Comments and Exchanges
Social media participation creates a wealth of untainted data concerning public opinion, the formation and application of opinion, and how it relates to associative reasoning and understanding, as well as denial, and comparing popular opinion to objective analysis. Social media opinions are not tainted by the social influence of physical interaction, or expectations in formal study participation. In fact there is no purer method of gathering data than the way I’ve gathered data, not only from social media but through life experience, where I’m directly observing naturally occurring results. Even the social media data is naturally occurring. My participation is intent on staying informed and addressing misconceptions, as well as identifying the media’s use of tactics to non-substantively manipulate value and mislead. This doesn’t mean during the course of the exchange I don’t recognize that the exchange serves as an example of something, and as previously shown, I explain Seq Comp to people during the course of the exchange when they refuse to acknowledge points. Other times I show them what and why they’ve asserted something, and how it does or does not relate to the points of controversy. At times I will go back and summarize the subject, the controversy, points made, and points left unaddressed.
Sometimes there is conscious denial, where the person for some interested purpose does not want to acknowledge the deficiency of their position, evidence of this consists of efforts to antagonize and change the subject. In unconscious denial cases, the commenter will argue the point with similar arguments, but are unable to understand contradiction, where if you’re silent on my point you’re not challenging it, and if we both accept it as true, it has implications for the truth your position is built on. It is completely backwards, because if you are interested in something enough to have an opinion on it, you should be interested in knowing what is true about it, and then conscious denial is against self interest. Which means the subject isn’t what they’re concerned with, they’re concerned with the subject appearing as they want it to appear for a purpose unrelated to the subject and not in line with a good interest. Many people have no actual understanding of their opinion, they’re parroting someone else’s opinion, and a great deal of what they understand is built on opinions they’ve never understood. In addition to the previously mentioned purposes of these exchanges, the most general purpose, is to note the discrepancy between what is, and what is perceived to be.
The first few subjects of comments are more substantive, addressing academics presenting their opinions to the public which impacts public opinion. There is a summary write up at the end called Seq Comp as these first examples were submitted to academics in a Seq Comp presentation. The depth of scrutiny decreases which doesn’t take anything away from addressing the misconceptions peddled by the media or expressed by the public.
The most challenging aspect of this book is layout. The next section examining popular opinion and influencers of popular opinion serves as a basis for some of the points made in SeqComp, and reinforces the more substantive articles already read, in addition to challenging the reader’s misconceptions.
Democracy Now Noam Chomsky Speech
The content of Chomsky’s speech consisted of comparing the rise of right-wing ultra nationalism of today to the rise of fascism prior to WWII while emphasizing that the two are incomparable in degree. He mentions how progressives are a counter to ultra-nationalism and expresses his opinion of the Green New Deal.
My Comment: What’s interesting is Bernie Sanders who Chomsky describes as the counter to ultra-nationalism is a key driver of ultra-nationalism. The over emphasis of race, gender, and sexual inequality is largely responsible for the growing popularity of ultranationalist parties and candidates. Sander’s commented in 2016, that “white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor”, which offends since most people who are poor in the United States are white. If you’re white and you’re poor, do you support the guy and the party who doesn’t acknowledge your existence, or do you vote for the other guy who tells you he’s going to make things better for you based on an ultra-nationalist line of reasoning? Does the poor white man vote for the candidate or party that has made race inequality a dominant point of the platform, where everything that can be interpreted as racism is defined as such, and race is pandered to at the neglect of more relevant class-based interests? What are you going to legislate to address the issue, it is already illegal to discriminate based on race and it is socially unacceptable. Yet race is probably talked about as much today as it was during civil rights, even though a black person born to money is born to advantage whereas a white person born without money is born to disadvantage. To remind you, this comment is arguing that so called progressives like Bernie Sanders mentioned by Chomsky are a driving force behind ultra nationalist popularity.
Today on my way home from a job NPR was reporting on women’s soccer, stating the woman’s championship team is paid about 25% less than a men’s championship team and implying from what I heard that this is a gender issue. I surmise the difference in revenue between what men’s soccer generates and what woman’s soccer generates is probably greater than 25%, meaning despite the woman’s team being paid less than the men’s team in overall dollars, the men are probably underpaid in proportion to overall revenue. It is these kinds of issues, the senseless accusations of sexual harassment over comments that used to be called compliments, that reduces the credibility of progressives. Credibility that should be reduced because these candidate’s motivation is a great distance away from their rhetoric.
The third aspect of the progressive wedge is the over emphasis of LGBT discrimination, which is less about equality and tolerance and more about promotion. There are children thinking about their gender identity, and certainly some weighing the value of gay orientation based on the attention and the protection it may provide. I have no issue with what people choose to do that doesn’t impact the liberty of others, and no one should, but when a great amount of attention is directed at a problem (intolerance to sexual preference), and the prevalence of true incidents is not great, people recognize the disparity and it compromises the credibility of the candidate and party.
Progressives are not a counter to the rise of ultra-nationalism, they are the driver, and I speculate that a great number of people who vote for Trump, do so solely because they hate the racist, feminist, LGBT prioritizing platform of progressives. The counter to ultra-nationalism is the perceived driving force which goes beyond the issues I’ve raised, and race being much more substantial than the second two. What is interesting about it is, typically you would increase promotion of the counter, but the problem is the counter promotes the thing it is promoted to counter. And whether it’s ultra-nationalism or progressivism, neither addresses the general social, economic, or political issues that exist. Progressives rhetorically, but not substantively or feasibly.
He mentions the democrats may have given Trump the 2020 election with their focus on Russian collusion allegations, something I agree with and wrote a few months ago, a point of concurrence.
I don’t understand the point of comparing the rise of fascism to the rise of ultra-nationalism while emphasizing the ideologies are mildly similar but far from the same. I guess it is a good way to waste 10 minutes in an hour long talk and promote the term ultra-nationalism.
What are the functioning democracies? Which states function as democracies? As in the interests represented through the state reflects the will and interest of the public?
Very good point in regard to the CEO of JP Morgan, he can take an ethical stance on investment in fossil fuel which will lead to his replacement, or he can continue JP Morgan’s investment in fossil fuels. Either way, JP Morgan is going to continue investing in fossil fuels.
I think Chomsky overestimates the significance of Anti-Ballistic Missiles treaty. The only explanation I read I’m almost embarrassed to express because of how obviously incorrect it is. The reasoning stated if one power was close to a 100% efficient anti-ballistic missile system the other side may launch a preemptive strike, rather than lose their deterrent capacity. I’m sure Chomsky probably has another reason, but this reason for an ABM treaty is wrong because technological advances could render the systems useless, meaning the loss of the deterrent capacity due to a break-through in ABM, is at worst a technological problem which will be overcome. And they did. The US has ABM systems but they are useless because of the cost of defense verses the cost of attacking. It’s a hat on a hat, and the attacking side can deploy more warheads, some of which can be conventional warheads not nuclear as decoys, and enough nuclear warheads will get through. While I don’t think a first strike caused by developing an ABM system is realistic and neither did the Soviet Union, the idea was proposed by McNamara. If he proposed the idea, he proposed it because in considering ABM systems, first strike is something he would at least consider discussing with a president or recommending it if the Soviet Union would have been near developing a 100% effective ABM system.
Chomsky is disingenuous or plain wrong in his assertion about the GND that the disagreement is it should be a little different here or there. That it’s doable. He doesn’t cite the legislation; he cites an economist who has done what? Accounted for the cost of replacing fossil fuel generated energy with renewable energy? The measurement of costs, anticipated gains made through construction and permanent jobs in the expansion of a new industry. Measures of anticipated indirect benefits of public investment in the economy? It is whatever anyone says it is, because you can accomplish the goals listed in the bill on paper however you want to.
With what political will? This is the main argument against a GND that no one brings up. You don’t’ pile the mission statement of 30 bills into a single piece of legislation and try to pass it. As I wrote about in an article on Bernie Sanders GND, some items will be easier to pass than other and some may serve interests that will aid in their passage. Yet these interests that benefit from 1 item might be averse to the other 29, and in this, the 1 item you could pass, is locked in a cell with 29 others that you can’t. Some of these items in the GND have nothing to do with climate change.
In what way is the Green New Deal a remarkable accomplishment? The sources I’ve read about the feasibility and economic effect of something similar to GND, are little more than measuring energy demand and comparing the cost of energy production from renewable sources, which says nothing to most challenging aspect of it which is implementation. Once we’re past this, the problem of the GND is there is no GND. I’m so tired of writing this but the GND is a list of problems, goals, and the creation of a select committee to work on achieving those goals along very unspecific guidelines. I saw a headline that read “We need to fund the green new deal”. There is no GND to fund, the only appropriation is to fund the research of a select committee. These are indisputable facts that somehow the people of this country fail to acknowledge. Republicans don’t mention it because it makes more sense to perpetuate the myth and equate the GND with socialism, the GND with progressives, and socialism with totalitarianism and the failed attempts at socialism undermined by US and other western interference. (Previous sentence of associations means in short, that the republicans see the GND as something that is more valuable to call socialism than it is to expose as being nothing, although I did hear at least one republican whose name I don’t remember stating essentially that, that it is nothing.)
NOTE: This speech and most of my comment was written prior to Sander’s GND, which while still vague in many aspects, does explain how grid energy infrastructure will be placed under the Power Marketing Administrations, and fossil fuel power generation will be regulated out of existence, which is something I support, but as these Green New Deals go, it represents only one of the stated goals.
Chomsky continues to reinforce the non-impactful efforts of activists who comprise most of his acolytes by stating climate change being at the forefront of discussion is a tremendous change. Climate change has been at the forefront of discussion. Obama campaigned on climate change. It is the proliferation of information related to climate change and the impact of climate change which has it at the forefront of discussion, which takes place outside of activist circles. He makes this point to stroke his base probably knowing full well he’s full of shit. Funny part about that, I paused the video just prior to the applause after he said “that shows you the type of things that can be done” while I wrote the comment. Which is to say the applause reinforced my conclusion that “he makes this point to stroke his base”. You don’t know it happened like that but I do so I thought I would share my personal affirmation.
Additional commentary: It’s almost embarrassing to have missed this, actually the fact I wrote that reveals it is, but I implied in the comment that the comparison between the fascist regimes of the 21st century and the alt-right ultra-nationalists of today served no purpose, and was an intentional waste of time.
I imagined some complacency for a man who has been doing something for so long, and preaching to an audience that usually misses many of the points he makes judging by some of the questions during Q&A portions of talks I’ve seen. Despite his best efforts to inform, and his advice about organizing, and still saying in 2019 that a sit in strike is one step away from a revolution, nothing has changed. We can argue about the significance of social changes, and I’m not saying woman’s suffrage and civil rights were insignificant, but neither affected the power structure. Women being included in the illusion of a representative government doesn’t compromise the interest of industry. Civil rights didn’t compromise any businesses interests either, being a necessary social progression to preserve order, which is good for business. Power is where it has always been, beyond the reach of the common people, whose efforts are under rewarded and maintained through the manipulation of their values. I imagined he made those comparisons (ultra-nationalism and fascism) while stating they weren’t really comparable to run the clock and get back to something more interesting.
In the sorry job of editing I’m doing for my book, this talk was brought back to my attention. What are the purposes of comparing groups whose similarities are so far apart in terms of degree, that it renders the subjects incomparable? The leaders of these ultranationalist countries are not even using violence to impose their ideologies or maintain power, which is a significant distinction from the fascist regimes he’s making comparisons to. Israel is not the exception of ultra-nationalists not using violence, since violence against the Palestinians and the cause of Israeli expansion has been going on for over 60 years, and what is being called ultra-nationalism represented in the regimes of today, are less than a decade old. Even Sisi in Egypt is probably no more repressive than Mubarak, and unlike the fascists of the 20th century, Egypt isn’t invading anyone and is in the sphere of US subordinate states.
What purposes does this serve? Chomsky protects himself by stating on more than 1 occasion the two are not comparable. Then why compare them? Almost immediately after saying they’re not even comparable, he contradicts the sentiment by quoting Mark Twain, saying “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes”, going on to say “there are too many similarities”. He fails to qualify the assertion of similarities with any direct comparisons between the ideologies or actions of regimes today to the regimes he mentions.
The comparison causes his audience (which includes more than those who are in attendance, this video which is probably not the only upload of it on the internet received over 200,000 views) to associate the fascist regimes he mentions, with the administrations of right wing elected leaders of today. It doesn’t matter that the two are incomparable and Chomsky points that out, he has already made the association between them, meaning the value of one is affected by the value of the other. Trump supporters are not only bad for what they believe or what the radical left says they believe, they’ve been made worse because they share unspecified similarities with Nazis. Although as Chomsky says it’s nothing near what those 20th century regimes were, the “too many similarities” can be perceived as something that can grow in degree over time. The comparison, introduces the possibility of a negative outcome, (growth of ultra-nationalism towards fascism), and uncertainty, which are the ingredients of fear.
As a result of this kind of propaganda, you have the emergence of groups like Antifa, who think they’re the last line of defense before some white national socialist party captures the white house and congress, dismisses the supreme court and rewrites the constitution. Interestingly enough, while Trump supporters or even the patriot types will defend themselves when attacked, Antifa is intent on attacking people for their cause against fascism. There are videos and reports of the group beating up veterans, and attacking people for their presumed political beliefs. This is much more similar to fascist by way of comparison of the tactics than the ultranationalist regimes they claim to oppose: the use of force to impose your ideology on others.
It is interesting that Chomsky’s efforts to inspire people to action against ultranationalism, is likely contributing to grassroots fascism, that claims to be against itself. I mentioned elsewhere the example at Berkeley where leftist protestors attempted to prevent a speaker from speaking and her audience from gaining access to the venue. Am I doing what Chomsky is trying to do by conflating Antifa with fascism? No, because I’m not alluding to “too many ” ideological similarities without mentioning any examples, I’m making a direct and observable comparison of behavior, which is the use of violence to impose your ideology on others. That is something that the fascists of the 20th century did, and that is something Antif does and expresses interest in doing.
This would be a good experiment for Seq Comp, to measure the effectiveness of this propaganda. I define propaganda as any information with a bias which means the information by nature is an effort to manipulate value. I have a true bias (truth over everything), it represents my highest value because I believe truth is essential to communication, understanding and correcting problems, and is required for the liberation of the species, an endeavor that has value in the liberation of myself, communicatively as well as circumstantially, and value in the pride of the accomplishment or progress towards the accomplishment. The purpose of propaganda is inherent in the bias, the purpose of the material is creating the same value of the subject that you have of the subject through the facts and reasoning provided. This could be measured. It would be interesting to have a 1000 people of different backgrounds and political affiliations watch the first 11 minutes of the talk, and ask questions about how that information influenced their opinion of ultra-nationalist states and members. An explanation of ultra-nationalists as Chomsky intended the word, followed by a brief survey. They watch the video, and take the survey again but are also asked questions requiring a written response, to gauge how likely they believe the ultra-nationalist wave of states could evolve into anything comparable to the 20th century fascists? Measure the change in value and measure the answers to questions like the perceived probability of the rise of fascism. I anticipate, the propaganda would be most effective in persuading those who have a moderate or low opinion of ultranationalists, and probably less effective in persuading those who have a positive opinion of those who the term identifies.
On his last point, although correct about the point of Russian interference not playing a significant role in influencing public opinion or the elections, his example of Israel interfering in US elections is not an example of that. Netanyahu meeting with congress to criticize the policy of the president doesn’t have an impact on elections, it has an impact on policy.
I anticipate Chomsky would probably attempt to undermine my points by reducing this criticism to an assertion that he is responsible for the formation of extremist groups like Antifa, to repel it away as an exaggeration. To what extent this group is influenced by Chomsky I don’t know, although I imagine at least some members are familiar with some of his work. That is not the point. The point is that Chomsky made comparisons between two groups, without providing any substantive examples of the similarities, and nothing that improves the understanding of either group through the comparison. The only purpose this serves is to influence the value of one by comparing it to the other. Whether this is a conscious intent only he knows, but it will accomplish those purposes. The assertion is Chomsky is manipulating value through association, not allowing substance to influence value through the merit of the substance as it relates to an individual’s existing values.
The purposes are probably perceived as justifying the means, where although value may be affected, the effect of the propaganda is good because it inspires people (some through fear) to become more active civically. I diverge from this line of reasoning because I think it contributes to false perceptions that obstruct communication and cause poor prioritization in strategy for addressing issues of popular importance. Outside of this example, the idea that deception or misleading people is justified by the ends of gaining or amplifying a person’s willingness to participate to advance the causes of a group, is a common issue with propagandists who do most of the thinking for people in this country.
After this criticism of Chomsky, you may be surprised to discover that I think Noam Chomsky is one of the greatest human beings who has ever lived. He is a store of knowledge and understanding of history, public policy, public relations, as well as other subjects that is unrivaled in breadth and depth by any other organic reservoir of intelligence. Which doesn’t mean everything he says is correct, but he can be trusted as a credible source of facts even if you draw different conclusions from those facts, or recognize when he’s using his knowledge to change people’s value of something based on association and not on substance.
Discovering Chomsky was key to my intellectual development, not based on the little bit of his material I read, or lectures and interviews I heard from him, but in the material and people he brought up. A few examples are represented in this book. I only know of Robert A. McGuire’s research because Chomsky mentioned him, which caused me to read his paper that summarized the key findings of his research, which then led me to Charles Beard, other articles, and Chomsky brought up the constitutional debates which I began reading. All of this contributed to my understanding of the intents this country emerged from. The same is true of Thomas Ferguson who was referenced by Chomsky, as well as others like Lippmann, Dewey, and Bernays. I read the Occupation of the Philippines by Blount because I was skeptical about statements he made concerning the occupation. Those statements relating to the order by Jacob H Smith who commanded occupying forces in the Philippines near the beginning of the 20th century to “kill everyone over the age of 10”.
Chomsky was key in directing me to sources early on in my awakening. In the last 4 years or so, outside of this referenced talk, I may have viewed one interview, or on one occasion I went to his website to find a quote from his material. He isn’t involved in research that interests me, and his role as it relates to the general public is that of an analyst and interpreter of information. I think for myself, and I have pretty much the same access to information with the exception of some academic journals, so I don’t keep up on what he’s saying or doing unless he’s on Democracy Now.
If I had an interest in some area of public policy history, foreign or domestic, in the last 60 years, the first book I would read is a book by Chomsky on the subject because I know he is going to supply information from credible sources, and include and address popular misconceptions or opposing conclusions, which positions me to weigh the evidence and the assembly of that evidence, and decide what I believe is true, moral, efficient, agreeable, and what interests it serves or is trying to serve.
Despite his reliability as a source of information, I imagine there is probably more that I disagree with, than I agree with him about, although some of it may speak to different interests. I don’t share his enthusiasm for progressive democrats. I recognize they are disingenuous, knowing better than what they sell to the public, paid public spokesman for the discontent of the public, while overemphasizing prejudice, and unable to accomplish anything meaningful for the public. I think Chomsky recognizes the election of the rhetoric as some material evidence of what him and activists have contributed to. He has an interest in the credibility of, and the enthusiasm in progressive politicians, which potentially compromises his ability to judge between the rhetoric, and what someone like Bernie Sanders has accomplished in 30 years. This guy is a politician, and he will say whatever it takes to get elected, and I don’t like people creating disappointment for others for their own gain, and worse yet, deceiving people into thinking someone is going to solve their problems when their problems are not addressed in his plans, and those plans he cannot get through congress. Through Chomsky’s endorsement of these figures, I associate their positions on other matters with his which adds to the presumed differences.
As to the contradiction where he is manipulating value by associating facism with the modern right, without providing a basis for similarities, this incident does not compromise the quality facts and interpretations he has provided over the years and I believe I understand his motivation if it were done with conscious intent. It is the same as the motivation of other activist types where the manipulation of value is done intent on inspiring people to action. The problem is it fuels passion without laying the foundation of understanding to guide that passion towards practical aims.
I contacted Noam Chomsky to inform him of this criticism and this was his response, followed by my conclusion.
Thanks for your thoughts
Sanders may have occasionally misspoken, but it’s not true that he overemphasizes race, gender, and sexual inequality.
I agree with historian of fascism Robert Paxton and the many others who think it is worthwhile to consider the echoes of the 30s today, while emphasizing the crucial differences, as I did.
My Conclusion: Chomsky doesn’t address the major sources of criticism related to his statements about the GND, my assessment of what an economist favorable to the GND is actually measuring, and most importantly, why he would tell an audience that ultra-nationalism shares “many similarities” with fascism without providing the basis for the statement. That is the core of the criticism.
He says that Bernie Sanders may have misspoke in reference to white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor, to live in ghettos, or to be harassed by the police. He misspoke because it resulted in criticism, otherwise, if there was a positive response, he would have made more statements like that. Ironically, the statement was in response to his “racial blind spots”, where Sanders is doing the classical liberal I’m not racist, and I’ll prove it by telling you white people are racist, because they don’t know what black people go through. It reveals his own prejudice against white people, and is significant because it reveals he has racial priorities. Sanders in effect doubled down on the statement the next day saying he meant to say that traditionally when you’re talking about ghettos you’re talking about African American communities, and white people don’t know what kind of pressure they’re under. It didn’t impact his campaign much, because white Sanders supporters are among those who overemphasize racial discrimination, those leftist types who typically have never been poor, or in a ghetto, who think every white person comes from where they come from, because these are the only people they’ve been exposed to.
I don’t have a concise way to summarize the overemphasis or racial discrimination, although there are some examples in this book, and I do have an idea for research to quantify the assertion. For now, he says Sanders doesn’t overemphasize racial discrimination, and I say it is overemphasized not only by Sanders, but in this country as a whole.
He mentions Robert Paxton and others to qualify the similarities between ultra-nationalism and fascism, and I don’t deny that there is probably some loose comparative basis, although I would guess most of the comparisons used between ultra-nationalists and fascists, could probably be made between ultra-nationalists and other administrations in US history. My point isn’t that there is no comparative basis between fascists and ultra-nationalists, as a creative mind can draw similarities between even unlike groups. My point is, that these similarities were invoked in a talk by a person who is regarded by many on the left as foremost authority on political subjects, without citing any examples of these similarities. Many people are not going to read Robert Paxton, and making the claim to this audience causes the audience to associate ultra-nationalists with fascism, and this substancelessly changes their value. It is a substanceless change of value because it associates the modern right with fascists without any explanation to justify the association.
SeqComp: Without understanding Seq Comp, it is difficult to infer the reason and the significance of comparing two unlike things as similar without example. In recognition of the mind assigning value to the object ultranationalist and the mind assigning value to the object facist, an association with one another causes the value of one to influence the value of the other depending on the description of the association. It’s clear, whether conscious intent or not, the only purpose of comparing two unlike things for similarities without example or explanation, is to baselessly transfer value through association. To put it another way, it causes a person to like something more or less absent the changing of understanding.
Democracy Now: Andrew Bacevich: The US Saudi Relationship is a Principle Source of Destablization in the Middle East
The video is as the title suggests based largely on the point that the US should have a different relationship with Saudi Arabia because the US is no longer dependent on middle east oil. Bacevich position is that energy independence should bring more accountability to Saudi Arabia and lead to reduced tension with Iran. He reduces the importance of the region to oil, and my comment seeks to broaden the basis for the importance of the region and the preferential treatment given to Saudi Arabia.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: The strategy is much deeper than ensuring access to the resources of the oil rich region. He calls the policy towards the region by the United States misguided because it has led to the destabilization of the region. However, from a strategic standpoint, destabilization is a desired goal especially for regimes not under the influence of the United States.
If we remove the sanctions from Iran that have been in place to different degrees since 1980, with the exception of 2 years under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the independent oil and gas abundant nation achieves a much greater level of development. Iran becomes not only a great influence in the region, but an influence globally. This influence is a detriment to the US because Iran is not subordinate to US interests. Iran’s development would have been accelerated had the US not supported the Iraq invasion of Iran, which US support was key in prolonging.
The removal of Qaddafi in Libya we all know had nothing to do with humanitarian intervention but was an undertaking to remove an obstacle to US interests abroad, more specifically to Western European interests in Africa, primarily France. What applies to Libya applies to the middle east.
Saudi Arabia is important because it is a subordinate state, and even more so, because it has the most desirable form of government for subordinate states, authoritarian with power emanating from a few individuals. Some may argue Saudi Arabia is not subordinate citing the war in Yemen, the assassination of Jamal Kashoggi or even the sheltering of Saudi citizens in the US from US law. But none of this is detrimental to US interests despite the political “challenges” these kind of incidents create.
Saudi Arabia is subordinate in the sense that they do not challenge US interests. They are not concerned with Israel and their illegal settlements and plans for annexation in the West Bank, the siege of Gaza, the denial of the Palestinian’s right to self determination, or the war crimes committed against the Palestinians. They are not supporting revolutions or resistance from people attempting to free themselves from governments who put the interests of the US ahead of the interests of the people. The relationship with Saudi Arabia is still important in the absence of energy dependency.
To go further, what happens in Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait if the US does not bomb civilian infrastructure and does not push for the murderous and strangling sanctions in the 90s? We can speculate Iraq under Saddam may have continued in military conquest but it is unlikely given the lessons learned from the invasion of Kuwait. Even in the absence of the normalization of relationships between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iraq still maintains stability, an increased level of development, and is a force of influence globally that opposes US interests in the developing world.
US intervention in Syria was intent on weakening Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as weakening Syria which was also a non-aligned state. When I refer to intervention in Syria, I am referring to denying the progress that may have taken place through the constitutional reforms passed through referendum which were undermined by the US and Europe: arming, training, and providing diplomatic support for militants. That intervention led to the civil war.
Denying Palestinians statehood is important in the sense that no good can come out of the existence of another non-subordinate state, regardless of how far away they would be from having any influence beyond their borders.
In a middle east without US influence and intervention the growing power of each nation encourages cooperation among these nations. As I often state the goal of US foreign policy is market access and advantage or geostrategic purposes related to market access and advantage. The middle east is still important to the US not because the US requires access to their markets, but because these nations if allowed to develop in the absence of US interference would likely become an obstacle to US goals globally.
Saudi Arabia is important as a purchaser of military arms, an importer of US goods, a holder of a significant amount of US bonds, and as an investor in US industry.
Andrew Bacevich’s Response:
Dear Orion Simerl,
You are distorting my view, but that’s okay. Good luck with your book.
Conclusion: If I were responding to someone who I thought was distorting my view, I would point out how they distorted it. Feel free to watch the interview, but below is a summary and the excerpts from the program and how they relate to how I represented his view.
Amy Goodman mentioned the appointment of General Abizaid to be the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. She quoted Abizaid in 2008 admitting the invasion of Iraq was about oil, and provides the terms by the United States for the region by saying “we’ve treated the Arab world as a big collection of gas stations. Our message to them is keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis, and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence of everything going on out back.”
What the general is saying is these terms where as long as we have access to their oil, and they are nice to Israel, that they can do whatever they want in the region, led to the environment where radical Islamists could train, strategize, and coordinate 9/11. What’s interesting about that statement itself is it fails to take into account the sanctions against Iraq, which was the true cause of 9/11. (Osama Bin Laden Interview 1997 CNN). This isn’t to say the sanctions were the only cause of 9/11, only that the sanction had the most significant influence on the decision to carry out the attack, and without those sanctions, it is unlikely the other reasons specified by Bin Laden would have caused 9/11.
Bacevich said “Well, apparently he’s forgotten that commentary because he’s now basically reciting the line, again with regard to Saudi Arabia that this is a strategically important country. What he said in 2008 is clear in the implication, and this is simply factually correct, that the American way of life that we once thought was dependent upon Persian Gulf oil, is not. That we don’t need Persian Gulf oil, and that fact has not sunk in with foreign policy establishment, and provided a basis for a fundamental reevaluation, not only of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, but a reevaluation of the larger assumption, that the Persian Gulf really, really, matters to the well-being of the United States. It doesn’t, and were we to accept that fact, then the possibility of rethinking US policy in the region would become evident. Not simply, reevaluating the relationship with Saudi Arabia, but reevaluating the assumption that Iran is somehow the great enemy, that now threatens stability in the region.”
What did I say his view was “Bacevich position is that energy independence should bring more accountability to Saudi Arabia and lead to reduced tension with Iran. He reduces the importance of the region to oil, and my comment seeks to broaden the basis for the importance of the region and the preferential treatment given to Saudi Arabia.”
I wrote Bacevich’s position is energy independence should bring more accountability to Saudi Arabia, which is the same as we don’t need Persian Gulf oil… provide(s) a basis (for a) fundamental reevaluation of our relationship with Saudi Arabia”. He said Abizaid’s assessment was “factually correct… in the implications”: do whatever you want in the back if oil’s cheap, “Osama is the distilled essence of what is going on out back”. Reevaluating that relationship seems to be for the purpose of bringing Saudi Arabia to account for the spread of militant Salafi extremism, which is reinforced by another set of statements he made.
Prior to the quote from Amy Goodman, Narmeen Shaikh quotes Bacevich quoting the general in an article he wrote, the essence of which is Trump is appointing one of the few people who had the correct understanding of the region: the partnership with Saudi Arabia allowed Saudi Arabia to finance and spread Salafi jihadism in the region. She asks why he thinks Trump would appoint someone to a job description that boils down to kissing Saudi Arabia’s ass, when he’s been critical of the regime compared to most US officials.
Bacevich responds “Based on general Abizaid’s testimony at his confirmation hearing, he has abandon the analysis he had made in 2003 2004, just the clip you played showed him basically reciting what has been the standard line in US Saudi relationship going back decades, that is to say, this partnership as he called it, is of great strategic importance to the United States. Then he went on to cite in a notably passionless way, the complaints we have about Saudi policy and promising to give them due attention. What is so striking, I think, is here we are in 2019. So many years after the debacle that George W Bush launched in 2003, and the conversation, the debate such as it is, still remains superficial, and I think avoids confronting some of the basic contradictions. At the center of the contradiction, is the conviction that somehow or another the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia. Virtually nobody within the foreign policy establishment is willing to examine that notion. And it’s past time that we did examine it critically. “
Once again, he’s saying Abizaid changed course, and implies that he isn’t serious about addressing the complaints. It’s pretty clear though he thinks the relationship with the Saudi Arabia should change, and that change is intent on increased accountability. He states “at the center of the contradiction, is the conviction that…the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia”. Of course, he goes on to identify that contradiction when he responds to Amy Goodman saying “that the American way of life that we once thought was dependent upon Persian Gulf oil, is not.”
The first statement I make about his “views” is completely accurate according to his words, even if accountability doesn’t completely embody everything he meant in an unspecified change in the relationship, it is at least one aspect of it.
From the same premise I stated he said it would lead to reduced tensions with Iran. He stated “Not simply, reevaluating the relationship with Saudi Arabia, but reevaluating the assumption that Iran, is somehow the great enemy, that now threatens stability in the region.” There’s no place I’ve distorted his view.
The second sentence in my summary of his view “He reduces the importance of the region to oil, and my comment seeks to broaden the basis for the importance of the region and the preferential treatment given to Saudi Arabia.”
I don’t mean to be so repetitious, but to reiterate Bacevich said “we don’t need Persian Gulf oil, and that fact has not sunk in with foreign policy establishment, and provided a basis for a fundamental reevaluation, not only of our relationship with Saudi Arabia, but a reevaluation of the larger assumption, that the Persian Gulf really, really, matters to the wellbeing of the United States. It doesn’t, and were we to accept that fact, then the possibility of rethinking US policy in the region would become evident.” He believes oil is the central governor of policy in the region, claims the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia is not of “vital interest”, and is therefore not very important. If it seems like I am making the statement non-vital interest to mean not important, where it could be argued there is some room for leeway, by claiming there is importance in non-vital interests. However, these statements come behind Bacevich stating Abizaid is “reciting the line, again with regard to Saudi Arabia that this is a strategically important country.” His statements are intent on contradicting this line of “the foreign policy establishment”, which further confirms my summary of his view that he reduces the importance of the region to oil.
I omitted a portion of his quoted material for concision and because it didn’t take anything away from the quote. He said “. At the center of the contradiction, is the conviction that somehow or another the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia.” What is important to this point and the part I omitted is “somehow some way”. That is what my comment is, the how and the way Saudi Arabia is important to the United States. He thinks, the foreign policy establishment cannot understand that the US is no longer dependent on middle east oil which is why they think the relationship with Saudi Arabia is important.
Either he is right, and the people who decide middle east policy haven’t realized that “we don’t need Persian Gulf oil”, and this is why the partnership with Saudi Arabia still seems important, or “the foreign policy establishment”, recognizes what I’ve posted in my comment, and those are the main reasons why Saudi Arabia is a partnership of strategic importance. 18% of all US arms exports are purchased by Saudi Arabia making them the single largest importer of arms. They import goods manufactured by American companies, hold a decent amount of US bonds, have investments in American companies, and do not impose influence that undermines US influence in other countries, and Saudi Arabia exercises influence over other countries in the region on behalf of the United States. These are some reasons why “the United States has a vital interest in maintaining a partnership with Saudi Arabia.”
What’s bad about this is people will watch the show, and then recite his reasoning on the middle east thinking they know something. Their position on the middle east and Saudi Arabia is the foreign policy establishment doesn’t understand we don’t need middle east oil. They do understand we don’t need middle east oil, but foreign policy doesn’t reduce to needing middle east oil, which is the point of contention, and the point Bacevich was making on DN, and the view he claims I distorted.
On the broader subject of this book, I think it is easier to say “you’re distorting my view”, than it is to admit your assessment may have been too narrow.
It is important to understand a few things here. First, when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 it was about the oil, as well as removing Saddam and installing a more palatable regime, because as I mentioned in the comment, Saddam was bent on undermining US influence in other places, most notably in the Palestinian territories; which has implications for Israel and US companies who have investments in, or relationships with Israel or Israeli based enterprises. Second, although the US is not dependent on oil from anyone, oil is still a motivator in places like Venezuela because of the proximity to the US, and because of the type of oil Venezuela has is heavy and many US refineries are geared towards refining that type of oil. I mention Venezuela because it serves as an example of foreign policy that is still motivated by market access to oil, despite the American way of life not being dependent on it.
SeqComp: Clearly conscious denial in his refusal to acknowledge or clarify his views. It is easier to say you are distorting my views than it is to say my views may be distorted and distorting other views. He has the obvious interest of maintaining his reputation, but more important is the values and sequencing responsible for the position to begin with.
Bacevich’s position is a product of national bias, which isn’t an extreme or exaggerated bias, but is consistent with the national indoctrination. Since his bias is consistent with the general underlying bias of the domestic population, it is rarely perceivable to the public, and when it is perceived, many people are ill equipped to illustrate it. His point of view is the foreign policy establishment, people working for the military, pentagon, state department, and other agencies are unquestioningly carrying on a foreign policy with an expired premise. This view has grown out of the idea that the US has good intentions in foreign policy. Good intentions more so as it relates to the interests and security of the population, but also as it relates to the populations of other nations. His perception of US intentions are inferred from the premise of his position that the US isn’t reliant on Persian Gulf oil, and policy makers understanding this would change US foreign policy which is in the interest of the people of the US. The secondary perception of the US having good intentions for the population of other nations is inferred from his comments that imply the US seeks stability in the middle east. Instability is preferable to stability, when stability allows for the development of non-subordinate regimes that will undermine US interests in the region and globally.
His view reinforces the idea that the US government consists of well intended people who frequently make mistakes, because it is the only way to maintain the national bias that the US has the interest of the general population at heart. He takes an interest in general Abizaid, because Abizaid provides him with a basis to reinforce the misconception that the results of US foreign policy are a product of error instead of intention.
My motivation for commenting to address the misconception is for the utility the truth has in changing US foreign policy. The idea that people are harmed because of the place they were born, being places that refuse to subjugate their interests to the interests of the US produces negative feelings. In addition, domestically, foreign policy harms my interest and the interest of the population, by using tax dollars on arms, maintaining a presence in foreign nations, invasions, covert operations to subvert democratic processes, including coups, and many other areas of spending. Public funds are spent to ensure private interests are maintained abroad, that do not serve the interests of the public. It also undermines US security.
When I’m listening to the interview I accept Bacevich’s interpretation that the US is not dependent on Persian Gulf oil. This is true based on the US being a net exporter of oil, both crude and refined products. There is more to it than that in regard to refining abilities and different qualities of oil, but it is true the United States could satisfy its demand for oil without importing Persian Gulf oil. When he asserts that oil is the primary driver of US foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia, this contradicts what I know about US foreign policy as it relates to the history of US foreign policy, and how Saudi Arabia represents other foreign policy interests that I identified in my comment.
Some would attempt to apply the same reasoning I applied to Bacevich, where my position grows out of an anti national bias. The difference is I am viewing US foreign policy not based on the public statements of people involved in crafting policy, but the actions, benefactors of those actions, the relationship between policy makers and benefactors, and internal communications. I don’t view information through a lens that colors the information, instead my lens takes shape through information as it is. Much too extensive to qualify definitively here, but relates to understanding how the United States was created to advance the interest of economic elites (Summarized in chapter Founding Intents), and how the organization through the constitution facilitates the interests of industry to power. For over 200 years US foreign policy is a reflection of serving those interests. The expansion into native american territory, the invasion of Mexico to force the sale of the south western states, removing the Spanish from Cuba and colonizing it through the Platt Amendment, the occupation of the Philippines on behalf of hemp manufacturers, intervention in Latin America beginning in the 20th century to present, the support of despots to maintain US interest, use of sanctions, the creation and support of coups, use of the IMF and the World Bank to decide nations economic policies, as well as invasions and threats, where on a case by case basis, although the pretexts change, the motivation can always be shown to be a product of market access and advantage, and removing obstructions to those ends.
The controversy itself is whether US energy independence changes the basis for US policy towards Saudi Arabia. Bacevich believes it does, whereas I recognize that fundamentally it doesn’t, and tangibly, there are other reasons why Saudi Arabia represents important interests for the US: Saudi Arabia is important as a purchaser of military arms, an importer of US goods, a holder of a significant amount of US bonds, and as an investor in US industry. To reiterate, Saudi Arabia is geostrategically important because it doesn’t undermine US interests in the developing world, and exercises influence over other nations on behalf of the United States. Either US foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia is motivated by the interests I identified, or US foreign policy is still operating under the misconception that the United States is dependent on Persian Gulf oil as Bacevich asserts.
The controversy is relevant to the promotion of misconception as meaningful academic advancement, but not enough for me to formally prepare a properly cited paper to add layers of substance to his “views” and my own. The SeqComp aspect of it is the denial, which requires the identification of the value that will be harmed through the acknowledgement that his view is wrong. There are more than a few and probably inclusive of more than one value that is harmed in this situation. Bacevich directing his attention to the general and wherever else it has been directed has led him to a conclusion that is incorrect. I don’t know to what extent that conclusion is central to his understanding and credentials, but it’ll have the same degree of impact on his value of himself and his work. That doesn’t feel good.
What’s more troublesome, is it reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the forces that direct foreign policy. Something that is often overlooked is the role of academics in the furtherance of state propaganda. Where the information being offered by representatives of the state like general Abizaid, is little more than an effort to reinforce state positions, and some academics choose to allow this propaganda to serve as the basis of their opinions.
For example “we’ve treated the Arab world as a big collection of gas stations. Our message to them is keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis, and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence of everything going on out back.” This reinforces the state position that 9/11 was the product of efforts to advance Islam by extremists. Most American’s still don’t know that 9/11 was the product of US foreign policy. As Osama stated in 1997 “American civilians are not targeted in our plan…a reaction might take place as a result of the US government targeting Muslim civilians and executing more than 600,000 Muslim children in Iraq by preventing food and medicine from reaching them. As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and in other places.”
Osama Bin Laden and 9/11 are not the distilled essence of a US foreign policy that left the Arabs to manage the middle east in exchange for peace with Israel and cheap oil, 9/11 is the distilled essence of bombing and sanctioning Iraq under the pretext of containment, effectively murdering a million people, 500,000 of which were children under the age of 5, along with support for Israel in its attacks in Lebanon (which only ceased because of the fierce resistance from Hezbollah), the denial of Palestinian self determination and protection of Israel through the UNSC, and other interference in Muslim countries.
Bacevich can compile data that shows the US does not need Persian Gulf oil, he can quote state propaganda that Saudi Arabia is a nation of geostrategic importance, he can compile data that Persian Gulf oil used to be important to the American way of life, he can show how Saudi Arabia exercises privileges with the US that other countries do not, and he can marry it to the quote from Amazaid that these privileges are responsible for Islamic extremism, and appear that he has contributed something that is critical of foreign policy. In fact all he’s actually done is promote the state line that we need to direct more attention and resources to the middle east based on the idea that being friendly with Saudi Arabia and allowing the nations of the region to decide the future of region will lead to the formation of groups like Al Qaeda and events like 9/11.
The information is true, but the sequencing is flawed. It begins with the actions of Al Qaeda on 9/11/2001, but an act is preceded by circumstances and values, and US foreign policy is responsible for the formation of the value of the act. It isn’t difficult to understand this value formation. If a person is killing children, most people will value action against that person. This value is not only in the idea of purpose where the action may prevent the person from continuing in harm, but in the idea of justice where this person is deserving of harm for harming others. The United States created the circumstances in the middle east that led to the formation of value for harming US citizens, and 9/11 conspiracy theory, the US government, mainstream media, and academics like Bacevich are all responsible for preventing this fact from reaching the public conscious.
There’s another value comparison from Bacevich that is known through my attention to his interview. We know that his value of US foreign policy is less than his value of foreign policy appearing as he wants it to be. If his study of foreign policy was for the purpose of understanding foreign policy, to predict and improve function and how it relates to the people of the United States, he would address the criticism, wouldn’t lie and say I distorted his views, or he would interested in insight that could further his understanding of foreign policy, or further his understanding by understanding the basis for alternate perspectives. This isn’t to say he owes me an explanation, only that if my criticism wasn’t valid, it shouldn’t require more than a few minutes and a few paragraphs to explain; and as an educator, or even as an individual who believes his view is correct, he would be inclined to address the misconception of someone who has an interest in a subject that he claims expertise in. SeqComp is as much about understanding human behavior through inaction in the face of opportunity, where action indicates value priority over the value of other actions that an opportunity presents.
Democracy Now 2/7/2020 Headlines
Amy Goodman reports how the El Paso mass shooter was being charged with federal hate crimes, stating his manifesto echoed Trump’s rhetoric about an invasion of Latinos. Everytime DN has brought up this incident she makes that same assertion about the shooter, that attempts to associate Trump with the mass shooter implying that Trump’s rhetoric motivates these mass shooters.
My Comment: This is the third time this was reported since this incident occurred, and Amy repeats the same “Echoing president Trump’s rhetoric” after the man’s 3 page manifesto explicitly stated his views and actions were not influenced by Trump or any other politician. For those who see these posts that seem intent on defending Trump like this one or my criticism of impeachment that is not my motivation. My motivation is to point out where DN and the media in general attempt to manipulate people’s perception through repetitious false claims, and manipulate value through false associations. That is the real enemy, the reinforcement of bias founded on misconceptions. As I mention frequently, nonconscious denial is where individuals feel bad when they hear information that challenges their beliefs and so they avoid or refuse to acknowledge such information. This is the root of all our problems. What’s interesting is, the shooters manifesto which is only 4 pages also expresses grievances that are more in line with Democracy Now positions than with Trumps. The manifesto states “The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat AND Republican, have been failing us for decades. They are either complacent or involved in one of the biggest betrayals of the American public in our history. The takeover of the United States government by unchecked corporations. I could write a ten page essay on all the damage these corporations have caused…” Here are other quotes from the shooters manifesto that express the same ideas that are expressed on Democracy Now “The decimation of the environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are hearing the destruction of our environment by shamelessly over harvesting resources. Watersheds around the country, especially in agricultural areas, are being depleted. Fresh water is being polluted from farming and oil drilling operations. Consumer culture is creating thousands of tons of unnecessary plastic waste and electronic waste, and recycling to help slow this down is almost non-existent. Urban sprawl creates inefficient cities which unnecessarily destroys millions of acres of land. We even use god knows how many trees worth of paper towels just wipe water off our hands.” https://drudgereport.com/flashtx.htm None of that is an echo of Trump’s rhetoric, but these are common talking points on Democracy Now.
Seq Comp: Repetition has proven effective at solidifying opinion as fact, and much of the national indoctrination and general customs of people in the United States is a product of repetition. All people are exposed to variations of the same information, authority, god, national bias, and many of these false and misleading details, are socially reinforced. Again, nothing new, but even Democracy Now who doesn’t receive money from advertising or subscriptions, has to tailor their content to their donors in order to remain solvent. Introducing the shooter on at least 3 occasions that I’ve seen as having written a manifesto echoing Trump’s rhetoric is an effort to associate mass shootings with Trump and implies that he is a cause of mass shootings. In reading the manifesto the shooter’s motivation cannot be reduced to ethnic hatred or a fear of illegal immigrants, and in the manifesto he states explicitly that his views are not inspired by Trump or any other politicians and predicts the media will make that association. Amy Goodman is trusted by her viewers as someone who accurately summarizes the facts of current events. Introductory phrases are accepted as fact 1: because it reinforces their bias and these ideas have value in that they produce good feelings or reinforce ideas that cause good feelings, and 2: because what she expresses is counted as fact to these people. The more she says it, the more it becomes a point of truth that seems like common knowledge. The statement is accepted as true and has value implications even for people who already have a negative value of Trump, where not only is he biggoted and serves the interest of industry at the exclusion of the public, but he is the inspiration for mass murder.
Aside from reinforcing bias to maintain donor revenue, what is the moral rationalization for Democracy Now to deceive its viewers? In this example, the idea is that Trump is bad, and because Trump is bad, it is okay to mislead people to believe Trump is worse than he is because it serve the purpose of showing Trump is bad, and the worse people think Trump is, the more incline they will to be moved to action and consume Democracy Now propaganda. Replace Trump with a number of other subjects, police, racism, republicans, or any other subject that the left has claimed as their cause.
Fox News: Sanctuary Cities are a Criminal Magnet (https://youtu.be/CLJkEdtFAdE)
The story was all over the place, attempting to make the case that Sanctuary Cities attract criminals, implying that illegal immigrants are criminals, and then asserting that illegal is not a race. A good slogan for the slogan minded, so while one group chants being latino is not illegal, the Fox minded can chant illegal is not a race. They flashed statistics without context to make the case that illegal immigrants are criminals and drug smugglers, and then exaggerated the number of illegal immigrants estimated to be in this country.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: Any group of 10 million people in this country is going to have individuals who commit crimes like those mentioned above, but to refer to a few individuals and the crimes they have committed, in an effort to imply that the lifestyle of these individual’s represents the lifestyles of the group is deceptive.
2nd Comment Orion Simerl: Unfortunately you cannot address the drug problem without addressing economic inequality since drug addiction is rooted in people requiring a substance to help them deal with their circumstances in life, or selling drugs as the only worthwhile income opportunity. Drugs have never been about supply and always been about demand, and the political and economic systems in the United States produce individuals who demand drugs.
3rd comment Stev Wood1@Orion Simerl Now that we got a lecture about drugs what is your point ? That it is OK to sell Meth and Crack to your kids or are you just sticking up for the drug traffickers and saying them getting rich on misery is the poor depressed person’s fault?
4th Comment: Orion Simerl@Stev Wood I’m saying that people who have ample opportunities in life typically do not become drug dependent because they’re focused on ambition, and no one takes the risk of selling drugs if they have better and more worthwhile opportunities to make money. What I propose is a balance stimulus, 20,000 to the bottom 20% of income earners, 10,000 for the next 10%, and 5,000 for the next 20%, to put the bottom 50% of the country in a position to have better income opportunities and relieve financial stress.
I don’t have an issue with drugs, what another person does with their money and their body is only a concern to me if it interferes with the liberty of other people. Some drug laws have an indirect moral basis as abuse of these drugs increases the likelihood that a person will commit crimes because of the influence of the drugs or to procure the drugs. Selling drugs is also only an opportunity for disadvantaged people to make money if drugs are illegal. I’m a proponent of the prohibition of most drugs.
The point is drug use isn’t caused by people bringing drugs into the country, drug use is caused by a lack of opportunity.
A supplementary point is most illegal immigrants are not involved in drug smuggling, it is inaccurate and prejudice promoting association. NYC metro area has 1.2 million illegal immigrants, and only 18,000 of have been convicted of a crime according to the statistics Fox flashed, which means only 1 in 66 have been convicted of a crime, less than the general population. If immigrants are less likely than the general population to commit a crime it also means they are less likely involved in the distribution of drugs. It also means that while Fox is trying to persuade people that immigrants are more likely to be criminals, according to their own data they are less likely to be criminals.
SeqComp: A person doesn’t need to understand Seq Comp to understand that Fox News misleads the public. Here we have an obvious attempt to sway value by providing statistics without context. To the average American who is absent critical thinking skills, illegal immigrants being convicted of 18,000 crimes means that illegal immigrants are criminals, beyond the implication of taking up illegal residency. While it could be argued that if you take away illegal immigrants you take away 18,000 crimes, the report also revealed that the bulk of crimes committed by illegal immigrants are perpetrated against other illegal immigrants. It is valid to argue against illegal immigrants in the reduction of overall crime, although if tomorrow all illegal immigrants were deported, the crime rate would increase since illegal immigrants are much less likely to commit crimes than the legal residents. The point is, Fox is flashing the statistic without context to imply that illegal immigrants are criminals, and this is the association. To non-substantially reduce the value of illegal immigrants, by associating illegals with crime.
More important than using a statistic without context is the stories told by the individual being interviewed. You have 2 stories about illegal immigrants who committed crimes. These stories cause individuals to apply the value they have of the acts of 2 people, to 10 and a half million people. Fox attempted to inflate the severity of the problem, by claiming there are 22 million illegal immigrants, when there is only 10.5 million according to Pew, a number and source Fox cites in a different story. People in the United States, including educated people have very limited critical thinking skills. They watch the news not to stay informed, but to reinforce their biases, and news networks, not only Fox but all the networks, craft content with the aim of bias reinforcement. The media isn’t concerned with providing information that informs the viewer, the media is concerned with maintaining attention to sell advertising which requires not broadcasting information that offends the networks viewer bias. People are watching the news looking for premises that reinforce bias, not watching the news because they are interested in learning or have questions about a subject.
1: 2/16/2020 Kay Saxon Post
Kay Saxon is a FB friend from the recommended people’s category whom I requested because her introduction was civically enthusiastic. I sent her a solicitation to read my book and I think she accepted it, sending me a thumbs up, and I sent her the book. The following is a post she made that I responded to. I’m sharing it because it gave me an opportunity to confront the position of the extreme feminist as well as the moderate feminist.
Kay Saxon Post
Sometimes, I look at crimes and realise, most crimes are committed by men. Often against women. Trafficking, murder, paedophilia, burglary, mugging…you name it, crime is a male dominated sector of societies.
Why do men have so little regard for laws?
Why do men have so little regard for humanity?
The problem with men…is patriarchy. They dominate societies. Their words count. They have an innate sense of privilege. They OWN societies.
They feel they’re owed something…owed a job, owed sex, owed wealth, owed power.
Until we can change this idea of privilege…we will continue to exist in a world dominated by men who think that societies owe them something.
Societies are changing, but much too slowly. There’s now a backlash against progress.
We, men and women who realise we are equal partners and humans, must keep fighting the fight against male perceptions of privilege.
Orion Simerl Comment: To understand why men commit more crimes than women requires the acknowledgement of a woman’s gender advantage. Desperation and a lack of opportunity is the driver of crime (Fleming 2011). Desperate women have options available to them that the heterosexual male does not. For example, when I was living out of my car I saw ads on Craigslist nearly everywhere I went for live in girlfriends, and I’m sure if you look at Craigslist in any major US city you will see these kinds of ads. Even aside from this example, women have a gender advantage in the willingness of a man to take care of a woman for companionship. I won’t go into prositution since it is illegal, but prostitution is another opportunity women have that straight men generally do not. Prostitution is a crime comitted almost exclusvely by women that is difficult to enforce and has the effect of woman comitting crimes for which they are not prosecuted. Passive prostitution is not illegal. Passive prostitution is a woman who has casual relationships sometimes with multiple men primarily for material gain. The point is, women have a gender advantage when it comes to getting things they want including money.
Men commit more crimes because financially desperate men have few opportunities available to them, whereas women enjoy gender advantages that men do not.
We should also understand that every law that exists isn’t just. Which doesn’t necessarily speak to all crimes, but in the states (Kay is from UK) for the last 3 decades a good portion of crimes committed have been drug offenses, the possession and the distribution. While marijuana is being legalized in some states, marijuana is a substance that does not create behavior in its users that is averse to public safety or property. Why do we have laws? We have laws because we are freer with them than we would be without them. This means every law should prevent greater imposition than it imposes. A law prohibiting marijuana imposes without preventing any imposition, and therefore it is unjust. One reason some men do not respect laws is because they understand them to be unjust.
To go one further which will lead to a broader point, why do people use drugs or sell drugs? People use drugs to cope with their situation in life and people sell drugs because it is the best opportunity to make money they have available to them. The same as the drug dealer and the same as I mentioned previously, poverty and inequality drive the crime rate. The paper I mentioned by Luke Fleming is a global study where the crime rate of different nations is compared to poverty and inequality, and there is a correlation between inequality and crime that should be considered causation, because the crime rate increases as inequality increases as measured by the Gini coefficient. It’s difficult to respect laws when you live in a nation that doesn’t respect liberty, where the collective who benefits from the system in place circumstantially imposes on the poor and disadvantaged.
Why do men not respect humanity? It’s difficult to address the assertion since men constitute roughly half of humanity. In that conundrum is the answer, which is why humanity doesn’t respect humanity. Part of it is these expired assertions of disadvantage by feminists, or those who have interests in promoting racial causes, ethinic causes, or causes based on sexuality. It fragments the underclasses, directs attention, time, energy, and resources by asserting disadvantage where there is no relevant disadvantage. Are women denied housing, employment, educational, or service opportunities based on gender? Can women vote and hold public office? To assert disadvantage, people who have an interest in that promotion make nonsense posts like these, or claim women are sexually harassed or there aren’t enough women in office, all of which is baseless or unmeasurable. On a final note, patriarchal society ran by men, but what would women do differently? How about Hillary Clinton who as secretary of state supported the creation of a civil war in Syria and a civil war in Libya? How is gender an issue in politics when women do the same thing that men do when they get there? How about Margaret Thatcher? Condalisa Rice?
1/30/2020 Daryl Davis Responds to Dave Chappelle’s Clayton Bigsby Sketch (https://youtu.be/UETvxBYadhI)
I am a fan of Davis’ work, he has proven that welcomed and repeated exposure to a person who contradicts the stereotype of his group can change the mind of a racist. In this comment I’m critical of his opinion on Dave Chappelle’s skit over a decade ago about the blind black white supremacist. He says people “think it’s hilarious, but I’m going to tell you something, It’s not hilarious. Dave Chappelle, he’s a comic genius, and perhaps if I’ve never been to a klan rally I’d find humor in it. But he’s never been to a klan rally. I have, I’ve been to plenty. And those things are not funny. They are a pressure cooker waiting to go off. If that valve is not released, it’s going to explode, and we saw that in Charlottesville.”
1st Comment Orion Simerl: What you saw in Charlottesville was a municipal government who took an action to remove a statue that does nothing to improve the quality of life of their constituents that they knew would cause conflict and disorder. Then you had people who went to an event where people were protesting the removal of the statue intent on creating conflict with the group who was exercising their rights of free speech and assembly. The group came armed with pepper spray, other weapons, intent on imposing on these people, and this precipitated the tragic result that occurred. Which has nothing to do with a Klan rally, and what a klan rally produces in society doesn’t have anything to do with a funny sketch about a klan rally that should speak to an underlying message, even if it wasn’t unintended: racism tends to be the product of impressions not left by the people who the impressions pertain to, but by other elements in the individual’s surroundings. That is, you could be black and blind and hate people based on a visual characteristic because of what you hear and what you’re told about these people. The sketch isn’t only funny, it’s educational, because in life, a good deal of racism is not produced through direct observation and experience.
Democracy Now: Fighting Racial Bias from Charlottesville to the Coffee Shop, In the Age of Mass Murder
The report features a woman who wrote what appears to be a very bias book written about bias. She imposes biased explanations for the causes of Charlottesville’s in the interview. So strong is her bias, that when asked about Jesse Smollet, she said she didn’t want to comment on it because she thought the details were incomplete. A psychologist who doesn’t understand the motivation for her own behavior, and these are your experts. Lol. She could have said it demonstrates the bias of the public to be sympathetic towards a people who they have been led to believe is much more disadvantaged and persecuted than they presently are, and Smollet was attempting to capitalize on this national propensity by staging an incident of racial harassment to improve his image. It promotes ideas that white people are racist which impacts racial perceptions and relations. Imagine he had done a better job, how that incident would be paraded through the news, and suddenly not only has an exception been made the norm, but a completely fabricated incident has changed people’s perception of groups of people. This would have been accomplished through repetition, where the story becomes an ongoing subject of popular focus because people watch it reinforce their biases, and thus the media airs stories about it to attract attention for ratings.
Note: This exchange begins with someone’s comment I respond to.
1st Comment: Aegypius monachus There’s nothing more cowardly than blaming real victims of murder and portraying murderers as victims.
2nd Comment: Orion Simerl@Aegypius monachus There’s also nothing more accurate in understanding why the incident occurred. All Americans have the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for the redress of grievances. American’s have this right even if their grievances are founded in ideologies that are hateful and illogical. The “anti-fascist” counter-protestors went to the peaceful assembly intent on intimidating, and otherwise imposing on the right of this group to peaceably assemble.
They weren’t there to ensure the statue which was planned for removal, was removed. They know from all their other protest activities that such efforts are ineffective at changing policy.
First at fault is the politicians who ordered the removal of the statue which has no public benefit, not in terms of improving race relations or generally improving the lives of their constituents. It was reported the mayor knew it was going to cause disorder and despite not having any public benefit, the removal of the statue has the effect of burying the history of the period which is important for people to know in understanding where the country is, based on where the country came from.
Second at fault is as I mentioned, the counter protestors who wanted to intimidate this group who was lawfully exercising their right to assemble. They were wrong based on their intent for being there. Third is the perpetrator who despite conditions that shouldn’t have been allowed to exist shouldn’t have plowed his car into the people.
It is accurate that the victims are more responsible for the murder than the murderer, which doesn’t absolve him of responsibility.
What’s interesting is the fact that most people on the left would agree to the same logic that conditions of economic inequality and poverty are responsible for creating criminals, but would disagree about the same use of cause and effect when it relates to a group they don’t like. The problem is the activist left has no more critical thinking skills than other groups in this country. They are for or against things without a principle basis for understanding why it is correct or incorrect to be for a thing in consideration of other factors, where positions and strategy are developed with fluid correctness.
3rd Comment Aegypius monachus@OrionSimerl s Murder is murder regardless of political affiliation or “critical thinking skills of the left.” You will never see me defending a “liberal” who kills a protesting conservative.
4th Commemnt Orion Simerl@Aegypius monachus Murder is not murder. Murder is obviously wrong, needless to say it is physical imposition. The first question is why does a murder occur since we want to prevent murder from happening recognizing the act isn’t in the interest of our species. The murder of a person killed by a serial killer is not the same as the murder of a husband who abused his wife and was eventually killed by her to end the abuse. The serial killer victim did nothing to contribute to the cause of their murder, whereas the murder of the husband was caused by his decision to physically impose on the wife.
The murder of the people killed by the man in Canada who randomly drove his car over people is not the same as the murder of the people killed in Charlottesville. Again, the people in Canada did not contribute to the cause of their murders whereas the people in Charlottesville assembled with ill-intents and contributed to the cause of a member being murdered.
Murder is not murder. I wrote “It is accurate that the victims are more responsible for the murder than the murderer, WHICH DOESN’T ABSOVE HIM of responsibility.” That is not defense of the perpetrator but an accurate assignment of responsibility based on the facts and explanations I provided. The only way this isn’t true is if you contend that the facts are wrong or that the explanation (the assembly of the facts) is wrong. Otherwise your position is indefensible and the pride you have in the loyalty to your position prevents you from admitting you’re wrong and adopting the correct position.
I’m not talking about liberal or conservative in regard to your false dichotomy. I’m not liberal or conservative, I am unbiased in the application of truth which belies your bias-based perception of reality. Stating that I will never see you defend the murder of a liberal who kills a conservative implies that I am defending the individual (which as I demonstrated I am not) based on a preference for his political leanings (which I am actually against). You are biased toward things, the platform of positions and issues you have adopted to be for or against, meaning anytime these things are in conflict with the truth you side with the things. You are wrong. I prove it. An opinion is not equal to the truth.
5th Comment: Aegypius monachus@Orion Simerl Regardless of your “prideful belief” that you have a monopoly on “truth”, your false analogy, your non sequitur ad hominem (your assumption of my biases), I suggest you research the word “proof” which you like to use. You like to talk as though this is a science. Well, “In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by ‘proof’ an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory”. – Karl Popper
6th Comment Orion Simerl@Aegypius monachus My argument is the exact opposite of non sequitur and your reply is a prime example of non sequitur. Non sequitur means “a statement that does not follow from the previous argument”. My argument follows point by point.
1: A: Your comment of murder is murder. I demonstrate A: that murder is wrong. B: that because murder is wrong we should seek to prevent it. C: that in seeking to prevent it we should examine the causes. D: causes of murder distinguish one murder from another. E: responsibility for a murder rests with all elements contributing to the cause. F: I didn’t use an analogy I used examples. A man in Canada did kill 17 people in a random act of violence which is an example of a similar murder that is not the same as the murder in question. In one the victims did not contribute to the cause of the action, and in the other they did.
2: You claimed I was defending the killer, I quoted a passage from my previous comment demonstrating that I did not.
3: I explained what is required to substantiate your position. “The only way this isn’t true is if you contend that the facts are wrong or that the explanation (the assembly of the facts) is wrong.”
4: I propose the reason why you cannot admit that you are wrong is pride which does not deviate from the argument but attempts to bring you back to the argument because you failed to acknowledge the substance of the facts and explanation I used.
5: It isn’t ad hominem when the assertion is based on an inference from your statements. You said “you will never see me defending a liberal who kills a conservative”. Any reasonable person who sees that statement can infer your biases from it. The other aspect of your bias comes from the totality of the content of your post.
Commentary: The totality of content of her post means that in addition to being able infer her bias from her statement, her other points, positions, and statements are consistent with the standard liberal ideology.
Your quote is not applicable because my arguments are based on OBSERVATION which is empirical evidence. You’re resorting to a false non sequitur ad hominem defense and using a quote that is not applicable to the argument is non sequitur.
8th Comment Orion Simerl@Aegypius monachus On a video where the only incident raised was Charlottesville, it isn’t honest, otherwise it would have been your first response, not a response after your position has been thoroughly destroyed. It speaks to your lack of character where instead of acknowledging the deficiencies of your position and growing you look for a place to run to maintain your error. Your attempt to seek refuge in the broadening of the context of your statement has failed almost as badly as your last attempt to resort to allegations of non sequitur ad hominin, and the use of a quote which is non-applicable to my argument. Furthermore, your original comment has nothing to do with race unless it is made in reference to the incident cited in the video which is Charlottesville, so even your attempt to broaden the context of your statement is flawed.
9th Comment Aegypius monachus@Orion Simerl Look, the Unite the Right rally was a white supremacist rally, and the counter-protesters were not “abusive husbands”. We can argue about that for years and get nowhere because this is not a courtroom with a judge, witnesses, evidence, etc. Which is why I avoided the central topic. Yes, it is about that but also Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Tamir Rice, and the list goes on, which is my original intent and I stick by it. I don’t have time to write long-winded diatribes like you. If you’re looking for a court case to practice your lawyering skills, go to law school. And I only responded to you at all because you seem to be bent on owning the truth which is a sign of megalomania.
10th Comment: Orion Simerl@Aegypius monachus I didn’t compare the counter protesters to abusive husbands I compared the cause of murder of abusive husbands to the cause of murder to serial killers to show the contrast between causes of murder, to substantiate the distinction between murders, to establish the fact that murder is not all the same; because you stated “murder is murder”. We are not arguing that the counter protesters are like abusive husbands. We are arguing that the victims in the Charlottesville mass murder are more at fault for what happened there than is the man who did it. What is required for this to be a true statement?
The subject is responsibility for murder and the test is where responsibility is greatest in the context of Charlottesville murder incident. To be responsible is to cause something. I established the three major points of responsibility which included politicians, the victims, and the perpetrator. The victims were more responsible for the murder than the murderer, not only because of their presence, but because their presence was motivated by ill intentions. They were there by the very identification of their name “counter protestors”, to impose on the rights of people who have the right to peaceably assemble. A right they (counter protestors) exercise and abhor imposition on. The murderer reacted to circumstances created by people with bad intentions.
Had this group not created these circumstances through bad intentions the act would not have occurred. Which again does not excuse his action but does establish that he is less responsible not only because of their presence, but because they intended to intimidate the protestors and knew doing so could incite violence. Not only is responsibility greater due to the general bad intent of imposing on the rights of the protesters, but the fact they went there looking for trouble but got more than they hoped for, or were on the wrong end of that trouble. The statement is true based on the definition of the word responsibility.
Earlier you stated I thought I had a monopoly on the truth and this is partially true, not because I’m tainted by personal bias but because people are loyal to things whereas I am loyal to the truth. It seems like I have a monopoly on truth because when I’m wrong about something I admit it and adopt the correct position, I don’t deny it to remain loyal to a thing.
Democracy Now: US Air Strikes in Syria
DN report on Airwars and Amnesty International research on civilians killed in US airstrikes in Syria during 2017.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: Airwars and Amenesty do a great job reporting accurately on the impact of US aggression which is largely concealed from the American public. The official narrative is the reality of popular perception in the states, which is the US did Syria a favor by ridding the country of ISIS, and in the process there was collateral damage which is the 10% of the true civilian death toll the US acknowledges.
What Amnesty calls civilians the US labels hostile militants. The United States is not going to admit to the number of civilians they’ve directly killed in Syria. It’s very rare the US has a legitimate claim to serving a general public good in regard to intervention in other countries. In this specific case (2017 campaign) the US did serve a public good in its role in destroying ISIS. Of course, the strategy did lead to excessive and unnecessary civilian casualties and the US is responsible for the existence of ISIS in Syria to begin with.
My position is not only is the US responsible for civilian casualties resulting from the bombing it conducted, but the US is responsible for all the death, destruction, and refugees since 2012. In 2012 facing international pressure and internal pressure from the population including militant factions Assad made a number of concessions including the release of political prisoners, the cessation of using live ammunition on protestors, and most importantly, drafting a new constitution to meet the demands of the protestors. The constitution allowed for non-Baath party members to serve in government along with other provisions in line with popular will. 55% of the population participated in the referendum and passed the constitution by 80%. The Syrian people had a democratic path forward. Instead the US, UK, and France refused to allow the democratic decision of the Syrian people to determine their future.
Instead the west backed the militants which led to the carnage of the last 7 years: hundreds of thousands of people dead, the country left in mostly ruins, and millions of people forced to flee their country. The contribution from other western countries is only made possible by the US decision. Had the US refused to support the Syrian militants the other nations supporting them wouldn’t have supported them either. The US is responsible for the present state of Syria and all the effects of the civil war over the last 7 years.
NBC Liz Cheney: Illan Omar Embodies “Vile, Hate Filled, Anti-semetic, Anti-Israel bigotry”
The report consists of two politicians fundraising by accusing Illan Omar of anti-Semitism for stating the Israeli lobby influences US policy on Israel/Palestine.
1st Comment Orion Simerl The media is more at fault for these false accusation of anti-Semitism against Omar than the individuals making them. In all the interviews and press conferences I saw there has not been one reporter who asked how the assertion that lobbying money influences political will is anti-Semitic? Politicians and other critics alike are free to make vague allegations without speaking to the substance they base these allegations on. A nonbiased media would address the substance instead of providing attention to these baseless allegations.
Omar’s biggest mistake was her apology because it implies she did something wrong or made a mistake which she did not. Unfortunately, the allegiance of the US government to Israel is not actually an allegiance, and it is not only all about money. Israel is important for strategic purposes in a region of importance to the United States. There is also a great deal of investment from US companies in Israel. The money from AIPAC and other pro-Israeli interests is important to ensure congress is always populated with enough pro-Israel representatives and senators for Israel to remain protected from international law, and the implementation of a two-state settlement. What these congressmen are doing by attacking Omar is actually fundraising.
Baltimore Residents: Trump’s Attacks on the City are Rooted in Racism and White Supremacism (https://youtu.be/zmQPhBZn6E8)
The video features a pair of activists from Baltimore asserting that Trump’s comment stating Baltimore is rat infested and no wants to live there is racist, among other statements calling things racist which are not racist.
1st Comment: Orion Simerl LOL “humanity has been reserved for white folks”. You don’t get to redefine words in order to make a case that something is racist simply because you want it to be racist. If I said no human being would want to live in Libya is that a racist statement or is that making a judgement based on the conditions being inconsistent with human liberty, prosperity, and comfort? 4 consecutive years of a population decline. This means people are leaving in greater numbers than they are coming there, which is an indication that people do not want to live there. LOL. You wonder why the world is the way it is.
2nd Comment: Matt Erbst6@Orion Simerl: Yes, it is wrong. You don’t get to hide from the social repercussions of saying something racist by trying to gaslight others. A real man offers to help with a problem, not mock the people who need help.
3rd Comment: Orion Simerl@Matt Erbst You cannot show how the comment is racist. Infested with rats and rodents means there is a concentration of rats and rodents in an area. No human being would want to live there means the conditions are such that it is an undesirable place to live, which there is evidence for because the population has been in decline for 4 consecutive years. It isn’t wrong to state your opinion, but what is wrong, is when the social repercussions are an assertion of racism when there is nothing inherently racist about the statement. The over emphasis of racial inequality is driving support for Trump, as the most disadvantaged group in this country, poor white people, who comprise at least 26% of the bottom 40% of the wealth distribution go unacknowledged and unrepresented, drown out by constant nonsensical assertions of racism.
Democracy Now Headlines 2/14/2020 (https://youtu.be/kMPy24sxbdM)
Democracy Now has become really bad in the last year or so. I theorize because DN discovered how lucrative it is to pander to the progressive wing of the democratic party, where adjusting their slant from radical to democratic progressive has tapped a new donor market. I comment much less frequently but this day I commented on most of the headlines.
1st Headline: DN reports that the Senate passed a resolution to limit Trumps power to take military action against Iran. It cuts to senator Tammy Duckworth saying Trump stomped on the constitution and circumvented congress when he authorized the strike that killed soleimani.
1st Comment: The resolution passed in the Senate wouldn’t have prevented Trump from killing Soleimani, since the administration claims the Iranian Revolutionary Guard contributed to 9/11, the Iranian revolutionary guard is considered a terrorist group, and the Authorization of Military Force Against Terrorists act allows the president to use force against terrorists who are connected to 9/11. Not only does it not prevent the assassination of Soleimani, it doesn’t prevent the president from using force against other Iranian generals or anyone who any presidential adminstration wants to call a terrorist and associate with 9/11. The president was already prevented from going to war with Iran. This resolution does nothing. This resolution is what your elected officials do to create the illusion of concern because polling showed war with Iran was an unpopular idea. Democracy Now reports it, I’m sure other networks will report it and feature so called experts who will weigh in on what this means for America’s national security and options for dealing with Iran. People’s attention is drawn to these things despite nothing actually happening. This is one example, and everywhere I look there is another, and people’s reality is built on substanceless premises. Senators have increased their value to the public through the appearance of preventing military action against Iran which polls showed people were against. The power of popular will is represented in illusion, not in substance.
2nd Headline: Democracy Now conflates race with class, calling the following comment made by Bloomberg racist: “There was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone. Redlining was the term used to describe how banks took whole neighborhoods and said these people are poor they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, if you’re a salesman don’t go in those areas. Then congress got involved, local elected officials as well and said that’s not fair these people should be able to get credit. Once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like”.
2nd Comment: Bloomberg didn’t say anything that was racist, he said if the area is poor, don’t loan money to poor people because they cannot pay it back, and this certainly contributed, because you wouldn’t have had the issue with derivatives if people were able to pay back their loans.
Commentary: Banks protect people by not providing loans to people that exceed or could exceed (ARM) a certain portion of their income. What Bloomberg is saying is 100% true, that government intervention into the market, where activists who confused class for race encouraged the federal government to incentivize and regulate banks to make low quality, subprime loans. Income qualifications, down payment, and credit ratings exist for a reason, to ensure the lender can and will pay back the loan. These qualifications exist because they work. Activists exist on the fringes of issues which leads to results like the housing crisis. Bernie Sanders was for these regulations and quotas during the Clinton Administration that ultimately led to the 2008 financial crisis. We are never talking about derivatives and ratings if people can pay their loans, and we don’t have a problem with people paying their loans when we adhere to the standards and practices of responsible lending. Instead of claiming responsible lending practices are racist, which again, confuses race for class, or, worrying about poor people’s access to credit, you should be concerned with the income of poor people, as the income will give way to wealth, which will give way to credit. Sanders also voted for the commodity futures modernization act that deregulated derivatives, so either way you look at it, Sanders votes and positions contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. (https://fee.org/articles/how-the-federal-government-created-the-subprime-mortgage-crisis/)
3rd Headline: Headline reports GQ report that Bloombergs companies have been the subject of 40 sexual harassment and discrimination law suits.
3rd Comment: LOL 40 sexual harassment cases against employees of his companies, and what does that mean? There’s no context for the number, what is the average number of sexual harassment accusations per capita employees? Then we know based on how many people Bloomberg employs whether 40 is a lot or a little. Then you can at least make a weak argument that the actions of his employees are a reflection of his value of a harassment free workplace. 40 doesn’t mean anything, and could be the lowest per capita sexual harassment and discrimination accusations, or the highest, but we don’t know.
Commentary: I know some cunt if this is ever read will probably think I’m distasteful or sick for laughing at sexual harassment cases, but I’m not laughing at sexual harassment, (that’s something I only do if I know the details and they are funny) I’m laughing at the statistical ambiquity of saying the number 40 in an effort to associate Bloomberg with sexual harassment, when the number 40 has no meaning when no context is provided, as I explained in my comment. That could be 40 out of 40 years, out of 250,000 employees, making it the most amazing record on sexual harassment and discrimination in the history of the country. I’m not saying that’s the case, but it is the point, that 40 means nothing without context. And now most of the people who watch Democracy Now when they go to their group, if Bloomberg is brought up, they’ll throw that 40 out there to say Bloomberg is prosexual harassment in the work place. It isn’t about Bloomberg or my concern for his image, it’s about the tactic, and how this tactic is used to manipulate people’s opinions. After these comments there is another example of this from a Fox News report, where Fox quoted numbers on the amount of illegal immigrants convicted of crimes without providing context. Exact same tactic.
4th Headline: Headline reports new record temperature in Antarctica 70 degrees
4th Comment: Hell yeah. Climate news is probably my favorite news because it is that redeeming feature of living on a planet with an incorigible and willfully stupid people, the unrelenting changes that will reduce habitable surface area, increase the liklyhood of major conflict, and probably eventually escalate into the use of nuclear weapons. If that shit don’t make you feel good nothing will.
Commentary: It is my honest assessment of the situation. How I feel about it at times is partially the product of explaining human issues to human beings and being entirely ignored in my efforts. It boils down to self deception which is evil because it harms the interest of the whole, and stupid because it harms the interest of the individual. Human beings are evil, not by nature, but through the environment they’ve created, the inheritance of the previous generations errors in thought, organization, and social functions. As I watch this species waste it’s potential, the idea of them destroying themselves does feel good from time to time.
5th Headline: Democracy Now cites the Intercept’s report on a Canadian company it claims bought a unit in a sheriff’s department to investigate parties that may be planning to sabotage their infrastructure project.
5th Comment: Democracy Now makes it more sinister than it actually is. You have the legal right to install this infrastructure. The Sheriff’s department may not have the resources to dedicate personnel exclusively to the task of ensuring no one interferes with the construction of it. The company finances law enforcement to protect its rights. Democracy Now presents it as if it is the private take over of law enforcement or using law enforcement as private security.
Commentary: It isn’t private security, law enforcement’s job is to enforce the law and they have various tools at their disposal that private security does not. The point is, the company is not using the sheriff’s department to further a private interest, they are financing the sheriff’s department to fulfill a public interest in the enforcement of law and protection of their property and lawful endeavors with and on their property.
6th Headline: Headline reports a federal judge has temporarily blocked Microsoft from beginning work on a 10 billion dollar cloud contract with the Pentagon after Amazon filed suit for not having their bid properly considered as is required under the competition in contracting act.
6th Comment: The court case is interesting, but if they are offering essentially the same services for the same cost I don’t think the case is going to have much merit on the strength of the quote alone. The reason being is if the services and price is comparable, then the choice can come down to subjective factors i.e. if the president likes the owner of the company. The only way Amazon should be able to advance this case is if they can show the services and price they are offering is significantly better than Microsoft. Either way, delaying the contract is good for Amazon who could benefit from consideration from an incoming administration, which is the prime intent of Amazon in this lawsuit.
Democracy Now Headlines 9/26/2019
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hehR31yvsX0 9:15 to 9:30)
Amy Goodman: Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez introduced a sweeping policy package Wednesday, aimed at attacking poverty and inequality. The plan titled the just society would offer full services, full social services to formerly incarcerated people and undocumented immigrants, cap annual rent increases, push government contractors to improve benefits, and update the way government tracks poverty by taking into account geographic location, and health care and child care access. Here is representative Ocasio Cortez
AOC: America today is at its wealthiest point in its entire history…Except among all these record profits, 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and 18 million Americans are living in extreme poverty. Which is measured as less than 2 dollars per day. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce a suite of legislation, introducing 5 bills and 1 resolution, that begins to chip away at our issues of economic injustice, and we’re calling it, a just society.
Pre Commentary: I commented because I’m antagonized by people’s misunderstanding of people, their interests, and their capabilities. Some of this is nonsense, trolls who are intent on antagonism, not on disputing a point or position, but it leads into comments that are substantive. The two most important is addressing the merit, or more accurately, the lack thereof, in AOCs Just Society Bills, and the second, is a person who asserts that I am not a good person, and I show what a good person is, and how that is exactly what I am.
1st Comment: BeeFriendlyApiary AOC represents our future…lets hope corruption doesn’t stop her!!!!
2nd Comment: Orion Simerl Yeah, maybe she’ll accomplish as much as Bernie has in 30 years, which is essentially nothing. The soundbites make you people feel good though.
4th Comment: Orion Simerl@yellow dog LOL With nothing substantive to dispute the points I make, you assume I’m a Trump supporter when I am not, and nothing in my comments suggest that I am. Your limited dualistic understanding cannot contain a person who is both against (the positions of) progressives and against conservatives, so you presume I am pro-trump because my comments are critical of progressives.
6th Comment: Orion Simerl@Libras In Space I didn’t mention it in the last comment, but the term snowflake is much more applicable to you than it is to me. Defined as overly emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions. I’m triggered by the fact that people like AOC and Bernie are political performers, who live off of rhetoric and platitudes, without practical or effective ideas to improve the lives of the people they claim to be so invested in helping.
The Just Society Bills for example, is another example of spending public funds which will not substantially improve the lives and opportunity of the 40 million most in need of improvement. 1: Access to full social services for formerly incarcerated people means what? Food share, health care, job training, and maybe the return to a small stipend, all of which is presently available to formerly incarcerated people in most, if not all counties in the United States. 2: Cap annual rent increases. People living on the bottom typically are not subject to substantial rent increases because they cannot afford housing of any significant cost, and when their rent is increased it is generally unsubstantial, likely not reaching the limits in the bill. 3: Push government contractors to improve benefits, doesn’t affect the lives of poor and struggling people who do not work for government contractors if that is the intended interpretation. 4: Changing the way the government tracks poverty is of little significance to anyone living in poverty, but may be of some use in expressing poverty related arguments, but these arguments already fall on deaf ears, and are taken up by people who as is apparent, have nothing substantive to contribute to alleviating the problem.
8th Comment yellow dog @ran dori …it (snowflakes) used to be… luckily it fits the demographically challenged, racially frightened, and ethnically repressed white people… like snowflakes, y’all are white, delicate, and won’t be around much longer… aka trump supporters…
9th Comment Orion Simerl@yellow dog That is your own bigoted definition of the word. Snowflake is a 2010s derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowflake_(slang)
11th Comment: Orion Simerl@yellow dog Can you provide an example of how something I said is bigoted, or are you just repeating words with a negative connotation in an effort to project that there is a basis for your issue with me?
14th Comment: Christopher Sabionski@Orion Simerl Wrong. Your selfishness is propped up by some dark age religion that you have twisted to suit your apathy. never for a second should you consider yourself a good person.
15th Comment: Orion Simerl@Christopher Sabionski Not only do I consider myself a good person I can objectively demonstrate that I am a good person. The human ideal is liberty, evident in that everyone wants to do what they want to do. All creatures can do what they want to do in a so long as they are not imposed upon, and possess the means. Means consists of money and know how. Systems determine circumstances. Systems that leave people circumstantially trapped exist by way of collective consent, meaning a lack of opportunity is collective imposition. Not only am I unimposing, but I’m also the creator of realizable solutions which are drowned out and suppressed by the very kinds of ignorance expressed in this channel. Meaning my conduct is unimposing and I am attempting to remove collective imposition. I am good.
As for selfishness, all human beings are wholly selfish. A selfless act is motivated by the feeling associated with the sacrifice or idea of the sacrifice being greater than the substance being sacrificed. It is a value determination. For example, I often give money and cigarettes if I have em to people who hold signs for money. The reason I do this (although not consciously thinking about this during the act) is because the feeling associated with giving the person something exceeds the feeling I could get from the money itself.
Carl Jung and the Psychology of the Man-Child
My Comment: The major issue with psychology is it attempts to define mental complexes through behaviors and tendencies that naturally overlap with behaviors and tendencies of other complexes or normal. The motivation of individuals to engage in behaviors is inferred and implied due to a lack of awareness by the subject. This inferred motivation is presented to the subject as a cause for the behavior and becomes true to the subject based on the perceived authority and knowledge of the therapist. There are people whose behavior could be considered consistent with puer aeternus but absent any attachment or dependency on the mother. Their behavior and outlook is relatively the same as it was during adolescence, but I don’t think it has anything to do with dependency on their mother. Their value of the mode of operation within their environment is what produces what may be considered a lack of development or immaturity. Immaturity is a largely subjective term, but my point is, the motivation for continuing adolescent behavior into adulthood is less a product of fear of new experiences, and more a product of preference or value of their behavior in interaction with their environment. This is also a product of general value and circumstances, where the value of new experiences available to them, is less than the value of maintaining their present situation, in their present mode of operation.
This is understood as a stasis of values. All subjects have an attached value to them, and naturally, the value of subjects determines the focus of attention. Values are associative, meaning the value of new subjects is determined by other values. Stasis of value occurs when one’s values rarely create value in new subjects, and this is a cause of someone maintaining behaviors which are perceived by some as being immature or age inappropriate.
For those who have a dependency on their mothers, it is another question of value. You mention people living with their parents when most people their age would have moved out and taken on adult responsibilities. Again, the value of the lifestyle exceeds the value of the options. If an individual has food, water, shelter, and is able to participate in stimulating activities, this individual may be satisfied with that situation. Happiness can be measured in liberty, as in a person is happy when they are able to do what they want to do and they are unhappy when they are doing things they don’t want to do or they are without the means to do. For some the alternative is finding a job where they will spend most of their lives unhappy that barely provides compensation to meet their natural needs.
It isn’t some deep symbolic cause, it is as all decision making the value of subjects versus the value of subjects. Psychology should hardly be considered a science. It is built on subjective ideas related to the production of behavior, absent the foundation of thought, which is cause and effect and priority of value. Psychology fails to recognize liberty as the fundamental motivating factor, and motivation being the product of desire in relation to circumstances. It is the creation of faulty sequencing in regard to cause and effect where explanations are provided for behavior and sets of behavior define profiles.
CNN Interview of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Most of what I covered in my response to this interview is covered in “Poor White Sasquatch”, but I included the interview for the reference. Buttigieg was a serious contender for the nomination, taking the lead after the Iowa Caucus and performing well in a few states after Iowa. A politician is managed to present an image that reflects popular opinion on popular issues. Although popular opinion is largely manufactured, a politician is always intent on creating the illusion that what is important to people is what is important to him. What he says is largely a product of the opinions of people who associate interest in his brand. Addressing these misconceptions in “Poor White Sasquatch”, versus addressing them from the lips of the image of popularly manufactured opinions leaves us with more significance in the latter. The misconceptions addressed are 1: That systemic racism still exists. 2: That race is a greater disadvantage than class, and 3: that issues of race can be addressed exclusive of issues of class.
I’m not going to summarize the video but it would make sense to watch the video as you read the comment after the first paragraph, as the comments were written as I watched the video and in response to the answers.
My Comment: The fact remains that black people who come from money benefit from all the same advantages of wealth that white people benefit from, while white people born poor face the same amount of disadvantages. Racism exists, as much as if not more from black people towards white people, but also from white people towards black people.
What are you going to do about it legislatively? It is already illegal to discriminate based on race. It is socially unacceptable to be overtly racist, except of course if you are black or brown or white and you are racist against white people, that is acceptable and promoted in the United States.
Race is a great tool to perpetuate the myth of American goodness, the myth that states America is a land of opportunity, the systems are generally correct, and the intentions with which the country was founded on as well as in matters abroad are good. Race is used to divide the underclasses along superficial lines to ensure class interest is not at the forefront of discussion. Even the likes of Warren and Sanders who campaign on class are pandering to the middle class, with no substance for the poor which constitutes at least the bottom 40% of the wealth distribution who have negative wealth or have more debt than assets.
That was my reaction to the headline. Buttigieg mentions systemic racism but provides no example of systemic racism.
He also mentions that Trump campaigned on white identity politics, but it is important to recognize that white identity politics is a product of democrats neglecting in rhetoric and policy the needs of poor white people in this country. Alienating poor and struggling white people with statements like Sanders that white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor.
How are trans-women of color under attack? Democracy Now has been emphasizing trans women of color being the victims of homicide airing and re-airing the stories in an effort to make it seems as if they are disproportionately the victims of murder. When you look at the numbers trans people represent .6 percent of the population. There are 17,000 homicides annually in the US. Which means a proportionate amount of trans people being victims of homicide would be 102 per year. There were 24 trans homicides last year. Now if there are 35 this year they will say the murder of trans people is on the rise and imply they are being murdered because they are trans, despite the number stilll being much lower than proportionate compared to the general population.
“A world where a black person and white person pulled over by police feel the exact same thing.” That is not realistic, but not because of race. A black person who doesn’t have warrants, has a license, insurance, and is in good standing, is not going to feel the same as a white person who is poor and lacking any of those things. The issues we have are class based. Race, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination are only issues because they are emphasized by incompetent political leaders and the media, and the US population is without critical thinking skills, or better said the US population allows other people to think for them as a product of their training.
Your solution to policing is to insert more people of color into the police force, meaning you are wholly invested in the idea that the problem with the police force is racism? How about the incentivized system where an officer’s career depends on their ability to find crime, make arrests, and get convictions? The use of deadly force by law enforcement officers unnecessarily which prompted you to return to South Bend, what are you doing about this? For anyone interested see (Poor Lives Matter Cited)
Black people have been excluded from justice, entrepreneurship, and home ownership. Okay, and so have poor white people, poor brown people, red people, yellow, and any people whose opportunities are inadequate to meet their needs and allow them to accumulate wealth. 60 to 70% of the country has negative, little, or no wealth. Black people represent 13% of the population. Most people who are poor, without justice, the ability to finance a business, or without the means to purchase a home are not black.
The issue of democracy is there is no democracy. When you have a choice to vote for one of two candidates who represent the interest of industry in government at the exclusion of the interests of the poor there is no democracy. These are the principles this country was founded on and the power structure has adapted to maintain a plutocracy.
CBS Megan Rapinoe Stands by Comments About White House Visit
My Comment: If you feel strongly enough about something with Trump or his administration to cause you to not want to go to the white house, you should feel strong enough to want to go and voice your criticism. Fake stand taking people.
Commentary: The misconception is that she is taking a stand against Trump by refusing to accept a white house invite, when taking a stand would be attending the event and looking for an opportunity to have a conversation with him. It’s about image not substance, and I’m sure she’s a hero for enduring the backlash with such a controversial decision. GTFOH
Joe Rogan and Gad Saad Explain Why Modern Feminism is Bullshit
Gad Saad is explaining a book he wrote called All Paths Lead to Bigotry, where he uses the falsification principle to explain how every position on certain subjects leads to bigotry. Saad explained if a person is not attracted to fat women, he is considered a bigot for shaming fat women, and if a person is attracted to fat women he’s a bigot for objectifying fat women. Another example he provided was of a woman investigating rape of Palestinians by the Israeli Defense Forces. He states the woman began from a biased position where she intended to find rape and did not. After she was unable to find any incidents, she claimed the IDF thought so poorly of Palestinian women that they wouldn’t even rape them. If the IDF raped they’re wrong, and if they didn’t rape they are wrong meaning there is no action that can remove them from being wrong.
My Comment Orion Simerl: The problem with Saad using the IDF’s lack of raping Palestinian women as evidence of a violation of the falsification principle, as they are wrong for raping and wrong for not raping is that the IDF has rapes within the IDF. Which means the IDF not raping Palestinian women isn’t because they don’t rape people, otherwise they wouldn’t rape each other. (https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/40-cases-of-rape-reported-in-the-IDF-signifying-rise-in-complaints-561765 )
He says the woman began from a biased position expecting to find rapes instead of beginning her research objectively on the basis of have IDF members raped Palestinians. Her bias is a product of her study, because rapes occur in nearly all situations where there is a foreign occupier. I don’t think it has to do with ethnic hatred so much as it has to do with the repercussions, political as well as violent retaliations. I think ethnic hatred would have the opposite effect, where for some there would be increased arousal spurred by ethnic hatred. I don’t think the ethic hatred of Palestinians by Israelis exceeds the hatred of Jews by the Nazis, and Nazis raped Jewish women.
To say there haven’t been rapes of Palestinians by the IDF is not entirely true. There were numerous rapes according to IDF documents in the 1948 expulsion (https://www.haaretz.com/1.5262454) . An IDF solider was also charged and convicted of sexual assault among other charges against Palestinians in 2017, although the details have never been made public. ( https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-officer-receives-11-year-prison-term-for-various-offenses/ )
Neither position is correct to me, where the IDF doesn’t rape Palestinians because of ethnic hatred, and the IDF not raping Palestinians isn’t because they are morally above rape since they rape each other. As I mentioned, the reason has to do with the consequences, both politically, and retaliatory.
Democracy Now: Cecile Richards and Her New Political Organization Supermajority is Organizing for Women 2020
The segment was a press release for an organization interested in mobilizing women based exclusively on gender issues to become politically active, which on the surface seems like a good thing, but it was very divisive and emphasizing issues that are only marginally substantive. It was presented to over emphasize a level of adversity based on gender that is not present in this country. There are people in this country who feel being a woman is a disadvantage, when being a woman born to money comes with much more opportunity than being born a man without it.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: This is perfect way to further divide the underclasses along largely superficial lines. Which is to say gender discrimination does not pose a significant threat to the opportunities or quality of life of women. Blind lead the blind and no one knows where they’re at or where they’re going.
2nd Comment databang Well said.
3rd Comment earth ocean@Orion Simerl Spoken like a man who refuses to admit that he’s benefited from the patriarchy.
4th Comment Orion Simerl@earth ocean Spoken like a person who doesn’t understand what the word patriarchy means: A system where men hold power at the EXCLUSION of women. Probably a feminist who refuses to admit how women benefit from gender roles, like how a woman can have a man support her, can use sexuality to benefit her in the work place, and have a variety of other opportunities that are gender exclusive. Beyond the first two points, the most glaring aspect of your ignorance is not understanding where I’ve been or the loads I’ve shouldered, the disadvantages I’ve faced and continue to face.
5/8/2019 Democracy Now Headlines
Headlines included a woman who was pulled over by the police for failure to signal and was then arrested presumably for obstruction charges and is alleged to have committed suicide in jail.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: The situation escalated because the woman didn’t know that the officer has the right to have the woman step out of the car during a traffic stop. Pennsylvania vs Mimms. Officer safety. He doesn’t have to prove it. An officer can have every person he pulls over for a traffic stop exit the vehicle regardless of the circumstances, so long as he has a lawful reason to pull the person over.
Commentary: The footage from the phone recording shows the officer yelling at her to get out of the car to which she responds what am I being apprehended for? To most people it probably seems wrong because she was only pulled over for a failure to signal. 1st, at that time she was not being apprehended or taken into custody. Every officer while performing a traffic stop for any reason is within the law to have the occupants of a stopped vehicle exit the vehicle. People may think it’s excessive to be told to exit the vehicle for a failure to signal but it is a lawful command. Had she known this, she probably would have complied, and we have a very different outcome. Instead of Democracy Now reporting on the legality of the officer’s command, they use the incident to further the misconception that the police are racist. Not properly informing their viewers may leave their viewers similarly refusing to comply with a lawful police order, and endanger their safety.
Jimmy Dore Show: BBC Reporter Corrects Mainstream Media
This show auto played after a Democracy Now video I was watching. It consists of Greg Palast dressed up like a 1950s private investigator who makes misleading statement after misleading statement about Venezuela.
My Comment: There is some merit to this pod cast as it informs people more confined to the American narrative of political and social reality, but there is also misinformation and reinforcement of the myth. For example, in the beginning, mentioning the Koch brothers reinforces the myth that the Kochs are the sole or the main motivating interest in US policy towards Venezuela reinforces the idea by the mainstream left that the Kochs are an evil empire set on subverting the good intentions of the nation. The reality is the Kochs are only 1 refiner, and the refining industry as a whole, benefits from availability of heavy crude. Not only the Koch refineries are geared towards refining heavy crude but the entire US oil industry is geared towards refining heavy crude. The abundance of light shale oil has forced the US to export much of the light shale, and even global refineries are incapable of processing the light oil on par with the extracted supply. (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=36933 )
It is true Maduro was elected, but what is also true is that Maduro changed the date of the scheduled election to a date that was more advantageous to his reelection. If Trump in 2020 decided to move the election from November, to April, and then had the election in May, most people in the US would consider his second term illegitimate. This opened the door to delegitimize Maduro, although he is still much more legitimate than Guido who declared himself president with support from the west.
The quote from Jimmy Carter is in reference to the 2012 election of Hugo Chavez (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/03/why-us-dcemonises-venezuelas-democracy). It is inaccurate and disingenuous to apply that quote to the reelection of Maduro and the reporter knows better. It isn’t true that Koch doesn’t have to pay for its oil because of sanctions, the rule is the money owed for past shipments, or if Venezuela continued shipping oil, goes into a frozen account that will be accessible by the opposition or a new regime (https://www.npr.org/2019/01/29/689587279/venezuelas-state-owned-oil-company-is-it-with-u-s-sanctions).
It’s also dishonest to say the Koch brothers (if the statement was true) were the only ones who would have benefited. This is typical democratic mainstream propaganda, intent on over emphasizing and isolating specific players in an effort to legitimate systems by placing responsibility on the shoulders of a few scapegoats. Their narrative is, the conflict isn’t with the systems themselves, the conflict is with factions within good systems. More important than the last point is facilitating the ease with which a modern campaign can be managed, maximizing the investment in your party. If you can create negative associations with a symbol, then you can use that symbol to direct public opinion. The more exposure you create to an impression, the more solid the symbol’s associated meaning becomes. Tactics like those used in this video make it easier come campaign season, where ads can consist of associating the symbol (Goldman Sachs and Koch) with a candidate, and this will serve as the basis for an individual’s opinion of the candidate. Which is of little actual consequence as neither party represents the interest of the general public, but it is a problem as people think they have an understanding of politics through a false associative understanding. I’m a little embarrassed to be addressing these assertions in 2019, as the Koch and Goldman Sachs scapegoating is a dated instrument of propaganda, but apparently, it is still being used.
People think they are informed because they watch videos like this, and their political understanding consists purely of associations with no real understanding of the systems they live in or how results are produced.
Goldman Sachs purchased Venezuelan bonds; 2.8 billion dollars’ worth for something like 850 million dollars. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenrwald/2017/06/01/why-goldman-sachs-just-made-an-embarrassing-bet-on-venezuela/#787457624f85 I’m citing the article for the fact not the conclusion which is wrongly associating Venezuelan regime change with the French Revolution, misinterpreting the words of the opposition in regard to debt, and not understanding how the world functions she thinks Sachs won’t be paid)
In 2018, a Canadian mining company Crystalex, reached a settlement for 1.4 billion dollars against Citgo for the expropriation of assets in Venezuela. Sachs purchased bonds issued by PDVSA, Citgo’s holdings are valued at nearly 20 billion dollars, meaning Citgo can cover the cost of PDVSA defaulting on their bonds. Had Crystalex not reached a settlement Citgo shares would have been auctioned to pay what they were awarded in damages. The same as whether regime change occurs or not, because Citgo is a US corporation it is subject to the enforcement of judgements by US and international courts. In 2222 when the bonds mature GS will have made 200 plus percent on their investment, tripled up. As far as funds being paid to Goldman Sachs the only money that would be paid is the agreed upon bond dividend, the interest promised on the bond paid on an annual or semi-annual basis. These are funds that would have been paid with or without sanctions and or regime change.
Palast uses the popular race dividing rhetoric in calling Guido a “white guy”. This is an effort to agitate racial stereotypes and pretend that race is a greater factor in Venezuela than class. Which isn’t to deny a historical connection to race and class but neither is determined solely by the other. As NYT correspondent wrote when asked about race relations after spending weeks living in Venezuela “I see a lot of white faces in the government. But I also see a lot of white faces in the slums, though these neighborhoods are more brown than where I live. And I see a lot of faces here that I can’t really recognize.” ( https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/reporters-notebook/moving-to-venezuela/race-racism )
(Video attempts to compare Venezuela with South Africa Apartheid)
White people in South Africa were not going through the same struggle as black people in their slums during apartheid. Venezuela isn’t South Africa where white people have created a two tier citizenry based on race. Chavez was a man of extraordinary intelligence, and pure intents, who accomplished much for the people of Venezuela whose creativity was missed in addressing the challenges Venezuela has faced, but there is no parallel between South Africa and Venezuela in the popular apartheid racial context. As he said, you have fair elections, and the elections involving Maduro have been close.
They paint a South African picture where 15% of the population was actually white of purely European dissent and controlled the state with absolute authority. He lies or he is ignorant of the actual racial break down which isn’t about a third white and two thirds mestizos, black, and indigenous. It is 51% mestizo 2% indigenous, and 4% black. 57% even including indigenous people who are of a much different interest than the Mestizos. The white is even further away from a third than the grouping of Mestizos and other people of color is from 2/3rds, representing 43.6 percent of the population, and I suppose since they are not as dark we could add another 1% for the Asian portion of the population he doesn’t claim in his ill-founded deceptive racial argument. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Venezuela the source is the 2015 government census) I started writing this at the beginning of the video after reading some of the comments and I am beginning to regret presuming on the merit of this podcast as the BS is rising higher and higher the further we move through this video.
It is also false that the Chavistas support Maduro. The Chavistas are divided about Maduro due to his incompetence (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/07/venezuela-maduro-helicopter-attack-psuv-extractivism-oil I will comment further on the crisis itself after reviewing the video). I’m not sure what year those pictures were taken but the opposition has had a majority in the National Assembly since 2016 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Venezuelan_parliamentary_election ), meaning he is flat out lying or ignorant of the fact that government consists of 2/3rds GPP and 1/3rd Opposition.
Guido is unwanted not only because he represents the wealth of Venezuela but because he represents the same imperial interests that looted the country prior to the election and policies of Chavez. There are countless statements by Maduro and Chavez when he was alive about US imperialism, and there is no notable mention of a racist take over by Maduro or Chavez. They don’t want Guido because he represents imperial interests and the interests of the economic elite, not a racial take over. I presume this guy doesn’t have any credibility anyway, this show probably doesn’t either beyond the conspiracy theorists and politically non-comprehending who view this channel, but what little credibility they may have had is gone with this video. Yet they 195k views.
He is accurate in the accomplishments of Chavez, and Ill add that after Chavez reigned in the state oil company, you had an average growth rate in GDP of 13.5% per year with most of that growth taking place in the private sector. Palast is a liar and Dore is extremely ignorant based on the content of this video as demonstrated above.
Additional Commentary: The economic crisis in Venezuela stems from too much social spending that relied on high oil prices and a failure to reinvest in oil production, as well as a failure to invest in other industry, which Chavez is partially responsible for, but who may have been capable of mitigating the crisis, whereas Maduro has proven incapable.
I don’t think the Jimmy Dore show is molding too many minds but in this episode is overtly promoting false ideas in order to pander to the progressive narrative, which includes using Venezuela to promote ideas of racial division and disadvantage. It represents fringe viewership, but is an influence on popular opinion nonetheless.
Democracy Now Headlines 11/22/2019
Headlines featured a story where protesters at Berkeley tried to prevent Ann Coulter and attendees from entering the school where she was scheduled to speak. They were unsuccessful and as expected, the activist supporting left and activist left that watches Democracy Now defended the actions of the protestors who attempted to deny Coulter from being heard and her attendees from hearing her.
1st Comment: Edward Jones Ann being a racist, xenophobe is the reason the cops protected her… They are too!
2nd Comment Orion Simerl@Edward Jones Freedom of speech is also part of that reason, something not respected by activists who believe it is better to silence people than to engage them in dialogue where the merits of positions, morality, and truth can be discussed in a civil manner. Of course, doing so requires activists to have a firm understanding of what they are for, what they are against, the systems that produce the symptoms, and the principle basis of their positions, and most activists are without this understanding. As to the effectiveness of their efforts they failed to prevent the woman from speaking and failed to prevent people who wanted to hear her speak from listening to her. Their efforts are ineffective and meaningless, which speaks to their motivation. Most activists participate in such activities for the inherent feelings derived from their false sense of moral superiority, and the feelings inherent to social interaction and group inclusion. Before you respond with some errant argument about why Ann Coluter is wrong or bad, I’m not arguing that she has anything good to say, only that it isn’t a noble act to attempt to deny people their right to free speech and deny the rights of others to attend a lecture by anyone they choose. In true activist fashion, the efforts are actually counter-productive to their campaign against what she is saying, since the attention and effort by the activist is then used to further legitimize her, on the basis that people are attempting to suppress her which implies there is a greater value to what she is saying than there actually is.
3rd Comment: dudzone@Orion Simerl this type of free speech rhetoric is what lets far right talking points gain legitimacy. Not all opinions deserve a platform. There’s a reason we don’t have flat earthers speaking at universities. Students have every right to exercise their first amendment right to protest conspiracy pedaling hacks. They’re not antifree speech – obviously since they’re literally practicing their 1st amendment rights – they’re against platforming people that have no legitimacy in academic settings. The media does a great job misconstruing their intention, and you did a great job spit shining fox news rhetoric with some 10 cent words. These students easily pay 20,000 dollars a year for education, should they not have the right to protest a right wing white nationalist coming to their campus? If you owned a bar and you had an open mic night would you invite the guy that makes your customers uncomfortable and threatened with racist vitriol much less let them get on stage? No. Why is this acceptable in an academic setting? Everyone has the right to be an asshole, just as everyone has the right to come out and call you out on being an asshole.
5th Comment: Orion Simerl@dudzone It doesn’t matter whether you believe her opinion deserves a platform, clearly, based on the turn out in the video there is a demand for her opinion. Your attempt to associate her opinion with flat earthers does not parallel, because flat earthers have no scientific or academic basis, and Ann Coulter, despite having opinions that are extreme and controversial, has an academic basis for her positions and reasoning, including a degree in law.
Second, just because someone exercises a right does not mean that person is for the exercise of that right by others. According to the report they attempted to prevent her from entering the school, and attempted to prevent the audience from entering the school for the event. Sure, they have the right to protest anything they choose. They do not have the right to prevent people from assembling to communicate with one another which was the basis for their effort.
Your second analogy also falls flat, because the open mic performer isn’t making all the customers uncomfortable, only a small number relative to the total number of customers. The protester do not represent the views and opinions of the entire student body as you are implying. The protest faction appears smaller than the faction in attendance, and both factions are probably smaller than the vast number of students who are indifferent to the appearance who are more concerned with their education, than they are with a controversial speaker who they are not required to listen to.
It is acceptable in an academic setting. Academics is supposed to be inclusive of all views where merits of all perspectives can be discussed to arrive at the best version of the truth as it relates to different interests. I believe this covers all your points.
Everyone has the right to assign the label of asshole to whomever they choose, unfortunately, when this label is assigned to me, it is the result of people being offended by the truth; preferring to believe what they would like to be true over what is true. They avoid exposure to information that challenges their beliefs, and when exposed to such information, they refuse to acknowledge it because it causes them to feel bad. The bad feeling the result of value being compromised of themselves and others associated with their beliefs, where they are forced to acknowledge something they believe to be true is actually false, or something believed to be good is actually bad. When their position lacks objective merit, they call the person who pointed it out an asshole. LOL
6th Comment: Ralph Crouch Exactly Ed, no qualifications or bullshit apologist excuse about free speech, hate mongers should be shut down always!
8th Comment: RB@Orion Simerl – Actually, very many USA citizens do NOT like racists who shill for GREED and the greedy class. I see nothing wrong with showing greedy racists and other USA citizens that rhetoric like Ann’s is not desired and not respected. Shutting her down would have been a nice bonus, but letting her know she is very much “disliked” is very effective.
9th Comment: Orion Simerl@RB I presume your comment is directed to my point that those protesting represented a small faction of people who attend the school, smaller than the group who wanted to attend, and probably much smaller than the group who didn’t care either way. Letting her know she is very much disliked is effective in what way? It’s effective as I mentioned in adding validity to her material by attempting to suppress her. To others it makes her work seem important, because why else would people bother trying to stop her unless what she has to say is important? I’m not saying it is important, but trying to deny her from entering a speaking function, for which she has nearly a full auditorium of attendees, makes it appear important. You’re for totalitarianism, where only popular speech is allowed, and you decide what speech is permitted?
10th Comment: RB@Orion Simerl – You are making a desperate attempt to prove a point which is bullshit. I said people don’t like Ann and the racist, willfully ignorant nationalism she tries to pass off as valid positions. Would you let Hitler speak anywhere and say anything? Sorry your “feelings” are hurt by people protesting whitey nationalism.
11th Comment: Orion Simerl@RB If my attempt was desperate or my point was bullshit you’d have a more compelling argument which would demonstrate that. People don’t like Ann Coulter, I’m one of those people and I don’t disagree with that statement. A position is either validated through facts and logic, or through popular opinion. Her positions are validated by those who subscribe to them.
Second, Yes, I would let Hitler speak wherever he wanted to speak, and presumably in this country today, there are people who speak to others echoing his rhetoric and propaganda. To take it one further, if I had the power, I would not only let Hitler speak, I would sit down with him and debate with him and televise it.
Lastly, my feelings are not hurt by people protesting white nationalism. Get a permit and protest I have no issues with that, it is not an effective tactic to achieve meaningful change. The problem is when people are attempting to deny people the right to speak and be heard by others. At this event, Amy reported the protesters attempted to prevent Coulter and attendees from entering the venue for the scheduled speaking engagement. That is the problem, the attempted denial of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Freedom of speech doesn’t apply only to the speech one group finds acceptable. Let’s say there was a constitutional amendment which banned hate speech. This means any speech someone doesn’t like can be considered hate speech. Let’s take class for example. In such a world, stating that people with money use their money to influence politics becomes hate speech because the affect of the statement true or not can stir up feelings of animosity towards a group of people. Take police brutality, leftists like to call the police racists, this crucial tenet of the activist left could be banned by their own preference that people cannot say things that are hateful. This is what you are for when you support the actions of people who are not protesting, but attempting to deny the people their right to speak and be heard.
Democracy Now Headlines 12/12/2019
Headlines report an executive order from Trump that equates criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism and universities can be punished for it. Based on my exposure to leftist viewpoints, and the exchange I had three weeks earlier on the Ann Coulter incident, I have to admit it was satisfying to see things come full circle so quickly.
1st Comment Orion Simerl A tenet of leftist thought is limiting free speech, where people who say things they deem hateful should not be able to speak, or should be “shut down” as they put it. Now the right has used the same tactic for it’s purposes, where criticism of Israel is equated with anti-semitism and universities can be punished for sanctioning such criticism. In principle, Trump’s executive order is rooted in leftist thought.
Joe Rogan: Che Guevara T-Shirts, He’s a Mass Murderer
The video consists of little more than the assertion in the headline and then the subject changes.
1st Comment Orion Simerl Who is Che in a summary.
When Che was younger, he took trips through Latin America, most notably with his friend beginning on a motorcycle. During this period Che saw the effects of American imperialism and exploitation in Latin America. His aspiration of making a significant contribution in medicine was eclipsed by his desire to help those people.
After finishing medical school, he worked as a doctor in Guatemala but was forced to leave due to the purge following the 1954 US orchestrated coup that removed Jarcobo Arbenz.
He went to Mexico and his first wife introduced him to Raul Castro, and the two became friends. He met Fidel who was in exile after attempting to lead an insurrection with an attack on the Modoconda barracks. Castro, Che, and 80 others all Cubans except for Che and a handful of others sailed in a boat from Mexico to Cuba. They were blown off course and delayed by bad weather, arriving at the wrong place at the wrong time with Batista’s forces awaiting their arrival. I think all but 12 were killed before making it on shore.
From there they united and recruited people against the US backed regime of Batista. Eventually they took back the country and Che was an integral part of that, who in addition to serving combat roles, provided medical treatment and educated people under his command, teaching them to read and write as well as other subjects. He said a people who doesn’t know how to read is easy to deceive. (88% of American’s read at an 8th grade level or below, 54% read at a 5th grade level or below, and 18% are either non-literate or read at a 1st to 3rd grade level. American’s are easy to deceive https://www.wyliecomm.com/2019/03/us-literacy-rate/)
Che served various roles in the Cuban government, and still went out to work cutting cane to lead by example and inspire a work ethic in the Cuban people as well as the joy of being out working with people.
Before we move on, on the subject of mass murder there was no mass murder as mass murder is thought of. There were rare incidents of execution of traitors in the field during the revolution. If a person has compromised the interests of the Cuban people, in revealing to authorities what villages are friendly to the revolution, which would result in the Batista forces executing, sometimes raping, and raising villages, as well as compromise the revolution which is fighting to liberate all Cubans, why shouldn’t such a person be executed? You know who else did this? American revolutionaries, but no one is calling George Washington a mass murder for this, although they could call Washington a mass murderer for attacks carried out against indigenous villages. After the revolution, the people of Cuba brought charges against police and military officers. There was witness testimony against soldiers and police who participated in acts of torture and murder perpetrated against the Cuban people by the Batista regime which was supported by the United States. Tribunals were held and people were executed. They try to equate the executions with mass murder in an effort to tarnish Che’s reputation.
Despite the strangulation of the Cuban economy by the United States, Cubans in Cuba, with the exception of the upper classes, who moved to the US, the Cuban people have had a better quality of life than they had under Batista.
According to Kennedy, “At the beginning of 1959 United States companies owned about 40 percent of the Cuban sugar lands—almost all the cattle ranches—90 percent of the mines and mineral concessions—80 percent of the utilities—practically all the oil industry—and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.” “In a manner that antagonized the Cuban people, the U.S. government used its influence to advance the interests of and increase the profits of the private American companies, which “dominated the island’s economy” (https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/speech-senator-john-f-kennedy-cincinnati-ohio-democratic-dinner) (Second quote is from wikipedia with the quoted portion within the second quote coming from Kennedy in other citation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulgencio_Batista#Economy_of_Cuba)
After the Cuban revolution, Che along with Cuban revolutionaries, went to assist revolutionary fighters in the Congo, in response to the democratically elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba being assassinated with US and Western European support. Che remarked that they couldn’t help people who weren’t willing to fight. The revolutionaries in the Congo were not as revolutionary as he thought. Che was unable to contribute to the liberation of the Congo, from the US backed dictatorship of Joseph Mobutu.
After the Congo, Che went to Bolivia, in an effort to lead an armed struggle to liberate Bolivians. The communists refused to support him, and a series of other misfortunes caused him to be captured and then executed on the orders of the United States. Che could have stayed in Cuba with his wife and children, but recognizing the great injustice that exists in the world he wanted to apply his experience in the Cuban revolution to liberate all people, as much as would be possible through this influence in his lifetime.
2nd Comment Fausto Diego Maidana@Adrian S Yeah… tell that to bolivians. Thank god they killed that bastard. It’s true that Guevara implemented the first concentration camp for homosexuals, which he justified as “manual labour will make them men”. He even considered bolivians to be “like little animals” (needless to say he murdered a bunch of them). The dude was a fucking psycho, and served as a symbol for future guerrillas (such as the Montoneros and ERP in the ’70s). He was no angel, he was the face of socialism, a system corrupted by default. Only reality can tell you how he and his miserable ideas failed, look at Cuba or Venezuela… a fucking lunatic
4th Comment Fausto Diego Maidana@Orion Simerl Well, first of all the concentration camp for homosexuals was held in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula (https://panampost.com/belen-marty/2014/08/18/nicolas-marquez-che-guevaras-own-words-shatter-his-myth/?cn-reloaded=1). In the words of Guevara “The revolution doesn’t need hairdressers, work will make men out of you”. Secondly, the murder of bolivians occurred right after their elections, Che went there just to impose his political system over René Barrientos government, which obviously resulted in confrontations, leading up to the assassination of 49 bolivian soldiers and of course, the death of Ernesto. This occurred in the Ñancahuazú guerrilla (’66-’67). All of this was written by himself in his famous motorcycle journal. Adding to that point, if you look up who were the argentine guerrillas who caused a blood bath in my country in the 70’s, you’ll find out about the ERP and Montoneros. It’s just a matter of seconds for you to read about their ideology (guevarists). And last but not least, my take on socialism it’s basically this: if you take money out of the pockets of strangers and proceed to give it to whoever you want (could it be anyone, judging by your own perspective) obviously you’re going to run into problems sooner or later. Because you’ll need to get that money from somewhere, of course this means all of your citizens pockets, whether they like it or not. You could be a nice wonderful person, but you’re still stealing. Needless to say, if you have a huge government, who keeps an eye on everything (and for this i mean take to money, in short, taxes) you’re eventually going to have corrupted politicians who won’t miss a chance to get more, which will lead to more taxes, just to support all of this corrupted system that punishes the working class tax paying people just to promote slackers and rich politicians. In my country for instance, politicians get tons of money from private companies, so they basically (the companies) are ceasing to exist (We use to have for example, the company Lime and they’re gone for good due to our asphyxiating taxes). In other words, our politicians get rich off of the everyday Joe and he doesn’t even complain. We (Argentina) have this problem where our politicians are rich as hell and all of us are drowned in excessively high taxes (one of the highest in the world). If it has subtitles maybe you’ll like to watch this about Guevara https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5KmHAqH7fs
5th Comment: Wayde Blanshan@Fausto Diego Maidana your argument was so good that a socialist be quiet. that is pretty impressive
6th Comment Orion Simerl@Wayde Blanshan Not quite, I wasn’t notified of the propaganda response, but I’m not a socialist, although I am a defender of those who oppose injustice. 1st, the internment of homosexuals in labor camps didn’t begin until 1965 and Che was in the Congo trying to help those people liberate themselves from Joseph Mobutu, after the US and Western European countries killed their prime minister Patrice Lamumba who was the catalyst of their liberation from Belgium. He wasn’t even in the country, and after leaving the Congo he didn’t stop in Cuba to oversee the policy on homosexuals, he went to Bolivia where he died in 67. So point 1 is false.
When Che was traveling latin America before finishing med school he saw the desperation and poverty of latin american people, which was then and is now largely the product of US interference in these countries. The support of despots, coups, invasions, sanctions, and other tools to ensure market access and advantage for US and Western European corporations. Before the revolution began in Cuba, in Mexico city Che told Fidel you must let me bring the revolution to the rest of Latin America. His timing in Bolivia was poor, being that there were none-substantive reforms that marginally improved the lives of some people but the general poverty and inequality remained. He didn’t go over there to impose his political ideology, he went to Bolivia because he promised that he would return to Bolivia and help those people fight for liberation. The two small groups he had consisted of Bolivians. Soldiers were not assassinated; they were engaged by guerrilla soldiers intent on removing the ruling regime that didn’t represent the interests of the people. The policy of Che as a leader of guerrilla forces in Cuba, and in Bolivia, when soldiers were captured was to recruit or release. Point 2 is false. Point 3 all of this was written in his famous motorcycle journals. LOL Except that this journal was written in 1952, before the Cuban revolution, before going to the Congo, and well before 66 and 67. LOL
There are groups today who also idolize Che, but these groups do not represent the ideal of Che and their ideologies are not representative of Che’s morals and philosophy. Like your first point where you try to associate Che with Fidels policies, you cannot fault Che for what other people whom he did not actively participate with. Point 4 is false.
Socialism is democratic control of the means of production, or allowing the state to have enterprises that participate in the market. It isn’t taking money out of your pocket and giving it to someone else, but judging by the nonsense of your comment I’m not surprised with that flawed understanding. Point 5 is false. Meat puppets.
Comedy Central This is Not Happening Sal Vulcano
Comic tells a story where he is delivered a woman’s pants, and uses the information on the package to taunt the woman about having her pants. She tells him what he’s doing could be terrorism.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: Better than I expected when I saw who it was. Yes, it’s comedy but it speaks to a great misconception concerning the word terrorism among Americans. People think terrorism means to terrorize or to cause terror, and a terrorist is someone who derives pleasure from causing terror. The word terrorism is defined as the use of violence or intimidation to accomplish a political goal. Which is why holding a person’s pants for ransom is not terrorism because there is no political goal attached to it. It is a problem, because people who are labeled terrorists are perceived as bad people who want to terrorize people for the feeling of causing someone terror, which prevents all other questioning of their motivation for an act that is tied to a political cause. Generally, the act of terror is tied to harm perpetrated against them, on-going harm, and their act is a violent means of resisting violence perpetrated against them. In short, Americans are blind to the state terror that produces terrorism against the state, and chief among these reasons is because they don’t know what the word terrorism means.
Joe Rogan: Marine Dakota Meyer Details What War is Really Like
This clip features Joe Rogan interviewing a Marine about his service in Afghanistan. My commentary addresses the words of the marine contrasted with the motivation of the United States sending him there which leads to comment exchanges. As will become apparent, maybe not in this commentary, but in two additional videos that consists of interviews of veterans, my position is to assign responsibility for being a force of imposition, but not in condemnation or hatred, and not based on the belief that people who have unknowingly killed in the interest of advancing tyranny are unredeemable. Please excuse the repetition of content in these comments. The subject is similar in all the comments, Iraq and Afghanistan but different commenters respond to different comments and explanations are the same. I copied and pasted fact establishing comments, and some of it I excerpted from my own material.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: 1:56 “Nobody thought they were wrong”, yes, but there is a party that is wrong, and it isn’t the people trying to defend their homeland from the interests of the occupying invader.
2nd Comment: Nathan Brown Orion Simerl we aren’t fighting the regular people defending their homeland, we’re fighting terrorist antigovernment organizations who don’t value any life especially the people you’re talking about. Think who is killed the most by terrorists, the people in the country where they’re holed up. These people come into a place and steal, extort, and strong-arm locals.
3rd Comment: ILL Musky Hunter Except most came from other countries into Iraq. Also 9/11 was an invasion
4th Comment: Orion Simerl@Nathan Brown They offered to turn him over, the US refused the offer and used 9/11 as a pretext to invade the country and increase their influence in the region. Then the United States lied and said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction knowing it did not, and used the fervor produced by 9/11 to sell support for the unjustifiable invasion of Iraq, which was intent on removing Saddam who was an obstacle to US influence in the region, and to gain access to Iraqi oil.
You say you’re not fighting regular people, and this is evidence of your ignorance on the subject matter, and an effect of a campaign intent on dehumanizing a group of people to gain your consent for their destruction. Why did 9/11 happen? Let’s look at the interview roughly 4 years prior to 9/11: Osama Bin Laden was interviewed in 1997 by CNN’s Peter Arnett and was asked about targeting civilians. He said “American civilians are not targeted in our plan…a reaction might take place as a result of the US government targeting Muslim civilians and executing more than 600,000 Muslim children in Iraq by preventing food and medicine from reaching them. As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and in other places.”
Over a million people died in Iraq from 91 to 2000 because of US Sanctions, 500,000 of which were under the age 5 because the United States wanted to remove Saddam from power because he wasn’t subordinate to US dictates. Which isn’t to say I support Saddam but I will say his legacy in the middle east isn’t reduced to his atrocities there as it is here. He was a tyrant and with the aid of the United States claimed the lives of over 750,000 Iranians when he invaded, and of course many others.
The United States knew the deaths that were occurring Iraq, of children, and continued to apply and tighten the sanctions, and occasionally bomb Iraq. In addition, the United States has been an integral part of denying Palestinians their right to self-determination, including atrocities carried out against the population by the Israeli government, and contributed to bombing and harassment by Israel against Lebanon which hasn’t been much of an issue in the last decade or so.
The excerpt below explains the agreement to turn Osama over by the Taliban. “President George Bush rejected as “non-negotiable” an offer by the Taliban to discuss turning over Osama bin Laden if the United States ended the bombing in Afghanistan. Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban “turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over.” He added, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty”. In Jalalabad, deputy prime minister Haji Abdul Kabir – the third most powerful figure in the ruling Taliban regime – told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, but added: “we would be ready to hand him over to a third country”. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/14/afghanistan.terrorism5
The Taliban agreed to turn them over upon the United States providing evidence as is required by the US Department of Justice Protocol 9-15.240 which is the section on international extradition
Although variations exist, extradition requests generally are composed of:
An affidavit from the prosecutor explaining the facts of the case and the charged offenses. Copies of the statutes alleged to have been violated and the statute of limitations. If the fugitive has not been prosecuted, certified copies of the arrest warrant and complaint or indictment. EVIDENCE, which may need to be in the form of witness affidavits, reports or documentary evidence, or summaries thereof, establishing that the crime was committed, including sufficient evidence (i.e., photograph, fingerprints, and affidavit of identifying witness) to establish the defendant’s identity. (https://www.justice.gov/jm/jm-9-15000-international-extradition-and-related-matters)
On foreign fighters being in Iraq, foreign fighters came to Iraq after the United States invaded, not prior to.
(NOTE: The next comment isn’t addressing the cause of invasion, but is a response where the Marine states “they (the Taliban) want to run it the way they want to run it, they don’t believe in women being educated… they go back to their beliefs, it’s driven by religion.” I commented because he is using this as his personal justification for being there, feeling as if he is acting in a liberator capacity. Prior to this statement and I didn’t comment on it, he says that Al Qaeda is in Iraq and the Taliban is in Afghanistan, but it’s worth knowing, that prior to the invasion of Iraq, Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan, the Taliban were the ruling authority in Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda was not in Iraq.)
1st Comment Orion Simerl: 8:52 It is their country and their beliefs. It is incumbent on the people born there to advance the ideas of their civilization. I imagine motivating soldiers to fight an 18-year war, requires having them accept that you are fighting for the rights of the inhabitants. Yet even as acts and beliefs can be demonstrated to be morally wrong, if a majority of people choose these rules to live by, and it is their decision to live by these rules. It would be like if European countries formed a coalition in the early 1800s, invaded and occupied the United States because they found slavery to be immoral, as it existed in the United States long after most European countries outlawed it. You don’t get to invade countries, occupy their land, install a puppet government, and murder their people on the pretext of moral superiority. This is in response to what he thinks his cause is, not the actual reason for the invasion which I addressed in the comment exchange replies in my other comment.
New Comment Orion Simerl: 9:03 “How much support did they have from the general population”? Enough support where the most powerful military in the history of the world has been unable to control enough territory in 18 years to drive the Taliban from power. Of course, the Taliban benefits from the presence of the United States in Afghanistan, with the murdering civilians recruitment tool. Last week nearly 40 subsistent civilians were killed in drone strikes while picking pine nuts. Who do you want to support, the US backed regime of the government who killed your family, or the Taliban who resists US efforts?
(NOTE: Comment on the not driving the Taliban from power is in reference to most of the country which is essentially still controlled by the Taliban, where the US and Afghan government is in control of some cities, but not the rural areas the comprise most of the country.)
New Comment Orion Simerl : 10:10 LOL “The cool thing about America is, we know what freedom is”.
Yes freedom, where the individual median income is 31 thousand dollars per year, many people are forced to live with other people because they cannot afford to live on their own. Where people spend their lives struggling to pay their bills with many people being unable to, based on the wages they are paid. Evident by the bottom nearly 40% having negative wealth, which means their incomes are insufficient to meet their expenses.
Where the appearance of success is valued, so what you see on the outside is always better than what actually is.
The nation with the largest prison population in the world, in both total numbers and per captia. A place where the laws not only do not reflect the interest of the people, but do not represent the will of the people.
A place where elected representatives are first selected by money, before the population has an opportunity to vote.
A place where the indoctrination is so encompassing, that soldiers go off to fight wars and have no idea of the reasons why they were sent, much less the moral implications of what they are doing. Which is to say in general, how free are people whose understanding of reality, is so tainted that Joe, who talks to very well educated people, and probably most of his listeners, do not have a functional understanding of foreign policy, yet have strong opinions about subjects that require a functioning understanding to have an opinion.
You’re as free as you can afford to be, and your opportunities to afford largely depend on where you begin, which includes opportunities to make money, as well as the ability to develop to take advantage of opportunity.
New Comment Orion Simerl: 10:25 “If anyone tried to invade America everyone would unite because no one would want to give up their stuff’. What do you expect when you invade another country, and these people may not have much stuff to give up, but what they have is their way of life. It isn’t a debate and an attempt to persuade a people to adopt systems that better serve their self-interest, it is the forceful imposition of a system and regimes that will serve US interests in the country, but more importantly in the region.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: 14:55 “You can’t allow these groups to be left alone and get more powerful”. The Taliban have never invaded another country. Not only can you, you must if we are a civilized species operating under the rule of law. International law is not enforceable because no one can physically prevent the United States from doing what they want to do, but the invasion of Afghanistan is illegal, because Afghanistan did not attack the United States. Afghanistan, as nations across the globe require, requested evidence to be brought against those suspected as having perpetrated the attack, and the Taliban were willing to capture and extradite the suspects. The invasion of Iraq was illegal, invaded on allegations of a nuclear weapons program they knew did not exist.
2nd Comment: Ed Carone III Are you trying to legitimize a fundamentalist, zealous, terroristic ideology? Really? Come back to the conversation after you get out of high school.
3rd Comment: Orion Simerl@Ed Carone III Maybe you should join the conversation when you learn to read. I am saying the Taliban did not invade anyone. If you are making a claim that someone has committed a crime you must provide evidence to extradite the suspects to try them for the crime. The Taliban offered to capture and extradite. I am talking about the rule of law. There was no legal basis for an invasion. In what way are the Taliban participating in international terrorism? They were legitimated by the consent of the population, who are both the Taliban and the consenting population. The argument is against violating the rule of law to justify the invasion, destabilization, terrorization, and destruction of the country. I am not pro-Taliban, I am pro-self-determination, which means I am against imposing on the lives and the will of people who should be free to decide how they want to live. The same as you wouldn’t want the Taliban, or any other group claiming a superior ideology to invade the US and impose their values on us.
4th Comment: Beasley Book@Orion Simerl You know Afghanistan’s government is fighting with the United States as well as the other nations of the world in the war on terror? We’re not at war with Afghanistan we’re at war with the terrorists in Afghanistan. If Afghanistan can’t prevent a radical group from gaining power and flying 2 planes into another country; then someone has to. Pull your head out of your ass you snarky pretentious doofus.
5th Comment: Orion Simerl@Beasley Book Why did 9/11 happen. Let’s look at the interview roughly 4 years prior to 9/11: Osama Bin Laden was interviewed in 1997 by CNN’s Peter Arnett and was asked about targeting civilians. He said “American civilians are not targeted in our plan…a reaction might take place as a result of the US government targeting Muslim civilians and executing more than 600,000 Muslim children in Iraq by preventing food and medicine from reaching them. As for what you asked regarding the American people, they are not exonerated from responsibility because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and in other places.”
Over a million people died in Iraq from 91 to 2000 because of US Sanctions, 500,000 of which were under the age 5 because the United States wanted to remove Saddam from power because he was not subordinate to US dictates. Which isn’t to say I support Saddam but I will say his legacy in the middle east isn’t reduced to his atrocities there as it is here. He was a tyrant and with the aid of the United States claimed the lives of over 750,000 Iranians when he invaded, and of course many others.
The United States knew the deaths that were occurring in Iraq, of children, and continued to apply and tighten them and occasionally bomb Iraq. The United States has been an integral part of denying Palestinians their right to self-determination, including atrocities carried out against the population by the Israeli government, and contributed to bombing and harassment by Israel against Lebanon which hasn’t been an issue over the last decade or so.
If you eliminate the cause, you eliminate the effect. US foreign policy, and people like yourself who operate on a sound-bite understanding, are responsible for 9/11. You don’t have a radical group training anywhere trying to fly planes into buildings if you don’t kill their children and deny their people self-determination, along with other imposition not mentioned.
Second, even if your fairy tale indoctrinated world were real, and there were people who for no reason at all didn’t like the United States, if the country is willing to capture and extradite them, you do not bomb, invade, occupy, and prop up a puppet government.
6th Comment: David Grammer@Orion Simerl have you ever read the book “I am Malala”? She kind of describes what could be taken as an invasion. However, she was from Pakistan, but she describes how these groups come in and take over. The Afghan soldiers fight along with the US. It’s hard to say it’s an invasion of that country when the target was a group, not the country itself.
7th Comment: Orion Simerl@David Grammer They began with a bombing campaign, invaded with soldiers, removed the ruling regime, and created a puppet government, I don’t see how that is anything other than an invasion. This was after the Taliban offered to capture and extradite Osama Bin Laden and his affiliates.
8th Comment: Beasley Book@Orion Simerl, Our sanctions never restricted food to civilians, that’s a proven fact. Saddam tried taking control of the world’s oil fields. He invaded Kuwait and committed genocide against more than 100,000 Kurds.
9th Comment: Orion Simerl@Beasley Book At the end of 1996 with international pressure growing over the humanitarian crisis taking place from the US led sanctions in Iraq, the oil for food program was developed, which was seen as a step towards relaxing the sanctions. The program was unsuccessful in alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi population.
Stanley Heller, an investigative journalist for the Nation in 2001 responds to a claim that “Iraq has more than sufficient funds to meet its needs”: “That’s a downright falsehood. Iraq doesn’t get a dime. All the money for the oil sales goes into a UN- controlled account in New York. Iraq arranges contracts for goods, but it gets only the goods that the United States allows to be imported. The $13.3 billion is for five years, less than $3 billion a year. Compare that to 1989, before sanctions, when Iraq’s imports were $11 billion for that year alone.” (Killing Sanctions in Iraq, The Nation, Stanley Heller, Jan. 21st 2002. http://www.thenation.com/article/killing-sanctions-iraq/) Heller also mentions that while Iraq provided over 40 billion dollars worth of oil, the account was credited only 13.3 billion dollars.
Dennis Halliday who headed the oil for food program resigned. Halliday abandoned his role in the program because he thought he could accomplish more good speaking out against it. He testified that up to 6000 children were dying per month (200 per day) due to the sanctions, despite the food for oil program. After resigning in 1998 Halliday stated “The conditions in Iraq are appalling. Malnutrition is running at about 30 percent for children under 5 years old. In terms of mortality, probably 5 or 6 thousand children are dying per month. This is directly attributable to the impact of sanctions, which have caused the breakdown of the clean water system, health facilities and all the things that young children require. All of this is just not acceptable. I don’t want to administer a program that results in these kinds of figures. Sanctions are being sustained by member states, knowing of this calamity. I wanted to be in a position to speak out on sanctions and the dreadful impact that they are having on the people-particularly the children-and the future of Iraq.” (https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/170/42023.html)
New Comment Orion Simerl: 15:05 “America is a beacon of hope across the world”. LOL. In what world? On planet earth, in 2014 a Gallup poll conducted in 68 countries voted the United States to be the greatest threat to world peace. People like the relative prosperity of America, not the policy, the ignorant consenting masses that allow for those policies, and definitely not US interference in their political and economic processes.
New Comment Orion Simerl: 15:20 “When America’s strong everyone hates us. When America’s weak the whole world suffers”. When has America been weak since WWII? Everyone hates the United States because their interference intent on gaining a market advantage in their countries, coups, sanctions, loan conditionality, threat of invasion, invasion, arming factions within nations, and other imposing policy is the reason why the whole world suffers. The whole world suffers because soldiers go off to kill people, and have an understanding of international politics that sounds like something that falls from the mouth of one of the political performers who sell the population on rich men’s interest, that serve no benefit to the general population. I could hear that quote from George W, or even Trump, in an effort to justify an increase in military spending which largely goes to defense contractors, or military operations that justifies the continued purchase of arms. (LOL I was laughing reading this back because there is no way George W didn’t say that. You can’t even make that statement without saying it like George W. “When mericas strong, the whole world hates us. When mericas weak, the whole wrld suffrs. Fool me twice, shame on…, you can’t fooled again)
New Comment Orion Simerl: 15:40 “When you take Syria and they are gassing”. Let’s take Syria in 2011, when after there was international pressure the Assad regime drafted a new constitution to address the demands of the protestors, included but not limited to terms limits and allow non-Baath party members to serve in government. A referendum took place where over 55% of the population participated, which is more than the average participation rate for a US presidential election, and passed it by 80%. Instead of this democratic decision being respected, the US, the UK, France and other nations armed and trained Islamic militants which led to the civil war and over 500,000 casualties.
Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock II Interview
The video is an interview of the greatest Marine Sniper to serve in the Vietnam war. I enjoyed this comment exchange more than most others because of the respondent’s ability to comprehend, articulate, and stay on subject.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: Funny he calls the Vietnamese the bad guy, when the United States prevented Vietnam from proceeding with the election as was supposed to take place through the Geneva Accords after Ho Chi Minh united the country to remove the French. It was the United States who invaded their country, supported puppet regimes, invaded, and murdered roughly 2.5 million Vietnamese, put many in concentration camps, poisoned their land through deforestation efforts, all to prevent the Vietnamese from exercising their right to self-determination. He thinks they are the bad guys.
Second Comment: Say ‘Hey Google’ Have you served? The enemy is always the bad guy, period. Do you think the German soldiers thought they were the bad guys during WWII? There’s nothing funny about Hathcock calling the NVA and VC bad guys, to him they were. To fault the perceptions of veterans of Vietnam for the war itself demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to envision all sides of the war. How can a person solve the cognitive dissonance caused by the killing of perhaps 300 or more people? One way is to consider them deserving of their fate. (They are the bad guys, they needed killing.) It doesn’t make it right, but it does explain it. It’s tragic, not funny.
3rd Comment: Orion Simerl@Say ‘Hey Google’ There is an objective moral measure for determining good and bad, which is imposition. The Vietnamese like any other people have the right to choose their own path to self-determination so long as that path does not impose on the rights of other people to choose their path. United States foreign policy is governed by one underlying interest: to ensure access to the markets of other nations for the exploitation of labor and resources. A country whose production and development is largely state owned prevents US corporations from accessing the markets through foreign investment, and also tend to serve as obstacles to this interest elsewhere in the world through cooperation between non-US aligned states. The US punishes people and invades their country for its own advantage in the world. It imposes on those who are not imposing on anyone.
In Vietnam you had a people who was fighting to realize the independence they thought they had achieved by removing the French from their country. The United States wanted Vietnam to be open for foreign investment and influence, so they propped up illegitimate regimes like Ngo Diem’s, and then invaded and caused mass death and destruction. Who is the bad guy? The one who is resisting the influence of a foreign power to ensure his countrymen can exercise their right to self-determination? Or the one who is attempting to impose the will of his nation on those people? The United States is the bad guy and the Vietnamese are the good guys. It’s so obvious that it is funny when you hear a US solider call the Vietnamese the bad guy. Because a sense of humor varies from person to person, no one can determine what is funny to someone else.
I appreciate you pointing out the fact that the Germans didn’t see themselves as the bad guys in WWII, because it speaks to the inability of citizens of the United States to learn and objectively weigh the facts that give way to the correct moral position. You and those like you with “the enemy is always the bad guy period” attitudes, fail to acknowledge the evil your own country perpetrates the same as the German’s in WWII. You have to fault the perceptions of these people for two reasons. The first is because these perceptions allow tyranny to be perpetrated against the world which also has implications for the security of the American people. How many soldiers who fought in Vietnam would have agreed to serve knowing what they were actually doing? Maybe all of them, probably far fewer than did. For all the excuses for the dormancy of critical thinking skills and curiosity, the one place where these skills should be utilized is in making a decision to end the life of another human being. Yes, many soldiers thought they were doing the right thing serving their country, but it doesn’t change the purposes they served, and the relationship with those acts and morality.
The second reason to fault the perceptions of the soldiers is because they should not be celebrated, which encourages others to join a military that is used near exclusively in an offensive capacity. This leads into the question of how you reconcile killing 300 people with the natural human aversion to killing people? You don’t do it through deception, by convincing yourself they were bad and “deserving of their fate”. You do it by acknowledging what you were in ignorance to prevent others from making the same mistakes you made. You grow and become a better and different person.
None of what I expressed demonstrates an inability or unwillingness to envision war from all sides. I have done that, expressing the interests of both sides in the conflict, as well as acknowledging the ignorance of US soldiers which is responsible for them thinking they are fighting for a good cause.
I haven’t served, obviously I would not volunteer for a military that was used for immoral purposes. The act of serving does nothing to add to the credentials for the analysis of indisputable facts and applying moral judgements through the objective standard of liberty.
4th Comment: Say ‘Hey Google’@Orion Simerl You’re a bright lad, but either you still don’t understand my point, or I did a really bad job trying to make it. You’re making an argument about the the Vietnam war and US foreign policy that mirror my own views. It’s pretty easy argument to make using the tools you say are dormant in our country. Not only do I agree with that, I would push it further and say at best, most Americans don’t understand how to use those tools, or at worst they are oblivious to their existence (An amazingly accurate description of the popular human experience) . Where we diverge is in our understanding of the men who fought the war in Vietnam, and likely, the men and now women who fought and are fighting in similar wars and conflicts today.
I did serve, in the 80’s with the 7th Infantry Division, not because I wanted to travel the world, meet interesting people from different cultures and kill them. I did it because I wanted to go to college and needed a way to pay for it. Why does that matter that I served and you didn’t?? It matters because my service makes me much better able to understand the mindset, motivations and compartmentalization that goes on inside the consciousness of a trained killer. When a civilian, like you, judges a combat veteran, you are talking so far out of school it quickly becomes absurd. A person may march off to war for God, king and country, but in the end, whether the cause is right or wrong, it’s always the same. They fight for the lives of their brothers, just as their brothers fight for theirs. Until you understand this, you will never understand war from a warrior’s point of view.
I’m going to try again, this time using your own words:
“This leads into the question of how you reconcile killing 300 people with the natural human aversion to killing people? You don’t do it through deception, by convincing yourself they were bad and “deserving of their fate”. You do by acknowledging what you were in ignorance to prevent others from making the same mistakes you made. You grow and become a better and different person.”
You, with no clue what it’s like to kill one person thinks they have the moral authority to dictate to a man like Hathcock how he should process the killing of perhaps 300. The path you believe to be appropriate is to acknowledge his ignorance in order to help prevent others from killing 300 people too, and by doing so, he will grow and become a better and different person. Wait, what?? Take that drivel to any clinical psychologist and see what kind of reaction you get…
Let’s assume Carlos Hathcock is still alive and is neither a psychopath, nor a sociopath. You, being a man with a high forehead, manage to convince him that his actions are unjustified and reprehensible. What comes next? How does an otherwise regular joe reconcile being the mass murderer of 300 innocent lives? We can only speculate what Hathcock would do, so, what would you do? Would you really take it as a life lesson and grow from it, or would go to the middle of nowhere, take a pistol and blow your brains out like I would?
That’s way longer than I wanted it to be. I hope I didn’t waste my time. If you like documentaries, Ken Burns made an epic series on Vietnam, it’s on Netflix. Very balanced with interviews from people on all fronts of the war. You can’t help but learn if you approach it with your toolkit. Cheers!
5th Comment: Orion Simerl@Say ‘Hey Google’ I agree that your service puts you in a better position to understand the mindset of a soldier, however, this has no impact on judging the morality of the intents and results his services were used to perpetrate. My comment was basically, it’s funny he calls the good guys the bad guys, and I went on to qualify the assertion of good and bad to the interests involved. This doesn’t change, the United States is only good through the morality of the tyrant.
As far as an individual coming to terms with fighting for the cause of tyranny, the only objection you have with veterans abandoning the myth they were fighting to defend freedom, is that the soldier may not be able to cope with that realization. It’s very easy to understand that you’re only the latest version of yourself. Any situation you were in at 10 years old you would act differently if you were in the same situation at 20. It is very easy to disassociate yourself from actions you created when you were effectively a different person by way of a different understanding and truth. If a man cannot understand this and is overwhelmed with guilt that is his decision to attempt to seek relief from that guilt by separating his consciousness from his body.
Living a lie is idle life and self-deception is harmful to individual liberty, affecting motivation and know how, as well as harmful to the public in the promotion of that deception. Most of if not all the issues we have as a species are due to self-deception. Where people have a higher value of what they like, and therefore what they want to be true, than what is true. They avoid information and refuse to acknowledge information that challenges the lie they’ve been sold. To go further there is a bad feeling associated with finding out something you like is either bad or not true. Attempting to reinforce ideas about the noble causes of the US military contributes to the gulch that exists between what is true and what is perceived to be true.
This deception obstructs efforts to correct the United State’s murderous and imposing foreign policy, which has domestic implications, including tax appropriations. It’s interesting that you acknowledge that you joined the military not only for the economic opportunity, and the opportunity to travel, but the opportunity to kill people. You being someone who has served, certainly representative of some other service men, makes it seem unlikely that some vets would be suicidal from learning they were fighting for the bad guys. You were intent on killing people, from your statement absent moral necessity. It’s hard to believe that people who were interested in killing for the inherent satisfaction of the act are concerned about where their killing falls morally. Again, the last statement applies to yourself and a probably small minority of soldiers.
7th Comment: Say ‘Hey Google’@Orion Simerl You might want to revisit my last post. I wrote the exact opposite about killing than you gleaned. I wanted no part of killing 30+ years ago and want the same today. Meet the old me, same as the new me.
8th Comment: Orion Simerl@Say ‘Hey Google’ Excuse me I missed the “not” in “I did serve, in the 80’s with the 7th Infantry Division, not because I wanted to travel the world, meet interesting people from different cultures and kill them.” LOL The difference between a psychopath and “not” a psycho path. That misinterpretation invalidates my last assertion which was supplemental and not essential to the point I was making: that an uncomfortable truth is preferable to a comfortable lie.
I view most soldiers as having good intents, and many believe they are serving a noble cause. Their ignorance does not completely absolve them from responsibility in that ignorance is a product of values, which of course is largely a product of impressions, but the distinction between people generally exists in what they like. Value directs attention and what we are ignorant of is a product of choice. As I stated previously, responsibility is to be had by the individual who committed the act, and when a person’s values change and their understanding becomes more complete, they are not the same person they used to be.
I didn’t click on this video because I wanted to condemn soldiers. I viewed the video because I was interested in learning about someone who had performed exceptionally well in a combat situation. I have reverence for this individual’s skills as a sniper despite understanding that his skills were utilized by an entity in an imposing rather than liberating capacity.
I think the only difference between our perspectives pertaining to the subjects we discussed is the merit of soldiers understanding what they were fighting for. You believe it is harmful for a soldier to understand and acknowledge he was killing for the bad guys, and I think acknowledgement of this fact is essential for achieving a morally sound and efficient foreign policy.
Magnificent Story Teller Soldier Reveals What He Saw in Vietnam
Solider addresses misconceptions he had about going to Vietnam, where he thought he was going to be greeted as a liberator and was surprised to find that he was disliked. As he served, he learned that the treatment of the Vietnamese by the US military was the reason why American forces were disliked. He went on to remark that he learned more about the political motivation for the US sending forces to Vietnam after he came home.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: When you invade a people’s country intent on denying them their right to self-determination and impose the will the United States on them, they tend not to take too kindly to such action.
2nd Comment: BIG DOG@Orion Simerl but did he make that decision himself? No, he was just fighting because he had to,wtf is wrong with you people.
3rd Comment: Orion Simerl@BIG DOG 1st the comment was made to explain why he wasn’t greeted as a liberator and why they did not like him. Second, this individual was not drafted, the description says he joined with patriotism in his heart. Meaning he willingly joined a military that he could have known was a tool of imposition on the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter if he made the decision to invade Vietnam, he made the decision to serve in a military used for tyranny. As for WTF is wrong with (me), I think that question is better suited to the one asking it than it is to the one being asked. I made an accurate comment describing US intents for invading Vietnam as it relates to how the solider was treated by the Vietnamese. You make a comment asserting the man didn’t make the decision to invade Vietnam which really has nothing to do with my comment because I didn’t state that he did, but since you brought it up, he made a decision that he would kill for a state without knowing and without caring what reasons that state would send him to kill. Then you assert he was fighting because he had to, which is inaccurate because he doesn’t appear to be drafted. I happen to like this particular soldier because he shows the maturity of a man who fought for the bad guy, is able to acknowledge that and talk about it. When he was finished and saw how serious war actually is he wanted to know the cause of it. This is when he picked up the rest of the cards and probably learned that the US had no just reason to be in Vietnam.
8/13/2019 Late Show Stephen Colbert
The show was making fun of Trumps tweet calling the drills in North Korea ridiculous. I didn’t realize it at the time I wrote it, but the comparison mentioned in the comments is not original. This comparison is a quote, the origins of which I’m not certain of but I believe it may have been something I heard in a Noam Chomsky interview a few years ago.
1st Comment: Orion Simerl The exercises are actually an act of aggression. The exercises consist not only of how to defend, but how to invade North Korea if the circumstances become advantageous to do so. It would be like if China and Mexico held joint exercises in the Gulf of Mexico and what they would do if there was an opportunity to invade the United States. Would the United States allow such exercises to take place?
2nd Comment: Indiana1616 Sure, but N. Korea is a murderous dictatorship which has said on numerous occasions that it wants to destroy S. Korea and the United States.
3rd Comment: Orion Simerl@Indiana1616 The United States is far more murderous, imposing, and threatening than North Korea. Regardless of whether a nation is a threatening murderous dictatorship, drills preparing for the invasion of a country is aggression and provocation, and these exercises are one of the reasons why North Korea tests missiles and makes threats usually around the time of these exercises. It is not justifiable to prepare for an invasion simply because you don’t agree with how a country operates. All US foreign policy boils down to ensuring US corporations have access to the markets of foreign countries for the exploitation of labor and resources.
4th Comment: chipishor@Orion Simerl So, after the complaints from a murderous dictator, who threatened USA many times, the chief of the most powerful army in the world is calling it’s own army’s actions ridiculous??? Really ??? Really??!!!
5th Comment: Orion Simerl@chipishor The United States murdered a million people in North Korea, destroyed 85% of their buildings, and then isolated the country from world markets for 70 years, preventing economic development causing the dictatorship (and perpetuating it), and the poverty that has existed in the country since the Korean War. It isn’t ridiculous, it is malicious, and naked aggression.
9/26/2019 Jim Jeffries Show
I saw pieces of Jeffries stand up performances and they were decent. This was the third episode of his show I saw, and the content he was performing may as well have been prepared by PETA in collaboration with some liberal establishment group. It went beyond the standard nationalist bias found in network television, to the promotion of an irrational social agenda that removes information from its appropriate context in an effort to prioritize subjects which not only shouldn’t be a priority, but people should not take issue with. I don’t take issue with expressing a difference of opinion, but I do take issue with an overt bias that attempts to manipulate the value of a subject by misrepresenting facts, presenting faulty logic, dubious sources, and the creation of value associations. After reviewing this video months after I casually created these comments, I am going to present the transcript segment of the show, and provide additional commentary prior to sharing my comments left on the video.
The show opens by mentioning a dentist in Minnesota who was shamed publicly for trophy hunting a lion a few years ago, and the news that the lion’s son was killed. Jeffries jokes “the lion was too young to have a family but he grew up in a tough neighborhood with no male role model”. It landed, then he proceeded with the following:
Jeffries: Now there is a difference between trophy hunting and game hunting. Now I don’t like either of them. Now I know that people consider hunting to be a sport. It’s not a sport. Sports have winners and losers. When have you ever lost at hunting? And I suppose you could call it a hobby, but it’s a cunts hobby. If your hobby is you and your best friend, dressed up in camouflage, hiding in a swamp going honk, honk, so you can fool the mind of a duck, what kind of lowlife prick are you?
I’ve heard the whole argument that you use the kill to feed your families. OHH thank god you came along, we’re all running out of food here in America without you noble huntsman. I can’t even figure out another way to feed my family. I don’t know, maybe go to Ralphs, and stop bragging about using the whole animal. No one cares. If a serial killer made a lampshade out of human skin, you wouldn’t say well at least he’s using every part of the victim. But at least there are arguments for game hunting.
Trophy hunting is different. It’s less about living off the land, and more about killing rare animals for Instagram likes. Trophy hunters will claim they’re helping local communities, that can use the meat from the kill, but think about that from the villages point of view: day one fresh lion everyone is happy, day two more lion, day three cold lion sandwiches, day four, what is it mom, lion casserole, uhhhh. Then it’s lion salad, lion soup, lion tacos, finally geez mom can we have something besides lion? Then your mom says you’ll eat your lion and you’ll be thankful because there are kids starving in Africa, and they’re you. Hunters will also argue, the money spent on hunting trips is spent on conservation efforts, but that’s not really true either.
News Clip: a 2013 report prepared for the African Lion Coalition found, just 3% of local hunting revenue ends up in local communities.
Jeffries: 3%, locals can make just as much money for tourists to come and look at the animals and don’t, fucking, shoot them. Be honest with us, you don’t do it because you care about conservation, or helping others, you just like the killing part. Blood lust is simply part of who hunters are. According to a recent study, hunting is linked to personality traits like narcissism and psychopathic behavior, maybe what is so offensive about trophy hunting is how much people are willing to pay to go kill something.
Clip: Hunters spend upwards of 320 million dollars to go hunting annually.
Jeffries: Really, the main reason I can’t stand trophy hunters is because I hate rich people. I’ve hated rich people my entire life, and I know the irony. But I think we can all tell I’m new money, and I have a lot of self hate.
A rich dentist is allowed to pay $55,000, to lure a lion from a nature reserve into an open area, shoot him with a bow and arrow, watch the animal bleed out over 2 days, and then when the animal is almost dead, he shoots it. Then he goes out and takes a photograph with the dead animal, then he cuts the dead animal’s head off, and mounts it above his fireplace.
If a poor person did the same thing but within his means, we would lock him in prison. Say a poor person, sat in his back yard and shot regular cats. Regular household, domestic cats. They’re not endangered in anyway, we put them down all the time. Let’s say this guy knew a guy that knew where a cat might be, and he paid him 5 dollars 50 to lure that cat into his yard. Then he throws a dart he stole from the pub in the side of the cat. Then he watched the cat die. Then he runs out and takes a photo of him with the dead cat. Then he thinks to himself, hmm, this erection’s not going to last forever. How will everyone know the second they walk in my studio apartment what a great cat killer I am? So he takes out a knife, and he cuts the little tiny cats head off, until he’s just holding the cats head. Then he puts it on a wooden plaque, and he mounts it above his space heater. Because he doesn’t have a fire place. Because he’s poor. Now look at me, and tell me, we wouldn’t lock that guy up?
New Commentary: In his opening statement he says of game and trophy hunting I don’t like either of them. People who view his show have a high value of Jeffries based on the entertainment value of his show. Jeffries stating, he doesn’t like either, will have some degree on his viewers value of hunting based on their value of Jeffries, and Jeffries value of hunting. Obvious albeit subtle in effect, and less about the creation of value based on the association and more about the reinforcement of value since presumably the marketing data already demonstrates a link between this value of hunting and guns, and his viewers, otherwise the segment wouldn’t exist.
For many, their value of hunting may change depending on their value of Jeffries. This isn’t necessarily a conscious adjustment as far as values are concerned, and by that I mean, the viewer doesn’t consciously think, I’m against hunting because Jim’s against hunting. Jim’s value to the viewer is determined by the feelings created in the viewer based on his performances. These good feelings give Jim value to the viewer (the viewer likes him) and give weight to opinions.
Other associations are stylistic, where there are associations that give value to his style including the delivery of his words that add weight to his opinions. An example regarding style I can provide from my own experience watching the episode. I like using the word cunt. It has punch to it and conveys the feelings that lead to its usage. Jim Jeffries using the word lowers the value of the word to me based on the value I have of Jim and his association with the word. More specifically, it dulls the edge hearing it from someone on comedy central performing an anti-gun animal rights activist piece, and becomes associated with the soft stupidity I associate with these positions, as well as Jim’s seemingly inauthentic portrayal of a counter culture figure.
Next he attempts to redefine the word sport to disqualify hunting, claiming that a sport must have winners and losers and then asserting you can’t lose in hunting. Even given this qualification, since the objective of hunting is killing an animal, obviously not killing an animal is a loss, and killing an animal is a win. Many people are eager to latch onto any explanation that reinforces value, whether it be their value of Jim based on his ability to make them laugh, or simply an explanation to reinforce their view of hunting which is based on other value associations.
Jim comments that hunters are low life’s because they are using their superior intellect to fool an animal. (that part was funny) This effort directs attention to a moral trigger of fairness, highlighting the advantage of one over the other, which will likely miss most. However, those missed by the morality of tricking an animal, would likely be caught up in other value associations. The stimulus created by the jokes (hilarity resulting from content, facial expressions or inflection) can become associated with the position. The performance resonates with other values which adds value to the position.
He mocks game hunting, presenting the argument that instead of hunting people could go to the store. Of course, for the poor who he later attempts to advocate for, a 24-dollar deer tag is much less than the cost of 100lbs worth of meat. In my comments I mention the tight budget I was raised on as a child and the importance of venison procured through hunting in my household. Which isn’t to say we would have starved, but it definitely improved the quality of my diet. Gutted, hanged, skinned, and butchered it ourselves. Most would see his logic as invalidating food procurement as a purpose for hunting, and as a necessity it probably is, but as a matter of preference, I also commented there is animal meat you cannot purchase in supermarkets.
He presents a straw man consisting of hunters claiming to use the whole animal. He compares the idea to a serial killer making a lampshade out of his victim and sarcastically stating “at least he used the whole victim”. The goal of these efforts is to wear away the species distinction, where the value of any animal is equal to the value of human life, and his first effort to associate hunting for game or trophy, with psychopathy.
The segment continues with Jim attacking conservation efforts by citing a study prepared by an animal rights think tank and presenting as if it is an academically accredited study. The other aspect of it which I underlined in the transcript is he begins by stating conservation, and then cites data for how much of the money has an impact on the communities where the hunting takes place, which are two different things. Even so, “A study conducted by North West University’s Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society (TREES) unit estimated that hunting generated around 1.24 billion in both direct and indirect income in 2012… research found 17,806 (Limpopo), 9,072 (Northern Cape) and 4,558 (Free State) jobs may depend on hunting, in addition to those of people permanently employed on game farms”. The speculation in the comments I left which are forthcoming is confirmed in these studies. This addresses economic impact and I surmise the 3% figure from the think tank study probably limits the scope of communities to the areas where the actual hunt takes place, which tends to be in very remote areas. In consideration of conservation, a mild curbing of the predator mammal population can influence conservation.
1st Comment Orion Simerl It isn’t that you can’t figure out another way to feed your family, but where the fuck can you buy venison? When you’re poor, in the United States, a freezer full of deer meat will keep high quality protein in your diet when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it. 2nd, you sometimes funny, effortfully edgy tool of the liberal establishment and the Viacom brand, what higher purpose can an animal serve? Provide the fuel for the thoughts and efforts of the only intelligent species on this planet, or die of starvation and fertilize the earth? Of course, it is dual purpose if an animal is shot and consumed because the guts still fertilize the earth and feed other animals. 3rd: How do you think an animal dies of natural causes? You think it’s a heart attack, stroke, dies sleeping a comfortable death with a full belly and otherwise good health? Or does the animal become too sick or injured to function and dies either by being eaten by another animal or starvation if a predator? 4th, there are many people who hunt and are not successful. It is a process of learning and applying like anything else, which contributes to the satisfaction of the success.
2nd Comment Orion Simerl: 3% ends up in local communities, not 3% goes to conservation efforts. If it is a comedy show that’s fine, but if you’re attempting to manufacture facts, then you should be prepared for the scrutiny of attempting to do so. “Hunters say money goes to conservation efforts but is that true”? “Only 3% ends up in local communities”, which says nothing of what % actually goes to conservation. Why does this episode exist? Likely because marketing people discovered that people who are against hunting or who have unfavorable opinions about guns watch comedy central, more specifically the Jim Jefferies show. Either Jim or the writers are tasked with creating a show to cater to that group. Was there not enough corporate dick to suck in Australia? Then again, I suppose if you’re going to suck that corporate dick, suck the biggest one. (Comment was written prior to researching sources for new commentary above.)
3rd Comment Orion Simerl: Hunters spend upwards of 3 million dollars per year per hunter? How much are they spending on the safari? You joke about children starving in Africa, you don’t think there would be more starving children in Africa if hunters stopped going on Safaris? You don’t think that money works its way into the community, contributing to opportunities? Not directly from the permit, which is probably what the 3% was in reference to earlier in the public rape of your artistic credentials, but if people have jobs that result from the services provided to accommodate hunters, or a man has money to donate because of the business he operates to serve that interest, this is money that goes to those communities. (Again, before research confirmed this was my speculation)
4th Comment Orion Simerl: I doubt every trophy hunt is like you describe, even if it was the fate of the animal in this hunt. Return to the point of the first comment, and it is difficult to make the argument that an animal starving to death or being eaten alive is more humane. In Zimbabwe less than 3.5% of the population want the hunting to end. You should get Viacom tattooed across your forehead you fucking meat puppet. And way to capitalize on the social justice indignation trend with the “I always hated rich people”.
5th Comment Orion Simerl: A poor person hunting within his means doesn’t mean he goes out back and shoot cats, which should increase the emotional impact to your viewers, as some mindless woman strokes snuggles watching your show. A poor person, living on AFDC in the early 90s, with an income of about $450 per month, and some amount of food stamps, spending $350 on rent and I don’t know how much on utilities, can still drive 40 miles from his home to a public hunting ground, having procured a hunting license, stamp if needed, put his son through hunters safety, and go hunting. Of course, you also need to know a guy like retail Randy, who had a cocaine addiction who didn’t like to smoke crack but shot the drug intravenously. Retail was a booster, and he would steal from Kmart’s, Walgreens, and other retailers and split the money with whoever he could find to return the items. This was the early 90s, camera film was hot at that time, easy to conceal, was expensive, and was easy to return because you bought the wrong film but already replaced it at another store.
6th Comment Orion Simerl: I don’t like hunting, it is largely sitting and being quiet while you freeze your ass off, but I was still grateful for the opportunity. Sponsored by Retail Randy.
I included this analysis as another example of how false information is presented as credible and used to form the basis of popular perception. In addition to pointing out the inconsistencies between the morality of hunting, where the animal rights activist claims to be for ethical treatment of animals but is actually for less ethical outcomes, I wanted to make sure my position on gun rights and hunting is understood. My position is founded on objectively sound principles, and my position on gun rights is laid out thoroughly in Australian Gun Control and the Failure to Reduce Incidents of Mass Murder or Casuaties.
Democracy Now Headlines 12 30 2019
Jane Fonda claimed before supporters that the group took 11 trillion dollars from banks that won’t be invested in fossil fuels.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: Taken 11 trillion from banks? I’d like to see where that number comes from.
2nd Comment Víðarr Kerr: It comes from nowhere. The paper and digital money is backed by nothing. They “print” it, you pay it back. Slaves. Look up “Fink’s Bar Diatribe” and read what Netanyahu said.
3rd Comment Orion Simerl@Víðarr Kerr That obviously wasn’t what was intended by question, I’m talking about Fonda saying they’ve taken 11 trillion dollars from the banks. As for backed by nothing your conspiracy theory isn’t true. The US dollar is backed by global economic expansion as the world trade and reserve currency. Nations require dollars to trade and keep most of their reserves in dollars. This goes back to Brenton woods where the dollar was tied to gold and the currency of every other nations was tied to the dollar. In the 70s when foreign nations were making a run on US gold by cashing their dollars in for gold we left the gold standard but moved onto the petro dollar to ensure the dollar remained the world reserve currency. Oil producing countries agreed to only sell oil in dollars. This made the demand for oil equal to the demand for dollars since dollars were required to purchase oil. Not exactly, since dollar were already the world trade currency at that time, so what the move did was made sure the dollar wasn’t replaced due to leaving the gold standard. Today, even if oil producing countries sold oil in different denominations the impact wouldn’t be significant because world trade takes place in dollars and oil is only a small part of that. Finally, any efforts to sabatoge the dollars role of the world reserve currency would not only harm the United States but the entire world. First because nations have trillion of dollars. Second because efforts to devalue the dollar would affect consumers in the United States who consumption drives the world economy.
4th Comment Víðarr Kerr@Orion Simerl Sure, whatever you say. Conspiracy theory. LOL. You have got to be joking. Every other large country is buying up gold. Even kids living at home know better and are investing in cryptocurrencies. Good luck with your USD.
5th Comment Orion Simerl@Víðarr Kerr That isn’t a response to a single point I’ve made, that is you reasserting your original position. You don’t want to learn anything because your conspiracy theory allows you to feel important, like you possess knowledge that no one else possesses because you watched a youtube video and have been effectively marketed to by people who make a living peddling that kind of information. 52% of all trade takes place in dollars, and 62% of the world’s reserves are US dollars. The US accounts for 25% of consumption. Leading producers of consumer goods like China have economies that directly rely on the US consumer market. There is no scenario where the dollar becomes worthless and it doesn’t tank every other economy on the planet. Gold is an investment, not a currency. People have been pushing this conspiracy theory for decades, largely gold and cryptocurrency investors in an effort to drive up the price of their investments. Funny ass shit.
6th Comment Víðarr Kerr@Orion Simerl Gold is a currency, just not so much in the USA. Other parts of the world they use daily. After the USA SWIFT system became completely weaponized over the last decade, the entire world is building replacement systems. When they finally go active on a large scale, the USD is over. Peter Schiff et al have a company called GoldMoney. You can buy gold, and they give you a debit/credit card that you can use anywhere VISA/MASTERCARD are accepted, so you can buy things using your gold. Even Joe Rogan has an account. Whatever this thing is with your “conspiracy theories”, it is bizarre. Even the most mainstream economists have said what I said here — even more extreme. Don’t you watch any economic news outside CNN, MSNBC, etc???
7th Comment Orion Simerl@Víðarr Kerr LOL as I said people who have a vested interest in pushing this narrative (Peter Schiff) push this narrative. “You can buy gold and they give you a card”. The card is denominated in US dollars because gold is not a currency. Show me the store where the prices are in fractions of gold grams? What mainstream economist who has any respect from his peers says the dollar is going to collapse and we are going to revert to trading in precious metals? The closest you’re going to get from any real economist on what you’re talking about is predicting a price increase of gold based on market factors. Don’t you watch any economic news outside of RT America, or the Schiff Report? This guy has been pushing an economic apocalypse for at least 20 years. You need to understand that the way the world is, is because of the interests that decide policy. Nothing is going to happen that dramatically undermines those interests.
Democracy Now 10/3/2019 Headlines
The Headline I responded to was related to a story of activists protesting a lenient sentence given to an off-duty police officer who was drunk, entered the wrong apartment, and shot and killed the occupant. The victim’s brother said he forgave the women in court which contributed to the judge giving her a relatively light sentence.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: The family of the victim, who aside from the victim are those who are most deeply affected by the crime, push for a lenient sentence, and activists are protesting? This has nothing to do with you, and you are against all affected parties, the victim and the murderer. Personally, I’d be mad as fuck at my brother if I was minding my own business in my apartment, a woman murdered me, and my brother said he forgives here and hopes she gets a lighter sentence. Fuck that guy, but at the same time because it is their experience and I am completely unaffected by the outcome, I respect their decisions to feel how they want to feel and handle it how they want to handle it. I wanted to explain the correct position to contrast it to the position of those activists. Public opinion is only relevant if the affected parties are dissatisfied with the outcome, since they are not, why are protesting the outcome desired by the affected parties?
Democracy Now Headlines 7/22/2019 (https://youtu.be/NXVR2V1ugro)
Headlines featured story of activists protesting the creation of an immigrant detention facility.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: LOL Good move. Conditions in migrant detentions are over crowded so we’re going to sell T shirts and protest opening up a new facility to prevent alleviating overcrowded conditions.
TCWCQ: Chappelle, Fitzsimmons, Gold & Di Paolo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqjQC73PdNQ
Comment is less about this video and more about Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn in general.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: It is interesting that with time people became much freer from censorship, considering 50 years ago much of what is shown on tv today wouldn’t have aired back then. Today I look back and see how many shows from 15 to 20 years ago wouldn’t be aired today. A steep regression which has a negative impact on society. Comedy central wouldn’t air this show today, not how it was then.
Why a Boycott of Brazilian Goods Could Be the Best Way to Stop Amazon Fires
The woman being interviewed implies that a boycott of Brazilian goods would preserve the rainforest and prevent forest fires.
1st Comment: Orion Simerl: Boycott: “beef, soy, sugar cane, and timber”, most of which are commodities purchased by companies who use them to create other products and therefore consumers cannot boycott from Brazil what products they don’t know come from Brazil.
2nd Comment: Faint Signals@OrionSimerl We can start by going vegan since the greatest driver of Amazon deforestation is cow rearing and soy to feed cows in feedlots all over the world. For years the Amazon has been burning due to cow rearing at one acre a minute. Now it is over twice that.
The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.
3rd Comment: Orion Simerl@Faint Signals from Vega It isn’t practical. People, I included, like to eat meat. There are a million “if everyone just” (insert something) that would solve problems, but it isn’t going to happen. Solutions must be based on maintaining options and appealing to people’s self-interest to be viable. I do appreciate the information which to me establishes a need for innovation not the imposition of preference. A way to localize production in line with sustainable practices while maintaining volume and profit.
Democracy Now Headlines 10/21/2019
Headline report of a convicted murderer and rapist being given a stay of execution because his tumors could burst and cause him pain during the execution.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: This is insane. Don’t execute Bucklew because his tumors may burst which could cause a more painful death. The guy shot a man in the chest in front of two kids. Then abducted their mother, duct taped her mouth, handcuffed her to a tree, raped her and left. I understand that Bucklews lack of concern for the suffering of the man who was left to die bleeding out of his chest does not mean that cruel and unusual punishment is justified. Yet if his tumors burst and he suffocates, it’s not a great last minute or so of life, but it isn’t cruel. I would use heroin overdose for executions to avoid all questions of humaneness. A timed IV drip that delivers a small dose to precipitate euphoria, followed by a series of other small doses until consciousness is lost followed by a large dose after the executed person loses consciousness.
Democracy Now Arundhati Roy: Capitalism is a form of religion
Arundhati mentions a mountain where industrial interests are trying to displace people, I think she said that some people see the mountain where people are living as a collection of minerals, which is funny to me because geologically a mountain is exactly a collection of minerals. She also mentions people living in a forest that is supposed to be preserved for historical and environmental reasons. The details were not of great interest to me, I just remember her seeming to be against people wanting to extract minerals from a mountain which displaced people, but seeing it in terms of one side being bad and the other good while failing to recognize how both interests could be advanced by abandoning the sentimental attachment to the mountain.
1st Comment Orion Simerl: A mountain is a collection of minerals that have value. She mentions that the value of the mountain is it sustains people who live there. Is the value of the minerals sufficient to relocate and meet the needs of the people? If it does, it’s mineral value is greater than it’s value as a place to live. The problem then is ensuring that the people who are being displaced are compensated for the mountain or have a stake in the prosperity generated from the sale of its minerals.
The people who are being displaced to preserve the forest, if it is climate change related we recognize the forest has collective value, existential value, and everyone who can afford to pay has to pay to preserve those forests and that money can be used to compensate the people who are displaced.
Inequality in India is worse not only because of capitalism, but because of religion. A Caste system that teaches you to accept your place in life, a religion that teaches you to be indifferent to injustice, to sit and think about nothing, to bathe in a disgusting river, and to generally be unproductive reciting garbage while you burn incense to a statue.
Capitalism is not a religion; capitalism is human nature. Before I explain the previous assertion, the fundamental problem with capitalism is very few people are able to participate because it requires money to make money. This is compounded in that capitalism is not only an economic system, but the basis for all political mechanics. Human beings see everything through value. Even the self-sacrificing altruist interprets the world through value. The value of whatever sacrifice one makes to assist another is less than the value of the feeling associated with the idea of the sacrifice. In other words, what you feel through the sacrifice is greater than you could feel through the substance being sacrificed, time, money, energy, etc. The feelings associated with the idea is greater than the feelings associated with what is being sacrificed. Any philosophy can be reduced down to value. Human beings are completely self-interested. The problem is they don’t understand it, and don’t understand the value of principles and institutions based on those principles that allow people to be free and self-interested without affecting the ability of others to do the same.