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The Clear Vision of Ronald Reagan

 
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 03:03 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
The irony of this thread is that Reagan supported terrorists in his efforts to "defend Freedom".

Which particular event are your referring to?
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 03:11 pm
Ay... Take your pick...

Let's start with the Contras in Nicaragua.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 03:15 pm
Quote:
I think his comment contained the non-trivial idea: "Don't assume American freedom or sovereignty are permanent, because they aren't unless you're willing to defend them."

So, do you believe that freedom and the need to defend ourselves should be balanced, or do you believe that no danger justifies the tiniest abridgement of liberty?


Brandon

It is definitely not a trivial idea. But it is a commonplace idea, and one voiced by every generation since your founders voiced it.

Your second paragraph asks an "or" question..."balance of freedoms and limitations on those freedoms", OR "no limitations". No thoughtful person would subscribe to the latter of those choices. No one here on this board would.

Where the rubber really hits the road is when you sit down to figure what limitations might be justified and on what basis. Part of that also has to involve consideration of what threat or threats exist.

Let me give you an example from history (I think a similar problem also holds true in your country presently) which throws off or warps estimation of threat...which overestimates threat.

The railroad boom in Europe and America (about 1850) created a thriving market for steel producers (all the lines and boxcars). Companies like Krupp, Vickers and Carnegie got very rich and powerful. But when those lines had been laid down across the continents, a saturation point was reached, and the steel market began to dwindle. The steel companies, in seeking to prevent business decline, looked about for new products to market. They came up with cannons as just the jimdandy thing. And market them they did, in part by selling to one country and then visiting that country's neighbors and saying, "Yikes, you have danger on your border now because they have cannon." It was to the perceived benefit of those steel companies to promote the idea of threat to security and sovereignty.

Eisenhower warned your country about the growing dangers of the "military-industrial complex". What dangers do you think he was talking of? And who better placed to understand this matter than Eisenhower? And how much greater is this a problem now than it was in the 1950s?

The US now spends more on defence than the rest of the world combined. Try to imagine, just for a moment, how much money is involved in this. Threat, the promotion of the idea that the world is out to get the US, is a very good thing for big business.

You could argue that your government is not the same thing as these corporations, but that would be a very naive argument.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 06:39 pm
blatham wrote:
The railroad boom in Europe and America (about 1850) created a thriving market for steel producers (all the lines and boxcars). Companies like Krupp, Vickers and Carnegie got very rich and powerful. But when those lines had been laid down across the continents, a saturation point was reached, and the steel market began to dwindle. The steel companies, in seeking to prevent business decline, looked about for new products to market. They came up with cannons as just the jimdandy thing. And market them they did, in part by selling to one country and then visiting that country's neighbors and saying, "Yikes, you have danger on your border now because they have cannon." It was to the perceived benefit of those steel companies to promote the idea of threat to security and sovereignty.


Nice story, and partly true for Europe, but not the United States. Our railroads were largely completed by 1880, but major armanmemt didn't start here until 1915.

Quote:
The US now spends more on defence than the rest of the world combined. Try to imagine, just for a moment, how much money is involved in this. Threat, the promotion of the idea that the world is out to get the US, is a very good thing for big business.


Actually I believe U.S. defense expenditures are about 45% of the world's total - the fraction is even less if ppp ststistics are compared. (See the CIA World Factbook 2004).

I doubt seriously that even the evil Karl Rove thinks the world is out to get us. However we and the West in general do indeed face some external challenges. Some, like China will hopefully be but friendly competitors. Others in the Islamist world have declared their intent to wipe us out. Part of the Western World - continental western Europe - has more or less resigned from the struggle for cultural survival. That is their choice, but not ours.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 06:46 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
blatham wrote:
The railroad boom in Europe and America (about 1850) created a thriving market for steel producers (all the lines and boxcars). Companies like Krupp, Vickers and Carnegie got very rich and powerful. But when those lines had been laid down across the continents, a saturation point was reached, and the steel market began to dwindle. The steel companies, in seeking to prevent business decline, looked about for new products to market. They came up with cannons as just the jimdandy thing. And market them they did, in part by selling to one country and then visiting that country's neighbors and saying, "Yikes, you have danger on your border now because they have cannon." It was to the perceived benefit of those steel companies to promote the idea of threat to security and sovereignty.


Nice story, and partly true for Europe, but not the United States. Our railroads were largely completed by 1880, but major armanmemt didn't start here until 1915.

Quote:
The US now spends more on defence than the rest of the world combined. Try to imagine, just for a moment, how much money is involved in this. Threat, the promotion of the idea that the world is out to get the US, is a very good thing for big business.


Actually I believe U.S. defense expenditures are about 45% of the world's total - the fraction is even less if ppp ststistics are compared. (See the CIA World Factbook 2004).

I doubt seriously that even the evil Karl Rove thinks the world is out to get us. However we and the West in general do indeed face some external challenges. Some, like China will hopefully be but friendly competitors. Others in the Islamist world have declared their intent to wipe us out. Part of the Western World - continental western Europe - has more or less resigned from the struggle for cultural survival. That is their choice, but not ours.


The US spends about 4% of our GDP on the military.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 06:53 pm
georgeob wrote:

Part of the Western World - continental western Europe - has more or less resigned from the struggle for cultural survival.


Could you explain what you mean by this?

It seems to me that continental western Europe is surviving just fine. They remain thriving democracies with fairly high standards of living and traditions that are centuries old.

Or does "cultural" survival have some other meaning.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 07:36 pm
I was to say something about this Euro-bashing comment from George, and scrolling down I saw you already responded, so I'll just second your post.

cultural survival - sheeesh
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 07:37 pm
If you don't think Europe is in the throes of some type of change, you're not paying attention.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 07:42 pm
When have you been over here the last time, sister?

"Some type of change"? Sure. "Cultural survival"? You've GOT to be kidding.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 09:37 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
It seems to me that continental western Europe is surviving just fine. They remain thriving democracies with fairly high standards of living and traditions that are centuries old.

Or does "cultural" survival have some other meaning.


The median age of "old Europe" is about four years greater than that in the U.S. The average female fertility is about 1.55, compared to about 2.1 in the U.S. (2.05 is required to sustain equilibrium.) Their economies are stagnant, labor markets over-regulated, and unemployment more than twice ours. They have generous social welfare systems that they are now no longer able to sustain ( a problem far more severe than our's with Social Security.). Apart from Norway and Switzerland their per capita GDPs are about two-thirds ours and falling farther behind.

Doesn't look like "doing just fine" to me.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 09:44 pm
georgeob1 wrote:
ebrown_p wrote:
It seems to me that continental western Europe is surviving just fine. They remain thriving democracies with fairly high standards of living and traditions that are centuries old.

Or does "cultural" survival have some other meaning.


The median age of "old Europe" is about four years greater than that in the U.S. The average female fertility is about 1.55, compared to about 2.1 in the U.S. (2.05 is required to sustain equilibrium.) Their economies are stagnant, labor markets over-regulated, and unemployment more than twice ours. They have generous social welfare systems that they are now no longer able to sustain ( a problem far more severe than our's with Social Security.). Apart from Norway and Switzerland their per capita GDPs are about two-thirds ours and falling farther behind.

Doesn't look like "doing just fine" to me.


Remember the Euro is worth more then the Dollar. Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 11:22 pm
Baldimo wrote:

Remember the Euro is worth more then the Dollar. Rolling Eyes


So what? Tomorrow we could redefine a "new" dollar as equal to two "old" ones. Nothing else would change.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 11:42 pm
It is interested how 'culture' is defined here. Shocked
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jul, 2005 11:56 pm
old europe wrote:


"Some type of change"? Sure. "Cultural survival"? You've GOT to be kidding.


The U.S. is a nation of immigrants and expatriates. The continuous creation of new synthesis is itself a part of our heritage and culture. This is not the case in Europe, possessed as it is of the 'centuries old traditions' to which e brown referred. Because of the rather dramatic demographic decline of continental Europe, a flood of immigrants, many from former colonies, is entering these countries and creating rather serious cultural stresses - already visible in the popular press. Perhaps Europe will quickly learn the art of assimilating such large numbers while sustaining its centuries old traditions, but I doubt it.

That wasn'r too hard was it?
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2005 04:02 am
georgeob1 wrote:
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants and expatriates. The continuous creation of new synthesis is itself a part of our heritage and culture. This is not the case in Europe, possessed as it is of the 'centuries old traditions' to which e brown referred. Because of the rather dramatic demographic decline of continental Europe, a flood of immigrants, many from former colonies, is entering these countries and creating rather serious cultural stresses - already visible in the popular press. Perhaps Europe will quickly learn the art of assimilating such large numbers while sustaining its centuries old traditions, but I doubt it.

That wasn'r too hard was it?



The European Union is a voluntary union of 25 nations or 460 million citizens in order to form an unprecedented multinational organization, far beyond such ideas as common free trade zones or cooperation of national institutions such as the police in an international way like Europol. The continuous creation of new synthesis is itself a part of this culture. This is not the case in the United States, possessed as they are of the 'centuries old traditions' to which people frequently refer. Because of the rather dramatic tendency to maintain an economy based on illegal immigration and cheap labour, a flood of immigrants, many from Latin American countries, is entering the country and creating rather serious cultural stresses - already visible in the popular press. Perhaps the USA will quickly learn the art of assimilating such large numbers of immigrants from completely different cultural backgrounds while sustaining its centuries old traditions, but I doubt it.
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woiyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2005 06:25 am
"Dealing with this threat requires European leaders to address directly a series of difficult policy challenges. Historically desperate for labor, European governments have been importing workers from North Africa, South Asia, and other predominately Muslim regions for decades. At present, approximately 15 million Muslim immigrants live on the continent, with large concentrations in Britain, Germany, and France. Unfortunately, Muslim immigrants to Europe and their children do not integrate well, often clustering into crime-ridden ghettos. Exploiting popular perceptions of crime as a "Muslim" problem, right-wing parties have gained support by attacking lax government policies. Mainstream European leaders have responded by restricting the use of asylum and other legal mechanisms that facilitate Muslim immigration."

http://www.techcentralstation.com/072705B.html

I think Europe has it's own immigration problem that just may be even worse than in the US. You may want to consider cleaning your own house before you criticize our house.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2005 07:41 am
I think I get it now.

The Clear Vision of Ronald Reagan is bashing Europe.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2005 08:07 am
blatham wrote:
Quote:
The railroad boom in Europe and America (about 1850) created a thriving market for steel producers (all the lines and boxcars). Companies like Krupp, Vickers and Carnegie got very rich and powerful. But when those lines had been laid down across the continents, a saturation point was reached, and the steel market began to dwindle. The steel companies, in seeking to prevent business decline, looked about for new products to market. They came up with cannons as just the jimdandy thing. And market them they did, in part by selling to one country and then visiting that country's neighbors and saying, "Yikes, you have danger on your border now because they have cannon." It was to the perceived benefit of those steel companies to promote the idea of threat to security and sovereignty.


george wrote:
Quote:
Nice story, and partly true for Europe, but not the United States. Our railroads were largely completed by 1880, but major armanmemt didn't start here until 1915.


I'm working from memory here on Anthony Sampson's book The Arms Bazaar which I read about 25 years ago and which now coughs dustily for attention in an attic far away.

But the point here is that weapons manufacturers market their products in essentially the same manner as General Motors or WonderBread (those steel companies being a paradigm historical example we can look at). That is, they not only supply a market niche, they will seek to create new markets where necessary. Per standard sales techniques, they will try to convince you of your dire need for their products (use FDS regularly or risk watching your lover throw up between your legs - the threat of this is real and is imminent). From a corporate perspective, expansion and market penetration is the proper end. And, in the present period, logistics and support service corporations related to warfare (eg Carlyle, Halliburton, Richard Perle's group, etc) operate in the same manner. War is good good money. Peace ain't. External threats are a boon for business. Promotion of external threats is part of the sale pitch. And if you want to find an area of language use replete with euphemism, this is the place to look..."anti-personnel capability" meaning something like how many bodies (men, women, children) can be blown apart, heads going this way, a leg going that way, the chest over to the south-southwest and intestines splattered colorfully against the wall. (I'll toss in here a mildly relevant observation I came across recently regarding the difference between American media coverage of the Iraq war and the coverage in Al Jazeera...the US media show the missles being launched and Al Jazeera showing them landing.)

blatham
Quote:
The US now spends more on defence than the rest of the world combined. Try to imagine, just for a moment, how much money is involved in this. Threat, the promotion of the idea that the world is out to get the US, is a very good thing for big business.


george
Quote:

Actually I believe U.S. defense expenditures are about 45% of the world's total - the fraction is even less if ppp ststistics are compared. (See the CIA World Factbook 2004).


I've queried my source on this data for clarification. Another source (NYRB) has US expenditures on defence greater than combined monies spent by China, Russia, Japan and the EU.

In either case, the figures are quite incomprehensibly large. Considered together with certain other figures, (ie something like 3 billion spent last year on lobbying Congress and some one half of ex Congressmen/women now working as lobbyists - source, Harpers) and one wonders what the hell Eisenhower would say today.

None of which is to say, obviously, that there are no external threats. But it is definitely to say that one would be foolish to accept estimations of threat from those voices tied into the defence corporate world who have a real vested interest in over-estimation of threat and a real vested interest in war. Eisenhower was hardly a dove, after all, and surely not an 'anti-American'.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2005 08:45 am
I think george has a preference for white AngloSaxon Western Civ christian cultural values. Nothing surprising here, such defines my preferences too, mainly. One takes on the culture in which one is raised. It's true for us as it is for Usama or a micronesian.

There was a thread recently that took up a particular conservative group's notions of what were the most dangerous books of the last two centuries link here. It's a VERY interesting take on what some folks in the conservative camp consider bad ideas (Kinsey, Rachael Carson, Darwin, John Stuart Mill, Keynes) What agreement george might have with this list is unknown to me. He surprises me in both directions. But one listing that set me back on my bum was Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa. On reflection, I suppose it ought not to have surprised me all that much. Anthropology has a bad reputation with a lot of American conservatives because it opened the door to consideration that their cultural certainties were but one set among many (the anti-multiculturalism movement has it roots right here).

This is all a rather chauvanist take on the world, and America (or Western Civ's) place/importance/ranking/holiness quotient. And much of it, I think, is supportable by careful reasoned argument. But much also is not.

Another more immediate aspect of this is the American worry about too much immigration from Mexico, Central and South America (or in western Canada, worry about immigration from Asia, or in the Muslim word the worry about overwhelm from Western culture). It's all fairly predictable, the common response to change and flows of people. But we can deal with it wisely or really stupidly.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jul, 2005 11:44 am
woiyo wrote:


I think Europe has it's own immigration problem that just may be even worse than in the US. You may want to consider cleaning your own house before you criticize our house.


You certainly may be right.

But did you ever think about how many independent countries exist in Europe? Not only the 25 which form the European Union. 41 independent countries are assembled in the Council of Europe.

And besides that, Europe is a continent.
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