1. #22591
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    The fundamental reality is that the continuation of America as we know it depends on maintaining the power, influence, and access to resources that come with being an imperialist superpower, and somehow we have managed to delude no small part of our population into thinking that this influence comes from other nations admiring our prosperity and value system, not from naked displays of military and economic might.
    I don't think one cancels out the other. It's not the case in international relations that "naked displays of military and economic might" alone lead to power and influence and access to resources.

    Other nations do in fact "Admire our prosperity and value system", America's Marshall Plan and the creative and scientific explosion of American culture in Post-War America has had a global influence and impact, and people in France, England, Germany, and also in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, do in fact admire and respect, and were influenced by America. American values like freedom of speech and expression are valued across the world. So many immigrants from India, China, and Iran who i've met always talk about how they feel free to speak their mind in America the way they can't in their own countries.

    America's "soft power" is immense and prestigious and ultimately hard power doesn't work without soft power. That's why China is feared more than it is loved. While America is both loved and feared.

    American soft power and influence has had some successes. Like the Good Friday agreement that ended the Irish Troubles was made possible by American support. The Marshall Plan was another big success (Nelson Mandela among others has asked for a MP to end poverty worldwide). And American soft power and hard power is the only thing that's gonna protect Taiwan (the only democratic Sinophone nation still standing) from China, now that Hong Kong is lost. It's also the only thing protecting South Korea from NK. Obviously American foreign policy has taken a hard beating because Trump has weakened US power in a way nobody has. W. lowered the prestige but not the actual power and Obama restored that.

    Noam Chomsky himself despite opposing the invasion of Iraq did feel that helping the Kurds was a good cause and American withdrawal to basicall throw them to the wolves, at the hands of a neo-Ottoman Turkey and a neo-Tsarist Russia isn't good.

  2. #22592
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    New: US Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man as he attempted to pass through a police checkpoint in downtown Washington Friday with fake inaugural credentials, a loaded handgun & over 500 rounds of ammunition, CNN reporting.
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  3. #22593
    BANNED Joker's Avatar
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    Wasn't it pretty common knowledge that it would be $1400 to make up the difference? That's all I ever understood it to be. Nothing I ever read let me to believe it would be a full 2K on top of the $600.

  4. #22594
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    The fundamental reality is that the continuation of America as we know it depends on maintaining the power, influence, and access to resources that come with being an imperialist superpower, and somehow we have managed to delude no small part of our population into thinking that this influence comes from other nations admiring our prosperity and value system, not from naked displays of military and economic might.
    Other way around, the American Empire like the Soviet Warsaw Pact is a drain on the net resources of the home country in that spending that could be devoted social welfare services, education or research/development is instead consumed for military spending. The only beneficiaries of American Empire are Corporations in that new markets are opened up internationally and goods/capital/labor have freedom of movement around the globe. American industry and the people suffer as seen with the decay of the Rust Belt and the flight of jobs to countries with cheaper labor costs. This is the same story with all modern Empires. They do more harm than good for the home country and its populace and benefits of empire accrue to the wealthy and well-connected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    Wasn't it pretty common knowledge that it would be $1400 to make up the difference? That's all I ever understood it to be. Nothing I ever read let me to believe it would be a full 2K on top of the $600.
    It's fair to say the numbers in the plan were easy to see. It's also fair to say that the regulars here pay more attention than most.

  6. #22596
    BANNED Joker's Avatar
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    But this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Mets View Post
    Yeah.

    It's a bad faith argument for a good cause.
    I feel like the argument that's actually being made is Dems aren't keeping promises, not a real interest in "the cause".

  7. #22597
    Ultimate Member Mister Mets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    But this:



    I feel like the argument that's actually being made is Dems aren't keeping promises, not a real interest in "the cause".
    The people making the argument have to know that they're being deceptive. They think it may have a positive outcome, either providing pressure for more money to go into the hands of average Americans, or by framing the discussion to make the deal seem like more of a compromise, but it would require massive blind spots for someone to be knowledgeable enough about current events to know what's on the table, but ignorant of the idea that it was supposed to be $2,000 total.
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    *deleted post*
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  9. #22599
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wayne View Post
    Other way around, the American Empire like the Soviet Warsaw Pact is a drain on the net resources of the home country in that spending that could be devoted social welfare services, education or research/development is instead consumed for military spending. The only beneficiaries of American Empire are Corporations in that new markets are opened up internationally and goods/capital/labor have freedom of movement around the globe. American industry and the people suffer as seen with the decay of the Rust Belt and the flight of jobs to countries with cheaper labor costs. This is the same story with all modern Empires. They do more harm than good for the home country and its populace and benefits of empire accrue to the wealthy and well-connected.
    How exactly would Americans be able to sustain the obscene levels of consumption that we're all used to without access to cheap raw materials and foreign labor, or the clout to make favorable trade deals and set international standards to our benefit, all of which is made possible by our military power and the implied threat of invasion for any country that doesn't cooperate? And of course this isn't even accounting for how American imperialism has managed to rob poor countries of their most important asset - their people, the most talented of whom are lured to work here to build up our society and enable the growth of the very same military industrial complex that keeps their home countries destitute and makes them a target of suspicion regardless of how much they profess their loyalty to this country or what contributions they have made to it. Go to any university research department, most likely a majority of the faculty and students will be foreigners, it's absurd to think that all of them can easily be replaced with American-born citizens if we simply invested some more resources in education.

    If America were to turn inward now and stop leveraging its power to exploit other nations, we would implode practically overnight. A great example of this in microcosm is how the recycling industry collapsed as soon as Asian countries announced they would stop taking our trash. Turns out that despite decades of patting ourselves on the back about being responsible stewards of the environment, that the recycling business depended almost entirely on being able to dump our trash onto poor countries and relying on them to process it through appallingly filthy and primitive methods, because of course doing the actual recycling over here would not be economical. And so when the option to literally dump our problem on someone else's doorstep went away, we had pretty much no answer for it and have basically had to resort to landfilling most of it anyway while we wait for a domestic recycling industry to be built up. As a society we are just oblivious to how much we depend on others to deal with problems that we aren't even aware exist, and how this creates unforseen consequences that end up biting us in the ass in the long term. It's beyond naive to think that we could simply stop being an empire and that things would somehow get better.

  10. #22600
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    How exactly would Americans be able to sustain the obscene levels of consumption that we're all used to without access to cheap raw materials and foreign labor, or the clout to make favorable trade deals and set international standards to our benefit, all of which is made possible by our military power and the implied threat of invasion for any country that doesn't cooperate?
    The same way that developed countries like the European Union or Japan or Australia or the Asian Tigers do. By leveraging the comparative advantages of their economies in exporting resources, goods and services. The US still exports agricultural goods, financial services, aviation technology, computer technology, minerals etc. The economy is ultimately the foundation to maintaining this empire. Without it there's no money to service the military and to fund overseas engagements. Imperialism does not benefit the economy. Rather resources that can be reinvested into the economy are spent on imperial obligations

    Go to any university research department, most likely a majority of the faculty and students will be foreigners, it's absurd to think that all of them can easily be replaced with American-born citizens if we simply invested some more resources in education.
    Again other way around. There are more students from foreign countries because they can pay the full tuition versus resident who have in-state tuition. The cuts in education spending by the Republican have made universities more reliant on attracting student from abroad who can pay the full tuition and which in turn the universities can spend on faculty. The same for unfunded masters and PhDs. It has also made college education increasingly financially ruinous.

    If America were to turn inward now and stop leveraging its power to exploit other nations, we would implode practically overnight.
    That's simply not true. The loss of the British Empire didn't cause the implosion of the UK. Instead it freed up money and resources that were spent on maintaining the Empire and channeled that to greater social spending and the expansion of the welfare state such as the NHS. The same for the loss of the French Empire or Japanese Empire. Ditto for the rest of the colonial Empires. Modern empires are a dead weight and suck up money and resources. I don't think that's even debatable.

    It's beyond naive to think that we could simply stop being an empire and that things would somehow get better.
    Italy, France, UK, Japan, Netherlands, etc all demonstrates that getting rid of their Colonial Empire was ultimately to the benefit of everyday people in these states both in regards to long term economic growth, but also the fact that people didn't have to die in ruinous colonial wars over lines in the sand.
    Last edited by Bruce Wayne; 01-16-2021 at 04:24 PM.

  11. #22601
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Well regardless the issue of a President having an affair with an intern at a white house screams "HR disaster" at the very least and workplace sexual harassment at another end. Obviously, Bill wasn't seriously in love with Monica Lewinsky and basically saw her as an office fling of the week. So quite obviously you have a sitting president using his office for some kind of sexual favors from his co-workers. Sure Bill Clinton wouldn't have framed things crudely, and he had a personal level of charm and was attractive, but the power differential was kinda glaring and obvious.
    I don't recall Clinton having any other affairs during his administration. Monica was young and star struck and he wrongly took advantage of that. The other thing I do fault him for is not doing anything about her situation with being hounded by the press, etc. In 2014 she wrote a piece for Vanity Fair about how she was treated by Ken Starr's team..she describes how she had a recent chance encounter with Starr in a restaurant, the first time she ever met him face to face

    "...he stepped toward me with a warm, incongruous smile and said, “Let me introduce myself. I’m Ken Starr.” An introduction was indeed necessary. This was, in fact, the first time I had met him.

    I found myself shaking his hand even as I struggled to decipher the warmth he evinced. After all, in 1998, this was the independent prosecutor who had investigated me, a former White House intern; the man whose staff, accompanied by a group of F.B.I. agents (Starr himself was not there), had hustled me into a hotel room near the Pentagon and informed me that unless I cooperated with them I could face 27 years in prison. This was the man who had turned my 24-year-old life into a living hell in his effort to investigate and prosecute President Bill Clinton on charges that would eventually include obstruction of justice and lying under oath—lying about having maintained a long-term extramarital relationship with me.
    Ken Starr asked me several times if I was “doing O.K.” A stranger might have surmised from his tone that he had actually worried about me over the years. His demeanor, almost pastoral, was somewhere between avuncular and creepy. He kept touching my arm and elbow, which made me uncomfortable.

    I turned and introduced him to my family. Bizarre as it may sound, I felt determined, then and there, to remind him that, 20 years before, he and his team of prosecutors hadn’t hounded and terrorized just me but also my family—threatening to prosecute my mom (if she didn’t disclose the private confidences I had shared with her), hinting that they would investigate my dad’s medical practice, and even deposing my aunt, with whom I was eating dinner that night. And all because the Man in the Hat, standing in front of me, had decided that a frightened young woman could be useful in his larger case against the president of the United States."

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    My feeling about sex scandals in office and power is the same as espionage on foreign powers...don't get caught. Every government, democratic or totalitarian, spies on each other and have done so for decades...but if you get caught it's understood you will be disavowed and left to fend for yourself unless there's some diplomatic points to be scored. If you conduct a sex scandal and are married and presented as part of your campaign an image of a nuclear family as part of your package rather than be honest...I simultaneously feel it's unfair and overblown while also feeling "don't do the crime if you can't do the time".

    Another thing that I think happened is the Republicans really twisted the knife with L'affaire Monica. Brett Kavanaugh was a young lawyer working for Ken Starr's team and he submitted to him 10 questions to ask that I am linking to and they are highly questionable IMO.

  12. #22602
    Extraordinary Member Malvolio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    Wasn't it pretty common knowledge that it would be $1400 to make up the difference? That's all I ever understood it to be. Nothing I ever read let me to believe it would be a full 2K on top of the $600.
    That was kind of my point. When someone promises you $2000, but only gives you $600, one's common response would be, "Where's the rest of it?" But if that same someone gives you $1400 a few months later, you either say, "Thank you," or "It's about time!" You don't say, "But you promised me $2000!" because he has now given you a total of $2000.
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  13. #22603
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    I don't recall Clinton having any other affairs during his administration. Monica was young and star struck and he wrongly took advantage of that. The other thing I do fault him for is not doing anything about her situation with being hounded by the press, etc.

    ...
    ...
    Another thing that I think happened is the Republicans really twisted the knife with L'affaire Monica. Brett Kavanaugh was a young lawyer working for Ken Starr's team and he submitted to him 10 questions to ask that I am linking to and they are highly questionable IMO.
    Two things can be true at once.
    -- The Republicans were scumbags to turn what is an ethics issue into a case of impeachment all for the sake of partisan political gains and points scoring.
    -- Bill Clinton still exploited his office and position and power for sex.

    Likewise, these two things are also true:
    -- The Democrats in the House and the Senate should not have voted for Impeachment and it was correct that the Impeachment attempt fail.
    -- However, Clinton should have taken personal responsibility and resigned, and been pressured to do so by some in the party.

  14. #22604
    Astonishing Member PwrdOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wayne View Post
    The same way that developed countries like the European Union or Japan or Australia or the Asian Tigers do. By leveraging the comparative advantages of their economies in exporting resources, goods and services. The US still exports agricultural goods, financial services, aviation technology, computer technology, minerals etc. The economy is ultimately the foundation to maintaining this empire. Without it there's no money to service the military and to fund overseas engagements. Imperialism does not benefit the economy. Rather resources that can be reinvested into the economy are spent on imperial obligations



    Again other way around. There are more students from foreign countries because they can pay the full tuition versus resident who have in-state tuition. The cuts in education spending by the Republican have made universities more reliant on attracting student from abroad who can pay the full tuition and which in turn the universities can spend on faculty. The same for unfunded masters and PhDs. It has also made college education increasingly financially ruinous.


    That's simply not true. The loss of the British Empire didn't cause the implosion of the UK. Instead it freed up money and resources that were spent on maintaining the Empire and channeled that to greater social spending and the expansion of the welfare state such as the NHS. The same for the loss of the French Empire or Japanese Empire. Ditto for the rest of the colonial Empires. Modern empires are a dead weight and suck up money and resources. I don't think that's even debatable.


    Italy, France, UK, Japan, Netherlands, etc all demonstrates that getting rid of their Colonial Empire was ultimately to the benefit of everyday people in these states both in regards to long term economic growth, but also the fact that people didn't have to die in ruinous colonial wars over lines in the sand.
    Trade is not something that exists separately from imperialism, the American dominance of the global economy relies heavily our ability to bully other countries into opening their markets and playing by rules that we write, not to mention our control of the international financial system and the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency, none of this would be possible without a strong military. Do you remember that whole saga where Trump was trying to get China to buy billions of dollars worth of soybeans, how exactly would that have gone if we didn't have carrier groups parked in the Taiwan Strait the whole time? The former colonial empires can still maintain a level of prosperity because being loyal American allies they enjoy the protection of the American umbrella and retain a seat at the table of most international organizations, and even with that there is a still a feeling in all of these countries that they have lost their place in the sun and are now on an irreversible downward trajectory. This was largely what Brexit was about, this longing for an era where Britain could unilaterally dictate terms of trade to anyone and back up their threats with the might of the world's most powerful navy, versus needing to band together with dozens of former rivals just to be able to negotiate on an equal footing with the likes of the US and China, and even then becoming an increasingly irrelevant voice within the EU. And of course, as much as we love to tout European social democracies as a model to emulate, they were largely built up using wealth extracted from colonial subjects, who wouldn't ya know it, were not able to benefit from any of these programs, and when they tried to migrate to the former imperial metropoles so that they could at least share in some of the fruits of their labor, they were met with suspicion and hostility, color me shocked. Needless to say, it's inconceivable that any European countries would face the kind of sanctions and isolation from the US for their treatment of migrants that countries on our enemies list in Latin America and the Middle East do simply for daring to exist.

  15. #22605
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    Quote Originally Posted by PwrdOn View Post
    Trade is not something that exists separately from imperialism....
    That is simply ludicrous. I suppose you consider the Stone Age people New Guinea who traded in flint an empire.

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