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Total number of comments: 9 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:09)

Dan

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  • Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks
    • Specifically, the continuation of the process of slowly expanding the definition of that term to include any sort of resistance to the power of US-friendly states. As long as there are "terrorists" and a sufficient number of people fail to recognize the absurdity of a "terrorist threat," they will have all the justification they need.

    • "Terrorism."

  • With a Solar Minimum and La Nina's, Why isn't it Really, Really Cold?
    • I am skeptical, but not dismissive, of the potential for climate change to cause increasing conflict around the world. For one thing, the change will benefit certain areas. But I would like to refer back to one of Mr. Cole's previous articles about mechanization and a sort of new socialism. The trend of mechanization he described could have a very positive end, but it would happen gradually, entailing a century of unusual unemployment and strife, as I see it. And this has probably already begun. But if this conjecture about climate change is correct, the combination of the loss of jobs to mechanization and increases in food prices due to climate change would be a strong inducement to greater conflict.

  • Greenwald Partner falsely detained as Terrorist: How to Create a Dictatorship
    • 11. Justify it all with made-up or exaggerated threats.

      @Joefromlowell Yes. It is pointless. That's why a lot of stores have fake cameras. Because the point is intimidation. And the same is true of this spying program (panoptic tactics). The difference is, we choose to shop in a given store, this subjecting ourselves to possible surveillance. We have not, however, opted into some deal with the NSA. If walmart was spying on us in a McDonalds bathroom, that would be a problem, too.

  • Obama's Reassurances about Domestic Surveillance are not Reassuring
    • I think you're giving the President too much credit. I think he knows exactly what's going on, and he supports it whole-heartedly. I think he was opposed to unchecked executive power until it was HIS unchecked executive power - or that he claimed to be opposed to it to gain access to that power. The only agenda he seems to have zealously and consistently pursued since taking office is the perpetuation and growth of that power. This is coming from someone who happily voted for him in 2008 and voted against Romney in 2012. I can admit when I've been fooled. That is what happened here. President Obama is a very good liar who likes being powerful. At least, that is what his actions say.

  • Detroit's Bankruptcy and America's Future: Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%
    • (At some of the comments above: the 20th century Marxists (starting with Russia, spreading their strain of socialism to the others via political pressure, largely aided by the isolation imposed on socialist countries by the US) adopted maybe the worst possible form of communism and they did so in largely pre-industrial societies that, frankly, would have struggled under capitalism. These are largely poor, post-colonial countries, their economies designed to drain their resource wealth to a central collection point for export to the colonizer. They were not well set up to diversify into functioning independent economies. As post-colonial countries, moreover, they had very real political difficulties as well. Thy were then integrated into a dependent system with the USSR, which was locked in a game of unsustainable military build-up with a country far more industrialized/developed in the US. The USSR itself, by the way, was historically poor as well. To summarize, They picked the worst Socialism and that still wasn't the main thing that screwed them.

      For example, there's no reason, in the economic model JC is proposing, that consumer choice would need to be restricted or this would have to be a 'command economy.' Production could still be responsive to consumer demand. Likewise, efficiency would still be the goal in this sort of system, rather than competitive self-sufficiency, which was a goal in the 20th century communist countries because they were in a competition with the US and her allies that threatened to become violent at any time. There are 1,000 more examples of how the different context 50 years from now renders the examples of 20th century communism all-but irrelevant.

    • I've been saying exactly this since as least 2007. The problem you run into at the point of implementation is that, in hybridizing government and big business (this is basically what you're doing), you give to a single group a preponderance of power. There's nobody to check that power. If you assume competence and benevolence, the system is perfect. But how do you defeat the system when it becomes corrupt or oppressive? How do you even push for change when those in power no longer need you at all (in addition to their current monopoly on violence)?

  • Top Ten Ways US TV News are Screwing us Again on NSA Surveillance Story (Iraq Redux)
    • On #2, the extent to which we demand absolute martyrdom ("Snowden would face the music if he were a patriot") is really bizarre. I'm not only talking about the establishment media, government, and corporate interests here. I've heard statements like this from a number of people in regards to Snowden and other leakers. Is it not enough to make a moral stand, when most others would stay quiet? Is it not enough to give up a lucrative career? For that matter, why does doing the right thing have to come at one'a own expense when we demand nothing of the sort from the people doing wrong in the first place?

  • Fathers and Sons and Chechnya
    • If these boys followed any other religion, would we even be talking about them starting to pray more frequently before the attacks? Is prayer really a sign of radicalism now? And - radical sermons - what constitutes radical at this point?

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