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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

OTP - March 2014: Russia denies calling shots in Ukraine’s Crimea standoff

Only Babe Ruth calls shots!

At a press conference for Kremlin-controlled media on Tuesday, Putin reiterated his position that Moscow has the right to use “all means” necessary to protect ethnic Russians and vital military assets in Ukraine, first among them the Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

 

Bitter Mouse Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:54 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lies, politics, war

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   1901. Langer Monk Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4673517)
As usual, it's best to read the actual Times piece on the pastry chef here, in case anyone really cares.
   1902. The Good Face Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4673518)
Humans are animals.

But not penguins. Some other kind of animal.


Well yes. This should not be a difficult concept to wrap one's head around.
   1903. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4673519)
That has to be one of the stranger statements I've read here, even by the standards of someone who often churns out strangeness at the rate of a post a minute.

Jesus ####### Christ, what is not "rational" about wanting to feel needed? What is not "rational" about wanting to live for someone beyond yourself? If these basic human needs aren't "rational", then what's "rational" about marrying a person whom you have to support, when there's no guarantee that your offspring will turn around and support you in your old age?


Well, nothing against Snapper, but IIRC he posted a couple of months back that if not for his belief in God he'd have no problem basically being a sociopath, or something pretty close to it.

(Which is fine, I'm sure. Whatever gets you through the night without killing the neighbors, & all that. Unless they deserve it & you can get away with it. But I digress.)

So ... yeah.
   1904. Mefisto Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4673522)
Well, there were two Sulus (& two of everybody else) in that one episode, right?


Kill us both, Spock.
   1905. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4673524)
Well, nothing against Snapper, but IIRC he posted a couple of months back that if not for his belief in God he'd have no problem basically being a sociopath, or something pretty close to it.

(Which is fine, I'm sure. Whatever gets you through the night without killing the neighbors, & all that.)

So ... yeah.


I'd say I'd tend more to nihilism or hedonism if I really didn't believe God existed. I'd certainly be absolutely ruthless in the pursuit of my own desires. Probably try to become dictator or something like that.

At the end of the day, I don't find most people all that appealing. I guess I'm just a misanthrope, but most people (including myself I'm sure) are pretty shitty. This goes double for children; most are annoying and obnoxious. I mean I love my nephews, but I'm generally pretty glad they don't live with me. And most children don't seem to grow up to be admirable people. Maybe I just have too high a standard for the behavior I expect of people.
   1906. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4673525)
Well, I don't find most people all that appealing. I guess I'm just a misanthrope,


Oh please. You're like, AA tops. You're not ready for the Bigs, son. Develop an off-speed pitch.
   1907. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4673526)
At the end of the day, I don't find most people all that appealing. I guess I'm just a misanthrope, but most people (including myself I'm sure) are pretty shitty. This goes double for children; most are annoying and obnoxious. I mean I love my nephews, but I'm generally pretty glad they don't live with me. And most children don't seem to grow up to be admirable people. Maybe I just have too high a standard for the behavior I expect of people.


To have overcome such tendencies (many of which I share, believe me), your wife must be quite a remarkable person. Lucky man.
   1908. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4673529)
Maybe not the best candidate? Edwin Edwards Announces House Bid:
Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D) announced Monday he will enter the race to replace Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) in the state's 6th Congressional District.  Edwards, the 86-year-old who served an eight-year prison sentence after leaving office, told a crowd in the state he would reenter the political fray despite all the reasons against it. 

Edwards served four terms as governor more than two decades ago. Before that he served eight years in the House of Representatives. He was released from prison in 2011 after being convicted of racketeering charges in 2001, years after he had already left office.

Perhaps he can claim he's too old to steal much.
   1909. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4673531)
Maybe not the best candidate? Edwin Edwards Announces House Bid:


Hell, it's Louisifuckingana. He'll probably win.
   1910. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4673533)
To have overcome such tendencies (many of which I share, believe me), your wife must be quite a remarkable person. Lucky man.

I will never deny that I am very, very lucky. But, she is even more of a misanthrope than I am.
   1911. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4673535)
Lucky both of you, then!
   1912. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4673538)
Lucky both of you, then!

Yes. We've literally never had a fight in almost 9 years of marriage.
   1913. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4673540)
Obligatory:

Is that even legal?
   1914. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 18, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4673543)
Maybe not the best candidate? Edwin Edwards Announces House Bid:


"Vote For the Crook. It's Important."
   1915. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 18, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4673598)
   1916. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4673604)
Ramesh Ponuru didn't get Clapper's clap-louder memo.

I like Ramesh but many of his columns are overly doom-and-gloom. The Democrats didn't unite behind very much other than opposition to W in '06 and the GOP didn't do all that much in '10. And even in '94, when the GOP did announce an ambitious agenda, the Contract With America wasn't unveiled until the 27th of September, less than six weeks before the election.

If anything stops the GOP from taking over the Senate, it will almost certainly be the quality of their nominees, not the content of the party's agenda or lack of one.

   1917. Publius Publicola Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4673605)
   1918. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4673606)
Blood is shed in Crimea

This is getting very bad.

It's about time Obama/Merkle/Cameron et al draw a line in the sand, before this goes to a full-on war.
   1919. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4673609)
Blood is shed in Crimea.

This is getting very bad.

Keep an eye on the voices and actions of Central and Eastern European leaders and parliaments. They are banding together and I expect them to ramp up pressure on Washington and Brussels in the days to come.
   1920. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4673610)
I guess, if you like puns. A ceaseless, never-ending torrent of puns, each more grating than the last.


They aren't that grate.
   1921. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4673616)
Keep an eye on the voices and actions of Central and Eastern European leaders and parliaments. They are banding together and I expect them to ramp up pressure on Washington and Brussels in the days to come.

They better. I'd be scared to hell if I were they.
   1922. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 18, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4673627)
I still maintain that it is really hard to roll back government entitlements/benefits (whatever we are calling them), especially those that help the middle class even a little. Of course I might be underestimating how focused the GOP is, and willing to drive the car off the cliff, no matter the consequences. Hopefully it will be a while before the GOP gets control of all the levers of power, so we don't have to find out.

If that were the case, we'd see Democrats running a "Hands Off My ObamaCare" campaign. As much as I'd like to see that, I doubt Democrats think that will help them. The problem is that they don't have any good options. Obama and ObamaCare are unpopular, so embracing them is politically poisonous, but distancing themselves is difficult for Democrats on record as supporting both, and turns off the base, who insist it is a good policy that is working, or will work soon, or will be "fixed", or doesn't matter because "no one cares".
   1923. Publius Publicola Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4673644)
I agree with the person, don't know who, who suggested the Ukrainian infantry be immediately equipped with guided anti-armor and anti-aircraft shoulder-launched weapons. If a massive assault can be slowed by them, and it settles down into a stalemate, Putin will be forced to bend. If he doesn't, some Russian general will have him whacked and replace him with somebody with an exit strategy.
   1924. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:40 PM (#4673646)
I agree with the person, don't know who, who suggested the Ukrainian infantry be immediately equipped with guided anti-armor and anti-aircraft shoulder-launched weapons. If a massive assault can be slowed by them,


Ukraine actually has a shitload of armor (even by ex-SSR standards) and RPGs up the wazoo- they may not have the volume to out right stop the ruskies but they'd certainly be able to bloody them a hell of lot more than the Georgians were able to
   1925. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4673647)
I agree with the person, don't know who, who suggested the Ukrainian infantry be immediately equipped with guided anti-armor and anti-aircraft shoulder-launched weapons.

Speaking.
   1926. Publius Publicola Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4673651)
Ukraine actually has a shitload of armor (even by ex-SSR standards) and RPGs up the wazoo


The old style RPGs won't really do it against a heavily armored tank. The French Milan is an excellent weapon, as is the American Javelin.

If the Russians see an entire tank battalion evaporate before their eyes in 15 minutes, they will stop and pause, believe me. If their aircraft start being shot down, they will withdraw. They might hunker down in Crimea and wait for an assault but they won't for on the offensive.
   1927. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4673652)
These sorts of nationalist frenzies and military victories have a way of building on themselves and becoming very hard to control. When they're in the service of the dictator's goal, which wide swaths of the population supports, it's even worse. Nationalism, nostalgia for empire, glorious victory, making the rules your own, the big lie -- intoxicating stuff.

The scenes today, with the parliamentarians weeping and the crowds all hyped up on Putinism and Mother Russia, signify real potential trouble ahead. Dangerous times.
   1928. Publius Publicola Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4673653)
Speaking.


So Jason, the one risk is that a few of them get diverted to terrorists. I'm sure there are some Tatars with Islamic fundamentalist leanings. Not many but some. What to do?
   1929. Publius Publicola Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:12 PM (#4673655)
Agree, Bear. The Germans wept with joy in 1940 after Paris fell and Hitler was god. But a few scant years later...
   1930. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4673664)
1927:

Yes, indeedy, and we should all recall to mind that unthinking gung ho spirit that resulted in the costly (in so many ways) Iraq War. Remember those young soldiers on that boat with Bush--it was like college football players on Homecoming Day.

I believe the old Eisenhower brinkmanship is still in play--even if it is carefully concealing in the nature of an iron hand in a velvet glove. Implicit in Ike's facedown of the Soviets was this: yes, we will suffer horrendous casualties, but you, you will cease to be--where your country was will be a smoking gaping hole. What has to be guarded against is getting to point where everyone is making everything a point of pride (and Ike was very good at defusing what tended to those inclinations, too).
   1931. CrosbyBird Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4673665)
If you're going to make logical arguments about what behavior to encourage/discourage then you have to understand.

I don't think it's so difficult to understand the potential evolutionary advantages of adoption. Human beings are social creatures, and demonstrating the capacity to protect and care for young could most certainly be attractive to potential mates. We operate socially based classifying people as "in-circle" and "out-of-circle," with a general presumption of trust for "in-circle" and distrust for "out-of-circle." What better way to cultivate more and stronger "in-circle" relationships than to raise other children with your values?

There's even the basic idea of reciprocal altruism at work here. If something happens to me before my child reaches maturity, others in society are willing to step up and carry the burden of rearing that child. In exchange, someone might step forward and assume the burden on their behalf.

I don't think you can have any sort of functional advanced society without some sort of reciprocal altruism, moral punishment, preferential grouping, etc. Those sorts of principles can generate a lot of superficially "non-adaptive" behavior that actually has significant survival and propagation benefits.
   1932. steagles Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:06 PM (#4673666)
So Jason, the one risk is that a few of them get diverted to terrorists. I'm sure there are some Tatars with Islamic fundamentalist leanings. Not many but some. What to do?
write a book and blame a clinton.

It's about time Obama/Merkle/Cameron et al draw a line in the sand, before this goes to a full-on war.
not sure if serious...

If anything stops the GOP from taking over the Senate, it will almost certainly be the quality of their nominees, not the content of the party's agenda or lack of one.
have you guys figured out whether you're gonna be pro-rape or anti-rape in 2014 yet?
   1933. CrosbyBird Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4673667)
I'd say I'd tend more to nihilism or hedonism if I really didn't believe God existed. I'd certainly be absolutely ruthless in the pursuit of my own desires. Probably try to become dictator or something like that.

Neither are particularly popular positions, though, and a good deal of power comes from relationships with others. I've met people that are as selfish as you describe and they're generally terrible people that most of the world strongly dislikes.

I've never understood why hedonism, particularly hedonism that takes into account the necessity of certain basic social conventions, is necessarily a bad thing. There are many things in this world that are far worse than pursuing pleasure.

At the end of the day, I don't find most people all that appealing. I guess I'm just a misanthrope, but most people (including myself I'm sure) are pretty shitty. This goes double for children; most are annoying and obnoxious. I mean I love my nephews, but I'm generally pretty glad they don't live with me. And most children don't seem to grow up to be admirable people. Maybe I just have too high a standard for the behavior I expect of people.

Most people are selfish more than shitty, I think. They don't go out of their way to make other people miserable so much as they don't go out of their way to make other people happy. Even the best of us have selfish impulses, and tend to be more giving to people that we consider acquaintances and friends than those we consider strangers.
   1934. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4673671)
So Jason, the one risk is that a few of them get diverted to terrorists. I'm sure there are some Tatars with Islamic fundamentalist leanings. Not many but some. What to do?

No option is without risks, Kevin. I took one this morning when I crossed M Street on foot.

Never mind every other reason to oppose Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea, doing nothing will do more to radicalize the local Tatar population than sending weaponry to the government in Kyiv.
   1935. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4673672)
The Germans wept with joy in 1940 after Paris fell and Hitler was god. But a few scant years later...

Six million Jews were dead.
   1936. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4673680)
But a few scant years later...

Abbott and Costello weren't speaking to one another.
   1937. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4673685)
Illinois primary today...

Rauner was the overwhelming favorite for GOP Governor nomination, but Dillard's hanging in there. And I believe a lot of DuPage (Dillard's home county) still to be counted. Could be interesting...
   1938. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4673689)
Most all of us are taught, either expressly or implicitly, from the cradle on that Man is perfectible, and that perfectibility is possible if people would just get their head straight (although what that perfectibility would be seems both unimaginable and unsatisfying when you get down to particulars). All that is needed is that we abide by some scheme or other (ah, there's the first rub--what scheme, who's scheme), and that it is only recalcitrance that keeps us from attaining perfectibility. We asssholes (everyone is someone's assshole) just don't want things to be perfect, goddamit.

I can see why an inevitable disappointment, a feeling of being frustrated, would come about, especially as more and more of us develop a sense of history, and seeing this failure of man play out over decades and centuries and eons it is understandable that this would lead to misanthropy and pessimism. One of the benefits of accepting fully materialistic naturalism is that you really have no basis for pretending that people could be "better". Everything since the forest primeval is pretty much gravy, and our fear is that we will be put at risk of going back to that natural state. People are just as good as they have to be, as they feel is good for them, pretty much like any other animal around.
   1939. Howie Menckel Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4673693)
"Most people are selfish more than shitty, I think. They don't go out of their way to make other people miserable so much as they don't go out of their way to make other people happy."

wow, the "recline your airplane seat with impunity" thread is back!

:)
   1940. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4673697)
Rauner was the overwhelming favorite for GOP Governor nomination, but Dillard's hanging in there.

Now called for Rauner, who was widely regarded as the GOP's strongest general election candidate.
   1941. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4673698)
Now called for Rauner, who was widely regarded as the GOP's strongest general election candidate.


He can't be feeling too good. He spent an obnoxious amount of $$$ in this primary to beat a mediocre challenger by less than 20K votes. I'm not Governor Quinn's biggest fan but I'm feeling a bit more optimistic after tonight.
   1942. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4673712)
So how's ObamaCare doing? Not too well in Oregon. The enrollment period opened without the website working, and state officials recently announced that it wouldn't be fixed before the enrollment period closed on March 31. Apparently, $300M doesn't buy that much anymore.
   1943. Chip Posted: March 19, 2014 at 01:47 AM (#4673728)
Apparently, $300M doesn't buy that much anymore.


Not even one F-35.
   1944. BFFB Posted: March 19, 2014 at 05:42 AM (#4673738)
It's about time Obama/Merkle/Cameron et al draw a line in the sand, before this goes to a full-on war.


I posted about this earlier in the thread but I think it just got kinda lost in US political chat but dealing with Russia is... difficult for Eastern Europe and also Germany because of Natural Gas.

Germany doesn't have native gas reserves nor much in the way of on-shore terminals for handling LNG so it's gas (used for heating, cooking and power) mostly come through one of two pipelines. Both originate in Russia with one entering through Belarus and one through Ukraine. This is also the same problem that faces Ukraine, Poland and other Eastern European countries but is even more pronounced.

Putin, over the last few years, specifically in relation to both Poland and Ukraine has had a nasty habit of needing to do "urgent repairs" on these pipelines (i.e. shut off the gas) when there is some policy he wants to influence. These "repairs" usually take place in the middle of winter.

Germany is also doubly ###### thanks to them letting Putin Russian State Owned oil Companies buy up half their operating refineries.
   1945. BrianBrianson Posted: March 19, 2014 at 06:41 AM (#4673741)
Replacing butter with anything is an outright failure.


Lard often works wonders.
   1946. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:00 AM (#4673751)
So am I gathering the consensus here is that new unelected Ukrainian government brought in by a western-backed coup are the good guys? Just checking before I wade in.
   1947. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:05 AM (#4673753)
One of the benefits of accepting fully materialistic naturalism is that you really have no basis for pretending that people could be "better". Everything since the forest primeval is pretty much gravy, and our fear is that we will be put at risk of going back to that natural state. People are just as good as they have to be, as they feel is good for them, pretty much like any other animal around.

That's a funny theory, since it has historically been the materialists who have believed in the perfectibility of man, and come up with your various totalitarian schemes to achieve it (French Revolution, socialism, fascism, communism, etc.).

As a Christian, I certainly never have believed man can be perfected this side of the grave. I fully recognize our gravely fallen nature.

But, that acknowledgement doesn't mean I have to like man as he is. Most people could be better than they are, but they refuse to make the effort, which is a long term theme of humanity. I can acknowledge that reality, and conclude, I don't much like those people who choose not to make the effort. There are people who do make the effort to be good people, so I'll just like them, and not the others. I don't see a contradiction.
   1948. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4673754)
I posted about this earlier in the thread but I think it just got kinda lost in US political chat but dealing with Russia is... difficult for Eastern Europe and also Germany because of Natural Gas.


The problem is that people want a fast response. They want to go in and push those scary Russian troops out of Crimea. That's not the adult way to punish Putin. The adult way is the way the west is responding; sorting out the Crete mess so that the joint venture Israeli-Crete gas fields can replace Russian supplies, and then cutting Russia off from the money spigot. In lieu of the exciting jolt of the Manly Doing Of Things we have the slow, boring build out of alternative energy sources to cut off the petrodollar autocrat from his source of wealth (and thus power.)
   1949. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:07 AM (#4673755)
So am I gathering the consensus here is that new unelected Ukrainian government brought in by a western-backed coup are the good guys? Just checking before I wade in.


As far as I can tell the consensus from conservatives is that "Obama is doing it wrong, the situation is critical, and something must be done! (Else Hitler Part II)". The consensus from the liberals seems to be, "What? Hold on there, it is more complex than that".

I don't think either side has been portrayed as good, though perhaps the Ukrainians have been highlighted as victims. But I could be over simplifying.
   1950. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:08 AM (#4673756)
So am I gathering the consensus here is that new unelected Ukrainian government brought in by a western-backed coup are the good guys? Just checking before I wade in.

Ummm, you're aware that the Parliament was freely elected, and that Parliament deposed Yanukovych virtually unanimously, and chose the new Gov't.

That's an impeachment, not a coup. And yes, they are the good guys.
   1951. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4673757)
The problem is that people want a fast response. They want to go in and push those scary Russian troops out of Crimea. That's not the adult way to punish Putin.

No, they want a clear deterrent to stop him from going any further.

[emThe adult way is the way the west is responding; sorting out the Crete mess so that the joint venture Israeli-Crete gas fields can replace Russian supplies, and then cutting Russia off from the money spigot. In lieu of the exciting jolt of the Manly Doing Of Things we have the slow, boring build out of alternative energy sources to cut off the petrodollar autocrat from his source of wealth (and thus power.)]

I love it. A plan to deter Russian aggression with a 20-year implementation cycle. Hell, Putin will be dead of natural causes before your plan does anything.

Germany is also doubly ###### thanks to them letting Putin Russian State Owned oil Companies buy up half their operating refineries.

So? That can be reversed with a stroke of a pen. Nationalize them and sell them to a Western oil company. Let the Russians pay a price for their adventurism.
   1952. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4673759)
That's a funny theory, since it has historically been the materialists who have believed in the perfectibility of man, and come up with your various totalitarian schemes to achieve it (French Revolution, socialism, fascism, communism, etc.).


I don't think the unifying thread that ties together "French Revolution, socialism, fascism, communism, etc." is materialism. That seems overly simplistic and generalized to the point of uselessness.

And by the way I have never heard socialism described as particularly totalitarian. There are governments that are totalitarian that have exhibited socialistic tendencies, but ditto for capitalistic governments.
   1953. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:13 AM (#4673760)
OK, thanks.
   1954. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4673761)
I don't think the unifying thread that ties together "French Revolution, socialism, fascism, communism, etc." is materialism. That seems overly simplistic and generalized to the point of uselessness.

I'm not saying that's the unifying thread, I'm just saying, in the Western world, almost all the utopian political movements come with a materialist mindset. They are generally atheistic, and are mostly severely anti-Church.

It's not the Christians who think man can achieve paradise on earth through political action, it's the atheist/materialists.
   1955. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:22 AM (#4673762)
No, they want a clear deterrent to stop him from going any further.


Which is what, exactly?

Because a bunch hinges on whether this is a somewhat isolated "Russia tussling with border nation" incident, or if it is a prelude to "The Russian Bear now awake starts devouring Europe".

If the former, then nothing much needs to be done (beyond what is clearly already being done). If the later than short of war or at least massive mobilization, I am not sure what can be done.
   1956. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4673763)
And by the way I have never heard socialism described as particularly totalitarian. There are governments that are totalitarian that have exhibited socialistic tendencies, but ditto for capitalistic governments.

Socialism tends towards totalitarianism because people generally don't want to give up their property. You need to distinguish real socialism from the welfare state, which after all, is a creation of Bismarck, not Marx.
   1957. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:25 AM (#4673764)
Which is what, exactly?

Because a bunch hinges on whether this is a somewhat isolated "Russia tussling with border nation" incident, or if it is a prelude to "The Russian Bear now awake starts devouring Europe".

If the former, then nothing much needs to be done (beyond what is clearly already being done). If the later than short of war or at least massive mobilization, I am not sure what can be done.


A clear message that any invasion of the Ukraine proper will be met with force. We can remain vague on what form that force will take.

We should start arming the Ukrainians with advanced weapons immediately (as Jason has said) and we should be forward deploying air assets to Europe, and moving additional ground forces to Germany and Poland. We already have extra divisional equipment sets prepositioned in Europe (beyond the one division based there). It's simply a question of flying over the troops.
   1958. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:27 AM (#4673766)
We should start arming the Ukrainians with advanced weapons immediately (as Jason has said) and we should be forward deploying air assets to Europe, and moving additional ground forces to Germany and Poland.

"And if we're really, really lucky, China will get involved."
   1959. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:27 AM (#4673767)
No, they want a clear deterrent to stop him from going any further.


The aggressive party always has the advantage of initiative. Putin won't enjoy the WTF moment that got him into Crimea any longer. At this point, the long game is the winning game. But hey, you keep needing someone to do something RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANCE, man. Because, reasons and stuff.
   1960. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4673768)
I'm not saying that's the unifying thread, I'm just saying, in the Western world, almost all the utopian political movements come with a materialist mindset. They are generally atheistic, and are mostly severely anti-Church.


I would argue that the US revolution and democratic experiment was a utopian political movement. Have there been any western political movements with any success that are not materialistic? Pretty much every government I can think of is on a basic level materialistic.

I guess I am not seeing how your rubric, even if true in the most general sense, is useful. Government is essentially a materialistic enterprise. The overwhelming number of western political movements in the last 200+ years have been secular. You seem to be positing that because some of those governments and political movements have been bad, materialism is bad.

Seems a bit weak as connections go to me, since as I said government in general is materialistic in nature - especially if we are restricting ourselves to the Western world.
   1961. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4673770)
I'm not saying that's the unifying thread, I'm just saying, in the Western world, almost all the utopian political movements come with a materialist mindset. They are generally atheistic, and are mostly severely anti-Church.


Opposing one authoritarian shitheel government while setting up what becomes another authoritarian shitheel government isn't news. Your argument that "it's okay if the Catholics did it" is a bit dated.
   1962. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4673771)
A clear message that any invasion of the Ukraine proper will be met with force. We can remain vague on what form that force will take.

We should start arming the Ukrainians with advanced weapons immediately (as Jason has said) and we should be forward deploying air assets to Europe, and moving additional ground forces to Germany and Poland. We already have extra divisional equipment sets prepositioned in Europe (beyond the one division based there). It's simply a question of flying over the troops.


Your message may or may not have already been issued, as I suspect most diplomacy is not conducted via the press.

As to arming the Ukranians, I don't see as how that helps us. Encouraging the Ukrainians to do something foolish doesn't strike me as a good idea, and weapons don't care where they are pointed, why they are pointed there, or by who. I am not convinced conventional weapons are a stabilizing influence and I don't think they will convince Russia to retreat, so I don't see the upside.

As to moving the troops, again I am not seeing a huge upside, but not a huge downside either (other than putting our troops in harms way and the money cost), so long as they are not positioned on the front lines provocatively or anything.
   1963. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:34 AM (#4673772)
I would argue that the US revolution and democratic experiment was a utopian political movement. Have there been any western political movements with any success that are not materialistic? Pretty much every government I can think of is on a basic level materialistic.

No, the whole premise of the US system was to use checks and balances to contain the evil instincts of man. It never posited man could be improved. It posited that his bad inclinations could be contained by the proper forms of gov't.

Opposing one authoritarian shitheel government while setting up what becomes another authoritarian shitheel government isn't news. Your argument that "it's okay if the Catholics did it" is a bit dated.

All I said about the Church/Christianity is that it doesn't believe man can be perfected on earth, unlike the Marxists, socialists, and others. I didn't say one word about oppression being "OK" if Catholics do it.
   1964. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4673775)
Your message may or may not have already been issued, as I suspect most diplomacy is not conducted via the press.

But the message is far more credible if delivered publicly. It means we're committing to it, and will suffer harm to our prestige if we don't follow through. A private threat is more likely to be perceived as pure bluster, especially if your enemy views you as weak.

As to arming the Ukranians, I don't see as how that helps us. Encouraging the Ukrainians to do something foolish doesn't strike me as a good idea, and weapons don't care where they are pointed, why they are pointed there, or by who. I am not convinced conventional weapons are a stabilizing influence and I don't think they will convince Russia to retreat, so I don't see the upside.

The point would be to make the Russians think twice whether an invasion would be quick and easy. The more costly they think it will be, the less likely they do it.

As to moving the troops, again I am not seeing a huge upside, but not a huge downside either (other than putting our troops in harms way and the money cost), so long as they are not positioned on the front lines provocatively or anything.

Yes, I'm talking about moving troops to Germany and Poland, not Kharkov.
   1965. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:42 AM (#4673777)
No, the whole premise of the US system was to use checks and balances to contain the evil instincts of man. It never posited man could be improved. It posited that his bad inclinations could be contained by the proper forms of gov't.


So you are suggesting that democracy, letting people, common people, vote to determine their government is NOT (in the context of 18th century thought) a utopian political experiment? That sounds a bit thinly sliced in terms of motivations to me. All systems contain checks and balances, even GF's beloved Monarchy.

Still more on point what governments are not materialistic? What political movements are not secular (Western, last few centuries)?
   1966. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4673779)
All I said about the Church/Christianity is that it doesn't believe man can be perfected on earth, unlike the Marxists, socialists, and others.


Where do you get the idea that "Marxists, socialists, and others" think humanity can be "perfected on earth?"
   1967. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4673781)
So you are suggesting that democracy, letting people, common people, vote to determine their government is NOT (in the context of 18th century thought) a utopian political experiment? That sounds a bit thinly sliced in terms of motivations to me.


That's the rub. Basically, Snapper is just defining anything he likes as "not utopian or materialistic" while claiming, sans argument, that things he doesn't like are.
   1968. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4673782)
But the message is far more credible if delivered publicly. It means we're committing to it, and will suffer harm to our prestige if we don't follow through. A private threat is more likely to be perceived as pure bluster, especially if your enemy views you as weak.


But the problem is you are publically committing yourself to something, which you have zero control over. Who knows what Ukraine and Russia might get into. it is not crazy to come up with a situation where Ukraine is totally at fault and yet we end up either committing forces or being humiliated and ending up looking weaker. And that is a risk not worth it, if this is just a border issue between Russia and a neighbor and unlikely to grow into more than that.

Because if it is just a minor border dispute and not the sign of "things to come" then we need to calm people down, lest the border dispute spiral out of control because of (at least partly) our responses.
   1969. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4673785)
So? That can be reversed with a stroke of a pen. Nationalize them and sell them to a Western oil company. Let the Russians pay a price for their adventurism.

Sure, now you are in favor of seizing private property, and nationalizing the means of production by government fiat.
   1970. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4673787)
Where do you get the idea that "Marxists, socialists, and others" think humanity can be "perfected on earth?"

That's the whole ideology behind Marxist socialism. Once the proletariat was in control, man would become happy, orderly and productive, and government structures would wither away. Never heard of the "New Soviet Man"? It was all bull ####, but it was believed by a lot of people.

So you are suggesting that democracy, letting people, common people, vote to determine their government is NOT (in the context of 18th century thought) a utopian political experiment? That sounds a bit thinly sliced in terms of motivations to me. All systems contain checks and balances, even GF's beloved Monarchy.


No, the French Revolution was utopian, the American Revolution was strictly pragmatic.

If you believe in the fundamentally venal nature of man, the appeal of democracy is obvious. When power is concentrated in a few hands, those few have great scope for venality. Monarchies and dictatorships are notoriously corrupt.

A Federalist Republic, by spreading power around, and setting up natural tensions and checks between the different branches and levels of government, seeks to keep that venality in check.

I mean, simply read the Federalist #51. It's all there in black and white.

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.


All governments are materialistic, but not all philosophies are.
   1971. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4673789)
That's the rub. Basically, Snapper is just defining anything he likes as "not utopian or materialistic" while claiming, sans argument, that things he doesn't like are.


The Church can horde untold wealth culled from the rubes because the real treasure is in heaven. Guess who holds they key to heaven?
   1972. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 08:59 AM (#4673790)
Once the proletariat was in control, man would become happy, orderly and productive, and government structures would wither away. Never heard of the "New Soviet Man"?


Yeah. I've also heard of the IBM's "Company Man." Nothing in Marxist theory requires the perfection of humanity, any more than replacing feudalism with market liberalism did.
   1973. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4673794)
Yeah. I've also heard of the IBM's "Company Man." Nothing in Marxist theory requires the perfection of humanity, any more than replacing feudalism with market liberalism did.

Right, they could just remain a totalitarian dictatorship forever, which was the real plan. But, that's not what they preached.
   1974. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:06 AM (#4673796)
I've rocked out to Rush's "New World Man" before.
   1975. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:07 AM (#4673797)
All governments are materialistic, but not all philosophies are.


Again I think you are slicing very thin here. The idea that democracy could work was anything but pragmatic. It was crazy pie in the sky utopianism. The fact that the founders were pragmatic in how they implemented their crazy idea is very much a credit to them, but the basic idea of governing a nation through representative democracy is anything but pragmatic.

Crowning George Washington king, that would have been the ultimate in pragmatic 18th century political science (and made GF happy).

Besides you have acknowledged that all governments are materialistic. Forgive me for being pragmatic, before you were tieing materialists to totalitarians, and now you are admitting all governments are materialists. If all governments are materialistic in nature (as we both seem to believe), then I think you have way over generalized your totalitarian point earlier.
   1976. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4673798)
Right, they could just remain a totalitarian dictatorship forever, which was the real plan.


The authoritarian (not really totalitarian) dictatorships of the Soviets was no more aligned to "Marxist" theory than Putin's current regime is aligned to the theories of Adam Smith.
   1977. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4673800)
Besides you have acknowledged that all governments are materialistic. Forgive me for being pragmatic, before you were tieing materialists to totalitarians, and now you are admitting all governments are materialists. If all governments are materialistic in nature (as we both seem to believe), then I think you have way over generalized your totalitarian point earlier.

I was actually tying utopianism to totalitarianism. The more outlandishly wonderful your goals, the more horrible things you tend to be willing to do to achieve them.
   1978. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4673801)
The authoritarian (not really totalitarian) dictatorships of the Soviets was no more aligned to "Marxist" theory than Putin's current regime is aligned to the theories of Adam Smith.

Oh goodness. I'm not debunking your Marxist apologias today. Find another huckleberry.

Sometimes you're like a bad out-take reel from a 1979 poli-sci class.
   1979. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4673802)
I was actually tying utopianism to totalitarianism. The more outlandishly wonderful your goals, the more horrible things you tend to be willing to do to achieve them.


For example, if you think you're in the business of saving all of humanity's souls by converting them to the One True Religion, you're willing to break a few eggs when it comes to heretics.
   1980. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4673803)
The more outlandishly wonderful your goals, the more horrible things you tend to be willing to do to achieve them.


I mean who could argue with the obvious benefits of stamping out heresy?

EDIT: Rickey gets a Coke as warm as the fires of hell to which he is undoubtedly consigned to.
   1981. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4673804)
Oh goodness. I'm not debunking your Marxist apologias today. Find another huckleberry.

Sometimes you're like a bad out-take reel from a 1979 poli-sci class.


You're the guy doing the "what I like is moral and right, what I dislike is the end of the world" sophomore level schtick here, buddy.
   1982. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4673805)
For example, if you think you're in the business of saving all of humanity's souls by converting them to the One True Religion, you're willing to break a few eggs when it comes to heretics.

Precious few heretic eggs were broken in comparison to your beloved Marxists record.
   1983. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4673806)
You're the guy doing the "what I like is moral and right, what I dislike is the end of the world" sophomore level schtick here, buddy.

That, and a whopping dose of sneering mockery is all you ever peddle.
   1984. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4673811)
That, and a whopping dose of sneering mockery is all you ever peddle.


What, exactly, would you prefer? You are randomly asserting, without argument or evidence, that "utopian" schemes are "materialistic" and lead to evil results, while ignoring completely the utopianism inherit in the systems you want to hold in reserve (US republicanism, Catholicism.)

There is no fundamental relationship between utopianism and bad result. All there is is your need to classify anything outside of your faith as "evil" and the road to Hell.
   1985. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4673814)
Precious few heretic eggs were broken in comparison to your beloved Marxists record.


The difference in broken eggs between the Soviets or Nazis, vs the eggs broken by the Church during the Reformation wars, is driven by the mechanized armies of the modern era. Give the Medieval Church access to the methods of WW II or Cold War era killing efficiency and their body count would land somewhere between the 6 and 12 million status markers of Hitler and Stalin. They'd certainly have outpaced Pol Pot. The distinction between their body counts and the body counts of the 20th century are completely tied to the means they had at their disposal to kill the Evil Other, not their willingness to do so or some sort of belief in the sanctity of human life.
   1986. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4673817)
The authoritarian (not really totalitarian) dictatorships of the Soviets was no more aligned to "Marxist" theory than Putin's current regime is aligned to the theories of Adam Smith.


Marxism didn't fail, it was failed! Oh man, Sam is nothing if not predictable.
   1987. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4673818)
Marxism didn't fail, it was failed! Oh man, Sam is nothing if not predictable.


Your inability to read my contributions over time and actually comprehend them is not my fault. I've explained this point a thousand times before, kiddo.
   1988. Publius Publicola Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4673819)
Rickey!, I think you mean Cyprus, not Crete.

While large, the Levant Basin gas fields are probably in sufficient to supply all of Europes natural gas imports. The key is to begin exploitation of the shale formations in Poland, Ukraine, the Baltics, Slovakia, France, Germany and the UK. They have already hit pay dirt in Poland and its just a matter of time they will be energy independent. All the other countries listed except Franc have drilling permits in place.

There is an infrastructure problem that will have to be corrected. Drilling equipment will have to be imported and pipelines and LNG terminals built. But it's just a matter of time. Putin appears to have won this battle but he's clearly lost sight of the war. Or maybe he hasn't, and is grabbing what he can before the reckoning.
   1989. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4673820)
Rickey!, I think you mean Cyprus, not Crete.


You are correct. It's all Greek to me.

There is an infrastructure problem that will have to be corrected. Drilling equipment will have to be imported and pipelines and LNG terminals built. But it's just a matter of time. Putin appears to have won this battle but he's clearly lost sight of the war.


It depends on if Putin thinks Russia's longterm alliance is going to turn southeast to China or not. If he's made that calculation, then taking as much of his western near-abroad as possible before pivoting to China and divvying up the 'stans between him and Beijing makes some sense. If he's still thinking he's going to create a Euroasian Union and replace Anglo-Germanic leadership with Russo-Slavic leadership, he's almost certainly lost the war in the first major battle.
   1990. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4673821)
Russian forces storm Ukraine naval HQ in Crimea
Russian troops and unarmed men stormed Ukraine's naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on Wednesday and raised the Russian flag in a tense but peaceful takeover that signals Moscow's intent to neutralize any armed opposition.

Russian soldiers, and so-called "self-defense" units of mainly unarmed volunteers who are supporting them across the Black Sea peninsula, moved in early in the morning and quickly took control.

Shortly after the incident, Ukraine's acting Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh said in Kiev that the country's forces would not withdraw from Crimea even though Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make it part of Russia.

But an hour later, Ukrainian servicemen, unarmed and in civilian clothing, began walking out of the headquarters.

Interfax Ukraine news agency said the commander of the Ukrainian navy, Admiral Serhiy Haiduk, was among those who left and was driven away by officers of Russia's FSB intelligence service. The report could not be independently confirmed.

The first group of servicemen was followed within a few minutes by a handful of troops in Ukrainian uniform, looking shell-shocked at the dramatic turn of events.
   1991. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4673822)
Your inability to read my contributions over time and actually comprehend them is not my fault. I've explained this point a thousand times before, kiddo.


If this were true, then perhaps all these people misunderstanding you (you sure seem to get misunderstood a lot) should be taken as a warning sign that your communication skills are terrible.

But of course it's not true. You just say a lot of really stupid things, and when you get called on them, you invariably claim people "don't understand" you. (there's that whole "predictable" thing again) The only people in this world more misunderstood than Sam are spoiled 14 year old kids.
   1992. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4673824)
If this were true, then perhaps all these people misunderstanding you (you sure seem to get misunderstood a lot) should be taken as a warning sign that your communication skills are terrible.


The only people here misreading my overall contributions are people ideologically incented to pretend that I'm arguing for "communism" and "totalitarianism." Namely, you, Snapper, SugarBear and the GOP operatives (Clapper, Kehoskie.) The rest of the crowd don't reduce my points to cartoons, because they don't need cartoons to attack in order to prop up their own poor argumentation.
   1993. GregD Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4673825)
No, the whole premise of the US system was to use checks and balances to contain the evil instincts of man. It never posited man could be improved. It posited that his bad inclinations could be contained by the proper forms of gov't.
There's something to what you're saying but not enough to justify the way you say it. Certainly not "the whole premise."

Yes the American Revolution leaders had, especially Madison and Hamilton and REALLY especially Adams, a strong sense of people's inherent selfishness and lust for power.

On the other hand, they all--and even more so Jefferson--had a strong sense that there were systems that produced virtue among people, and that those virtues were crucial to the survival of a republic. So they organized a society that they believed would produce virtue. The key linkage was between independence and political engagement. So encourage small landholdings so you don't have a system based on employees. And then have independent landholders engage in politics both pragmatically to restrain but also idealistically to produce the virtue that comes of debate.

Even the deep cynics--Adams!--believed they had created a model for the world and were full of both a fear it would collapse and also a teleological confidence grounded in their view of the idea that, even if people could not be perfected, institutions could be perfected to draw out the virtues of man. They saw political science as science (which is why they had zero interest in the idea that the Constitution would stay the same, since they presumed new discoveries in political science would change the Constitution to create an more-perfect system.)

The Anglophiles hated the French Revolution but less for its utopianism than for its methods (which may be bound up in its utopianism.) One of the things we have increasingly learned about the later stages of the French Revolution, by the way, is how deeply they tried to shift to a pragmatic footing during the Directory period. And had they not suffered grievous external military defeats, they might well have succeeded in their goal of stabilizing the republic and returning to rule of law.
   1994. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4673828)
Flight 370 puts Israel on high alert: "Israel has close to zero margin for error in countering and protecting itself against a hijacked airplane"
"Israel's a tiny country. It's situated along the coast. A jet that's been hijacked flying at 600 miles an hour will take about a minute and half to cross the entire country of Israel. It's where Israel's most populated cities are right along that coast. So Israel has close to zero margin for error in countering and protecting itself against a hijacked airplane," explained Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States. "If this Malaysian jet has been hijacked, and there's a sense among Israeli intelligence officials that that is a possibility, then Israel feels that it has to take the necessary precautions. The government met with security officials this week and decided on a number of emergency measures."

Joining "Piers Morgan Live" guest host Bill Weir for a primetime interview, CNN's Mideast Analyst noted that due to its precarious position, Israel is forced to defend itself extremely aggressively, going on the offensive at least once before:

"We have one precedent. It occurred 41 years ago in February 1973, when a Libyan aircraft bound for Cairo strayed into Israeli controlled air space. Israeli jets intercepted that Libyan airliner, instructed it to land. When it ignored the Israeli instructions that airliner was shot down. All but five of the 114 people aboard died," he explained. "Israel paid compensation to the families. But that is the precedent. Israel again has no margin for error for planes, align planes, unidentified planes, and possibly hostile planes, that are entering its air space."
   1995. The Good Face Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4673829)
The only people here misreading my overall contributions are people ideologically incented to pretend that I'm arguing for "communism" and "totalitarianism."


You get called out for being a communist apologist because you're a communist apologist. If you stopped making excuses for communism, people would probably stop calling you one.


The rest of the crowd don't reduce my points to cartoons, because they don't need cartoons to attack in order to prop up their own poor argumentation.


The rest of the crowd are your ideological fellow travellers. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked you've failed to notice, but the lefties here rarely attack other lefties, and you're nothing if not one of their tribe.
   1996. Lassus Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4673832)
Jason, I know Israel exists in a state of extremely high tension, but don't you think it's possible that turning a likely fire and airplane crash in southeast Asia into a story about Israel's need to have a hair-trigger is rather pointlessly feeding that tension?
   1997. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4673834)
You get called out for being a communist apologist because you're a communist apologist.


I am no more a communist apologist than you are an authoritarian apologist. I no more defend communism than you defend Putin. (In point of fact, your arguments are far more aligned with Putin's neo-fascist authoritarianism than anything I've argued for relates to "communism.") I make a point of not reducing you to a fascist cartoon, even though it would be very easy to do so, in order to carry on a conversation. An intellectually honest man would return the favor. We see that you don't seem to manage that trick.
   1998. zonk Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4673837)
Now called for Rauner, who was widely regarded as the GOP's strongest general election candidate.



He can't be feeling too good. He spent an obnoxious amount of $$$ in this primary to beat a mediocre challenger by less than 20K votes. I'm not Governor Quinn's biggest fan but I'm feeling a bit more optimistic after tonight.


FWIW -

Especially given there was nothing happening on the D side -- I crossed over and voted in the GOP primary for Dillard.

For a while, I was pleasantly surprised with Quinn's performance -- but the last couple of years, he's sort of gotten back to the 'worst of Quinn' (self-promoting gadfly that makes enemies of everyone).

Had Dillard won the GOP primary, I say in all honesty that there was a 60/40 chance I'd be pulling the lever for Dillard over Quinn. Dillard is far from my ideal - but he's more compromising technocrat than anything else.

I will not be voting for Rauner... He's basically Romney with a bit less of the whitebread gee gollyisms. His big issue - "term limits" - is the most asinine "big issue" I've ever heard. I mean - if an elected official is honest, competent, and a match for my values, why in the hell should I care how many terms s/he has served? Should we have 'term limits' for CEOs, too? They tend to grow stale, become corrupt, and likewise become rubberstamped by Boards of Directors that they pack with buddies while simultaneously rigging stock offerings to make it nearly impossible for shareholder revolts to be rid of them.

Rauner as an 'outsider' is pretty laughable -- the guy is more ensconced in the Illinois political power structure than virtually anyone without the last name of 'Daley'.

Maybe he'll be able to fool Illinois voters into believing otherwise - he's got no lack of money to carpet bomb them with ads to that effect - but this is one 99% Democratic voter that the Republicans actually had a better than good chance of poaching with a Dillard-led ticket.
   1999. JE (Jason) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4673843)
Jason, I know Israel exists in a state of extremely high tension, but don't you think it's possible that turning a likely fire and airplane crash in southeast Asia into a story about Israel's need to have a hair-trigger is rather pointlessly feeding that tension?

I don't know if you checked the news this morning, Lassus, but no one is dismissing the possibility that the plane landed on a remote landing strip somewhere.
   2000. GregD Posted: March 19, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4673845)
For a while, I was pleasantly surprised with Quinn's performance -- but the last couple of years, he's sort of gotten back to the 'worst of Quinn' (self-promoting gadfly that makes enemies of everyone).
I was gone from Ill by this time but had hoped that Hynes would win the 2010 primary. Quinn seemed the worst of both worlds, both a bad candidate and a bad governor. The Dem primaries have produced some dis-spiriting outcomes with much-better candidates falling to guys who are very unappealing.
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(283 - 12:03am, Oct 02)
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