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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #15041
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    There are a couple of things to consider here. Clinton had a relitivly easy presidency. He got to ride the dot com bubble for most of his tenure, and got to ride out the period between desert storm and 9/11 when the US had proved that it really was no one to mess with, and all it's major geopolitical enemies had essentially collapsed. He was generally liked, because there wasn't a whole lot to go wrong. Because the lack of opportunity, his critics necessarily were dealing with far more petty issues.

    Bush was a relatively poor president, but he also had far more difficult issues to deal with. Bush inherited the dot com bust, and got hit with 9/11 early on.
    Yeah, but 9/11 isn’t a tragedy that simply befell the United States. Consistent effort had been put towards trying to “get” bin Ladin throughout the Clinton administration (e.g., Operation Infinite Reach), and when Bush came into power, Condi Rice, his NSC advisor, dismantled much of the infrastructure/operations that had been put in place to combat and thwart Al Qaida (who’d attacked the US Embassy in Kenya and the USS Cole in Yemen during the late 90s). In other words, as is well known, 9/11 was likely preventable, but the Bush administration didn’t take the threat seriously. (We all know it overlooked that famous intelligence report that said an attack was imminent.) There are many reasons why, but it can be partially attributed to the typical arrogance of incoming administrations, who often do the opposite of whatever the previous administration did. Another factor is that Condi Rice was a Russia expert, for that reason and was disinclined to see non-state actors as serious security threats. There are other factors as well.

    So yeah, Bush got “hit” with some graver challenges than Clinton, but Clinton had had Al-Qaida as an issue too, and addressed it far more responsibly than Bush. It’s true that Clinton got to bask in the glow of post-Cold War American triumphalism, and that it gave Clinton a material boost in foreign policy (e.g., many people don’t appreciate how it was a primary motivating factor in securing the Oslo Accords). But Bush would have benefited from it too, had Bush not spoiled the good will the US received from the international community and engaged in the Iraq War, which almost singlehandedly destroyed the international perception of American hegemony and global leadership. (It should be noted too that the Iraq War was itself a product of that triumphalism, seeing as the optimism about regime change in Iraq was a consequence of the rapid and successful democratization of many post-Soviet states.)

    I agree, however, that the full significance of the bipartisan support for the war is often downplayed by Democratic partisans. It’s not merely that Democrats voted for the war because our politics at the time was less polarized, and Democrats were passively willing to assent to a Republican president’s leadership, out of collegiality, or something like that. There was also a firmly felt bipartisan conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy who needed to be dealt with, which was largely responsible for Democratic support for the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    When the president is Republican, Democrats remember that they are anti-war. When a Democrat is president, Republicans remember that they don't like spending.
    Definitely. The post-Obama whiplash has been “cray.”
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-25-2019 at 06:19 AM.

  2. #15042
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I read most of that (though skimmed in places). Reading his bio on wiki I can see he is quite the interesting guy.

    Lots of interesting territory covered in that essay. He also seems to be a talented writer, which doesn't surprise since it looks like he's written several books, not to mention that he has what looks like a wealth of interesting experience to draw from. And here's a ten minute panel segment he delivered on some of the same stuff (although I only listened for a couple minutes).

    I can't help but raise some criticism, though: some of the concepts he reasons with come across as so overarching as to be muddled / difficult to disprove, and, ultimately, somewhat reductionist. I think this is something that a lot of feminist writers fall prey to already (all discussion of power structures are rolled into one thing called patriarchy), but on top of that he (seems to?) ground all human conflict in a discussion about war. Or, maybe he is right to reason like this, and what I see as reductionist is necessary in order to reveal an aspect of human civilization that civilians are blind to? (Is "civil" society really just a veneer over a deeper power structure that is only revealed to those who have first hand experience with the power structures that armed conflict create (i.e., the military)?)

    If I had to pick one seemingly contentious claim here that I can't quite wrap my head around (and if I understand it correctly), it is that, somehow, patriarchy is more fundamental than either capitalism or war. If I understand correctly, I imagine he is arguing this in part by reasoning that war begot capitalism (or vice versa?), and that patriarchy begot war. Or in the reverse direction as well (quoting directly): "modern patriarchy is a creature of liberalism".

    In fact I can't actually say that it seems wrong per se, although it seems like a pretty bold thing to claim, as far as these things go.

    Edit: Or maybe I am the reductionist one? My caricature seems much more so that his prose, which, going back to, is a pleasure to read and is quite measured despite all the overarching themes. Maybe I'm just too dumb to understand this?
    I liked the part where Goff wrote how on his home planet, fathers send their sons to military boarding school to teach them toxic masculinity. On our planet it's mostly because they start barbecuing cats.

  3. #15043
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    Yesterday I watched a TED talk by some game theorist that seems pertinent to the discussion that wasn't about the feminist writer. I'm interested in whether the idea has any utility to you guys.

    Now, I understand these TEDs just scrape the surface of any topic so I don't pretend to have learned much. First the guy laid out the concept of game theory. That was helpful because I hadn't really looked into it. I mean, his rudimentary explanation made me google more to truly establish what was meant by game theory.

    I realize I'm taking my time getting to the point, and that almost all of what I just wrote is redundant. And so is this part. I'm going to keep it all in, anyway, maybe because I have OCD. But that's just my lousy justification for putting you through all of that if you're reading this message.

    Anyway. He said there are two types of games: finite and infinite. A finite game is one where there is a more concrete objective, and where the first player to reach that objective is the winner of the game. Like chess, for instance: the game ends when one player captures the king, and that player wins.

    In an infinite game, there is no winner as such. There are only players who drop out of the game, leaving the rest to continue playing. The "objective" is to perpetuate the game, to keep playing. This is where the TED talker introduced the idea that the Cold War between the US and Soviet Union was an infinite game. He then pointed out that the US didn't "win", although Americans acted as though they did (which he suggests was a big mistake). It was not a finite game but an infinite one, so instead of America winning, it was the Soviet Union who dropped out of the game.

    And then, he suggests, the game never ended. In fact, new players emerged. The Cold War tension was maintained via three main components:

    1. The ideology of capitalism vs. the ideology of communism, the latter of which was replaced by radical Islam.

    2. Nuclear weapons, or the status quo of mutually assured destruction. The Soviet side of this was replaced by smaller states hostile to America that have nuclear arsenal, namely North Korea and possibly Iran.

    3. The economic belligerence between the two superpowers. The USSR's role in this has been replaced by China.

    According to this guy, the problem for the US is that they're trying to fight this infinite game on finite terms. When America invades a country in the Middle East, for example, they do so in order to protect finite interests. Get rid of terrorists, for example. Let's do that and we win the game, they presuppose (for the sake of at least a modicum of brevity, let's not get into more nefarious motives behind the US invading a country). But this doesn't work, and yet America continues to make the mistake.

    Conversely, America's adversaries have the clear objective of eliminating America from the game. Achieving that is not in the foreseeable future due to the current balance of power, but it enables the US's adversaries to come together with said objective. For example, it enables the spread of radicalism against that which America perceivably stands for.

    Ultimately, the game theorist proposed that instead of trying to play a finite game (by simply trying to secure its interests abroad) America should predicate its actions on ethical values that are idealistically thought of as core American ones. Liberty, humaneness, justice, that sort of thing. Values, he says, are perfectly suited for this infinite game, because values are an infinite resource. Guantanamo Bay or the Iraq War, for instance, are symptomatic of trying to play the finite game. Had US foreign policy been filtered through the mentioned idealistic values, such mistakes could have been avoided.

    Or maybe game theory is irrelevant and the above is all just a superfluous way of saying that America shouldn't be so interventionist because it hurts America more than it does its adversaries.
    Last edited by Krokodile; 07-25-2019 at 08:49 AM.

  4. #15044
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    “Finite game” sounds a lot like “milestone” to me

  5. #15045
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    I personally can't justify a distinction in this context. I'm putting forth the ideas of the talk, or at least how I understood them, here because I can't figure out whether that application of game theory has any value. The last sentence of my post spells out my suspicion.

  6. #15046
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    Yeah, but 9/11 isn’t a tragedy that simply befell the United States. Consistent effort had been put towards trying to “get” bin Ladin throughout the Clinton administration (e.g., Operation Infinite Reach), and when Bush came into power, Condi Rice, his NSC advisor, dismantled much of the infrastructure/operations that had been put in place to combat and thwart Al Qaida (who’d attacked the US Embassy in Kenya and the USS Cole in Yemen during the late 90s). In other words, as is well known, 9/11 was likely preventable, but the Bush administration didn’t take the threat seriously. (We all know it overlooked that famous intelligence report that said an attack was imminent.) There are many reasons why, but it can be partially attributed to the typical arrogance of incoming administrations, who often do the opposite of whatever the previous administration did. Another factor is that Condi Rice was a Russia expert, for that reason and was disinclined to see non-state actors as serious security threats. There are other factors as well.
    I mean, yeah, Bush did drop the ball on Bin Laden, but the proportional impact was way higher than could have been expected, and way worse than most presidents have had to deal with for similar decisions. I mean, realistically, if another 93 WTC Bombing had happened, it'd have been, "Oh that sucks, I guess we were wrong about that." To a pre-9/11 world, that scale of attack is pretty far fetched. It sounds more like a Tom Clancy novel than reality. I think it does go along way to explaining why Bush went so overboard with invading Iraq and everything else. He spent his whole tenure paranoid and terrified that it'd happen again, and was trying to compensate for a mistake he made at the very beginning of his administration.



    Quote Originally Posted by Krokodile View Post

    According to this guy, the problem for the US is that they're trying to fight this infinite game on finite terms. When America invades a country in the Middle East, for example, they do so in order to protect finite interests. Get rid of terrorists, for example. Let's do that and we win the game, they presuppose (for the sake of at least a modicum of brevity, let's not get into more nefarious motives behind the US invading a country). But this doesn't work, and yet America continues to make the mistake.

    Conversely, America's adversaries have the clear objective of eliminating America from the game. Achieving that is not in the foreseeable future due to the current balance of power, but it enables the US's adversaries to come together with said objective. For example, it enables the spread of radicalism against that which America perceivably stands for.
    I think it'll be at least another generation before we could possibly see American boots on the ground in the middle east, but probably much longer. Everyone is extremely disillusioned by Afghanistan and Iraq. The last Republican debates involved all the candidates trying to one up each other on how much Bush's foreign policy sucked. Everyone keeps talking about Trump wanting to invade Iran. It just won't happen. Trump panders to his base, and even though his base hates Iran, they don't want boots on the ground. Plus all of his advisers have probably told him that a ground war would be bloody, and the last thing he wants is to be compared to Bush.

  7. #15047
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I mean, yeah, Bush did drop the ball on Bin Laden, but the proportional impact was way higher than could have been expected, and way worse than most presidents have had to deal with for similar decisions. I mean, realistically, if another 93 WTC Bombing had happened, it'd have been, "Oh that sucks, I guess we were wrong about that." To a pre-9/11 world, that scale of attack is pretty far fetched. It sounds more like a Tom Clancy novel than reality. I think it does go along way to explaining why Bush went so overboard with invading Iraq and everything else. He spent his whole tenure paranoid and terrified that it'd happen again, and was trying to compensate for a mistake he made at the very beginning of his administration.
    I definitely agree that the Bush admin has adopted the mentality that dramatic actions are worth taking even if only to prevent things with a small possibility of occurring, because 9/11 demonstrated the potential scale of damage was so great. The concern that next time the attack will be even larger was also a factor in making Iraq a target, as the admin feared use of WMDs were an obvious way to increase the scale of the attack. These days we forget, but the fear wasn’t only that Saddam would use WMDs against the US. It was also that, since totalitarian regimes are generally brittle, his regime might fall, and the weapons would fall into the wrong hands in the instability that would follow. It’s not always clear to me that the counter factual world where the Iraq War doesn’t happen is a better, safer world. It probably is, but it’s not a no-brainer.

  8. #15048
    Quote Originally Posted by Krokodile View Post
    I personally can't justify a distinction in this context. I'm putting forth the ideas of the talk, or at least how I understood them, here because I can't figure out whether that application of game theory has any value. The last sentence of my post spells out my suspicion.
    It does seem a little incoherent too me. I’m not sure why “get the US to leave the region” is fundamentally different in kind as an objective from “stop terrorism” or “dismantle Al Qaida and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to the US homeland.” Like, maybe the former seems somehow like a more attainable goal than the latter because the terrorist groups have more skin in the game. But both sides have to connect their proximate, short-term goals with long-term, big picture objectives. The general theory is kind of neat, though, in how it describes the continuities between the Cold War and the War on Terrorism.

  9. #15049
    [QUOTE=Reverend Jones;1228562]

    I can't help but raise some criticism, though: some of the concepts he reasons with come across as so overarching as to be muddled / difficult to disprove, and, ultimately, somewhat reductionist.[quote]

    For sure.

    I think this is something that a lot of feminist writers fall prey to already (all discussion of power structures are rolled into one thing called patriarchy), but on top of that he (seems to?) ground all human conflict in a discussion about war. Or, maybe he is right to reason like this, and what I see as reductionist is necessary in order to reveal an aspect of human civilization that civilians are blind to? (Is "civil" society really just a veneer over a deeper power structure that is only revealed to those who have first hand experience with the power structures that armed conflict create (i.e., the military)?)
    This is sort of the argument that lots of US veterans make, left or right. Somehow, the experience of the military and especially war theaters and most especially participating in combat (to a degree that varies, there is a pecking order of how combat-y you got) is the most really real and gives you special insight on everything else about the world because it is based on power which is amusing because half the time it sounds like they are a [peterson]post modern neo marxist[/peterson] quoting Foucault or something. That's largely why his stuff is so interesting to me (I just found out about his body of work, I've only known him as a clip people play to talk people out of the military) because it is a radically different (and probably more useful than the typical macho version) take on what feels like the same bizarre reduction of what I definitely had to sit through and still have to whenever I end up around a bunch of overly masc dudes.

    I also had this on in the background yesterday:



    Where Thiel spends a lot of time talking with his minion about how central violence is to humans or society or something. The contrast of Goff's ideas and Thiel's kind of brought me back to my idea that violence is certainly bedrock to humans at present, and that it's character now is definitely racist, classist, and misogynistic and while that is distilled and most obvious in the military and other bro type environments and acknowledged most readily in feminism I really have trouble engaging anyone's analysis for an extended period of time. I'd rather sit through the feminist one though.

    Couldn't watch that panel, skipped around and heard one dude reference Dave Grossman and turned off.
    sniff

  10. #15050
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    Based on what kroko described I think the “infinite game” is basically along the lines of achieving or sustaining global hegemony, and the argument is basically that the US is in that game and playing it poorly, rather than some other game and playing it well.

  11. #15051
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Based on what kroko described I think the “infinite game” is basically along the lines of achieving or sustaining global hegemony, and the argument is basically that the US is in that game and playing it poorly, rather than some other game and playing it well.
    I mean I get the idea of the difference is one game has a clearly defined “victory condition” and the other doesn’t, except for being the last participant to withdraw. But I think you could define the US’ objectives as either type of game, and the same applies to the “terrorists” (for lack of a better nomenclature). Like, don’t the “the terrorists” also win by being the last man standing, just as the US “won” the infinite game of the Cold War, by being the last man standing? Alternatively, if the US eliminated the terrorists, it wouldn’t be playing an infinite game on finite terms. It would just be winning an infinite game, wouldn’t it? It seems like the distinction doesn’t hold very well.
    Last edited by Eversor; 07-25-2019 at 10:59 AM.

  12. #15052
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
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    https://youtube.com/watch?v=0bFs6ZiynSU

    It's possible that I even got the main thrust of the talk wrong. I don't know if anyone cares about the video, but there it is in case someone wants to see if he's making more sense than I am in trying to explain it. Also, it's actually almost ten minutes so I remembered it was shorter than it is.

  13. #15053
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Based on what kroko described I think the “infinite game” is basically along the lines of achieving or sustaining global hegemony, and the argument is basically that the US is in that game and playing it poorly, rather than some other game and playing it well.
    Basically what I’m getting at here is that I don’t think Americans are honesty defining the goals of US foreign policy. Or, more generally, there seems to be an assumption that global hegemony is really something countries want for the sake of it, rather than being stuck with global hegemony because it was accidentally achieved in pursuit of other goals.

    Like, did the US really ever want to rule the world, or did it just want to sell **** to other countries? Because pretty much everything the US accomplished worldwide is consistent with selling ****, not with domination for the sake of domination. Now that the world is sufficiently liberal and tolerant of American ownership, and the US no longer has to actively fight for things like... being able to exchange currencies, having safe water ways, having to maintain its hegemony smells an awful lot like subsidizing the rest of the worlds’ corporations. But if the US stops doing it, they don’t “rule the world” anymore.

  14. #15054
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    I mean I get the idea of the difference is one game has a clearly defined “victory condition” and the other doesn’t, except for being the last participant to withdraw. But I think you could define the US’ objectives as either type of game, and the same applies to the “terrorists” (for lack of a better nomenclature). Like, don’t the “the terrorists” also win by being the last man standing, just as the US “won” the infinite game of the Cold War, by being the last man standing? Alternatively, if the US eliminated the terrorists, it wouldn’t be playing an infinite game on finite terms. It would just be winning an infinite game, wouldn’t it? It seems like the distinction doesn’t hold very well.
    Mark “shockingly not a socialist” Blyth posits that the purpose of a nation is to service the rich, so if you accept that I’m not sure the US is actually playing the game at all. Maybe the Soviet Union and the terrorists are playing the “get America to quit the infinite game” game, but it’s probably ok to take at face value that the US was trying to contain the Soviet Union (where Americans weren’t allowed to invest) and slaughter Arab terrorists (who murdered a bunch of bankers).

  15. #15055
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Mark “shockingly not a socialist” Blyth posits that the purpose of a nation is to service the rich
    Heh.

    I mean that’s effectively the same as when Chomsky defines the de facto “national interests” of the US as whatever the interests of the financial class is. (Not that that makes Blyth any more or less socialist.)

  16. #15056
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Mark “shockingly not a socialist” Blyth posits that the purpose of a nation is to service the rich, so if you accept that I’m not sure the US is actually playing the game at all. Maybe the Soviet Union and the terrorists are playing the “get America to quit the infinite game” game, but it’s probably ok to take at face value that the US was trying to contain the Soviet Union (where Americans weren’t allowed to invest) and slaughter Arab terrorists (who murdered a bunch of bankers).
    Anyway, that seems right to me, especially regarding how the US and so-called “revisionist powers” are playing different games. I don’t think you can entirely discount the ideological dimension, though. I do think that a lesson of both World Wars was that the US and the world are both better served by a more militarily assertive and non-isolationist US, and not merely because it means more markets for US businesses, but because world war is just really bad (and I think it’s also worth taking seriously the ostensive motivation that authoritarianism is really bad).

  17. #15057
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    Couldn't watch that panel, skipped around and heard one dude reference Dave Grossman and turned off.
    Good, it was bad. Goff seemed the most reasonable guy there though.

  18. #15058
    I lied actually, it wasn't when the national guard dude referenced on killing and on combat, it was when he said that when people in the military say getting smoked they mean when you exercise so hard that your head is literally smoking. wtf?
    sniff

  19. #15059
    ahah yeah. I was waiting for a punch-line there but then wtf is right

    "literally"

  20. #15060
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    War is one of the most powerful formative practices in the development of masculinity understood as domination and violence; and recursively, masculinity established as domination and violence reproduces the practice of war.
    If I can go full evopsych on the author: the reason humans are capable of war is none other than evolution makes it a good behavioral trait to pass on:



    There ain't no weird recursive causal loop. It's that killing your competition when there isn't enough to go around will make you more likely to survive, so that kind of behavior is selected for. War is just an extension of this instinct into society.

  21. #15061
    What I found amusing was how Freudian Goff was. I had to link that Dr. Strangelove opening (with the highly suggestive airborne 'refueling') when he likened nipples and vaginas to the "permeable membranes" of social power structures that men are afraid to penetrate because they enjoy the benefits of patriarchy, which (he claims) also explains their "disgust reaction" to female sexuality.

    That said, I'm undecided if I should be more disgusted by Freudian or EvoPsych reductionism.

    (Btw, from what I've read, the whole Strangelove movie is pretty Freudian in its themes. The ending was supposed to be a giant cream pie fight, but the actors couldn't stop laughing and they had to cut it.)
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-25-2019 at 01:56 PM.

  22. #15062
    I think that's Kubrick's whole body of work is some sort of high evopsych art.
    sniff

  23. #15063
    I mean Strangelove is entirely a takedown of the sexual hangups and obsessions of men in power
    sniff

  24. #15064
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    What I found amusing was how Freudian Goff was. I had to link that Dr. Strangelove opening (with the highly suggestive airborne 'refueling') when he likened nipples and vaginas to the "permeable membranes" of social power structures that men are afraid to penetrate because they enjoy the benefits of patriarchy, which also explains their "disgust reaction" to female sexuality.

    That said, I'm undecided if I be more disgusted by Freudian or EvoPsych reductionism.

    (Btw, from what I've read, the whole Strangelove movie is pretty Freudian in its themes. The ending was supposed to be a giant cream pie fight, but the actors couldn't stop laughing and they had to cut it.)
    Just accept both reductionisms, and write about the interplay between them. Then it's a complexity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    I mean Strangelove is entirely a takedown of the sexual hangups and obsessions of men in power
    Lots of Kubrick films are about male impotence.. in fact nearly all. Except 2001.

  25. #15065
    Lol so I just did a random search of evopsych and /r/evopsych turned up. This stuff is pretty ripe for satire, e.g.,

    https://www.reddit.com/r/evopsych/co..._muscular_men/

  26. #15066
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Lol so I just did a random search of evopsych and /r/evopsych turned up. This stuff is pretty ripe for satire, e.g.,

    https://www.reddit.com/r/evopsych/co..._muscular_men/
    Both, it also means they're capable of getting food.


    I for one prefer men with muscles because they're capable of being food.
    sniff

  27. #15067
    Name:  GIJoe.jpg
Views: 63
Size:  52.3 KB

    "What's it mean to be GI Joe?"

    "America's number one fighting force, sir!"

    "And that means?

    "Big muscles, sir!"

    "And?"

    "Big missiles, sir!"

    Name:  Missiles.jpg
Views: 65
Size:  81.0 KB

  28. #15068
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Anyway, that seems right to me, especially regarding how the US and so-called “revisionist powers” are playing different games. I don’t think you can entirely discount the ideological dimension, though. I do think that a lesson of both World Wars was that the US and the world are both better served by a more militarily assertive and non-isolationist US, and not merely because it means more markets for US businesses, but because world war is just really bad (and I think it’s also worth taking seriously the ostensive motivation that authoritarianism is really bad).
    World war is really bad, but at the same time I’m not willing to accept as axioms that the US 1.) is guaranteed to always be better than world war when uncontested, and 2.) actually has a motive to avoid world war when not.

    So while we might debate exactly whose interests are paramount to the United States government, we can probably agree that my interests, as a random non-American dude living in not-America, aren’t (and, to be fair, shouldn’t be). Currently the US seems fine with projecting their cultural and economic hegemony (“ideology”) via using their military hegemony to subsidize other countries’ economies, and that’s just... well, peachy. But even if you’re convinced the United States will never change their mind about the value of doing that, it’s not remotely given that the United States can afford to do it forever.

  29. #15069
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Lol so I just did a random search of evopsych and /r/evopsych turned up. This stuff is pretty ripe for satire, e.g.,

    https://www.reddit.com/r/evopsych/co..._muscular_men/
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    I for one prefer men with muscles because they're capable of being food.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    Dainty little no muscle only pick three berry. Big man many muscle pick much berry. Big man good.

  30. #15070
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Dainty little no muscle only pick three berry. Big man many muscle pick much berry. Big man good.
    i eath three gramsof protein per pound of bodyweight a day
    sniff

  31. #15071
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Name:  GIJoe.jpg
Views: 63
Size:  52.3 KB

    "What's it mean to be GI Joe?"

    "America's number one fighting force, sir!"

    "And that means?

    "Big muscles, sir!"

    "And?"

    "Big missiles, sir!"

    Name:  Missiles.jpg
Views: 65
Size:  81.0 KB

  32. #15072
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    World war is really bad, but at the same time I’m not willing to accept as axioms that the US 1.) is guaranteed to always be better than world war when uncontested, and 2.) actually has a motive to avoid world war when not.

    So while we might debate exactly whose interests are paramount to the United States government, we can probably agree that my interests, as a random non-American dude living in not-America, aren’t (and, to be fair, shouldn’t be). Currently the US seems fine with projecting their cultural and economic hegemony (“ideology”) via using their military hegemony to subsidize other countries’ economies, and that’s just... well, peachy. But even if you’re convinced the United States will never change their mind about the value of doing that, it’s not remotely given that the United States can afford to do it forever.
    When the next world war happens we'll look back fondly on the era where you could hide safely in a trench and your biggest problems were trenchfoot and artillery.

  33. #15073
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    When the next world war happens we'll look back fondly on the era where you could hide safely in a trench and your biggest problems were trenchfoot and artillery.
    Probably not. Probably look back on when your biggest problems were Cinnabon, Burger King, or Pizza Hut.
    sniff

  34. #15074
    Storyboards. Pizza Hut made me happy.

  35. #15075
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
    Posts
    5,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I think it'll be at least another generation before we could possibly see American boots on the ground in the middle east, but probably much longer. Everyone is extremely disillusioned by Afghanistan and Iraq. The last Republican debates involved all the candidates trying to one up each other on how much Bush's foreign policy sucked. Everyone keeps talking about Trump wanting to invade Iran. It just won't happen. Trump panders to his base, and even though his base hates Iran, they don't want boots on the ground. Plus all of his advisers have probably told him that a ground war would be bloody, and the last thing he wants is to be compared to Bush.
    This is what I've been thinking, but then I'm not entirely sure. There seems to be a lot of will in the Trump administration to invade Iran, from people like John Bolton. Then again, Trump himself, and I'd imagine many others in the administration, appears to be against it. I do see it as highly potential political suicide, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Basically what I’m getting at here is that I don’t think Americans are honesty defining the goals of US foreign policy. Or, more generally, there seems to be an assumption that global hegemony is really something countries want for the sake of it, rather than being stuck with global hegemony because it was accidentally achieved in pursuit of other goals.

    Like, did the US really ever want to rule the world, or did it just want to sell **** to other countries? Because pretty much everything the US accomplished worldwide is consistent with selling ****, not with domination for the sake of domination. Now that the world is sufficiently liberal and tolerant of American ownership, and the US no longer has to actively fight for things like... being able to exchange currencies, having safe water ways, having to maintain its hegemony smells an awful lot like subsidizing the rest of the worlds’ corporations. But if the US stops doing it, they don’t “rule the world” anymore.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    It does seem a little incoherent too me. I’m not sure why “get the US to leave the region” is fundamentally different in kind as an objective from “stop terrorism” or “dismantle Al Qaida and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to the US homeland.” Like, maybe the former seems somehow like a more attainable goal than the latter because the terrorist groups have more skin in the game. But both sides have to connect their proximate, short-term goals with long-term, big picture objectives. The general theory is kind of neat, though, in how it describes the continuities between the Cold War and the War on Terrorism.
    I just want to acknowledge that these are good points. I didn't have any input on them so I didn't comment earlier, but I don't want it to appear as though I'd dismissed these posts (since I was the one who brought up the theory which was presented by that guy in the video I talked about).
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  36. #15076
    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    Storyboards. Pizza Hut made me happy.
    but how does one choose if you have no preference
    sniff

  37. #15077
    I'll look back fondly on free samples from Costco and Trader Joe's.

  38. #15078
    For some people having no preference is a drug.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  39. #15079
    Quick question: what will the GOP's explanation to self-employed Americans having a "pre-existing health condition" be if / when the GOP eliminates the ACA ahead of the next big spike in unemployment (i.e., when the coming recession rolls around)? You're going to have some unhappy people if their only way to avoid being denied eligibility for private health insurance is to get a now non-existent job through a traditional employer-employee relationship.

    Maybe if they are super rich they can self-incorporate and buy themselves a group policy with exactly one member??
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 07-27-2019 at 03:02 PM.

  40. #15080
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,338
    Conservatives don’t really believe in anything, they’re pro-hierarchy sadists. So really they won’t have to say anything, it will be implicitly understood that “it hurts black people more than it hurts you” and conservatives will be on board.

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