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dump on Trump

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Topic: dump on Trump
Posted By: franciscosan
Subject: dump on Trump
Date Posted: 23 Aug 2015 at 15:36
I subscribe to the theory that the purpose of Trump is to have Hillary win.  After all, he donated to her campaign 8 years ago.  On many issues he's left of center, on those other issues, he is obnoxious and insulting.  Just because he is a businessman, does that give him Republican credentials?  It is only in the Fairy Tales that when you kiss a frog, it turns into a prince.  His obnoxiousness leads me to a second theory, that his purpose is to poison the well by insulting Hispanics, immigrants, women, veterans and the Lord (and the media) only knows who else.  He's a "Republican" because that is, in his opinion, the most likely way for him to get what he wants.  It is all about him, and if he drags others down, well then that is fine for him.

I got admit that Trump has balls, and the brains, but only to know exactly what to say to feed into the "I am mad as hell, and am not going to take it anymore" crowd.  But Trump is a destructive force, in business he can have his way, in politics, what is going to do, have a tantrum when congress won't cooperate?  He's a nihilist, believing only in himself and infatuated by the size of his own ego.  He knows how to insult people, he doesn't know how to play nice with others.  Hell, Obama doesn't know how to play nice with others either, but Trump isn't in the White House, and already he is bullying people.  

We need a _politician_ in the White House, someone who can get things done by reaching across the aisle.  Not a prima donna.  Reagan is a good example, Tip O'Neal (D, Speaker of the House) had problems sometimes opposing Reagan, because he _genuinely_liked_ the guy.  What a wonderful problem (for you) for your opposition to have.  



Replies:
Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2015 at 13:20
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I subscribe to the theory that the purpose of Trump is to have Hillary win.  After all, he donated to her campaign 8 years ago.  On many issues he's left of center, on those other issues, he is obnoxious and insulting.  Just because he is a businessman, does that give him Republican credentials?  It is only in the Fairy Tales that when you kiss a frog, it turns into a prince.  His obnoxiousness leads me to a second theory, that his purpose is to poison the well by insulting Hispanics, immigrants, women, veterans and the Lord (and the media) only knows who else.  He's a "Republican" because that is, in his opinion, the most likely way for him to get what he wants.  It is all about him, and if he drags others down, well then that is fine for him.

I got admit that Trump has balls, and the brains, but only to know exactly what to say to feed into the "I am mad as hell, and am not going to take it anymore" crowd.  But Trump is a destructive force, in business he can have his way, in politics, what is going to do, have a tantrum when congress won't cooperate?  He's a nihilist, believing only in himself and infatuated by the size of his own ego.  He knows how to insult people, he doesn't know how to play nice with others.  Hell, Obama doesn't know how to play nice with others either, but Trump isn't in the White House, and already he is bullying people.  

We need a _politician_ in the White House, someone who can get things done by reaching across the aisle.  Not a prima donna.  Reagan is a good example, Tip O'Neal (D, Speaker of the House) had problems sometimes opposing Reagan, because he _genuinely_liked_ the guy.  What a wonderful problem (for you) for your opposition to have.  

I agree with you. The prospect of Trump winning a Presidential election should concern everyone in the world. 

But the American electorate being what it is, anything is possible.




-------------
“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2015 at 14:24
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I subscribe to the theory that the purpose of Trump is to have Hillary win.  After all, he donated to her campaign 8 years ago.  On many issues he's left of center, on those other issues, he is obnoxious and insulting.  Just because he is a businessman, does that give him Republican credentials?  It is only in the Fairy Tales that when you kiss a frog, it turns into a prince.  His obnoxiousness leads me to a second theory, that his purpose is to poison the well by insulting Hispanics, immigrants, women, veterans and the Lord (and the media) only knows who else.  He's a "Republican" because that is, in his opinion, the most likely way for him to get what he wants.  It is all about him, and if he drags others down, well then that is fine for him.

I got admit that Trump has balls, and the brains, but only to know exactly what to say to feed into the "I am mad as hell, and am not going to take it anymore" crowd.  But Trump is a destructive force, in business he can have his way, in politics, what is going to do, have a tantrum when congress won't cooperate?  He's a nihilist, believing only in himself and infatuated by the size of his own ego.  He knows how to insult people, he doesn't know how to play nice with others.  Hell, Obama doesn't know how to play nice with others either, but Trump isn't in the White House, and already he is bullying people.  

We need a _politician_ in the White House, someone who can get things done by reaching across the aisle.  Not a prima donna.  Reagan is a good example, Tip O'Neal (D, Speaker of the House) had problems sometimes opposing Reagan, because he _genuinely_liked_ the guy.  What a wonderful problem (for you) for your opposition to have.  

I agree with you. The prospect of Trump winning a Presidential election should concern everyone in the world. 

But the American electorate being what it is, anything is possible.



You would rather have Clinton who can't even manager her email?  If Trump were elected I'm sure the world would go on pretty much the same as it has.  Maybe even better as Obama certainly is no foreign policy genius.  He may not have created the situation in Iraq but he certainly let it get out of hand.  The Iran nuclear deal is a joke as the Iranians are already saying they will not comply with it.  Russia is still in the Ukraine and Cuba is irrelevant.   Foreign opinions of U.S. politics fall under the should of, could have, would have, category of people standing on the sidelines with no responsibility regardless of the outcome. 


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 24 Aug 2015 at 16:07
There are 16 other Republican candidates, and you think the only alternative to Donald is Hillary?
Or that the only alternative to Hillary is Donald?  It is fairly early and a lot can happen, the democrats seem to be placing all their eggs in Hillary's basket, but the private email server is not going away.

No, I don't want Hillary, but from a Republican perspective, Hillary might be better than Donald.  Hillary might confuse party loyalty with personal loyalty, but for Donald, loyalty is something with which he has no familiarity.

Trump cannot win as a third candidate, but he could ruin it for any other Republican nominee.  Ohio has a sore loser law, that if you run as a party candidate for nomination, you cannot get electoral candidates if you loose the nomination, and then run as a third party candidate.  This is only for Ohio, but Ohio is a pretty major state.  It would be a hell of a handicap to start off with.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 05:07
Sorry I was a bit drunk last night and found the assumption of anyone other than Trump offensive. 

As it stands there isn't a single candidate I like.  Maybe that will change or I may vote for Trump in the primary because it messes with the establishment.  In my opinion the GOP needs to go away anyway.  We desperately need a party that can promote traditional values without being anti progressive.  The definition of the word conservative alone should mean that there are no conservative parties.  Who is against progress and how can you have progress without new ideas?  

Conservative = : believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : relating to or supporting political conservatism

Conservative : of or relating to the conservative party in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada

: not liking or accepting changes or new ideas



Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 12:11
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

 
You would rather have Clinton who can't even manager her email?  If Trump were elected I'm sure the world would go on pretty much the same as it has.  Maybe even better as Obama certainly is no foreign policy genius.  He may not have created the situation in Iraq but he certainly let it get out of hand.  The Iran nuclear deal is a joke as the Iranians are already saying they will not comply with it.  Russia is still in the Ukraine and Cuba is irrelevant.   Foreign opinions of U.S. politics fall under the should of, could have, would have, category of people standing on the sidelines with no responsibility regardless of the outcome. 

Hmmm. I'm wondering what you find humorous in the Iran deal, and also how you would have expelled the Russians from the Ukraine. And are you really saying that those outside the US should voice no opinions on US politics?


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 13:30
Captain:

Game, set and match.

Once again you're right on target. Non Americans need to watch American politics very carefully, especially countries like Australia which prizes it's friendship with America and has very strong ties with the USA.

US politics can and does very easily influence Australian political decisions.

Regarding Trump, from his rambling to date, should he ever be elected, I would fear the worst.

 


-------------
“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 14:04
If Trump is elected, I'm stocking up on canned food, first aid supplies, and duct tape (and beer).

I don't think he will be though. He will be expelled from the GOP, which is likely his original purpose anyway, and then offered some back room deals for his business interests if he promises not to run as a third party candidate, and hence split the vote on the right, and allow a Democrat victory. 

I wonder if future historians will write about our time as the "age of cynicism"?


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 14:35
I think you are exaggerating the significance of who holds the presidential office in the U.S.

There are severe restraints in place on what they can actually do and I think that since Iraq and George Bushes WMDs that is more true than ever.

Trump if elected would probably moderate his views considerably.  Conservative politics in the U.S. to foreign observers may seem on the verge of the insane but they do reflect the views of many American which can't just be ignored.

In any case Trump is so unlikely to be elected president I don't even know why we are discussing it.  


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 17:14
Consider Kasich.

Captain, I don't believe that you will be stockpiling beer, that is, any more than you are already<grin>.

I don't think that you can get kicked out of the Republican party, otherwise all those far right types would kick out what they consider rhinos (Republicans In Name Only).  Personally, I call those types morons, and no that is not a clever acronym. Maybe we need to bring back ostracism.

Conservatives look at elements of society, and if they don't know why they are there, they want to leave them alone.
Liberals look at elements of society, and if they don't know why they are there, they want to get rid of them.
But both liberals and conservatives see some things as needed, and other things something best gotten rid of.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 25 Aug 2015 at 18:29
Wolf wrote:


"Conservative politics in the U.S. to foreign observers may seem on the verge of the insane but they do reflect the views of many American which can't just be ignored."


Where else in the democratic world do you have a president who faces a hostile House of Reps and a hostile Senate on a daily basis?

Where else does the leader have such broad and incontravertible powers?




-------------
“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2015 at 01:55
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

I think you are exaggerating the significance of who holds the presidential office in the U.S.

There are severe restraints in place on what they can actually do and I think that since Iraq and George Bushes WMDs that is more true than ever.

Trump if elected would probably moderate his views considerably.  Conservative politics in the U.S. to foreign observers may seem on the verge of the insane but they do reflect the views of many American which can't just be ignored.

In any case Trump is so unlikely to be elected president I don't even know why we are discussing it.  

Have any laws been changed since the Bush administration?


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2015 at 02:11
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Consider Kasich.

Captain, I don't believe that you will be stockpiling beer, that is, any more than you are already<grin>.

Touche.

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I don't think that you can get kicked out of the Republican party, otherwise all those far right types would kick out what they consider rhinos (Republicans In Name Only).  Personally, I call those types morons, and no that is not a clever acronym. Maybe we need to bring back ostracism.

Conservatives look at elements of society, and if they don't know why they are there, they want to leave them alone.
Liberals look at elements of society, and if they don't know why they are there, they want to get rid of them.
But both liberals and conservatives see some things as needed, and other things something best gotten rid of.

I think both elements advocate change, but conservatives tend to invest hope in authority figures, often business leaders these days, although some ascend to the mystical, and put their faith in the General Manager on high.

Progressives tend to look outwards, to broad based opinion, and general need.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2015 at 14:44
That is interesting, Captain, because I don't think anyone could be more of, if not an authority figure, an inside player for the establishment than Hillary.  And I think nobody could be more of an anti-authority figure than Trump.  I think that you under-estimate the anti-authority streak in the Republican party, and it is not so much that they trust in business, is just that they know that business has no firepower except that which the government gives it (Kelso vs. ...., imminent domain case).  Government can kill you and say that it was your fault, business at least has to buy off the judge and the town council, and there is no guarantees with that.  But, look at Rand Paul and Ron Paul, and even back to Ross Perot for someone edging towards the conservative that is many ways an anti-establishment option, not that Ross Perot was ever a real option, but he did split the vote of the right.  Tea Party is a big anti-authority love fest also. Hmmm. "R.P." interesting....

Someday the religious right is going to realize that if you get religion into politics, you will also get politics into religion.  They want the first, but don't understand that the second follows also.  United States has a very vibrant religious scene, and no state church.  United States churches have been able to adapt to the environment, so to speak, and therefore if you don't like something in one church, just go down the street.  European countries seem to have killed off religion by saying, 'this is how it has to be.'  Also, as disenchantment with government (and other authorities) has grown, so has in these state church situations, a disenchantment with religion has grown as well.  Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars, kept religion and politics (or _rather_ Church and State) separate.

If by "Progressives tend to look outward, to broad based opinion," you mean liberals often fall back on demagoguery, I would tend to agree<grin>.  If you mean by "Progressives tend to look towards general need," that they tend to teach a learned helplessness, so that they are indisposable, I would also agree with that too.
Actually, I think that most liberals have good intentions, and in general are good people, in fact, because they are generally good people they that a bright view of human nature, but don't understand why people don't meet it, and won't agree with them.  Conservatives often have a somewhat negative view of human nature as whole (but not necessarily by smaller units), and so are often pleasantly surprised when people don't meet it.
Liberals believe that people are basically good, but they want to interfere in people's lives.
Conservatives believe that people are basically bad, but they want to leave people alone.
It is wonderful paradox, and there is some truth to it.

So, have you looked at Kasich??  Look at him and see what you think, he talks about prison and drug reform, and yet everyone is focused on a demogogue like Trump.  Or you can have the cynical view of rooting for the Republican candidate least likely to win against Queen Hillary, Our Lady of the Top Secret E-mails.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 27 Aug 2015 at 15:25
Nice post fransico san and I agree that people outside the U.S. simply can't understand how the idiotic babble that comes out of conservatives represents a well thought out libertarian position on many issues.  In essence the conservatives have been tricked into libertarian positions by their adherence to the ideas of the founding fathers who were essentially radical supporters of the enlightenment.  The enlightenment of 200 years ago of course.  Things have changed but some of the underlying principles remain relevant.
 
I have a few points where I disagree.

A liberal is often a person too afraid of the nature of men to be a libertarian.  Liberals insist that every aspect of peoples lives must be controlled to prevent damage to the collective interest.  In the end they become the authoritative conservative demagogue that they hoped to replace once their ideas are in place.

Conservatives are mostly just people who fear change of any kind and it is a somewhat reasonable position as most change is not for the best.  What conservatives don't realize is that to not change is to go extinct.  Paradoxically 5 percent positive change is the formula for success not only in species but in cultures.  You simply are forced to take the bad with the good if you want to survive.

We libertarian on the other hand are fearless Wacko    We don't trust in human nature but neither do we believe that the solution is enforcement.  Regulations should be minimalistic and never prohibitionist such measures are always counter productive in the long run.  We also believe that the key to good government is a responsible population.  The way to get to that utopia is through patiently waiting for society to ostracise bad ideas and immoral behavior.  Home education that instills good manners and respect do more to ensure safety than enforcement accept in the most extreme cases.  The amorality of modern liberals or the conventional morality of conservatives will never produce a great society as we preserve our agency by the necessity of self imposed restraint.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 06:43
"Liberals" tend to define the terms of the debate, the small government anti-authoritarian, free market individuals could be called "liberal" but term is taken.  Sometimes you hear them referring to themselves as "classical liberals" like Locke or JS Mill, Adam Smith or the Federalists.  "Progressives" is also a term that has been appropriated by the left.  Most "conservatives" are "progressive" in some areas, but other areas they don't consider it beneficial.  Reagan and McCain were both divorced and remarried (but not to each other).  Lot of libertarians are culturally liberal or indifferent, "fiscal conservative" is a term one hears.  But even a lot of "cultural conservatives" understand that a lot of things are not their business.

The media is fairly biased towards the left, it is not so much that they favor the left and mistreat the right as such, it is that they see "normal people" as including anyone centerish or left of center, and then there are those wackos on the right.  No such thing as a wacko on the left as far as the media is concerned, just "spirited activists."  The American philosopher was impressed with Trotsky, never mind that Trotsky would have been as bad as Stalin if he had just had the chance.  AIDs activists did everything they could to block the use of normal disease control measures (quarantine, partner notification), and thus they placed all their hope on a cure or a vaccine.  But remember, no such thing as a wacko on the left, one AIDs activist however, wrote a book, _And the Band Played On_, criticizing his contemporaries on their failure to use all possible means to hinder the AIDs epidemic.  So it wasn't everybody who wanted to follow the pied piper right off the cliff.
You might ask, "What about all the religious right criticizing AIDs as a scourge of God?"  Well, what about them?  Do you hear much about that these days?  Well, there is a reason for that.  George W. Bush treated AIDs in Africa as a health problem as it should have been treated all along, and that stole much of the fire for fundamentalists ranting about AIDs.  It is kind of ironic that gays today seem to all be about getting married, when one considers the 1970s, and the promiscuous bathhouses, which is part of what the fundamentalists were reacting against.  Gays were against marriage as an institution in those days, they wanted to have there own revolution. their own lifestyle.  That has somewhat changed these days. One wag said, "why are Republicans afraid of gay marriage?  If gays get married, they'll move to the suburbs and become republicans.  btw, there is a gay branch of the Republicans, they are called Log Cabin Republicans (and that is about all I know about them).
Which is more conservative?  Hitler or Churchill?
Which is more progressive? Stalin or Roosevelt?
The left/right dichotomy breaks down if you make comparisons between these individuals.


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 11:38
Fellows, this comes under the heading of: Be Careful What You Wish For. Because you might get it. The freak show that the politics of the far right has become may be entertaining, but there are many out there who are deadly serious about it, and intent to vote on their beliefs. Politicians today pander to the lowest common denominator, with Clinton dropping her "g's" when talkin' with the unwashed masses, and Trump promising to deport 11 million people, something that will never come about, at least not without civil unrest, and ominous divisions in the country.

The Libertarian is also pandered to, as these beliefs are productive for the ultra rich, and so supported strenuously, even though with a half hidden smirk. Many have naive beliefs in politics, but the Libertarian is perhaps the most extreme here. The philosophy is based on a projected image of an ideal citizen, and not on practical and verified demographics. We are given the steely eyed, self reliant farmer/worker/sheriff/ father figure who needs no support, makes correct and informed decisions always, and if all else fails,  never misses with his M-14 (although the bad guys always miss).

In reality we have a great mix of people in our large western societies today, some of whom are self reliant(to a degree), some are not, some make good decisions, some times, some do not, most of the time. Some are up on current issues, many are not. Expecting a spontaneous self organization of these individuals, and a productive economy, without extensive regulation, planning, and control, is great stuff for comic books and Hollywood movies, but absurd in the real world. In the US, still a functioning democracy, despite efforts of many to subdue it, barely 50% of your steely eyed fellows even bother to participate in voting, or in civics in general, even though the issues raised have great consequences for them. That gives one an inkling of the degree of social cohesion we would have with the Libertarian paradise advocated by such as the intellectually challenged Rand Paul, or the demonically self interested Koch brothers.

It's all really a scam. Every modern society today has extensive regulation and laws governing society, as long and painful historical experience has pounded the need for such into community consciousness. Even the US- land of the free- and arguably freer in no small amount of respects than most other countries, has adopted virtually all  that history has taught the western world, in terms of laws and governance. It's probably no surprise that Liberarianism has found some roots in the US, as it is there that fantasy has had a cache not quite achieved in most other jurisdictions. Libertarians want to have the metaphorical lions and tigers control the forest, but then are aghast when the forest society becomes based on the brutal acquiring of raw meat. Carrying guns everywhere sounds great to the Lib's, just like Marshall Dillon did in Dodge City. But then dismay sets in when mass shootings occur in shopping malls, schools, and anywhere and everywhere. For profit health fits nicely with the cowboy view, until less than community minded insurers cripple families with their premiums, or bankrupt those with inadequate insurance. Deregulation of the financial industry also fits with the independent rifleman, until of course one realizes society hasn't quite advanced enough to ensure proper behavior without oversight of critical areas, and by then one has lost their retirement income.

Let's face it folks, the laws we now have are here for a reason, and if they are to be dropped....then one better damned well find out why, and to who's benefit it is for.

More ranting later. Right now it's time for your captain's dinner.



Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 13:26
Coercion did not work well for communism nor was prohibition terrible successful.  Now we have the war on drugs and that has failed as well.  If the IMF is even remotely right the American economy will once again out strip China over the next decade.  It would be nice to think that we could live in a utopia where the government makes us all safe and happy and productivity flows from mutual respect but the evidence suggests that such an ideology is delusional. 

All a libertarian really is is someone who believes in free will.

It's not about not regulating it's about not making regulations prohibitionist.  It may seem paradoxical to authoritarians on both the left and the right but removing agency is the surest way to producing a morally delinquent population.  If people are not free to fail they are not free to succeed.   The liberal agenda seems to be primarily driven by fear much as the conservative agenda.  In the process the ability to reasonably consider less draconian options is lost. 


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 16:50
When Draco was asked why he made the penalty for so many crimes, the death penalty, he said, "I couldn't think of anything worse."

I tend to see the libertarian as a kind of anarchist on the right.  Wolfe (sp?) has a book called In Defense of Anarchism, where he shows that if you believe in Kantian deontological (duty-based) ethics, anarchy is the only possible moral system.  If ethics consists in being self-determined (autonomous) rather than compelled and determined by others (heteronomous), then compelling people to do things, even "harmless things" "for their own good," like motorcycle helmet laws (I think Colorado is the only state that doesn't have a compulsory helmet law), actually interferes with their process of making moral decisions (which includes the possibility of immoral decisions), and thus with the moral atmosphere of society in general.  The United States is a minor tax haven, in that it does not personally tax people to the extent that Europe does, it does however, have a greater percentage of contributions to charities, whereas in Europe people just expect the government to take care of everything.
Wolfe also quotes Bertrand Russell about the perfect philosophical argument, the perfect philosophical argument starts with premises that no one can reject and then rationally comes to a conclusion with premises than no one can accept;)  My point is, that one does not have to completely embrace Wolfe's argument, in order to feel that if you make someone do something, it is _morally_ a little compromised.

One difference between Europe and the US is that when Americans go crazy, they grab an assault weapon and shoot up a school, or theatre, killing 10-20 people.  And it is very sad and tragic.  When Europeans go crazy they go goosestepping through Paris or form personal fiefdoms in the Congo.  Europe likes to think that that tendency is over, but really they have just adopted the attitude of, "if we are weak and cannot hurt others, then we must be moral."  They rely on America to do much of the dirty work (which does need to be done (although to what extent is debatable)), but frankly I wonder if there are still old fascistic tendencies running under the surface, waiting to show their ugly heads in, say, Bosnia, or with perhaps LePenn.
I think a little libertarianism goes a long way.  Politically, libertarians are thinkers, they are not doers.  They want a minimal government so they can be free, but let's face it if they get tied up in making the government in their own image, they will be 1) doing a lot of damage to others (who admittedly probably have entrenched interests) and 2) their life will be tied down (and thus not free) in politics while they are doing it.  And I think that most mature libertarians know this, there is no tabula rasa (blank slate), by which they could work their message, and politics is a game of give and take.  But at the same time, they make a lot of noise thinking out loud and pondering the possibilities and scare people.  I don't really think there is much danger of a, "beware of what you wish for, you might get it."  Small things like drug legalization, or less military involvement? yes.  They can exert an influence on the others with a liberal attitude on social issues like the democrats, and fiscally conservative attitude towards, well, pork on either side of the fence.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 18:51
So we now have two philosophers and me talking about things no one else will care about but I guess other people can simple ignore us.  Smile   Having no philosophical training other than having read a few philosophical works 40 years ago I will be at a disadvantage.

The key thing to take away from franciscosan's fine dissertation is the concept of a perfect philosophical argument.  As we have discussed before no one in reality is completely liberal, completely conservative or in this case perfectly libertarian.  Take my position as a libertarian to be primarily in opposition to the imperfections in the "perfect" positions of liberals and conservatives.  This is of course relative to political positions and not strictly speaking having to do with philosophy at all. 

Philosophically a libertarian is someone who believes in free will.  We have touched on this subject before but it seems to get ignored when applied to political and social issues.  There is a certain justification to ignore free will when discussing politics because experimental evidence suggests that human behavior is fairly predictable in the aggregate.  If behavior is predictable then it could be said to be deterministic.  The more extreme versions of determinism do away with free will altogether and propose that all behavior is predetermined and free will is an illusion caused by the complexity of environmental responses.  

Philosophers pride themselves on rationality and sometimes even empiricism.   Free will requires a bit of randomness which is an irrational concept.  I won't get into randomness for reasons I will not discuss but suffice it to say free will is a matter of faith or suspension of logical empiricism.  In other words it cannot be empirically demonstrated to satisfaction of people like neurologists.   Free will is therefor very difficult to discuss rationally and some people may shy away from such a topic.

Perfect logic however has it's limitation when applied to moral questions.  Almost any moral position can be made logical by simplification.  Life however is complex and resistant to simplification for reason that I again won't go into.  A libertarian will argue that free will is a requirement for agency and agency a requirement for morality and empirical justification is not required.  There is nothing anachronistic about this argument unless you totally reject tautologies.  Some people would suggest that morality can instead be based on "natural" law as nature is full of example of empathy and altruism.  In higher animals however choice remains relevant to selection.  In other words those that make socially constructive choices will be favored in reproductive success and free will and natural selection are not incompatible concepts.  All that needs to be established is that choices has consequences and choice is incompatible with compulsion.  If compulsory behavior was favored by natural selection then human behavior would be totally instinctual.  

In the end it comes down to some people being unable to live with randomness and the insecurity it implies.  What is critical to remember is that without randomness change is impossible because choice is impossible.  What you are left with is the illusion of control but that is not anarchy it is simply the nature of life.  Liberty could be said to be anarchy but liberty is naturally restrain by the environment and produces random but sometimes beneficial mutations.   Most mutations are not beneficial an that is the price we pay for evolutionary cultural advancement that would otherwise be impossible.

Libertarianism is not about an uncontrolled environment but about controlling the environment in ways that are compatible with the laws of beneficial mutations.  
   

      


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 03:10
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Coercion did not work well for communism nor was prohibition terrible successful.  Now we have the war on drugs and that has failed as well.  If the IMF is even remotely right the American economy will once again out strip China over the next decade.  It would be nice to think that we could live in a utopia where the government makes us all safe and happy and productivity flows from mutual respect but the evidence suggests that such an ideology is delusional. 

All a libertarian really is is someone who believes in free will.

It's not about not regulating it's about not making regulations prohibitionist.  It may seem paradoxical to authoritarians on both the left and the right but removing agency is the surest way to producing a morally delinquent population.  If people are not free to fail they are not free to succeed.   The liberal agenda seems to be primarily driven by fear much as the conservative agenda.  In the process the ability to reasonably consider less draconian options is lost. 

Free will huh? So if you are free, you are going to choose a health care system that siphons off profits to the most affluent, charges crippling premiums, and  leaves the poorest uninsured, a huge burden on society? You are going to choose not to have a state retirement pension, but have all and sundry cast their fate to the same financial wiz kids that brought you the 2008 melt down? Gun laws, who needs them? You can handle a six shooter just like Steve McQueen in those old dusters.

And before you say you would be coerced into having to pay taxes for those sort of programs, well guess what? You get to pay any way you do  it. If you think your lions and tigers will give you a nice time, as they like the cut of your jib, you better think again. We've already had a good taste of what life would be like in an unbridled, unregulated world in which profit is king, and policy is made in closed corporate board rooms. Deregulation of the financial sector was a disaster in 2008. Privatization of social security would be an unmitigated social calamity, as millions with limited abilities in the financial area would be fleeced by sharp operators screaming the semi-religious chant of profit, and wealth was redistributed to an even greater degree than it is now (upwards). In this instance, the "sheep" stood up and exposed Mr Bush and his handlers, lucky thing for you.

No life is without risk or problems. It is absurd to day any government is trying to eliminate all risk, to the point where people are like cattle drifting about in a haze. History has told us we can eliminate some of the worst of life experience, and there are efficient ways to do this. Not doing so suggests either selfish and contrary perceived  personal gain, or self delusion. And that's pretty much what we have today. The "one percent" backing anything that increases their gain, even if at community expense, and the easily swayed, carrying signs like "keep your government hands off my medicare", or clutching their guns and dreaming of John Wayne.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 05:57
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Coercion did not work well for communism nor was prohibition terrible successful.  Now we have the war on drugs and that has failed as well.  If the IMF is even remotely right the American economy will once again out strip China over the next decade.  It would be nice to think that we could live in a utopia where the government makes us all safe and happy and productivity flows from mutual respect but the evidence suggests that such an ideology is delusional. 

All a libertarian really is is someone who believes in free will.

It's not about not regulating it's about not making regulations prohibitionist.  It may seem paradoxical to authoritarians on both the left and the right but removing agency is the surest way to producing a morally delinquent population.  If people are not free to fail they are not free to succeed.   The liberal agenda seems to be primarily driven by fear much as the conservative agenda.  In the process the ability to reasonably consider less draconian options is lost. 

Free will huh? So if you are free, you are going to choose a health care system that siphons off profits to the most affluent, charges crippling premiums, and  leaves the poorest uninsured, a huge burden on society? You are going to choose not to have a state retirement pension, but have all and sundry cast their fate to the same financial wiz kids that brought you the 2008 melt down? Gun laws, who needs them? You can handle a six shooter just like Steve McQueen in those old dusters.

And before you say you would be coerced into having to pay taxes for those sort of programs, well guess what? You get to pay any way you do  it. If you think your lions and tigers will give you a nice time, as they like the cut of your jib, you better think again. We've already had a good taste of what life would be like in an unbridled, unregulated world in which profit is king, and policy is made in closed corporate board rooms. Deregulation of the financial sector was a disaster in 2008. Privatization of social security would be an unmitigated social calamity, as millions with limited abilities in the financial area would be fleeced by sharp operators screaming the semi-religious chant of profit, and wealth was redistributed to an even greater degree than it is now (upwards). In this instance, the "sheep" stood up and exposed Mr Bush and his handlers, lucky thing for you.

No life is without risk or problems. It is absurd to day any government is trying to eliminate all risk, to the point where people are like cattle drifting about in a haze. History has told us we can eliminate some of the worst of life experience, and there are efficient ways to do this. Not doing so suggests either selfish and contrary perceived  personal gain, or self delusion. And that's pretty much what we have today. The "one percent" backing anything that increases their gain, even if at community expense, and the easily swayed, carrying signs like "keep your government hands off my medicare", or clutching their guns and dreaming of John Wayne.

I have not discussed any particular policy issues and I'm was not inclined to do so in this thread because of the emotions that it provokes.  We got sidetracked from the original topic when I suggested that foreign observations on U.S. politics did not realistically address the sentiments Trump shares with many U.S. citizens.  What passes as moderate policies in many nations is left of center in the U.S. and this fact cannot simply be ignored because you feel that the right wing in the U.S. are all "nutters".

I tried to address the issue of liberty having a different connotation in U.S. politics than in other nations by presenting a libertarian perspective.  The fact that libertarian ideology has become associated with extreme rightwing politics is unfortunate.  The suggestion that libertarianism is associated with Anarchy for example is absurd.  Free will and agency are unavoidable associated with justifiable punishment.  From a libertarian position if people break the law they should be punished or the law changed.  For example the only justification needed for Trumps position on immigration is that illegal immigration is illegal.  This holds unless it can be shown that the immigrants were not free to avoid breaking the law.  Simply ignoring the law denies that other alternatives are in fact available to address the problem such s the normal political process for changing laws.  More importantly while Trump has focused on the illegal aliens it is the people that hire them that are certainly free to avoid breaking the law and as free agents should be punished for doing so within the libertarian perspective of agency being tied to responsibility.

I will probably move on now to something else as this topic is pretty exhausted but I will continue to read your comments for enlightenment. 


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 09:08
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Coercion did not work well for communism nor was prohibition terrible successful.  Now we have the war on drugs and that has failed as well.  If the IMF is even remotely right the American economy will once again out strip China over the next decade.  It would be nice to think that we could live in a utopia where the government makes us all safe and happy and productivity flows from mutual respect but the evidence suggests that such an ideology is delusional. 

All a libertarian really is is someone who believes in free will.

It's not about not regulating it's about not making regulations prohibitionist.  It may seem paradoxical to authoritarians on both the left and the right but removing agency is the surest way to producing a morally delinquent population.  If people are not free to fail they are not free to succeed.   The liberal agenda seems to be primarily driven by fear much as the conservative agenda.  In the process the ability to reasonably consider less draconian options is lost. 

Free will huh? So if you are free, you are going to choose a health care system that siphons off profits to the most affluent, charges crippling premiums, and  leaves the poorest uninsured, a huge burden on society? You are going to choose not to have a state retirement pension, but have all and sundry cast their fate to the same financial wiz kids that brought you the 2008 melt down? Gun laws, who needs them? You can handle a six shooter just like Steve McQueen in those old dusters.

And before you say you would be coerced into having to pay taxes for those sort of programs, well guess what? You get to pay any way you do  it. If you think your lions and tigers will give you a nice time, as they like the cut of your jib, you better think again. We've already had a good taste of what life would be like in an unbridled, unregulated world in which profit is king, and policy is made in closed corporate board rooms. Deregulation of the financial sector was a disaster in 2008. Privatization of social security would be an unmitigated social calamity, as millions with limited abilities in the financial area would be fleeced by sharp operators screaming the semi-religious chant of profit, and wealth was redistributed to an even greater degree than it is now (upwards). In this instance, the "sheep" stood up and exposed Mr Bush and his handlers, lucky thing for you.

No life is without risk or problems. It is absurd to day any government is trying to eliminate all risk, to the point where people are like cattle drifting about in a haze. History has told us we can eliminate some of the worst of life experience, and there are efficient ways to do this. Not doing so suggests either selfish and contrary perceived  personal gain, or self delusion. And that's pretty much what we have today. The "one percent" backing anything that increases their gain, even if at community expense, and the easily swayed, carrying signs like "keep your government hands off my medicare", or clutching their guns and dreaming of John Wayne.

I have not discussed any particular policy issues and I'm was not inclined to do so in this thread because of the emotions that it provokes.  We got sidetracked from the original topic when I suggested that foreign observations on U.S. politics did not realistically address the sentiments Trump shares with many U.S. citizens.  What passes as moderate policies in many nations is left of center in the U.S. and this fact cannot simply be ignored because you feel that the right wing in the U.S. are all "nutters".

I tried to address the issue of liberty having a different connotation in U.S. politics than in other nations by presenting a libertarian perspective.  The fact that libertarian ideology has become associated with extreme rightwing politics is unfortunate.  The suggestion that libertarianism is associated with Anarchy for example is absurd.  Free will and agency are unavoidable associated with justifiable punishment.  From a libertarian position if people break the law they should be punished or the law changed.  For example the only justification needed for Trumps position on immigration is that illegal immigration is illegal.  This holds unless it can be shown that the immigrants were not free to avoid breaking the law.  Simply ignoring the law denies that other alternatives are in fact available to address the problem such s the normal political process for changing laws.  More importantly while Trump has focused on the illegal aliens it is the people that hire them that are certainly free to avoid breaking the law and as free agents should be punished for doing so within the libertarian perspective of agency being tied to responsibility.

I will probably move on now to something else as this topic is pretty exhausted but I will continue to read your comments for enlightenment. 

I understand- and agree with- your point that people should be held accountable for their actions. However it is far too simplistic to simply say, everyone figure it out, and do the right thing, or you're toast. Because, statistically, they will not. 

Illegal immigrants may well know they are breaking the law, but will do so anyway, if the alternatives are worse. Simply saying, they did it, so they will wear it, sets up a reactionary process, where mass arrests are make, families separated, children traumatized, walls built, international relations strained, and civil unrest and division provoked. It may feel better for some to say, well, we sure kicked their *ss, sure showed them. Wise policy however means going beyond immediate personal, feel good, quick reactions, and deciding what is best, given the reality of the situation, for the whole country. That often means compromise, not just holding all to the letter of the law. 

Telling hot shot young investment analysts on Wall St to obey the law, it's up to you, often will not. Some will think themselves too clever to get caught, some will feel employer or peer pressure to stretch the envelope, some will become addicted to the thrill of the chase, or perhaps the thrill of unlimited income, some will have egos that hold them above all such considerations. They may get caught in the end, but often not before bringing down untold damage to society.

This list could go on for pages. The point is that societies need to be proactive in creating the sort of environment they want to live in, because it won't happen by chance. The Libertarian view that all will fall into place with individuals making their wise personal decisions, and the small minority that cheat will face the consequences, may be an appealing one for those unsettled by the complexity of society today, but it is wholly insufficient to run a moderately successful, peaceful society today, as any Libertarian elected to high office would soon find out, to his or her dismay.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 09:25
The libertarian tends to dislike big corporations as much as they dislike government.  The crony capitalism of "too big to fail" and "GM=government motors" is probably more of an anathema to them than big government.  The government action to cut out the investors and save the company and the Unions was an Obama effort.  Now GW Bush was a bit of a disappointment for libertarians, he was a bit of a big government conservative.
Remember what Rahm Emmanuel said, "Never let a crisis go to waste."  Obama used  the crisis of 2008 to remake business in his own image, as a tool of the Federal Government.  You should understand that business people are very conservative in a particular way, they want to be able to invest in a stable environment.  But when President Obama uses his position on the bully pulpit to go after the 1%, people get skittish about investing which is one reason why the economy has been lackidasical throughout the entire Obama Presidency.
The health system in the US has traditionally been through one's company.  In the 50s you had a high
unemployment, and usually a lifetime with one company, one job.  Employee healthcare was also not counted against you as a taxable benefit.  Also, people didn't live as long, when Bismarck implimented retirement, the average life expectancy in Germany was less than the retirement age, now with better healthcare and diet (but probably not exercise), it probably 10-20 years after the retirement age.  Better healthcare does not mean better health, it means longer lifespan with continued treatment (not cure) for chronic conditions.
Mandatory insurance means young people with no health problems and entry level jobs have to fund the health care of old people.  It means that 50-55- year old women have to pay for insurance for pregnancy problems.  Heaven forbid that monetary limitations be put on the size of lawsuits against doctors, that would cut into a key democratic constituency, trial lawyers.  We have a new healthcare system that fits none.  And due to the new legislation, it is in the best interest of insurance companies to consolidate, and make megacompanies with even less choice than we already have.  But of course, President Obama will be gone by that time, and it will get associated with someone else's watch.
People for some reason believe that determinism is a kinder, gentler policy.  The argument goes, this mass-murderer (Holmes?) could not help himself, and so therefore we shouldn't blame him for what he did.  But usually, it goes more like this, this mass murderer couldn't help himself, and you know I don't care, I (a prison guard) can't help myself in being mean to him.  These prisoners have fought and attacked society, and they deserve to be put down.  It takes some choice to go against the tendency
and decide that you are not going to respond in kind.
I didn't get to what I really wanted to talk about, the rural viewpoint vs. the urban viewpoint.  But, I
gotta go.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 11:17
There is a difference between the rural environment and the urban environment.

When police response time is 2 hours from the nearest small town, and that is only if someone notices something wrong, it might make sense to have firearm in case someone comes up the road meaning trouble.  You cannot count on neighbors noticing something, you cannot count on police arriving in good time, its up to you, and your family if anything is going to happen.
IT is not the rural life that is creating problems through firearms, that's more the urban and suburban life.  A lot of rural people hunt, and it is not a blood lust, it is the fact that if you bag a deer, you have enough meat for a family+ for a year.  Yes, there are still incidents with firearms, but there are incidents with cars and kitchen knives, etc.  You usually don't hear about most times when a firearm prevent a crime, someone yells, "I have a gun!" and the intruder gets out of there, no news reports, maybe even no police reports.  Some people like a pump shotgun for self-defense, the "klak-klak" of feeding a round into the chamber is a very distinct sound.  btw, people in the US have a right to defend themselves, they (you) do not have the right to defend just property.  Just because someone is in your house unwelcome does not give one the right to shoot them.  
Handguns are often the target for gun control advocates.  But the fact is a handgun is the right "tool" for the urban environment.  You want to have a bullet stop when it hits a wall, not go through several other apartments.  Gun control advocates say that rifles and shotguns are enough for hunting.  (btw, hunting helps control deer populations so they don't overbreed, overgraze and then starve).  They might be right about that, but the question is whether you want to allow people to own firearms for self-defense.
I digress:
I studied nuclear energy in a class and one thing that we discussed is the disposal of high level waste.  At the time they were down to the top ten possible sites.  The best sites in the US are back East, old granite, very stable, but also a lot of senators and congressmen, that was not really considered.  Other good sites were salt flats like Texas, and salt domes like Louisiana.  Very geologically stable. Texas has a lot of congressmen, it was on the top ten, but it wasn't going to get it.  Then there was Hanford Nuclear Reservation, WA and they _wanted_ it, but they had fractured basalt, along the Columbia River, up river from Portland, if that sounds bad, it does because it is, fortunately, they didn't get it.  Nevada got it, low population, not the best site, but very few congressmen.
What about Louisiana?  Well, the DOE sent a surveying crew, and were welcomed by the local Bayou welcoming committee with firearms.  The DOE (Dept of Energy), said "we are from the government, we are from the DOE."  The welcoming committee said, "we don't care, get out of here." and they got out of there, and did not come back, dropping Louisiana from the list because they didn't want to get into a firefight with a bunch of cajun rednecks over something as unpopular as nuclear waste.  And of course, I would have never heard about it, except that we had a speaker in our class (Walla Walla WA), that was working against the Hanford bid, and he knew it.  So what would you prefer in your local environs, cajuns with guns or nuclear waste?
gotta go again, didn't cover as much as I wanted.

Afterward:  Please note, I do not own firearms, I just think that a lot of the fear over them is unwarranted, or at least, unwarranted for the _rural_ environment.  The urban scene is somewhat different, as is the suburban scene different again.  But urban areas have the big megaphones, and are able to pretty much define the debate.  There are other elements in the rural environment besides the common interest in fire arms, and I think that from that kind of environment, conservative or libertarian views make more sense, both in themselves as coherent arguments, and in relation to more liberal arguments.  Liberal arguments seem to make more sense for urban environments, especially since they can tax rural areas to make Universities or Hospitals in urban areas.


Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 12:16
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Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 12:37
Trump is a fairweather republican (not even that).  It like for ships, when they sail under a flag of convenience, Trump is flying under the Republican flag of convenience, but that is not who owns his ship or mans his crew.  Trump, however, would be disastrous for Republicans, and while I doubt he could win in a general election, disastrous for the US.  
I really do not like Hillary, how corrupt she is, how she thinks of herself above the rules.  But on the other hand, she is a politician, and I think she would thus be better than Trump the bully, who wouldn't know how to play nice with anyone.
Ron Paul was flying under the Republican flag of convenience, but he wasn't personally obnoxious, his behavior showed that he respected the process, and played by the rules.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 13:23
Trump is no more flying under a flag of convenience by going republican than the religious right or the socialist Sanders flying under the flag of the democrats.  The two party system makes for strange bedfellows.  The two party system should make for clear choice between two philosophies but it doesn't always work out that way.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 16:21
Oh, I think Sanders is flying under a Democrat flag of convenience, but he still respects that flag, my objection is not to someone flying under a flag of convenience, my objection is when they promote themselves as one thing, and then do everything they can to smear kaka all over that thing they supposedly respect.  Look up DTs party affiliation on wikipedia, there are four parties there.  Trump does not believe in making his bed and sleeping it.  He is in love with only one thing, himself.  Someone who adheres to party politics joins a party and sticks with it, trying to make it better.  Trump doesn't want to do anything for the party, it is a question for him of what the party can do for him, and if he looses the
nomination he threatens to sulk and take his marbles elsewhere.  A third party candidacy couldn't win, but it would screw things for election for the Republicans.  Personally, I think if it was a choice between nominating Trump or having him ruin a campaign of sabotage as a third candidate, it would better to have Trump as a third candidate.  Loosing a couple of Presidential elections would not be very damaging compared to the damage Trump could do as a Republican candidate.  He already has insulted Hispanics, Women, other Republican candidates, and former candidates.  Wolfhound, do you actually believe that this guy could govern if he got elected, after pissing off so many people?  Maybe that is what you like about him, but the fact is, we have to live in the world after the election.  I guess you were one of the ones who voted for Cthulu, under the motto, "why settle for a lesser evil.'  But I agree with Buckley, that the best conservative candidate is one that can win.  Not only do I doubt Trump could win, I do not doubt that he would spew filth all over everything else in the process.  
In order to get the citizenship for birth on American soil changed, Krauthammer says that it would have to be an Amendment to the constitution, not something even remotely easy to do.  But, if we tried, it would be labelled as a Republican initiative and, it would probably poison the well for the Hispanic against the Republican 'brand' for a generation.  I know that you probably don't care about demographics, but maybe you should think about that, if you care about a viable Republican party in the future.  There will be a world after the election, long after an angry and hasty vote for a demagogue.  Of course, Jeb Bush's wife is Hispanic, his kids are Hispanic and I think that he speaks Spanish.  The Republican brand is multivalent.  Really, if you think about it, the moral values of traditional blacks, and traditional Hispanics are often closer to Republican values (family, religion, independence) than they are to much of Democratic values (a kind of secular humanism) 
btw, GW Bush wanted to have immigration as a centerpiece for his legacy when he was in the White House, but then came 9/11.
I know that Trump says he loves women, which is probably why he trades in the old model for the new one every so often.  He as also worked hard to insult women, which would make him the "perfect" Republican candidate to run against Hillary, whom he himself endorsed 7 years ago, when he gave her campaign money.  I mean "perfect" in a sarcastic manner.  So he has said mean things to women and Hispanics, so he is already starting with a disadvantage with those groups, I don't see why you think he would be a good representative for Republicans, when he is seems to be doing everything he can to poison the well. 
Trump is true to his name, he is trying to 'trump' everybody, but all I can see is inside Trump there is rump, reminding me of what an ass he is.  His groupies should note that his initials are DT, which also stands for Delirum Tremens.  DTs are when one is so drunk that one hallucinates, in a bad way.  One can die from DTs, it is not a desirable state, and neither is a DT presidency. 


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 16:55
When did I say I had a love for Trump?  He is an idiot.  As far as I'm concerned so is Obama if you listen to him carefully his intellectual capacity is highly suspect but that is not what makes a president.  As best I can tell Reagan was senile his second term but the world didn't end.  Trumps flaws are simply exaggerated because he is an unpleasant person.    

All I have said is that Trumps views represent enough of the population that they should not be labeled as idiotic in the way that foreign observers are apt to do.  There are deeper political issues involving the special view of liberty that other nations simply don't respect.  Trump while not the best example of those ideals or views they are founded to some extent in the liberalism of the enlightenment.  While liberalism has been cooped by socialism in modern politics it is not as simple as many people would like.  It's not so much that I like or dislike socialism as I view it as necessary and the natural extension of all regulation but regulation should be balanced creating the need for a non socialist point of view.  The people that follow Trump have no idea what I'm talking about but there you go.

As far as the hispanic illegal immigration goes some of my best friends have been hispanic but they arrived here legally.  It is convenient to ignore the fact that there is considerable bias in favor of hispanics simply because it is easy for them to get here.  I would call this a convenient prejudicial treatment that offends my idealism.  I also have friends in Eastern Europe that would very much like to come visit me but can't get a visa.  Is that fair?  My friends in Eastern Europe are outraged that they could simply fly to mexico and walk across the border if they were the kind of people who didn't believe in the law.

If the immigration from South of the border was political and not economic I would be somewhat more sympathetic to ignoring a moral code of legality.  Even if it was or is political unregulated immigration is immoral because it creates an environment where people run from instead of addressing issues.  Suggesting that the immigrants lack the agency to make legal decisions is dehumanizing and something I think very few people understand.

Prejudicial treatment of hispanic immigration is expedient but ignores the wider moral context of global conflicts. If we allow hispanics to immigrate at the expensive of people in the Middle East and Africa who surely must have a higher priority how can we call that moral.  In the long run I think the moral choice is to deal with problems where they exist and not rely on the expedience of migration to solve problems.  

It would be easy to change the immigration laws without a constitutional amendment.  The issue of citizenship for people born in this country is a side issue.  Ignoring the law is called civil disobedience but if there is no prosecution of violations it cheapens the concept. 

I may vote for Trump in the primaries as I said because I would like the GOP to go away especially the religious elements who should play no role in politics.  Most likely I won't vote for Trump but still conservatism is so illogical that I can't continence it.  The GOP needs to replaced with a party that represents traditional liberal values in opposition to socialism.  If you insist that it is dangerous to give the election to the democrats well I agree with that as well.  I have plenty of time to decide what I will ultimately do.            


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 30 Aug 2015 at 03:48
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I subscribe to the theory that the purpose of Trump is to have Hillary win.  After all, he donated to her campaign 8 years ago.  On many issues he's left of center, on those other issues, he is obnoxious and insulting.  Just because he is a businessman, does that give him Republican credentials?  It is only in the Fairy Tales that when you kiss a frog, it turns into a prince.  His obnoxiousness leads me to a second theory, that his purpose is to poison the well by insulting Hispanics, immigrants, women, veterans and the Lord (and the media) only knows who else.  He's a "Republican" because that is, in his opinion, the most likely way for him to get what he wants.  It is all about him, and if he drags others down, well then that is fine for him.

I got admit that Trump has balls, and the brains, but only to know exactly what to say to feed into the "I am mad as hell, and am not going to take it anymore" crowd.  But Trump is a destructive force, in business he can have his way, in politics, what is going to do, have a tantrum when congress won't cooperate?  He's a nihilist, believing only in himself and infatuated by the size of his own ego.  He knows how to insult people, he doesn't know how to play nice with others.  Hell, Obama doesn't know how to play nice with others either, but Trump isn't in the White House, and already he is bullying people.  

We need a _politician_ in the White House, someone who can get things done by reaching across the aisle.  Not a prima donna.  Reagan is a good example, Tip O'Neal (D, Speaker of the House) had problems sometimes opposing Reagan, because he _genuinely_liked_ the guy.  What a wonderful problem (for you) for your opposition to have.  

I agree with you. The prospect of Trump winning a Presidential election should concern everyone in the world. 

But the American electorate being what it is, anything is possible.



Trump winning would be a 100 times better than anything on the left, and a lot on the right. The last thing this country needs is another 8 years of Obama's failed policies continued on with Hilary or Biden, or got forbid the Socialist in Chief Sanders. 

The failed policies of:

Extracting (almost) the US from two disastrous and ill advised wars
Rescuing the economy and the corporate world from their own folly
Attempting to bring America in line with the rest of the civilized world by pushing universal medicare
Attempting to rationalize tax policy
Increasing employment
Heading off an Iranian nuclear weapon, and renewing dialogue with that country
Ending the vindictive standoff with Cuba

Instead you would prefer a coarse and duplicitous ignoramus, who would alienated former allies, initiate a trade war with China, deport 11 million people, built a billion dollar wall along the southern border, violate multiple international trade agreements, and more than likely destroy the economy due to his complete lack of understanding of macroeconomics?

Be careful what  you wish for.


Posted By: Histro
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 19:40
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I subscribe to the theory that the purpose of Trump is to have Hillary win.  After all, he donated to her campaign 8 years ago.  On many issues he's left of center, on those other issues, he is obnoxious and insulting.  Just because he is a businessman, does that give him Republican credentials?  It is only in the Fairy Tales that when you kiss a frog, it turns into a prince.  His obnoxiousness leads me to a second theory, that his purpose is to poison the well by insulting Hispanics, immigrants, women, veterans and the Lord (and the media) only knows who else.  He's a "Republican" because that is, in his opinion, the most likely way for him to get what he wants.  It is all about him, and if he drags others down, well then that is fine for him.

I got admit that Trump has balls, and the brains, but only to know exactly what to say to feed into the "I am mad as hell, and am not going to take it anymore" crowd.  But Trump is a destructive force, in business he can have his way, in politics, what is going to do, have a tantrum when congress won't cooperate?  He's a nihilist, believing only in himself and infatuated by the size of his own ego.  He knows how to insult people, he doesn't know how to play nice with others.  Hell, Obama doesn't know how to play nice with others either, but Trump isn't in the White House, and already he is bullying people.  

We need a _politician_ in the White House, someone who can get things done by reaching across the aisle.  Not a prima donna.  Reagan is a good example, Tip O'Neal (D, Speaker of the House) had problems sometimes opposing Reagan, because he _genuinely_liked_ the guy.  What a wonderful problem (for you) for your opposition to have.  

I agree with you. The prospect of Trump winning a Presidential election should concern everyone in the world. 

But the American electorate being what it is, anything is possible.




Every American election should concern everyone in the world because how much America effects everything.


Posted By: Thorvald
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2015 at 20:37
I read somewhere his ancestors came from Germany originally

-------------

http://germanicrealm.informe.com/forum/


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 02 Sep 2015 at 13:49
I don't know where Trump came from, but I imagine that he is not that close to his roots.  My last name, (Francisco) was originally Italian, but I don't have any sense of my genealogy.  I am American, Trump is American (unfortunately, right now).  Ancestry is not necessarily that important in America.  As FDR said to the Daughters of the Revolution, "My fellow immigrants..."

Right now, you, whomever you are, have two major choices regarding the Republicans.
You can be for Hillary, and support the worst Republican candidate (Trump, in my book) with the belief that Hillary will have the best chance against them.  Of course, if you loose, you loose big, getting the worst candidate elected.
This is actually the strategy of a group out California who support the Republicans in the primaries who are the most extreme, and the least likely to win in the general elections.  Yes, that is right, some radical republicans are supported by liberals in the primaries, so that the Democratic candidate has more of a chance in the general elections.

Or you can support the best person in each primary, and have the attitude of may the best person win in the general election.  Of course, if you prefer democrats, that may mean that you are selecting, for the primary, the person most likely to beat Hillary.  But you are also selecting the person least likely to be a prima donna, and be able to work with 'the other side.'  In other words, (if you are a democrat or liberal), you would be selecting the "lesser of evils."  Or you can do like Wolfhound, and not settle for a lesser evil, and go for the worst, just to stick your thumb in the eye of the Republican party.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 02 Sep 2015 at 15:41
There was a good piece in the New York Times on how people like me were dangerous and Trump had a real chance of becoming president.  Aparently making people like me the lowest form of human life imaginable.  Shocked

In my quest to destroy the viability of conservatism as a legitimate political philosophy I may actually be a terrorist.  Any amount of carnage is justified if your cause is righteous after all.

Despite the attacks on my character by almost every serious political junkie do you really think Trump could be elected?  If that is the case I would suggest that you are no student of American politics and all the gnashing of teeth and hair pulling is silly.  Of course I said the same thing about Bush junior but not with the same confidence. Wacko

The neo conservatives are fascists and the democrats socialists.  When foreign observers look at American politics they see a very different landscape.  What you have to remember is that even liberals in the U.S. have to believe in god.  If there is a god neither Clinton nor Trump will be president so let us pray someone else comes along to fill the void.     


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 03 Sep 2015 at 08:04
I tend to think of the New York Times as "all the news printed to fit."  "Dangerous" is a weird word to use in that context.  Misguided? well maybe.  A low life?  well I don't know you that well, but I assume that you are an ordinary person, with maybe a little more brains than average, I doubt that you are inclined towards moral interpritude any more or less than other people.  "low life" and "dangerous" sound like liberal histrionics.  If you disagree with a conservative, in general they will think that you are stupid, or naive, but they don't generally think that you are a bad person for disagreeing with them.  If they are Christian, they believe in the fallenness of human nature, we all make bad decisions, but that does not necessarily mean we are malicious, or evil.  However, liberals have a positive view of human nature, but when someone goes against their beliefs, they say that the person must have bad intentions or that they have a bad soul.  They just can't imagine someone else disagreeing with them, thoughtfully coming to a perspective other than their own.
Do you bomb soft targets, schools and cafes, since hard (military) targets are too protected?  well then you are a terrorist.  But since I doubt you do that, well terrorism is a specific strategy and not just what
anyone wants to call it.  Now are you perhaps a bull in a China shop?  Maybe.
Has any political junky named you by name or moniker in their columns?  Yes, Trump could get elected.  Of course, some people might argue that it is inevitable that he will loose, but inevitability (which something that Hillary is banking on), is a poor argument for or against a candidate.

I admit, I am a little vague on the difference between conservatives and neo-conservatives.  Fascist, however, is one of those nice liberal names applied to people they don't like.  Whether it is actually applicable like in a Mussolini/Franco model is another question. 


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 03 Sep 2015 at 09:55
If you haven't read any PNAC documents they are interesting

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf" rel="nofollow - http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 03 Sep 2015 at 12:01
Yes, neo-cons want to use military to further American style democracy.  I think that in the abstract, that it is a good idea, in reality, however, I think most cultures are a lot more complicated than the US, so best laid plans of mice and men often gang awry.  To many moving parts, too many variables, not enough of an understanding of the overall cultural understanding of another culture.
But one could argue, that it worked pretty well in Germany and Japan after WWII.  But there you had an unconditional surrender, and the carrot of the Marshall Plan.  It also probably didn't hurt that there was the stick of a communist take over looming over head.
The Greeks and the Turks are still fighting the Persian War, for that matter the Trojan War, that's their idea of history.  Americans have a problem remembering back past the last election cycle.

Of course, that lack of memory could be a benefit as well.  I mean, think about it.  If you have to take the time off to explain to some ignoramus from the other side of the world, why you are fighting, well maybe it would be easier to forget about it, and just do what he suggests, at least until he is out of range, and _then_ you could start your feud again (or maybe not).


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 03 Sep 2015 at 12:46
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Yes, neo-cons want to use military to further American style democracy.

Not democracy but American interest.  It is little wonder that people outside the U.S. develop a certain paranoia about U.S. foreign policy.  The vast majority of Americans I talk to in private would prefer to return to an isolationist policy and that is what we should really be paranoid about.  The void that would be left by U.S. withdraw from international affairs could only be filled by those hostile to democracy.  The Neo Cons however poison the atmosphere by producing public policy statements that while not official policy clearly favor the use of force over fair trade and other means of securing a favorable atmosphere for democracy.

Germany and Japan are examples of how it may be better to lose to the Americans that continue fighting a war that has no benefit for the vast majority of individuals in a society.  They are however not normal cultures both being highly sophisticated authoritarian societies where collective interest tend to outweigh individual considerations.  The cultural and economic hegemony of the U.S. were never really a threat to their cultural identity because they possessed a level of competency equal to or exceeding that of the U.S. .         


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2015 at 17:12
I always got the sense that "fair trade" was gimmick meant for people buying coffee to feel good about themselves, because they "did something," for the poor indigenous coffee grower and the environment.  I have no problem with Starbucks or whomever doing that, but we should understand that it is Starbucks forming a feel-good atmosphere, in an effort to sell more coffee.  They are "doing something for the environment and the poor," because it helps them sell coffee.  Wearing their charity on their sleeve is meant to show that they are good citizens of the world (whereas they are really just capitalistic, with a new angle.)
I think that the Neo-cons originally came out of the malaise of the 1970s, particularly in reaction to the Carter White House.  Some of the "neo-cons" were democrats, like Moynihan (Reagan Democrats), if I remember right.
Part of having a large military is the tremendous pressure to use it.  That is part of the military-industrial-(congressional) complex that Eisenhower warned about.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2015 at 19:11
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I always got the sense that "fair trade" was gimmick meant for people buying coffee to feel good about themselves, because they "did something," for the poor indigenous coffee grower and the environment.  I have no problem with Starbucks or whomever doing that, but we should understand that it is Starbucks forming a feel-good atmosphere, in an effort to sell more coffee.  They are "doing something for the environment and the poor," because it helps them sell coffee.  Wearing their charity on their sleeve is meant to show that they are good citizens of the world (whereas they are really just capitalistic, with a new angle.)
I think that the Neo-cons originally came out of the malaise of the 1970s, particularly in reaction to the Carter White House.  Some of the "neo-cons" were democrats, like Moynihan (Reagan Democrats), if I remember right.
Part of having a large military is the tremendous pressure to use it.  That is part of the military-industrial-(congressional) complex that Eisenhower warned about.

Fair trade is not a gimmick it is the rules of the game of capitalism and when they are not adhered to economic competition becomes economic war and everyone loses.  


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2015 at 12:41
And here I thought that capitalism involves free trade, I would suggest you look up the criticism of fair trade on the fair trade page for wikipedia.  Big on idealism.  It strikes me as trying to build a better mousetrap, and at best in reality all it is is a different one.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2015 at 14:39
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

And here I thought that capitalism involves free trade, I would suggest you look up the criticism of fair trade on the fair trade page for wikipedia.  Big on idealism.  It strikes me as trying to build a better mousetrap, and at best in reality all it is is a different one.

I detect a bit of hostility?

I have no idea how Fair Trade works in practice and after a bit a reading it appears to have so many iterations that a working definition is about as deep as I want to dig.

I have pondered over the question of unfair practices in capitalism for years and can come to no conclusion.  Are monopolies inherently bad such as Microsoft for example or the old Bell Telephone system.   I suppose it depends on the circumstances as some things like utilities and operating systems do not lend themselves to alternative providers.

What I would say is that Milton Friedman and his idea of voting with your money has a bit of merit.  The problem is some people have a lot more votes than others.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2015 at 16:24
Here is an amusing look at how government, vested interest, and consumer advocacy conspire to transform capitalism into a spectator sport.

 US-appointed egg lobby paid food blogs and targeted chef to crush vegan startup

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/06/usda-american-egg-board-paid-bloggers-hampton-creek" rel="nofollow - http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/06/usda-american-egg-board-paid-bloggers-hampton-creek





Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2015 at 15:24
No, not hostility, its just that if you say capitalism is about fair trade, it would be good if you knew what fair trade is (and what free trade is, which is what usually is placed under the mantle of capitalism).

There was a senator Jeffers that in the 90s switched from Republican to Democrat and gave the democrats a one vote advantage in the senate.  Democrats made a big deal about how the Republican party was too radical for him, but that was not it at all.  Jeffers was from Vermont and the Republicans wanted to go after milk subsidies.  Government makes the price of milk artificially high, that helps Vermont dairy farmers, but hurts normal people buying milk for their kids.  So I am not surprised that there is an egg lobby which does everything they can to protect their turf.

Also in the 90s,  Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell defected from the Democrats to the Republicans.  I have heard liberal friends complain about his betrayal, but his defection was not about betrayal, but loyalty to a particular constituency he had.  He was the only American Indian elected to the Senate, and he had a seat on the committee of Indian Affairs.  American Indians, regardless of where they live in the United States would come to him.  The Democrats, however, lost the majority in the Senate, Democrats go on a strict seniority rule, and Campbell was going to be cut from the committee of Indian Affairs, Republicans, however, do not go by a strict seniority rule, and so Campbell made a deal with the Republicans, he switched to Republican and he got to keep his position on the committee on Indian Affairs, which is fitting because he probably is still the only American Indian to have been elected to the Senate.
Thing about Trump, you either like him or you don't.  There are not very many people who are, like, "but my second place choice is is Donald Trump."  
There was a King who decided that his kingdom had to have a religion, and so he invited envoys from the major religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.  He asked them what the best religion was, and predictably they said their own.  He asked them next what was the second best religion and the Christian and the Muslim said Judaism.  Therefore, he declared Judaism as the religion of the Kingdom.  Who would win if the Republican field gave their second choice?  Who would win if the Democratic field gave their second choice?
btw, Hillary didn't do anything wrong.  An Ambassador (in the State Department) got fired because he had a private server.  But there are the rules for everybody else, and the rules for Hillary.  We shouldnt pick on her, she's just morally handicapped.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 08 Sep 2015 at 15:47
Wow you are very obscure tonight have you been drinking?

I had a bit of trouble following your points but I agree that fair trade is not what it is.  Fair trade has become associated with a specific political movement but honestly I don't think that should be a problem if the term is used in a broader sense.  When I said fair trade I meant you know trade that was fair.  I would continue to argue however that a game that has no rules is not a game that is sustainable.

Your last point is excellently made if I understand you to mean that the only honest thing for a party to do is nominate someone who will represent the views of the party best not someone who can win.  If Trump is Judaism in your analogy then we would have to discuss if he represents the views of most republicans.  Then again does Hillary represent the views of most Democrats?  Maybe the second choice actually represents the views of the party better but they go with the one that can win. 

I have of course a problem with your analogy as all three of the possible religious choices are equally silly superstitions.  Perhaps that should be the point in that it really doesn't matter who he chooses they all represent a point view that is incompatible with rational government.  


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2015 at 13:27
Don't drink, don't smoke.  Although I used to love a good microbrew.  No recreational pharmacudicals.  Yes Caffeine, prescription meds (that don't mix well with alcohol).

Fair trade is the name of a particular movement. a capitalist would say that all free trade is fair, in that each party enters into the economic exchange willingly with knowledge of their wants and needs.  Ideally, it is a win/win situation, realistically however people are not necessarily rational, and often make poor decisions.

William F. Buckley Jr, said that the best candidate was a conservative who could win.  If the candidate couldn't win then it wasn't worthwhile.  I am not sure that honesty has much to do with politics.  No, Trump would be Satanism in my "analogy," no one's second choice, no one's first choice, including Trump's, if he was "honest."
I don't think its about "views," Candidate Obama went on about "change" and "yes we can."  He didn't have a view, nor even a track record, but he did inspire the imagination.

The story of the choice of Judaism for the religion of a Kingdom is based in history, I do not remember what the Kingdom was, but it was in the South of Russia, near the Black Sea.  The story is historical, (as much as any of those kinds of stories historical).  A similar story was told of how Russia selected Orthodoxy for its state religion.  
Sometimes what you call "silly superstition" is very useful, for example Martin Luther King's moral stance was based on "silly superstition" and expectations that the constitution should mean what it says.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2015 at 15:06
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Don't drink, don't smoke.  Although I used to love a good microbrew.  No recreational pharmacudicals.  Yes Caffeine, prescription meds (that don't mix well with alcohol).

Sorry I took you ramble for indifference to the conversation but since I enjoy an alcoholic beverage most nights I'm sorry you medications prevent your indulgence. Embarrassed

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Fair trade is the name of a particular movement. a capitalist would say that all free trade is fair, in that each party enters into the economic exchange willingly with knowledge of their wants and needs.  Ideally, it is a win/win situation, realistically however people are not necessarily rational, and often make poor decisions.

I hate people that hijack ideas for their ideology. Ouch  I think I will start and organization call CAPITALISM and make it's central tenet the need for government regulation.

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

William F. Buckley Jr, said that the best candidate was a conservative who could win.  If the candidate couldn't win then it wasn't worthwhile.  I am not sure that honesty has much to do with politics.  No, Trump would be Satanism in my "analogy," no one's second choice, no one's first choice, including Trump's, if he was "honest."
I don't think its about "views," Candidate Obama went on about "change" and "yes we can."  He didn't have a view, nor even a track record, but he did inspire the imagination.

Your hatred of Trump is scaring me.  Trump is just an ordinary American not satan Wink 

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

The story of the choice of Judaism for the religion of a Kingdom is based in history, I do not remember what the Kingdom was, but it was in the South of Russia, near the Black Sea.  The story is historical, (as much as any of those kinds of stories historical).  A similar story was told of how Russia selected Orthodoxy for its state religion.  
Sometimes what you call "silly superstition" is very useful, for example Martin Luther King's moral stance was based on "silly superstition" and expectations that the constitution should mean what it says.

I would argue that social mores that have evolved over many centuries and while they may not have purpose in the sense that they are cognitively consistent with the best interest of society they have been selected by the survival of said society.  The silly superstitions on the other hand may or may not be the cause of the mores just correlated with the necessity for group cohesion.  In other words the tenets of the superstitions must be consistent with the preexisting mores or they would not survive.  Common sense may be as silly a superstition as Martin Luther King's but I suspect that it has much to do with the expectation that the constitution says what it means as the superstitions.  Tongue


P.S. Ignore the following if your not interested in my opinions Dead

Below is a conversation on sexual orientation from another forum you can read if you are bored. It  concerns my views on free will which were dismissed as unsophisticated in another thread.  



Poster A>  Bringing free will into an argument about whether all sexual orientations should be treated equally is a bit more philosophical and far reaching than I was picturing. When you add morality into the mix, it becomes even more highly subjective, and far removed from scientific objectivity.

Me> Ok but honestly I don't think that stereotypical responses from either side are very intellectually stimulating.

I agree that when I said homosexuality just as well be considered a fetish I was trying to make a broader point in which heterosexuality could be seen in the same way.  In the article I linked there is a well made argument that it is best to not consider fetishes as existing at all.  The same is true of sexual orientation.  People may have sexual predispositions but the evidence suggest they may change over time, are primarily a imprinting process, cannot be defined with having a purpose only reasons,  and sufficiently devoid of the attribute of choice to the extent that they have no moral context.

You can't really address this topic without a bit of philosophy.  The extreme views of Skinner and others of environmental histories of reinforcement as an explanation for all behavior is a bad idea that has not been properly put behind us.  You cannot reprogram people like formatting a hard drive and putting a new program in.  Pinker and others are slowly deconstructing the "blank slate" philosophy that was popular with Liberal thinkers throughout the 20th century. Neurologist and evolutionary psychologist however are not abandoning the equally bad idea of determinism as an explanation for behavior.  This point of view has a long history going back at least as far as the Stoic philosophers of Greece and their "free will is like a dog tied to a cart, it can either choose to go along with the cart or it will be dragged along with the cart, unwilling".

You can discard the philosophical idea of free will as some sort of absolute because frankly modern science has sufficiently deconstruct absolutes.  Absolutes may seem like they are the providence of the common sense thinkers who love to throw out truism like nothing is certain but death and taxes or vague references to the laws of physics.  In most cases however common sense is insufficient to deal with the complexities of behavior at the level need to judge morality.  When discussing behavior absolutes are the providence of the religious and other delusional absolutist.  What is necessary is a "common" sense approach to free will in which it is understood that while absolute free will does not exist there remains a necessity for the practical kind of free will.

Philosophers like most of us like to make things black and white.  It is a process of clarification that is hard to do without as how can you explain how grey something is with any kind of clarity.  When discussing free will they divide the world into compatibilists and incompatibilists in regard to determinism.  I don't want to make this a long discussion of these concepts but we can stick most scientist in the incompatibilist camp.  What is ironic is that in rejecting a compromised position of compatibilism on free will proposed by most philosophers scientist have made themselves absolutist in the same sense as religious thinkers they hold in contempt.  We don't have absolute free will just the ability to make choices just as many scientist choose absolute determinism.  I hope you see the problem here.

You can argue an absolutist deterministic view that sexual orientation is not a choice but what you cannot demonstrate is that the behavior associated with sexual orientation is not a choice.  Put in a proper perspective sexual orientation is irrelevant what is important is choice in sexual behavior.

We don't choose are sexual orientation any more than we choose the religion we are indoctrinated in from childhood.  But we can choose to modify that indoctrination.  Just like we choose not to stone adulterers because the Bible or Koran suggest we should we can choose not to engage in sexual behavior that is self or socially destructive.  We can choose not to  adopt the black and white conformist view that anything is fine as long as it doesn't hurt someone else liberal view nor the it's a sin view or religious fundamentalist.  What we need to consider is how we express our sexual orientation and how it effects others within the limits of our agency.            




Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2015 at 16:59
You misunderstand me, I had a friend who was a self-proclaimed satanist in High School, still know him, but now he is into Dawkins instead.  Satanism, a la Anton LaVey "Satanic Bible" is a belief in "enlightened" selfishness.  A perfect fit for Trump.  But, no, Trump is not Satan, I am saying that he is self-centered, well, you fill in the blank_______.  Believing in enlightened selfishness, I don't think that even Satanists would trust other Satanists.
My friend never got into any weird cult activities, just burning Bibles on the steps of a Church.  Stupid High School stuff.  Whereas now he is an atheist, his wife is a Pagan or Wiccan or something like that.  I kind of would like to see their night ritual some time.  People say that Americans are less religious these days, I kind of doubt that is true.  It is just that instead of mainstream religion, people sometimes get into alternative religion.  Also a lot of people who are involved in Christianity have some background in other religions or Gnosticism or whatever else.  Technically, you can even be a Buddhist _and_ something else (Christian or Jewish).  Also, some people are involved in Christianity not so much for the theological message, but for the social message.
I don't dislike Trump or Obama or some of these other politicians.  I don't know them, and I don't fool myself in thinking I know them.  I don't like Hillary, but we've had corrupt politicians in the past, and will probably have them in the future.  btw, Hillary is a Methodist, but I still think she is bad news.  There are good people and bad people (and so-so people) in every religion.
I'll read your sex thing later.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2015 at 13:29
Sex is such a sticky subject, I think I will avoid it for now, here.
But, yes, I did read what you wrote, wolfhound.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 10 Sep 2015 at 13:47
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Sex is such a sticky subject, I think I will avoid it for now, here.
But, yes, I did read what you wrote, wolfhound.

lol


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 12 Dec 2015 at 04:49
My mother has a block on Trump's name, she wants to call him Trout (she knows she's getting it wrong), I correct her and tell her it's Trump and in order to spell "Trump" you have to remember "rump" as in ass.  That seems like a good way to remember him.

He has had, what? three bankrupcies, he's on his third marriage.  _If_ he gets elected, does he think he will get free do-overs, when he screws up the nation?  He's like a kindergartener who won't play nice with others.  His parents think he's a darling, but everybody else finds him a bit bitey.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 12 Dec 2015 at 11:40
I actually thought he would get better but you are right three marriages tends to paint him as a person who doesn't care to change to meet the expectations of others.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 10:10
Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has a commentary in today's paper about Trump and the mob.  It says that he dealt with the mob in construction contracts for Trump tower and Casinos in Atlantic City.  Trump says he didn't know, and anyways, he had no choice.  WSJ says that if he didn't know, then why was he warning people that if they got into the Casino business, they would have to deal with the mob?  Trump claims he was just trying to discourage any potential competition.  The commentary is on p. A12 Saturday/Sunday, Dec 12-13, 2015, 'Review & Outlook,' "Trump and the Goodfellas."  Nobody is saying (yet?) that Trump did anything illegal, just that he has no scruples about dealing with some pretty shady characters, just to make a buck.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 10:34
I haven't got a really good handle on US politics, but, is there even the slightest chance that this buffoon could be elected?

I have to say that I'm also not that impressed with Clinton either.




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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 13 Dec 2015 at 16:45
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has a commentary in today's paper about Trump and the mob.  It says that he dealt with the mob in construction contracts for Trump tower and Casinos in Atlantic City.  Trump says he didn't know, and anyways, he had no choice.  WSJ says that if he didn't know, then why was he warning people that if they got into the Casino business, they would have to deal with the mob?  Trump claims he was just trying to discourage any potential competition.  The commentary is on p. A12 Saturday/Sunday, Dec 12-13, 2015, 'Review & Outlook,' "Trump and the Goodfellas."  Nobody is saying (yet?) that Trump did anything illegal, just that he has no scruples about dealing with some pretty shady characters, just to make a buck.

The funny thing is that it is that sort of thing that made me Leary of Trump from the beginning not the immigration comments that people are so focused on.  On immigration he is right because it is true that a country without borders is not a country.  Illegal migrants are breaking the law and very few are political refugees in the traditional sense.  If borders were meaningless there would be no laws against transportation across state lines.

What Trump and Hillary are doing for us is forcing people to see the ugly side of both conservatism and liberalism.  I usually vote for independents because it expresses dissatisfaction with both parties.  

The irony is in this case that the WSJ doesn't see associating with the too big to fail bankers and their ponzi schemes as the moral equivalent of working with the Mob.  In another thread we were talking about Roman piety and that is the kind of morality that is missing from U.S. politics.  Patriotism is not just about believing in your country but it is about devotion to the greater good.  In a country where the ruling class is pious it doesn't matter if the government is liberal or conservative the poor will be taken care of and unethical business practices shunned.  

The failings of neo-conservatism in the U.S. is that it is fascist and the failing of liberalism is that it supports no moral standard for the masses.  We need a political system where the politicians can point out the failings of themselves and their followers not just the opposition.  Honesty and integrity are no longer highly praised virtues even in the abstract.    


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2015 at 10:30
I think Trump can make outrageous statements, because he has no intention of doing them.  But either he is a man of his word, and his word is pretty frightening as far as civil liberties are concerned, or he is not a man of his word, who will say anything just to get a splash.
I don't see Trump as liberal or conservative, he is definitely not a social conservative, and with three bankruptcies and his pie in the sky economics, I don't think that you can count him as a fiscal conservative.
I always thought that critics believed that individualism was a conservative excess.  Individualism seems to be the opposite of fascism.  No?  Fascism is all about submitting to the supposed 'greater good' of the masses.  A "fasces" is a bundle of sticks, which together are hard to break.  Individual sticks do not matter for fascism, but they do matter for conservatism.  Of course, one can always call what one does not like "fascism" as postmodernism does for capitalism.
There is a difference between too-big-to-fail-banks and the mob, one is crony capitalism, the other is criminal capitalism.

Again, you might look at Kasich, former Governor of Ohio, I believe.  He strongly believes in a social net, maybe a "liveable wage," etc.  When debating other Republicans, he said that when he dies, he will have to justify what he did, to his maker, and so he believes that the state has a role in welfare, etc.  This means that in some people's view, he is not a conservative, but hey, I don't think the masses _should_ judge politicians based on some litmus test, even though they will.  He is a smart guy, and a good guy, and that is enough for me.   


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 14 Dec 2015 at 16:50
"Roger Griffin describes fascism as "a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultranationalism". Griffin describes the ideology as having three core components: " the rebirth myth,  populist ultra-nationalism and the myth of decadence".Fascism is "a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Sounds like the Reagan revolution to me.  Of course opinions may vary but keep in mind that Reagan supported FDR and Unions in his younger days or a kind of socialism.  I'm not sure that people actually are consistent enough to be labeled accurately nor do I think they know themselves who their beliefs put them in bed with.

When comparing neo-conservatism to fascism what is perhaps more important than any other aspect is the way that corporations and capitalist are embedded in the government and the government in them.  Despite the rhetoric of deregulation the back scratching is amazing.  This is essentially the Military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned of. 



Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2015 at 11:37
Fascism, according to Mussolini (and wikipedia), is also anti-conservative.  Fascism/national socialism (they're not exactly the same, but I am a little vague on the differences), was thought to be a third path, not Anglo-American Capitalism, nor Soviet Communism.  The left-right distinction doesn't really work.  Is Hitler's Germany more conservative than Churchill's Britain?  Is Stalin's Soviet Union more socialist than Hilter's National Socialism?

Of course, Reagan was a fascist, _if_ you are either "liberal" media, or "liberal" academia.  I put "liberal" in quotes because the media and academia are quite far away from true liberalism, the heir to classical liberalism being libertarianism.  Reagan _has_ to be a fascist, after all, he advocated small government, he believed in the common man, and in God, how fascist can you get?

I haven't read about neo-conservatives attitude toward the economy, but I do believe that when you have big government, it pays for business to cater to government, rather than to the market or to the people.  If you don't like crony capitalism, then don't bloat the government.




Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 15 Dec 2015 at 17:51
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


Of course, Reagan was a fascist, _if_ you are either "liberal" media, or "liberal" academia.  I put "liberal" in quotes because the media and academia are quite far away from true liberalism, the heir to classical liberalism being libertarianism.  Reagan _has_ to be a fascist, after all, he advocated small government, he believed in the common man, and in God, how fascist can you get?

Reagan was not really at the wheel Wink  You have to look at the people that were actually running things.  Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Lehman, Gingrich and the Randroid Greenspan to name a few.  

While you may be right in theory about how fascism is defined, in practice it means the use of military power to improve economic position and the close cooperation between government and private financial forces.  Reagan as the public face of neo-conservatism was of course all mom, baseball, and apply pie.   








  CheneyRumsfeldWolfowitz


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 16 Dec 2015 at 19:06
Now that it looks like Hilary may get the Democratic nomination my support for Trump is waning.  While I would like to see a moderate Democrat like Hilary win the presidential election she is not my first choice.  Trumps popularity means that no moderate Republican is likely to win the nomination but I could be persuaded to vote republican if they find one.  

Trump in some ways represents a hiatus in the neo-conservative movement and a return to the old days of blue blood republicans.  Neo-conservatives represented a turn toward more fascist like manifestation of conservatism among republicans where the traditional line between government and the private sector were blurred.  There were two faces to neo-conservatism, the public  face of less government and the actual policies that favored financial institutions who supported the political machine. 

While conservative policies were always intended to prevent the "masses" from gaining too much control of government in many ways the private sector historically maintained independence from the government in ways not seen in say the conservatism of the British Empire.  Trump as far as I can tell is more of a traditional U.S. conservative if a bit on the nutty side. 

"It's the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It's the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/white-man-s-burden-1.14110" rel="nofollow - http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/white-man-s-burden-1.14110

In the above article   White Man's Burden   the author points out something that people only sensed about the neo-conservatives and that is the underlying prejudices that were so common in the "good ol days" of previous centuries.  When neo-consevatives talked of returning to traditional values few people understood those values to include the justification for western cultural domination not seen since the days of manifest destiny.

Who does extreme nationalism and the use of military force remind you of?  I suppose you could argue almost any colonial power of the 15th to 19th century.  I would argue that in the 20th century that there is only one example where the kings of industry and a dictator worked closely together to bring those forces into cataclysmic realization.   


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 17 Dec 2015 at 15:26
you might google Trump University and fraud.  People claim he has bilked them, but I think his lawyers are delaying it right now.  Who knows, if he's elected maybe he would pardon himself.

Oh, its old news, but to say Carly Florina is too ugly to be president, shows his vile nature.
He may be a billionaire, but he is white trash.  Of course, if you do white trash in a big way, 
people tend not to call it, probably because if Trump had a vendetta, he could pour on a world
of hurt for other people in the public eye.  Still, he is a vindictive, petty monster.  But he does
have some intelligence, in a conniving, vicious kind of way.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 17 Dec 2015 at 18:14
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

you might google Trump University and fraud.  People claim he has bilked them, but I think his lawyers are delaying it right now.  Who knows, if he's elected maybe he would pardon himself.

Oh, its old news, but to say Carly Florina is too ugly to be president, shows his vile nature.
He may be a billionaire, but he is white trash.  Of course, if you do white trash in a big way, 
people tend not to call it, probably because if Trump had a vendetta, he could pour on a world
of hurt for other people in the public eye.  Still, he is a vindictive, petty monster.  But he does
have some intelligence, in a conniving, vicious kind of way.

Fair enough I have grown tired of listening to him, as you say he sounds like someone from a trailer park. 


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 10:26
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

you might google Trump University and fraud.  People claim he has bilked them, but I think his lawyers are delaying it right now.  Who knows, if he's elected maybe he would pardon himself.

Oh, its old news, but to say Carly Florina is too ugly to be president, shows his vile nature.
He may be a billionaire, but he is white trash.  Of course, if you do white trash in a big way, 
people tend not to call it, probably because if Trump had a vendetta, he could pour on a world
of hurt for other people in the public eye.  Still, he is a vindictive, petty monster.  But he does
have some intelligence, in a conniving, vicious kind of way.

Fair enough I have grown tired of listening to him, as you say he sounds like someone from a trailer park. 

Don't you think that equating Trump with someone from a trailer park is denigrating those people who live in trailer parks?

From what we've seen of him here in Australia, the man's a buffoon, pure and simple, and the fact that anyone would consider him as the potential next leader of the free world is terrifying.




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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 12:06
Trump is the choice of people who want to give "the system" the bird (the finger).  I doubt they are thinking much past that.  Trump is for those people who say "I'll vote for him, because it can't get any worse than it is already."  Little do they realize it could get much worse, that whereas they might not like politics or President Obama, but politics is okay, the economy is okay, not terrific, but not that bad.

Trump is into beauty pageants and gambling and trades in his old model of a wife for a new model every so often.  He has a wonderful scam in Trump University, and his construction deals overlap with figures in organized crime.  Some people would be jealous of him, and wish that they could do that too.  To me, it is a little twisted, but it is worse because he and his followers don't realize that there is anything wrong.  As Bob Dylan said, "there is something you can't hide, when you're crippled inside."

I have a friend, and often when I go over to his house, there is the crisis du jour.  There are some people that seem to go from crisis to crisis, they are usually nice enough people.  It is not clear whether they bring it on to themselves or not.  I knew a girl, who, walking down the street, walked into a chlorine gas cloud, escaped from a nearby tank.  On the other hand, at age 13 she had a miscarriage after her best friend beat her up for sleeping with her (the best friend's) boyfriend.  There is Cary Grant karma, and Charlie Brown karma, she had Charlie Brown karma.  I hope her karma has changed in life, but I wouldn't bet on it.  It may be a little mean to call someone "trash," but only because usually the person cannot help having chaos in their life.  Trump however, seems to embrace the ugliness, and so appropriately deserves the name.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 18 Dec 2015 at 21:32
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

 

Don't you think that equating Trump with someone from a trailer park is denigrating those people who live in trailer parks?

From what we've seen of him here in Australia, the man's a buffoon, pure and simple, and the fact that anyone would consider him as the potential next leader of the free world is terrifying.


First I would call the U.S. the mercenary of the "free" world not the leader.  The U.S. was hired by those unwilling to keep the peace with their own blood and paid in proxy petro dollars.  If nobody in the so called free world listens to the U.S. and blames it for everything that goes wrong how is it a leader?  It's like blaming the guard dog you trained for biting someone not your training.

As to comparing trump to the denizens of trailer parks it is true that it is a cruel cliche.  I would  however argue it does capture the willful ignorance of both the upper and lower classes fairly well.  The difference between the parasites at the top and bottom is that those at the top are drunk on power and ego and those at the bottom mostly on mind altering substances or self pity.  I have always argued that if you can't blame the poor you can't blame the rich.

The argument that you can't blame the disadvantaged for their condition is no more accurate than you can't blame the rich for following their self interest.  We are constantly inundated with the idea that those with an "education" and advantages should know better.  This idea even extends to western cultural hegemony but that is really just patronizing the underdeveloped world.  For example why should we believe that westerners should have known better than to brutally colonize North America?  Didn't the aboriginal tribes who acquired the technology of horses brutally colonized the Northern plains?  Shouldn't the Sioux have known better? 

The historical evidence certainly contradicts the idea that Europeans had the self awareness necessary to make any claim of moral superiority.  The same kind of tribal violence that we see in underdeveloped cultures just translated into larger and more destructive violence in the tribes we call nations.  The main difference between the crimes of nations and the crimes of tribes is that those of nations tend to be better recorded.

What has keep the larger tribes, the U.S., Russia, Europe, China, Australia from killing each other in recent decades seems to be more the threat of nuclear war than enlightenment.  Liberals of course like to credit their enlightenment for world peace but the evidence that it has played a major role is minimal.  The left has not and does not have that kind of moral influence over a diverse planet.  It is also clear that without external threats the "enlightened" socialist nations would be less constrained from warring with each other, for example the recent war between China and Vietnam.

On a final note how is it that enlightened views and peaceful demonstration for justice so often turn into riots and flaming cities?  Are we to be so condescending and patronizing as to say that certain disadvantaged groups can't be held responsible for their actions?  Contrary to liberal views it seems far more likely that the major flaw is in human nature not in any particular culture.  One thing that Trump and the trailer park denizens got right is that in it is incredulous to believe that illegal immigrants do not know they are breaking the law.  If we continue to patronize the disadvantage out of some misguided belief they cannot be held responsible then we undermine the rule of law that hopefully someday we can hold the rich accountable for under.  The banksters and the street thugs both seem to be having a good time of it because we no longer hold anyone accountable.

I personal blame it on the disadvantaged and unenlightened poorly educated hippies but that is just me Wink      



      






 




Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 21 Dec 2015 at 06:24
Most people are fairly morally obtuse.  They say, "I didn't do anything illegal!" and they probably are correct.  However, what is moral is different than what is legal.  Something can be legal and not moral, or moral and not legal, or moral and legal, or neither moral nor legal.

I would say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fairly morally obtuse.  An ambassador (Spain?) was fired for having a private server, but apparently the rules are different for Hillary.  Trump insists he did nothing wrong, he means he hasn't done anything that good lawyers probably can't get him off of.  Of course, when you get to that level, it is pretty easy to self-justify cutting corners.  


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 21 Dec 2015 at 10:06
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Most people are fairly morally obtuse.  They say, "I didn't do anything illegal!" and they probably are correct.  However, what is moral is different than what is legal.  Something can be legal and not moral, or moral and not legal, or moral and legal, or neither moral nor legal.

I would say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fairly morally obtuse.  An ambassador (Spain?) was fired for having a private server, but apparently the rules are different for Hillary.  Trump insists he did nothing wrong, he means he hasn't done anything that good lawyers probably can't get him off of.  Of course, when you get to that level, it is pretty easy to self-justify cutting corners.  

I have made this point repeatedly in regards to ethics.  For me there are two kinds of ethics what you have referred to in other posts as "Roman piety" which is the public face of morality and there is your personal belief system.  For me they are often in conflict because what is needed for law and order often conflicts with my sense of personal justice and empathy.  It is easy to put your personal sense of morality above the interests of the state but is that right?

Ignorance of the law may be no excuse but ignorance is certainly relevant to morality.  We could assume that Hillary and Trump both have sufficient education to determine what is moral but I suspect that is not really the case.  The law you can memorize and apply but personal morality is complicated and some people may feel obligated to ignore one or the other on some more abstract basis and then morality takes on a competence quality.

Many religious people object to what they call situational ethics but while the ends may not justify the means surely morality is about the consequences of your actions.  The more authority you have the more difficult it becomes to reconcile your personal morality with your public responsibilities.  Christianity captures this conflict fairly well in just a few lines:  "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”  "And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”   "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." 

The question I think becomes do we want leaders who have such a strict personal morality that they must act contrary to the law or who have no regard for the practical and would give up everything on principle including our vested interests?   Being a politician may simply mean you can't save your own "soul". 



Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 22 Dec 2015 at 16:43
People with a low education or intelligence are often more moral than those with extensive education.  Highly educated people can rationalize and self-justify their behavior much easier than more simple people.  For this reason, smart people often have problems with addiction that simple people do not.  Simple people are more inclined to surrender to help, whereas smart people think they can think their way out of their problems.  
Actually in Machiavelli, it is "the ends justify a means," not "the" means.  If you wanted to, say, stop the possiblity of a school shooting somewhere, you could blow up the entire school with daisy cutters (fuel air bombs), the school would be gone, and there would be no chance of a school shooting there.  When someone inquired about such drastic steps, you could say, "well Machiavelli said that, the ends justify the means.  Of course this scenario is ridiculous, but the point is that, if "the ends justifies the means," well then anything goes.  I tend to think that instead Machiavelli is saying that there is a means appropriate for the ends, also he is kind of saying where there is a will (or virtu), there is a way.

Sometimes putting your personal sense of morality above the interests of the state is taking a moral stand (and you should also should expect to pay the consequences, jail time or whatever), sometimes it is an ego trip.  Hypocrasy recognizes that there is a moraity (which the individual recognizes), even though they may not be able to meet it.
There are leaders who have a strict personal morality, but in general they are not in politics.  The only individual in the running today that I might worry about having too much moral scruples in Carson.  I think he would be an interesting guy to talk to, but in general I like my politicians to be politicians.

Aristotle wrote two works on ethics, the Eudemian Ethics and the Nicomachian Ethics, named after individuals, no other of his works are named after individuals, and I think that is because these 'Ethics' were addressed to particular individuals, meant for them, although others could get a lot from reading them too.

There is a story about Al-Kidhr, the Green man, who was Moses' teacher, Moses wanted to follow him, and Al-Kidhr said, "alright" but I don't want you to interfere with anything I do."  Well, one thing Al-Kidhr does is he gets a hammer and starts destroying a wall in barn, and of course Moses interrupts.  And then he finds I guy coming out of a bar and beats him up, and Moses interrupts.  Finally, after a night of these kinds of activities, Moses asks him what did he think he was doing.  Al-Kidhr reminds Moses that Moses promised not to interfere and explains to him that there was a hoard of gold under the wall of the barn, and now that the farmer has to replace the wall, he will find it, and save his farm.  Likewise, the drunk's wife was about to leave him and now that he should up in such bad shape, she will take pity on him, etc, etc.  The point is that some action appearing on the one hand to not be moral, from another perspective are shown to be moral.  But whereas where Al-Kidhr tears down a wall breaking the rules for a greater morality, I suspect that is not what Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is doing.  What they are doing is about Number 1, and full of ego.  I know that Hillary has a ghost written autobiography, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump has one (or More) also.  I don't know if it takes someone who is morally obtuse to get elected.  President Obama has a lot of ego, but I don't think I would call him morally obtuse, I might not agree with his morality, anti-business, pro-big government, but he does have a morality.


Posted By: M M Kubba
Date Posted: 02 Jan 2016 at 22:13
Yep. Really nothing to disagree with on this one.
All I would add to the discussion ( since this is about history) is where we as a nation stand on determining our fate.
From the technology advances since the late 1970's and the things we have found pleasantly entertaining (sports, I pads, I phones and on and on) we have reached a point of giving re-birth to the Madison Ave empire.
Therein lies the danger with someone like Trump. The American masses now "buy" anything advertised and promoted as the best the latest the coolest the most popular what everybody's gotta have.
Trump has proven he is really good at this. Good enough to get a few billion dollars by promising alot of stuff.
Add to the that the change in our nation's economy from production/manufacturing based to a consumer/service based economy; which,by the way, on a very good year can only get us about 2.25% growth in GDP (isn't China around 4.5 to 5% right now)......
Need I say more??
What do you think? Hopefully logic will prevail!


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 05 Jan 2016 at 18:12
I don't know if I want logic to prevail, logic is cold, freezing, no heart.  Usually when people break their word in order to get elected, they are doing what "it" takes to get elected, or at least what they think what it takes.  Hillary Clinton was urged to run in 2004, but she had promised that if she was elected as a senator, she would serve at least one term, and she did.  Barack Obama made the same promise when he was elected to the senate, and broke it when it turned out to be inconvenient.  I don't like either of them (that is not quite true, I don't know them except for the image they put out), but I do respect Hillary on that matter, for keeping her word.
I wonder if the US might learn some lessons in regards to Trump by looking at Italy and its former Prime Minister, Media Magnate Silvio Berlasconi.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2016 at 10:35
Would someone who lives in the USA, and;

a. Understands the electoral system;
b. give an unbiased opinion

please explain to me if in fact Trump has a snowflakes chance of becoming POTUS?

All we see on Australian television is a man making some outrageously stupid statements on race, immigrants etc.


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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2016 at 14:55
That is a good thought.

the electoral college acts as kind of a buffer against populism.  The parties choose representatives per state, to the number of senate plus house seats.  The popular vote decides which parties electoral college cast votes.  It usually is just a rubber stamp, but in theory, the electoral college could vote for other than the popularly elected candidate.  I believe a few from California voted for Reagan in the Carter-Ford faceoff.  They of course, would have had to go against the party to do so, and would have been taken out of the electoral college for the next Presidential election.  But theoretically, yahoos could elect Trump, and the electoral college could go against the popular vote, in either one or many states and thus cause an upset, probably leading to the democrat winning (because the electoral college would cause a loss in a state that had been "won" by the popular vote.  It would have to be more than one or two individuals, and the stink it would cause would probably be smelled all the way to Australia.

Cruz won Iowa, at least Trump didn't.  I like Kasich who has been endorsed by the NY Times.  Kasich didn't make a play in Iowa, I think that he is hoping on a good push at NH.

Trump probably does have a chance, its hard to tell, they say that a lot of the people who are big on Trump, don't usually vote.  That is the appeal he offers, he is kind of giving the establishment the finger. There could be a revolt at the Republican Convention.  Also, if he was elected, he could have a lame duck Presidency, because face it, he has insulted just about everybody, and his proposals are not very well grounded in political reality.  He can _say_ that he will build a wall on the border and no one will get in, but if he was honest, he wouldn't say that because he can't promise that.  Either he is promising that because he is delusional, or naive, or most likely, he is talking out of his backside.  
We have a lot of checks and balances in our government, and of course when one party is in power, they find those checks and balances annoying (particularly the democrats).  After all 'we' know that 'we' are good guys, and want what is best, and these things get in the way of "us" doing good works.  But, if a Donald Trump gets elected, then I hope (particularly the democrats) will see the checks and balances in a new light.  btw Republicans are _more_ the party of small government and original intent in interpretation of the constitution.  Not that they don't also have their excesses.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 04 Feb 2016 at 15:30
Francisco:

Thanks for that. I agree with the view that he's talking out of his rear end, but I shudder at the thought of what he could do with the Executive Power that POTUS has.


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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”


Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2016 at 01:17
/


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Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2016 at 11:08
I think we need to keep in mind that Trump represents a backlash against the intelligentsia which in many ways has replaced the parasitic priestly class in older societies.  When the priests came down out of their ivory towers to share their wisdom they were at first welcomed and embraced but people soon discovered that they had little understanding of the general population's hopes and aspirations.  It is the failure of this class of individuals to provide a workable moral foundation to replace the one they displaced that is our major failing. 


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2016 at 07:28
Which class are you talking about, the priests? or the intelligentsia?  There is a saying in philosophy that if you "vague" it up enough, it (anything for that matter) will make sense.  Is that what you are doing?

By parasitic, I assume that you mean that priests are not decent, hardworking individuals, of the "arbeit macht frei" or "workers of the world unite" kind?  
Of course, monasteries kept literacy alive (well, on life support) through the middle ages, and these days monasteries have to be self-sufficient, brew beer, make wine, paint icons, raise and train German shepherds.  You may not like what priests do, but this one minister that I know says its like have 2 school papers to do a week for the rest of your life.  It is a kind of "work," although maybe not "productive" in your eyes.  Of course, that is not all he does, he is an FBI psychiatrist who was called in for San Bernadino, did a threat assessment for a bunch of bikers who mouthed off for Obama's convention in 2008, and before that was at Ground Zero to (psychologically) pick up the pieces.
I think production is overrated, it begs the question, what is it all for?  I think seduction is much more interesting as a concept.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2016 at 09:33
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Of course, monasteries kept literacy alive (well, on life support) through the middle ages, 

That has to be weighed against the suppression of general education for fear of heresy.  It may be something of a myth that the church actively suppressed science but there was certainly a tight grip on how education was practiced.

More importantly this discussion is a distraction from the analogy I was making between the personality types that at one time to priesthood and those that today live cloistered lives in academia.  I was recently chatting with a young man who tells me that his professor of ethics encourages the worship of Marx.  One thing Marx was not was a decent human being.   Marx abused his one life long servant never paying her made her pregnant and abandoned her and the child. He borrowed heavily with no intention of repaying his debts to the point of alienating his family. His children committed suicide largely as a result of his abusive child rearing and he drove his wife mad.  As it relates to this discussion Marx never accepted any invitation to actually mingle with the workers he was writing about.

Getting back to the point I wanted to make, the way the church suppressed heresy is very analogous to the way discussions of IQ are currently suppressed.  Once you set yourself up as the keeper of truth without any empirical information to base policy on you have created a religion not a rational political system.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2016 at 09:34
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Of course, monasteries kept literacy alive (well, on life support) through the middle ages, 

That has to be weighed against the suppression of general education for fear of heresy.  It may be something of a myth that the church actively suppressed science but there was certainly a tight grip on how education was practiced.

More importantly this discussion is a distraction from the analogy I was making between the personality types that at one time turned to the priesthood and those that today live cloistered lives in academia.  I was recently chatting with a young man who tells me that his professor of ethics encourages the worship of Marx.  One thing Marx was not was a decent human being.   Marx abused his one life long servant never paying her made her pregnant and abandoned her and the child. He borrowed heavily with no intention of repaying his debts to the point of alienating his family. His children committed suicide largely as a result of his abusive child rearing and he drove his wife mad.  As it relates to this discussion Marx never accepted any invitation to actually mingle with the workers he was writing about.

Getting back to the point I wanted to make, the way the church suppressed heresy is very analogous to the way discussions of IQ are currently suppressed.  Once you set yourself up as the keeper of truth without any empirical information to base policy on you have created a religion not a rational political system.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2016 at 11:09
I don't think that Trump has a low IQ, I think he has a speech impediment and can only talk in superlatives.
I don't know if IQ is suppressed, and I don't know what it is good for,  I have a friend who likes to
talk about people with low IQ, which in some cases merely means people he doesn't agree with.  I think
IQ has been misused in the past, and people are cautious about misusing it again.  If there is a reluctance to use IQ right now, well I suppose if it is legitimately useful, it will be revived.  These things go in waves.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 09 Feb 2016 at 12:19
IQ test are not very useful for anything I would guess.  Then again most of our education isn't "good" for anything.  If you have to choose between education or ignorance I think the risk that people will misused their education is worth the risk.

While IQ test may not be perfect they do provide us with as good a measure of expectations as we have.  Instead of trying to shove people into the same intellectual box we need to build a society that values everyone regardless of natural ability.

My main interest in this topic is to deconstruct the "blank slate" hypothesis of human malleability which has caused more misery than liberals are able to understand.  If your answer to every conservative argument is charges of racism or narrow mindedness you force the debate to the level of Trump. 

As it relates to this thread the people that support Trump may be delusional but in many ways they are no more delusional than the liberals.  The advantage the liberals have is that they can hide their delusions in intellectualism. 


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 10:12
It is always a mixture of nature and nurture.  People feel that if it is all nurture then we are "free" to create ourselves.  But it also means that (if that is accepted as true) then there is no end to the amount of manipulation government can justify (and no end to the mischief they can cause) in the name of molding the perfect population.

I suspect that with Trump, it is not that he is shallow, if he was shallow, he would have _some_ depth, and what he is is a matter of seduction, a denial of depth entirely.  He is not "producing" anything, which probably why he is so hard to answer.  There is no substance there.  It's like a sword fight against loose feathers.  Not a razor sharp scimitar or katana, a claymore.  


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 14:24
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

It is always a mixture of nature and nurture.  People feel that if it is all nurture then we are "free" to create ourselves.  But it also means that (if that is accepted as true) then there is no end to the amount of manipulation government can justify (and no end to the mischief they can cause) in the name of molding the perfect population.

I suspect that with Trump, it is not that he is shallow, if he was shallow, he would have _some_ depth, and what he is is a matter of seduction, a denial of depth entirely.  He is not "producing" anything, which probably why he is so hard to answer.  There is no substance there.  It's like a sword fight against loose feathers.  Not a razor sharp scimitar or katana, a claymore.  

To be honest Trump scares me but unlike my European friends I do not demand absolute security nor do I think it is the appropriate goal.  Sanders like all good socialist believes that the state has a duty to provide absolute security to everyone.  It's too early to tell but it looks like we may have a choice of Trump or Sanders.  I could vote for either one.

I understand that a lot of people dislike the caricature that is Trump and almost pity Sanders the passe' aged figure.  That said our financial institutions have run amuck under Republicans and the political correctness that the Democrats indorse is undermining our social institutions. If either of these things got fixed the U.S. would be a better place. Both however could do a lot of damage Trump in foreign relations and Sanders if he expands the failed welfare state.

I lean toward socialism but as I have gotten older I find myself questioning the wisdom of allowing the state too much power.  The abuse of power by the republicans to favor certain financial interests and the abuse of power to employ the violence of the state to establish social justice by the democrats are equally frightening.  Now that absolute poverty has almost been eliminated the only serious issue of social justice for me is health care.

Of course racial prejudice and sexism still exist but the ability of the state to use it's violent confiscatory power and or actual force to eliminate these problems is questionable.  One thing that is clear is that the  state and movements such as feminism, ethnic diversity, and the welfare state have caused their own share of misery.     
 





Posted By: Penderyn
Date Posted: 10 Feb 2016 at 23:38
'Socialism' is, historically, not about the State but about the political power of working people.   In most capitalist states that is now so minimal as to suggest to those who are allowed to know about him that Marx had more to say that was useful than anyone is allowed to know.

-------------
Mochyn i bob un


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 07:22
Originally posted by Penderyn Penderyn wrote:

'Socialism' is, historically, not about the State but about the political power of working people.   In most capitalist states that is now so minimal as to suggest to those who are allowed to know about him that Marx had more to say that was useful than anyone is allowed to know.

Nothing is stopping anyone from reading Marx except laziness.  The conspiracy to hide the truth is much exaggerated me thinks.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm" rel="nofollow - http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm

Hero worship is unhealthy so I recommend you learn about the man as well as his writing.




Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 10:10
Yes, 'socialism' is all 'about' the political power of the working people, like a cannon trying to hit a target, and missing.  Instead, someone always comes to the fore, a demagogue who is willing to tell the people what they really think.  Marxism is by no means neglected these days.  True, in the Soviet Union, Moscow University had 200+ full time faculty members in the philosophy department (I am not exaggerating), working at the details of five year plans.  With the collapse and opening of Russia, suddenly all these philosophers were exposed to the broader world academic community, and discovered that there brand of Marxism was backwards and ossified compared to the West.  In the West, however, Marxism had gone in new directions,  Postmodernists such as Baudrillard and Foucault are influenced by it, although with the student revolution in Paris of 1968, French philosophy does switch from an interest in Hegel and Marx, to more of an interest in Heidegger and Nietzsche.  The radicals try to seize the means of production, but by 1968, the means of production and power in the French state is decentralized and defused amongst the entire state.  But in areas (alienation) Marxism still has a message which is useful for those who need grist for their Mill.

One reason why I don't like statistics is because 90% of statistics are made up.  Having said that,
80 % of Americans believe that they live in a better neighborhood.  If it is pointed out that another neighborhood is nicer, they will point out that it doesn't have the same sense of community that they do, or that people in that better neighborhood are slaves to the paycheck, trying to keep up with their mortgage or their rent, or just trying to be one better than the Jones.  My point is, is that statistically not everybody can live in a better neighborhood (as opposed to a worse one), and yet in their minds they do.
There is a great deal of optimism in the American outlook.  Traditionally, most Americans have identified themselves with the (moderately) wealthy.  They may not be there right now, but often they have planned to be there quite soon.  Or they may have had some bad luck recently, but they dislike the notion of class warfare because they do plan on getting there someday.

This is part of the attraction of Trump.  He has "made it" and the fact that he has had a few bankruptcies just means to his adoring fans that he has worked hard, has had a few setbacks (like they have), and that just means that he is human.  In their enthusiasm, they think he is a rugged individualist like themselves.  But like many of the wealthy, he is sucking on the teat of big government, paying the mob to get his fancy hotels built, and defrauding ordinary people with his courses at "Trump University."  Of course, a fan would say that "of course in order to get where he is today, he has had to cut a few corners."  They see him as like themselves, but fact is, generally, they wouldn't want to do what he has done.  They see politicians as immoral, because politicians are willing to be convinced otherwise if the evidence is presented.  Trump on the other hand, is someone who thinks he knows it all, already, and is not willing to be convinced otherwise.
One question to ask, is what would a Trump cabinet be like?  Would he get a bunch of "yes" men, or would he get the best experts he could?  Also, does anything he says about China remotely resemble what he would actually do in office?  On the other hand, he has worked hard and basked in the fact that he has pissed off a lot of people, can he play nice with others, or will all offenses be excused because of success?
SC is an open primary, which means that democrats can vote for republican candidates. democrats in areas in the past have voted for the more extreme candidate in order to insure that the democratic candidate will appeal to the middle of the road voters, as well as those on the left.


Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 10:26
/

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http://postimage.org/" rel="nofollow">
http://postimage.org/" rel="nofollow - adult photo sharing


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 11 Feb 2016 at 11:57
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.

I think what discredits Marx more than anything else is that he didn't see how capitalism was already erasing the meaning of class.  I'm sure he never foresaw a time when absolute poverty would become an obsolete concept and social warriors would have to invent relative poverty.  The signs were all there for him to see in the middle 19th century as industrialist had come wield as much power as nobility had in earlier generations.  During his life he must have seen the remarkable increase in the middle class.  He should have seen how workers would soon join that middle class because capitalism requires consumers with expendable incomes.  Marx lived a life of privilege on the backs of workers he refused to even associate with.  In many ways he was as delusional in regards to the nature of productivity as the financial wizards he so despised.  Too often we assume that intellectually gifted and successful are wise and that is a trap that not only liberals fall into but also conservatives.   

With the advent of neo conservatism we have taken a remarkable step backwards in the natural evolution of economic prosperity for workers.  Income inequity has not been higher in almost a century.  In a very real sense the economic engine of capitalism has been distorted not by the industrialist class as Marx predicted but by financial markets that have learned to feed at the tit of socialism.  In the recent housing crisis you can see how easy it was for the financial markets to become the middle man in government giveaways and wipe off the cream of tax papers supported government programs.  This system where the government and financial interest are almost indistinguishable is called fascism.

I don't feel that Trump is a neo conservative fascist as that club is largely off limits to people like him who work outside banking and wall street.  I also don't think that people like Reagan actually understood how deeply they were getting in bed with a corrupted system that uses government to protect it's interests.  Conservatives it seems are just as oblivious to the effects of their ideological blinders as socialist are.  So the question becomes is Trump in his oblivion potentially a tool of the financial oligarchy?  I suppose so but there is no reason to believe that electing a socialist will solve the problem of a corrupt government.  After all the current situation evolved under the protection of the government.

It is bad enough that the corruption of our financial system has started to reverse the great improvement for the average worker that has taken place over the last 200 years but it has also infected our legal system.  After we made steady improvement in this area in the 60s, 70s and 80s the banksters are now once again immune from personal responsibility.

"Former litigator William S. Lerach explores the chasm between the ideals and the reality of the American legal system, one that promises equal access and accountability but often shields the financial elite from civil liability and criminal prosecution. Drawing on his extensive experience with class action lawsuits, Lerach shows how major court decisions have skewed toward defendants"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WucxKDaLv-s

Of course it is not only conservatives that legislate from the bench.  When liberal judge Stephen Reinhardt says "they can't catch them all" he is referring to his ability to influence cases law with liberal rulings without the risk that they will all be overturned by the supreme court.  That is not to say that there have not been times when the courts were forced to "legislate" to protect civil liberties but the real precedent it sets is one of lawlessness.

For those that think Sanders will be better able than Trump to address this deep rooted illness in our financial system consider the following.

"Wall Street hates him because he is a class traitor, he has bought into the populist rhetoric that Wall Street is greedy and makes too much money, he sounds more anti-Wall Street than Elizabeth Warren."

Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.






      


 

        


Posted By: Penderyn
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2016 at 03:04
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.


Socialists, as you know, have been murdered in vast numbers whenever they tried to establish socialism.   State Capitalism works no better than any other form of the system, obviously.

-------------
Mochyn i bob un


Posted By: Penderyn
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2016 at 03:07
The thing Marx didn't fully understand was hegemony, which is the way class rule is preserved.    I was fascinated the other day to hear that a famous folksong collector was 'a Liberal' because he belonged to the Fabian Society, and who now has heard of Shaw, or even Wells?    1984 is entirely capitalist: liars control the present and therefore the past.

-------------
Mochyn i bob un


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2016 at 06:11
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.

Socialism- at least the small "s", democratic socialism Sanders is proposing, has not  failed, and is indeed doing quite well in many places, such as Europe, Canada, Australia, and others. 

It has become common in some circles in the US to conflate socialism with the failed communism of the 20th century, which was actually not even that, but mere totalitarianism. 

Sanders is no more a "socialist", than those in many mainstream political parties in the afore mentioned places.

If the choice is between a cynical, corrupt, self-serving megalomaniac, and an aging social democrat, give me the latter....anytime.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 12 Feb 2016 at 10:15
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.

Socialism- at least the small "s", democratic socialism Sanders is proposing, has not  failed, and is indeed doing quite well in many places, such as Europe, Canada, Australia, and others. 

It has become common in some circles in the US to conflate socialism with the failed communism of the 20th century, which was actually not even that, but mere totalitarianism. 

Sanders is no more a "socialist", than those in many mainstream political parties in the afore mentioned places.

If the choice is between a cynical, corrupt, self-serving megalomaniac, and an aging social democrat, give me the latter....anytime.

In places like Western Europe and it's colonies you have to ask if capitalism keeps socialism afloat.

Certainly I would prefer socialism if the population was morally responsible but the evidence suggests otherwise.  Just as capitalist institutions have to be restrained by the threat of government violence the evidence suggests that the mob must be restrained from parasitism and idle self destruction.

If we take a look at the U.K. it is obvious that there are cracks appearing in the socialist utopia. 

"It has been found by the Poverty and Social Exclusion project at Bristol University in 2014,[6] that the proportion of households lacking three items or activities deemed necessary for life in the UK at that time (as defined by a survey of the wider population) has increased from 14% in 1983 to 33% in 2012."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_Kingdom

In some ways European socialism hasn't had time to fail.  Ignoring how biased these reports are to show ever increasing social injustice they are still significant.  In many ways we are living off of the blood, sweat and tears of previous generations.  Many people applaud developments such as the sexual revolution and the social safety net without considering the unintended consequences.  It isn't so much that previous generations were more moral in an absolute sense but today we lack the morality characterized by Roman piety.  A house divided cannot stand or in this case a house without foundations cannot stand.

The European experiment with socialism developed under the U.S. umbrella of military expansion.  While the U.S. has been reimbursed for this cost in the form of petro dollars and trade advantages it is no small matter that resources normally devoted to defence have been available to European nations to expand welfare.  Despite all evidence the Western intelligentsia has largely been unable to understand exactly how evil Stalin was.  It is easy to dismiss Stalin and Mao as 20th century totalitarianism without considering the social dynamics that put these men in positions of power.  Generations of class exploitation created Stalin and Mao but their real power came from the people who had the same irrational desire for revenge that the peasants of the French revolution had.  The rivers of blood spilt in the name of communism are not just on the hands of Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao.

If we look at the work of Steven Pinker we can see that the world was becoming less violent long before democratic socialism arose.  Almost all of the things we associate with an increasing quality of life correlate more with improved economic conditions than any ideology.  It may be difficult for a rich man to pass through the eye of the needle but it appears it is easier for everyone else if they have material wealth.  Certainly European Socialism represents a high point in cultural evolution in terms of the humane treatment of social ills.  In many ways however it has not eclipsed the improvement in society in the more capitalistic U.S.

Next we should now turn to happiness as measured in suicide rates to see how socialism compares to capitalism.  Belgium is 34th, France 25th, U.S. is 30th, Germany 31st Australia 50th and United Kingdom 105th.   Clearly there is no direct correlation between wealth, happiness and suicide but it is also clear that a social welfare system alone does not prevent suicide.  Syria has one of the lowest suicide rates in the world yet no one would suggest that it is a happy socialist environment.  Consider then that the intensely competitive and economic divided Brazil ranks very low on the suicide list and high on the happiness index.  All this really demonstrates is that we have a lot to learn about social engineering and that the traditional blank slate philosophy of Western liberal intellectuals is demonstratively inadequate.     

     


Posted By: Captain Vancouver
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 08:32
Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

Socialism has failed anywhere it reared its ugly head. God forbid Sanders or Hilary win this election.

Socialism- at least the small "s", democratic socialism Sanders is proposing, has not  failed, and is indeed doing quite well in many places, such as Europe, Canada, Australia, and others. 

It has become common in some circles in the US to conflate socialism with the failed communism of the 20th century, which was actually not even that, but mere totalitarianism. 

Sanders is no more a "socialist", than those in many mainstream political parties in the afore mentioned places.

If the choice is between a cynical, corrupt, self-serving megalomaniac, and an aging social democrat, give me the latter....anytime.

In places like Western Europe and it's colonies you have to ask if capitalism keeps socialism afloat.

That's an interesting question, and one we can, for the sake of scrutiny, turn on its ear. Perhaps it is socialism that has kept capitalism alive in recent times. Capitalism, in its raw form, was problematic for the working class, and has caused friction and dissent at least since the industrial revolution. Boom and bust, exploitation and graft, poverty and resentment, all led to conflict in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, riots and strikes that eventually culminated in the biggest bust of all- the great depression. At this point, the disenchantment of the average worker was such that a backlash moved upwards from the street to political action, such as the new deal in the US, the CCF in Canada, the Labour Party in the UK, and others. Enough was enough, and if it wasn't, WW2 was the final icing on the cake. The inequity of the system had proved itself by the '30s, and to add salt to the wounds, workers then had to go out and defend it against something worse. After that, many politicians suspected, rightly so, that there would be no going back to the status quo afterwards. 

And so capitalism, if it was to continue, had to change in form. The basics remained, but the unsavory edges were cut off. What emerged was social democracy, what is still seen in much of the world, and what Sanders is trying to urge upon the US.

We can take things a further step with a modest thought experiment. Let's say in some alternate universe, government insists on directly running all the Walmarts, Starbucks, Burger Kings, UPS, etc; while at the same time concludes that such as  schools, police, fire, pensions, the military, etc, are better off a private corporations. Would the conservative line then be: well, don't know if we can afford another Starbucks, it depends on those hard working folks at Acme Fire Protection, or 101st Airborne Inc, paying their taxes?

Society has goals, and funds them. There are arguments about which entity is better in the private sector, and which in the public, but ultimately, this is the bottom line. What determines the possible is the resources available, human and natural, the infrastructure existing, and the momentum of popular sentiment. If it is deemed important enough, and it can be done physically, then it tends to be.

Often what happens is that government picks up what does not offer an obvious quick buck, but is still considered necessary, while the private sector will pile into what does seem a quick buck, and so no interventions are necessary, in this context. I don't think it is accurate though to say capitalism ultimately funds anything, other than those personally profiting at the time.

Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

Certainly I would prefer socialism if the population was morally responsible but the evidence suggests otherwise.  Just as capitalist institutions have to be restrained by the threat of government violence the evidence suggests that the mob must be restrained from parasitism and idle self destruction.

If we take a look at the U.K. it is obvious that there are cracks appearing in the socialist utopia. 

"It has been found by the Poverty and Social Exclusion project at Bristol University in 2014,[6] that the proportion of households lacking three items or activities deemed necessary for life in the UK at that time (as defined by a survey of the wider population) has increased from 14% in 1983 to 33% in 2012."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_Kingdom

In some ways European socialism hasn't had time to fail.  Ignoring how biased these reports are to show ever increasing social injustice they are still significant.  In many ways we are living off of the blood, sweat and tears of previous generations.  Many people applaud developments such as the sexual revolution and the social safety net without considering the unintended consequences.  It isn't so much that previous generations were more moral in an absolute sense but today we lack the morality characterized by Roman piety.  A house divided cannot stand or in this case a house without foundations cannot stand.

We absolutely do benefit from the past efforts of others, probably more so than many would believe. That is exactly why the far right notions that whatever cash they hold in their hands is all theirs, every penny, and taxation is little better than theft, is completely wrong.

European socialism has roots in the 19th century, and truly gained steam after the 1930's. So how long do we need, do you think, for the experiment to run? I'd say what is failing right now is the stream of conservative thought that suggests just letting markets alone, and deregulate government, and all will be fine. The crash of 2008 illustrated that big time, and that would have been much worse if the powers that be at the time hadn't suddenly "remembered" the progressive interventions of the '30s and 40s, and sheepishly suggested massive government intervention in the economy, to stave off financial Armageddon. 

Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

The European experiment with socialism developed under the U.S. umbrella of military expansion.  While the U.S. has been reimbursed for this cost in the form of petro dollars and trade advantages it is no small matter that resources normally devoted to defence have been available to European nations to expand welfare.  Despite all evidence the Western intelligentsia has largely been unable to understand exactly how evil Stalin was.  It is easy to dismiss Stalin and Mao as 20th century totalitarianism without considering the social dynamics that put these men in positions of power.  Generations of class exploitation created Stalin and Mao but their real power came from the people who had the same irrational desire for revenge that the peasants of the French revolution had.  The rivers of blood spilt in the name of communism are not just on the hands of Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao.

This could spin off into another thread entirely, but it is a bit overdone. Social democracy would have likely taken the same shape in Europe if it had to chip in another 1 or 2% of GDP for defensive, or not.


Originally posted by wolfhnd wolfhnd wrote:

If we look at the work of Steven Pinker we can see that the world was becoming less violent long before democratic socialism arose.  Almost all of the things we associate with an increasing quality of life correlate more with improved economic conditions than any ideology.  It may be difficult for a rich man to pass through the eye of the needle but it appears it is easier for everyone else if they have material wealth.  Certainly European Socialism represents a high point in cultural evolution in terms of the humane treatment of social ills.  In many ways however it has not eclipsed the improvement in society in the more capitalistic U.S.

Next we should now turn to happiness as measured in suicide rates to see how socialism compares to capitalism.  Belgium is 34th, France 25th, U.S. is 30th, Germany 31st Australia 50th and United Kingdom 105th.   Clearly there is no direct correlation between wealth, happiness and suicide but it is also clear that a social welfare system alone does not prevent suicide.  Syria has one of the lowest suicide rates in the world yet no one would suggest that it is a happy socialist environment.  Consider then that the intensely competitive and economic divided Brazil ranks very low on the suicide list and high on the happiness index.  All this really demonstrates is that we have a lot to learn about social engineering and that the traditional blank slate philosophy of Western liberal intellectuals is demonstratively inadequate.     

     

You have again here seized on a rather curious statistic to make your case. Suicide is an intensely personal event, and does not necessarily follow such things as social policy. A survivor on a life raft on the ocean may remain chipper, while someone in paradise might be suicidally depressed.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 13 Feb 2016 at 12:19
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

 

Quote  Perhaps it is socialism that has kept capitalism alive in recent times. Capitalism, in its raw form, was problematic for the working class, and has caused friction and dissent at least since the industrial revolution. Boom and bust, exploitation and graft, poverty and resentment, all led to conflict in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, riots and strikes that eventually culminated in the biggest bust of all- the great depression.

The idea that Capitalism is at the root of the evils of the late 19th and 20th centuries ignores most of the preceding history.  There has always been peasant and slave revolts.  The most that can be said is that capitalism failed to erase these issues until the 1950s when increased production and more favorable wage structure did more to solve the problem than government programs in the proceeding 20 years.   


Quote We can take things a further step with a modest thought experiment. Let's say in some alternate universe, government insists on directly running all the Walmarts, Starbucks, Burger Kings, UPS, etc; while at the same time concludes that such as  schools, police, fire, pensions, the military, etc, are better off a private corporations. Would the conservative line then be: well, don't know if we can afford another Starbucks, it depends on those hard working folks at Acme Fire Protection, or 101st Airborne Inc, paying their taxes?

The problem is that income inequity is getting worse in places like the socialist system in the U.K.  If socialism really address the issues under discussion then things like national health care and welfare would be driving inequity down.  The evidence is that if you give people free stuff they have more stuff and less incentive to improve themselves in a downward spiral.  You need only look at the horrible conditions on reservation in Canada, Australia and the U.S. to see that a paternalistic approach does not work.   


Quote Society has goals, and funds them. There are arguments about which entity is better in the private sector, and which in the public, but ultimately, this is the bottom line. What determines the possible is the resources available, human and natural, the infrastructure existing, and the momentum of popular sentiment. If it is deemed important enough, and it can be done physically, then it tends to be.

Capitalist or socialist there is general agreement that there are things the government must do but societies don't have goals in the way individuals have goals.  Often those goals are in conflict consciously or unconsciously.  When I say that societies don't have goals I mean it in the same sense that other organism don't have goals because goals require consciousness.  Evolution produces reasons without a reasoner.  A supper organism like a civilization is more analogous to a termite colony than a tribe.  Of course we would like to change that trend and have some top down process not analogous to evolution but that is not necessarily the way we should go.  Directed bottom up design is becoming the norm in many fields of research and it is in my opinion is the future of cultural engineering as well. Complex chaotic system are beyond human intellectual capacity which is something we are just now understanding.

  
Quote Often what happens is that government picks up what does not offer an obvious quick buck, but is still considered necessary, while the private sector will pile into what does seem a quick buck, and so no interventions are necessary, in this context. I don't think it is accurate though to say capitalism ultimately funds anything, other than those personally profiting at the time.

This has more to do with the disconnect between finances and production than anything else.  A slave owner took care of his slaves but in today's world the normal relationship between master and slave have been replaced with an impersonal financial system.  This is where socialist make their greatest mistake in so far as they think morality can be imposed or that morality grows out of a more egalitarian system.  The moral decline and social disintegration of blacks in America that resulted from the welfare state should dissuade anyone of this hypothesis.  
   


Quote We absolutely do benefit from the past efforts of others, probably more so than many would believe. That is exactly why the far right notions that whatever cash they hold in their hands is all theirs, every penny, and taxation is little better than theft, is completely wrong.

In general we agree here but the abusive power of the state is likely to have the same effect that abusive discipline has in child rearing.  To me the current socialist ideology is completely at odds with human psychology.  To understand the fairness principle I would recommend the liberal historian Ian Morris.


Quote This could spin off into another thread entirely, but it is a bit overdone. Social democracy would have likely taken the same shape in Europe if it had to chip in another 1 or 2% of GDP for defensive, or not.


The GDP of the U.K. is around 3 trillion dollars.  The U.S. defense budget not counting diverted resources is around 700 billion so while U.S. defense spending is only 3 percent of GDP the relative costs for other nations would be crippling.   I use the U.K. as an example because being the world's policemen destroyed the British economy.

Indeed we could have another discussion here because the liberal world view is so distorted when it comes to defense that it appears they live in a parallel universe.  Even when liberal get it right they often are unable to see the big picture.  I like to use Einstein as an example.  Einstein objected to the use of nuclear weapons against Japan because he rightfully perceived what many people were unable to see.  Part of the motivation for an early end to the the war was indeed to prevent Russian involvement.  Japan could have been starved and conventionally bombed into submission with only light loses for the allies but it would have taken years.  What Einstein seems unable to deal with is that the greatest enemy of fascism was responsible for more mass murder than the Nazis.  Western liberalism has only partially come to grips with how they empowered the totalitarian regimes of Mao and Stalin since the collapse of the Soviet union.  I would suggest Noam Chomsky as another example of how intellect and political naivety are a dangerous combination.

     
Quote You have again here seized on a rather curious statistic to make your case. Suicide is an intensely personal event, and does not necessarily follow such things as social policy. A survivor on a life raft on the ocean may remain chipper, while someone in paradise might be suicidally depressed.

I was only focusing on the delusions of liberals in believing that social equality necessarily brings happiness.  Some level of material well being and social justice are necessary for happiness but the evidence is that happiness as measured across societies does not require equality.  I would go so far as to suggest that the evidence points in the opposite direction.  I would suggest that you look at other social animals to understand how important fairness is as a social construct.  What causes confusion here for liberal researchers is that fairness is based not on universal principles but on the way resources are generated in any particular economic system.  People getting a handout know they are getting a handout and produces a kind of resentment that is hard for many people to understand.  As most of our liberal intellectuals are academics I would go farther and suggest that they benefit from a system that promotes keeping the intellectually challenged well feed and feeling equal.  There is something hypocritical about a professor making several hundred thousand dollars on grants a year preaching economic equality in a world where intellectual ability correlates so precisely with success.  I'm sure these same people are aware they would be high on the list of the mob in any real physical revolution.  It isn't so much a case of duplicity as a subconscious awareness and a bizarre guilt complex.


I didn't take the time to careful review my post because this is just a conversation not a formal debate.  All these issues are debated by people with far superior intellectual capacities than I.  Like most people however I take my ideas from intellectuals I respect so while I may lack the ability to convey the concepts well I think they are worth considering.


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2016 at 08:29
I think that countries are like eco-systems, different plants and different animals thrive in different eco-systems.  As far as Saunders is concerned with his socialism lite, I don't see why America should be a second rate version of Europe when we could be (are) a first rate version of America.  America has its faults, but not being Europe is not one of them.

I have heard that Saunders hasn't every really done anything in his time in Congress, because he doesn't play well with others.  But that seems to be the flavor of the day, Trump, Cruz, Saunders, and of course Candidate Obama  _said_ that he could play nice with others, but never really did.  But one question we should ask, is that if Saunders or Cruz (tea party favorite) or Trump were elected, could they get anything done?  Or would they just be lame ducks? 


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2016 at 15:15
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I think that countries are like eco-systems, different plants and different animals thrive in different eco-systems.  As far as Saunders is concerned with his socialism lite, I don't see why America should be a second rate version of Europe when we could be (are) a first rate version of America.  America has its faults, but not being Europe is not one of them.

I have heard that Saunders hasn't every really done anything in his time in Congress, because he doesn't play well with others.  But that seems to be the flavor of the day, Trump, Cruz, Saunders, and of course Candidate Obama  _said_ that he could play nice with others, but never really did.  But one question we should ask, is that if Saunders or Cruz (tea party favorite) or Trump were elected, could they get anything done?  Or would they just be lame ducks? 

With a choice of Trump or Sanders do we really want them to get their thing done?


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2016 at 14:10
On NPR today (National Public Radio) there was an interesting story about the neighbors to Trump's golf course in Aberdeen Scotland.  Needless to say, most look back fondly to the time period before Trump became their neighbor.  I guess they were the ones who wanted to get Trump banned from the UK for his remarks on Muslims.

Trump is the gift that keeps on giving it to you, whether you want it or not.


Posted By: wolfhnd
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2016 at 22:00
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

On NPR today (National Public Radio) there was an interesting story about the neighbors to Trump's golf course in Aberdeen Scotland.  Needless to say, most look back fondly to the time period before Trump became their neighbor.  I guess they were the ones who wanted to get Trump banned from the UK for his remarks on Muslims.

Trump is the gift that keeps on giving it to you, whether you want it or not.

I felt the same way about Reagan as you feel about Trump.  I held my nose and voted for Reagan so I may still vote for Trump.  The situation are almost reversed because Reagan was a short term necessity and Trump is about countering the kind of self destructive, pathological empathy that political correctness represents.  

Since you are a philosopher I will put it to you this way.  I could vote for Sanders because he represents a kind of moral integrity and empathetic altruism that Trump cannot master but I believe in effective altruism.

Trump represents greedy authoritarianism but he is likely to do less harm in the long run that Sanders.  There are short term and long term elements to every ethical evaluation in my opinion.  In the short term Sanders may help a lot of people but in the long run there are the unintended consequences I think liberals should now be famous for.  I have been called a hypocrite but sometimes you have to rely on more than your emotions.    


Posted By: franciscosan
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2016 at 05:52
I suggest the article "Trump isn't real" by David Brooks in the NY Times, February 19th(?).

Wolfie, if you vote for Sanders, I am going to stop taking you out for a beer, and I won't ever forgive you, at least not for ten minutes afterwards.

It's like a Batman comic book, where the Joker ties Batman and Robin up in remote control cars, and he and his cohorts use them to play chicken.

Of course, one could always vote for Cthulu, (why settle for the lesser evil).  Cthulu is a dread elder god from HP Lovecraft, kind of looks like a combination between a squid and a bat.


Posted By: toyomotor
Date Posted: 21 Feb 2016 at 11:13
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


Trump is the gift that keeps on giving it to you, whether you want it or not.

You mean like Sexually Transmitted Diseases?   Wink


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“The biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age.”



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