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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. PBS and NPR aren't as necessary as the CBC because they're competing against American private networks. If CBC goes down, then there would be a major loss of Canadian identity. I'm not a big fan of the idea of "countries" but if we're going to have them, then we still need to promote Canadian culture in our collective mindspace.
  2. er... uh.... Firstly, I was thinking of Uruk, so I should have said 6000 years. Are those other examples true ? I stand corrected then...
  3. I mean pre-3,500 years ago before cities existed. But socialism isn't about making people equal, it's about 'to each according to his needs'. Capitalism, together with 'Special interests' have created a tiny class of very wealthy people, so the system has worked well for them. Well, depending on how you define 'class', you're right. If a society has no money then power is derived from other means. Again, you're assuming that the 'rich' always exist which is incorrect. Socialism's end goal is for no government to exist, so maybe you're more socialistic than you think.
  4. Incorrect. There is more social mobility in a country like Canada than in a country that has barriers to mobility, due to the class you were born into. Yes, socialism will get rid of all the evils of capitalism. All the injustices of having to work to get ahead of your neighbour or to rise to higher standards. There will be one standard. There will be no necessity to work because there will be no wealth to attain. If you do work, there is no necessity to be materialistic because all have a right to share in your production equally and they will. Just think no private property to look after. Some one to haul away your garbage at no expense to you. but you will have very little garbage because things will be run so efficiently. Only what is needed will be produced. No wasteful Hollywood glam, no extra pair of underwear. How thrifty! How frugal! You make it sound quite crazy, however - communal living is the situation in which humans evolved so in a certain sense it's very natural to us. People do work to help the community, not simply because they're greedy. This is a both a true and a nonsensical statement, because a 'station', or a class doesn't exist in a classless society. I could say something similar like, "only in a classless society can you beg your boss for enough overtime pay to cover your doctor's bill".
  5. My point is that these countries were used by the superpowers. I suppose you could blame the Cuban people for supporting a popular revolution, or the Vietnamese for wanting their own country. The US and USSR, by and large, had their way with such places. In some cases it worked out better than others. Was it smart for the US to support any despot that opposed communism ? At the time maybe it was, but I would say that the long term costs were probably underestimated. Wouldn't you ?
  6. You don't think Cuba would have faced an invasion by the US if they didn't have an ally in the USSR ? That's just one example.
  7. Well... those countries had to pick a side... the powers in the game were the US and USSR.
  8. What are you saying ? That Iraq was complicit in allowing themselves to be taken over by Hussein ? That the strongmen and corruption that kept puppet states going long enough to inflict cold war era damage were legitimate means to an end ?
  9. Granted, but doesn't it seem that the cost of a pawn such as Afghanistan has soared over the past 30 years ?
  10. Hear, hear, aw. Another pattern might be how the USSR and USA played countries like Afghanistan, Angola, Vietnam, Nicaragua and Cuba as chess pieces in a larger game and how several of the pawns turned against their own king in those games.
  11. jbq, I know a lot about 'patterns' otherwise known as causation. Your idea is that someone's religion causes them to behave violently, and therefore that people who adhere to that religion are not human. It is pure and unadulterated bunk.
  12. In other words, if Al Quaida strikes in Iraq, then we should cease negotiations with Palestine... and I guess by extension... Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, uh... Dubai... uh... Saudi Arabia... and... Iraq ? I know that you have a strong sense of outrage of what happened, but something gets confused when people try to flip an emotional response into an instant policy idea.
  13. Of course, the bombings are horrifying but to suggest that because a bombing happened in Iraq, there shouldn't be negotiations in Israel is ridiculous.
  14. Magrace, I'd have to say I agree with WD here. Does the fact that there were no women visible at the press conference tell us anything substantive ? If there were nothing but women with Mr. Harper what would that tell us ?
  15. This thread is representative of the problem with politics right now. The fights are so much more about identity politics, classic 'left vs right' than the issues at hand. 'Angry white male' and 'treasonous self-hating liberal' are caricatures, not political issues. Harper has been doing a statesman's job of negotiating a middle way between the arch conservative forces in his party and the generally liberal bent of Canadians. Dion has recognized that Canada is needed in Afghanistan and has held back from overstating his case there. As a result, both parties should be able to reach a consensus on an approach. This is what we expect of our politicians - reasonable behavior and dialogue - but so often don't receive.
  16. I hereby accept the New World Order that has provided me with: - a comfortable life - basic human rights - freedom of movement, and association This New World Order is fantastic !
  17. Yes, that totalitarian world government... coming any day now... as it has been for twenty years or so. No indication why the all-powerful bloodlines ever allowed us to have freedom in the first place. If they're pulling the strings to make the world as it is, they're not doing such a bad job - maybe we should let them have it. Seriously, if this is the system they've built, they have done quite well for us, and I think it's time they emerged from the shadows and presented themselves for our favours.
  18. Argus - excellent example. I'd also like to point out that such arrangements occur as a direct result of no responsible monitoring on behalf of the public. Instead, we only have "gotcha" journalism pointing out small but obvious mistakes. If the ministries were self-directed entities with a CEO responsible for delivering services, then they could address such issues without a political backlash, and deliver a better solution.
  19. Answer 1: 'The mob'. Answer 2: Because it shows that information can be dangerous, even if - especially if - its manipulation is subtle.
  20. The state isn't the only entity that has that kind of power. And our state already has controls against dictatorship, so it doesn't worry me.
  21. Ok, makes sense. I didn't catch that you were already talking about slander and libel.
  22. BDog, I guess you're saying that the state is more to fear than incendiary material. Fair enough. But I think such material can easily come from other sources.
  23. jeff, Again, this is beside the point. To my mind, there have been a lot of bad arguments against this process. The only good argument I can think of is: We shouldn't ever act against any published material except possibly the worst types of hate literature. In which case, you're saying that the worst propaganda of pre WW2 Germany should be allowed to propagate. So, please explain how history can be prevented from repeating itself.
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