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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #1121
    Trump is getting rid of the system, so his subordinates in the hierarchy will conduct drone strikes without the approval of the president. So it won't matter how cavalier he is. He won't be responsible (or accountable).
    Yeah, I never got the feeling Donald Trump was ever interested in governing. Not even to pro-actively do anything bad, but just:

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    I mean really, the right way to think about Donald Trump becoming president is as a business transaction. Imagine what happens when a big corporation buys a majority stake in another company, and shuffles things around enough to optimize its operations for the parent company's financial interests. Not so much that the business is wiped out, but certainly not in any way that unilaterally benefits the ethos of the old company.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 03-13-2017 at 11:00 PM.

  2. #1122
    And like a big company, he's not going to actively try to stop things like disasters or terrorists attacks. (But after there is, he'll have a recall.)

  3. #1123
    "governments should be run like businesses"

  4. #1124
    This all makes sense too, since the modern state more or less exists to protect the guilty (as Frum puts it), but with corporations in general as the guilty parties. I mean, democratically that's not what's supposed to happen, but when you have half the country complicit with anti-regulation lobbyists, it's not hard to see which side eventually wins.

    Now we have somebody who sees everything from a corporate lens running the government itself, to make the mechanism bidirectional. Goverment == corporate America => fascism.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 03-13-2017 at 11:02 PM.

  5. #1125
    This is the part where anarcho-capitalist theorists explain to me how the marketplace of feudal governments will be forced by "market" forces to do a good job of running their kingdoms, simply because by owning property you are automatically incentivized to make it a utopia (like it is in all big companies).

    (The funny part about this is that taken to the extreme, this reasoning leads anarcho-capitalists to defend the exact opposite of libertarianism, when the entire world is run by a single corporation. Congratulations, the world converged to your ideal utopia, according to your model of the world where externalities can only be solved by turning everything into the property of some Randian hero. It's too bad that you didn't think about this more before you implemented it in practice, but meanwhile such and such billionaires seem to have done pretty well by letting you trick yourself long enough for them to make bank.)
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 03-13-2017 at 11:13 PM.

  6. #1126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    If we're going to make arguments based on the temperament of Trump, we should be able to do the same about Obama.

    Obama was elected as an anti-war president. It seems that that was a reflection of his moral convictions. Why would he perform targeted killings, unless it was really necessary?

    It strikes me that when Obama came into office, he thought the USG had gotten distracted from the war on terror by focusing on the Iraq War, and wasn't doing enough to preempt terrorist attacks. Doing so would require going after the leaders of terrorist organizations and taking them out, destroying the operational capacity of the groups. He saw what the threats were, and thought they were serious enough that something -- i.e., drone strikes -- had to be done.

    So, boring argument: Given who Obama is, it seems we should've trusted that he had to do it, and that it's seem more reasonable if we too could see the intelligence.



    Thing about that: Obama set up institutional and legal structures that required the president to sign off personally on most (but not all) targeted killings (although he was informed of the others). Trump is getting rid of the system, so his subordinates in the hierarchy will conduct drone strikes without the approval of the president. So it won't matter how cavalier he is. He won't be responsible (or accountable).
    If the strikes are effective and cause no collateral damage-fine. My only real contention is the civilian deaths, which aren't bad if you trust the official numbers, but those have been disputed to be much higher by most, if not all serious independent attempts to verify. You're right that I'm speaking boldly without evidence in regards to Trump, maybe there really is a need to be doing more assassinations, I don't really know. And yeah I'm judging Trump's character, when the guy who openly advocated for killing the families of terrorists gets in control of a sophisticated assassination program, it makes me worry when that program sees more use, and I think rightly so, not because I think he's actually doing that but I see little empathy or regard for the rights of human beings so I wouldn't be surprised if he's authorizing strikes more liberally than Obama was and will cause more unnecessary death.

    Though, I'll admit, even for Obama I'm skeptical that most of the legitimate targets posed any serious threat to the U.S.

  7. #1127
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    What are all your opinions on Wikileaks? Are they connected to Russia? Are they trying to distract? Most Democrat comments/articles I read online are convinced of this.

  8. #1128
    Yes to all... tentatively. There's good reason for suspicion, but it's far from certain.

  9. #1129
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    What are all your opinions on Wikileaks? Are they connected to Russia? Are they trying to distract? Most Democrat comments/articles I read online are convinced of this.
    The best part about this is how none of them can seem to remember how much they loved wikileaks two presidents ago
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  10. #1130
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I can't imagine why an organization led by Julian Assange might seem to have a strong anti-American stance, regardless of who is nominally in power there.

  11. #1131
    because australians hate our freedom and semi automatic firearms
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  12. #1132
    Child's Play CharityGoY's Pessimistic Soy Boy Toy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    This is the part where anarcho-capitalist theorists explain to me how the marketplace of feudal governments will be forced by "market" forces to do a good job of running their kingdoms, simply because by owning property you are automatically incentivized to make it a utopia (like it is in all big companies).

    (The funny part about this is that taken to the extreme, this reasoning leads anarcho-capitalists to defend the exact opposite of libertarianism, when the entire world is run by a single corporation. Congratulations, the world converged to your ideal utopia, according to your model of the world where externalities can only be solved by turning everything into the property of some Randian hero. It's too bad that you didn't think about this more before you implemented it in practice, but meanwhile such and such billionaires seem to have done pretty well by letting you trick yourself long enough for them to make bank.)
    This a million times over. I have actually convinced several of my OG libertarian Ron Paul friends to give up the cause by just asking what the difference was between a government and the non-competitive oligarchy. Somethings changed though, because before when I'd use this argument they'd say that the magical hand of the free market would resist collusion and the only reason we have any problems at all is government interference. I think they're starting to recognize that corporations can interfere with individual freedoms, too. I'm not sure why that was such a leap two presidents ago.
    ᵗʰᵉᵇˢᵍ๒ᵍᵐᵃᶥᶫ∙ᶜᵒᵐ
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  13. #1133
    I would hazard to guess that your social circle has become older and wiser.

    There are plenty of impressionable people out there, but I would guess that the more recent batch of young right-leaning men seem to be more interested in identity politics than utopianism.

    Of course the less extremely stated versions of this "self-regulation" idea is still a core plank of the Reaganaut talk radio alternative universe, but that's more of a one-way stream of propaganda beaming down into people's heads and then spewed into comments sections.

  14. #1134
    Jones, how are you so familiar with right-wing radio? lol

  15. #1135
    By listening to it, in my car. I guess I didn't always have the same antipathy toward the right that I do now and was willing to listen to their point of view, but at this point it's just morbid curiosity.

    Not so much any more, though. It was more entertaining and less depressing to consume during the Obama years, when their tirades didn't actually inform government policy. Of course, the fact that the right wing propaganda masters actually have the ear of those wielding the levers of power is just the thing that makes them frighteningly relevant now,...but, the summaries on Mark Levin's web page depict a narrative so off the rails by now (he's the one who incepted into Breitbart and thus into Trump himself, that Obama was tapping his phones) that I don't see myself learning anything new about the underbelly of the conservative propaganda machine by continuing to subject myself to such predictably insane drivel any longer (there's no information to be obtained by listening to see if somebody without standards can go lower than is logically possible).
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 03-16-2017 at 07:11 PM.

  16. #1136
    I'll admit, though, that I'd have saved myself some time if I'd more quickly made the jump from "know thy enemy" to "know thy enemy is insane".

  17. #1137
    I bet there's more to take from it than that! Even though it is a valuable lesson, too.

  18. #1138
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    I really wishI had been more vocal in reminding people that Hillary really wasn't that bad and to vote for her over Trump.

  19. #1139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Yes to all... tentatively. There's good reason for suspicion, but it's far from certain.
    Do you think Assange is a Russian agent? I find it plausible, if unlikely, that he was compromised by Russia in some way. But the idea that he was always a Russian stooge I find absurd, some people point to a program he did on RT years ago as proof, but I believe that has more to do with him being 1) routinely anti-American foreign policy and 2) craving viewership than out of some pro-Russian bias. Assange has spoken on why he doesn't do much Russian stuff, and his response was twofold: one, Russia actually has a culture of leakers and critics on it's own, and two, Wikileaks has no Russian-speakers on staff. Assange also, you know, praised Pussy Riot and has spoken critically about Putin in multiple books.

    I think you can read the election as a false attempt at objectivity. Assange probably thought it was material relevant to the election, and that the truth could only be a good thing in the election. He also fairly consistently claimed he thought Hillary would win, even long before Trump was anywhere in the polls. So I think he's more naive and unaware of the political consequences of his actions than an actual malicious actor.

    I'd be curious though if you had an argument for why you think what you said in this post.

  20. #1140
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Do you think Assange is a Russian agent?
    I don't even know what that would mean. Was he trained by FSB? Uh. Has he received financial or political support from Russia for some things he's done? Would either make him a Russian agent? In some trivial way, it's probably fair to call him a Russian agent as long as he's knowingly promoting the interests of the Russian government. Assuming that's what happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I'd be curious though if you had an argument for why you think what you said in this post.
    The argument goes something like this: "where there's smoke, there's fire... sometimes".

  21. #1141
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Opposed to US =/= Supportive of Russia

  22. #1142
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    Putin's "moral equivalence" argument is dangerous, but so is mainstream America's "moral inequivalence" argument. Which is why I spend so much time rhetorically defending Russia, because Americans are moral hypocrites.

  23. #1143
    Ehm. You really spend a lot of time bolstering the image of Russia relative to the United States?

  24. #1144
    I still think it's better to believe in universal human rights, to promote human rights throughout the world, and to sometimes fail to live up the ideals associated with them, than not to believe in them at all.

  25. #1145
    The more I read about Russia, the more it seems like Putin (and Medeved) should be taken at their word. They both say that Russia was humiliated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they want to restore it as a great power. That is their country's raison d'etre, its great driving purpose.

    Does that have any moral value from which can be derived universal principles? Or from which can be derived a program for global leadership?

    That is, aside from the proposition that Russia should act to empower itself?

  26. #1146
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    I don't get your point, I do believe in those things. My point is that Americans tend to believe we are morally superior in a transcendental way, when we aren't.

  27. #1147
    How can you say:

    Americans tend to believe we are morally superior in a transcendental way, when we aren't.
    And still agree with me?

    You think that many Americans don't acknowledge that we sometimes don't live up to our ideals?

  28. #1148
    And that's American moral hypocrisy?

  29. #1149
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    When it's America, it's "sometimes we **** up, but we are intrinsically okay", when it's Russia, it's "Putin is inherently evil". Nobody will put it in those words but if you pay attention the rhetoric communicates exactly this.

  30. #1150
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    The more I read about Russia, the more it seems like Putin (and Medeved) should be taken at their word. They both say that Russia was humiliated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they want to restore it as a great power. That is their country's raison d'etre, its great driving purpose.
    There was a great piece in the March 6 issue of the New Yorker that goes deeply into this, among other things. You should definitely be taking Putin at his word on this.

  31. #1151
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    When it's America, it's "sometimes we **** up, but we are intrinsically okay", when it's Russia, it's "Putin is inherently evil". Nobody will put it in those words but if you pay attention the rhetoric communicates exactly this.
    I don't see how this is any different than "sometime's I'm a bad driver too, but the guy who just cut me off is inherently evil".

  32. #1152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    And that's American moral hypocrisy?
    When Putin invades Ukraine, he's an brutal vicious dictator trying to control the world, when the U.S. invades Iraq it's a noble mistake.

  33. #1153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I don't see how this is any different than "sometime's I'm a bad driver too, but the guy who just cut me off is inherently evil".
    It's no different, we're psychologically wired to think our crimes aren't as bad as anyone else's. But if we are to be responsible citizens we need to be vocal and political about what our own government does. And this requires accurate and critical self-reflection.

    I actually think a good majority of Americans do believe the right things, but their good motivations are definitely twisted and spun by media, corporate and government intervention. And most people are politically alienated for this very reason.

  34. #1154
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    When Putin invades Ukraine, he's an brutal vicious dictator trying to control the world, when the U.S. invades Iraq it's a noble mistake.
    Putin invaded Ukraine in order to weaken NATO and the United States, and to galvanize public support through acts of military strength. No ideals. It's a power play.

    I'm not sure why I can't condemn that without being hypocritical.

  35. #1155
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    Intentions matter & there's quite a difference between a country where both sides of the political aisle now consider some of our mistakes to be just that & one where there's crickets chirping because the opposition disappears. Also, there's a significant difference between annexation & whatever the **** we call what we did in Iraq. I don't entirely disagree with your point, but I do think that it's impossible for every country/culture to be morally equivalent. I also think that while it may be true that the U.S. is responsible, to some degree, for the problems going on in the Middle East, it's quite possible that we just sped up the inevitable. I don't actually think that our intentions in Iraq were good but I don't think Americans would've backed the decision had they not been deceived.
    ? :)

  36. #1156
    Quote Originally Posted by Mentat View Post
    Intentions matter
    typical white male, opinion disregarded.

    More seriously, did you see the trainwreck of a conversation that Sam Harris posted between him and Chomsky?
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  37. #1157
    What? Which one? from 2015?

  38. #1158

  39. #1159

  40. #1160
    I can't think of anything more blasphemous than using the term "collateral damage" in the presence of Noam Chomsky.

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