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Everything posted by bloodyminded

  1. Unless you're rich...then you don't have to suffer as much. It is an elitist view, a class-based view. By definition. But you said there would be a death penalty and restitutive slavery. That's preposterous. The most sought-after judges would be those who provided the most amenable service to their (paying) clients for money. People pay money to win; not to see "justice" done. Everyone who knew such judges were favourable towards them and their cause would indeed very much want them. why wouldn't they?
  2. If none of the scholars (not all of whom are "leftwing") has offered anything substantive, then take them on. They covered most of your points quite nicely, after all. You did bring it up, though, so I don't know where you're getting this. Even if you offer it as a resposne...it's still engaging in the "pissing contest," and it's still summoning authority. Hell, it's present in the first line of this passage of yours to which I'm at this moment responding! At any rate, trying to parse the ideas of scholars and historians on the subject is not automatically a debate fallacy; no more than "I use my own common sense" is. No. You favour your own theory of "conservatism" over reality itself. To you, it makes no difference, none whatever, what conservatives do, or what they say; you determine what is "conservative" based on whetehr it aligns in action with what you think it should do. You even blame leftists for bad rightwing behaviour, which is the height of irresponsibility. In other words, there are no conservatives. So you're defending some non-existent phantom.
  3. That's exactly what he thinks. He's a believer in anarcho-capitalism.
  4. Fair enough, agreed. Hired by whom? What if they, too, behave in a violently criminal manner? I'm not trying at all to be difficult, Zacahry; I honestly don't think you've thought through how this could work. Says who? The private courts you've hired, who have every incentive to "believe you" because they're taking your money? You're insisting on retaining existing problems...and then exacerbating them. So now freedom is slavery, huh? Just a short while ago, you were complaining about how the justice system is corrupted in part because those without money suffer in ways that those of means do not--using your personal experience as an example of this injustice. Now you're saying it's fine; those with money, pay it back, and go on your merry way. Those without: slavery! In other words, stealing is a different crime for the rich than for the poor: the rich shouldn't have to suffer for their crimes to the extent that the poor do. Your view here is absolutely, 100% elitist. Classist. It is an obscene disjunction of Power based purely on wealth, and zero on justice. The rich will rule the Earth under your scenario. Through force. You don't see the contradictions? And one of the primary differences is that, under your scenario, we can't even vote for our rulers. They "earn" it through having money.
  5. I find the leftwing support of Paul quite strange.
  6. Kleptocracy only means those in power stealing from everyone else. Often it is used to describe the theft of money by the richest (who also have disproportionate power).
  7. Yes, I understand that you are speaking from principle here, and would wish an end to upwards welfare as well as downwards welfare. But my question still stands: never mind people using welfare for bad purposes or what have you; if you could push a button and end it immediately, could you not see some sudden, devastating and awful things occurring to a lot of people?
  8. But under your scenario, there would still be police: private security firms. What's their incentive to not commit crimes? And who would arrest and sentence them if (actually, when) they did so?
  9. Oh, Bill remains sharp enough, no worries. He also shows some compasison for people; and such compassionate tendencies could someday work in your favour, Zachary, if that sharpens its importance in your mind. And Bill's right; even if the notion of eliminating welfare altogether is sound idea, it shouldn't ever be done immediately (your suggestion). Some people will suffer unbelievable depredations. Why should anyone want that for them?
  10. And who determines this "fairness" and how? The Market???? I agree with our point about money; the poor are the primary victims of institutional injustices. (Not "the businessman," as you might otherwise believe.) If you can't pay the right fees, you go to jail while awaiting trial; if you have money, you do not. That's an injustice by definition, opposed to the very principles of same. Further, the cliche about expensive lawyers versus state-paid defense lawyers is in fact generally true. That's buying jsutice...which you think should be more the case, not less! (For example, what do you propose be done with defendants who have no money to pay lawyers?) I don't see how a competitive, free market justice system (which you as of yet have declined to explain how it could possibly even begin to work) would solve this problem. Why would it? It would have nothing to gain by solving the issue--and therefore, thanks to market principles, it could not in good faith attempt to solve it.
  11. Those are great points. If "the Government" is a bunch of lefties that hate cosnervatives and lionize Trudeau, then what....ah jeez; I cannot maintain this bizarre line of thinking. (That's to my credit, I believe! )
  12. I don't imagine such a thing as an "unbiased news source" is possible within the human realm. So, no, not at all. Sure, and that's perfectly understandable. I don't blame anyone for that. But when claims are made, asking for evidence is not wrong; it's not unreasonable. And if one makes claims, but can't or won't back them up, then the claim remains bland and useless. That's ok too. But it is what it is.
  13. They are laughing Intelligent Design out of the classrooms. That's because it's laughable. So all is good, yes?
  14. According to the many free marketeers among us, an employee is worth whatever he can get. Period. That is the essence of "market value." I'm told that a low-wage drone is "worth" ten dollars an hour...because that's what "the market" (ie the Human Resource Officers of whatever company we're talking about) allows them. It works both ways.
  15. Sure. I'm not diffeentiaitng myself from any rabble, warmongering or otherwise. I'm saying "politicized" doesn't mean "critical"; supportive ideas and celebrations are as politicized as are critical ones. That's it.
  16. They went above and beyond the very rules governing these very sanctions themselves. While we don't know what the criminals who intentionally caused the deaths of innumerable Iraqis were thinking, I too believe this is likely the answer: they wanted to increase the suffering of the people to compell them to overthrow their government. Aside from the fact that this plan was a criminal failure, do you not suppsoe it raises questions about our grand humanitarianism and noble motives? But they failed. They failed. That means all those people--possibly hundreds of thousands--were made to suffer and die for no good reason, except for the piolitical motives of the United States and the United Kingdom. This is insupportable. I can't believe you're trying to justify it. N No, I take it in faith that Canada's stance was wishy-washy and sycophantic in the usual manner. Saddam should be blamed precisely for everything he did that was awful, and the list is very long. The United States should be blamed precisely for everything it did that was awful. What's the difficulty with this concept again? So your poin t is this: the UN Sanctions, to which the United States was principle architect, were inhernetly useless before they began (mayeb that's true, I don't know); so it's ok for the United Sattes to break all the rules, including thsoe it had helped set up themselves, specifically to make the people suffer more than they already had. Further, it's not the US's fault that they behaved as they did; it's not as they're responsible for their own actions, or that anyone should criticize them for their behaviour. Instead, we'll wag our fingers at the Official Enemy and say "the Devil made me do it." That's an awesome get-out-of-jail-free card. They can do no wrong; everything is someone else's fault. where can I get me some of that intrinsic justification?
  17. Wrong. The NFL opener was about America's "brave response" to the crimes--which was specifically a point about military acton, which is inherently a politicized message. In case we missed the point, we watched soldiers on the field and revelled in a stealth bomber booming overhead. But no, that's just grieving and appreciating "the humanity." The President proclaimed that the last ten years have shown that "we hold fast to our freedoms." He didn't elaborate, but no doubt drone killings of innocent civilians is part of all that liberty-lovin.' The point is that even if you agree with him, it is a politicized message, evoking nationalism and fear of the official Enemy of the State. The Vice-President boasted that al-qaeda had "awakened a sleeping giant"--meaning, of course, that always peaceful America suddenly rose up to fight the good fight. A view which only drooling ignoramuses would even countenance. Writers and pundits, both liberal and conservative, have spewed out inumerable little pieces about glorious This versus Evil That. The Left-wing Mother Jones magazine lectured us that this was "a day when Americans of all stripes should have been giving thanks to both President Bush and President Obama for doing whatever it is they do that has protected us from a tragic repeat of the events of September 11, 2001." However, raise a voice of criticism of the most powerful people in the world, or the violent policies of the National sEcurity State...and suddenly one is being "too political." Alrighty then. And my point wasn't even about the exact content anyway--I am only stating that the entire day was deeply, nationalistically politicized. Second, Nov.11 is a politicized day, as well. Hell, I'm not critiquing this in and of itself; I'm objecting to the idea that fervent, militaristic nationalism is somehow "apolitical" and "about humanity," and that dissent from the conventions are somehow inappropriate. The West has been intentionally and explicitly involved in, among other things, state terrorism, mass murder, and the overthrowing of demcracies to place compliant dictators in their place. I don't know why people throw tantrums when this is pointed out. The historical record is clear enough, if one wishes to look. Rather than get angry at the actual perpetrators, you get angry at those who point at them???? Yes, in actual and direct military intervention, some effort is made to reduce civilian casualties. (Why do people always say "every effort," as if such a presumption can be known, or is even likely to be true?) But in the broader scope of international policy, we will support the subversions of democracy (which is supposed to be something we hold sacred...what a joke!); we will even materially supply mass murderers for the exact purpose of carrying out their mass murders. If you wish to downplay this, be my guest.
  18. Since I'm neither asking for nor demanding that anyone, including yourself, wish for my approval, there is no issue, and the universe marches on as it will.
  19. I think that's an excellent question, and I have no idea. But that's totally beside any point I was making. The US and UK were primarily in charge of the sanctions. Hence the tootless objections by other member states (including a strong Canadian objection...formal and useless. And in the case of murderous subversion of the sanctions you also agree. You disagree with virtually the entire world, including the Western democratic world...because if the US and UK did it, then Canada, France, russia, and everybody else must be wrong. The sanctions didn't hurt Saddam. They strengthened his hold over his own suffering people, thanks to the way the humanitarian component was intentionally subverted by the two most influential member states. The US/UK could have prevenetd much suffering as well...and simply by adhering to the proper mandates of the imposed sancions, rather than breaking them. Exactly. If the sanctions are to subverted, the rules broken, to cause more needless suffering among the Iraqi people...what's the point? We haven't been told yet why US/UK officials behaved this way, so maybe you should ask them.
  20. I am saying that the policies of Western democracies, certainly including the U.S., and let's not forget our beloved Canada, have long been involved in overthrowing democracies, supporting terrorism, and other such direct contradictions of how we prtend we naturally behave. Then the separation remains dubious, on the international scale. Domestically, yes, matters are radically different.
  21. The US and UK fucked with the sanctions, illegally breaking the sanctions rules, primarily by holding back allowable items (including foodstuffs and medicines). This was against the strong objections of other UN member states, including Canada, France, Russia, and dozens of others. But the boss does what he likes...something you seem to applaud, in the usual formulation of servility to Great Power. http://harpers.org/archive/2002/11/0079384 All deaths were the consequences of the invasion, and were predictable...in fact, predicted. From the Nuremberg Trials:
  22. Ah!...so there really are victimized and disadvantaged groups. Or, to be precise: there's one.
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