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Old 11-30-2008, 06:54 PM   #16
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C'mon, it's staring you right in the face!

The narcissistic/psychopathic traits you identify - probably quite correctly - in the likes of Chavez are equally present in people like Blair, Bush.

Blair and Bush are or were in charge of much bigger militaries than tinpot dictators like Saddam and that, frankly, makes them MORE dangerous.

Need I mention the 'Bring 'em on!' and 'You're either with us or against us' quotes from Bush and even worse messianic stuff from Blair. Blair was probably even more dangerous because most of the media quite liked him.
I don't compare Blair/Bush to Chavez at all. That's too much of a stretch for me.

If you want to criticize Bush for failed intelligence reports and botched military strategies and arrogance I'll agree with that. I won't put them on the same level as Chavez or Putin. There's a big difference between living in the U.S and living in Venezuela or Russia. Any comparison like that is too much of a moral equivalence path for me to follow. You could call Bush naive on cultures in the middle east and not understanding tribalism well but there have been improvements since 2004.

If anything you can see weakness in Bush and leadership problems like when the Iraqi army was dismantled against his wishes. He didn't reverse the decision. Bush's vaccillating on his economics policies that got the U.S. into this debt mess with education and health spending that didn't match with lower taxes. The big useless bailouts is another example of not being able to stand up to what you believe in. I'm actually more worried about his domestic policies than his foreign policies. The U.S. can't do much if they go bankrupt.

I know libertarians are hardcore against U.S. military might and they are afraid the military will increase in size and create 1984 situations to justify itself, but we can't handcuff ourselves and not react in some measure against terrorists and dictators. Even if we don't do preemptive strikes anymore and only fight when we get hit we will still need a large military to do that.

I get the sense that if the U.S. does any military action they will be criticized no matter what and compared to the people they are against. Dictators don't have to worry about what the people think so they just do what they please until someone stops them.

The problem with libertarian claims regarding foreign policy and military for me was their assertion that Truman dropped the bomb on Japan just to scare the Russians. Nevermind that Japan was scary enough to require atomic bombs to stop their dictatorship. It just looks like a conspiracy theory. If you do constant juxtaposition of two different characters and remove as much context and detail as you can you can make all kinds of people morally on the same wavelength no matter how stretched.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:06 PM   #17
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The problem with libertarian claims regarding foreign policy and military for me was their assertion that Truman dropped the bomb on Japan just to scare the Russians.
WTF.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:21 PM   #18
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I don't compare Blair/Bush to Chavez at all. That's too much of a stretch for me.

If you want to criticize Bush for failed intelligence reports and botched military strategies and arrogance I'll agree with that. I won't put them on the same level as Chavez or Putin. There's a big difference between living in the U.S and living in Venezuela or Russia. Any comparison like that is too much of a moral equivalence path for me to follow. You could call Bush naive on cultures in the middle east and not understanding tribalism well but there have been improvements since 2004.
What is it, do you think, that makes these Western leaders so uniquely exempt from these psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies that so greviously afflict leaders of other regions of the world? Perhaps it is something in the water, or maybe quality of Coca-cola or McDonald's hamburgers that is uniquely superior in the West? I dunno, I'm lost here. Is it that Bush and Blair have a direct line to the Almighty, so they have to be right?

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Even if we don't do preemptive strikes anymore and only fight when we get hit we will still need a large military to do that.
What's this 'we' shit? Remember Ali's famous quote from the Vietnam era: 'I've got no quarrel with the Viet Cong'? Well, I've got no quarrel with Russia.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:56 PM   #19
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WTF.
Why did Truman drop the bomb? - Mises Economics Blog

The CATO institute is also VERY anti-military. I think the real Cato would be rolling in his grave.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:10 PM   #20
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I have not seen that article before. I have occasionally browsed that blog. Still, it's an enormous stretch to imply libertarians en masse take that particular view of the bombing of Hiroshima, I would see that as a somewhat eccentric viewpoint.

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The CATO institute is also VERY anti-military. I think the real Cato would be rolling in his grave.
Well, in your view its 'anti-military', I would tend to see CATO and blogs like Antiwar.com as welcome right-libertarian responses to the idea that all right-wingers and conservatives MUST be unabashed supporters of military expansion.

I guess we can agree to differ on descriptions.

Ron Paul, incidentally, has a very high support rate amongst soldiers.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:16 PM   #21
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Why did Truman drop the bomb? - Mises Economics Blog

The CATO institute is also VERY anti-military. I think the real Cato would be rolling in his grave.

So one person's essay = the view of all Libertarians?

Wow...
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:35 PM   #22
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What is it, do you think, that makes these Western leaders so uniquely exempt from these psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies that so greviously afflict leaders of other regions of the world? Perhaps it is something in the water, or maybe quality of Coca-cola or McDonald's hamburgers that is uniquely superior in the West? I dunno, I'm lost here. Is it that Bush and Blair have a direct line to the Almighty, so they have to be right?
First did I mention character faults of Bush? Yes. I don't know enough about Blair to get to his character faults but I'm sure there probably are some, but I still can't stretch them to a Chavez or Putin. I think the checks and balances in the U.S. and Britain protect the country from having a Chavez and Putin type in power. The only way that could change would be if there was a 'night of the long knives' Hitler style to remove those checks and balances. I don't see the U.S. as a pseudo democracy or dictatorship. Obama's election proves that. Most of the economy is still in the hands of the private sector though you could have a point that governments are increasing. There may be a dependency that can nullify political freedom in the future.

I do think the West is superior in many ways but is starting to slowly fade and decay. There's a lack of belief in its institutions that's disheartening. If you take humanities university courses you see a huge anti-western civilization attitude that ignores the benefits of economics and democracy that it espouses. I remember an anthropology teacher talking about moral relativism and she came to the conclusion that living a hunting and gathering lifestyle is equal to what we have now and one is not superior to the other. Of course she then said that she wouldn't live that lifestyle because she is used to this one. Why change to a lifestyle that reduces your lifespan when you can live in Western Civilization and bash the west at the same time?

I have a preference for Western Civilization. I can't think it's simply equal to any other system because I think individuals run from many countries to the west precisely for the same reasons I don't want to live in Vietnam or North Korea. I like constitutions, private property rights, trade, common law system, limited government and freedom of speech. I think when people have an option to live in a dictatorship or a democracy like in Europe or North America most people would choose the west if language wasn't an impediment.

I can tell the difference between "democracy" in Venezuela and Russia versus Democracy in North America and Europe. It is quite different. I really like living in North America, and I would really find it hard to make a living in many other countries with less economic opportunities and rights. I really treasure the freedoms I have and the ability I have to debate and vote without intimidation.

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What's this 'we' shit? Remember Ali's famous quote from the Vietnam era: 'I've got no quarrel with the Viet Cong'? Well, I've got no quarrel with Russia.
When I mean 'we' I meant the coalition of the willing.

Ali was a great boxer but I actually believe communists, fascists and currently terrorists don't leave you alone. If dictators didn't always try and consolidate power constantly then isolationism would be the best course of action. I believe the days of a small military are over and have been over since WWI. The weapons used for threatening today are so damaging that a large military presence is necessary to preserve western democracy.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #23
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So one person's essay = the view of all Libertarians?

Wow...
Why do you think many conservatives don't vote for libertarian parties anymore? They don't trust that they can protect the country and they agree to have some social programs for people who medically and mentally can't compete in the market place. John Stuart Mill could at least make that connection. Libertarians are more of a think tank now.

If there are any libertarians that followed Bush they probably would have been ostracized by now and called neo-Conservatives. Though smaller government conservatives were called neo-Conservatives as well. I would put Bush in the category of Nixon wing like his father and Reagan as Goldwater wing. There are so many labels now.

Many libertarians are afraid of government increasing in size too much from war. They often use examples of WWI and WWII. I mean they are right in sense that government increased in size because of war yet can we really be safe if we go back to the way things were before? The 'uping the ante' of dictatorships forces us to keep up just like criminals force police to keep up in tactics and armament.

I think libertarians are good at monetary and fiscal policy understanding and they know the trade-offs of government policy. They are good at understanding the individual though people like Ayn Rand I think like Nietzsche too much. Humans are not "Supermen".

I also like Libertarians for their understanding of capital theory and the role of saving money. They are the best at that for me.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:53 PM   #24
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Why do you think many conservatives don't vote for libertarian parties anymore?
Because the party as a whole is weak, not unified, and inconsistent. It has nothing to do with the essay of one individual.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:24 PM   #25
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I like constitutions, private property rights,
You live in a country which does not grant you any constitutional right to your property.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:50 PM   #26
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(From Chris Hitchens' right wing brother, Peter Hitchens)
He's the non athetist one, correct?

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Old 11-30-2008, 09:58 PM   #27
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He's the non athetist one, correct?

<>
Yes, my understanding is he is a Christian.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:04 PM   #28
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Yes, my understanding is he is a Christian.
...and against liberal marxism and pro marriage etc.

sounds like a good chap.

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Old 11-30-2008, 10:10 PM   #29
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You live in a country which does not grant you any constitutional right to your property.
There is a comma inbetween.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:12 PM   #30
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I realize that, I just thought it would be something that would inherently bother you.
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