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Old 04-17-2009, 02:53 PM   #121
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This video is despicable. Truly, truly despicable. Maybe this is why Fox News' ratings triple those of MSNBC, and why Fox News' SIXTH most watched show beats MSNBC's best. And CNN has the audacity to say that the tea parties aren't family viewing?

Watch, and see how pathetic this network is...

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Old 04-17-2009, 03:22 PM   #122
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and they would not be out there if it was McCain.
You're probably right, because McCain would not be bankrupting us like the current president.

And way to go, Keith. Way to challenge such a blatantly false and outrageous accusation. Job well done.

There was nothing "racist" about these events, people. For pete's sake, if you want to cherrypick one or two signs out of the hundred of thousands if not millions of people who went, then you're simply seeing whatever you want to see, and your mind won't be changed no matter what.
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:29 PM   #123
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You're probably right, because McCain would not be bankrupting us like the current president.

yes, because you were out there marching in the streets during the Bush presidency. that totally makes your complaints, now, legit.

it's hilarious when conservatives complain about how Obama is "bankrupting" us.



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There was nothing "racist" about these events, people. For pete's sake, if you want to cherrypick one or two signs out of the hundred of thousands if not millions of people who went, then you're simply seeing whatever you want to see, and your mind won't be changed no matter what.


really? did you afford the anti-war protesters the same benefit of the doubt?

i love it when the shoe is on the other foot.

and, tell me, do you find a few sexual jokes on MSNBC more upsetting than the torture memos?

because this is feeling like the McCain campaign all over again. let's ignore the actual issue and focus on phony outrages.
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:03 PM   #124
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do these people who are protesting realize that Obama has not put in his new tax code yet? they are fighting against Bush's tax code which is still in place.

Here is a letter that was sent to me from a friend, it makes some good points:

I am honestly disgusted. This whole “tax protest” that has been going on is filled with people who are uneducated and who are buying in to mindless republican propaganda. No one likes taxes, but they are necessary. And if taxes are used correctly, they can actually HELP the economy and capitalism. People are also complaining of socialism and saying that Obama will raise taxes on the wealthy too much. These people do not realize that Obama’s tax policy still brings the wealthy to a tax rate lower than under Clinton, and a tax rate that is 10% lower than the one we had under Regan.

In the rest of this article, I will cover why the republican argument protesting higher taxes and socialism is flawed beyond belief and is actually stopping the progression of capitalism instead of helping it.

Our economic system, as the most successful ones are, is a mixture of capitalism and socialism. We have socialized programs like social security, medicaid, public schools, postal service, firefighters, policeman, and more. We are already partially socialist whether anyone realizes it or not. I wonder if these people at the tax tea party protests would ever tear up their social security check in protest, or turn away firefighters who have come to rescue them from their burning house, or send back a Medicaid check? Imagine if we did not have to pay as much taxes, but instead have to pay for all these services. In fact, if the police department was privatized the prices would be extremely high as the demand for protection is humongous. In fact, we are technically saving money by paying taxes for these services.

Now of course there are those who say that they earned all of that money and they do not owe any of it to the government. This is a flawed statement. Because of the free market system that the government protects, that person was able to make a lot of money. That person therefore owes money to the American system which allowed them to get wealthy in the first place.

In fact, believe it or not, higher taxes on the rich can actually help the rich get more money, and help for more innovation, education, and competition in a free market society. Here are some important statistics:

95% of all people are employed by small businesses

90% of small businesses make $250,000 or less a year.

So, contrary to what most republicans believe, it is not the rich who provide the most jobs, but actually the middle class.

Here is another important statistic: when most people spend money, they usually spend it by buying products from large corporations.

Read those statistics again.

Now, if we substantially cut taxes for the middle class, 95% of employers will have more money to expand their business, employ more people, and pay their employees more. Now once those people get paid their salary, statistics show that they will most likely spend it by buying products from the large corporations. So in this way, the large corporations get more money as well.

What I have detailed above is the best tax system. While it does tax the rich more, it conversely cuts taxes on most employers and eventually ends up helping the rich corporations. A rising tide lifts all boats. If the middle class is doing better, most likely the rich will be doing better. There is no free lunch- the middle class depends on the wealthy, and the wealthy depends on the middle class.

The republican alternative does not cut taxes on the middle class, but substantially lowers taxes on the top 5% of income earners. This does not give the most money to most employers and only helps to create a bigger gap between the rich and the poor, essentially shrinking the middle class and providing less opportunities for the average person to achieve the American dream (creating a business and making money)

Here is another interesting piece of information that should be obvious to most people: The better education a person gets, the more successful he or she will probably be. It is clear we need to invest more in our education system. If taxes helped put more money into our education system, more people would get a better education, and there would ultimately be more competition and more innovation in the economy. A better education system helps to progress the free market. Most republicans do not believe in investing more money into our education system, yet they complain that too many people are on welfare. Perhaps if some of those people got a better education and had more opportunities, they would not need to be on welfare.

Even though nobody likes paying taxes, it is still clear that higher taxes on the rich with lower taxes on the middle class is the best possible alternative that ultimately tries to help everyone in the economy in the best way (as outlined above). Another alternative that many people will suggest is to simply lower taxes on everybody. This is clearly not realistic. If we had lower taxes we would probably have to end up paying more money in other ways. Taxes pay for roads, government services, education, environmental investments, and more...

It is not a matter of bigger or smaller government, it is a matter of better government. Government is run by the people for the people. The whole republican argument of smaller government is flawed, because no candidate ever runs on a platform of saying they wont ever do anything because they do not believe in government. Every candidate runs on a platform of using the government to do things, hopefully things that benefit society. Government should use the liberal tax system and should invest more money into education- both of these things will bring capitalism into the future and will keep the American dream alive.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:47 PM   #125
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I don't care about nuclear disarmament when the U.S. can still have enough to nuke the enemy several times over.
Exactly that's why what Rush is saying is just a smokescreen, don't fall for it.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:54 PM   #126
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You're probably right, because McCain would not be bankrupting us like the current president.
But he would be doing the same thing, what makes you think any president would just sit there and allow the market to "heal itself"? This is why you folks at these parties crack me up...


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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post
There was nothing "racist" about these events, people. For pete's sake, if you want to cherrypick one or two signs out of the hundred of thousands if not millions of people who went, then you're simply seeing whatever you want to see, and your mind won't be changed no matter what.
Not even close to a million, the most liberal account I've heard so far was 300,000 by Rush. And it's not just one or two signs...

When you uncover your eyes, can you go back and answer the first question I asked? Or just tell me what your ideal plan would have been.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:34 PM   #127
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do these people who are protesting realize that Obama has not put in his new tax code yet? they are fighting against Bush's tax code which is still in place.
Taxes are going to go up. The deficit can't continue for so many years without some tax increases. Lots of this spending also goes to consituents and plenty of earmarks are included. Of course Obama feels it's okay to have earmarks for government because it "trickles down" as opposed to earmarks for companies. Why not pay even more to the government to have more trickling down? To me paying the government more is more like trickling up than down. Though I would agree that Bush should be included in these protests. His lowering taxes while increasing spending = debt.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
Here is a letter that was sent to me from a friend, it makes some good points:

I am honestly disgusted. This whole “tax protest” that has been going on is filled with people who are uneducated and who are buying in to mindless republican propaganda. No one likes taxes, but they are necessary. And if taxes are used correctly, they can actually HELP the economy and capitalism. People are also complaining of socialism and saying that Obama will raise taxes on the wealthy too much. These people do not realize that Obama’s tax policy still brings the wealthy to a tax rate lower than under Clinton, and a tax rate that is 10% lower than the one we had under Regan.
Reagan was inheriting a 70% marginal tax rate from Carter. Those tax cuts paid for themselves despite runaway spending. If the deficits continue for years to come taxes will have to increase much more than what Obama is proposing. Unless he wants to cut spending at some point.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
In the rest of this article, I will cover why the republican argument protesting higher taxes and socialism is flawed beyond belief and is actually stopping the progression of capitalism instead of helping it.
Capitalism is about saving money and achieving financial independence for as many people as possible. What we've been seeing for 20 years is consumerism egged on by government loose monetary policies. People save less when they have to eat inflation. The reason the credit markets are locked up is precisely because of subprime loans that the government forced on banks (especially via ACORN) and that actually means the government wants investors to invest in risky assets at low interest rates. No investor in their right mind would do that unless they were promised that they were safe. Investment bankers just lied and packaged investments with a little bit of safe investments to get a fake AAA rating to sucker investors. I wish the private sector stood up to the government but they didn't. Government usually has moral suasion to influence markets. Bankers should only lend out to people who are less risk because most investors will not want to take on that risk themselves. That's why I'm more disgusted by protestors that saying "Capitalism is not working".

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
Our economic system, as the most successful ones are, is a mixture of capitalism and socialism. We have socialized programs like social security, medicaid, public schools, postal service, firefighters, policeman, and more. We are already partially socialist whether anyone realizes it or not. I wonder if these people at the tax tea party protests would ever tear up their social security check in protest, or turn away firefighters who have come to rescue them from their burning house, or send back a Medicaid check? Imagine if we did not have to pay as much taxes, but instead have to pay for all these services. In fact, if the police department was privatized the prices would be extremely high as the demand for protection is humongous. In fact, we are technically saving money by paying taxes for these services.
I agree with some of this and that many people applaud social spending but complain when the tax man comes. This is an eternal problem. There's no free lunch and some don't get it. Yet we know there is waste in government and that is the main reason to keep it lean.

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Now of course there are those who say that they earned all of that money and they do not owe any of it to the government. This is a flawed statement. Because of the free market system that the government protects, that person was able to make a lot of money. That person therefore owes money to the American system which allowed them to get wealthy in the first place.
Assuming that the government actually spends this money wisely. Big assumption. I would agree that those who use tax shelters are hypocritical because they benefit from the military protection paid by others.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
In fact, believe it or not, higher taxes on the rich can actually help the rich get more money, and help for more innovation, education, and competition in a free market society. Here are some important statistics:
The rich just increase prices or higher less or fire more. That's why Sweden has lowered their corporate tax rates to lower than the U.S. otherwise there would be no reason to start corporations there. Don't assume that the rich will stand still. Tax rates have to be competitive with other countries or they will move to more tax favorable countries.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
95% of all people are employed by small businesses

90% of small businesses make $250,000 or less a year.

So, contrary to what most republicans believe, it is not the rich who provide the most jobs, but actually the middle class.

Here is another important statistic: when most people spend money, they usually spend it by buying products from large corporations.
95% of all people are employed by small businesses? What about the government? That statistic can't be right:

A 125-Year Picture of the Federal Government's Share of the Economy, 1950 to 2075



What about people who work for corporations that pay a different tax rate?

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
Read those statistics again.

Now, if we substantially cut taxes for the middle class, 95% of employers will have more money to expand their business, employ more people, and pay their employees more. Now once those people get paid their salary, statistics show that they will most likely spend it by buying products from the large corporations. So in this way, the large corporations get more money as well.
Obama is actually not reducing taxes for 95% of employees since many do not earn enough to pay taxes. That is why he wants to refund via a tax credits for those who already don't pay taxes. Yet these tax credits come at the expense of social security which already has underfunded promises.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
What I have detailed above is the best tax system. While it does tax the rich more, it conversely cuts taxes on most employers and eventually ends up helping the rich corporations. A rising tide lifts all boats. If the middle class is doing better, most likely the rich will be doing better. There is no free lunch- the middle class depends on the wealthy, and the wealthy depends on the middle class.
What creates a middle class is the middle class saving more money and joining the investor class. Investment in capital creates new jobs and capital creates more products and services so most people will see an increase in purchasing power. Also when the middle class invests they compete with the rich in ownership so the ownership spreads out across the population. If we spend all we have then all we have is our labor. If we get sick or hurt then we don't even have that. At minimum working people should be saving for an emergency fund and then paying off a mortgage. When they are middle aged and have a mortgage paid off they only have a decade or two to save for retirement. If social security gets watered down because of the aging population then the public will need those savings to reduce hardship.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
The republican alternative does not cut taxes on the middle class, but substantially lowers taxes on the top 5% of income earners. This does not give the most money to most employers and only helps to create a bigger gap between the rich and the poor, essentially shrinking the middle class and providing less opportunities for the average person to achieve the American dream (creating a business and making money)
Taxes shouldn't be cut but spending. Borrowing money from foreigners to fund a tax cut is useless. Both Republicans and Democrats need to get that into their thick skulls.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
Here is another interesting piece of information that should be obvious to most people: The better education a person gets, the more successful he or she will probably be. It is clear we need to invest more in our education system. If taxes helped put more money into our education system, more people would get a better education, and there would ultimately be more competition and more innovation in the economy. A better education system helps to progress the free market. Most republicans do not believe in investing more money into our education system, yet they complain that too many people are on welfare. Perhaps if some of those people got a better education and had more opportunities, they would not need to be on welfare.
Spending more money on education doesn't necessarily mean better workers. Many students go into psychology and sociology and have little use in the market place. What we need is more technical jobs and also a corporate tax regime that competes with other countries so new companies are started and foreign investors have a motivation to invest. Many students have the same problem as the tea party protestors. They want free education but hate the taxes when they graduate and get a job (if they get a job if education was "free").

Quote:
Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
Even though nobody likes paying taxes, it is still clear that higher taxes on the rich with lower taxes on the middle class is the best possible alternative that ultimately tries to help everyone in the economy in the best way (as outlined above). Another alternative that many people will suggest is to simply lower taxes on everybody. This is clearly not realistic. If we had lower taxes we would probably have to end up paying more money in other ways. Taxes pay for roads, government services, education, environmental investments, and more...
There's no leeway in cutting taxes as the deficit is in the trillions. Stop spending.

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Originally Posted by zooropop40 View Post
It is not a matter of bigger or smaller government, it is a matter of better government. Government is run by the people for the people. The whole republican argument of smaller government is flawed, because no candidate ever runs on a platform of saying they wont ever do anything because they do not believe in government. Every candidate runs on a platform of using the government to do things, hopefully things that benefit society. Government should use the liberal tax system and should invest more money into education- both of these things will bring capitalism into the future and will keep the American dream alive.
Taxes can only go so high before they sap the will of the public to produce more. I recommend looking at these videos on the limits of tax increases to solving budget problems:







There is some wiggle room for Obama to raise taxes but I doubt it will be enough to narrow the gap for years. I really hope there isn't a run on the dollar. The U.S. is lucky in someways in that the world is in recession at the same time so the investing public still look to the U.S. as like a gold standard. If that reputation disappears investors will go elsewhere.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:38 PM   #128
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That's like a 2 hour long post...
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:47 PM   #129
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This video is despicable. Truly, truly despicable. Maybe this is why Fox News' ratings triple those of MSNBC, and why Fox News' SIXTH most watched show beats MSNBC's best. And CNN has the audacity to say that the tea parties aren't family viewing?

Watch, and see how pathetic this network is...

Like you said, the ratings say it all.


You know, it's almost refreshing to have a president willing to tax and spend, rather than just spend and spend (Bush). But it does bother me that these 'tea party' rallies are discounted because the same people weren't rallying against Bush deficits. Or discounted because of racism, or whatever.

The size and scope of deficits matter! And the deficit projections under Obama are staggering a decade out. That's including Obama's optimistic economic growth rate and bogus 'savings' like not continuing the Iraq Surge for another decade. It's the standard smoke and mirrors budget.

Even the Chinese are starting to say 'enough' to our unsustainable policies. They're sitting on a pile of our dollars.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:01 PM   #130
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Even the Chinese are starting to say 'enough' to our unsustainable policies. They're sitting on a pile of our dollars.
Exactly!
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:13 PM   #131
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I think a majority of it is spending. The people I saw and heard from were certainly more pissed at the spending than the taxes.
Soooooooooo, to paraphrase Jon Stewart, people bought a million tea bags to protest wasteful spending. Were they protesting irony?
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:18 PM   #132
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Nice touch with the revolutionary era costumes and appeals to liberty and all that, but surely the original revolt was 'no taxation without representation'. Note that second part, it is important.
.
Plus, it kind of makes the British feel under appreciated for all of their tyrannical efforts.

Tea Party Tyranny | The Daily Show | Comedy Central
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #133
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You know, this Revolutionary War garb is really impressive. Way to kick it old school, Repubs. Because nothing says you're the party that should be leading the country into the future better than dressing like you're about to travel back in time to ride with Paul Revere. We need a left equivalent. Anybody wanna join me for a love in in Haight-Ashbury?!
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:06 PM   #134
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It's quite obviously possible to tax our way out of some of this medium/long term, because tax rates have historically been higher without the economy imploding. Now there's a backhanded effort to define our recent abnormally low rates as "normal" and the historic long term rates as the aberration.

Of course agricultural subsidies, defense spending, and health care costs should really be cut before seeing tax increases simply because the current levels are so frequently and blatantly wasteful, but when the time comes the middle class and rich will pay more.

Really, there's no doom associated with a 40% marginal rate on income over 250,000. Canada won't become the next superpower if Obama starts a 2 million/ year tax bracket. And yeah, even the middle class can't escape all of it. That's a big debt we have.

Bonus: The failure of Moody's and the other private credit rating agencies being trusted to properly rate corporate risk is now a failure of Big Government. Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed! If my eyes aren't mistaken, I'm sure I'm spying some variants on the "giving poor homeowners loans in the 1970s caused the collapse!", (which raises the question why it took 30 years for this to happen) or the "X billion in subprime mortgages turns into 40 trillion in derivatives on Wall Street, clearly the homeowners were the problem" gambit.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:43 PM   #135
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^ Indeed. Good post.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:08 PM   #136
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What we need is more technical jobs and also a corporate tax regime that competes with other countries so new companies are started and foreign investors have a motivation to invest.
I think this is a good point.

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I would agree that those who use tax shelters are hypocritical because they benefit from the military protection paid by others.
Military protection from whom, precisely? Who are these fearsome military foes that stand ready to attack America and its allies? Can't be Venezuela, 'cos I just saw Obama shaking hands with Chavez. As for North Korea, it is a basket case which is no threat to anyone outside its borders. That's a tragedy, but it's not our concern to interfere militarily. Russia and China? Let's get real here and try to understand realpolitik. And recognise that neither country pursues the doctrine of pre-emptive strikes even if they wished to hit the US (which they don't, it would make no rational sense. you don't pursue your debtors by killing them, unless you're a deranged pyschopath. I haven't seen much evidence that the Russian and Chinese leaders are deranged psychopaths, have you?) I don't know, maybe it's the French, but they haven't won a war since Napoleon (joke).

Now, it is probably true that the Western world will face continuing threats from 'Islamist' terrorism and that I'd argue is largely because of the manner in which the 'GWOT' has been prosecuted. But, even for those who disagree with that assessment, it has to be acknowledged that protecting US/European citizens from terrorism within the US/Europe is not a military issue but a security issue.

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the revelations regarding torture from Abu Ghraib and many other places and wishes to ignore the obvious implication that this will breed more terrorists is delusional.

The lessons from Northern Ireland are clear. In 1969, the shooting by state forces of 13 unarmed civilians, together with internment of elements the Catholic population held to be 'terrorist sympathisers' and, in some cases, allegations of torture of terrorist suspects (though the worst allegations, if true, were nothing like as bad, not even remotely, as what Western intelligence have revealed to be involved in the prosecution of the so-called 'Global War on Terror) fed a three decade conflict that led to the deaths of 3,000.

Turns though the neo-cons will probably be correct in their claims that Western states and cities will face an increased risk from 'Islamist' terror. Of course, we bloody well will, it was Western policies, advocated by those same neo-cons that fed it. And then, sure enough, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Heckofajob, neocons!!!

I really hope I'm wrong, but whether I am right or wrong, as I said it is a security issue to deal with this problem and not a military one.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:18 AM   #137
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Is that you diamond?

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Old 04-18-2009, 11:59 AM   #138
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I'm sure I'm spying some variants on the "giving poor homeowners loans in the 1970s caused the collapse!", (which raises the question why it took 30 years for this to happen) or the "X billion in subprime mortgages turns into 40 trillion in derivatives on Wall Street, clearly the homeowners were the problem" gambit.
Ever heard of the Community Reinvestment Act and have you heard of Bill Clinton? What about ACORN? Banks need investors to lend money. If the government is forcing more risk onto banks then investors will have to take more risk. Bankers make money by being intermediaries between borrowers and lenders. The only way to get investors to freely do that is to package investments and hide the details in the fine print. So many people thought they had "safe" investments when they didn't. Couple the fact that rating agencies aren't independent and you get what happened. Of course corporate members of the private sector should have said NO and fight back but the human tendency is to listen to government and to avoid pressure tactics. The subordinates at work will listen to their bosses and not ethically fight back so the rot continues on to the investor.

The problem we have is when government fails the solution the public seems to get is that we need MORE government. How come more socialist governments got into the same problems the U.S. did despite having more government? Eg. Britain.

The other part of the problem is political interference in monetary policies. There were plenty of times where raising interest rates would be necessary to stave off inflation but instead it was ignored and even the core CPI excluded energy, and food to mask the true inflation.

Core inflation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Did Greenspan really follow Friedman economics or did he follow Neo-Keynesian economics? The past 20 years has seen a huge credit availability spike that has given a false sense that we were improving our standard of living yet when inflation is taken into account the results were unimpressive. Some sectors of society had a purchase power decrease. We need to focus on production and investment. People are uncomfortable now because of the huge debtload they have. Until they pay down the personal debt to feel better they won't feel better.

Finally some big cheese CEO gets it. This doesn't just apply to Canada:

Canadians should save, not spend: ING Canada CEO

Quote:
Aceto worries Canadians aren't saving enough.

In the last five years the Canadian savings rate averaged around 2.5 per cent, Aceto said. In the previous five years, it was about five per cent, and in the 35 years before that it was almost 15 per cent.

The savings rate is measured as a percentage of disposable income, which is income from all sources less deductions -- tax, employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan -- made to the government. In British Columbia the savings rate has been negative since at least 1998.

That needs to increase so Canadians can get their confidence back, Aceto said. And that means Canadians shouldn't be spending to help stimulate the economy as some politicians are suggesting.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:09 PM   #139
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Financeguy,

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Now, it is probably true that the Western world will face continuing threats from 'Islamist' terrorism and that I'd argue is largely because of the manner in which the 'GWOT' has been prosecuted
I don't really buy this. There is too much history of attacks and an admission of motive behind the attacks, that have nothing to do with the prosecution of GWOT.

In fact, my experience with the Iraqi leadership (and definitely not PRO-US) is that they respect our approach (after the invasion -- most of them wish not to be occupied of course) and by approach I mean, the attitude of the boots on the ground conducting operations, not the Administration. Basically, there is a mutual understand, and a joint partnership of getting rid of the foreign fighters, rebuilding the country, and pressing forward.

For the past 3 years, the prosecution of GWOT has been a joint-venture between the people of Iraq/Afghanistan and the coalition or NATO forces against those who literally want to cause terror in an attempt to wear us thin enough that we'll give in and leave, leaving a hole for their brand of ultra-fundamentalist Islam.

I would argue more that the spread of our capitalistic, marketing, sex/violence consumerism is what they see as the biggest threat to their lives, and why they feel the need for a theocracy.

So, what we have to sell is the benefits of our society (engineering, science, services, like water, food, electricity, infrastructure, etc...) and let up on the push to put Hooters in Baghdad (not really happening).
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:54 PM   #140
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I haven't seen much evidence that the Russian and Chinese leaders are deranged psychopaths, have you?).
Well China has routinely threatened Taiwan for years and have lots of troop manuvers near Taiwan used to inflame tensions there. I'm sure if I lived there I would be more anxious. Russia has Putin so yes they already have a paranoid Narcissist leader. Just look at his adventure into Georgia. There has to be a better way to get Georgians that want to join Russia without a forced annexation, especially when there is probably a minority that need time to leave if they decide they don't want to be a part of Russia. If France decided that there are many in Quebec that want to join France and chose to forcefully annex it that would seem psychopathic. (Another French joke).

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The lessons from Northern Ireland are clear. In 1969, the shooting by state forces of 13 unarmed civilians, together with internment of elements the Catholic population held to be 'terrorist sympathisers' and, in some cases, allegations of torture of terrorist suspects (though the worst allegations, if true, were nothing like as bad, not even remotely, as what Western intelligence have revealed to be involved in the prosecution of the so-called 'Global War on Terror) fed a three decade conflict that led to the deaths of 3,000.
It's a good point but I'm not an expert on Ireland so I would be fearful of equating terrorism in two different cultures as being exactly the same. Also Protestants and Catholics have had bloody affairs going back to the Reformation. It's hard for me to be totally convinced that the torture by itself is the main cause.

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Of course, we bloody well will, it was Western policies, advocated by those same neo-cons that fed it. And then, sure enough, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Heckofajob, neocons!!!
The problem I have with this is that Muslim terrorism existed before Bush. Do you include Bill Clinton as Neo-Cons, and was his inaction to blast Bin Laden to kingdom come the right move? It's true we need to look at cause and effect but I don't want to go so far as to assume that Muslim terrorists are Newtonian inertia effects without agency and decision making of their own. There certainly can be an argument that by not killing Bin Laden the result was September 11th. Bin Laden also made comments about U.S. weakness in Somalia as an opportunity to be exploited. Muslims have to take some responsiblity for their actions. Aggressive interpretations of Islam definately causes lots of strife for the world. Whatever imperfections there are in the West we have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and defend our values with less guilt. Opponents to democracy seem to be able to have patriotism over shameless ideas and succeed at making us feel guilty at the same time. Why? We have lots to be thankful for and have lots of good laws and rights worth defending. If we think some of our laws are hypocritical and unfair we don't have to assassinate the leader; we can just use the ballot box.

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I really hope I'm wrong, but whether I am right or wrong, as I said it is a security issue to deal with this problem and not a military one.
Here I think there is a more fresh debate. One argument is to keep the terrorists at bay with offensive attacks on them and the other argument is to be like a goalie trying to have a perfect goals against average. I'm not sold on the goalie part yet. At minimum there has to be a "tit for tat" response if reconstruction is too optimistic. Though there are others that say reconstruction is the only way. Remember Afghanis complained about Americans not spending money on infrastructure when the Soviets were kicked out of Afghanistan? I think they made a movie Charlie Wilson's War that made that argument. At some point leaders will be criticized no matter what they do or don't do.

Anyways this is a good discussion. It's better than talking about Mel Gibson's divorce or Lindsay Lohan.
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