If there is one thing that nearly everyone who has studied the matter agrees on, it’s that United States global dominance is on the executioner’s block and cannot last forever. This has been said by Ron Paul, who repeatedly pointed out that the militaristic propping up of the USD is unsustainable, but libertarians are not the only people saying such things. It’s well-known that, around 2030, China will have passed the United States economically, and by 2040 technologically and militarily. Regardless of the angle we take–whether internal collapse or external excellence–the conclusion is inevitable: the U.S.’s enjoyment of its time as “the world’s only superpower” is coming to a close.
Earlier today, I defended points made by Libertarian Party Vice Chair Arvin Vohra (who routinely #triggers people who want to call themselves “libertarians” without actually abiding libertarian ideology, as well as those who cry “Muh marketing!” and threaten to take their ball and go home) by asserting that it really doesn’t matter whether Americans find Arvin’s statements palatable or not. He’s right. And the consequences of everyone else being wrong (e.g., the collapse of the USD and American military dominance) will happen whether people find his message agreeable or not.
In fact, the most common whine directed at Arvin is that he’s right, but they wish he would be more diplomatic in expressing it. They assert (without evidence) that statements like his are the reason the LP isn’t taken seriously, are the reason the LP doesn’t win elections, and are the reason the party’s membership is waning. These statements are made entirely without evidence and in full disregard of the obvious facts that the LP didn’t win elections long before Arvin came along.
The most glaring omission from such stupid statements like “This is the reason liberty will never be popular–Arvin is making unpopular statements” is probably the most American-centric thing a person can say. It’s true that Arvin’s statements are not typically popular among Americans, but Americans make up less than five percent of the world’s population. It’s absolutely stupid to act like that five percent is “all there is” or that the 5% are the only people who matter. It’s exactly that kind of attitude that makes people hate Americans–that horrific short-sightedness that cares only about what other Americans think, so much so that the speaker apparently isn’t aware that most of the world’s population isn’t American.
Are Arvin’s statements about the military unpopular? In America, maybe. We really don’t know. There’s been no study of that, so it’s impossible to make any credible analysis. Not much of the American population even pays attention to Arvin, and, of those who do, roughly half seem to be supporters. The other half, strangely, seem to follow him just to argue with everything he says. Being extremely generous, no more than 5% of the American population even knows who Arvin is, so even if we assume that half of those vehemently oppose Arvin, what we’re left with is half of 5% of 5% of 7,000,000,000. So even with unrealistically high numbers, no more than 8,750,000 of the seven billion people on the planet could possibly turn from libertarianism because of Arvin. And, again, since we’re using stupidly generous numbers, 8,750,000 of the seven billion people would also be turned to libertarianism because of Arvin.
And this is only in the United States. How do you think people in Pakistan react when an American political leader boldly speaks out against the crimes committed by the American military in Middle Eastern countries? How do the people of Russia react? The people of China? Half of Americans might get deeply upset that Arvin dared point out that the American military murders people, but the vast majority of Earthlings fiercely nod and agree–having seen and felt the sting of American bombs falling on their cities.
We can’t just zoom in on the United States and pretend like the rest of the world doesn’t matter–it most certainly does. And I know people would say, “But the American Libertarian Party isn’t running for election in the rest of the world! So it doesn’t really matter what they think in this regard!”
That’s wrong, though.
We are running for election with the rest of the world, and it’s an election for survival, peace, prosperity, and forgiveness.
The United States doesn’t exist in a bubble. And while it currently doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks, every indication is that we have only two or three more decades of this being the case, after which it won’t matter what America thinks. It’s hard to overstate the impact that being overtaken militarily, technologically, and economically will have, but, for the first time since its inception, the United States will truly be vulnerable to foreign aggression. And we won’t have the infrastructure, money, technology, industry, or military might to do anything about it.
The rest of the world is watching us put our vast industrial and technological might to use by picking on countries that can’t possibly pose a threat to us. They’re not happy about this. Even our oldest allies, like Canada, Australia, and the UK, aren’t happy with American hegemony these days. Saudi Arabia may be the only country in the Middle East that isn’t deeply pissed off at the United States. China certainly isn’t pleased with us, and neither is Russia. In fact, Russia drew a line in the sand around Assad and refused to let us topple him as we had done to so many in the past. That’s how fed up Russia is with our bullshit.
We have created lots of enemies, and many of them are eagerly waiting on the edge of the darkness, hungrily licking their lips and hoping for our defenses to fall, wishing to see us taken down a peg. And here’s the bad news: that is going to happen. There are only two ways of avoiding it, and we won’t pursue either course of action.
The best way of avoiding it is to stop the hegemony. Let cryptocurrencies thrive, withdraw all of our troops, and, at the very least, return to being a Constitutional Republic of limited government and pro-liberty. It would be even better if we went the Minarchist route, beyond classical liberalism, and best if we went full anarchism. All of these actions would create genuine prosperity, which would make us excellent trading partners, and which would in turn drastically reduce people’s reasons to want to see us destroyed. Because, of course, the thing about using might to enforce one’s position is that might fades, and, when it does, the previous ruler is overtaken and defeated. Look at Rome, Mongolia, the British Empire, and countless others, and know, without a doubt, that their people once thought that it would be impossible for their place as the rulers of the world to be challenged. We have the chance–but maybe not the time–to stop ruling with might, and to instead rule with peace, friendship, and liberty. We can lead the world not by bombing everyone and fighting countless indefinite wars, but by being loving and peaceful, and inspiring people to come to our land and enjoy the most freedom to be had anywhere on the planet.
The other, more immoral, way is to pre-emptively attack China before they can overtake us. I fear this is the route that we will ultimately go, probably around 2024 or 2026, when it is painfully obvious that, if nothing is done China will overtake us. I don’t think most Americans will be able to tolerate that, not when so many Libertarian Americans view the world in such American-centric terms that they don’t understand that “popularity in America” isn’t the same as “popularity.”
The United States is part of the world. It isn’t above the rest of the world, it’s not greater than the rest of the world, and it has no right to bully the rest of the world. We need to come down from our high horse now, not when we are knocked from it by competing countries that have overtaken us. The criminal who stops committing his crimes and apologizes before he is caught is forgiven to an infinitely greater extent than the criminal who only stops and apologizes after he is apprehended. And by the standards of almost everyone, the United States’ actions especially of the last 60 years have been indisputably criminal. Bombing hospitals, weddings, and the like…? We cannot hide from this. And one day–very soon–we will be punishable.
To clarify the title (originally “War With North Korea is Inevitable”), within the confines of the current U.S. foreign policy, war is inevitable with North Korea. Since it seems extraordinarily unlikely that U.S. foreign policy is going to change very much, I’m reasonably confident that war with North Korea–even if it’s been avoided this weekend–remains inevitable.
First, Kim Jong Un and North Korea aren’t going to stop working out how to make an ICBM and how to lob it at the United States.
Second, they take so much pride in their nuclear program that they would all rather die than surrender it.
Third, the United States is not going to tolerate North Korea developing a nuclear warhead ICBM.
China doesn’t have the power over North Korea that we non-North Koreans like to think they have. It’s true that China is North Korea’s primary lifeline to the world, but North Korea is notoriously defiant, even of China, and if China could tell Kim to “Just cut it out” they would have done so by now–or around the time that we sent carrier groups into the Korean Peninsula. North Korea isn’t part of China, and they don’t like to be treated as though they are–the Sino-Korea Treaty takes great care to be a mutual defense pact, and not a case of “We’re going to protect our little brother.”
While we in NATO know that Montenegro isn’t going to come to the defense of the United States if we’re attacked–and, even if they do, they can’t contribute anything of any actual significance–this isn’t necessarily true with North Korea and China. While China can undoubtedly do more than North Korea, North Korea’s capabilities aren’t inconsequential, though they are limited to that region; North Korea would be almost no help in a war against the United States (except that they’d be able to decimate South Korea), but could contribute considerably in a war against Japan or India.
Our tendency to treat North Korea like China’s little brother, quite frankly, pisses off North Korea. And, realistically, it probably should piss them off. It’s supremely arrogant of us, first of all. North Korea came as close to “kicking our asses” as any nation ever has. It’s rather like getting beat up on a playground and limping away while telling the kid who beat you up that they should be glad they’re being protected by their big brother. They have a feather in their cap that few nations can claim: they took on and defeated the United States.
There are a lot of reasons for that. Our hearts were never in it, and we had to impose the draft to get people involved–and it’s a matter of record that draftees are motivated more by the desire to get back home than to win a “righteous” battle. We ended the Korean War after only three years, making it perhaps one of the shortest wars in American history. That’s how little we wanted to fight it. We were also constrained by UN policies and regulations that, like Vietnam, seemed more designed to make the war perpetual than anything. None of this really matters, though, because the fact remains: North Korea fought us, and North Korea won.
Compare it to our involvement in World War 2, where we were ready to throw anything and everything into the war effort, and against Japan. Then, for the Korean War, we could barely muster an entire regiment of volunteers.
I was relieved today to wake up and learn that we hadn’t started World War 3 in response to North Korea’s testing of a nuclear weapon, primarily because North Korea didn’t test a nuclear weapon.
What does it really matter, though?
It has merely postponed it.
For months, indications have been that North Korea was about to test another nuclear weapon. This is why tensions have been so high–the evidence is pretty clear that we are going to attack if they do so. Satellite images routinely show the “right” activity to indicate there is about to be a nuclear test, and it’s pretty likely that Kim Jong Un backed out at the last minute precisely because of pressure from the United States and China.
But this hasn’t changed anything.
It’s worth taking a moment to ask ourselves why we care whether North Korea tests nuclear weapons. The answer is that our actions throughout the last century have left us having to look over our shoulders constantly, and the only solution we’ve found for this is to continually look over our shoulder and attack anyone we happen to see–which, of course, means that we have to spend even more time looking over our shoulder.
In less than a week, we went from “Are we about to start World War 3 with Russia?” to “Are we about to start World War 3 with China?” One gets the image of a lunatic spinning wildly in circles firing an Ak-47 at every moving shadow he happens to see, paranoid and terrified that someone is coming to get him–and, honestly, is correct that someone is coming to get him, but only because he went around shooting people like a psychopath in the first place.
From what I can tell, this madman could really use some sleep. But he can’t sleep, because he’s created so many enemies that any one of them would sneak up on him in the middle of the night and slit his throat. So the only thing he can do is continue standing and spinning, firing missiles at anything that dares move in his presence while laughing and proclaiming to the world how secure and safe he is now that he’s gone through the world and shot everyone.
I was born on a planet alongside about six billion other people. For the first few years, things seemed pretty ordinary and sane, but then I noticed something odd. These otherwise rational and loving people had the strangest tendency to wantonly kill one another.
And then I noticed something even more bizarre.
Everyone acted like it was totally normal, and as though I was the crazy one for suggesting that we stop killing one another.
We’ve been killing each other for so long that we don’t know any other way. We’re set on that path, and the idea of getting off it, for some reason, terrifies us more than the prospect of nuclear war. God forbid we try to be friends with these people. No, we’d rather risk the possibility of annihilating life on the planet. The notion of just putting down the guns scares us more than nuclear war.
Something remarkable almost happened during World War 1. We came so close to putting war behind us permanently. It marks the most tragic moment in human history, when both sides of a war realized that they didn’t hate each other and that they were brothers being pit against one another by governments. On Christmas Day in the first year of the war, Central Europe forces and Allied forces put down their weapons and met on the battlefield for a day of celebration and peace.
War ends when the soldiers decide to stop fighting.
This posed such a threat to the powers that be–the states of the world–that it was forbidden from then on, and anyone who attempted it faced treason charges. They knew the danger it posed; they knew how close we had come to permanently putting down the guns. All we had to do was make one more decision–“When the sun rises tomorrow, we won’t resume shooting.”
The courage it took those soldiers to rise out of the trenches and walk toward the opposing side was more courage than anyone else had ever displayed in human history. There was every possibility that the other side would seize the opportunity to kill them. “They’re coming at us without weapons! The fools! Kill them! Kill them all!”
But that didn’t happen. They put down their own weapons, and the two sides met in a scene virtually guaranteed to bring tears to any peace lover’s eyes. We were right there. We had put down our guns and approached the other side, trusting that they would accept the gesture of peace and that it wouldn’t prove to be the dumbest thing anyone ever did. And our enemies rose and met the challenge. We came so close to learning it all right then–war is a racket of states. They can order us to kill each other all they want, but they can do nothing if we refuse to. And if we refuse to, we learned on that day, then the other side will refuse to.
It just takes that first courageous gesture of peace, that first person putting down the gun and stepping forward with a hand extended.
The next thing you know, generals and politicians throughout the world are freaking the fuck out because they’ve lost control of the minds of the soldiers and can no longer tell them to go and kill one another.
I challenge the United States to do this today.
If you expect to find a bogeyman pointing a gun at you in every shadow, then that is what you will find.
So disarm completely. Dismantle our warships, our jets, our bombs, our nuclear warheads. Disarm and dismantle everything. Show how courageous you are. Be like those soldiers in World War 1. It doesn’t take courage to continue maniacally shooting at everything that moves. What took courage is throwing up one’s arms, rising out of the trench, and approaching the other side without weapons drawn.
If we put down our weapons, they’ll put down theirs.
It’s time to end the worldwide Mexican Standoff.
And if our government doesn’t do it? Then American soldiers need to just go home. Just put down the weapons and go home. They can’t imprison all of you, because the only people who would imprison you would also have put down their weapons and gone home.
Is it unlikely? Perhaps.
Is it impossible?
The first Christmas of World War 1 suggests that it isn’t. It just takes courage.
One of the more bizarre aspects of the United States’ attack against Syria is the fact that no one bombed us when we killed 230 civilians, a showcase of moral hypocrisy rooted firmly in the idea that might is right. We know that “coalition forces,” meaning the United States for all intents and purposes, killed 230 civilians in a single airstrike, and we know that the death toll doesn’t stop there: more than a thousand civilians were killed in Iraq and Syria by the United States through the month of March.
Here, a lot of significance is placed on the method of death, as though death by suffocation in toxic gas is inherently worse than death by conflagration. The reality is that I sincerely doubt that the dead people would agree–by almost all accounts, burns are worse than suffocation, being overwhelmingly more painful and causing deaths nightmarishly horrific. This isn’t to say that death by sarin gas is good–it certainly isn’t. However, it is the height of arbitrary moral hypocrisy that we proclaim civilian deaths in one type of attack as indisputably more evil than civilian deaths in another type of attack. This is all the more curious since a number of American bombs are explicitly designed to create vacuum pressure by consuming all nearby air–these were used to “great” effect in Operation Iraqi Freedom to suffocate Iraqi forces deeply entrenched in tunnels. Even with bombs not specifically designed to have this effect, death by smoke inhalation (surely a “death by chemical attack”) and heat suffocation (heat being a chemical product of fire, and all) are real threats.
Yet no one took it upon themselves to fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at the United States for its wanton and careless murders of civilians throughout the Middle East. In Iraq alone, we have killed more than one hundred thousand civilians. Ignoring all of that, though, as recently as last month we killed more than a thousand in reckless drone strikes–more than ten times the number for which we’ve so gleefully punished Assad for allegedly having killed.
In a certain sense, we have to cling to the ridiculous idea that death by chemical agent is somehow worse than death by combustion agent, because, while we’re frivolously dropping combustion agents all across the world, and unleashed billions of tons of napalm in Korea and Vietnam, we’ve refrained, for the most part, from using what most people would call “chemical weapon strikes.” It’s rather inconsequential, though. Whatever doublethinking mental gymnastics we have to use in order to convince ourselves that what we are doing is okay, but what others are doing is not okay, we will successfully perform. If it wasn’t “Chemical attacks are a special kind of evil” it would be some other excuse.
The idea that someone probably should have fired 590 Tomahawk missiles at the United States (if 100 civilian deaths = 59 Tomahawk missiles, then 1,000 civilian deaths = 590 Tomahawk missiles) is met by two problems. Only the first of these is the moral problem, and the inability of Americans to grasp the idea that if it’s not okay for Assad to kill a hundred civilians, then it’s not okay for the United States to do it. This is rooted more in “Us and Them” than it is the addiction to power–whatever factors are involved, they cannot possibly be completely congruent between Our actions and Their actions, and any one of those factors will be seized as an excuse for why our actions were, like totes 4 real, not that bad. I think by the time we have people honestly arguing with a straight face that it’s better to be exploded into ludicrous gibs than it is to be suffocated by poisonous gas, we can say definitively that any differentiating variable between two actions will be latched onto and given moral significance aimed at justifying one while condemning the other.
The second problem the idea confronts is that it’s positively laughable: there isn’t anyone who could fire 590 Tomahawk missiles at the United States, at least not with impunity. It’s arguable, because of the Strategic Missile Defense System*, whether anyone could strike the United States, but only a few nations in the world even have the technological capabilities of doing it, and most of those are some sort of ally.
I’ve always found Christianity curious, particularly the Old Testament, because it contains some truly horrific acts attributed to its deity. Yet the very idea that, based on literal interpretations of the Old Testament, the Old Testament god is as guilty of mass murder as anyone, and should be punished accordingly, is met with sneering dismissal. “He who has the gold makes the rules,” quipped the genie at the beginning of Disney’s Aladdin. Today, of course, it’s “Whoever can’t be defeated makes the rules,” and that’s the same idea on display with the top-down Biblical morality and deity exemptions here. Typically, Yahweh can’t be punished for doing something wrong, because the fact that Yahweh did it in the first place means that Yahweh wasn’t wrong. Whatever Yahweh does is right, because he’s the one with the power, and therefore the one who determines what is wrong and what is right.
The United States has now sent carrier groups to the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea and in an attempt to dissuade Kim Jong Un from testing any nuclear weapons. How very curious. We have nuclear weapons. Of course, it’s true that we no longer test our nuclear weapons, but that’s only because we no longer need to–we’ve left the testing phase and remain the only nation in the world to have used them against people. It’s rather like how we condemn developing nations for high, Industrial Era level Carbon emissions–now that we’ve progressed beyond that and no longer really need to burn a bunch of coal, we sneer down our noses and condemn those who haven’t left that phase.
It’s really just a way of forcefully preventing their technological ascension, isn’t it? It’s a way of putting so many roadblocks in their way that they can never catch up to us. Meanwhile, we couldn’t have been condemned for the insane degrees of pollution of developing America because we were at the forefront of development, and no one knew when Ford invented the automobile that we were inadvertently pumping massive amounts of carcinogens into the atmosphere. And there’s nothing they can do tell us to fuck off and mind our own business, because we’re Yahweh. We have the gold; we have the power. We make the rules.
And the idea that anyone can challenge our rules is almost as laughable as the idea of shouting to an omnipotent deity that it did something morally wrong.
“The world’s only superpower,” people like saying, an idea that I’m delving into considerably in this week’s upcoming podcast. It’s absurd. We’re not the world’s only superpower, and we haven’t been since the 90s–we’re simply the only one of the world’s superpowers that uses that power without restraint in an attempt to dictate over the entire globe. It is still true that we’re the reigning champ and that we stand a good distance above everyone else along the world’s totem pole, but the notion that we’re on a special totem pole all by ourselves… It’s not only wrong, but I have to question the mentality of the people who think that and yet still advocate military action against other countries like Syria and Iraq. Isn’t that like arguing that Mike Tyson should beat an amateur high school boxer to death?
No one, not even China, questions the United States’ right to put a bunch of warships in the Korean Peninsula while making threats against a nation that hasn’t attacked anyone in at least 60 years. What if, right now, warships from nations throughout the world, orchestrated by the United Nations, were rallying off the coast of California and Virginia, threatening to “cut off the head” of the United States if we didn’t cease launching missiles at other nations? Such a strange world we live in. Merely from the threat that he might do it, and even though he hasn’t done it, we’re doing exactly that to Kim Jong Un and North Korea. Yet we, the same people doing this, bristle and become furious at the idea that the United Nations would dare coordinate an effort among the world’s nations to do the same to us.
But I suspect we’re on the brink of collapse. Donald Trump’s attack against Syria–failed though it was, by all accounts, since that airstrip was sending Assad’s forces into the air less than 24 hours later, and reportedly only about 35 of them hit the target (maybe we do need to do some further testing…)–has bolstered his confidence. It’s like the first time I smoked marijuana. Well, the second time, actually–the first time, I got so sick from friends shoving sweet food down my throat (an expectation that I played along with, “having the munches” even when I didn’t, because I was a stupid kid), that there was no enjoyment from it. There was about a 4 year gap between the first and second time anyway, and I’d spent most of my life hearing about how horrible marijuana was, how devastating it could be, how dangerous it was, and why no one should ever, ever do it. I successfully resisted peer pressure for years, and then gave in, for no reason in particular.
“Hey, that’s pretty good!” I thought.
Undoubtedly, Trump feels the same, now that he’s nodded and pressed a button, which immediately led to a missile strike against another nation. I have no doubt that the power rush, the adrenaline, of it was orgasmic. He probably had the best sex of his life just a few hours after giving the command, and I’m not trying to be grotesque or anything–I’m being sincere. Murderers notoriously get off by murdering people. And what we’re talking about here goes well beyond murder, and is simultaneously socially acceptable. No one will condemn Trump at a dinner party for being a mass murdering lunatic who fucks his wife after killing people.
I think that Trump is probably not reckless enough to really do anything rash, because the possible consequences are so high. I’m not suggesting that Trump will, chasing after that dragon, fire missiles at China if the Chinese President even squints at him funny. But not only is it in Trump’s blood now (and has been for a few months), but his use of force against Assad instantly earned him the respect of people who have been criticizing him for a year. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
I’ve seen people suggest that if we attack North Korea, China won’t move to stop us. While the Chinese people are sick of Kim Jong Un’s antics and exerting pressure on the Chinese government to get Kim under control, that will change the moment we attack North Korea, because such an act will be taken as a direct challenge to China’s sovereignty and regional authority. Imagine how we would respond if Russia invaded Puerto Rico. If we attack North Korea, we will find ourselves at war with China. We might be able to get away with assassinating Kim Jong Un, but that isn’t the way the United States does things. Presumably.
I’m more concerned with the possibility of finding ourselves bogged down in a war against Syria, Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries that we’ve either directly attacked, are presently at war with, or are likely to end up at war with them the moment one of the other two world superpowers has had enough of our bullshit. I honestly don’t think that Putin is going to let us have Syria and Assad, and that situation has the terrifying capacity to develop into a direct war between the United States and Russia. We’re already at war with them, for fuck’s sake–that’s what it’s called when one nation allies with another and supplies them with jets, bombs, AA guns, and other shit against another nation. It’s why claims of U.S. neutrality during World War 2 are such bullshit–everyone knows we weren’t neutral. We simply weren’t active combatants.
Anyway, that’s a rather long list of countries to be at war with, and the only one that doesn’t unequivocally belong on that list is China. We are still at war with North Korea, though we do have an armistice with them. We’re at war with Pakistan. That’s what it’s called when you drop bombs on them, and we dropped bombs on them last year.
Courtesy of http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-president-barack-obama-bomb-map-drone-wars-strikes-20000-pakistan-middle-east-afghanistan-a7534851.html
What an astounding coincidence that those happen to be the exact countries from which we don’t want to accept refugees! Amazing! What are the odds of that? What are the odds that these countries with refugees we don’t want to accept because they run a relatively high risk of wanting to kill us happen to correspond perfectly to the countries we’ve been dropping bombs in? If it was actually a coincidence, the odds would be extremely low. No one in Vegas would take that bet. But it’s not a coincidence, of course. We might as well have Americans saying, “You see these countries we dropped bombs in last year? Yeah, those are the ones we don’t want to accept refugees from.”
I don’t think China will allow us to attack North Korea.
If that statement caused you to bristle, please understand that your belief in American dominance and rightness in global hegemony is the problem.
I intended to call attention to the remarkable similarity between this and the idea that we must have a government that is ultimately in charge, because the same thread runs through both. We need police, we need judges, and we need laws–we need someone at the top who cannot be challenged, goes the argument. So yes, the global chaos we see today is again a direct result of statism. People say that we need some domestic authority figure, and they say that we need some international authority figure. This is why it’s okay for the police to tackle and beat the hell out of someone for jaywalking, and this is why it’s okay for the United States to launch missiles into a sovereign nation.
* I know that this was leaked as a failure, but seeing as we’ve since blown up a satellite in orbit from Earth (which operates on exactly the same principle) and apply the same principles in unarmored assault vehicles that utilize moving guns and camera coverage to shoot incoming bullets out of the way, no one should still believe the idea that we failed to do this. Why else would we have surrounded Russia with missile batteries? Hell, the official reason given is that we intend to shoot Russian missiles out of the sky!
Recently, a Chinese official warned that they don’t want a Trade War but, if there is one, then the United States would lose. I think this shows a lot of confusion about what is meant by “trade war,” because there isn’t a winner or loser in a trade war. Well, at least not in the sense that the Chinese government can win a trade war and the American corporations can lose one. In fact, the winners of a trade war are consumers, and the losers are producers. A trade war would be a good thing for the American People.
People talk about a possible trade war, and I get excited–fuck. Yes. Bring it on, please. There’s not a better way to save our economy than a trade war. As long as it doesn’t escalate into an actual war, there is absolutely nothing to fear from a trade war–in fact, they happen all the time, and they’re to be desired, because competition is the key element that drives down the cost of production by encouraging companies and nations to increase efficiency, cut waste, and lower prices.
But let’s get to a real example to explain what I mean.
Consider the Foxconn hardware, which has its various devices used in all sorts of consumer items from iPhones to Acer laptops. There are also Foxconn network cards–though they’re increasingly uncommon, and I think Realtek usurped them and Foxconn became just the chip manufacturer… It’s complicated and not really important to the point at hand–so consumers in the United States can buy Foxconn directly.
In real terms, a trade war with China would mean that they intentionally drove down the price of Foxconn hardware in order to drive American manufacturers of out of business. It’s similar to how Wal-Mart has a history of lowering prices to drive other companies out of business. It’s the same principle here: take a loss now to annihilate the competition, and then enjoy a monopoly.
But oops! We’ve already seen the problem, haven’t we? Indeed, there is no American manufacturer that competes with Foxconn. America doesn’t make network cards, are you kidding me? We may nor may not have research teams that devise new chipsets that are leased to other companies, like NVidia does, but I don’t think we even have that. So the grand effect from China driving down the cost of the devices manufactured by Foxconn would simply be to lower Apple’s and Acer’s costs in producing new iPhones and laptops. If it costs less money for Apple and Acer to make laptops, then that benefits consumers, even if it’s not at a 1:1 ratio. I mean, if Apple saves 3%, we wouldn’t see a 3% drop in iPhone prices, but we would see some drop–possibly 0.5% or even 1%.
We know this to be true, because it was only about a month ago that I finally replaced the television that broke down last year. The one that broke down last year was an off-brand I’d purchased from RadioShack for $200. It was a 27 inch television that didn’t handle 1920×1080 especially well, though it did do it. I replaced it with a 32 inch Sanyo television that cost $128 after taxes. Regrettably, the universe conspired to throw that television from my wall, where its screen smashed rather unceremoniously on my hardwood floor, but I can still buy another 32 inch Sanyo–not imminently, though in a few months, when things have calmed down–and will effectively have bought two larger televisions for a price only slightly higher than what I paid for one smaller television a number of years ago.
We lose sight of how much progress we have made in the United States, and how high our standard of living is, because we enjoy all the luxuries of modern society. Fifteen years ago, a 70 inch television would have been unheard of, and would have been either an imaginary item or a pipe dream for the majority of Americans. Today, you can get one for about $1,000. I remember one Black Friday sale around 2004 that Wal-Mart put 27 inch televisions on sale for under $100. But they weren’t flat screens, lol. They were enormous, about the size of a mini-fridge, and maybe had a single composite and coax input. Fast forward to last year, and Black Friday saw sales of 27 inch flatscreens capable of 1080p with 3 HDMI inputs, 2 composite inputs, 1 component input, 1 USB input, and 1 VGA input for the same price.
This is the hidden progress that Americans generally haven’t noticed. We complain about the American poor not making any progress, completely glossing over the fact that in less than 2 decades the American poor went from buying the gigantic CRT-type televisions while only the wealthy could afford LCD screens to having multiple LCD screen televisions, most of them ranging from “very large” to “uselessly large.”
Do you remember when a “big screen tv” meant this gigantic thing that took up an entire living room wall and was two feet deep? Do you remember when that “big screen tv” was a big deal, when it was a point of pride to own one? Again, just compare that to today, when it’s a rarity for someone to not have a widescreen, LCD television pushing at least 720p. The cost of televisions has steadily gone down over the decades, as a result of competition and things like the Foxconn example I gave above. It probably wouldn’t be instant, but the price of phones and laptops would steadily lower as the savings get passed onto consumers, who don’t stop to realize that they’re buying the iPhone 7S today for the same price that they’d have bought the iPhone 6S only a year before, only now the 7S is the latest and greatest and the 6S is a model or two behind. We haven’t stopped to notice that we’re routinely buying and discarding televisions that would have cost three children, half an arm, and one testicle twenty years ago for a half of week of minimum wage labor today.
The other direction that China could go is to increase prices. This also only benefits the United States. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand, and the relationship between them setting the price. Just as selling something for less than it’s actually worth will create a shortage of that item, so will selling something for more than it’s worth create a surplus of that item. One hundred people may be willing to license a Foxconn chipset for $0.50, but if only fifty people are willing to license the chipset for $0.75, then Foxconn has lost money, and that’s how economics works, and why economics always uses curves.
Demand and supply lines are only straight in simplistic economic exercises. In the real world, things never work that way. If I can make one hundred televisions for $50 each, that doesn’t mean I can double production and make two hundred televisions for $50 each. Average laws tell us that I would expect doubling the production to increase costs to about $60 per television. It works in terms of selling things, too, and is the reason that everyone in the world is used to things being cheaper when bought in bulk. One roll of toilet paper may be sold for fifty cents, but four rolls of toilet paper will be sold for $1.50, not $2. This is mathematically a curve, of course, because it’s obviously not a linear progression.
It’s obvious when we stop to think about it, and it’s the reason that a trade war–artificial changing of prices–benefits consumers and ultimately hurts producers. The consumer benefits from buying 4 rolls of toilet paper for $1.50 instead of buying four individual rolls for fifty cents apiece. The consumer has benefit from all the technological innovations and pricing wars over the last twenty years, and now a widescreen, flatscreen LCD television is as much a staple in American homes as the microwave. Oh, there’s another, of course. Microwave ovens were once the property of the rich and wealthy. Today, they’re so cheap and abundant that entire YouTube channels exist of people microwaving random things in order to destroy them. Ditto for refrigerators, washing machines, driers, hair blow driers, and just about any-damn-thing else you can think of.
It wouldn’t be all sunshine and daisies if China foolishly took this route, but it would, in the longrun, help the United States. There is a demand for Foxconn devices, after all. If I can produce bananas so cheaply that I can sell them at a cost that no one can compete with, then the bar of entry is so high that new companies won’t be able to enter the banana production industry. They won’t have the resources or knowledge necessary to compete with me, the very same reason that we see companies like Microsoft dominating industries with inferior products and shady business practices. There’s really nothing that can be done about this except wait until their monopoly destroys itself, because monopolies are self-destructing in the market.
As a monopoly dominates, it grows larger. This increases waste, inefficiency, and loss, not just because production costs and profits don’t scale linearly, but also because competition is the driving force that minimizes waste, inefficiency, and loss. Without someone to compete with in the OS market, Microsoft can release one terrible Operating System after the other, and practically force an “upgrade” onto everyone, while also losing money and absorbing losses due to bad ideas, waste, and inefficiency. They continue to grow, of course, because they’re the only option, and this only generates more waste, inefficiency, and bad ideas. With more and more money being lost to these things, Microsoft has to raise prices to continue making money, so Microsoft Office 2016 goes from $199 to $249. At first, this is bad for consumers, but it also means that a new company making an Office competitor has an extra bit of padding they can work with to improve their software. Maybe they couldn’t afford to implement this feature, because it would have increased the price of their software from $180 to $210, and selling their software for $210 would have made it more expensive than Office. Office, being the champion already and being cheaper, would win that contest. But if Microsoft has to mitigate its increased waste and inefficiency by increasing prices to $249, then the new competitor can implement that feature and still be cheaper than Microsoft Office.
Maybe the company American Network Chip Manufacturers would like to make its own chips, but can’t afford to because Foxconn’s chips are so much cheaper. Foxconn raising the cost of its chips just might mean that ANCM can finally afford to hire American manufacturers and still produce a chip that is cheaper than Foxconn’s. Oh, no, what a disaster! Hiring Americans and creating American manufacturing jobs?! Woe is me, how awful!
Although such a thing would still result in higher prices for consumers, which is the problem with protectionism and tariffs. If we put a 20% tariff on Mexican bananas and Jose starts selling his previous $1 ea bananas for $1.20 to cover the tariff, then obviously it’s the people buying bananas who are paying for the tariff, not Jose. But it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, because it also means that American Banana Producer can now charge up to $1.19 per banana and still beat out Jose in the market. Maybe American Banana Producer was about to go out of business because its banana costs can’t be lowered beyond $1.10. This is bad for consumers, who now pay ten cents more to buy an American banana picked by an American worker, but it also means there is now another American manufacturer with a job. And though banana farming isn’t the most lucrative industry, I would guess, industrial manufacturing jobs generally are.
It’s true that we’ve become a society of service people. Very, very little is manufactured in the United States, and that is a problem in the grand scheme of things. The only reason it works now is because much of the world hasn’t noticed that we’re giving them sheets of paper in exchange for actual goods they manufacture, but that gravy train is inevitably going to crash. I make a living fixing, installing, and configuring computers and networks, almost none of the components of which are manufactured in the United States. What happens to my job, when the USD collapses and China, Japan, and South Korea stop accepting the USD as payment? I’ll have nothing to service if Americans can’t buy the things I service. The very existence of our service-centric economy–from auto mechanics to gas station employees to I.T. people to fast food workers–is dependent upon the USD and the willingness of manufacturers to accept it. The moment–and I mean the very moment–that they stop, the United States will enter a depression that makes the Great Depression look like Disneyland. And that’s not hyperbole; the entire American economy will collapse, virtually overnight. The only reason it persists today is that we’ve managed to keep the world using a dollar standard–often by invading nations who want to stop accepting it. That can’t last forever.
Even so, the way out of that is obvious. It would take a while and would be tremendously unpleasant, but the solution would be to re-open all the American factories that have since been exported to China, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea. A trade war with China would allow this to happen slowly, as opposed to all at once with the collapse of the USD, but it’s inevitable. The chips will fall eventually, and the gravy train will be derailed. We can count on it with as close to absolute certainty as a person can get. Having it happen slowly and over a years-long trade war with China would drastically reduce the hardship, starvation, and interim poverty. Having it happen suddenly at some unknown point in the future will result in widespread starvation. And that’s just a fucking fact.
So yeah. Bring on the trade war. Let’s do it. Let’s get it over with. The longer we kick the can down the road, the more devastating it’s going to be when it finally happens–like the requests to raise the Minimum Wage that are the most blatant examples of kicking the can down the road that we can look to. The Minimum Wage is a Price Floor on the price of labor, of course, and is only “necessary” because the market price of some labor is lower than the Minimum Wage. There’s a disparity between what a job is worth to an employer and what an employer has to pay, so any non-critical task results in a fired employee, because the employer isn’t going to pay someone $7.25 an hour to clean windows when the market price of a window cleaner is $2.50 an hour. So increasing the Minimum Wage just causes a greater overlap between “non-critical tasks” and “not worth it to pay someone to do,” the result of which is unemployment.
Economic law tells us that reckoning is going to happen sooner or later. The market will come to equilibrium one way or another, and it won’t be pretty when it happens. We should be reducing the Minimum Wage–or abolishing it altogether, I’d prefer–incrementally until such time as we can abolish it, not increasing it. Making the disparity greater is the dumbest thing we could do. Let’s get it over with. Let’s crash the train.
Let’s have a war.
As long as force, violence, and coercion are forbidden and it remains a market matter solved by non-violent competition, of course.
A lot of people, even some Libertarians, seem perfectly happy with the selection of Gorsuch to join the Supreme Court, and most of the praise stems from a few basic things. I’m going to take them in reverse order (from what would be logical), though. First, then, is his probable pro-choice positions.
Though Gorsuch has never ruled one way or another on abortion, statements in his book that “Human life is intrinsically valuable,” which were made regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia (I can’t help but wonder if he applies the same statement to the death penalty, though), have been extrapolated and assumed to apply to abortion.
This means that in the last few days, I’ve seen “Libertarians” praising Gorsuch and hoping that this civil issue can find its way back to the Supreme Court so that the Federal Government can further regulate abortion. *sigh*
Anyway, whether he is pro-life or would send the matter back to individual states isn’t much of a concern to me right now. The bigger concern is this notion that “Human life is intrinsically valuable,” which forms a basis for his legal rulings, and as such constitutes a violation of the separation of church and state. It’s subtle, but it’s a violation all the same.
If I were to say “All life, plant and animal, is intrinsically and equally valuable as human life,” no one would have a hard time noticing the heavy religious (Hindu, specifically) overtones. It wouldn’t be a matter of debate. If I was a federal judge and went on to make rulings on that basis (such as outlawing the eating of meat by arguing it is murder), there would be widespread protests about how I’d be violating the separation of church and state by ruling based on my personal religious beliefs.
Though it’s generally shared by most Americans, even non-religious ones, penetration into the cultural zeitgeist and widespread acceptance doesn’t turn a religious idea into a non-religious one. We can argue the NAP, make a utilitarian argument, or use some other argument in favor of pro-life, but we can’t make a religious one in a federal court.
Human life is not intrinsically valuable. In fact, nothing is. A thing’s value does not exist independently of the person observing it and assigning the value. We can easily see the fallacy by applying it to anything else.
Steaks are intrinsically valuable.
Television is intrinsically valuable.
Planets are intrinsically valuable.
Now, if I know the types of people I’m thinking about, they’re reading this, shaking their heads, and mumbling, “You can’t compare LIFE to television and steaks! This is… This is existence! The gift of life! Human life! It can’t be compared to a steak!”
Right… Because they’ve decided that life is intrinsically valuable, for no reason other than that they think it is, and so it’s “obviously” different from these other things. It’s a circular position; they can’t see that life’s “intrinsic value” is fairly compared to the “intrinsic value” of television, because they’re starting from the assumption that life is intrinsically valuable.
“I have ten red jelly beans, and they’re automatically better than other jelly beans,” A said
“That’s silly. I have ten green jelly beans, and they’re just as ‘automatically better’ than other jelly beans,” said B.
“No, because red jelly beans are automatically better, so they can’t even be compared to those other ones,” replied B.
This is an issue, and I don’t think supreme court justices should start from the basis of a religious belief to decide an issue.
Much fuss has been made about Gorsuch’s position on the Constitution, that it must be interpreted in a way that common people of the day of its writing would have understood it, which is a common sense position. I’ve seen even more Libertarians excited about this than the prospect of his being pro-life.
I’d be excited, too, if I was delusional enough to think that the Constitution has any bearing at all in the modern United States, but it doesn’t. The Constitution hasn’t meant anything in decades–more than a century to be honest.
Having a branch of the government assigned the duty of determining whether or not the government has the legal authority to do something is “intrinsically” flawed. We might as well go ahead and accept that internal police investigations will be the sole deciders in whether an officer acted unlawfully.
At absolute minimum, here we need to take a lesson from the British, although instead of having a dual parliament (which we sort of have, but in a somewhat less effective way) we need to have a dual court system–the government’s and the people’s. It’s not enough that the Federal Supreme Court would say that something is Constitutional; the People’s Supreme Court must agree. If the two do not agree, the law is sent back to Congress for amendments, per instructions included.
The Federal Supreme Court sounds like a good idea… at first. And then it becomes apparent that we’ve given the government the exclusive power to determine whether the government has the authority to do something. As we’ve seen from blatant abuses, it becomes a rubber stamp of state power, with no way for us to appeal it. If the Supreme Court says something is Constitutional and produces a 3700 page document of legalese explaining how it’s totally fine, then we have no recourse for addressing it.
All branches of the government threw out the Constitution. I’m glad people are beginning to pay attention to how the President uses Executive Orders to legislate, but none of these reach the Supreme Court, nor can they. They exist outside of the confines of the Constitution entirely, as they are typically directives to other governmental bodies. The Supreme Court can’t rule on whether it’s constitutional for the President to sign an executive order placing a gag order on government agencies, because neither the government agencies nor directives have anything to do with the Constitution.
Congress, the only people who could do anything about it, don’t, and it’s easy to see why. Republicans want their Republican President to be able to impose conservative policy without going through all the hassle of a constitutional republic and trying to get bills through Congress, so it’s easier to grit their teeth through a Democratic President. Overturning the system, after all (which republicans could have done in the last few years), by easily passing a law that reaffirms Congress as the controllers of these agencies, would have meant that President Republican wouldn’t be able to unilaterally rule the country and Congress might actually have to do something.
Instead, Congress simply creates the agencies and turns the keys over to the oval office. Even if they don’t specifically turn over control, they always end up under the President’s control anyway, since he goes on to hire and appoint tens of thousands of people. Even if he didn’t, control is only one negligent Congress and one executive order away.
So you’ll forgive me for not being happy we’ve got a constructionist going to the Supreme Court. It’s irrelevant, because nothing that actually matters will ever find its way before the Supreme Court. Whether Congress has the authority to create the EPA, USPS, the Department of Education, and all the others will never, ever be brought to the Supreme Court.
At absolute best, we might end up with one of these unelected, unaccountable government agencies doing something unconstitutional, and that one act may end up at the Supreme Court, but even that isn’t likely, and instead the Supreme Court will continue on rubberstamping government power grabs and either pushing a liberal agenda onto the entire nation or, at freaking best, sending issues back to the states.
I’m disappointed in myself for how much I was truly hoping that Judge Andrew Napolitano would get the nomination. It isn’t like Napolitano could have done much, but I would tentatively trust him with that level of power–with one scrutinizing eye on him the whole time.
There aren’t many people who I trust with power, and even those don’t get a blank check. I’d trust John McAfee as President, but I’d keep my eyes on him. I will never trust someone enough to give them power and turn away, trusting that they wouldn’t abuse it. I simply can’t, because I know how power is. Neither could I simply rejoice at Supreme Court Justice Napolitano and trust for the next three decades that he was doing the right thing. No one should trust anyone to that degree. I wouldn’t trust myself with that level of power, and would rely on people close to me to keep me in line.
Power corrupts. It is not just a corrupting agent; it is intoxicating and addictive. I was once in a relationship with a very submissive chick, and I ended the relationship because it simply was intoxicating and addictive; I’ve felt it personally, that primal sense of control and authority. I loved it, as anyone would (most people would dispute that, but most people would say they wouldn’t abuse the presidency, too, when the truth is… Yeah, they would…), but I don’t like things beyond my control.
That requires more elaboration than I really care to get into, but it’s just like any other addictive intoxicant. You’re addicted and intoxicated; you’re the opposite of “in control.”
Sure, we could have gotten worse than Gorsuch. But I’m tired of settling. I’m tired of “Well, it could have been worse” being stated after the government does anything. It could always have been worse. Nazi Germany could have been worse. “Sure, you have syphilis, but it could have been worse! You could have gotten HIV!”
It’s not much consolation, is it?
And we’ll be dealing with it again soon as we move toward war with China. “It could have been worse,” people will say. “We could be at war with Russia right now.”
In my focus on Hillary’s transparent attempts to ignite a war with Russia (attempts that live on in John McCain and other congressional vulture hawks), I missed most of Trump’s intentions of starting one with China. 2016, evidently, was the year we chose between war with Russia and war with China.
All because people settled for someone who wasn’t as bad as Hillary.
Some time ago, a bill swept through Congress with surprising agreement, allowing Americans to sue foreign governments for sponsoring terrorist activity against Americans. President Obama vetoed the bill, saying that he feared it would set a dangerous precedent and would give foreign citizens the idea that they could sue the American Government. This is a bit difficult to parse, but bear with me, because…
That means that Obama knows that the shit that we’re getting up to throughout the world is wrong, and he knows that citizens of foreign governments would have legitimate grievances with the United States. We could start with how we bombed a wedding in Afghanistan, I suppose, if we wanted to give an example.
The concern that I’ve had has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia per se or my sympathy for 9/11 families, it has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world, and suddenly finding ourselves subject to the private lawsuits in courts where we don’t even know exactly whether they’re on the up and up, in some cases.
Yes, President Obama. That stuff you said. That’s the point.
“…exposed to liabilities for all the work that we’re doing all around the world…”
Yes, Mr. Obama. That’s exactly right.
Lots of people have come forward to agree with Obama and to point out how terrible it would be if we set up a system that allowed those smelly brown people to hit back against us. I mean, it’s common knowledge that they can’t hit against us directly–did you even see Operation Desert Storm? If anything is clear is that the countries in which “we’re doing all the work” have no recourse to stop us or to make us pay. Their bombs are crushed by our bombs; their aircraft massacred by ours.
We can impose No Fly Zones, grounding all of their aircraft, from halfway around the world with very little effort. They cannot fight us directly. This, of course, causes them to turn to “terrorism” in the same way that American colonists once turned to “terrorism” against the British. Does the Boston Tea Party ring a bell? How about the tactics of the American revolutionaries? The British fought war stupidly. They stood in a row, shot, and ducked to reload while the person behind them shot. They continued along like that–almost literal “ducks in a row.”
We couldn’t have defeated the British by playing by their rules, and they hated us for it. They called us cowards, cheaters, dishonorable. “You can’t do that!” they said. “You have to stand here, in front of us, as we take turns shooting at each other until someone wins!”
And we said, “Um, no. We’re not doing that. That’s dumb.”
So we shot from the trees. We didn’t form neat ranks and files. We hid in the hay bells, we hid in the trees and among the trees, we surrounded their forces, we shot from the sides, from the backs. And we won. Yet throughout all of that, we were not just terrorists; we were dishonorable terrorists, using despicable tactics because we couldn’t take them in a “fair fight.”
We face the same thing today–people all around the world who simply cannot go toe-to-toe with our military in the way that the American revolutionaries could not have gone toe-to-toe with the British army. For fuck’s sake, we didn’t even have a Navy, and the British Empire had the most powerful Navy in the world. Think about that when you think of places like Yemen and Syria, where our military is consistently “the most powerful in the world,” and theirs is… not anywhere close to that. They cannot take their fourteen F15 jets [numbers I’ve made up] and throw them at our nine gazillion F650 jets.
So they resort to sniping us from the trees, breaking our “rules of civilized war” in the process, fighting us in the only way that they can because going toe-to-toe with us simply isn’t an option–it’s suicide. We scream that it’s dishonorable, that it’s despicable, and that it’s terrorism. And maybe it is, if we could look back with the clarity of hindsight and say that the price of their freedom was bought with the lives of too many women and children, but we have no right to make such a determination in the first place. We are not the world’s police force, and neither are we the world’s judge.
I am continually baffled by the average American’s lack of self-awareness.
Nothing stops it, sir. That’s the point.
That’s precisely the point.
Anyone who wants to can attempt to sue the U.S. government for terrorism. This doesn’t mean anything. It only means something if a court of law–an impartial one, if we can find extraterrestrials from the Andromeda Galaxy who are anarchists and therefore can view this whole fucking mess objectively and are willing to preside over the case–finds for the plaintiff. Let the people of Iraq sue the American Government for terrorism. Let a court of law determine who is right.
A fair and objective court of law would find for the plaintiff. In Iraq, the United States is wholesale guilty of terrorism. Afghanistan, too, and likely at least a dozen others. Hell, the United States government is guilty of terrorism against the American people. Does this mean that we can sue the American government for terrorism? Because it should mean that.
Jonathon Horn knows, though–just look at what he said. He knows that the stuff the U.S. gets up to in other countries, whether he is okay with it or not, could be called terrorism rightly. If he didn’t think that, then he wouldn’t care whether foreign people sue the U.S. government, because the case would just be thrown out. So he knows. Let’s not just overlook that! It’s critical. He knows that the stuff that the American government does can, in at least a certain light, be rightly considered terrorism.
YES, FFS, THAT IS THE POINT
Germany has no case against the United States and absolutely could not sue us for terrorism. Our interactions with Germany have firmly fallen under the “acts of war” category, and so did the nuclear weapons. Terrorism =/= war. I firmly hate war, but we can’t pretend like an undeclared attack against a helpless nation who can’t fight back is remotely the same as allying with the British Empire to invade Nazi Europe, or that dropping two—those, not “that”–nuclear weapons on Japan is the same as hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings as a declaration of war.
China has no case against the United States, either. We saved their asses in World War 2. Your history sucks, Matt. Please go back to high school. Japan was slaughtering the Chinese, raping them, brutalizing them, torturing them, and China didn’t have much of a military to stand against it. China is the reason that the Allies won World War 2. Hitler was counting on Japan to help him attack the Soviets, coming from the east while Germany came from the west, and Japan instead focused its efforts on China, which proved a bit too big for them to just conquer simply. They weren’t stressing the Soviets, and that allows the Soviets to focus their efforts on the western border, where they lost more lives than anyone else in World War 2, and took the brunt of Nazi Germany’s attack. Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, we hit the Pacific Theater, and started advancing toward Japan. Every single island was a grueling battle of immeasurable death, because the Japanese refused to surrender any territory, forcing us to fight for every inch of land that we took. An attack on mainland Japan would have caused extraordinary death. The atomic bombs were a quick solution to a long, deadly problem.
How easily people forget.
The Soviet Union was our ally during World War 2, and so was China. We’ve yet to do anything worth suing over to either China or Russia. We’re about to do some fucked up shit to Russia, but we haven’t yet. China’s gripes could stem from Korea and Vietnam, but we were only in those places as part of a “UN Peacekeeping Effort,” which was a euphemism for “We’ve got military industrial complexes in several of the world’s largest countries that need to continue destroying resources and sharpening their weapons so, lulz, sorry people of Korea and Vietnam.” If anyone can be sued for those fiascos, it’s the United Nations–everyone. And China has no authority to sue on their behalf, because China every bit played a part in creating that mess.
Man, your history leaves a lot to be desired.
Iraq certainly would have a legitimate case. Iran… not so much. There was the virus we infected their centrifuges with–I don’t remember now what it was called–and it caused them to burn through machines at their nuclear refinement facilities, but that can’t be definitively pinned on the United States. We’d blame Israel, Israel would blame the United States; no one could trace the thing back to its source. Hell, didn’t we just give them a few hundred billion dollars? What are they going to sue us for? Giving them money?
I imagine your ignorant ass meant Syria.
Let’s think about Syria for a moment.
We have an established government led by Assad and backed by Russia. Then we have rebels. It started with a series of peaceful protests, Assad said “lol, not in my country” and started killing people and cracking down on protest. Then this happened:
Then we slipped the guy a bunch of weapons and told him to use them to fight off the guards. They did so. This chaos and power struggle caused ISIS, who was already growing and taking territory in Iraq, where we had also left a power vacuum, to sweep into Syria and start claiming territory there, too. Syria absolutely has a case against the United States government. They stoked the fires of instability, provided arms to the rebels, helped create a power struggle, and the resultant mess is what we see today. Now, instead of working with Assad and Syria to restore stability to the country that we helped shatter, we’re only interested in digging the hole deeper, hoping that, maybe, we can dig deep enough and come out on the other side of the planet, standing on our heads.
I find myself becoming leery of people with four-letter names. lol
Alex is simply wrong. We can prove that Saudi Arabia funded 9/11. We can also prove that a Pakistani general gave Mohammed Atta one hundred thousand dollars while Atta was here and training for the 9/11 attack, though “truthers” have made it impossible for me to find this information not on a blogspot site. In fact, it’s actually kinda alarming how the top Google results go to a blog which cites another blog which cites another blog. I actually do have an actual print publication I could go to if I wanted to source the information, but it’s in the trunk of my car, it’s cold outside, and it’s, as the 9/11 Commission Report said, “of little practical significance.”
I should have read your comment in full. You are a truther. That’s okay. So am I, and I think it’s sad that “truther” has become an insult. Yes, insult me because I want to know the truth, because I know that things don’t just happily break physical laws, because I know that a building couldn’t have fallen at freefall speeds, and because I remember that THREE TOWERS went down that day, one of which WASN’T EVEN HIT BY A GODDAMNED PLANE.
All three towers went down exactly the same way. One wasn’t even hit by a plane. And I’m the whackjob for wanting answers? You people going “Meh, that’s nothing worth discussing” are the lunatics! I don’t believe anything about 9/11, except that the 9/11 Commission was a provably biased one with ties to the Bush and Bin Laden families, and that the report–which I have actually taken the time to read–makes wonderful fairy tale reading, but is nothing more than that. You expect me to believe that this fire that magically melted steel allowed one of the terrorist’s passports to be found unscathed at 9/11? People, c’mon. That’s clearly planted evidence. How stupid can you be? It melted steel, but left paper undamaged?
Ugh. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.
I don’t believe the government orchestrated 9/11. The most I will say is that the evidence suggests–like Cheney’s order for NORAD to stand down and the fact that we otherwise have 100% success intercepting aircraft, yet spectacularly failed repeatedly that day–that some powerful elements within the U.S. Government either knew about and allowed the 9/11 attack, or directly orchestrated it. That’s as far as I’ll go, because that’s as far as the evidence supports. Short of a revolution wherein we ransack all the classified documents and un-redact them, we’ll never be able to say more than that.
We’re not over there looting resources, though. You fail at contemporary events. The price of oil is low because the United States has started fracking like crazy, which allows us to get to oil that we couldn’t otherwise get to. We are the reason the price of oil plunged. It was only after the 2003 invasion of Iraq that the price of oil began skyrocketing. I remember paying $4.35/gallon. Now it’s half that. You bloody fool. If we were looting their oil, then the reverse would have happened: the price of oil would have gone down after 2003, and then back up more recently.
It wasn’t about oil, though. You’re too short-sighted. It was about the destruction of resources. Sparring, if you will. Competition fosters growth, improvement, and efficiency. If we want the most powerful military in the world, then what do we need? War. “War is the health of the state,” they say, and that’s certainly true here. We need our military to fight. Necessity is the mother of invention. We need the need to cause us to develop new, better rockets, new , better “defense” wink-wink systems. The military industrial complex cannot just build a bunch of tanks and then go, “Well, that was fun, and we made lots of money.”
It has to then destroy those tanks so that it has a reason to invent new, better tanks. It needs to evaluate those tanks’ weaknesses and improve them. What better way to do all of this than to attack a country that couldn’t possibly pose any real threat to us? That’s all this is: sparring. And we’re massacring people’s lives while we do it. It should come as no surprise to you that immediately after one conflict ends, we find ourselves bogged down in another. That has been the case for decades. Why? What is to be gained? Efficiency, improvement, and growth, because war is competition of our killing machines against theirs.
This isn’t an answer in and of itself, though. Why do we want to make our killing machines better, more efficient, stronger, and faster? What is the purpose? What is the purpose of sparring against so many lightweight athletes?
And now the moment has come, as it was always destined to. We’ve improved to ridiculous degrees. We now have fully automated killing machines. Do you really think that we would have military drones capable of dropping smart bombs on an area half a square mile from the comfort of a base in Nevada if we hadn’t had Korea, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, and Syria?
Where do you think the Nazis went after World War 2?
Only nineteen people were found guilty at Nuremberg.
And even discounting the Nazi thing as a minor one–which it is, realistically–it doesn’t matter. We made our intentions clear in the 50s that we would fight whenever, wherever. Why did we do that? Because there was the Soviet Union, the only nation in the world still capable of going toe-to-toe with us. That made them Public Enemy Number One, a mentality that, clearly, never went away.
We continued sharpening our swords and using all of these sparring matches to find ways to improve our attacks, strategies, technologies, methodologies, and tactics. The Russians… didn’t. The Soviet Union collapsed and set them back; they are only recently beginning to stretch back out, with action in Ukraine, Georgia, and Syria.
It is the intention of the United States Military Industrial Complex–a phrase I don’t particularly care for, because I don’t have much patience for conspiracy theories, but we are where we are…–to take out Russia now, before they’ve had a decade to spar with other nations and improve their own capabilities. The plan is to hit them now, before they can have sparring training. This will set them back another few decades, and will leave us with no one in the world who can challenge us as we terrorize smaller nations that couldn’t possibly hope to stand against us. We’ll continue competing and improving through the competition, while Russia will be set back more decades.
And then we will reign, the uncontested champion of the world.
Well, the debates are finally over. Thankfully, they saved the best for last. This started out as a really good debate–it was an actual debate, and the moderator was fantastic, interrupting both candidates equally and encouraging dialogue and genuine conversation. It was one of the best presidential debates that I’ve ever seen, until about halfway through. Trump couldn’t resist opening his mouth to say “Wrong” over and over, and Hillary simply refused to shut up. The moderators should have the authority to cut the candidate’s microphone if they don’t shut up. There were numerous times when Hillary behaved like a child this time, refusing to stop talking even though the moderator just repeatedly asked her to stop.
I didn’t get to finish the debate. I had it paused with about fifteen minutes left, and they ended the live stream. Apparently, this meant I could no longer watch what my browser had already cached. Anyway, here are my notes, some brief and some long, about how the debate went.
“What kind of country are we going to be?” Hillary asks. She’s exactly right. The question this election is between globalism, imperialism, and world domination, or “something else.” I don’t know what you want that “something else” to be, but it doesn’t matter if Gary Johnson gets 30 Electoral College votes, Jill Stein gets 16, and Castle gets 9. It only matters if someone hits 270. I don’t care who you vote for. Except I really do beg you. I implore you–I am begging and pleading with you–do not vote for the warmongering, bloodthirsty Hillary Clinton. Yes, vote for Trump over her.
Between the two, I would take Trump any day of the week. I don’t know how badly Trump will fuck things up, but I am absolutely confident that he would not start World War 3. Conversely, I am reasonably certain that Hillary not only could start World War 3, but legitimatelyintends to. A lot of people have noticed this, and I am not alone in it. Regardless of what you think of him–and this is the first time I’ve ever seen any of his work–Stefan Molyneaux has compiled quite a collection of evidence supporting this idea; it’s pretty clear that Hillary wants Russia.
Please do the world the favor of watching the first half of that video before you vote. This is an enormous prospect, not something to roll your eyes at. We’ve all heard Hillary speaking about the Russians. “They’ve launched cyber attacks…” “We will punish them…” “We need leverage over them…” “We will retaliate with our military…” “Putin himself is doing this…” She hasn’t been subtle in any sense. If we elect Hillary and this war erupts, you cannot say that you didn’t see it coming. The writing is on the wall. All you have to do is look at it. With something as huge as war with Russia appearing to be on the line, we have to seriously consider things.
Deny Hillary 270 by voting for anyone else. Literally anyone else. Vote for Marilyn fucking Manson if you want, I don’t care. Just don’t vote for Hillary. She cannot win because I vote for Daryl Perry. She can only win because people voted for her. So don’t vote for her. Bam. Done. Easy-peasy.
“Do the founding fathers’ words mean what they say…?” lol. Loaded question much?
“Dark, unaccountable money coming into our election system…” From Hillary, that is fucking classic.
Trump’s question about the Supreme Court became an attack on Hillary about her deplorable comment? What the actual fuck? He did finally get to it and say it had to be interpreted in the spirit of what the founders meant, rattled on about the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is mostly useless to us today, as I wrote in The Power Gap, which you can buy there–none of the money goes to me, fyi. If you wanna throw money at me, throw it at the Foundation for Rational Economic Education or the Mises Institute. Anyway, our shotguns, pistols, and rifles won’t mean a fucking thing against the drones, cluster bombs, and scorpion missiles that our military has. The Second Amendment has long been gutted completely; it does nothing to help us defend ourselves from the state.
Okay, I see now. Trump does talk like a kid. Lots of small words, it is kinda off-putting.
Hillary says she respects the Second Amendment and gun ownership. “Can be and must be reasonable regulation.” No amount of regulation is reasonable. Regulation, by its very nature, is unreasonable. Outlawing guns will prevent gun-related deaths just like outlawing heroin prevented heroin-related deaths.
Fox is actually creating and fostering a dialogue. Holy shit! This is a debate! This is what we should have had the other two times! This is fantastic. Why can Fox do this, but CNN can’t? Fox, you truly deserve a shout-out for this.
Trump, “I am pro-life…” At the moment, are you really? Trump is saying that yes, he wants to see Roe v Wade overturned, and to let it be sent back to the states. It’s already mostly handled by the states, isn’t it? I had a family member who I had to drive to Arkansas because she couldn’t get an abortion here in Mississippi after the 4th week. Are people really trying to outlaw first month abortions?
I’m not getting along well lately with pro-life libertarians, because they’re so smug and sanctimonious when they decry abortion as a violation of the NAP, and thus unequivocally wrong. Um… So we’re just going to ignore the violation of the NAP against the woman as you force her to donate her body to someone else? My point has long been that there’s no longer any way to come out on the side of the NAP regarding abortion. It exists now, and there’s no way to resolve it. It’s the murkiest of murky murkiness. The Pro-Life people aren’t wrong to say that it’s a violation of the NAP, but being Pro-Life is also a violation of the NAP, just in a different way. So it comes down to being a question of whose rights you want to violate: the fetus’s or the woman’s. The pro-choice position is pro-choice: an individual should have the right to make that choice for themselves. That’s the best we can do definitively.
I’m pro-choice. This does not mean pro-abortion. This means that I’m against forcing a woman to donate her literal flesh for the benefit of someone else. I’m also against killing people. This is irreconcilable. Thus, I’m pro-choice: you make your decision. It’s merely a question of how you want to violate the NAP: with violence or with force.
Hillary is for late term, partial birth abortions? I’ll have to look into it, because I don’t know enough about it, but I doubt that’s acceptable in the mainstream.
Everything bad is “…a disaster” if you ask Trump. I found myself removing “It’s a disaster” from something that I wrote recently, because I heard it in Trump’s voice as I wrote it.
No, we don’t need strong borders. If you want gun control, you have to have strong borders. If you want the drug war, you have to have strong borders. We don’t want either of these things. It would be, as Trump likes to say, “a disaster.” Trump knows it, too. There’s a reason he mentions drug control and the border. I like how he just stops and says, “Now. I want to build a wall.”
Trump makes an emotional appeal to fear of drugs and crime. Hillary makes an emotional appeal to compassion about breaking up families. Neither of them are able to provide an actually rational answer. They both simply appeal to emotions. Different emotions, but it’s still an emotional appeal.
How does Hillary stand there nodding as Trump says that her husband signed NAFTA, “the worst trade deal in the history of mankind?”
We need those undocumented immigrants to take lower wages, out of the way of the Minimum Wage laws.
Fox is gonna blast her on those leaks! Awesome.
Oh. No they’re not.
“My dream is open markets and open borders…” “I was talking about energy.” Um… What?
I knew it was coming. “You mentioned Wikileaks. THE RUSSIANS!”
She even said “It came from Putin himself.” Jesus fucking Christ, the fearmongering. Why are people letting her deflect like this? There is not a shred of evidence supporting the notion that the Russians are behind this shit. Stop blaming them, or put up the evidence. This is blatant and obvious deflection. Anyone with a brain can see that. This is why I said that we needed McAfee. Assuming we’d nominated McAfee and assuming he’d magically reached 15%, I believe he’s one of few people capable of nailing down slippery Hillary.
“The Russians have engaged in espionage against the United States of America… You’re going to let him break up NATO… You continue to get help from him…” Goddamn, people, this is so bad. “Seventeen intelligence agencies have concluded these cyber attacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence the elections…”
There is literally no evidence to support that!
The moderators need to start cutting off people’s mics.
Japan and Korea already have nukes, Hillary.
“Our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan, South Korea…” said Trump. Exactly, so we shouldn’t try. Or, if we’re going to be mercenaries, then yes, we have to charge for it.
If we’re going to be mercenaries for the rest of the world, then Trump isn’t wrong—they should pay. That’s actually not a bad position. We’re the world’s most powerful military by a huge margin and could charge top dollar as a mercenary force. I hate that idea, and don’t think we should be doing it. It’s a better idea than doing it for free in the name of “freedom.” Let the rebel forces raise the money and hire us as mercenaries, or get out of the mess.
“Growing the economy…” I’m so sick of hearing that. “Employment programs…” No. “Fight climate change…” No. “Help small businesses…” No. “Raise the national minimum wage…” ABSOLUTELY NOT. “Education that goes through college…” No. “Real apprenticeships…” Not the government’s responsibility. “We’re going to go where the money is…” Yes, and that’s why it’s not in the United States. “Rich and corporations will pay higher taxes…” Yes, and that’s why they’ll leave the United States.
Why are the candidates even talking about taxes? There’s literally nothing they can say about taxes that we can believe by any stretch of the imagination. Candidates always lie about taxes.
This moderator is funny. I like him. “Thank you, sir.”
Hillary really just blamed shit on Bush again. It’s been eight fucking years. Seriously, it’s pathetic to blame Bush in 2016.
Hillary! What the actual fuck? Your tax plan is not “bottom-up!” It’s still top-down, for fuck’s sake. The government is still the top.
The only way that we can compete with China and India’s 8% growths is by abolishing the Minimum Wage. There is literally no other way.
Trump said, “And they actually fact checked it and said I was right.” The way he stated this was freaking priceless. Like it was a rare thing that someone fact-checked him and found out that he told the truth because people usually fact-check him and find out that he’s pulling shit out of his ass…
So Hillary called TPP “the gold standard in trade deals” without reading over the full thing? Are you serious? Because that’s what she just said. “I said it was the ‘gold standard’ until I read the full version.” So she would have signed this deal without fully reading it? Are you fucking kidding me? It’s bullshit anyway, and we all know it. Goddamnit, we all know it. They’ll modify the TPP very slightly, and Hillary will sign it.
This narrative about being kissed without consent needs to be dropped NOW. How stupid and insane have we gotten? When was the last time you were out on a date and the guy said, “I had a really good time. May I kiss you?” Fuck that noise. You know that never fucking happened. I actually do have a history of asking a girl’s permission before kissing her, and when I was younger, I’d even ask permission before holding their hands. I know first-hand that it’s extraordinarily rare. I’d go as far as saying that if you’re not one of my exes, then the odds are that you’ve never had someone ask your permission to kiss you.
The point is “Kissed without my consent” is a trumped up charge and is absolute bullshit.
Holy shit. That’s actually true. People at the DNC really did pay people to go riot at Trump rallies. I’ve not watched the video yet, but this should be the top story everywhere. The Democrat Party needs to be thoroughly rejected over this. It is hopelessly corrupt. Any political party that would promote violence at an opponent’s rally has no business in the United States. Disband it immediately.
“He’s called a number of women disgusting…” Hillary. Really? How many times have you called him disgusting? So it’s okay to call a man disgusting, but not a woman?
“He never apologizes for anything…” But he does, though. He apologized for the remarks in the 2005 video. So… that’s a lie, and I suspect you know that’s a lie. He also apologized for the remarks about McCAin.
Hillary, no liberal has any right to accuse anyone of being divisive.
Hillary, the people of Haiti hate you and the Clinton Foundation.
Trump does say anything is rigged when he loses. He’s a sore loser. “I didn’t win an Emmy. It’s rigged. I’m not winning the Primary. It’s rigged.”
However, the DNC showed that “the establishment” is absolutely willing to rig things in Hillary’s favor. We don’t know how far up this goes, but we do know that the FBI director was unwilling to prosecute Hillary because she is Hillary Clinton.
I’d take someone blaming a rigged system over someone blaming the Russians and trying to start a war. As far as mindsets go, one is way more dangerous than the other.
Oh, good. Permanent stationing of troops in Iraq to fill in the power vacuum and keep Isis from rising again. Great. Wonderful. Perfect.
I can’t believe that I just listened to the Democratic presidential candidate advocating military action. What the fuck happened to this country? Didn’t the Democrats used to be anti-war? What happened to that? Oh, that’s right. They weren’t anti-war. They’re anti-Republican, and they just used “anti-war” as a way of going after Republicans.
I’m suddenly reminded of the South Park episode where the town splits itself in two over war, and it clearly characterized the town’s anti-war people as Democrats. Man, was that episode way off. Democrats don’t give a shit about war. They love war as much as Republicans do. Democrats just dislike Republicans. This is really, really bad.
America, we have to stop this. Stop it. Please. Just stop it.
Stop killing people.
I don’t fucking care what your reasons are. Stop killing people.
Just stop it.
Hillary: “…an intelligence surge that protects us here at home.” Combined with her beating of the war drums aimed at Syria, I have to say… that scares me. I see bad things coming down the future. The rise of an American Gestapo. Thoughtcrime—thoughtcrime is already becoming a thing, and, yep, it’s the faux progressivists and their “micro-aggressions” who are creating it. I can’t believe this is happening. This absolutely must be stopped.
We must say it loudly, clearly, and unambiguously. “We will support no more war.”
All American soldiers should be returned to U.S. soil. No if’s, and’s, or but’s.
“If you’re too dangerous to fly, you’re too dangerous to buy a gun…” Fuck, man. The writing is on the wall. It’s all right there. Just combine everything we know. Trump isn’t the next Hitler.
“…to gain some leverage over the Russian government…
Hillary is so goddamned dangerous.
I had to pause the video and reboot my brain when Hillary began criticizing Trump for lying. Really, Hillary? You’re both liars. Between the two of you, I think Trump is probably more honest than you, but of course he’s a liar.
“They’re digging underground…”
Damn, that sounds familiar.
“Aleppo has fallen. What do you need, a signed document?”
That shit’s funny, man. I can’t believe a U.S. presidential candidate just tossed out sarcasm like that in a debate.
“if she did nothing [in Syria], we’d be in much better shape.”
I really wish Trump would stick to non-interventionism. He’d be a passable candidate if he did. But he doesn’t. I’m not convinced that he’s speaking generally, or if he’s talking from hindsight. I think he’s talking from hindsight. Maybe not. I mean, the lessons aren’t hard to learn. Anyone who has been paying attention must surely know that our stupid military adventures are stupid and damaging to our own long-term interests.
Clinton wants a No Fly Zone in Syria.
By what right do we impose a No Fly Zone on a country? Can you imagine if Canada said, “We’re going to impose a No Fly Zone on the United States”? We’d immediately shout back, “Who the hell do you think you are? We’ll shoot your planes out of the sky if you try it.”
So it’s about arrogance and entitlement. We’re just like “Who cares? We’re big and powerful, so we can impose a No Fly Zone any-fucking-where we want.” People… You’re really breaking my heart, America. I can’t believe that we have become so arrogant, so entitled, so aggressive, so bloodthirsty, so vile, so petty, and so disgusting that we think we have any right whatsoever to impose a No Fly Zone on another country.
And we just… take it for granted. We don’t even stop to ask, “Wait. We don’t have any authority over Syria. What the actual fuck? A No Fly Zone? That’s an act of war. Are we declaring war on Syria? No! Because declaring war is so passé. Instead, we’re just going to commit acts of war on a country we’re not at war with, which I’m pretty sure is a violation of the Geneva Convention.”
America: proof that even a country founded by people who explicitly spoke out against military intervention and entangling alliances can become a bloodthirsty imperialist war machine.
While watching the baboon and bimbo dance around the arena flinging feces at each other, several times throughout the performance I found myself thinking about that oft-quote line from the film Billy Madison, after a series of tasteful, intellegent-sounding montage clips.
To be honest, the entire debate wasn’t that bad, but most of it was. And, before I continue, I want to say–can we stop talking about who “won” the debate? These aren’t that kind of debate. I would love nothing more than for these to be that type of debate, but these aren’t debates in that sense. Hillary supporters will say that Hillary won, Trump supporters will say that Trump won, and independents will say that everyone, especially the American people, lost. No one won, though, because these kinds of debates don’t have winners. Neither candidate is trying to win a discussion, and no official judge is keeping tally of whose answer to a question stands strongest.
I suppose, technically speaking, we won’t know who won the debates until Election Day.
Anyway, I jotted down some notes while I watched Trump and Hillary do… whatever it is that last night’s televised performance can be called… and I’m going to clean them up a bit, expand them, and post them. There is a lot of ground to cover, so I’ll try to keep it short. If anything isn’t clear, feel free to comment or send me an email. If necessary, I’ll write a follow-up post about specific topics.
This is largely copied and pasted from a Word document.I type 110 WAM, so that’s not as big a deal as you might think.
Trump started out well, floundered a bit. It was actually genius how Trump began talking with such a somber, measured tone. It smacked of humility. Oh, no, don’t get me wrong; I sincerely doubt the released Grab ‘Em By the Pussy video humbled Trump, but he knew that he had to come out and pretend to be humbled. As a result, it took him a while to fall into stride. He pulled it off well until Hillary went into Attack Mode, which caused his Humble Appearance to conflict with his Typical Demeanor, and the result was that he floundered. As he pulled away more and more of the somber measurement, he started falling into the rhythm of things.
NBC was transparent as hell in their favoritism of Hillary. Hillary was allowed to go on past the two minutes without a warning until after she’d gone over by a bit, while they were always quick to cut off Trump. Additionally, at the very beginning, this scene happened:
Trump answered a question.
Moderator asked Hillary a question.
The moderator attempted to go straight onto the next question. Trump asked, “What, I don’t get to reply to her, but she can reply to me?” He’s not wrong, and the moderator had clearly skipped over him intentionally–even if it was a mistake. When she acquiesced that Trump could reply, she said, “But keep it brief, because we have to move on,” and then she interrupted Trump somewhere around 30 seconds later. It was blatant favoritism, and it was on a disgusting scale.
The crowd has cheered him twice and boo’d Hillary once, has otherwise been silent.
Hillary walked right into it and said, “Well, it’s a good thing you’re not in charge of the law in this country.”
Right on cue, Trump said, “Because you’d be in jail.”
Cheers and applause. Really sick burn. Jaw-dropping burn, in fact.
Great entertainment–really, it is, but it’s also nothing more than “Trump is the devil.” “Hillary is the devil.” They’re just going back and forth slinging shit at each other.
Trump straight up called Hillary the devil, too. “I’m stunned Sanders would then sign on with the devil…”
He’s grilling Hillary about deleting 30k emails and telling her she should be ashamed of herself. NBC is really bad about interrupting Trump and not Hillary, though. This debate is childish. It’s supremely childish. These people are trying to lead the country. And they are both being so childish it’s ridiculous. It’s disgusting, in fact. Goddamn.
Hillary just spouted 4 things that I know to be untrue. She’s talking about those of “us” with work-provided health insurance, and NONE of the shit she said applies there. She’s talking about employer-provided health insurance and saying things about independent insurance while claiming it’s about employer-provided. That may not make sense. It’s true, though. “Moving on from b, regarding a, x is true and z is true,” but x and y only apply to b anyway.
The debate is at least back on track, and is, temporarily, no longer childish. Interestingly, even Bill Clinton speaks out against the ACA.
“Medicare does a great job.” — Hillary Clinton, 10/9/2016
Why do people so consistently miss the insurance part of health insurance? This is going to get its own post, but the brief idea is this: Start using your auto insurance for every little thing related to your car. Use your auto insurance to fix a flat tire, have your oil changed, etc., and let me know how long it takes you to completely break the system. Now mix in the government making it illegal for auto insurance companies to raise your rates, even if you use it on frivolous things. Now allow the government to mandate conversations between the mechanics and the insurance companies, so they can work out how best to rip you off. Now let that play out for a few decades, with mechanics charging you for a bunch of shit you don’t need–because you have insurance, it doesn’t cost you anything–and let the costs be passed onto the people out there who don’t use insurance frivolously. Then let that play out for a few more decades. Let me know how utterly broken the system is.
Trump is arguing competition will fix the insurance rates issue, while the moderator Anderson Cooper insists a government mandate is necessary. Trump is right about this, but he’s not putting it well. Competition is what is needed, not a mandate. “When you get rid of state lines, you’ll have competition.” He spoke about how the current system gives companies monopolies in specific states, and he’s… right.
Anderson tried to interrupt Trump several times, saying, “BUT WILL YOU HAVE A MANDATE?!” This deserves its own article, because it’s such an interesting showcase of how fascism and interventionism have conquered the United States. It is absolutely unfathomable to Cooper that a government mandate isn’t necessary, and Cooper is incapable of imagining any other way that the problem could be solved. Through this discussion, you can see the smug Hillary smirking about how the stupid capitalist thinks competition will fix it and that we don’t need the government mandating everything. This is why Cooper attempted to interrupt Trump at least three times, and why Trump continued to insist–clumsily–that competition would fix it.
I would gladly sell my soul for an emergency meeting of the RNC, with Ron Paul stepping forward to say, “I’ll replace him.”
Ron Paul would have hit the questions about the mandate out of the park. That notion that we need the government to protect us from ourselves, Ron Paul has ripped to shreds in a number of debates, often getting roaring applause and agreeing laughter from the audience. Trump attempted to give a Ron Paul answer, but he wasn’t anywhere near thorough enough, and he’s no Ron Paul. Trump has a weird nationalist streak that just isn’t compatible with libertarianism–Trump brazenly speaks of protectionism and tariffs to protect American businesses, at the same time that he says competition will only benefit us. So, to Trump, competition will benefit us… until it doesn’t?
Trump may actually do coke. There’s no way he still has a cold.
Hillary and Trump gave the same goddamned answer about immigration and Islamophobia–seriously, the same answer, but they worded it differently. “Violent jihadist terrorist,” Hillary says. “Raidcal Islamic terrorist,” Trump says. That’s the exact political correctness that is the issue. Jihadist = Muslim, wtf? That’s the funny thing about religion. The Jihadists, as Hillary calls them, insist that non-Jihadists aren’t true Muslims, just like the Westboro Baptist Church insists that no pro-choice person can be a true Christian.
“It’s not a Muslim ban anymore. It’s called ‘extreme vetting,'” says Trump, pulling the same euphemistic political correctness bullshit he’s spent a year criticizing people for. So… it’s still a Muslim ban, and still based on their religion and nation of origin, but we’re not going to call it a Muslim Ban any longer. Got it. No, thanks, that is perfectly clear. Thanks for clearing it up.
“…Because of RUSSIAN aggression.” Hillary put a lot of obvious emphasis on that. Seriously, it was transparent. And it was right after she talked about the “4 year old boy bombed by Russian jets…” Then she said, “…Because of Russian aggression…” and, no shit, actually put a lot of really suspicious emphasis on it.
“The Kremlin–meaning Putin and the Russian government–are directing the hacks of American government to influence the election… The Russians hack information and then put it it out… The Russians are using Wikileaks.” Hillary, again. “They’re doing it to influence the election for Donald Trump.” Probably because Hillary clearly wants war with them???? You think????? “… Donald Trump should release his tax returns!”
She couldn’t be more obvious in how she wants war with Russia and is hoping for Cold War fear to propel her into the presidency. We don’t need war with Russia, man.
“What would you do to ensure the 1% pay ‘their fair share’ in taxes?” asked an audience guy. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?! They are paying MILLIONS and hundreds of millions in taxes while the 99% are paying in a thousand or two. Fair share?
This is an idea that seriously pisses me off, because it showcases entitlement through and through. People focus on percentages, when percentages are irrelevant. Hey, Mr. Audience Man, let’s talk about the fact that you only paid $900 in taxes, but this 1%er paid $450,000. You’re about $449,100 behind him. What are you going to do to pay your fair share? Or do you think it’s fair that the billionaire pays $450k for something that you only pay $900 for?
This is a mentality created by our love for unapportioned taxes. With directly apportioned taxes, that guy’s bullshit, thieving, entitled mentality would not be able to stand, because it would be readily obvious that Billionaire B paid $12,000 to the city for its apportioned taxes to build some schools, while Mr. Audience Man paid only $90. Because you’re a jackass if you think that Billionaire B is using like 1200% the amount of schools that Mr. Audience Man is using, we can easily surmise that they use the schools in roughly the same way. So Billionaire B is literally paying a shitload more for the service than Mr. Audience Man is paying, and Mr. Audience Man wants to talk about how Billionaire B isn’t paying his fair share? Are you kidding me?
“We’ve gotta go where the money is,” Hillary said about taxing the wealthy. Good plan. That way, we can ensure that the wealthy leave with all their money. “I want to invest in you, I want to invest in hard-working families.”
Well… I don’t. I don’t want the government investing in me. I want my employer to invest in me, not random people I’ve never met. I want companies to invest in their employees, not have the government do it. I want employers throughout the country to be free to invest in their employees, by paying them a wage, by sending them to training seminars, by helping them pay for college–you know, as many corporations do today. Imagine, if we got the government out of the way, how much more effective their investment might be.
Cooper: “Did you use the one billion dollar loss to avoid paying income tax?”
Trump: Absolutely, I do.”
lol. Wow. Motherfucker is straight up about it, and goddamn that has to be admired. “Hell yeah, I exploited those loopholes. She put them there. I want to close them.” It’s hard to believe the latter, but the rest is indisputable, so that has to lend him credibility. I don’t believe it, but it is likelier Trump would close them than Hillary would. But it’s far more likelier that no one would. And I don’t really care anyway. If Trump can keep the money he earned, good for him. The idea that the government should take it from him and give it to other people is gross.
“The situation in Syria is catastrophic,” said Hillary. She presumably muttered, with a wink, “I made sure of it.”
“The Russians are not going to come to the negotiation table for a diplomatic resolution unless there is some leverage over them… I want to emphasize here that what is at stake here is the ambitiousness and aggressiveness of Russia… The war crimes committed by the Russians in Syria…”
“The ambitiousness and aggressiveness of Russia…”
You can’t make this shit up, man. When that image first began circulating the Internet, we all smirked at it knowingly, but we doubted that the United States would ever seriously have that policy. Yet we didn’t encircle Russia with missile silos to just not use them. It appears that we let this shit happen stupidly. Nervously, and, yes, we did discuss it, but we didn’t try to stop it while it was building up. As we put missile silos in Turkey, Ukraine, India, Afghanistan, and Japan, all of them pointed at Russia, we didn’t really do enough to speak out against it. And now there is every indication that Hillary wants to use all that military in a war with Russia.
It’s amazing. At this point, I’m praying that everyone else has noticed and is rejecting it.
Pence beats the drums of war, too, and perhaps speaks even more bluntly about how he would go to war with Russia. People, we are brazenly talking about going to war with Russia. Russia! This isn’t one of those laughable Middle Eastern countries who we can beat up with one hand tied behind our back. This is Russia. Russia has nuclear weapons. I don’t think anyone will ever again use nukes, but they have them. They have a bad ass military, a bad ass air force.
The only reason we allow these wars throughout the world to continue is that bombs aren’t falling on American cities. If they were, we’d have fixed our fucked up foreign policy long ago. But it’s not our hospitals that have 4 year old children being blown apart in. It’s those “icky brown people’s” hospitals, so fuck them, right?
If you allow a war with Russia, the bombs will fall on American cities. I’ve little doubt that we’d ultimately win that war because of our obscene technological edge, but it would be a horrific bloodbath, and there would be no real winner. Make no mistake: This is a strategic ploy to ensure United States domination of the globe. There are only two countries who even conceivably could stop American domination of the planet at this point: Russia and China. If one of them falls, then it will be centuries before anyone manages to take down the United States. It may become impossible.
We are facing Orwell’s 1984 in some ways, but with a few critical differences. Oceania is called NATO, and has an undisputed champ: the United States. Eurasia never came forward because of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eastasia is working on coming forward now. Already, we have a military edge over Russia and China–an extreme one that would mean certain victory over either one, if it came to that. They could absolutely hit us back, but modern wars are all about who has the best technology. And ours is… ours is remarkable. We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. Just process that.
In 1984, the only thing that kept any of the three from dominating was that there were two enemies, and they were constantly going back and forth with who they were and weren’t at war with. If Oceania and Eastasia threw everything at each other, one or both would be vulnerable and conquered by Eurasia. For longterm global supremacy, one of the two enemies had to be taken out.
What we are seeing is that Oceania is already on top with a huge headstart. Taking down Eastasia or Eurasia now would establish a lead so sufficient that we’d never have to worry about them again. Once upon a time, the Soviet Union and United States were neck and neck with their technology and military capabilities. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and Russia was gone for a while. When they returned, we had already established a monumental lead. And, because technological growth is clearly exponential, our lead steadily grows. Taking them out now will put us so far ahead that they’d never have a chance of catching up.
It would also allow us permanent superiority over Eastasia, because Eastasia is also playing catch-up. Because both Eastasia and Eurasia are already far behind, it would take both of them to stand up against Oceania. If one of them is knocked down and set even further back, then it will become impossible–at least for a very, very long time–for anyone to stand against Oceania.
This is why we cannot allow a war with Russia. Russia and China are an essential counterbalance to American global domination. While we could certainly defeat either one–perhaps China more easily than Russia–if war with one meant war with both, then the United States wouldn’t be able to do it alone. We’d have to drag the EU in, and the EU would come in. And then we’d have World War 3.
Just say “No” to war with Russia, for fuck’s sake.
I do not want World War 3. I do not want war with Russia at all. I don’t want war with China, either. I don’t want the United States to be the uncontested King of the Globe. I don’t want any of that.
Is that our choice? Trump, who presumably represents friendship with Russia, or Hillary, who clearly represents war with Russia?
I’m voting for Darryl Perry. Perry will not give us war with Russia.
“[Pence] and I haven’t spoken, and I disagree,” Trump said about how Pence said we needed to use the military against Russia.
WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THIS?!
We are right on the edge of starting a goddamned war with Russia.
“I would consider arming the Kurds,” Hillary said.
An American presidential candidate just straight up said she’d arm rebels in another country. Once upon a time, you had Ollie North and the Iran-Contra shit. Now you have “Yeah, I would arm the Kurds.” Goddamn, dude. Trump is only barely better, but he is at least better.
Audience guy: “Would you be devoted to all the people?”
There’s only one possible answer to that. “No. I would get people out of your way so that you can be devoted to yourself.”
Hillary used her “Say one nice thing about the other candidate” answer to launch into a self-engrandizing statement. Trump simply used his to pay a compliment, after thanking Hillary for her weak one about his kids. He said that Hillary is a fighter and hard worker. Hillary talked about how great she is. And Trump is the egotitical one?
Trump just says the same few things over and over; he doesn’t have any solutions. “We’ll go after Isis, close the border, and make great deals.” Okay, and? While I think the President should just sit around and veto every piece of legislation that gets sent to him, that doesn’t change how most people think, and most people expect the president to do stuff. Trump isn’t offering any answers, though. He just keeps throwing out those three things like they’re a panacea for any problem we have to deal with.
The presidential debates have become exactly like junk food. It’s really great eating them, but there’s no nutritional value and afterward you feel dead inside.