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31 August 2012

Comments

Ryan Mount

Good Morning George.

Do I have to pick Left, Right or Middle? Can I be all three and more? Not sure what more is, because I have trouble counting past 3.

George Rebane

RyanM 1056am - And th' rest of th' day t'yeself me lad.

I think that if you just throw out a few specific tenets of your ideology around here, you'll have no shortage of people telling you where you belong. But "trouble counting past three" does start nudging one toward the turkeys currently in the White House ;-)

Paul Emery

Pretty simplistic vision George. Once again show me a successful "Conservative" nation in the last 100 years that fits your credo so we can take notes. Of course it takes both sides. It's the push and pull dynamic that keeps either side from going over the edge.. I have to remind you that you support the expansion of the largest socialist government subsided program of all-the military. By the way, are you going to suggest to Rep candidate Doug La Malfa that we eliminate farm subsidies? Oh, that's right, he receives them. Cash money from US taxpayers to support non competitive products.

George Rebane

PaulE 1139am - But then, I'm a pretty simple guy as these pages attest.

Your demand to see a perfect exemplar of a conservative nation has been treated adequately in the Liberal Mind category. The only perfect exemplars that exist are of collectivist nations. Fortunately we do have a few imperfect examples of nations that have successfully embraced sufficient doses of liberty and capitalism to change the world for the better - I'll start with America.

My opinion of government subsidies - be it for farmers or corporations - is a matter of record on RR. And I have communicated these to Senator LaMalfa personally and extensively.

Your calling the funding of our military as "the largest socialist government funded program of all" doubly underlines the ideological chasm and the simple truth of this post. A limited government, even of a free market capitalist nation, has certain seminal responsibilities, among the foremost of them is a publicly funded military that can defend the nation and implement its foreign policy.

Apparently your progressive side blinds you to that public function required under all forms of governance. And your unique form of logic sees it as being an inconsistency endemic among conservatives. Perhaps you envision that a 'true' capitalistic country sought by conservatives would field corporate mercenary military units to which the government could contract out conflicts.

THEMIKEYMCD

George, 'your' graphic cannot be refuted. Truth is truth.

I have absolutely no idea what 'the middle of the road' means (I don't believe that it exists).

George Rebane

MikeyMcD 1223pm - Agreed, and that's the meat of it. No one knows what that 'middle' means as a point to aim for in public policy. If the middle is what has come to pass in our public life and form of government, then it is nothing but a view from the rear mirror, useless for choosing and guiding us on a forward path.

When we seek wisdom from a middle roader, all we get is a critique of the (usually misrepresented) extremes from their individual viewpoints. There is no accessible ideology there that can inform public policy. This aspect of political thought has been covered, most recently in
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2012/08/the-liberals-intellectually-baseless-ideology.html

Gregory

You conservatives and Republicans should take solace from WSJ's Taranto, who today writes,

"The left has not moved beyond seeing Obama as a racial symbol, and that is for two reasons. First, his record as president doesn't have much else to recommend it, so that crying racism is about the best they can do as an argument for re-election. Second, it is of great psychological importance to American left-liberals to believe that their opponents are racist and they themselves are not. Their self-image as a moral elite revolves around the imputation of invidious racial attitudes to others.

Romney and the Republicans, however, have moved on. This was best exemplified by the nominee's birth-certificate quip, which we wrote about on Monday. Birtherism, once mortifying to mainstream conservatives and Republicans, is now just a joke, although the left continues to take it very seriously."

Ryan Mount

I still want Jack Kemp to be President. He was a RINO, but in a good way. Not that I agreed with everything he did/wanted, I just thought he was good for the country. For example, he was one of the few politicians I can recall that had the guts to take on poverty in a meaningful way.

I almost voted for Bob Dole because of him. I said "almost."

billy T

The magic of Sen. Robert Dole and his accomplishments as a minority member of the Senate was this: Bob came up with the ideas and reached across the aisle and gave the other guy all the credit. He put their names on his bill. His humility, quick wit (dry as it may be) and purpose makes him one of a kind in my book. Not taking credit is a hard thing for egomanics to do and Bob played off their egos as a craftsman.

Another masterful thing Bob Dole did was bring in both sides of an issue into his office (one at a time) and heard each viewpoint. Whether it was a communications bill or the like, he invited businesses and foes alike and gave them a fair hearing before crafting legislation. He was not afraid of meeting with anyone. He never played us against them, rich vs poor, black vs gay vs brown vs Asian vs rich vs poor vs hawks vs doves.

If only others could learn from Bob Dole's ways.

Earl Crabb

By gum, we should take this Crabb fellow out and beat him with an elephant's tail until we he sees the light of the righteous right...Oh...that's ME you're talking about! In that case, give him/me the pulitzer, a lefty honor if ever there wuz one.

Methinks you sometimes forget to take into consideration that my forked tongue is firmly implanted in my cheeky cheek. Perhaps you all should wait until I have likewise had the opportunity to scrutinize the coming convention of Donkeycrats.

And by the way, thanks for the coffee last Tuesday, George. It was good to see your regressive self in the flesh again. (Jeff P. - Take note. Has RL been bought off by the right with a cup of java? Does he really work that cheap?)

Ryan Mount

Bob Dole was no match for the might of the Clinton charm-hit-machine. Besides, Americans where well on their way to being fat and happy in 1996. It was the prelude to Pets.com. Why change?

But back to Jack Kemp. It wasn't his aggressive brand of supply-side econ that distinguishes his career, although invariably that's what people think of him as ostensibly the force behind of Reaganomics. It's that he outran the Democrats in what was the conventional wisdom of the time: that they (the Democrats) where the friend of the poor, down-trodden and the working man.

The Democrats are still trying to figure out what happened.

Jack Kemp relentlessly focused on individual aspiration and more importantly hope with action, not rhetoric like Douche bag Romney. Even Paul Ryan, who worked for Kemp is a turncoat. He was truly concerned about the plight of the average and under privileged American. And said and demonstrated so often. He believed in teaching a man to fish; not given him a fish.

billy T

Crabbie! I was just contemplating this morning the fun you will be having next week down in North Carolina. I am certain your Satan's Pitchfork will be rubbing and poking some of the Purlpe People Eaters the wrong way. You may work for a song, but you are not cheap. Quit playing hard to get.

George Rebane

EarlC 142pm - Bob, I thought it went without saying that we are all with baited breath waiting for your next week's essays on the Dems. It will be your obligatory shot into their shorts. But, as this post and discussion bears, we most of all await your or any other middle roader's exposition of their oh so elusive ideology.

Ryan Mount

There is no "middle," because the Left/Right proposition is a false construction. If this were an exercise in classical logic, this would be a fallacy of false choice. Psychologists would say this is a "splitting" personality. So maybe I'm agreeing with Mike; the middle fence-sitters are just procrastinating.

I found this the other day, and I was surprised by its author:

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits." ~Ronald Reagan, 1964

George Rebane

RyanM 314pm - President Reagan's homily is an astute political distinction without a difference. The world has learned to label the two most common ideological bookends as Left and Right (of course the real world is more complex, see for example
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2010/11/the-latest-volley-from-the-local-left.html ), and they are conformal to Down and Up respectively.

In my field it is easy to characterize (model) precisely those two ideological dimensions, and represent them (i.e. behaviors, reactions, policy) with a number of technical toolsets whose confirmation is also an easy task since it involves measuring the predictive power of each of the representational tools.

In my lifetime these tools have performed beyond all expectations, and if anything, have become more powerful as the nation has become more polarized. Ryan, if you insist, we will map your future Up/Down comments into the appropriate Right/Left, and leave our beloved Gipper to repose in his eternal and well-earned tranquility.

THEMIKEYMCD

Ryan, I am interested to hear your basis for calling Mitt a "D-bag" 1:48pm. Recall that I'm a Ron Paul supporter so you can be honest :).

Paul Emery

George

So there you go again. To find an example that's suits you you have to go back to the good old days of Manifest Destiny or colonialism that created wealth through plunder and invasion so we can't actually compare and contrast, to use a junior high essay methodology.

LaMalfa and Ryan certainly don't show much conviction when it comes to their records when it comes to conservative values. They both take advantage of government giveaways for their personal and political ambitions. Romney? Who knows. If Reagan was the Gipper Romney is the flipper with no consistent belief in anything except what it takes to be elected. That's why I have such respect for Ron Paul. Even though I don't agree with him on many issues I have respect for his convictions which he does not compromise for political gain.

George Rebane

PaulE 614pm - I'll stand with my 1211pm. Meanwhile, you can refresh yourself on when the US created how much wealth, and how much of it came through "plunder and invasion". The progressives' hate for America is endless and growing.

BTW, Doug LaMalfa resigned today from the CA legislature so as to clear the way for his successor, save the district about $4M, a focus attention on his campaign for Congress.

Ryan Mount

Mikey-

Easy. I do not believe, not trust that he will control the government's teenager-like behavior, nor do I believe for one second that he will broaden our liberties. And, I believe that he will continue the practice of dismembering children overseas with hellfire strikes.

Ron Paul walked out for a reason.

My d-bag comments have nothing to do with Romney earnings. I really don't care as long as he didn't break the law. Romney already paid income taxes on his investment income, and then, had to pay the ~15% cap gains. As I've pointed out elsewhere, we voted for this tax system, and now we're looking for the evil behind the wizard's curtain. Low and behold, it's us pulling the levers.

I was interested in Ryan (not me in the third person, although that's flattering), but his Congressional voting record reads like a drunken teenager, so it seems doubtful he can make the "moral case for capitalism" as he promised despite his miraculous conversion after the Republican House take-over.

Steven Frisch

Funny, I know more than a few good, "real Americans", who were labor union members, Democrats, and liberals, who fought for this country, were wounded for this country, and sacrificed for this country. Members of my own family lost their lives fighting fascism, or were wounded or served in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I think they would be disgusted with the idea that a fellow veteran says they could not exist without conservatives fighting for them. They've proved that they are quite capable of and willing to fight for their country all by themselves.

Todd Juvinall

You are always taking credit for others accomplishments SteveF. Nothing to see here, move along now.

Steven Frisch

It is not only conservatives who fought, bled and died for America, and to say so is un-patriotic. I am proud of all of THEIR service and achievement, especially the millions who would have rejected having labels like liberal and conservative applied to them. Seems like some veterans don't remember what they heck they served for. They didn't serve as pay back for some childhood grudge...they served to protect the freedom of ALL Americans.

TomKenworth

This so clearly explains why the Red States take more from the Feds than the blue states (including California), in terms of taxes paid vs money received from the Feds.

TomKenworth

Todd, I know Obi Wan Kenobi, and you're no Kenobi.

George Rebane

re StevenF 1024am - From this comment it is clear that quite a few progressives have trouble distinguishing between people of all political flavors having fought in the county's wars, and the mood/sense of the liberal aggregate when it comes to supporting a strong military to defend America and put teeth in its foreign policy.

And then there are others who think that the states' voter pluralities are an indication of how their wealth creators vote(d).

Steven Frisch

I don't think its me that having trouble distinguishing between the contributions of all Americans; you are the one who posted the picture. And who says liberals don't support a strong military--I think you equate the size of a budget with the strength of the result--a philosophy you would eschew in any other area of government.

George Rebane

SevenF 1203pm - Well stated counter Steve. Rephrased, you are saying that knowing whether a person is liberal or conservative has no predictive power on the likelihood that the person also supports a strong US military. That is a belief that has little historical support, and most certainly no current support as witnessed, say, by the protestation of our SecDef almost all senior flag staff.

And attempting to start the fine points argument that the "size of the budget" has no correlation to "the strength of the result" is a debate I am incapable of with people who have no idea about the realities of DoD procurement and systems development cycles.

Except perhaps for the liberals hidden in these sylvan foothills, the rest of world knows the aggregate propensities of the conservatives vs liberals toward strong militaries and their uses.

Todd Juvinall

Barbara Lee must be SteveF's hero. But when a person like SF says liberals are just as Patriotic about the country and its military, I must give that a hearty belly laugh (and my belly is hearty). I recall Obama was guilted into wearing the flag pin in the 08 election. Hmmm.

Paul Emery

So George. my contention is that military contractors profit from war and instability which they indeed promote it for their own goldenness. In the case of the Iraq war we will continue to pay for their successful marketing of the need for war by adding trillions to the national debt. Not a peep from either side about Afghanistan by the way in this election cycle. As long as war is profitable it will continue. There are no free bullets. Giving Golden Cow status to military spending is a monumental flaw in what you propose and it is quite the opposite of Conservative values at least when it comes to small government and fiscal responsibility.

George Rebane

PaulE 303pm - I guess it all depends on how you trade off the growing costs of egregious transfer payments versus a world that will invite multiple regional hegemons to rise and then battle it out - e.g. Turkey, Iran, Russia, China, EU, not to mention the unfettered strife invited in south Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

But if your worldview is a simple one where nothing is as connected as I have sought to show on these pages, then we just smile, drink the kool-aid, and wait for it.

In short, how do you assess the stabilizing influence of a militarily strong US, and what will our ability to continue those transfer payments when the global economy along with ours falls on its ass?

Todd Juvinall

PAX USA

Steven Frisch

PAX USA

How is that PAX USA working out since 1972?

Vietnam
Cambodia
Laos
The Mayaguez Incident
Lebanon
Zaire
Iran
El Salvador
LIbya
Lebanon again
Lebanon again
Grenada
Honduras
Chad
LIbya
Guatemala
LIbya again
Iran again
Honduras again
The Philipines
Panama
Liberia
Iraq
Zaire again
Sierra Leon
Bosnia
Herzegovina
Serbia
Iraq again
Somalia
Bosnia again
Serbia again
Macedonia
Haiti
Central African Republic
Iraq again
Afghanistan
East Timor
Serbia again
Nigeria
Yemen
Afghanistan
Yemen again
Afghanistan again (still there)
Iraq (still there)
The Philipines again
Haiti again
Pakistan
Somalia again
Libya again
Somalia again
Uganda

PAX USA

Todd Juvinall

Putting down wars is not an easy task. The planet would be a cinder if not for our brave country. Frisch, you are a disgrace to the flag.

THEMIKEYMCD

Ryan, thank you for indulging my curiosity. You have articulated your opinion well and more importantly your opinion holds merit. Do we write-in Ron Paul or my 'go-to' Mr. Mad Hatter?

Posted by: Ryan Mount | 01 September 2012 at 08:10 AM

Paul Emery

Interesting to watch Mark Meckler tonight supporting Obama's military cuts which brings it back to 2007 levels. he said the cuts were no big deal and manageable. This was on Stossel which also had a major piece on the tacky way Ron Paul was treated this week.

George

Where does the Constitution justify our involvement in the above countries?

George Rebane

StevenF 449pm - Given WW1, WW2, Korea, and that the world has for the last fifty years had over five countries each with weapons that could destroy all civilizaton on earth, you have cited chickenshit. For all of us that PAX has been working out real good since 1972. What's your next question?

PaulE 653pm - The Constitution doesn't say much for all those police actions, even though I do wish that Presidents would ask Congress to declare war more often. However, given what could come loose, please see my answer to SteveF. Also as I have cited before, George Friedman of Statfor has an excellent essay on how these relatively small dust-ups fit into America's overall strategy and Pax Americana.

Paul Emery

"wish the President would ask to declare war more often"... I thought that was required under the Constitution. You are very loosy goosy with the Constitution when it involves something you believe in.

Paul Emery

George
Todd Juvinall | 01 September 2012 at 05:38 PM
"Frisch, you are a disgrace to the flag."

George, Would that disqualify someone it they said that about you?

Ron Paul would ask the same question about our military adventures. Todd, is he a "disgrace to the flag"?

Steven Frisch

Hey George, I was not saying I disagreed with all of these engagements--I was merely responding to Todd description of it as PAX USA. I don't know what world we live in that we would consider 4 major conflicts and and about 20 minor ones PAX USA. With respect, I think all your'all's definitions are little skewed.

If we are serious about cutting the deficit a big chunk has to come from the military. I am on record here in the past saying we could cut 300 billion by switching to a more modern, flexible, rapid deployment stye force, with reserves, and gear up for major conflicts (with declarations) over time.

But then you started this by basically saying I don't know shift, even though my family members who are relatively high up in military intelligence agree with me.

George Rebane

PaulE 745pm - well hell Paul, it's tough to decide when it's a war, especially when all you want to do is give 'em only a small kick in the ass. We've problems with that kind of statesmanship since Jefferson was in office. Almost every President had a little diplomacy that needed a bit of stiffening, or another Indian tribe that required some women and children killed, or Mexican bandits that needed to be chased way back deep into their county. You can't go around declaring war every time for stuff like that. And then every once in a while suddenly things get a little out of hand and escalate a bit beyond wrist slapping, and everyone starts talking about the Constitution.

I mean, you sound like I started this whole thing. What should I do instead, carry a sign, write my congressman? I take the easy way out, I argue with you.

George Rebane

Administrivia - it is irritating when comments are delayed by TypePad as their servers get busy. Sorry for the skipped responses.

I think we're getting off from the topic, and most certainly from the side thread on the impact on our foreign policy and world peace if the US military take the hit from sequestration that SecDef and the Joint Chiefs tell us. All I can say here is that my experience as a defense contractor and consultant to DoD corroborates those assessments. Not sure what more any of us here can add to that debate.

However, we can debate until the proverbial cows come home on what a world with a weak US will look like, and whether any of our other domestic priorities would be met in such a world. That is unknown territory in a post-WW2/cold war environment.

billy T

Some agree with Mr. Frisch, But, Tutu ain't looking too good these days. http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20120902/EU.Britain.Blair/

Todd Juvinall

Not to belabor the faux pax of the Frisch etal but one thing they overlook about declaring war every time there is a need to keep the peace. If a normal declaration is made, the government could then call for martial law, the denial of habeus corpus and a suspension of due process on AMERICANS! So PaulE, is that what you want to happen when LBJ went into Santa Domingo? Or Reagan went into Grenada?

PAX USA has kept the planet from blowing up and it is too bad there are some who can't even fathom the reasons. Perhaps a intense read of Roman History after they completed their PAX would help the ignorant regarding policy.

Steven Frisch


Congressional declarations spell out what actions are authorized as part of the war. And overturning the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which limits federal powers of martial law and the use of federal troops against US citizens, would require a separate act of Congress. Suspension of habeous corpus would require that be included in the Declaration. The Constitution expressly forbids the suspension of habeous corpus except in extreme cases. "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it."

So let me see if I have this right Todd. You say you are a constitutional originalist, yet you are saying we should not require a declaration for the US to go to war, which was ensconced in the Constitution. And your rational for such a position is that we can't trust our government enough not to deny us civil law and the right to be present for trial, but we can trust them enough to go to war without Congressional oversight?

Pretty confused, irrational, muddled, paranoid case if you ask me.

Steven Frisch

And I think you are mixing your colloquial Latin and French. You put the faux in the pax.

Todd Juvinall

SteveF, One thing though about your previous comment above is you make my case for me. I know you did not intend that so thanks.

I have seen the clips of FDR announcing a state of war now exists with the empire of Japan, what a day later of the attack? Please give us the link to the document you say exists from the Congressional Declaration that spells out what you say is required. It seems to me something was suspended when the government placed the Japanese Americans into concentration camps. What is the source of that document and where is it? You seem to be the self appointed "smartest bear here" so do what you do and cut and paste some facts supporting your positins.

George Rebane

StevenF 809am - good points and questions Steve. While I'm not answering for Todd, I would like to throw in my two cents.

Yes, I would trust my government to enter foreign armed engagements more than trusting them with the implementation of 'civil' laws at home in times of declared emergencies. I base my trust on the steady erosion of our civil liberties in the last 40+ years, and the historical reactions of our government during WW1&2 when hundreds of thousands of US citizens were incarcerated for having the wrong ethnicity/race. The abrogation of our civil liberties did not stop there as a deeper delving will reveal.

In the 20th century governments were the greatest killers of their own citizens in non-military related 'civil' and administrative actions. As our Founders cautioned us, governments are not to be trusted, even our own. That is my rationale.

Steven Frisch

George, I agree that a basic premise of American government and individual liberty is that government is not to be trusted, but that is in part what we instituted a system of checks and balances to address, and allowing the government to engage in war without a declaration is actually eliminating one of the checks that the legislative branch uses to reduce risk of tyranny from the executive branch.

I think what I am reacting to here is the contention is that we trust our government to project our power globally, but not to use it wisely at home. If our government is so screwed up that you think they are intentionally planning to steal our liberty, are hoarding ammunition to use against our people, are arming all our civilian agencies, and planning a post-modern police state--then you should not trust them to engage in an undeclared war in Iran. You can't really have it both ways.

Steven Frisch

Dear Todd---here is the text of the US Declaration of war against Japan.

http://customers.hbci.com/~tgort/japan.htm

The text of every other declaration is listed in Wikipedia if you want to look at them. If you want to check the veracity you can go to the source material. Of course I could check the source material in my extensive library, where I happen to know the texts of the Declarations against Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Mexico reside in the collection

By the way, I am wondering why you find people using research to answer questions so challenging?

billy T

You'll don't have to be a blueblood hillbilly redneck flag waving beer bellied Neanderthal with a gun rack in the window of the ole American made pickemup truck to agree with the old bumper sticker "I love my country but I fear my government". That is something we have in common.

TomKenworth

Rove is trying to drive the RepublicAN ELEPHANTS ACROSS

TomKenworth

the alps. Good luck!

Steven Frisch

I'm looking back at my original comment on this thread:

"Funny, I know more than a few good, "real Americans", who were labor union members, Democrats, and liberals, who fought for this country, were wounded for this country, and sacrificed for this country. Members of my own family lost their lives fighting fascism, or were wounded or served in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I think they would be disgusted with the idea that a fellow veteran says they could not exist without conservatives fighting for them. They've proved that they are quite capable of and willing to fight for their country all by themselves.

Posted by: Steven Frisch | 01 September 2012 at 09:07 AM

and realizing that George never actually answered the key point--that Americans of all persuasions fought, sacrificed and died for this country, and to endorse the idea embodied in the photo he posted is fundamentally disrespectful and insulting to all of those people.

Todd Juvinall

SteveF thanks for proving my points in opposition to yours. I knew you would come through.

George Rebane

SteveF 856am - Indeed all of us can "really have it both ways". In the realworld trust, like many other things, is conditional. It is simplistic to require that 'trust government in one thing, trust them in everything else'. Therefore I stand with my 845am.

re your 1146am - what is there about my 1155am that you don't understand? You again confuse two separate, distinct, and independent (aka orthogonal) notions, namely 1) ideologies of people who were conscripted and answered the call to fight in a country's wars, and 2) their tenets which may or not support a country's ability to project power through a strong military. Hence, there is nothing disrespectful to veterans of any stripe in the presented proposition.

Conservatives, even 'old and addled', can easily tell that such notions require and deserve separate treatment in order to pursue a rational discussion. Perhaps younger men already had the acquisition of those skills excised from their public educations, along with the ability to understand meanings of words like 'conspiracy', which they unthinkingly accuse us older ones of labeling another topic of interest, Agenda21 (please excuse the divergence of topic here, but there is a connecting thread in the requirement to understand the nature of relationships in both areas, cf your comment at Russ Steele's).

Todd Juvinall

From SteveF's early critism of my PAX USA, he said this,

"Congressional declarations spell out what actions are authorized as part of the war."

So then he gave us all the War Resolution for WW2 and guess what, nothing spelled out! So you readers get to see up close how a liberal mind works or deosn't depending on your perspective.

I think SteveF for once again making my points for me.

TomKenworth

There's a difference between a deliberately planned attack by the USA on another country, and an immediate response to an unplanned attack on our soil. A huge difference, Todd, take note.

Steven Frisch

Hey Todd, you bonehead, where in the War Declarations did it say that Habeous Corpus or Posse Commitatus were suspended? IT DID NOT. Thus the declarations gave the executive branch exactly the power that it stated, the power to wage war CONSISTENT with US LAW.

This is what it authorized: use all of the resources of the United States government and its naval and military forces to defeat Japan.

What do they have to? List all the laws that stay in force every time they Declare.

George Rebane

A refereed comment here. Please remember that you are commenting on RR, and not on some other site where appellations like 'bonehead' are common currency. Here, if more civil discourse eludes, then at least attempt something like 'calcified cranium' in its stead.

Gregory

"There's a difference between a deliberately planned attack by the USA on another country, and an immediate response to an unplanned attack on our soil." Keachie/"TomKenworth"

Let's not forget Obama's decision to bomb Libya without Congressional approval or an attack on US soil or forces.

Todd Juvinall

Bonehead here. So you state there has to be a list of, well hewre are your words again SteveF,

"Congressional declarations spell out what actions are authorized as part of the war."

and yet there is no list at all in the War Resolution you supply. If you are unable to grasp the point you should try night school. You were trying to make fun f the PAX USA I wrote and it has truly backfired on you. What a hoot.

I don't see the listed item of incarcerating al those Japanes on the Resolution. I don't see the right to deny habeus corpus. Now did I say it slowly enough t show you youy are somply wrong on your posts here or are you the real calcified cranium inhabitng the place?

Steven Frisch

If you are too stupid to figure it out that's not my problem.

I think I completely demolished your PAX USA comment...for anyone but the usual suspects here.

Todd Juvinall

SteveF, I have bested you and you just can't take it. But, being a rent seeker makes you feel superior it appears.

Paul Emery

George

Why not a similar reprimand for Todd using "disgrace to the flag"?

George Rebane

PaulE 824pm - I thought 'disgrace to the flag' was a cut above 'bonehead' - what do you think? But SteveF' use of "usual suspects here" is acceptable in my book. Thoughts?

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, what does it take for you to disagree with a person who trashes their own country? It seems you are too sensitive for the truth. But I guess namesalling by a liberal of a conservative suits you OK.

Steven Frisch

You know why Paul---they can call us un-American-- but we get reprimanded for pointing out Todd's clear hard headedness.

So we have a group of militarists who would not trust our country enough to have them plan a transit system or plan for our future energy needs, but would trust them enough to fight clandestine wars around the world, go to war in Iran or order secret assassinations.

In short, we trust our government to kill but not to plan.

Todd Juvinall

SteveF, that is the lamest thing you have said in at leatst a day. No planning? Isn't that what you nd SBC do exclusively with the millions you get from the taxpayers? My goodness, we have almost as many plans as the USSR and Mao had with their "five year" plans we all grew up hearing about. Mao still attacked us in Korea and the Politburo still used other countries as proxies in wars against free people. But liberals like you would have our leaders sit around a campfire singing kumbaya while the Red Army overran the planet I guess.

George Rebane

StevenF 456am - who/where are the "militarists" who oppose plans for a transit system or future energy needs? Don't know whether you're in high dudgeon hyperbole mode here, or are preambling for making the case for those assertions.

Steven Frisch

I am merely pointing out the inherent inconsistency of the position that one would trust the government to wage war without congressional approval but not trust them to plan a regional transit system. If the government is incompetent, as you assert, it is incompetent in both instances.

George Rebane

StevenF 837am - You apparently see the skills, resources, objectives, and sense of urgency for military actions (e.g. waging war) and planning a transit system as being birds of a feather as long as they involve government. I'm not able to make that connection.

And judging government to be incompetent in, say, planning a transit system (which I do) vs approving a plan for such from the private sector, doesn't automatically make it incompetent in the military sphere. But history does overflow with examples of military failures imposed by the dictates of distant politicians.

Military matters per se are the sum and stuff of governments, where transit systems are not. Also, a nation's military soon becomes a meritocracy (giving it a unique level of competency in that institution), or its government is overthrown (if idiot sons of the elite are promoted into command). America's military is perhaps the best example of such meritocracy in recent history. So whether the military fights under executive order or with Congressional approval makes little difference on the outcome.

In a republic we have made it a requirement for extended military operations to be congressionally approved. And that worked out well before forces could move rapidly, communications became instantaneous, and we were not members of international clubs like the UN and NATO. Now, by treaty, we have to fight to achieve such clubs' objectives, and have decided it is in our national interest to do so. And ever since Korea, such club wars have not required Congress to declare or commit us to war, but merely nod approval (or at least not protest too loudly), when we committed our forces. So now it is what it is.

A question I would ask - 'should we continue these club wars?' or 'should we resign from all such clubs and become the unencumbered hegemon explicitly looking out for our own interests without longer term commitments to the security of other countries?'

I hope somewhere along the way here we gave up equating our government's military actions with its planning of transit systems.


Paul Emery

But George, how can we avoid such wars such as the invasion of Iraq, which was not about national defense but was lobbied effectively as make work for government contractors and the securing of resources for private companies by invading a sovereign country that posed no serious military threat? Is there anything in the Constitution that justifies over 1000 permanent US military bases overseas?

http://www.fpif.org/articles/too_many_overseas_bases

George Rebane

PaulE 1154am - I'm not sure that we can avoid wars "such as the invasion of Iraq". Through the rear view mirror, it seems like a bad decision. But at the time we had a dictator who had already invaded a neighbor, fought a ten year war with another neighbor, and was generally a threat to reliable and low cost world energy prices (you can do with WMDs what you will, but Israel did have to shut down Saddam's nuclear weapons facility once already, and there was no indication that Saddam would not try again).

I think our presidents will continue to be burdened with such decisions forever. Wait until China starts pushing its near-abroad influence to the outer islands that surround its sea approaches.

The only Constitutional support for overseas bases is through the executive branch deciding their necessity for securing the country. Congress in its 'advice and consent' function can shut them down instantly any time that they decide not to fund them.

Do I detect again that our "private companies" are America's built in enemies? We know they game the system, and they are a hell of lot smarter than the doofus bureaucrats who regulate them. But that's another topic.

Paul Emery

"generally a threat to reliable and low cost world energy prices"

Can you show me where that reason for was presented to the Congress and the American people?

Israel shut down Iraq's nuclear facility in 1981, over 20 years before our invasion. There was no credible information they were rebuilding it except for contrived intelligence after the fact. The photo's displayed by Colin Powell were instantly discredited and never shown to be valid.

George Rebane

PaulE 1228pm - I know of no public argument for that, although there might have been. However, I'll bet the farm that in back room conversations Congress deliberated that reason, and that explains a lot of how they behaved in their public support of the 2003 invasion.

To think that Saddam would not have restarted (continued?) his nuclear weapons program, given what arch-enemy Iran was doing, strains my credibility beyond repair. As we have already agreed in these discussions, we live in two very distinct universes.

TomKenworth

I see you are not fond of having Republican draft dodgers pointed out.

George Rebane

TomK 239pm - No Doug, I'm not fond of little pissy matches, especially when they're off topic. You want to start a conversation about draft dodgers? write a piece on it and I'll post it, and we'll take it from there.

Gregory

"I am merely pointing out the inherent inconsistency of the position that one would trust the government to wage war without congressional approval but not trust them to plan a regional transit system. If the government is incompetent, as you assert, it is incompetent in both instances."

The Frisch POV seems to be if government is competent to wage war, which is a power granted by the Constitution, it must be competent to design, build, maintain and operate a high speed rail system.

Our armed forces have shown various levels of competence since 1776 but the cream has risen to the top and failures have tended to be from the political side where the hardest decisions have to be made.

The state of California has shown somewhat less competence than that in the past 50 years and rather than cream, it's a cesspool model where the biggest chunks rise to the top.

Gregory

Someday we should bring our boys home from foreign lands. Unless the Germans are agin getting antsy about France and Poland, or Japan is fixing to invade the Phillipines, it might be safe to withdraw from our WWII strongholds.

Steven Frisch

No Greg, my point of view is that if someone like George does not trust the government to plan a regional transit system (I did not mention high speed rail) then they should not trust them enough to engage in war without a declaration from Congress. It is fundamentally inconsistent to say government is usually incompetent, except when I agree with them.

Todd Juvinall

Greg, his logic is totally dopey. Not worth your breath.

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