FYI, there are national major league civil rights defendant litigating firms that would take on your case pro bono no probs. So, I'm sure you're going to tell us that you've retained a civil rights lawyer.
And ain't it a little ironic - you talking about the rights of the Individual. Exactly what I've been talking about all along!!
As it happens, I do: my favorite nephew offed himself last Friday, because he couldn’t live in this f*cked-up world a second longer.
And, thank you for your sage advice: I have already contacted the Virginia ACLU, and they have expressed an interest in litigating.
Exactly what you’ve been talking about? Which amendment makes it a God-given right to be stupid? I must have missed that one…