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BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'

Jack the Sailor 22 Sep 12 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Sep 12 - 06:27 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Sep 12 - 06:39 PM
Bill D 22 Sep 12 - 08:18 PM
Bobert 22 Sep 12 - 08:27 PM
gnu 22 Sep 12 - 08:31 PM
Bill D 22 Sep 12 - 08:32 PM
Bobert 22 Sep 12 - 08:47 PM
Little Hawk 22 Sep 12 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Sep 12 - 08:50 PM
Little Hawk 22 Sep 12 - 09:41 PM
Jack the Sailor 22 Sep 12 - 10:36 PM
Bobert 22 Sep 12 - 10:53 PM
akenaton 23 Sep 12 - 03:50 AM
GUEST,CS 23 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,CS 23 Sep 12 - 04:19 AM
michaelr 23 Sep 12 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Sep 12 - 02:07 PM
akenaton 23 Sep 12 - 03:08 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM
Bill D 23 Sep 12 - 05:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Sep 12 - 07:02 PM
Little Hawk 23 Sep 12 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Sep 12 - 07:45 PM
Bill D 23 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM
Bobert 23 Sep 12 - 10:19 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Sep 12 - 12:49 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Sep 12 - 11:39 AM
Acorn4 24 Sep 12 - 11:50 AM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 12:09 PM
Bill D 24 Sep 12 - 12:11 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 01:16 PM
Bill D 24 Sep 12 - 02:03 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 02:08 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 02:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 12 - 02:32 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 03:00 PM
Stringsinger 24 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM
Bill D 24 Sep 12 - 04:29 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Sep 12 - 04:39 PM
GUEST 24 Sep 12 - 04:43 PM
Raedwulf 24 Sep 12 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 05:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 12 - 05:20 PM
Little Hawk 24 Sep 12 - 05:40 PM
GUEST, Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 06:09 PM
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Subject: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 05:22 PM

A place to post queries about certain aspects of "conservatism" that puzzle us. The goal hash them out and understand them, hopefully with input of "conservatives."

Question one: How is trashing the United Nations considered "conservative?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 06:27 PM

THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS IRONY. NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS!

There was no UN in 1789. Case closed.

Oh, you want more. Well, the U.S. pays dues and lets the UN building squat on prime real estate on the island of Manhattan. In spite of that, we can't make its member nations do whatever we want whenever we want it. So what's the point? What are we paying for anyway?

Many, maybe most, of those nations are repressive dictatorships. It sullies the purity of America to mingle with their smarmy, hypocritical representatives.

The UN allows dangerous bad guys to address the General Assembly each year. Their pals in the audience applaud. Why should we give them that forum on our shores?

The Russians and the Chinese on the Security Council can veto anything   they like, thwarting things that *we* like. Why put up with that?

The UN is a theoretical step toward World Government. So it's a threat to our liberty.

A lot of UN ambassadors are crooks with diplomatic immunity. We don't want them here. Immunity means they can commit any crime they want and we can't punish them.

The UN also spends zillions around the world on educational programs that favor liberal and progressive positions. Why support that?

Everybody has one vote, so the few good nations are usually outvoted by the bad ones. Teeny-weeny Fiji has as many votes as we do.

The UN accomplishes nothing. Blah blah blah blah blah blah, most of which is equivocation and lies. Their peacekeeping force is a joke. When something big hits the fan, the U.S. has to take charge anyway while the UN blathers on. Buncha wusses. And bastards too, when you get down to it.

Real nations don't need the UN. We can talk anywhere, if we want to, and we settle things our own way.

(Maybe I've left something out, but that's the gist of it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 06:39 PM

Continuing the IRONY:-


""The UN allows dangerous bad guys to address the General Assembly each year. Their pals in the audience applaud. Why should we give them that forum on our shores?""

Are you saying that freedom of speech in the US of A is a myth?

Please don't tell us that the Constitution is just a load of crap.

Well dang it all!.....So that's why Merkins run around bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:18 PM

IRONY part 3:

The US of A had a LOT of settlers from Merrie Olde England come to our shores, so we had several hundred years of History to draw on as how that "... bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it." is done and justified.

We are sure that, in several hundred years, we colonies will have 'adjusted' our attitudes properly to be semi-sane and decent folk...that is, if the 'Conservatives' haven't attained permanent control.
"Conservative" seems to be a slippery concept these days, having become nearly a sneaky euphemism for 'reactionary'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:27 PM

There is ****no**** understanding conservative because in terms of policy they are all over the place... There is no consistency in their philosophy... None...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: gnu
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:31 PM

"Well, the U.S. pays dues and lets the UN building squat on prime real estate on the island of Manhattan."

Hahahahahahaaaa!!!! Excellent!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:32 PM

Sure there is consistency... they want to WIN and get and keep power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:47 PM

That's about it, Bill... Power... Nothing else...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:49 PM

I've always been in favor of moving the U.N. out of the USA and into some relatively neutral country who is not a major player in world affairs, such as: Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore?

Any of those would be fine. If the U.N. were not located in the USA it would be far more free to act in an unprejudiced manner. As it is now, it has served primarily as an instrument of USA and Nato policy, except when blocked by a Russian or Chinese veto.

The Security Council enables the few major powers in the world to control the U.N. and renders the opinion of the rest of the world's nations null and void. Sure, they can talk in the General Assembly, they can pass a resolution condemning Israel, for example, but they can't actually DO anything about it.

Only the Security Council can do something about it. The U.N. was set up that way after WWII so that the victors of WWII (USA, UK, France, Russia, and China) could control it through their veto power.

It works as a dictatorship over the smaller nations when the Big Five can manage to agree with one another. It doesn't work at all the rest of the time.

There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of five veto-wielding permanent membersóChina, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United Statesóbased on the great powers that were the victors of World War II,[1] and 10 elected non-permanent members with two-year terms. This basic structure is set out in Chapter V of the UN Charter. Security Council members must always be present at UN headquarters in New York so that the Security Council can meet at any time. This requirement of the United Nations Charter was adopted to address a weakness of the League of Nations since that organization was often unable to respond quickly to a crisis.

For the U.N. to work in a just and equitable manner, it must not be controlled by the world's major powers. It must be a genuine democracy of equal partners.

Therefore, I suggest that it be relocated to a non-aligned country.

Of course, if it wasn't in the USA, Americans would probably ignore it entirely, and the USA would probably drop its membership, because it wouldn't be able to exercise control any longer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:50 PM

Real conservatives learned to live with the UN long ago - except in the hinterlands at election time. The views I paraphrased are more common to the know-nothing wing of the GOP than to anybody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 09:41 PM

Uh-huh. You pretty well summed it up, allright. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 10:36 PM

How is any of that conservative?

Is sitting on our hands waiting for WWIII conservative?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 10:53 PM

Yeah, other than gaining power so they can rip us off, there is nothing conservative about conservatives... Nothin'... They are radical wackos...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 03:50 AM

Political Conservatives and Social conservatives are two distinct species.....the problem is simply that the media controlled centre has been programmed not to recognise the difference.

Of course the Political conservatives paint all who dont agree with their views as "socialist/communist".....if only!!
In reality they are usually ineffective "liberals", or have become so, through media manipulation.

People need to stop defining themselves by the labels stuck on them by the political class......we should all learn to think for ourselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM

QUOTE:
Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 08:18 PM
IRONY part 3:
The US of A had a LOT of settlers from Merrie Olde England come to our shores, so we had several hundred years of History to draw on as how that "... bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it." is done and justified.
We are sure that, in several hundred years, we colonies will have 'adjusted' our attitudes properly to be semi-sane and decent folk...that is, if the 'Conservatives' haven't attained permanent control.
"Conservative" seems to be a slippery concept these days, having become nearly a sneaky euphemism for 'reactionary'."


On one hand, I think it is entirely fair nd right to call out Europeans on their 'old empire' days, when the now 'new world' and other vast regions of the earth lived under the thrall of Imperial control and of course exploitation.

And yet on the other hand, no old European empire did as much potential harm to the entire world as the current American empire is currently engaged in doing. While the USA and it's imperial ambitions may be young on an historical world scale, destructive technologies are not - particularly nuclear weapons which the USA possess in spades. The sheer power of weaponry today, combined with the USA's aggressive imperial foreign policies, is why the USA is THE most dangerous threat to international peace and stability in the world today, and the future - if we have one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 04:19 AM

Clumsily expressed post, but I think the meaning is opaque enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 01:54 PM

Clumsily expressed post, but I think the meaning is opaque enough.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 02:07 PM

Do you have real Conservatives in the States?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 03:08 PM

Crass post michael.....we all knew well what Guest meant.
We all make mistakes in our posts...I more often than any.

Sneering is a least as bad as bigotry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM

> Sneering is a least as bad as bigotry.

Hardly.

McGrath, there still are American conservatives, but they're mostly keeping their heads down these days.

John McCain has been reviled since 2008 for not being far enough to the right.

John Huntsman polled at a steady 2% in the Republican primaries because he'd been Obama's Ambassador to China, which evidently canceled out his earlier term as a conservative governor of the very conservative state of Utah.

Another problem was that when asked if he "believed in" evolution, Huntsman was the only GOP primary candidate to hint publicly that he did.

He said, "The Republican Party cannot run away from science."

There are others (not all of them in office), but they're gritting their teeth, hoping the Tea Party doesn't notice they're still around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 05:32 PM

"...the USA and it's imperial ambitions ..."

??That is pure personal conjecture! It is hardly worthy of comment, since anyone who truly believes it can't easily be commented TO. It is far too easy to mistake exercising 'power' in attempts to 'make the world better' for a desire to RUN the world.
The USA doesn't always make the best choice, but when the choices are as complex and far-reaching as they are in this modern age, how could ANY government... not matter how altrustic... guess right or please everyone?

"...as much potential harm to the entire world as the current American empire is currently engaged in doing."

As in what... specifically? And what do you think we are claiming we are trying to do as we do all this harm?

Do you think we should return to isolationism and ignore everyone else? (It's kinda hard when so many want to come here.. either to 'live their dream' or to kill a bunch of us!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 07:02 PM

""The US of A had a LOT of settlers from Merrie Olde England come to our shores, so we had several hundred years of History to draw on as how that "... bossing the world and his wife about and throwing hissy fits if challenged on it."""

No you didn't. Most of those settlers came to your shores long before Britain had an empire, most of which came after you had severed the connection with the British Crown.

The early beginnings of an empire were actually struggling colonys of explorers, some of which simply died out.

1620 The Pilgrim Fathers to Massachusetts

1624 First settlement in India.

And in 1627 the British Empire officially came into existence.

It wasn't much of an empire and was almost exclusively in the Americas.

The main expansion took place after the American War of Independence and right through the Victorian era.

So you see, you had about one hundred and fifty years of Britain establishing a small and rather struggling empire at most.

Still, if it makes you feel righteous we don't really mind if you forget that we weren't bossing about anything like the number of people affected by current US foreign policy until the late 19th century.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 07:09 PM

"attempts to make the world 'better'", Bill?

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Funniest thing I've heard in some time. You're quite a wit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 07:45 PM

One shouldn't argue with people who think they've discovered the few, easily memorized principles of existence.

In the ironic, immortal words of the French film, Z (1969): "Always blame the USA! Even if you're wrong!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 09:40 PM

Yep, Lighter... any country with the size & complexity of the USA has many facets to blame and complain about. Why, we do it ourselves everyday! We do get suggestions from all over, however. ;>)

Don T---laying out a timeline hardly affects the point I was making. We DID have many immigrants from the UK for our first couple of hundred years.

"... if it makes you feel righteous we don't really mind if you forget that we weren't bossing about anything like the number of people affected by current US foreign policy until the late 19th century."

Righteous? *I* don't feel righteous! I merely note that being influential, establishing an empire, and/or collecting colonies was hardly restricted to the USA, and we had to argue at length WITH the UK to have the privilege of doing anything at all without permission of the Crown! We came VERY close to being just another Canada or India in the 1790s...and up to 1812!

And what in heaven's name has "the number of people affected" got to do with the morality or lack thereof when evaluating world policy?
We 'affect' many people in many ways.... but seldom by 'bossing' them..(unless you equate affecting directly with bossing) (oh, and we 'affected' the UK and much of Europe a couple times last century. They said at the time they appreciated it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 10:19 PM

I don't recall "conservatives" of 30 or 40 years ago being so gung-ho for more wars???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:49 AM

GHW Bush was about the last "conservative" that made sense to me. Fight a war if you have to. Get others to pay for it if you can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:39 AM

"" (oh, and we 'affected' the UK and much of Europe a couple times last century. They said at the time they appreciated it.)""

Made a lot of capital out of it too (all those "How we won the war" movies), after arriving quite late at the party.

Took us till 2004 to pay the bar bill.

Don T. (with tongue firmly in cheek)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Acorn4
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 11:50 AM

Perhaps we need someone to write "Being a Tory for Dummies".


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:09 PM

What are the few easily recognized principles of existence, Lighter? ;-)

****

Bobert - "We came VERY close to being just another Canada.....in the 1790s..." Yikes, Bobert!!! What a narrow escape you had! ;-D

****

Old style conservatives were a reasonable bunch, I think. Eric Margolis, for example, says he's an old-style conservative, what could be called an "Eisenhower Republican". He disagrees almost totally with the radical conservatism that has taken over the Republican Party since the Reagan era.

Eisenhower himself warned against the rise of the USA military-industrial complex and its growing control over the national agenda.

*****

The 2 great wars...

It was indeed the entry of the USA into both WWI and WW2 that decided the outcome of those wars, though the USA arrived "late" in both cases. The enormous GNP of the USA and the fact that mainland America was effectively out of range of significant attacks by the Axis made the defeat of the Axis powers inevitable. (Canada was also a huge asset to the Allies for similar reasons, providing resources, manpower, training areas for pilots, and very signifant naval forces in the Battle of the Atlantic...but was still a relatively small player compared to the USA.)

To me, one interesting angle on this role the USA played in the world wars is that they might just as well have stayed out of the first one. There was no particularly pressing reason, either moral or strategic, why America had to join the French and English in defeating Germany and Austria-Hungary. All the participants in WWI were equally guilty of stumbling into that war through their entangling alliances and their mutual optimism about a quick and relatively easy victory. They all expected it to be over by Christmas 1914! They could't have been more wrong. It became the first modern technological war...total war fought to the point of utter exhaustion through attrition. In such a war, the side with fewer men and resources eventually loses.

If the USA had not entered WWI, the Germans would probably have won it. If so, things wouldn't have changed a whole lot. The French would have undoubtedly lost a bit of land around Alsace-Lorraine. The English would have remained in command of the sea, and would have been little affected by the result. The Germans would have notched up another victory, as they did in 1870, and they would have retained many of their overseas colonies. The Austro-Hungarians would have staggered on for awhile longer, despite their Balkan problems. Russia would have gone ahead with its Communist Revolutionary phase in much the same way. The USA would have been unaffected. France would have been humiliated by the loss of the war, as they were back in 1870, but "La Belle France" would have soon bounced back and continued on as it ever had.

Hitler and the Nazis would never have risen to power!!!!!!!

So, I think that it would have in fact turned out way better for just about everyone in the long run if the USA had never entered WWI.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:11 PM

"...arriving quite late at the party.

In 1914, we weren't exactly ready for ANY war... and we still had many thousands of veterans of our Civil War to remind us of what getting involved would mean..... but.. we got there.

In 1941, we were 'invited' to the party.

Those war movies are still going on- but I find most of them too hard to watch anymore.

.........I wonder if movies are being planned about all the new fun & games. It's a funny feeling (to me, at least) to feel like we are somehow obligated to run about the world 'helping' other countries ...or parts of countries..when they are in chaos, yet never quite sure if we are guessing right or if we'll be heroes or demons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 12:20 PM

It isn't "help", Bill. It's intervention for various pragmatic objectives. It is represented as "help" to the general public in order to get them onside.

All imperial nations do this sort of thing to get their public onside for a war. Hitler had Germans imagining that he was helping a persecuted German ethnic minority, for example, when he invaded Poland. He used the same excuse when occupying Czechoslovakia. It's the oldest game in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 01:16 PM

We were more or less "invited" in 1917 too - by the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare on merchant shipping apparently headed for Britain - notably ours. There was also that matter of the Zimmermann telegram to Mexico, suggesting that an invasion of the Southwest with German assistance would mean a bonanza for Mexico at the peace settlement.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:03 PM

"It is represented as "help" to the general public in order to get them onside." C'mon, LH! That is an opinion, not a universal fact!
Of course 'some' nations or political interests spin the situation to justify (especially to themselves) what they are advocating, but you simply cannot extract motives from a complex situation and label them EITHER 'self-serving' OR 'altrustic'. Why not a complex combination or both... and more?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:08 PM

Uh-huh. Those could certainly serve as some viable reasons to take issue with the Germans provided that one already had decided one wanted to go to war with them anyway. If one had not, however, those matters could have been swallowed with relatively little concern, and the public would probably have heard little about them.

(The Germans had little choice but to engage in unrestricted submarine warfare if they intended to win the conflict...and any other great nation in their position would have done the same. The Zimmerman telegram to Mexico, on the other hand, was stupid in the extreme!)

In any case, I'm not saying the USA had no reasons whatsoever to go to war with Germany in 1917. What I am saying is that Europe would probably have been far better off in the long run if they had not done so and if the Germans had won that war on the continent, because the aftereffects of WWI led inevitably to the rise of the Nazis and to the next great war.

One conflict that could very well have arisen in the 1920s was a naval war between the British and the USA over control of the Atlantic. The British had long had a policy of maintaining the largest navy in the world (it had to be bigger than any other 2 navies put together), and the USA was threatening that position...just as Germany had begun to threaten it in the years leading up to WWI.

That potential conflict was avoided when the Washington Naval Treaty was signed, limiting new naval construction, and establishing equal fleet size limits on British and American naval power, smaller fleet size limits on other powers. The UK had come to the conclusion it simply could not afford a naval race with the USA.

Another potential conflict in the 1920s was a naval war between Japan and the USA for control of the Pacific. That one would have mostly involved battleships duking it out, but early aircraft carriers would have played a significant role. Both nations engaged in contingency plans for such a war...termed "Plan Orange". In any event, they managed to avoid getting into it until December 1941...but they were expecting it for at least 20 years.

The only REAL surprise about Pearl Harbour was that the Japanese proved to be far more capable...and possessed of a far longer reach and harder punch...than most American planners had counted on. That an attack was coming by late 1941 was virtually certain. That it would reach all the way to Pearl Harbour and be led by the best trained and equipped naval-air attack forces in the world at the time was in no way expected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:31 PM

Yeah, sure it's an opinion, Bill. What else would it be? We are all expressing our opinions when we post here. Do you find it shocking that mine don't always dovetail with your own?

I agree that situations are complex and that there can be multiple reasons (both pragmatic and altruistic) for an intervention, but I think USA policy is driven almost entirely by very pragmatic concerns about resources and political-financial power in the world...not by a concern for helping people in foreign countries. It may also be driven by popular mythology that is believed by the people spouting it. That's a definite possibility. People like Karl Rove probably DO think their philosophy leads to a better world. ;-D Hitler certainly thought so, and so did Stalin, Robespierre, Caesar, and any number of others in their class.

In that respect, the USA is little different from other major powers throughout history. On the one hand, it acts pragmatically and out of self-interest. On the other hand, it believes its own popular mythology and thinks it is on the side of truth, justice, and a better future for humanity.

Who among the great powers of history did not believe such things?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:32 PM

Actually I think in most other countries someone with the politics of Barack Obama would be likely to be a natural member of a Conservative party. Centre right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:38 PM

Exactly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 03:00 PM

Exactly, Bill

The American involvement in Vietnam was a perfect example of throughly mixed motives.

Nations do next to nothing from altruism. Aid to victims of natural disasters comes close, but it is generally a token amount.

But acting from perceived self-interest doesn't preclude acting at the same time for the right cause or (usually the case) the lesser evil.

Since events don't end neatly like movies do, it's easy to argue from results backwards and fallaciously to the original motivations, or to claim that the results show the motivations were ethically or politically insupportable from the start.

Here are three easy-to-remember principles that *I've* discovered. You can get them on bumper stickers. Don't argue with me.

Life's a bitch.

Shit happens.

Don't believe everything you think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 03:38 PM

The GOPers and the Tea Party have hollow definitions of "freedom" and "liberty".
One definition is that they want the freedom to exploit others and want their liberty to do this. The gun is a symbol of coercion and this doesn't promote liberty or freedom but condign force in such illegitimate canards such as "Stand Your Ground" permitting self-appointed vigilantes to monitor others and kill them if they see fit.

"Conservatives" is a misnomer, today. The GOP agenda is radical, not conservative.
The misuse of this term probably stemmed from Barry Goldwater and notably from Reagan who was anything but truly conservative in his presidential dealings.

Actually, Bill Clinton was "conservative" because he saved the country lots of money, a surplus, which Bush spent like a drunken sailor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:29 PM

"Don't believe everything you think."

*grin*...It took me years to extract that concept from the far easier one.. "Don't believe everything everyone else thinks."

When I was studying Phenomenology in college, Professor Alphonse Verdu explained about the need for humans to 'run around behind themselves' and examine objectively their own thoughts. Prof. Verdu's body language was worth the price of admission! He allowed that even the attempt was worth trying.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:39 PM

"Bush spent like a drunken sailor."

Shouldn't that be updated to "spent like a Wall St. banker."


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:43 PM

> The GOP agenda is radical, not conservative.

True. Remember Mitch McConnell's pledge that their top priority must be to unseat Obama.

That's "top priority." Republican actions since then mostly bear out McConnell's plan. So it wasn't just hot air.

Working mainly to unseat the President, and obstructing his every move, while the country drifts, sounds pretty radical to me.

Really, I can't imagine *either* Bush, or Reagan, or Ford, or even Richard Nixon coming out with a statement like that. (Well, Nixon maybe. But only maybe.)

For all his serious faults and limitations, I think G. W. Bush took the job of *governing* more seriously than most of the guys they have now. Because he supported the Medicare expansion Bush, like McCain, is now considered by the TP crowd as a secret "liberal."   Notice how the most recent GOP Prez wasn't even at the convention?


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Raedwulf
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 04:52 PM

Sorry for arriving late to the party ;-), but...

If the USA had not entered WWI, the Germans would probably have won it.

Nonsense, Hawk. The Germans would still have lost, albeit it would have taken longer. You were selling us war material, because it was good business, long before you actually joined because of unrestricted submarine warfare (yes, there was a reason - they kept sinking your business). A very crude summary, I'll grant you, but a bit more accurate than your's, I think! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:01 PM

Previous GUEST was me.

Except for the British blockade, we'd have sold the Germans war material too. But it was impossible.

The fact is that most Americans wanted to stay out of the war, period. Wilson won re-election in 1916 partly on the slogan that he'd kept us out of it.

Despite the sinking of American ships, the Congressional vote for war was divided, 455-56.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:20 PM

The Great War without America? I suspect Germany would have won, or that there might have been a stalemate peace after the stalemate war, with Germany undefeated.

But in the Second World War if the Americans hadn't been forced in, I think it's likely that the Russians would still have beaten Germany. It would have taken longer. The American contribution to the Russian war effort was pretty small.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 05:40 PM

Yes, it's possible the Russians would have beaten Germany, McGrath. They definitely had a good chance of doing so, with or without the USA in the war, and it was they who bled the German Army white...but it was the western Allies who bled the Luftwaffe white. It's also possible that the Russians and Germans would have fought to an eventual stalemate, and the British and Germans likewise, in which case Germany would have remained the dominant power in continental western Europe for some time after, with a likelihood of further wars following.

****

Regarding those easy-to-remember principles about life that we've all discovered, Lighter...

I think we'd probably agree on a number of them. You mentioned:

"Life's a bitch."

Yeah...you can look at it that way if you want to, and everyone sometimes does. You can equally well look at it this way: Life is beautiful.

Both statements are true, given a certain emotional predisposition. That is, you can look on the dark side...or you can look on the bright side...and that's entirely up to you. Eeyore would agree that life is a bitch. It's his basic credo. Tigger would say that "life is great!" Either viewpoint seems valid from its own angle...but which one is more enjoyable?

"Shit happens."

If you want to see it that way, that's fine. It's just another way of saying, "We don't know for sure what will happen next", and almost everyone will agree with that.

"Don't believe everything you think."

Good one. ;-D I don't! A lot of my thinking is hypothetical, meaning I already know that I don't know...and may never know, but I still give it some thought from a hypothetical point of view. I don't necessarily believe what anyone else thinks either, including the usual authority figures such as the president, the Pope, the authors of the Bible, my elders, etc, but I'm usually willing to give what they think some consideration...generally speaking.

Let's see if we can come up with some more easy-to-remember principles.

How about..."if you treat other people in a shitty way, they will probably respond in kind."

And..."if you go looking for enemies, you will definitely find them."

And..."if you think like a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

And..."if you tell one lie, you'll soon have to tell a whole bunch more to cover it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST, Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 06:09 PM

Except for the Holocaust, a German victory against Britain and France in 1918, with the U.S. still neutral, might not have been much better than a Nazi victory in 1941.

The Prussian militarist interpretation of Darwin would have been vindicated and rewarded, with many more tempting colonies to strive for. (That interpretation plus Central European antisemitism would have made a Holocaust with or without Hitler at least conceivable.)Control of European Russia would have given the hypothetical Reich a nearly inexhaustible store of resources. And even in WW1 the German army was not noted for its gentle treatment of occupied countries.

The upshot might have been a Second War anyway, primarily between Germany and the U.S., with the USSR possibly trying to reclaim the vast territory it lost to the Germans in 1917.


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 06:24 PM

Let's talk about Ann Coulter. The skinny ultra conservative waste of feminine flesh or any other kind. Did you see on the ABC program with George Stephanopoulos where she claimed civil right was for blacks because we owed them. Latinos, gays, women, etc. have all been taken over by the Liberals and the Liberals have skipped away from the blacks? She then stated that Civil Rights was for blacks. The look on George's face was priceless.....look it up on Google. Worth the watch.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Understanding 'Conservatives'
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 06:46 PM

Years ago she squared off in discussion with Phil Donahue.

And lost. Big-time. He made her look like a shallow, defensive egotist with a poor grasp of almost everything except the ability to name "conservative [sic] values." The difference between Coulter and Sarah Palin is that Palin is more entertaining and has a quicker sense of humor.

Coulter's reputation comes mainly from her appearance, her sarcasm, and her intentionally "outrageous" pronouncements about liberals.

That's all it takes for some people.


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