George Will on Afghanistan

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I don’t often say this, but George Will gets it exactly right.

But before launching New Deal 2.0 in Afghanistan, the Obama administration should ask itself: If U.S. forces are there to prevent re-establishment of al-Qaeda bases — evidently there are none now — must there be nation-building invasions of Somalia, Yemen and other sovereignty vacuums? U.S. forces are being increased by 21,000 to 68,000, bringing the coalition total to 110,000. About 9,000 are from Britain, where support for the war is waning. Counterinsurgency theory concerning the time and the ratio of forces required to protect the population indicates that, nationwide, Afghanistan would need hundreds of thousands of coalition troops, perhaps for a decade or more. That is inconceivable.

So, instead, forces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy: America should do only what can be done from offshore, using intelligence, drones, cruise missiles, airstrikes and small, potent special forces units, concentrating on the porous 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, a nation that actually matters. Genius, said de Gaulle, recalling Bismarck’s decision to halt German forces short of Paris in 1870, sometimes consists of knowing when to stop. Genius is not required to recognize that in Afghanistan, when means now, before more American valor, such as Allen’s, is squandered.

This column is causing great controversy on the Right, but almost no comment from Progressives. Have we forgotten how Lyndon Johnson’s obsession with Vietnam poisoned the legacy of his domestic accomplishments?
This is where Obama has to make his bones. Get out of Afghanistan.

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153 Responses to George Will on Afghanistan

  1. John Papola says:

    Thank you, Jon, for staying true to the righteous anti-war cause, whose voice has been conspicuously muted since Bam took over the Bomb.

    There is only one justification for the use of force: protective retaliation. All other uses are pure aggression with paper-thin rational. That these offensive (in every sense) missions suffer from a “drift” or “creep” in their objectives is just the inevitable result of their fundamental lack of moral, ethical or strategic justification.

    Real change for America would have been Ron Paul. Just saying. He was the ONLY one to raise significant money and honestly call America what our leaders have made of it: an empire.

  2. rhbee says:

    “War, what is it good for”

    Yellow Ribbons gather on the trees and,
    Yellow ribbons garnish their sleeves.
    As blood becomes the red
    You spill in war
    And colors are what
    Dead eyes can see
    No more.
    So yellow ribbons
    Wrap the trees while
    Bombs blast the sand
    To its knees and
    Countries begin to sew
    Yellow ribbons to the body bags,
    Let yellow ribbons become
    Refugee rags,
    And remember that dead yellow
    Eyes can not see their
    Own toe tags.

  3. Roman says:

    “This is where Obama has to make his bones. Get out of Afghanistan.”

    This is an ideal platform for him to re-build his credibility, but he won’t take the leap, it’s too risky, it’s not in him.

    His mettle was tested this past winter/spring by the insurance and finance industries and was found lacking. Others noticed.

    Although he publically chastised them (i.e . AIG bonus charade), and even had a select group of CEO’s do a perp walk in the Rose Garden, to date, his administration has not handed down a single indictment connected the largest finance bubble in the history of the world.

    But not too worry; he’s been rewarded with a nice market run up, calming the populace, at least for now.

  4. JTMcPhee says:

    Anti-war is probably a hopelessly lost cause. Maybe there’s a chance for a bit of conflict management to reduce the frequency and intensity, but you got to understand that shootin’ off weapons at and hackin’ on other humans is both exciting and fun. Check all the video of those smiling Somalis and their “technicals,” and the glee on the faces of your basic mujahedin pokin’ around a corner to let fly a B-40 or a full 30 round clip from an AK, or the smiles on the faces of the All Services Get To Play video gamers in those single-wides in the Great American Heartland as the real-time inages come back, showing the Before and After of a Hellfire hit.

    It ain’t just aggression, it’s “free market capitalists” creating a need, pumping demand, and gleefully filling it with stuff that looks so fire-spittin’ G-pullin’, scare-the-shit-outa-some-”enemy of the day”-cartoon-cool on the pages and covers of Aviation Week and Jane’s and Michanix Illustrated and even, God help us, occasionally in Scientific American.

    Other than being unelectable in this system, I doubt even Ron Paul could have done much to derail the over-the-cliff, off-the-bridge train we are riding in our oh-so-comfortable seats.

    George Will saying “we” should get out of Afghanistan while the getting is good sounds an awful lot like one of my favorite, possibly apocryphal scenes: WC Fields, notorious reprobate and atheist, on his deathbed. A drinking buddy enters the room, spies WC thumbing through the Christian end of the Bible. Says the friend, knowing WC’s predilections and history, “WC, what the heck are you doing?” Says WC, aware of his imminent possible meeting with the Creator, “Lookin’ for loopholes.” Well, late conversion and repentance for warmongering snakes in the garden is maybe better than none at all… I wonder, did I Love Baseball And Hate Commies Georgie write this piece, or one of his numerous assistants?

  5. EGrise says:

    Are we supposed to applaud the stopped clock for being right twice a day?

  6. bernard says:

    JT

    I totally agree. Stop bleeding and reconstruct.

  7. John Papola says:

    “It ain’t just aggression, it’s “free market capitalists” creating a need”

    That’s just plain ludicrous. This is nonsensical “shock doctrine” thinking. Working with the government is inherently the OPPOSITE of “free market capitalism”. War is a creature of the state. The enterprises which engage in it or seek to profit from it are not “free market capitalists”. They’re fascists.

    Please. Capitalism is NOT “the pursuit of profit and/or self interest”. That’s a base misunderstanding. Capitalism is free enterprise based on private property and mutually beneficial voluntary exchange in pursuit of self interest and subjective value.

    No part of war fits into the concept of Capitalism just as no part of capitalism fits with a bogus “shock doctrine” concept of partnering with ruthless leadership. Capitalism in it’s purest form would be peaceful, statelessness.

  8. bernard says:

    JT

    I totally agree. Stop bleeding for foreign causes and reconstruct internally. Adapt to changes in a constructive way.

  9. JTMcPhee says:

    Gee, so, in their purest forms, would, “Communism” and “Socialism.” You really think there’s a snowball’s chance of any human group ever pulling off any of the above? And as the failed Soviet leadership and our own Chicago Schoolers and Greenspans proves, mastering the jargon of a “pure” system, and decoupaging it over the “gritty reality” of how humans actually interact, has zero relationship to any improvement in the human condition.

    • John Papola says:

      Communism and Socialism inherently require command and control by central planners over other people’s choices through the impractical abolition of private property. That in and of itself sets up the requirement of aggression which has systematically played out in the USSR, Cambodia, Cuba, China, etc. But even that, I’ll happily agree, is not part and parcel with the warmachine that is the State.

      My point is quite simple: language matters. Calling war profiteering “free market” is just a complete made-up use of the word. It’s Orwellian in the same way the Klein’s hack-job “Shock Doctrine” relies on Orwellian re-definition of free market principles in pursuit of her intellectually bankrupt attack on Milton Friedman.

      Again, Friedman fought the military draft. Libertarian political philosophy is vehemently anti-war. Spent some time with the work of Robert Higgs and you’ll see.

      Saying war is “free market” is like calling war “Christian”. It’s an agenda-driven intentional misuse of language seeking to conflate different unrelated ideas.

      • rhbee says:

        John, if a duck quacks, …

        Munitions makers profit from war, Media does too. Friedman may have preached anti-war but the effect of his explication of economics still yeilded those who would voraciously seek profit before any other goal.

      • John Papola says:

        Again, you are conflating self interest with capitalism. Friedman’s number one explication was for human freedom. Economics is simply a system of understanding how people can effectively marshall scarce resources. Here, too, you are conflating “economics” with “money and profit”. But again, that is a misuse of the terms.

        Politicians pursue self-interest as they compromise their “principles” and “promises” to get elected. Bureaucrats pursue their self interest as they seek to maintain or expand their budgets. Soviet commissars pursued their self interest as they sought membership in the party as a way of escaping the crushing poverty and starvation that socialist calculation problems brought on the population.

        Again. Self interest isn’t capitalism. Greed and profit isn’t economics. Both of those are human realities that capitalism and economics best marshal for the betterment of all of society. As Adam Smith said, it is through this coordination that one’s individual interest comes in line with the general interest.

  10. Seth says:

    There was a precise moment early in 2002 when I realized we were going to get deeply mired in the middle east. Dick Cheney appeared at a press conference to crow about putting the Taliban to flight. He used a phrase like “the nay-sayers said it couldn’t be done”. My ‘hubris detector’ went off the dial.

    Because the Taliban were smart enough to conduct a tactical retreat and let ‘geniuses’ like Cheney think they were beaten, Cheney gained enormous leverage over the defense establishment: “see? of course we can handle Iraq. See how easy Afghanistan was?”

    Our first mistake after 9/11 was turning a measured reprisal against specific terrorist targets like training camps, etc. into a “war” mode in which we needed to go launch a full-scale invasion of a failed state and make its failures our own responsibility.

    I also find it more than a little ironic that among the options our bombastic “Christian”(tm)-branded leadership considered, the one completely unthinkable one was this: “turn the other cheek.” I wouldn’t have ignored the 9/11 attacks either — the folks we’re dealing with probably wouldn’t be too terribly impressed by a genuinely Christian response. But turning the response to terrorism into a war between nation-states — just any conveniently available nation-state, never mind our adversary isn’t a nation-sate — has been among the more spectactularly stupid decisions made the U.S. Government.

  11. Armand Asante says:

    Optimistic as always.
    The last sentence about how Obama should “make his bones” is some nice bit of wishful thinking.

    Obama has painted himself as middle-of-the-road yet all the liberals still think he’s their guy just cause they got him elected.

    This is the same guy who won’t write an executive order to allow gays in the military.
    This is the same guy who closes down Guantanamo only to ship the detainees to other facilities abroad.
    This is the same guy who voted for the FISA bill.

    Obama has no wish to “make his bones” on any left-wing or sensible agenda. He wishes to show that he can be middle of the road – half-coffee/half-tea and still get a second term.
    Ha!

    He can’t even get a public option into his watered-down health care “reform” in a filibuster-proof congress. And you think he’s going to do something drastic in Afghanistan?
    Riiight

    What he needs more than ever is some vocal opposition from the left – not “support”.
    Obama will always choose the middle-of-the-road. It’s up to you Jon, and others like you, to voice your opposition so he can better recognize where the middle is.
    And honestly, you’re not doing that.
    You’re still pampering him as if he’s ‘your guy’.

    The right however, has no qualms about pushing their line further and further away from the center.
    How in the world can Obama not send more troops to Afghanistan?

    • John Papola says:

      Dead on, sir.

      He’s also a guy that voted FOR all the bailouts. He voted for immoral Farm and Ethanol subsidies (purely to help in his bid for Iowa).

      Politics isn’t just about power. It’s about the triumph of connections and game playing over merit. Ask anyone with a real job what they mean by “office politics” or “corporate politics”. It means sucking up to get ahead instead of being good at what you do.

      Politics is for crooks and liars.

      • Armand Asante says:

        You must have missed my point.

        I’m not going on about Obama being a crook and a liar.
        Since he’s a politician I half-expect it if he’s to achieve the position he got.

        I’m more concerned with Liberals, whose views I support, not seeing how far right Obama’s middle of the road actually is.

        Taplin and such, still think it’s election season. That they should support him and treat him with kid gloves.

        They shouldn’t. They should stay on his back and not let up. They should force him to move to the left.

        Obama IS a politician.
        As such he should be addressed with a language he surely understands and cares about – the casting of future ballots.

        So long as people want to help Obama “make his bones” – he knows those votes are assured. He can keep on not giving a shit about their voices.

        • John Papola says:

          I agree with you Armand.

          But you definition of “far right” is a relative one. Ron Paul, my personal political hero, is broadly considered “far right” and yet has been more vociferously anti-war than just about anyone. He’s the only politician I see consistently calling out American as a destructive empire abroad.

          Military interventionism has historically been a progressive pursuit. Woodrow Wilson, Truman, JFK, LBJ. Eisenhower called out the “military industrial complex”. Nixon ran on an anti-war platform (though I’m not about to support anything about that man’s policies). Even W. ran on a “no nation building” platform in 2000.

          So the “left/right” approach is fairly meaningless. Both parties are nonsensical coalitions of competing ideologically incompatible groups.

          I believe in ideology. I believe in ideas. I don’t believe in parties.

          That means I champion opening up to Cuba and North Korea. I support glowingly the nonviolent diplomacy of Bill Clinton’s recent trip to NK. I condemn the wars. I condemn world policing by an imperial US.

          Obama’s only principles I can see are that of securing an enduring Democrat majority. That’s it. Just like Bush. No. Change.

  12. Morgan Warstler says:

    This sounds like the color coded terror alerts:

    “To try to salve critics, the administration has been developing a series of numerical indicators, scheduled to be sent to Capitol Hill by Sept. 24, that are designed to sharpen U.S. goals by measuring everything from civilian deployments to the proportion of the Afghan population that is secured.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26654.html

  13. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jesus, it’s like hanging out with you guys:

    “An e-mail from one of the guards described parties on days off where guards and their supervisors urinated on themselves and others, and ate potato chips and drank vodka from the cracks of buttocks.

    “You will see that they have a group of sexual predators, deviants running rampant over there,” one guard, whose name was withheld, said in an e-mail to POGO, adding, “They are showing poor judgment.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/26665.html

  14. JTMcPhee says:

    John P, I guess in your ideal world of pure capitalism only saints can participate. or how does that thing called Greed and the other one called Self-Interest get reeled in and submerged in a great orgy of positive-sum trade? Just asking — I can’t see how that possibley can happen, maybe you know a secret entrance into the human psyche, like that dimensional door into John Malkovich’s weird mind that got made into a movie.

    Your version of socialism and communism imports this notion of “central control.” Hey, if the Philosopher Kings or actual Solons ran the Matrix, what’s to complain? Everybody eats, sleeps, gets laid… My little understanding of Marx was that in a worker’s paradise, everything goes into a common pot, and the people who produce, or not, take only what they need and contribute the best they can. But this is all a waste of breath. You are at least as guilty of playing conflation and word games. The state you define as “pure capitalism” is as impossible as any other Edenic return to the state of pre-Fall grace.

    And in keeping with the native combativeness of humankind, I don’t think you get to win arguments by centrally controlling the meanings of all the words in play, thus delcaring yourself The Winner by feat of semiotic legerdemain.

    And debates like this just underscore my notion that humanity is like the buffalo herds the Plains Siuox drove over Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Cliff, now a UNESCO World Site of all things, running down an increasing grade in a v-shaped valley with nothing but a 100-foot drop up ahead. And a bunch of wasteful savages who kill far more buffalo than they can ever eat.

    • John Papola says:

      You’re acting as if we don’t already live in a world in which “greedy” and self-interested people try to destroy each other through the competitive marketplace to the benefit of all. It’s here. It’s called trade and competition. It’s called Steve Jobs and Bill Gates going nuts on each other and the whole world benefiting from the result.

      THAT is the “check” on these forces. They check each other and the order which emerges is generally good for everyone. When you have this self-interest instead directed at seeking special privileges from the political class because our dear rulers lord over the market, the result is the opposite.

      Instead of falling prices, expanding availability and accessibility of the things that increase our standard of living and a dynamic world… we have static industries of oligarchs stealing from the people, inflationary pricing (energy, education, healthcare), and feasting on monopoly profits that impoverish the society.

      The market wanted to kill Wall Street. Washington DC saved it. Don’t tell me whose side the free market is on. It’s clearly on the side of justice.

      It is human nature to pursue a better life and to do so through trade and barter. That is human nature. When the trade is voluntary, it is mutually beneficial. When it is coerced, it is impoverishing.

      None of this is utopian. It’s causal realism. My ideal world of a society free from coercion will likely never come, but that in no means invalidates the principles.

      Marx, on the other hand, is utopian nonsense. It relies on the creation of a “new communist man”. And even with that man, it would fail (and has failed) for lack of a means to coordinate a complex system. Market prices are that coordinator. This is why Marx (and Keynes) ultimately rely on the notion of a “post scarcity” world. THAT is utopian nonsense.

      Read “The use of knowledge in society”.

      I live in the real world. I see how competition brings out the best in people and how political allocation of resources brings out the very worst.

  15. JTMcPhee says:

    John P, I guess in your ideal world of pure capitalism only saints can participate. or how does that thing called Greed and the other one called Self-Interest get reeled in and submerged in a great orgy of positive-sum trade? Just asking — I can’t see how that possibley can happen, maybe you know a secret entrance into the human psyche, like that dimensional door into John Malkovich’s weird mind that got made into a movie.

    Your version of socialism and communism imports this notion of “central control.” Hey, if the Philosopher Kings or actual Solons ran the Matrix, what’s to complain? Everybody eats, sleeps, gets laid… My little understanding of Marx was that in a worker’s paradise, everything goes into a common pot, and the people who produce, or not, take only what they need and contribute the best they can. But this is all a waste of breath. You are at least as guilty of playing conflation and word games. The state you define as “pure capitalism” is as impossible as any other Edenic return to the state of pre-Fall grace.

    And in keeping with the native combativeness of humankind, I don’t think you get to win arguments by centrally controlling the meanings of all the words in play, thus delcaring yourself The Winner by feat of semiotic legerdemain.

    And debates like this just underscore my notion that humanity is like the buffalo herds the Plains Siuox drove over Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump Cliff, now a UNESCO World Site of all things, running down an increasing grade in a v-shaped valley with nothing but a 100-foot drop up ahead. And a bunch of wasteful savages who kill far more buffalo than they can ever eat.

    • John Papola says:

      You’re acting as if we don’t already live in a world in which “greedy” and self-interested people try to destroy each other through the competitive marketplace to the benefit of all. It’s here. It’s called trade and competition. It’s called Steve Jobs and Bill Gates going nuts on each other and the whole world benefiting from the result.

      THAT is the “check” on these forces. They check each other and the order which emerges is generally good for everyone. When you have this self-interest instead directed at seeking special privileges from the political class because our dear rulers lord over the market, the result is the opposite.

      Instead of falling prices, expanding availability and accessibility of the things that increase our standard of living and a dynamic world… we have static industries of oligarchs stealing from the people, inflationary pricing (energy, education, healthcare), and feasting on monopoly profits that impoverish the society.

      The market wanted to kill Wall Street. Washington DC saved it. Don’t tell me whose side the free market is on. It’s clearly on the side of justice.

      It is human nature to pursue a better life and to do so through trade and barter. That is human nature. When the trade is voluntary, it is mutually beneficial. When it is coerced, it is impoverishing.

      None of this is utopian. It’s causal realism. My ideal world of a society free from coercion will likely never come, but that in no means invalidates the principles.

      Marx, on the other hand, is utopian nonsense. It relies on the creation of a “new communist man”. And even with that man, it would fail (and has failed) for lack of a means to coordinate a complex system. Market prices are that coordinator. This is why Marx (and Keynes) ultimately rely on the notion of a “post scarcity” world. THAT is utopian nonsense.

      Read “The use of knowledge in society”.

      I live in the real world. I see how competition brings out the best in people and how political allocation of resources brings out the very worst.

  16. John Papola says:

    I agree with you Armand.

    But you definition of “far right” is a relative one. Ron Paul, my personal political hero, is broadly considered “far right” and yet has been more vociferously anti-war than just about anyone. He’s the only politician I see consistently calling out American as a destructive empire abroad.

    Military interventionism has historically been a progressive pursuit. Woodrow Wilson, Truman, JFK, LBJ. Eisenhower called out the “military industrial complex”. Nixon ran on an anti-war platform (though I’m not about to support anything about that man’s policies). Even W. ran on a “no nation building” platform in 2000.

    So the “left/right” approach is fairly meaningless. Both parties are nonsensical coalitions of competing ideologically incompatible groups.

    I believe in ideology. I believe in ideas. I don’t believe in parties.

    That means I champion opening up to Cuba and North Korea. I support glowingly the nonviolent diplomacy of Bill Clinton’s recent trip to NK. I condemn the wars. I condemn world policing by an imperial US.

    Obama’s only principles I can see are that of securing an enduring Democrat majority. That’s it. Just like Bush. No. Change.

  17. John Papola says:

    I agree with you Armand.

    But you definition of “far right” is a relative one. Ron Paul, my personal political hero, is broadly considered “far right” and yet has been more vociferously anti-war than just about anyone. He’s the only politician I see consistently calling out American as a destructive empire abroad.

    Military interventionism has historically been a progressive pursuit. Woodrow Wilson, Truman, JFK, LBJ. Eisenhower called out the “military industrial complex”. Nixon ran on an anti-war platform (though I’m not about to support anything about that man’s policies). Even W. ran on a “no nation building” platform in 2000.

    So the “left/right” approach is fairly meaningless. Both parties are nonsensical coalitions of competing ideologically incompatible groups.

    I believe in ideology. I believe in ideas. I don’t believe in parties.

    That means I champion opening up to Cuba and North Korea. I support glowingly the nonviolent diplomacy of Bill Clinton’s recent trip to NK. I condemn the wars. I condemn world policing by an imperial US.

    Obama’s only principles I can see are that of securing an enduring Democrat majority. That’s it. Just like Bush. No. Change.

  18. JTMcPhee says:

    Hey, Morgan, which one are you doing? Eating the chips, or slurping the vodka, or both, vodka to help wash the chips down? We’ve already been over the pissing terrain.

    By the way, Gingrich and Cheney say they have a legal opinion from John Yoo (who?) that right there in the contract, the behavior remarked on was directly contracted for and thus is perfectly OK: These guys were contracted to provide “relief personnel,” sounds like a winning argument to me.

  19. JTMcPhee says:

    Hey, Morgan, which one are you doing? Eating the chips, or slurping the vodka, or both, vodka to help wash the chips down? We’ve already been over the pissing terrain.

    By the way, Gingrich and Cheney say they have a legal opinion from John Yoo (who?) that right there in the contract, the behavior remarked on was directly contracted for and thus is perfectly OK: These guys were contracted to provide “relief personnel,” sounds like a winning argument to me.

  20. JTMcPhee says:

    Hey, Morgan, which one are you doing? Eating the chips, or slurping the vodka, or both, vodka to help wash the chips down? We’ve already been over the pissing terrain.

    By the way, Gingrich and Cheney say they have a legal opinion from John Yoo (who?) that right there in the contract, the behavior remarked on was directly contracted for and thus is perfectly OK: These guys were contracted to provide “relief personnel,” sounds like a winning argument to me.

  21. John Papola says:

    You’re acting as if we don’t already live in a world in which “greedy” and self-interested people try to destroy each other through the competitive marketplace to the benefit of all. It’s here. It’s called trade and competition. It’s called Steve Jobs and Bill Gates going nuts on each other and the whole world benefiting from the result.

    THAT is the “check” on these forces. They check each other and the order which emerges is generally good for everyone. When you have this self-interest instead directed at seeking special privileges from the political class because our dear rulers lord over the market, the result is the opposite.

    Instead of falling prices, expanding availability and accessibility of the things that increase our standard of living and a dynamic world… we have static industries of oligarchs stealing from the people, inflationary pricing (energy, education, healthcare), and feasting on monopoly profits that impoverish the society.

    The market wanted to kill Wall Street. Washington DC saved it. Don’t tell me whose side the free market is on. It’s clearly on the side of justice.

    It is human nature to pursue a better life and to do so through trade and barter. That is human nature. When the trade is voluntary, it is mutually beneficial. When it is coerced, it is impoverishing.

    None of this is utopian. It’s causal realism. My ideal world of a society free from coercion will likely never come, but that in no means invalidates the principles.

    Marx, on the other hand, is utopian nonsense. It relies on the creation of a “new communist man”. And even with that man, it would fail (and has failed) for lack of a means to coordinate a complex system. Market prices are that coordinator. This is why Marx (and Keynes) ultimately rely on the notion of a “post scarcity” world. THAT is utopian nonsense.

    Read “The use of knowledge in society”.

    I live in the real world. I see how competition brings out the best in people and how political allocation of resources brings out the very worst.

  22. rhbee says:

    “It’s called Steve Jobs and Bill Gates going nuts on each other and the whole world benefiting from the result.”

    I didn’t realize you could be so ironic.

    But in case you weren’t being so, at the beginning the difference between Apple and IBM was the former wanting everyone to share a common programming language and get on with the work of using computer power. IBM stubbornly maintained, temporarily won the war, joined with Gates the pirate and nowadays we have thousands of variations on a theme when one would do the job. The world isn’t better, or hadn’t you really noticed, it is just more crowded.

    • Morgan Warstler says:

      rhbee, you are so STONED.

      Do you know how many years online, the 3% mac user base – the dumb assed creatives couldn’t interface easily with the money wielding business customers?

      The number of times I saw a million dollar client using PCs have to deal with converting file formats, and imagining something during a conference call… when all it took, was all creatives just eating it and adapting.

      The only reason mac didn’t die is it became Intel / Unix and eventually figured out inter-operate.

      gah. what silly little machines for simple people.

    • John Papola says:

      rhbee,

      I am a former PC freak turn die-hard Apple super fanatic. The only thing that fights more my passions more than liberty is my Macs.

      That said, your description of history is nonsense. Utter nonsense.

      Both Apple and Microsoft have made major contributions to computing. Apple’s have been largely in user interface/experience and core technology. Microsoft’s have largely been in business model, developer platform and support.

      Microsoft’s model enabled a rich, vibrant, competitive environment in which computer hardware and software flourished, competing rabidly and driving costs down for everyone. Over 1 billion people have personal computers now and that is in large part thanks to Microsoft.

      Apple’s determined commitment to the computing experience as a complete product and to technological innovation and design has lead the way on four major revolutions that have changed the landscape: the PC with the Apple II, the GUI with the Mac, personal media with the iPod/iTunes and now pocket computing and multi-touch interface with the iPhone.

      But my point remains.

      These two companies and their ongoing competition has created new products, new opportunities, new worlds and new jobs for millions of people. And yet, they are both headed by men who, in a political/statist sphere, would have likely become bloody murderous tyrants.

      To further geek out. Anyone claiming that competition isn’t the keep the improving the standard conditions clearly isn’t familiar with the past 15 years of web browser development.

      ps. Morgan, your anti-mac user screed is ludicrous.

  23. rhbee says:

    “It’s called Steve Jobs and Bill Gates going nuts on each other and the whole world benefiting from the result.”

    I didn’t realize you could be so ironic.

    But in case you weren’t being so, at the beginning the difference between Apple and IBM was the former wanting everyone to share a common programming language and get on with the work of using computer power. IBM stubbornly maintained, temporarily won the war, joined with Gates the pirate and nowadays we have thousands of variations on a theme when one would do the job. The world isn’t better, or hadn’t you really noticed, it is just more crowded.

    • Morgan Warstler says:

      rhbee, you are so STONED.

      Do you know how many years online, the 3% mac user base – the dumb assed creatives couldn’t interface easily with the money wielding business customers?

      The number of times I saw a million dollar client using PCs have to deal with converting file formats, and imagining something during a conference call… when all it took, was all creatives just eating it and adapting.

      The only reason mac didn’t die is it became Intel / Unix and eventually figured out inter-operate.

      gah. what silly little machines for simple people.

    • John Papola says:

      rhbee,

      I am a former PC freak turn die-hard Apple super fanatic. The only thing that fights more my passions more than liberty is my Macs.

      That said, your description of history is nonsense. Utter nonsense.

      Both Apple and Microsoft have made major contributions to computing. Apple’s have been largely in user interface/experience and core technology. Microsoft’s have largely been in business model, developer platform and support.

      Microsoft’s model enabled a rich, vibrant, competitive environment in which computer hardware and software flourished, competing rabidly and driving costs down for everyone. Over 1 billion people have personal computers now and that is in large part thanks to Microsoft.

      Apple’s determined commitment to the computing experience as a complete product and to technological innovation and design has lead the way on four major revolutions that have changed the landscape: the PC with the Apple II, the GUI with the Mac, personal media with the iPod/iTunes and now pocket computing and multi-touch interface with the iPhone.

      But my point remains.

      These two companies and their ongoing competition has created new products, new opportunities, new worlds and new jobs for millions of people. And yet, they are both headed by men who, in a political/statist sphere, would have likely become bloody murderous tyrants.

      To further geek out. Anyone claiming that competition isn’t the keep the improving the standard conditions clearly isn’t familiar with the past 15 years of web browser development.

      ps. Morgan, your anti-mac user screed is ludicrous.

  24. rhbee says:

    “It’s called Steve Jobs and Bill Gates going nuts on each other and the whole world benefiting from the result.”

    I didn’t realize you could be so ironic.

    But in case you weren’t being so, at the beginning the difference between Apple and IBM was the former wanting everyone to share a common programming language and get on with the work of using computer power. IBM stubbornly maintained, temporarily won the war, joined with Gates the pirate and nowadays we have thousands of variations on a theme when one would do the job. The world isn’t better, or hadn’t you really noticed, it is just more crowded.

    • Morgan Warstler says:

      rhbee, you are so STONED.

      Do you know how many years online, the 3% mac user base – the dumb assed creatives couldn’t interface easily with the money wielding business customers?

      The number of times I saw a million dollar client using PCs have to deal with converting file formats, and imagining something during a conference call… when all it took, was all creatives just eating it and adapting.

      The only reason mac didn’t die is it became Intel / Unix and eventually figured out inter-operate.

      gah. what silly little machines for simple people.

    • John Papola says:

      rhbee,

      I am a former PC freak turn die-hard Apple super fanatic. The only thing that fights more my passions more than liberty is my Macs.

      That said, your description of history is nonsense. Utter nonsense.

      Both Apple and Microsoft have made major contributions to computing. Apple’s have been largely in user interface/experience and core technology. Microsoft’s have largely been in business model, developer platform and support.

      Microsoft’s model enabled a rich, vibrant, competitive environment in which computer hardware and software flourished, competing rabidly and driving costs down for everyone. Over 1 billion people have personal computers now and that is in large part thanks to Microsoft.

      Apple’s determined commitment to the computing experience as a complete product and to technological innovation and design has lead the way on four major revolutions that have changed the landscape: the PC with the Apple II, the GUI with the Mac, personal media with the iPod/iTunes and now pocket computing and multi-touch interface with the iPhone.

      But my point remains.

      These two companies and their ongoing competition has created new products, new opportunities, new worlds and new jobs for millions of people. And yet, they are both headed by men who, in a political/statist sphere, would have likely become bloody murderous tyrants.

      To further geek out. Anyone claiming that competition isn’t the keep the improving the standard conditions clearly isn’t familiar with the past 15 years of web browser development.

      ps. Morgan, your anti-mac user screed is ludicrous.

  25. bernard says:

    There are various forms ( in the real world) of Capitalism and Socialism. The socialism in France and Socialism in Finland are different. Capitalism in China goes to bed with a Socialist government . Capitalism in the US is sui generis and will be forced to adapt itself to the new challenges it is inevitable. Its all about credible institutions, because ounce you loose the trust in each other you loose the “esprit de corp”. Wars will not help fix things and it will hurt not only the US but other countries as well. Afganistan before the Russian invasion was a country ( I know) where you could go and buy beautifull hand made rugs for a decent price. Look at it now. Who started all this mess and why. Irak Iran Afganistan its all a mess. Do you really think that you can control a country that has nothing to loose and everything to gain. Vietnam should be an historical mistake not to be repeated, the French ( I am French) learned a hard lesson in Dien bien fu and in Algeria. Part of my family was involved for nothing. National ego. Killing fields. Its like me trying to teach the Yanomami indians here in the Venezuelan Amazon to be democrats . Why disrupt other culture just because we feel superior. Its going nowhere.

  26. bernard says:

    There are various forms ( in the real world) of Capitalism and Socialism. The socialism in France and Socialism in Finland are different. Capitalism in China goes to bed with a Socialist government . Capitalism in the US is sui generis and will be forced to adapt itself to the new challenges it is inevitable. Its all about credible institutions, because ounce you loose the trust in each other you loose the “esprit de corp”. Wars will not help fix things and it will hurt not only the US but other countries as well. Afganistan before the Russian invasion was a country ( I know) where you could go and buy beautifull hand made rugs for a decent price. Look at it now. Who started all this mess and why. Irak Iran Afganistan its all a mess. Do you really think that you can control a country that has nothing to loose and everything to gain. Vietnam should be an historical mistake not to be repeated, the French ( I am French) learned a hard lesson in Dien bien fu and in Algeria. Part of my family was involved for nothing. National ego. Killing fields. Its like me trying to teach the Yanomami indians here in the Venezuelan Amazon to be democrats . Why disrupt other culture just because we feel superior. Its going nowhere.

  27. bernard says:

    There are various forms ( in the real world) of Capitalism and Socialism. The socialism in France and Socialism in Finland are different. Capitalism in China goes to bed with a Socialist government . Capitalism in the US is sui generis and will be forced to adapt itself to the new challenges it is inevitable. Its all about credible institutions, because ounce you loose the trust in each other you loose the “esprit de corp”. Wars will not help fix things and it will hurt not only the US but other countries as well. Afganistan before the Russian invasion was a country ( I know) where you could go and buy beautifull hand made rugs for a decent price. Look at it now. Who started all this mess and why. Irak Iran Afganistan its all a mess. Do you really think that you can control a country that has nothing to loose and everything to gain. Vietnam should be an historical mistake not to be repeated, the French ( I am French) learned a hard lesson in Dien bien fu and in Algeria. Part of my family was involved for nothing. National ego. Killing fields. Its like me trying to teach the Yanomami indians here in the Venezuelan Amazon to be democrats . Why disrupt other culture just because we feel superior. Its going nowhere.

  28. bernard says:

    Report: Contractors Outnumber Troops In Afghanistan By Highest Ratio In U.S. History

    War is a business . Lets be frank about it.

    • John Papola says:

      bernard,

      The reason war is business for some is that we no longer tolerate the slavery of the draft. The result is that attracting people through a voluntary process of bidding into a war is expensive and profitable.

      But again, there’s nothing “pro business” about free markets. History clearly shows that corporations are anti-free market competition. It’s obviously in their interest to gain advantage and profit.

      Free markets are the only effective check on corporate power.

      I’m really not sure what can effectively check the state’s power to murder. So far, history suggests that sound money is the key, since every regime from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush have turned to the printing press in order to fund their wars.

    • Roman says:

      “War is a business . Lets be frank about it.”

      It’s always about the “reconstruction” effort (contracts).

  29. bernard says:

    Report: Contractors Outnumber Troops In Afghanistan By Highest Ratio In U.S. History

    War is a business . Lets be frank about it.

    • John Papola says:

      bernard,

      The reason war is business for some is that we no longer tolerate the slavery of the draft. The result is that attracting people through a voluntary process of bidding into a war is expensive and profitable.

      But again, there’s nothing “pro business” about free markets. History clearly shows that corporations are anti-free market competition. It’s obviously in their interest to gain advantage and profit.

      Free markets are the only effective check on corporate power.

      I’m really not sure what can effectively check the state’s power to murder. So far, history suggests that sound money is the key, since every regime from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush have turned to the printing press in order to fund their wars.

    • Roman says:

      “War is a business . Lets be frank about it.”

      It’s always about the “reconstruction” effort (contracts).

  30. bernard says:

    Report: Contractors Outnumber Troops In Afghanistan By Highest Ratio In U.S. History

    War is a business . Lets be frank about it.

    • John Papola says:

      bernard,

      The reason war is business for some is that we no longer tolerate the slavery of the draft. The result is that attracting people through a voluntary process of bidding into a war is expensive and profitable.

      But again, there’s nothing “pro business” about free markets. History clearly shows that corporations are anti-free market competition. It’s obviously in their interest to gain advantage and profit.

      Free markets are the only effective check on corporate power.

      I’m really not sure what can effectively check the state’s power to murder. So far, history suggests that sound money is the key, since every regime from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush have turned to the printing press in order to fund their wars.

    • Roman says:

      “War is a business . Lets be frank about it.”

      It’s always about the “reconstruction” effort (contracts).

  31. Fentex says:

    Will is right in that the U.S should get out of Afghanistan (all they’re doing now is taking sides in an ethnic battle), wrong that some sort of tenuous hopeless lead should remain attached.

    The idea of standing off and magically killing ones adversaries is a vain wish. It resolves nothing worth solving.

    Obamas best strategy, if he had a little luck, would be to find Bin Laden, grab him, then claim victory and get out.

    • John Papola says:

      I’ll do you one better, Fentex.

      Obama’s best strategy is to fully withdraw not just from there, but completely from Saudi Arabia and the other areas our government is occupying with military bases.

      Enough is enough. We are not the world police.

      • Fentex says:

        The U.S doesn’t maintain it’s presence in other countries to provide free policing.

        Whether the U.S public wants to fund the other overseas missions of U.S troops is beside the specific question of what’s wise in Afghanistan.

        The U.S isn’t getting anything beneficial out of occupying Afghanistan, which isn’t the case with all of their deployments.

  32. Fentex says:

    Will is right in that the U.S should get out of Afghanistan (all they’re doing now is taking sides in an ethnic battle), wrong that some sort of tenuous hopeless lead should remain attached.

    The idea of standing off and magically killing ones adversaries is a vain wish. It resolves nothing worth solving.

    Obamas best strategy, if he had a little luck, would be to find Bin Laden, grab him, then claim victory and get out.

    • John Papola says:

      I’ll do you one better, Fentex.

      Obama’s best strategy is to fully withdraw not just from there, but completely from Saudi Arabia and the other areas our government is occupying with military bases.

      Enough is enough. We are not the world police.

  33. Fentex says:

    Will is right in that the U.S should get out of Afghanistan (all they’re doing now is taking sides in an ethnic battle), wrong that some sort of tenuous hopeless lead should remain attached.

    The idea of standing off and magically killing ones adversaries is a vain wish. It resolves nothing worth solving.

    Obamas best strategy, if he had a little luck, would be to find Bin Laden, grab him, then claim victory and get out.

    • John Papola says:

      I’ll do you one better, Fentex.

      Obama’s best strategy is to fully withdraw not just from there, but completely from Saudi Arabia and the other areas our government is occupying with military bases.

      Enough is enough. We are not the world police.

      • Fentex says:

        The U.S doesn’t maintain it’s presence in other countries to provide free policing.

        Whether the U.S public wants to fund the other overseas missions of U.S troops is beside the specific question of what’s wise in Afghanistan.

        The U.S isn’t getting anything beneficial out of occupying Afghanistan, which isn’t the case with all of their deployments.

  34. bernard says:

    You are the best tecnocrats that’s what you are …the mothers of invention. Let the new Nomenklatura be the Inventors. Its the only way out.

  35. bernard says:

    You are the best tecnocrats that’s what you are …the mothers of invention. Let the new Nomenklatura be the Inventors. Its the only way out.

  36. bernard says:

    You are the best tecnocrats that’s what you are …the mothers of invention. Let the new Nomenklatura be the Inventors. Its the only way out.

  37. bernard says:

    John :

    since every regime from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush have turned to the printing press in order to fund their wars.

    The concept of money:

    In the 13th century , you give a 1 Kg. of gold to the Templars in Paris. They give you a note. You travel to Rome on a horse and present the note to a Templar in Rome and you receive 1 kg of gold less whatever percent. That is money ( the note) . TRUST.

    If you think you can go on printing money without TRUST^. It’s the Bernie Madoff sindrom.

    • John Papola says:

      Bernard, you concept of money is flawed. The only trust that matters for money is the trust that it will be accepted as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

      But that’s what money is. It is a proxy for goods, not a proxy for “trust” or for government. Money emerges out of human need, not design.

      Inflation doesn’t change what money is. It simply changes the denomination of the same goods, redistributing wealth to the first receivers along the way.

      Inflation for war is the most insidious, immoral, nation-wrecking act of the state.

      You know who understood that as well as anyone? John Maynard Keynes:

      http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2009/08/keynes-paul-krugman-of-roosevelt.html

  38. bernard says:

    John :

    since every regime from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush have turned to the printing press in order to fund their wars.

    The concept of money:

    In the 13th century , you give a 1 Kg. of gold to the Templars in Paris. They give you a note. You travel to Rome on a horse and present the note to a Templar in Rome and you receive 1 kg of gold less whatever percent. That is money ( the note) . TRUST.

    If you think you can go on printing money without TRUST^. It’s the Bernie Madoff sindrom.

    • John Papola says:

      Bernard, you concept of money is flawed. The only trust that matters for money is the trust that it will be accepted as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

      But that’s what money is. It is a proxy for goods, not a proxy for “trust” or for government. Money emerges out of human need, not design.

      Inflation doesn’t change what money is. It simply changes the denomination of the same goods, redistributing wealth to the first receivers along the way.

      Inflation for war is the most insidious, immoral, nation-wrecking act of the state.

      You know who understood that as well as anyone? John Maynard Keynes:

      http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2009/08/keynes-paul-krugman-of-roosevelt.html

  39. John Papola says:

    Bernard, you concept of money is flawed. The only trust that matters for money is the trust that it will be accepted as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

    But that’s what money is. It is a proxy for goods, not a proxy for “trust” or for government. Money emerges out of human need, not design.

    Inflation doesn’t change what money is. It simply changes the denomination of the same goods, redistributing wealth to the first receivers along the way.

    Inflation for war is the most insidious, immoral, nation-wrecking act of the state.

    You know who understood that as well as anyone? John Maynard Keynes:

    http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2009/08/keynes-paul-krugman-of-roosevelt.html

  40. bernard says:

    So Keynes is the man that justify the war in Afganistan… one thing has nothing to do with the other. Keynes may have a reason I have no doubts but from there to go on printing money since Abram Lincoln to finance wars… you tell mell me.

    • John Papola says:

      My point is this: the only thing that seems capable of checking the state’s power to wage war is sound money (no inflation).

      The lack of draft has failed. Democratic elections have failed. Public opinion so far has failed.

      But, as I was trying to say, if state had to tax for every nickel they spend on war, the level of intense public outcry would be dramatically greater. Funding war with inflation hides the costs through mass distribution of lower standards of living and redistribution from the working class to the politically connected and the war machine.

      Keynes understood the destructive power of inflation as a way of destroying the economy and the society. That link quotes from his excellent book, “The economic consequences of peace”.

      If you want to end the American imperialism… end the inflation.

  41. bernard says:

    So Keynes is the man that justify the war in Afganistan… one thing has nothing to do with the other. Keynes may have a reason I have no doubts but from there to go on printing money since Abram Lincoln to finance wars… you tell mell me.

    • John Papola says:

      My point is this: the only thing that seems capable of checking the state’s power to wage war is sound money (no inflation).

      The lack of draft has failed. Democratic elections have failed. Public opinion so far has failed.

      But, as I was trying to say, if state had to tax for every nickel they spend on war, the level of intense public outcry would be dramatically greater. Funding war with inflation hides the costs through mass distribution of lower standards of living and redistribution from the working class to the politically connected and the war machine.

      Keynes understood the destructive power of inflation as a way of destroying the economy and the society. That link quotes from his excellent book, “The economic consequences of peace”.

      If you want to end the American imperialism… end the inflation.

  42. bernard says:

    Bernard, you concept of money is flawed. The only trust that matters for money is the trust that it will be accepted as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

    As long as I trust that the piece of paper you give me is worth what it represent (a surreal concept).

  43. bernard says:

    Bernard, you concept of money is flawed. The only trust that matters for money is the trust that it will be accepted as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

    As long as I trust that the piece of paper you give me is worth what it represent (a surreal concept).

    • John Papola says:

      Bernard, the number printed on the paper is irrelevant. It’s how much it can buy that matters.

      If today you can buy a sandwich for $10 (NYC prices) but next month the price has gone to $12… that’s a problem.

      Perhaps a better example is this:

      If today, $200,000 can buy you a nice 3 bedroom house but next month that same home is bid up to $250,000… that’s a problem.

      That’s the debauchery of your money. That is the theft of inflation.

      • JTMcPhee says:

        Around here (FL), real estate pricing kind of illustrates the complexity that lies in the heart of the “inflation” discourse.

        You say it’s all about the Fed printing money. Maybe the run-up in housing prices to the elastic limits of the Bubble’s skin is in some part due to “easing of credit/deregulation of Big Finance” is part Fed, part Fed friends in high political places, part spoils system, part regulatory capture, and lots of other human-nature-in-government weaknesses. But a lot of it is individuals watching “Flip This House” and infomercials peddling notebooks full of hyper-DVDs and “foolproof systems” for making millions at home, and people in NY brownstones leveraging the purchase of overbuilt condos and shit-box houses as “investments.”

        Money represents confidence. In the one who tenders, that it will be accepted as exchange. In the one who accepts, that it can be passed on in further exchanges. Go back to your Econ textbooks and any online “authoritative source” to see how the hopes and dreams of generations have gotten wrapped around a belief that “money” is sui generis, that it can reproduce like bacteria (given the right mix of oxygen and manure), and the filled-with-”hope” nature of the Beast. (The link is one of 721,000,000 that Google identifies for the search “What is money?”) There’s some commonality among many of those definitions (medium of exchange, store of value, etc) but anyone want to waste time here debating the makeup of “the money supply” and whether and how you count M1 through M13 in writing out your definitive blog-response-length Ultimate Truth Statement?

        The run-up in sandwich prices and oil and sugar and and your $50,000-a-month jumping of the price of a 2-bedrooom, 1 bath dwelling have to do with a lot of things, including hope and greed and the magic transfer of wealth that goes with “investment.” And prices reflect the machinations of some very marketing types as they study for their owners just how much people can be suckered into or lulled into paying for necessities, real or perceived. Setting prices just enough beyond the true reach of an individual, taking into account what it would take to bring that person to old age without dependency and squeezing that last little bit of “profit” out of a transaction with whatever tricks the human mind can come up with to mnaufacture demand or persuade the mope wage-earner that someday in the future he will be able to make up the difference via inflation or “increased valuation” of some asset.

        Money in the context of bigness and diversification and MS vs Apple and Ford vs Chevvie leads inexorably to debauchery, in many senses. And there is no 140 or even 2,000 character statement that can capture the essence of why things go from bad to worse. And there’s no “fix” possible, either, because you have so many smart people with the skills to amass “money” and thus power, and dumb people who buy into the false promises of the “monetary system,” all of whom are “invested” via personal self-interest in just having “MORE!” in an ecology that is finite.

  44. bernard says:

    Bernard, you concept of money is flawed. The only trust that matters for money is the trust that it will be accepted as a medium of exchange for goods and services.

    As long as I trust that the piece of paper you give me is worth what it represent (a surreal concept).

  45. bernard says:

    The moral of this jest is that it doesn’t matter at the end as long as the ” money” is used for the good of all. A sustainable goal without misery.

  46. bernard says:

    The moral of this jest is that it doesn’t matter at the end as long as the ” money” is used for the good of all. A sustainable goal without misery.

  47. bernard says:

    Inflation is the product of the intervention of the merchant bankers ( the middle man) that’s where they feed.

    • John Papola says:

      “The good of all”. I think war is clearly not for “the good of all”. Right? Who, exactly gets to determine “the good of all”? I’d love to hear you expand on what you mean by that, because it’s broad to the point of meaninglessness.

      Inflation caused by Merchant bankers? Huh? Inflation is the result of an increase in the money supply. I suppose fractional banking can lead to some inflation, but history is clear and unequivocal. The state with command of paper money is the great creator of inflation.

      For the entire period between the end of the civil war inflation and creation of the Fed, inflation was zero. Less than zero in fact during the productivity expansion of the 1870s to 1914.

      Do you dispute this, Bernard? I’m curious where you’re coming from here.

  48. bernard says:

    The new world order is a confabulation of merchant bankers, secret societies for an evil purpose. Keynes or no Keynes. That’s it and it’s written in blood all over the world. Read the news.
    It’s beyond races and religions. Pure arrogant greed and avarice.

    • John Papola says:

      You’re not going to find any argument from me on that front, Bernard. But the bankers at the heart of it are the Central Bankers in league with their states.

      Blaming this on greed is like blaming gravity for airplane crashes. It utterly misses the point.

  49. bernard says:

    I wish all the energy invested on wars would go for a good purpose. Just imagine what could the human race do with the money invested in wars.
    I had my hopes in the change. I’ll keep on dreaming about it. Ounce a dreamer always a dreamer. Peace man.

  50. bernard says:

    By the way the crash is in Wallstreet and the gravity of it is the loss of trust. You are not alone on this planet.

  51. bernard says:

    Neither am I alone on this planet. Good for all is looking for ways to survive this mess we are in up to our necks… without wars. Utopia.

    • John Papola says:

      For me, I just want to see more community and less nation-state. I live in a small town. I know my neighbors. They’re good people. They help each other. We help each other. We care about our kids.

      This bullshit global chess being played by the masters of the universe isn’t about any of that. It’s about nation-state nonsense, power plays and lies. America deserves love for what it’s founding idea was: federalism. Small, competitive states. Reluctant use of force. That idea is dead in American governance, but it’s not dead among Americans yet.

      It shouldn’t be considered utopian to want a land where aggressive war doesn’t occur. There are plenty of countries that exist like that. They are small. Small is important. Small is the solution.

      We need to see our federal government shrink into near oblivion and the war-mongering will end. That is the solution. The reality of our transition from Bush to Obama has proven once and for all that “change” on the American empire will not come from a powerful central government.

  52. John Papola says:

    For me, I just want to see more community and less nation-state. I live in a small town. I know my neighbors. They’re good people. They help each other. We help each other. We care about our kids.

    This bullshit global chess being played by the masters of the universe isn’t about any of that. It’s about nation-state nonsense, power plays and lies. America deserves love for what it’s founding idea was: federalism. Small, competitive states. Reluctant use of force. That idea is dead in American governance, but it’s not dead among Americans yet.

    It shouldn’t be considered utopian to want a land where aggressive war doesn’t occur. There are plenty of countries that exist like that. They are small. Small is important. Small is the solution.

    We need to see our federal government shrink into near oblivion and the war-mongering will end. That is the solution. The reality of our transition from Bush to Obama has proven once and for all that “change” on the American empire will not come from a powerful central government.

  53. John Papola says:

    For me, I just want to see more community and less nation-state. I live in a small town. I know my neighbors. They’re good people. They help each other. We help each other. We care about our kids.

    This bullshit global chess being played by the masters of the universe isn’t about any of that. It’s about nation-state nonsense, power plays and lies. America deserves love for what it’s founding idea was: federalism. Small, competitive states. Reluctant use of force. That idea is dead in American governance, but it’s not dead among Americans yet.

    It shouldn’t be considered utopian to want a land where aggressive war doesn’t occur. There are plenty of countries that exist like that. They are small. Small is important. Small is the solution.

    We need to see our federal government shrink into near oblivion and the war-mongering will end. That is the solution. The reality of our transition from Bush to Obama has proven once and for all that “change” on the American empire will not come from a powerful central government.

  54. Morgan Warstler says:

    bernard, you don’t seem to understand the concept of money supply at all.

    It’ll likely help change your mind.

  55. Morgan Warstler says:

    bernard, you don’t seem to understand the concept of money supply at all.

    It’ll likely help change your mind.

  56. Morgan Warstler says:

    bernard, you don’t seem to understand the concept of money supply at all.

    It’ll likely help change your mind.

  57. Morgan Warstler says:

    For me war spending, like big pharma spending, or AG spending, they all end up being the HORRIBLE ways to spend all the money before liberals invent more nanny state voters on the dole.

    The evilness of the Dems is their strategy is get 55% of the voters to do nothing, sit on their ass, and make the other 45% carry the load…. and be the bosses, even though they are worthless human beings.

    Given the choice between that and corporations lining their pockets – I choose the latter. But it would be GREAT if both sides just gave up on their big spending ideas, and disarmed.

    We need a Balance Budget Amendment. End wars, end socialism.

  58. Morgan Warstler says:

    For me war spending, like big pharma spending, or AG spending, they all end up being the HORRIBLE ways to spend all the money before liberals invent more nanny state voters on the dole.

    The evilness of the Dems is their strategy is get 55% of the voters to do nothing, sit on their ass, and make the other 45% carry the load…. and be the bosses, even though they are worthless human beings.

    Given the choice between that and corporations lining their pockets – I choose the latter. But it would be GREAT if both sides just gave up on their big spending ideas, and disarmed.

    We need a Balance Budget Amendment. End wars, end socialism.

  59. JTMcPhee says:

    Around here (FL), real estate pricing kind of illustrates the complexity that lies in the heart of the “inflation” discourse.

    You say it’s all about the Fed printing money. Maybe the run-up in housing prices to the elastic limits of the Bubble’s skin is in some part due to “easing of credit/deregulation of Big Finance” is part Fed, part Fed friends in high political places, part spoils system, part regulatory capture, and lots of other human-nature-in-government weaknesses. But a lot of it is individuals watching “Flip This House” and infomercials peddling notebooks full of hyper-DVDs and “foolproof systems” for making millions at home, and people in NY brownstones leveraging the purchase of overbuilt condos and shit-box houses as “investments.”

    Money represents confidence. In the one who tenders, that it will be accepted as exchange. In the one who accepts, that it can be passed on in further exchanges. Go back to your Econ textbooks and any online “authoritative source” to see how the hopes and dreams of generations have gotten wrapped around a belief that “money” is sui generis, that it can reproduce like bacteria (given the right mix of oxygen and manure), and the filled-with-”hope” nature of the Beast. (The link is one of 721,000,000 that Google identifies for the search “What is money?”) There’s some commonality among many of those definitions (medium of exchange, store of value, etc) but anyone want to waste time here debating the makeup of “the money supply” and whether and how you count M1 through M13 in writing out your definitive blog-response-length Ultimate Truth Statement?

    The run-up in sandwich prices and oil and sugar and and your $50,000-a-month jumping of the price of a 2-bedrooom, 1 bath dwelling have to do with a lot of things, including hope and greed and the magic transfer of wealth that goes with “investment.” And prices reflect the machinations of some very marketing types as they study for their owners just how much people can be suckered into or lulled into paying for necessities, real or perceived. Setting prices just enough beyond the true reach of an individual, taking into account what it would take to bring that person to old age without dependency and squeezing that last little bit of “profit” out of a transaction with whatever tricks the human mind can come up with to mnaufacture demand or persuade the mope wage-earner that someday in the future he will be able to make up the difference via inflation or “increased valuation” of some asset.

    Money in the context of bigness and diversification and MS vs Apple and Ford vs Chevvie leads inexorably to debauchery, in many senses. And there is no 140 or even 2,000 character statement that can capture the essence of why things go from bad to worse. And there’s no “fix” possible, either, because you have so many smart people with the skills to amass “money” and thus power, and dumb people who buy into the false promises of the “monetary system,” all of whom are “invested” via personal self-interest in just having “MORE!” in an ecology that is finite.

  60. JTMcPhee says:

    Yada,yada,yada

  61. bernard says:

    I understand better the dilemma now but see no solution to it. I agree that bureaucracy is a scourge.Kafka revisited. Sometime black and white solutions are not the way to go in an ever changing context. I am all in favor of freedom and dislike any form of control but then look what happens when you loose the check and balances, you have money manipulators making tons of money creating all kinds of weird schemes and nobody ( yes like 3 people) goes to jail how do you fix this without a strong administration. How much money was lost in the wall street-Bermuda triangle, how many homes how many broken families. I do think you must adapt to the coming changes and reduce the size of everything. Its time to fix things in your own yard and promote new sustainable ways to be able to survive with less energy and water, promote small farming (like in France) Farmers markets where you can buy, for a decent price, food that wont make you sick and above all produce less violence in the media. I have nothing against free enterprise on the contrary. I am against violence arrogance greed
    dictators bishops and popes and God sent leaders with a message from above…

    • John Papola says:

      Bernard, I would love for you to visit my site and read my post on Ben Bernanke, the Fed and it’s role in everything.

      Seriously. It’s my best effort to unpack what I see as the great issue of the US: our keynesian corporatist inflationist state.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts, because I think much of the way you view the issues revolve around the results of Fed action.

  62. bernard says:

    I understand better the dilemma now but see no solution to it. I agree that bureaucracy is a scourge.Kafka revisited. Sometime black and white solutions are not the way to go in an ever changing context. I am all in favor of freedom and dislike any form of control but then look what happens when you loose the check and balances, you have money manipulators making tons of money creating all kinds of weird schemes and nobody ( yes like 3 people) goes to jail how do you fix this without a strong administration. How much money was lost in the wall street-Bermuda triangle, how many homes how many broken families. I do think you must adapt to the coming changes and reduce the size of everything. Its time to fix things in your own yard and promote new sustainable ways to be able to survive with less energy and water, promote small farming (like in France) Farmers markets where you can buy, for a decent price, food that wont make you sick and above all produce less violence in the media. I have nothing against free enterprise on the contrary. I am against violence arrogance greed
    dictators bishops and popes and God sent leaders with a message from above…

    • John Papola says:

      Bernard, I would love for you to visit my site and read my post on Ben Bernanke, the Fed and it’s role in everything.

      Seriously. It’s my best effort to unpack what I see as the great issue of the US: our keynesian corporatist inflationist state.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts, because I think much of the way you view the issues revolve around the results of Fed action.

  63. bernard says:

    I understand better the dilemma now but see no solution to it. I agree that bureaucracy is a scourge.Kafka revisited. Sometime black and white solutions are not the way to go in an ever changing context. I am all in favor of freedom and dislike any form of control but then look what happens when you loose the check and balances, you have money manipulators making tons of money creating all kinds of weird schemes and nobody ( yes like 3 people) goes to jail how do you fix this without a strong administration. How much money was lost in the wall street-Bermuda triangle, how many homes how many broken families. I do think you must adapt to the coming changes and reduce the size of everything. Its time to fix things in your own yard and promote new sustainable ways to be able to survive with less energy and water, promote small farming (like in France) Farmers markets where you can buy, for a decent price, food that wont make you sick and above all produce less violence in the media. I have nothing against free enterprise on the contrary. I am against violence arrogance greed
    dictators bishops and popes and God sent leaders with a message from above…

    • John Papola says:

      Bernard, I would love for you to visit my site and read my post on Ben Bernanke, the Fed and it’s role in everything.

      Seriously. It’s my best effort to unpack what I see as the great issue of the US: our keynesian corporatist inflationist state.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts, because I think much of the way you view the issues revolve around the results of Fed action.

    • len says:

      That is exactly right, Bernard. Our diet and food supplies are a major source of our health problems. As we continue to lose our family farms, things get worse. By choice, I live in the rural part of our country where farmers markets still exist.

      Your work on the Amazon is commendable. As a resource that the world benefits from (it is the single largest air scrubber we all enjoy), you are making life better for all. Thanks is not enough but thanks anyway!

  64. bernard says:

    Jhon. I live in Caracas the second most violent city in the world I have 5 kids and 2 gran sons and like don Quijote I fight to preserve the Amazon. We are a group A.G.U.A ( asociacion de guardianes del agua) no names no faces. Its not easy.

  65. bernard says:

    Jhon. I live in Caracas the second most violent city in the world I have 5 kids and 2 gran sons and like don Quijote I fight to preserve the Amazon. We are a group A.G.U.A ( asociacion de guardianes del agua) no names no faces. Its not easy.

  66. Roman says:

    “War is a business . Lets be frank about it.”

    It’s always about the “reconstruction” effort (contracts).

  67. bernard says:

    Thank you I will visit your site..

  68. bernard says:

    Thank you I will visit your site..

  69. bernard says:

    Thank you I will visit your site..

  70. bernard says:

    Thank you I will visit your site..

  71. John Papola says:

    Wow. What’s you take on Mr. Chavez from the ground level?

    Also, you must be enraged by the food subsidies and ethanol mandates that have caused world food prices to skyrocket and put pressure on the Amazon more than ever. That issue drives me crazy.

  72. John Papola says:

    Wow. What’s you take on Mr. Chavez from the ground level?

    Also, you must be enraged by the food subsidies and ethanol mandates that have caused world food prices to skyrocket and put pressure on the Amazon more than ever. That issue drives me crazy.

  73. John Papola says:

    Wow. What’s you take on Mr. Chavez from the ground level?

    Also, you must be enraged by the food subsidies and ethanol mandates that have caused world food prices to skyrocket and put pressure on the Amazon more than ever. That issue drives me crazy.

  74. John Papola says:

    Wow. What’s you take on Mr. Chavez from the ground level?

    Also, you must be enraged by the food subsidies and ethanol mandates that have caused world food prices to skyrocket and put pressure on the Amazon more than ever. That issue drives me crazy.

  75. bernard says:

    Chavez is in power today because of a failed political coup from the right backed by the US. It started with a media war . Now the US are deploying 7 military bases in Colombia ” to fight the narco terrorism” and most of the countries of this continent, including Brazil, are against that. This move (mistake) gives more power to the military and makes democracy more difficult. I had hopes that Obama would make a deal with South America on a one on one basis and defuse the tensions. we will see .
    Our concern in the Venezuelan Amazon is more against mining and mercury. Miners are a scourge they infect everything they touch.

    • John Papola says:

      Well, know that my prayers are with you and your people. I am 100% against what seems to be a totalitarian in Chavez and his starvation-inducing central planning, but I am also equally against the long history of US intervention in South America. All good libertarians are.

      Know that if I were Mr. Obama, I would legalize all drugs and end this hegemonic, international empire for which the “drug war” provides the cover.

      Libertarians and market anarchists are friends to peace above all things.

  76. bernard says:

    Chavez is in power today because of a failed political coup from the right backed by the US. It started with a media war . Now the US are deploying 7 military bases in Colombia ” to fight the narco terrorism” and most of the countries of this continent, including Brazil, are against that. This move (mistake) gives more power to the military and makes democracy more difficult. I had hopes that Obama would make a deal with South America on a one on one basis and defuse the tensions. we will see .
    Our concern in the Venezuelan Amazon is more against mining and mercury. Miners are a scourge they infect everything they touch.

    • John Papola says:

      Well, know that my prayers are with you and your people. I am 100% against what seems to be a totalitarian in Chavez and his starvation-inducing central planning, but I am also equally against the long history of US intervention in South America. All good libertarians are.

      Know that if I were Mr. Obama, I would legalize all drugs and end this hegemonic, international empire for which the “drug war” provides the cover.

      Libertarians and market anarchists are friends to peace above all things.

  77. John Papola says:

    Well, know that my prayers are with you and your people. I am 100% against what seems to be a totalitarian in Chavez and his starvation-inducing central planning, but I am also equally against the long history of US intervention in South America. All good libertarians are.

    Know that if I were Mr. Obama, I would legalize all drugs and end this hegemonic, international empire for which the “drug war” provides the cover.

    Libertarians and market anarchists are friends to peace above all things.

  78. Morgan Warstler says:

    bernard, what’s that like? how do you fight to preserve it? day to day, what’s the job entail?

  79. Morgan Warstler says:

    bernard, what’s that like? how do you fight to preserve it? day to day, what’s the job entail?

  80. bernard says:

    May I add that the opposition here are a bunch of idiots of the same kind you find in the US. Freedom of speech is impaired by the lack of substance.Like fox news in the States. Propaganda of the worst kind. Yellow journalism. Both continent North and South America where born out of the same ideals of freedom it’s about time we should reunite and respect of our differences to achieve a common goal of peace and prosperity. Dialogue is a must not military bases.

    • John Papola says:

      Here, here Bernard. Fox News is the favorite whipping boy, but ALL of the new organizations are garbage. They all line up like pigs to the trough in support of war. They all, for the most part, line up with the keynesian corporatist state machine.

      The best thing we could have in the Americas in unmediated, unconditional, multi-lateral free trade.

      That doesn’t mean multi-thousand page “free trade” bills loaded with corporatist give-aways and special interest protections (Domino sugar corporation for example). I’m talking, if I, an American, want to trade with you, Bernard, we can. Period.

      That combined with the end of the “drug war” would be enough liberalization to see massive positive change.

  81. bernard says:

    May I add that the opposition here are a bunch of idiots of the same kind you find in the US. Freedom of speech is impaired by the lack of substance.Like fox news in the States. Propaganda of the worst kind. Yellow journalism. Both continent North and South America where born out of the same ideals of freedom it’s about time we should reunite and respect of our differences to achieve a common goal of peace and prosperity. Dialogue is a must not military bases.

    • John Papola says:

      Here, here Bernard. Fox News is the favorite whipping boy, but ALL of the new organizations are garbage. They all line up like pigs to the trough in support of war. They all, for the most part, line up with the keynesian corporatist state machine.

      The best thing we could have in the Americas in unmediated, unconditional, multi-lateral free trade.

      That doesn’t mean multi-thousand page “free trade” bills loaded with corporatist give-aways and special interest protections (Domino sugar corporation for example). I’m talking, if I, an American, want to trade with you, Bernard, we can. Period.

      That combined with the end of the “drug war” would be enough liberalization to see massive positive change.

  82. bernard says:

    May I add that the opposition here are a bunch of idiots of the same kind you find in the US. Freedom of speech is impaired by the lack of substance.Like fox news in the States. Propaganda of the worst kind. Yellow journalism. Both continent North and South America where born out of the same ideals of freedom it’s about time we should reunite and respect of our differences to achieve a common goal of peace and prosperity. Dialogue is a must not military bases.

  83. bernard says:

    May I add that the opposition here are a bunch of idiots of the same kind you find in the US. Freedom of speech is impaired by the lack of substance.Like fox news in the States. Propaganda of the worst kind. Yellow journalism. Both continent North and South America where born out of the same ideals of freedom it’s about time we should reunite and respect of our differences to achieve a common goal of peace and prosperity. Dialogue is a must not military bases.

    • John Papola says:

      Here, here Bernard. Fox News is the favorite whipping boy, but ALL of the new organizations are garbage. They all line up like pigs to the trough in support of war. They all, for the most part, line up with the keynesian corporatist state machine.

      The best thing we could have in the Americas in unmediated, unconditional, multi-lateral free trade.

      That doesn’t mean multi-thousand page “free trade” bills loaded with corporatist give-aways and special interest protections (Domino sugar corporation for example). I’m talking, if I, an American, want to trade with you, Bernard, we can. Period.

      That combined with the end of the “drug war” would be enough liberalization to see massive positive change.

  84. bernard says:

    Morgan we dont fight we induce and adapt, we work with the Shamans and declare miners -walking bad spirits-. We do the best we can whenever we have the time and money to go there.

  85. bernard says:

    Morgan we dont fight we induce and adapt, we work with the Shamans and declare miners -walking bad spirits-. We do the best we can whenever we have the time and money to go there.

  86. bernard says:

    John I agree with that and would like to add the lifting of Cuba’s embargo. It doesn’t make any sense.

  87. bernard says:

    John I agree with that and would like to add the lifting of Cuba’s embargo. It doesn’t make any sense.

  88. bernard says:

    John I agree with that and would like to add the lifting of Cuba’s embargo. It doesn’t make any sense.

  89. Fentex says:

    I’ve always felt that the Cuban embargo is just sour grapes at being beaten. Very unbecoming.

  90. Fentex says:

    I’ve always felt that the Cuban embargo is just sour grapes at being beaten. Very unbecoming.

  91. Fentex says:

    I’ve always felt that the Cuban embargo is just sour grapes at being beaten. Very unbecoming.

  92. Fentex says:

    I’ve always felt that the Cuban embargo is just sour grapes at being beaten. Very unbecoming.

  93. JTMcPhee says:

    The Cuba thing makes great sense if you live in FL and watch what’s happening in Habana Norte. Reds get votes from catering to the Cuban expats and their now great grandchildren, who jus’ wan’ to go home and reclaim the casinos and whore houses and sugar plantations and such that were expropriated by the Fidelistas. Let a Hundred Felons Bloom! A libertarian/capitalist dreamland!

  94. JTMcPhee says:

    The Cuba thing makes great sense if you live in FL and watch what’s happening in Habana Norte. Reds get votes from catering to the Cuban expats and their now great grandchildren, who jus’ wan’ to go home and reclaim the casinos and whore houses and sugar plantations and such that were expropriated by the Fidelistas. Let a Hundred Felons Bloom! A libertarian/capitalist dreamland!

    • John Papola says:

      JTM,

      Why do you believe it’s productive to make strange generalizations and strawman smears? I’m just curious. You seem smart enough that you should be confident in you ideas without having to play that game.

      • Morgan Warstler says:

        John, Paul’s just down to trapped rat anger.

        But god love him, that helps make my argument too…. so shhhh!

        • JTMcPhee says:

          You guys keep talking to each other. I love listening to Red Herrings call other people Straw Men.

          Satire and sarcasm and irony are wasted on the young. I guess they are too intelligent to catch the drift…

        • Morgan Warstler says:

          Paul, it isn’t wasted. It is usually illogical, but never wasted.

          When you do find an acorn, I swoop in and pat your on the head… to encourage positive reinforcement.

          You are a study in how to teach old dogs new tricks.

      • JTMcPhee says:

        Keep trying for the last word, snotball. Must come from your efforts to seem as erudite as B. Buckley and G. Will, whose condescending doctrinaire noses were and are also so far in the air they must also be suffering from prolonged hypoxia and the consequent encephalopathy.

  95. JTMcPhee says:

    The Cuba thing makes great sense if you live in FL and watch what’s happening in Habana Norte. Reds get votes from catering to the Cuban expats and their now great grandchildren, who jus’ wan’ to go home and reclaim the casinos and whore houses and sugar plantations and such that were expropriated by the Fidelistas. Let a Hundred Felons Bloom! A libertarian/capitalist dreamland!

  96. bernard says:

    Basically what I think is that the level of tension in the area should be brought the a table in a win win dialogue and respect for each political tendency, let the past be in the past and resume business as usual on firm understanding grounds with all the Unasur members.

  97. bernard says:

    Basically what I think is that the level of tension in the area should be brought the a table in a win win dialogue and respect for each political tendency, let the past be in the past and resume business as usual on firm understanding grounds with all the Unasur members.

  98. bernard says:

    Basically what I think is that the level of tension in the area should be brought the a table in a win win dialogue and respect for each political tendency, let the past be in the past and resume business as usual on firm understanding grounds with all the Unasur members.

  99. bernard says:

    I may be candid.

  100. bernard says:

    I may be candid.

  101. bernard says:

    When War becomes a business then that’s what
    happens :

    EMBASSY OUTRAGE: U.S. HAS GUARDS GUARDING THE GUARDS

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