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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   5301. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4222826)
I'd be curious to know where you stand on immigration, given your theses about rights and government. Without 'rights' springing from the government, why can't Jose cross an imaginary line whenever he damn well pleases, perform all manner of reasonable activity -- from working to playing to reproducing to sitting on a public park bench?

I'm in favor of it. Crossing a physical line no more impacts "Jose's" rights than crossing the Mississippi or the Ohio impacted an antebellum black American's. (And it's obviously inane to suggest that the mere act of crossing a river endows someone with a panoply of "new" rights. An American traveling behind the Iron Curtain in 1985 didn't "lose" any rights, or "gain" them when he came home.)
   5302. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4222832)
But they were.

Yes, they were, and Solzeinistyn (sp.) was sent to the Gulag. What of it?

The southern states and Confederacy suppressed the rights of blacks; the Soviet Union suppressed the rights of its citizens.
   5303. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4222833)
What's the will of the people a product of? Power dispersal? Empathy levels? How do we choose which rights we want? Are there any similarities among the rights people want from country to country? Why do such similarities exist (assuming they exist)?


Are these serious questions? Earlier notions of human rights extended only to those in power. Others had virtually no rights. Even in the Athenian democracy and the Roman republic where the patriarch of the family had the right to kill his offspring. Rights were limited to those with the franchise.

As the franchise expanded to those who had previously been subject to the power of others, the sense of human rights expanded. This is empathy. People who knew what it felt like to be denied their humanity felt compelled to help others they could identify with. This is why human rights are still expanding. For example, consider our recent thinking about Gay rights or the rights of the transgendered. These rights would have been inconceivable to the majority of Americans only a few decades ago.

If rights were innate and fixed, our understanding of them wouldn't be expanding all the time.

Again, consider the German constitution and "dignity," or our own national debate about health care. Rights are not innate or fixed. They are the product of material circumstances.
   5304. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4222835)
There are different degrees of moral responsibility.

You have an absolute responsibility to feed your children. You have a lesser responsibility to feed the poor. You need to help feed some of them, according to your means.

But are not required to use every spare dollar to feed the poor. If your child is hungry, you are required to sell your TV to feed them. You are not required to sell your TV to feed non-related people.


And yet, there's absolutely no wiggle room to allow a rape victim to choose to terminate her pregnancy. Purposely targeting and killing 80,000 innocent civilians in order to send a message, OK, as long as they have the misfortune of being born on a faraway island. But killing an cell cluster put inside a woman violently and against her will with the day after pill, not OK.
   5305. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4222838)
I'm not saying the atomic bombing are clearly moral, they bother me a lot. I'm just not sure what the better alternatives were given the facts on the ground at the time. An invasion or blockade might have killed orders of magnitude more civilians.


I'm with Snapper regarding August 1945- all you had were bad options, horrific options, Truman's decision- as horrific as it was, was actually bone of, if not the least horrific option available.


Dammit, a Pacific War turn in the thread ... and I'm stuck at work.

I'll just briefly ask Snapper and JSLF, have either of you read Gar Alperovitz's The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb?

It's certainly controversial and I don't agree with all of Alperovitz's assertions, but it's thought provoking in making the case (based on exhaustive review of primary documents) that the US knew and believed that conditional Japanese surrender essentially equivalent to the eventual negotiated terms was available before the decision to drop was made and that the decision was primarily driven by political considerations, rather than a military alternative to avoiding invasion of the homeland.

Also, as I do whenever this topic comes up, I like to link Paul Fussell's (who was wounded while serving in the infantry in the ETO) essay, Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.
   5306. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4222840)
No, but I'd be OK bombing the #### out of the aliens' planet to stop them destroying ours, even if lots of their civilians would die as a result.


I won't kill one alien civilian, but I'll nuke the aliens and kill 100,000?

"One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic" is the only way to make any sense of this.
   5307. SteveF Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4222846)
Are these serious questions?


They are. Are they that foolish?

If rights were innate and fixed, our understanding of them wouldn't be expanding all the time.


The laws of physics are innate and fixed, and our understanding of them changes and expands all the time.
   5308. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4222847)
Andy:

Of course the answers such that you've given would doom Ryan's candidacy within 24 hours**,


What is your non-Pauline-Kael evidence for this? You seem to be projecting your own beliefs onto a great many others.

**Being that the short version of your ghostwritten answer is "Yes, you, Ms. interviewer, should be forced by law to bear that rapist's child. But that's only my opinion, and since Governor Romney disagrees with me, there's nothing for you to worry about."

Yes, that sort of answer will play real well with independent women.


It wouldn't play well with women who think like you or formerly dp, but that doesn't include anything close to all "independent women," unfortunately for your argument.
   5309. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4222848)
I won't kill one alien civilian, but I'll nuke the aliens and kill 100,000?

I'll target their means to make war, and civilians will die. That's different than executing an individual.

And yet, there's absolutely no wiggle room to allow a rape victim to choose to terminate her pregnancy. Purposely targeting and killing 80,000 innocent civilians in order to send a message, OK, as long as they have the misfortune of being born on a faraway island. But killing an cell cluster put inside a woman violently and against her will with the day after pill, not OK.

I never said targeting civilians was "OK", I've just said it might have been the least bad of a bunch of very bad options.
   5310. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4222850)
Can someone list for me these 'natural' rights -- even incomplete?


Try this.
   5311. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4222852)
that the US knew and believed that conditional Japanese surrender essentially equivalent to the eventual negotiated terms was available before the decision to drop was made and that the decision was primarily driven by political considerations, rather than a military alternative to avoiding invasion of the homeland.


I've read that as well (not the book you cite). One thing about the surrender, it was only possible after a coup of the military chiefs. The hardliners were all for continuing the fight, and had to be toppled by more rational actors. Whether that coup could have been accomplished without the bomb is far from certain, but certainly plausible.

Also, I wonder if we would have accepted the eventual negotiated peace had we possessed more bombs. "Unconditional surrender or we wipe out 5 more cities" is just as plausible had we possessed the means. Our blood was up and we were going to extract every ounce of flesh we could, provided it didn't cost much.
   5312. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4222854)
It's certainly controversial and I don't agree with all of Alperovitz's assertions, but it's thought provoking in making the case (based on exhaustive review of primary documents) that the US knew and believed that conditional Japanese surrender essentially equivalent to the eventual negotiated terms was available before the decision to drop was made and that the decision was primarily driven by political considerations, rather than a military alternative to avoiding invasion of the homeland.


In Downfall, Richard Frank presents contrary evidence. After the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, there was a meeting of the Japanese cabinet. The attack was only mentioned in passing and there was no mention, let alone discussion, of surrender. Only after the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki did the Japanese cabinet begin discussing surrender internally.
   5313. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4222856)
I never said targeting civilians was "OK", I've just said it might have been the least bad of a bunch of very bad options.


Just as taking the day after pill after a rape is.
   5314. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4222861)
The laws of physics are innate and fixed, and our understanding of them changes and expands all the time.


Here's the difference: you can't violate the laws of physics through ignorance, denial, or just plain force. The laws are the laws. Try expanding them through an election, demonstration, or revolution.

Human rights, if they are fixed and innate, have practically only ever been violated.

####, I'd argue that we can't even get a sense of a human right until we see it violated.
   5315. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4222863)
I never said targeting civilians was "OK", I've just said it might have been the least bad of a bunch of very bad options.


I'm probably confusing one person's stance with another...

But then, I suppose this begs the question about whether those naturally existing rights can be suspended -- i.e., if something is an ironclad 'right' -- then what 'right' does another nation have to extinguish it? I'm not talking about soldiers engaged in the conflict - but if a German or Japanese citizen has a right to 'life', 'liberty', and 'whatever' -- how can a fleet of bombers be justified in extinguishing that life?
   5316. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4222867)
Human rights, if they are fixed and innate, have practically only ever been violated.

Yes, precisely so. No other empirical conclusion even approaches sensible.

Governments tend to, have always tended to, and are forever a threat to, suppress the rights of their citizens.

   5317. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4222868)

Here's the difference: you can't violate the laws of physics through ignorance, denial, or just plain force. The laws are the laws. Try expanding them through an election, demonstration, or revolution.


Indiana once begged to differ.

BTW - best line in the story...

A member [of the legislature] then showed the writer [i.e., Waldo] a copy of the bill just passed and asked him if he would like an introduction to the learned doctor, its author. He declined the courtesy with thanks, remarking that he was acquainted with as many crazy people as he cared to know."
   5318. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4222872)
Governments tend to, have always tended to, and are forever a threat to, suppress the rights of their citizens.


This is hilarious. Those governments were just people. There is no such thing as this evil monster called government. It's just a matter of where power is allocated. When one man is granted power through birthright, everyone's rights were subject to his will. When power is extended to landowning males, landowning males have rights out the wazoo. When everyone has the franchise, rights keep on expanding.

Sugarbear: do think dignity is a human right?
   5319. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4222875)
Human rights, if they are fixed and innate, have practically only ever been violated.

Yes, precisely so. No other empirical conclusion even approaches sensible.

Governments tend to, have always tended to, and are forever a threat to, suppress the rights of their citizens.


Yet - how did those 'rights' fare before governments?

Governments did not just spring up like weeds and I doubt many prehistoric humans considered their 'rights', much less had them protected.

We're treading dangerously close to the cliche about expecting nothing good from government, then expressing surprise when you get nothing good from it.
   5320. SteveF Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4222876)
you can't violate the laws of physics through ignorance, denial, or just plain force.


This is certainly true, but I'm not seeing the relevance since the issue is the understanding of the laws, and not whether the laws can be broken. Just because our understanding of laws change doesn't mean they aren't fixed or innate.

You could view the expansion of human rights as progress. Progress on what, you might ask? Progress in creating a society where human beings can thrive. We choose the rights we choose because humans, as humans, operate better (objectively speaking) in societies ordered a certain way with certain rights.

Now, some rights may only be beneficial in certain circumstances. For instance, if plague/disease reduced the human population to 50,000 (BSG homage), then you might consider revisiting abortion rights. These are contingent rights dictated by material circumstances (that was your phraseology I believe, I apologize if I am butchering it).

But it's possible that there are some rights that are beneficial for humans to have under all circumstances, because humans are a certain way. As civilization goes on, we gain greater insight into human nature (much like we gain greater insight into the laws of physics) and these rights become easier to spot.

Now, maybe you're right. Maybe all rights are contingent, but I'm not convinced (and I certainly don't expect anything I've posted here to convince anyone that I'm right).
   5321. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4222877)
I've read that as well (not the book you cite). One thing about the surrender, it was only possible after a coup of the military chiefs. The hardliners were all for continuing the fight, and had to be toppled by more rational actors. Whether that coup could have been accomplished without the bomb is far from certain, but certainly plausible.


Many Germany Nazi/Military higherups were all for negotiating a surrender in 1944/45, unfortunately the ONE with the actual power to do so categorically rejected the idea. In the end there was a formal surrender -but it was all but a moot point anyway- Germany had been virtually overrun.

You had the same thing in Japan, a great many Civilian politicos and some in the military, were all for negotiating a surrender - but the civilians had no power, and the bulk of the military leadership was intransigent right up to the nuclear bombings...

One other parallel - those Germans who wanted to negotiate usually wanted to do it on one side- they wanted to play the allies off against eachother, typically they wanted to negotiate with US/Uk and not USSR- the Japanese peace feelers give every indication of playing the same game, like the Germans they assumed the alliance between the west and Russia was unnatural and would collapse (it would of course)- they wanted to play the USSR off against us.
   5322. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4222878)
There is no such thing as this evil monster called government.

There's no such thing as government?

When everyone has the franchise, rights keep on expanding.

I'd be interested in your supporting evidence for this proposition, keeping in mind that handing out bigger and bigger chunks of the public purse and calling that "expanding rights" doesn't make it so.

Sugarbear: do think dignity is a human right?


No, though it's a good thing for members of society to pay attention to. It works as a call to action, not as a right.
   5323. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4222881)
Governments tend to, have always tended to, and are forever a threat to, suppress the rights of their citizens.


people tend to, have always tended to, and are forever a threat to, suppress the rights of other people
   5324. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4222883)

Now, some rights may only be beneficial in certain circumstances. For instance, if plague/disease reduced the human population to 50,000 (BSG homage), then you might consider revisiting abortion rights. These are contingent rights dictated by material circumstances (that was your phraseology I believe, I apologize if I am butchering it).


That is a very interesting question... My biology is quite rusty, but I think that something like 50k is even a bit on the low side for a species to be able to perpetuate itself without genetic abnormalities causing problems for the species (or maybe it's 10k?).

Let's say the number is 100. Let's say all 100 agree that yes - regardless of whether you're pro-choice or not - we're going to go with "at conception" because, dammit, we just need the people.

For a number that low, I'm pretty certain that you'd actually need to scientifically pair off couples to breed over time to ensure genetic viability, no?

Do these 'rights' trump the 'right' of the species to persist? Is there such a thing as 'collective rights'? Which holds primacy? And most importantly, can we force Ray and Rosie O'Donnell to mate?
   5325. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4222888)
This is certainly true, but I'm not seeing the relevance since the issue is the understanding of the laws, and not whether the laws can be broken. Just because our understanding of laws change doesn't mean they aren't fixed or innate.


You're making the Platonic argument here, but we can't argue this point. If you believe there's some ideal, ethereal zone where perfect human rights exist and that the progress of human society is a process of becoming, I can't have that discussion. It's about magic.

Unless you're making the religious argument, in which case your own texts disagree with you.

All I'm interested in is the practical understanding and application of these rights here in the material world. And from what I can see, the more power is distributed through the citizenry of the world (through the franchise), the more rights we appear to have.
   5326. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4222889)
Yet - how did those 'rights' fare before governments?

That's an empirical question that bears no weight on the question at hand. It's plainly true that mores and commonly-respected practices exist and have always existed among non-governmental factions. The rules of baseball, e.g. I see no inherent reason a group of like-minded individuals couldn't repair to an island, agree that everyone is entitled to the proper menu of human rights and function effectively with very little organized government. "Libertarium" is possible with the right people.

Governments did not just spring up like weeds and I doubt many prehistoric humans considered their 'rights', much less had them protected.

They likely didn't consider the airplane or the personal computer, either.

   5327. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4222892)
The plant he's talking about closed in December 2008, before Obama took office.

I'm a little late to this thread today, but since there seems to be a belief that Ryan can be "fact-checked to death", it might be worth looking at some of those "facts":
1. On February 13, 2008 Obama said in Janesville : “I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.
2. In June 2008 GM announced that the Janesville plant would stop production of medium-duty trucks by the end of 2009, and large SUVs in 2010 or sooner.
3. In October 2008 Obama repeated on promise to keep the plant open: “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.
4. In December 2008 GM idled production of GM SUVs at the Janesville plant. Medium-duty truck assembly continued.
5. In April 2009, four months after Obama was inaugurated, GM idled production of medium-duty trucks.
6. In September 2011, GM reiterates that Janesville plant is on “stand by status.” Auto industry observer David Cole, tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel it would be premature to say the Janesville plant will never reopen.

As of today, the plant still has not been retooled to “build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs,” as Obama promised. Don't see Ryan getting hurt by these facts at all.
   5328. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4222893)

They likely didn't consider the airplane or the personal computer, either.


Technological advances are not rights.

If I'm understanding your argument - rights are inherent. Prehistoric man, pre-civilization man presumably had them, correct?
   5329. SteveF Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4222894)
You're making the Platonic argument here


It's more of an Aristotelean argument. I don't have to resort to 'magic' or 'forms'. The argument relies on there being some fixed aspects of human nature, not the existence of ideal forms. These fixed aspects of human nature and our understanding of them is relevant in the practical understanding and the application of rights in the material world.
   5330. Randy Jones Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4222895)
I see no inherent reason a group of like-minded individuals couldn't repair to an island, agree that everyone is entitled to the proper menu of human rights and function effectively with very little organized government. "Libertarium" is possible with the right people.


This would have the same issues as Communism. With the right group of people who know each other it can work, up to about 150 people. After that, you encounter the monkeysphere problem.
   5331. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4222896)
Technological advances are not rights.

But for massive, ginormous swaths of human beings, they're just as hard to understand -- a major reason they're consistently suppressed and always in threat of suppression.

If I'm understanding your argument - rights are inherent. Prehistoric man, pre-civilization man presumably had them, correct?


Yes.
   5332. GregD Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4222898)
Governments tend to, have always tended to, and are forever a threat to, suppress the rights of their citizens.
The last part is inherently true, and the first and second are tendentious but at least arguably true.

Alas, the other side of the equation is that being without government has been a guarantee of the suppression of rights, no need to tend in any direction. Statelessness=rightlessness. The bind that Madison saw was that the only protection for rights was a strong state, and yet a strong state is also a threat to rights. That tension is a major part of the modern condition; we may be damned if we do build governments; we're certainly damned if we don't. Eliminating the first half and only repeating the second half is silly.
   5333. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4222899)
This would have the same issues as Communism.

Communism requires positive action to enforce its mores; libertarianism really doesn't.
   5334. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4222900)
WRT WWII and the atom bombs: They started it, and we finished it.

You can also argue that we started it by gobbling up territories and not sharing. If the West wasn't involved in Asia would there have been a war between Japan and America? If the West wasn't so gung-ho about Imperialism would there have been a WWI and if there was no WWI would we have had WWII?

The reality is there is no "started it, finished it". The whole thing just keeps going and going and going.
   5335. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4222901)
There is no such thing as this evil monster called government.

There's no such thing as government?


No. there's no such thing as your notion of government, i.e. as an inherently evil and dangerous force in the world. Some government is good. Especially governments that establish and protect human rights.




   5336. Ron J2 Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4222903)
The A-Bombs weren't good, but I'm not sure there was a better option.


I'll slightly rephrase. I am sure there wasn't a better option. There is no reason to believe the Japanese would have surrendered absent the double shock of the A bombs snd the Soviets actively entering the war against them.
   5337. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4222906)
No. there's no such thing as your notion of government, i.e. as an inherently evil and dangerous force in the world. Some government is good. Especially governments that establish and protect human rights.

Even the good governments are forever a threat to suppress the rights of their citizens, i.e., to turn bad. There isn't a society on earth with a permanent record of good government or even a permanent record of progressively better government -- though the latter clause may generate some controversy.
   5338. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4222908)
When everyone has the franchise, rights keep on expanding.

I'd be interested in your supporting evidence for this proposition, keeping in mind that handing out bigger and bigger chunks of the public purse and calling that "expanding rights" doesn't make it so.


There are actually tons of examples. I've listed several already, from the abolition of slavery to the expansion of women's rights and our current national arguments about LGBT rights. None of them involve government handouts either, though you can be sure that discussions of rights will always involve what to do with the commons.
   5339. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4222909)
Communism requires positive action to enforce its mores; libertarianism really doesn't.


Sure it does. If I have a right to property and my neighbor tries to take it, and all I can do is go "Hey, you're not allowed to do that.", do I really have that right?

If my right to swing my fist ends at the point of your nose, how is that right protected except by force if I choose to ignore it?
   5340. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4222910)
Even the good governments are forever a threat to suppress the rights of their citizens, i.e., to turn bad.


Now we're just talking in circles.
   5341. McCoy Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4222911)
If an enemy state intentionally puts innocent civilians in harm's way it is morally okay to kill those civilians in the name of justice.

If a rapist intentionally plants his seed in a victim and creates and innocent civilian it is not okay to kill that civilian in the name of justice. Is that correct?
   5342. JL Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4222912)
As of today, the plant still has not been retooled to “build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs,” as Obama promised. Don't see Ryan getting hurt by these facts at all.

Where was the promise?
   5343. GregD Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4222915)
The thing that illuminates the definitional question behind the slave issue is that no group in history ever articulated the notion of human rights as forcefully as slaveholders; they were global innovators in human rights language. They just took for granted their rights to liberty and property included the right to own slaves.

If you want to define rights as nebulous truths that people believe are essential to human fulfillment, that's fine. Those wishes carry no promise of security. They are only rights in the sense of assertions. And those wishes are by no means limited to the ones that we see now as self-evidently true; other wishes existed in the past and presumably will exist in the future, and some of those wishes conflict deeply with each other. To say those wishes precede government is probably true.

But if by right you mean a claim that could be enforced, then of course the only enforcement mechanism for that claim is force, and you're left to choose between brigandage and government. Even though some governments can look like brigandage, I'll choose that chance over the certainty of brigandage that arises without a restraining state.
   5344. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4222919)
I see no inherent reason a group of like-minded individuals couldn't repair to an island, agree that everyone is entitled to the proper menu of human rights and function effectively with very little organized government. "Libertarium" is possible with the right people.


What happens when someone violates someone else's rights? What if someone gets drunk or angry and assaults someone or steals? won't you need some kind of citizen council or central authority to protect the rights of the person who's been assaulted or robbed? If you don't, the person who assaulted someone and/or stole is now the leader of your little commune. In either case, you have a government now. It's either a New England town meeting, or a warlord.
   5345. Döner Kebap Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4222920)
And what GregD said.
   5346. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4222922)
Governments did not just spring up like weeds and I doubt many prehistoric humans considered their 'rights', much less had them protected.

They likely didn't consider the airplane or the personal computer, either.


Maybe they did. They just didn't understand them.
   5347. Ron J2 Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4222923)
Hiroshima had no military value. That's why it was untouched until little boy.


Not quite.

A) it was considered a lousy target for fire-bombing. Rivers through the city. Push came to shove though, they'd have eventually got around to fire-bombing it. They were running low on targets as it was. (But it would have happened only if the A Bomb failed. It is true that Hiroshima was being kept intact so that they'd have an accurate damage assessment from A bombing)

B) There were quite a few military units. The HQ for the guy in charge of the defense of Southern Japan (Field Marshall Hata, 2nd General Army) as well as the HQ of the 59th army and most of the 224th division. Probably 20% of the population at the time was uniformed soldiers.
   5348. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4222924)
As of today, the plant still has not been retooled to “build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs,” as Obama promised. Don't see Ryan getting hurt by these facts at all.

Where was the promise?

See the 3rd item in post #5327: In October 2008 Obama repeated his promise to keep the plant open: “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”

   5349. Ron J2 Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4222927)
#5210. Not to mention the deaths in China plus the deaths from Kamikazes and the like. As I recall, casualties (of course this isn't deaths) were on the order of 7,000 a week.
   5350. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4222933)
See the 3rd item in post #5327: In October 2008 Obama repeated his promise to keep the plant open: “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”


Did he not "lead an effort"? Did we not pass a large stimulus bill and likewise invest in energy efficient technologies?

I'm afraid you need to pick a side here... Either Obama broke his promises and didn't do what he said he would do and should have picked 'winners and losers' and as the common refrain goes -- or -- he shouldn't have kept his promise and had no business picking 'winners and losers'.

You - and Mr. Ryan - really can't logically have both be true. We can discuss the intricacies of either position - but you can't have both.
   5351. JuanGone..except1game Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4222936)
See the 3rd item in post #5327: In October 2008 Obama repeated his promise to keep the plant open: “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”


Remove that like and you've got a point. For instance, say a Dr stands in front a cancer patient Mr. X and says "As a doctor, I will lead an effort to cure patients like Mr. X so we can live in a society without cancer". I doubt anyone is arguing that the doctor has promised to cure Mr. X and we've heard statements like that a million times. Equating what Obama said to a promise for that facility is just ridiculous, especially knowing that it was previously closed down. Either case is promising effort not results.
   5352. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4222937)
#5210. Not to mention the deaths in China plus the deaths from Kamikazes and the like. As I recall, casualties (of course this isn't deaths) were on the order of 7,000 a week.

That's the key. There wasn't a "leave it alone option". Whatever action the US took (including packing up and going home) hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians were going to die.

In the rape/pregnancy scenario, the leave it alone option (woman carries the child to term and keeps or gives up for adoption), has a very, very high likelihood of zero deaths.
   5353. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4222940)
I'll slightly rephrase. I am sure there wasn't a better option. There is no reason to believe the Japanese would have surrendered absent the double shock of the A bombs snd the Soviets actively entering the war against them.


If I'm not mistaken, even by the point of surrender and the Soviets haven taken virtually all of Manchuria, Japan still held more territory than they did the morning of the Marco Polo Bridge provocation to kick off the 2nd Sino-Japanese phase of WWII. I'm pretty sure they still held Shanghai, no?

Granted, China was a holy mess of factions and civil war, so you can say they 'held' the territory more by default than anything else... and yes, their warmaking capability was essentially smashed...

Finally, I'm also not saying there wasn't plenty of Bushido fanaticism woven into many elements of the Japanese military -- but honestly, we do tend to sort have this west-centric view of the Pacific war...

We hadn't really relegated Japan back to the island itself - we just sort of ignored parts of the map that we didn't consider as important. If you knew nothing of culture, knew nothing of war capacity, knew nothing of what transpired from 1942 to 1945 -- and all you had to look at is a map of territory held, it no longer looks so crazy for the Japanese to believe a negotiated peace rather than unconditional surrender was still possible.
   5354. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4222943)
I see the WWII revisionists are here in some strength. Doubt they'd be making that argument if they were among those slated to invade the Japanese home islands. The Japanese weren't on the verge of surrender. The battles for Iwo Jima and Okinowa demonstrated a Japanese determination to resist at all costs. The Japanese even had plans to execute all Allied POWs if Japan was invaded. An invasion would have produced huge US casualties and even more on the Japanese side. The atomic bomb was designed to bring the war to the speediest conclusion, and it did its job.
   5355. JL Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4222945)
Remove that like and you've got a point. For instance, say a Dr stands in front a cancer patient Mr. X and says "As a doctor, I will lead an effort to cure patients like Mr. X so we can live in a society without cancer". I doubt anyone is arguing that the doctor has promised to cure Mr. X and we've heard statements like that a million times. Equating what Obama said to a promise for that facility is just ridiculous, especially knowing that it was previously closed down. Either case is promising effort not results.

Particularly since the decision to close the plant had been made by GM the time of that statement. He wanted to invest so similar plants would not also close. The whole quote is as follows:

"Reports that the GM plant I visited in Janesville may shut down sooner than expected are a painful reminder of the tough economic times facing working families across this country," Obama said in a statement released by his Wisconsin campaign organization.

"This news is also a reminder that Washington needs to finally live up to its promise to help our automakers compete in our global economy. As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America."


So again, where is the promise?
   5356. Ron J2 Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4222946)
How do you feel about the second atomic bombing? To me that is the one that is really indefensible.


(making a mistake in getting into this since I'm not goijng to be able to respond until tomorrow)

To me that's easy. No direct response from Japan, plus (and the US knew this) the Minister of War and the Army were making preparations to stop any peace efforts. They really did want to fight on.

As for walking away, what about China? What about all of the POWs? When faced with insane actions from a nation state (by any objective standard they were beaten the moment the invasion of the Philippines succeeded) you're left with bad choices.
   5357. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4222948)
Remove that like and you've got a point. For instance, say a Dr stands in front a cancer patient Mr. X and says "As a doctor, I will lead an effort to cure patients like Mr. X so we can live in a society without cancer". I doubt anyone is arguing that the doctor has promised to cure Mr. X and we've heard statements like that a million times. Equating what Obama said to a promise for that facility is just ridiculous, especially knowing that it was previously closed down. Either case is promising effort not results.

But some of this is just confirmation bias - no doubt whatsoever that, if that plant HAD been "retooled," Dems would be pointing to this moment and saying "See? He kept his promise!"

Similarly, he promised an "investigation" into CIA torture / "enhanced interrogation." And now that investigation is over, with no charges filed against anybody.
Both major parties are, to all appearances, just fine with this result.
   5358. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4222949)
If I'm not mistaken, even by the point of surrender and the Soviets haven taken virtually all of Manchuria, Japan still held more territory than they did the morning of the Marco Polo Bridge provocation to kick off the 2nd Sino-Japanese phase of WWII. I'm pretty sure they still held Shanghai, no?


As well as most if not all of modern day Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and all of Indo-China.
   5359. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4222951)
all you had to look at is a map of territory held, it no longer looks so crazy for the Japanese to believe a negotiated peace rather than unconditional surrender was still possible.

Let me also add that Unconditional Surrender was a horrid, horrid, immoral policy. It almost certainly prolonged the war, and cost millions of lives.

If they had thought they could get decent terms, there would have been a much chance of a successful officers putsch in Germany, and the Japanese were ready to negotiate if offered terms.
   5360. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4222954)
See the 3rd item in post #5327: In October 2008 Obama repeated his promise to keep the plant open: “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”

Did he not "lead an effort"? Did we not pass a large stimulus bill and likewise invest in energy efficient technologies?

You want to give Obama credit for his unsuccessful efforts? OK, but they fell far short of the mark and didn't lead to the reopening of the plant.
   5361. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4222957)
"This news is also a reminder that Washington needs to finally live up to its promise to help our automakers compete in our global economy. As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America."
Remember that big editorial Romney wrote about how GM should have been allowed to go bankrupt — shutting those plants down completely? No? Okay.

I didn't see Ryan's speech last night — I don't watch conventions, they're for sycophants and hate-watchers — but I read it this morning, and was able to skip all the clapping and just look at the substance. I ask again: Why did you guys tune in? There's baseball to be watched!
   5362. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4222958)
Remember that big editorial Romney wrote about how GM should have been allowed to go bankrupt — shutting those plants down completely? No? Okay.

Bankruptcy would not have shut down the plants. GM had value as a going concern.

Bankruptcy would have wiped out the UAW retiree health benefits, and reduced their pensions.

The bailout was about making the GM bondholder take the pain, and protecting the UAW members/retirees, so they'd keep supporting the Dems.
   5363. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4222959)

Let me also add that Unconditional Surrender was a horrid, horrid, immoral policy. It almost certainly prolonged the war, and cost millions of lives.

If they had thought they could get decent terms, there would have been a much chance of a successful officers putsch in Germany, and the Japanese were ready to negotiate if offered terms.


What's more - by the end, the only real 'condition' the Japanese clung to was the preservation of the emperor... which the allies/Americans backdoor communicated would occur with an 'unconditional surrender' anyway (and of course, came to pass).

Still, it all gets an absolute ton easier to all analyze 70 years after the fact, with a near-full library of communications and what not to look at open-handed than it did at the heat of the moment.

I think it's all a very interesting and profitable discussion for plenty of reasons - but just to be clear, for all of the individual missteps that we might point out today, I don't fault Truman/FDR/Churchill/Cunningham/Ike/Mac/etc for the larger strategic decisions. You re-simulate the whole bloody mess a thousand times and I'm not sure you come out any better any more often.
   5364. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4222960)
Bankruptcy would not have shut down the plants. GM had value as a going concern.
That explains the long line of people looking to buy it up.

Bankruptcy would have wiped out the UAW retiree health benefits, and reduced their pensions.
Yeah, screw those guys. And their families. And their retirement.

The bailout was about making the GM bondholder take the pain, and protecting the UAW members/retirees, so they'd keep supporting the Dems.
Since they vote for Democrats, screw'em.
   5365. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4222963)
I think it's all a very interesting and profitable discussion for plenty of reasons - but just to be clear, for all of the individual missteps that we might point out today, I don't fault Truman/FDR/Churchill/Cunningham/Ike/Mac/etc for the larger strategic decisions. You re-simulate the whole bloody mess a thousand times and I'm not sure you come out any better any more often.

Generally concur.

Though I do believe the decision at Yalta to sell-out Eastern Europe was both morally and strategically wrong. The Soviets were at the end of their rope in 1945. We didn't need to be so deferential.
   5366. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4222964)
See the 3rd item in post #5327: In October 2008 Obama repeated his promise to keep the plant open: “As president, I will lead an effort to retool plants like the GM facility in Janesville so we can build the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow and create good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and all across America.”
--------
Did he not "lead an effort"? Did we not pass a large stimulus bill and likewise invest in energy efficient technologies?
--------
You want to give Obama credit for his unsuccessful efforts? OK, but they fell far short of the mark and didn't lead to the reopening of the plant.
I'm not trying to "give credit", I'm trying to accurately describe whether a "promise" was made or kept.

The auto bailout saved an estimated million-plus jobs. It wasn't successful in saving every single plant, but it was without question an effective policy. It was precisely the policy Obama campaigned on, and it was effective in preventing job loss at plants like Janesville.

I have all kinds of problems with Obama's fiscal and monetary policy in the wake of the crash of 2008, but so far as I can see, Romney is proposing precisely nothing for the short-term health of the economy. Effective stimulus like the auto bailout, he opposes. A tilt toward expansionary monetary policy, he opposes. Romney/Ryan are proposing the same old promises of upper income tax cuts combined with insincere pledges to cut spending that the Republicans trot out regardless of the state of the economy. There's no actual plan to deal with the recession or the labor market crisis.
   5367. JL Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4222965)
You want to give Obama credit for his unsuccessful efforts? OK, but they fell far short of the mark and didn't lead to the reopening of the plant.

Again, he never said it would. The decision to close the plant had already been made at that point. They were winding it down to close in April, 2009 (although I understand GM says it is technically in standstill). Reading the whole statement, it is pretty clear that he wanted to invest to save remaining plants.
   5368. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4222966)
The auto bailout saved an estimated million-plus jobs. It wasn't successful in saving every single plant, but it was without question an effective policy. It was precisely the policy Obama campaigned on, and it was effective in preventing job loss at plants like Janesville.

And so tariffs to protect good-paying, citizen-enhancing American manufacturing jobs are bad ... why?
   5369. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4222967)
That explains the long line of people looking to buy it up.

It wasn't allowed to go through a proper bankruptcy (clearing obligations) so we'll never know.

Yeah, screw those guys. And their families. And their retirement.


They have absolutely gold plated benes. They can get by on Medicare like everybody else.

Since they vote for Democrats, screw'em.

I'm just saying it was a purely political decision.
   5370. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4222970)
Bankruptcy would not have shut down the plants. GM had value as a going concern.

Bankruptcy would have wiped out the UAW retiree health benefits, and reduced their pensions.

The bailout was about making the GM bondholder take the pain, and protecting the UAW members/retirees, so they'd keep supporting the Dems.


You're conveniently forgetting that the credit market was in absolute shambles -- who was going to finance this? We had enormous firms going up in smoke at alarming rate and people wondering who would be next. I don't see how anything other than liquidation would have been feasible.

Regarding the bondholders versus UAW - I think I'd say it was more about what to with who could 'afford' the shave and who couldn't. Eliminate the pension income of those UAW workers, etc -- what do you now do with all these people that are now old and penniless? That's without even getting into the suppliers...

Let's remember, too - there were two bailouts.

The 2008 bailout passed the House (with Paul Ryan voting for it), but died in the Senate because there weren't enough votes to bring it to the floor over a GOP filibuster. President Bush then essentially reallocated TARP funds to de facto get around the lack of a specific autobailout. It was a patch job.

The second bailout - Obama's/Romney's "Let Detroit go bankrupt" - had the government essentially assuming the financing role that the markets were mostly unable/somewhat unwilling to provide.
   5371. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4222972)
The auto bailout saved an estimated million-plus jobs. It wasn't successful in saving every single plant, but it was without question an effective policy. It was precisely the policy Obama campaigned on, and it was effective in preventing job loss at plants like Janesville.

But it could have been achieved without making it a total giveaway to the UAW. By insisting on protecting all union benefits, the Gov't made the company less attractive to buyers, increased the cost of the bailout, and screwed bondholders (including lots of other ordinary workers through pension funds, mutual funds, etc. ) out of their contractual rights.

It was flat out crony capitalism. The UAW are "ins" so they get protected. GM's non-union workers and bondholders are "outs", so they get screwed.
   5372. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4222973)
They have absolutely gold plated benes. They can get by on Medicare like everybody else.


And they very likely gave up current salary and benefits to get them. No one portion of a CBA exists in a vacuum. Would you be in favor of giving them back pay to make up for the fact that they had less take home pay in order to secure those benefits? Didn't think so.

Just another example of why people think you guys care far more about the rights of the potential humans than the actual humans.
   5373. SteveF Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4222974)
Yeah, screw those guys. And their families. And their retirement


Somebody's retirement is getting screwed either way. Who do you think owns the bonds? They are in someone's retirement portfolio.
   5374. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4222975)
Bankruptcy would not have shut down the plants. GM had value as a going concern.
You're proposing that under the bankruptcy process, there would have been absolutely no shutdown of the complex chain of purchase and manufacture that makes up the auto industry? Once liquidation began - which would have been a distinct possibility - there would have been huge effects all down the line, as other businesses subsidiary to the auto manufacturing industry suddenly can't sell their widgets. It could have been a massive shock to the economy, which was already dealing with the shock of the financial crash. The risk involved was humongous.
   5375. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4222976)
You're conveniently forgetting that the credit market was in absolute shambles -- who was going to finance this? We had enormous firms going up in smoke at alarming rate and people wondering who would be next. I don't see how anything other than liquidation would have been feasible.

I'm not saying no bailout. I'm just saying provide liquidity to GM and Chrysler through Gov't loans to keep operating, and let them go through regular bankruptcy to reorganize.
   5376. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4222978)
But it could have been achieved without making it a total giveaway to the UAW. By insisting on protecting all union benefits, the Gov't made the company less attractive to buyers, increased the cost of the bailout, and screwed bondholders (including lots of other ordinary workers through pension funds, mutual funds, etc. ) out of their contractual rights.
I don't know what you mean by "protecting all union benefits", but the UAW agreed, for instance, to no new raises until 2015, along with a new pay scale and concessions on work rules and so on. The UAW gave a ton of concessions to GM and to the government during this period.
   5377. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4222979)
Remember that big editorial Romney wrote about how GM should have been allowed to go bankrupt — shutting those plants down completely? No? Okay.

Romney's position is that a more normal bankruptcy process, unlike the bailout, would have freed GM from the contractual constraints that were killing the company. There are plenty of successful auto plants in the United States, but few of them have the United Auto Workers wage structure and the restrictive work rules that sometimes require, among other things, 2 people to do tasks that can be done by 1. GM might be on a stronger path today had that been tried. Instead, the government lost money on it's "investment" and GM may be headed toward a 2nd bankruptcy.
   5378. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4222980)
You're proposing that under the bankruptcy process, there would have been absolutely no shutdown of the complex chain of purchase and manufacture that makes up the auto industry? Once liquidation began - which would have been a distinct possibility - there would have been huge effects all down the line, as other businesses subsidiary to the auto manufacturing industry suddenly can't sell their widgets. It could have been a massive shock to the economy, which was already dealing with the shock of the financial crash. The risk involved was humongous.

Again, I'm fine with Gov't loans. What I'm not fine with is tearing up the Federal Bankruptcy Law to protect the UAW.

And they very likely gave up current salary and benefits to get them. No one portion of a CBA exists in a vacuum. Would you be in favor of giving them back pay to make up for the fact that they had less take home pay in order to secure those benefits? Didn't think so.

No they colluded to threatencrippling strikes, and drove lots of auto-production overseas, in order to get above market pay and benes.
   5379. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4222983)
I don't know what you mean by "protecting all union benefits", but the UAW agreed, for instance, to no new raises until 2015, along with a new pay scale and concessions on work rules and so on. The UAW gave a ton of concessions to GM and to the government during this period.

Retiree healthcare is not legally guaranteed/funded like pensions. In normal bankruptcy, all retiree health benefits would have been eliminated.

All you're pointing out is that the UAW screwed its current workers to protect retirees. They would have given a lot more in bankruptcy, or had it unilaterally imposed by the judge.
   5380. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4222984)
Romney's position is that a more normal bankruptcy process, unlike the bailout, would have freed GM from the contractual constraints that were killing the company.
The idea that what was killing the company in 2009 were was worker benefits, rather than a one-time shock in the financial markets, is simply wrong. GM was not at risk of bankruptcy absent the crash.
   5381. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4222985)

Romney's position is that a more normal bankruptcy process, unlike the bailout, would have freed GM from the contractual constraints that were killing the company. There are plenty of successful auto plants in the United States, but few of them have the United Auto Workers wage structure and the restrictive work rules that sometimes require, among other things, 2 people to do tasks that can be done by 1. GM might be on a stronger path today had that been tried. Instead, the government lost money on it's "investment" and GM may be headed toward a 2nd bankruptcy.


Correct.
   5382. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4222987)
All you're pointing out is that the UAW screwed its current workers to protect retirees. They would have given a lot more in bankruptcy, or had it unilaterally imposed by the judge.
What I'm pointing out is that the GM bailout imposed costs on both workers and bondholders. You have either claimed there were no costs to workers, or attempted to describe those costs in terms that obfuscated their existence and extent.
   5383. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4222988)
You're conveniently forgetting that the credit market was in absolute shambles -- who was going to finance this? We had enormous firms going up in smoke at alarming rate and people wondering who would be next. I don't see how anything other than liquidation would have been feasible.


I'm not saying no bailout. I'm just saying provide liquidity to GM and Chrysler through Gov't loans to keep operating, and let them go through regular bankruptcy to reorganize.


Wouldn't those 'loans' have essentially been grants?

I'm no bankruptcy law expert - but if the government essentially loans GM/Chrysler the money - which ran into the billions, then when GM and Chrysler go through bankruptcy, "we" (the government) get in line with everyone else that is owed money by GM/Chrysler... and we get 10 cents on the dollar back.

The solution the government actually put in place not only saved those million jobs -- but as an added bonus, rather than just sending the automakers 27 billion (I think the Obama bailout was 30 billion total - figure we get 10% back post-bankruptcy) -- I know GM has since repaid the entirety of the loan, and while Chrysler isn't in the same shape - I believe they remain on schedule to repay it all.

It's really hard for me to see how the actual course of action chosen was the best possible solution for everyone except the original bondholders. Let's not forget, too -- those gold-plated benes don't actually just go up in smoke - the obligations get dumped onto the PBGC, which granted, cuts them to the bone, but still leaves the already beleaguered agency with a huge new obligation.
   5384. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4222989)
The idea that what was killing the company in 2009 were was worker benefits, rather than a one-time shock in the financial markets, is simply wrong. GM was not at risk of bankruptcy absent the crash.


Precisely.

I've always been a Ford guy (I do love my Mustang) -- and while you can certainly make the argument that Ford hit the upswing ahead of its two siblings -- what really kept Ford out of the GM/Chrysler boat was that they refinanced their debt load just ahead of the meltdown. They'd have been almost - if not ultimately as screwed if their finance timing had been just a little worse.
   5385. JL Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4222990)
Romney's position is that a more normal bankruptcy process, unlike the bailout, would have freed GM from the contractual constraints that were killing the company. There are plenty of successful auto plants in the United States, but few of them have the United Auto Workers wage structure and the restrictive work rules that sometimes require, among other things, 2 people to do tasks that can be done by 1. GM might be on a stronger path today had that been tried. Instead, the government lost money on it's "investment" and GM may be headed toward a 2nd bankruptcy.

Hard to argue with "might" and "may."

I will note that none of that would have saved the Janesville plant, which by October, 2008 was scheduled to and did close in April, 2009, a month or so before the bankruptcy.
   5386. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4222993)
Once liquidation began - which would have been a distinct possibility - there would have been huge effects all down the line, as other businesses subsidiary to the auto manufacturing industry suddenly can't sell their widgets.
Not just a possibility, a near-certainty. GM was on the block for six months, and the only people who approached them were creditors who wanted their money back. There wasn't any ownership group stepping forward looking to do what Romney was suggesting needed to be done.
   5387. CrosbyBird Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4222996)
But they'd still be innocent. You started this by objecting to the fact that some refer to the unborn as innocent, not by pointing out that it's permitted to do harm to innocent people in a variety of circumstances.

I think we're using a different definition of innocent.

Legally speaking, a truly unconscious actor is innocent (in the overwhelming majority of cases) because of a lack of the required mental state necessary to commit a crime. I'm speaking of innocent in the sense of "causing no harm." In that sense, the fetus isn't an innocent bystander, but a participant in the harm. That the participant isn't willful or reckless or whatever mental state is necessary for criminality matters in terms of whether we might charge that participant criminally, but not in terms of the victim's right to self-defense.

I don't think this is a trivial harm either that merits scare quotes. Pregnancy is a very significant assault on a woman: physically, mentally, and emotionally. A bit more than 1 out of every 10000 births in the US results in the death of the mother; that's relatively rare but not insignificant.

That's a mighty big "if," and not the law actually at issue. The procedure isn't self-defense procedure (*), and isn't supported to further a woman's right to self-defense. It speaks volumes that people have to default to pretending that it is.

It most certainly is part of the issue. Gonzales v. Carhart was about the unconstitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act specifically because it failed to include an exception for the health of the mother. The Court ruled that in cases where there is not a medical consensus, Congress has the right to regulate even if there is medical testimony that disputes their findings.

Here's a relevant quote from Ginsberg's dissent:

Today’s decision is alarming. It refuses to take Casey and Stenberg seriously. It tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It blurs the line, firmly drawn in Casey, between previability and postviability abortions. And, for the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman’s health.
   5388. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4222997)
The idea that what was killing the company in 2009 were was worker benefits, rather than a one-time shock in the financial markets, is simply wrong. GM was not at risk of bankruptcy absent the crash.


I agree. Too often bankrupcy is used by management as a sledgehammer to attack collectively bargained rights.

No they colluded to threatencrippling strikes, and drove lots of auto-production overseas, in order to get above market pay and benes.


This shows you have no idea how collective bargaining works. A company has a top dollar level of what labor total compensation they are willing to provide. They then bargain around that number, how will it be paid out. 80% salary and 20% benefits? 75% salary and 25% benefits? The number they had was a number they negotiated to in good faith. If GM was paying gold plated benes, you can be certain the union gave up a good chunk of salary to get them.
   5389. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4222998)
Romney's position is that a more normal bankruptcy process, unlike the bailout, would have freed GM from the contractual constraints that were killing the company.

The idea that what was killing the company in 2009 were was worker benefits, rather than a one-time shock in the financial markets, is simply wrong. GM was not at risk of bankruptcy absent the crash.

Most auto companies were able to survive the financial downturn without government assistance. Two out of three UAW-organized companies were not. The financial crisis was the last blow to an entity that had been weakened by years of above market wages/benefits and restrictive work rules.
   5390. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4222999)
Andy:

Of course the answers such that you've given would doom Ryan's candidacy within 24 hours**,

What is your non-Pauline-Kael evidence for this? You seem to be projecting your own beliefs onto a great many others.


Hard to show statistical "evidence" for a hypothetical, but I'll tell you what: You ask Ryan or Rove whether they'd like to see Martha Raddatz ask Ryan that question during the vice presidential debate. That sound you hear would be Rove trying to mau-mau the debate commission into removing Raddatz from the debate.

**Being that the short version of your ghostwritten answer is "Yes, you, Ms. interviewer, should be forced by law to bear that rapist's child. But that's only my opinion, and since Governor Romney disagrees with me, there's nothing for you to worry about."

Yes, that sort of answer will play real well with independent women.


It wouldn't play well with women who think like you or formerly dp, but that doesn't include anything close to all "independent women," unfortunately for your argument.


I never said "all", but if you think that the great majority of women wouldn't instantly recoil in horror at the idea of bearing a rapist's child, I have to wonder what sort of women you know.

And of course I'm not talking about forcing a rape victim to get an abortion if she chooses not to. It's only Ryan and the RTLers who are trying to sic the government on those rape victims, not the pro-choice people.

   5391. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4223000)
Is it just me, or is the edit function not working today?
   5392. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4223005)
Most auto companies were able to survive the financial downturn without government assistance.
Cite? Germany, the EU, and Japan didn't provide assistance to their domestic auto industries?
   5393. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4223011)
Most auto companies were able to survive the financial downturn without government assistance. Two out of three UAW-organized companies were not. The financial crisis was the last blow to an entity that had been weakened by years of above market wages/benefits and restrictive work rules.


Which one beyond Ford - which like I said, was more about lucky timing in refinancing its debt load before everything blew up? I know Volvo, Saab, Puegot, Jaguar, and Fiat got help from their respective governments (I think it was actually the Italian government that essentially financed Fiat's stake in Chrysler). I'm pretty sure Toyota did as well.

The only automaker that I believe didn't get any government assistance was Hyundai - which had the advantage of a very, very weak Korean won that certainly helped it survive in a market of plummeting sales.
   5394. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4223012)
Most auto companies were able to survive the financial downturn without government assistance. Two out of three UAW-organized companies were not. The financial crisis was the last blow to an entity that had been weakened by years of above market wages/benefits and restrictive work rules.
Also, it's interesting how this logic isn't applied to the banking or financial industry.
   5395. zonk Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4223015)
Also, it's interesting how this logic isn't applied to the banking or financial industry.


Because their bloated compensation and benefit schemes are different, I guess.

When an automaker goes under, its because the greedy unions insist on keeping their contractually negotiated wages and benefits.

When banks and financial entities go under, it's necessary to keep huge bonuses and ridiculous benefits in place in order to retain talent... because, well, just because - that's why!
   5396. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4223018)
Germany, the EU, and Japan didn't provide assistance to their domestic auto industries?

Not sure, but I don't remember seeing any stories about non-UAW plants in the U.S. threatening to shut down unless their home governments increased auto subsidies, or they received aid from the U.S. Maybe some were in difficulty in their home country operations.
   5397. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4223020)
Also, it's interesting how this logic isn't applied to the banking or financial industry.

Apply it. Fine by me.
   5398. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 30, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4223021)
Is it just me, or is the edit function not working today?


it's been buggy lately....


   5399. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 30, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4223058)
Somebody's retirement is getting screwed either way. Who do you think owns the bonds? They are in someone's retirement portfolio.

As someone who has more vested in my "retirement portfolio" than in my potential pension, I say, yes, screw the bonds holders (if we have to choose who gets screwed).
   5400. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 30, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4223063)
All this UAW talk kind of obscures the fact that in fact Ryan was lying about the Janesville plant. One of many lies from last night.
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