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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

AP: Castro says U.S. afraid to face Cuba in Classic

Oh yeah?  Our Slappy McBlue Lips will knock that cigar outta yer mug…with one conviction tied behind his backl

Fidel Castro suggested the United States doesn’t want to play Cuba in the World Baseball Classic, which is awaiting word on whether the U.S. government will let the island’s players take part.

“We aren’t afraid of anything,” Castro said in a wide-ranging speech late Tuesday. “It’s very difficult to compete against us in any area ... not even in baseball do they want to compete with Cuba.”

Thanks to Quilvio Anti-Retro Veras

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:00 PM | 220 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. laurent1056 Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:18 PM (#1826742)
I gotta hand it to Fidel, he has HUGE cojones. He's some badass hombre!
   2. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:25 PM (#1826754)
Time for another discussion about the embargo!
   3. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:28 PM (#1826758)
I just got through the Arrested Development DVDs, and all I can think of right now is Gob Bluth dancing and making his weird chicken noises.
   4. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#1826764)
   5. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#1826765)
Atta boy Fidel.
   6. Traderdave Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:38 PM (#1826783)
End the embargo today. Open up full diplomatic & trade relations tomorrow. Schedule a state visit and a friendly Castro-Bush photo-op for Friday afternoon.

Castro won't last a month.

See also: Berlin, 1989.
   7. Gainsay Posted: January 18, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#1826864)
I read at washingtonpost.com that Cuba now has a higher life expectancy for males today than the US does, so maybe Castro is right that it's tough to compete with Cuba.
   8. Barca Posted: January 18, 2006 at 06:37 PM (#1826897)
"We aren’t afraid of anything,” Castro

Except maybe our players defecting, that's why we want to provide our own security.
   9. Barca Posted: January 18, 2006 at 06:38 PM (#1826899)
"We aren’t afraid of anything,” Castro

Except maybe our players defecting, that's why we want to provide our own security.

And maybe our players mixing with Cuban players living in America and getting the wrong ideas.
   10. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 18, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#1826912)
And maybe our players mixing with Cuban players living in America and getting the wrong ideas...

... about how it's perfectly ok to start wars across the world if there's oil to be had ...
   11. Law Boy Posted: January 18, 2006 at 06:52 PM (#1826941)
Castro is a scumbag, but our bipartisan policy toward Cuba isn't working.
   12. WillYoung Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#1826977)
I just got through the Arrested Development DVDs, and all I can think of right now is Gob Bluth dancing and making his weird chicken noises.

Cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck-a-cuck
   13. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:14 PM (#1826980)
We'll whip your a** at ice hockey, Fidelito baby.
   14. RichRifkin Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#1826991)
I read at washingtonpost.com that Cuba now has a higher life expectancy for males today than the US does, so maybe Castro is right that it's tough to compete with Cuba.

I always laugh when I hear people extol the virtues of the Cuban health care system. As if it's cool to have absolutely no human rights, no civil liberties, no voting, no upward mobility, no freedom to travel, jails crowded with prisoners of conscience, half the population trying to escape in death-trap rafts, as long as there is decent quality free medical care. Oh boy, what a great trade-off that is. In the U.S. you can make that same exchange -- we call it prison.

What is so amazing about the failure of communism in Cuba (and everywhere else, for that matter) is that when Castro made himself the Dictator, in 1959, Cuba had the highest standard of living and the highest per capita GDP of any Spanish or Portuguese-speaking country (including Puerto Rico) in the Western Hemisphere. After 46 years of totalitarian dictatorship on Cuba, and they have fallen to the bottom (only Honduras and Nicaragua are poorer).

Here are a few countries for comparison:

USA $41,800 GDP/capita
Puerto Rico $18,500
Argentina $13,600
Chile $11,300
Mexico $10,000
Brazil $8,500
Dominican Republic $6,500
Cuba $3,300

This is the full list.
   15. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:21 PM (#1826997)
Castro is a scumbag, but our bipartisan policy toward Cuba isn't working.

Yes and yes. And it's worse than "not working;" it hasn't worked for decades, and instead has likely been the primary factor keeping the scumbag in power.
   16. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#1827016)
as long as there is decent quality free medical care. Oh boy, what a great trade-off that is. In the U.S. you can make that same exchange -- we call it prison.

when did the states (as opposed, i guess, to the feds) start providing "decent-quality free medical care"?
   17. Gainsay Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#1827017)
RichRifkin,

I didn't mean to be extolling Cuban healthcare, just pointing out how terrible the American healthcare system is.
   18. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#1827024)
I didn't mean to be extolling Cuban healthcare, just pointing out how terrible the American healthcare system is.


but that doesn't matter! unless you get sick.
   19. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:36 PM (#1827029)
it hasn't worked for decades, and instead has likely been the primary factor keeping the scumbag in power.

That's if the goal is to remove the scumbag from power. I don't think that's been the goal since the Bay of Pigs.
   20. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#1827044)
That's if the goal is to remove the scumbag from power. I don't think that's been the goal since the Bay of Pigs.

I fully understand that the real goal is to appease rich noisy exiled Cubans in Florida, and sustain their flow of campaign dollars, while letting everyone in Cuba except Castro and his power elite go to hell. I get that. Viewed from that lovely angle, the thing has been a rousing success.
   21. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#1827047)
I always laugh when I hear people extol the virtues of the Cuban health care system. As if it's cool to have absolutely no human rights, no civil liberties, no voting, no upward mobility, no freedom to travel, jails crowded with prisoners of conscience, half the population trying to escape in death-trap rafts, as long as there is decent quality free medical care.
I always laugh, not only for those reasons, but because the only foundation for the statements is the information provided by the Cuban government. It's not like there's a free press in Cuba to file a FOIA to find out what the life expectancy really is.
   22. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 18, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#1827064)
Ok, so maybe the virtues of the Cuban health care system are exaggerated. How do we explain our shitty healthcare system compared to every other industrialized country?

When I lived in Japan, I had shorter waits, could pick my hospital and nearly everything was paid for. Here I pay a ton of money to get a crappy company telling me they don't cover anything...
   23. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#1827104)
how terrible the American healthcare system is.
but that doesn't matter! unless you get sick.


That's my plan. If I never go to the doctor, nobody can ever tell me I'm sick.
   24. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#1827112)
When I lived in Japan, I had shorter waits, could pick my hospital and nearly everything was paid for. Here I pay a ton of money to get a crappy company telling me they don't cover anything...

Japan also has the U.S. basically picking up the check when it comes to national defense.

I'm not going to argue for one set of budget priorites over another, but the U.S. and Japan pretty clearly have a different set of priorities.
   25. RP Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#1827114)
When I lived in Japan, I had shorter waits, could pick my hospital and nearly everything was paid for. Here I pay a ton of money to get a crappy company telling me they don't cover anything...

Our system stinks and isn't sustainable IMO. In a few years businesses are going to start telling lawmakers that there's no reason they should have to spend tons of money providing health insurance to their employees and that if anyone is going to do that, it should be the government. Complaints from big business will eventually lead to the adoption of some kind of single payer system.
   26. danup Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:11 PM (#1827119)
Yes, luminaries such as Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez, not to mention Rey Ordoñez, have been unqualified successes in American ball! Couldn't forget Maels Rodriguez, either.
   27. Tom Poquette Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#1827124)
I'm an independent contractor, and pay about $200 a month for health care for my kid and I. High deductable, but it isn't shitty.
   28. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#1827130)
In a few years businesses are going to start telling lawmakers that there's no reason they should have to spend tons of money providing health insurance to their employees

Technically, health insurance costs are considered part of employee compensation. In other words, they really take it out of your pay.
   29. Traderdave Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:17 PM (#1827131)
Japan also has the U.S. basically picking up the check when it comes to national defense.

Japan has the world's third largest defense budget, a powerful and growing navy and state of the art air defense. That wag of your was true 20 yrs ago, but it simply isn't any longer.
   30. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1827134)
Complaints from big business will eventually lead to the adoption of some kind of single payer system.

if big business complained accordingly, heroin would be legalized as soon as congress could grease the skids. made mandatory, even.
   31. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#1827148)
when Castro made himself the Dictator, in 1959, Cuba had the highest standard of living and the highest per capita GDP of any Spanish or Portuguese-speaking country (including Puerto Rico) in the Western Hemisphere. After 46 years of totalitarian dictatorship on Cuba, and they have fallen to the bottom.

Not to make light of the fact that Castro is indeed a brutal dictator and not exactly an astute economic mind. But can't the majority of this drop off in GDP be accounted for by a huge trade embargo led by the wealthiest country in the world that's lasted for almost half a century now. It seems unfair to blaim Castro for the economic drop off when there's a long history of countries with een worse human rights and civil liberties records that are allowed to operate normally on the international scene (hello Indonesia). I've always been impressed that Fidel has managed to maintain power for so long.

And for the last time, can we stop with the go half way across the country and start a war for oil bullshit? It's a complete and utter straw man and accomplishes absolutely nothing productive except immediately cause people to mark off into their respective partisan ideologies. I would say that it was a war motivated in some ways by revenge and Iraq's perceived threat to US economic hegemony (they were about to start selling their oil in euros). But more than anything else it was motivated by certain people's genuinely held views on what was necessary to protect the US and the world from WMDs and their development. While I and many others disagree with their opinions on this matter it is on this topic that the most productive debate can be had. Debate that can actually have an affect on future policy. Immediately resorting to straw men like Blood for Oil does nothing to actually promote productive dialogue and only serves to further polarize both sides of this issue.
   32. Danny Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#1827158)
Our system stinks and isn't sustainable IMO. In a few years businesses are going to start telling lawmakers that there's no reason they should have to spend tons of money providing health insurance to their employees and that if anyone is going to do that, it should be the government. Complaints from big business will eventually lead to the adoption of some kind of single payer system.


As a progressive health care advocate, this is a fine line. On the one hand, tying health insurance to employers is a terible idea--and one that would never be enacted if we were starting from scratch today. A single-payer system makes so much more sense. On the other hand, at this point badmouthing the employer-based system will only lead to more uninsured and underinsured people. Pay or play is a decent band-aid for now.
   33. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#1827170)
Re: the failure of communism in Cuba (#14)

Would you rather live in Cuba or Haiti?

I'm not defending Castro, I agree he is a ruthless dictator. But how much of Cuba's poverty is due to our policy of subversion? Surely we are partly responsible. And how come Haiti is even poorer, when they are following the U.S. plan?
   34. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#1827173)
Japan has the world's third largest defense budget, a powerful and growing navy and state of the art air defense. That wag of your was true 20 yrs ago, but it simply isn't any longer.

My point wasn't so much about Japan as it was about the U.S.

The U.S. is the premier military power - no nation really comes close to matching U.S. military spending right now, and as a result, the pressure for other nations to spend on defense is lower (although this is changing as U.S. foreign policy becomes less popular around the globe).

Basically, while other nations have been spending money on butter, we've been spending it on guns. That may or may not be the right thing to do, but there it is.
   35. Traderdave Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#1827175)
Tying health insurance to employers has made a lot of unemployed workers, particularly in manufacturing. General Motors is a sneeze or two away from bankruptcy in large part because of healthcare expenses (though that's not te ony reason).

And WRT to Cuba's GNP numbers, it's a stab in the dark estimate at best. Cuba doesn't have convertible currency and in any case PPP is the figure that matters, which in Cuba is distorted by a maddening mix of subsidies and shortages.
   36. RP Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:38 PM (#1827180)
Japan also has the U.S. basically picking up the check when it comes to national defense.

I'm not going to argue for one set of budget priorites over another, but the U.S. and Japan pretty clearly have a different set of priorities.


According to this, http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php, the US spends twice as much per capita on health care as Japan.
   37. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#1827188)
Technically, health insurance costs are considered part of employee compensation. In other words, they really take it out of your pay.

Actually, no, health insurance is part of employee benefits, not compensation. The two programs are managed separately by virtually every employer, and follow different market-competitive protocols. Indeed, an increasing practice of employers is to increase their proportion of jobs that are part-time, and oh by the way, gosh, part-time jobs don't include benefits, especially health coverage benefits. This allows the employer to continue to pay competitive compensation, but not competitive health care benefits, which exacerbates the dynamic of more and more uninsured and underinsured people.
   38. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#1827195)
Complaints from big business will eventually lead to the adoption of some kind of single payer system.
At which point the Magical Government Fairy will take over, and there will no longer be anybody who has to spend any money on health care. Companies will no longer have to pay a cent. It will be free! Free, I tell you!
   39. Tom Poquette Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:46 PM (#1827198)
******I'm not defending Castro, I agree he is a ruthless dictator. But how much of Cuba's poverty is due to our policy of subversion?*****

Isn't this an "besides the shooting, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" type of argument?

If Castro wasn't a ruthless dictator exporting communist doctrine, the US would not have the embargo on Cuba. Say what you may about sticking our nose in other people's business, but Cuba is 90 miles away from the US. It isn't in our national interest to have such a sworn enemy so close.

The argument about the sanctions helping Castro is a good one; I will tend towards agreeing with that viewpoint. But too often those opposing sanctions will praise Castro's humanity in their next breath, and blame all Cuban problems on the US.

Then those people throw out the tired "war for oil" mantra, and my support for their argument has turned into disgust for their "Blame America" beliefs.
   40. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:48 PM (#1827202)
According to this, http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php, the US spends twice as much per capita on health care as Japan.

I'd have to look at where they got their figures. What counts as "health care spending"? R&D by drug companies? Plastic and elective surgery? Elder care? That's a pretty vague article, and it obviously includes spending by agencies other than the U.S. government.
   41. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#1827203)
While I and many others disagree with their opinions on this matter it is on this topic that the most productive debate can be had. Debate that can actually have an affect on future policy. Immediately resorting to straw men like Blood for Oil does nothing to actually promote productive dialogue and only serves to further polarize both sides of this issue.

A valid and important point, well made.

I would temper it only with the acknowledgment that while "Blood for Oil" is a silly oversimplification, the fact of Iraq's oil wealth (and the oil wealth of the Middle East region) wasn't entirely irrelevant to the Bush administration's bungling calculation. While the US genuinely has no designs on seizing Iraq's oil industry per se, it is the case that a significant portion of the Bush administration's political support comes from the US oil & gas industry, and many players in that industry stand to gain huge economic benefit from an Iraq that is friendly to US oil company investment, designing and operating refineries, pipelines, delivery systems and so forth. The US oil & gas industry wasn't real tickled with the prospect of the French and Russians continuing to corner that business.
   42. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#1827210)
Cuba is 90 miles away from the US. It isn't in our national interest to have such a sworn enemy so close.

As soon as the Soviet Union developed ICBMs in the late 1960s, Cuba ceased to be anything resembling a threat to the US in any way.
   43. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:57 PM (#1827214)
But more than anything else it was motivated by certain people's genuinely held views on what was necessary to protect the US and the world from WMDs and their development.

just who were these "certain people"? they appear not to have been part of the administration &/or in any position to affect policy or actions.
   44. DCW3 Posted: January 18, 2006 at 08:58 PM (#1827217)
Castro calling the US chicken? This is the Cuban Dis-sile Crisis.
   45. scotto Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:03 PM (#1827229)
Actually, no, health insurance is part of employee benefits, not compensation.

How this came about is a fascinating story, and can be found in Starr's Social Transformation of American Medicine. It's a fascinating book.
   46. RP Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#1827239)
At which point the Magical Government Fairy will take over, and there will no longer be anybody who has to spend any money on health care. Companies will no longer have to pay a cent. It will be free! Free, I tell you!

Give me an f***ing break. No one said that that system would be perfect or free. But you're in serious denial if you think that the US system is efficient and effective. Other industrialized nations spend far less per capita and provide as good or better health care.

But I guess it's easier to make silly jokes about the "magical government fairy" than to respond with a substantive argument.
   47. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#1827240)
While I and many others disagree with their opinions on this matter it is on this topic that the most productive debate can be had. Debate that can actually have an affect on future policy. Immediately resorting to straw men like Blood for Oil does nothing to actually promote productive dialogue and only serves to further polarize both sides of this issue.

A valid and important point, well made.

I would temper it only with the acknowledgment that while "Blood for Oil" is a silly oversimplification, the fact of Iraq's oil wealth (and the oil wealth of the Middle East region) wasn't entirely irrelevant to the Bush administration's bungling calculation
.


what steve said. there's only so much (i.e. very little) i can thype while (a) waiting on customers, (b) listening to one store regular blather on about the significance of some magic or yu-gi-oh card he just pulled, & (c) putting terry labonte diecasts on ebay for my employer.

(who btw completely foots the bill for my insurance but for irs purposes doesn't list me as an employee per se.)
   48. Traderdave Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:28 PM (#1827289)
At which point the Magical Government Fairy will take over, and there will no longer be anybody who has to spend any money on health care. Companies will no longer have to pay a cent. It will be free! Free, I tell you!

One of the biggest problems is that many people think it IS free, or almost free, just a nominal co-payment. They get hugely unnecessary MRI's, keep comatose people on life support, etc etc and otherwise proceed blithely as if grows on trees.
   49. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#1827295)
If Castro wasn't a ruthless dictator exporting communist doctrine, the US would not have the embargo on Cuba. Say what you may about sticking our nose in other people's business, but Cuba is 90 miles away from the US. It isn't in our national interest to have such a sworn enemy so close.


What is so terrifying about Castro exporting communist doctrine? What are we afraid of? Can't our ideas and ideals compete? Or maybe some of them can't, maybe if we had or knew of alternative ways of looking at things and doing things, we might decide to make some changes that would threaten the powers that be.
   50. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:32 PM (#1827299)
One of the biggest problems is that many people think it IS free, or almost free, just a nominal co-payment. They get hugely unnecessary MRI's, keep comatose people on life support, etc etc and otherwise proceed blithely as if grows on trees.

One of the dynamics that feeds that behavior is the fear of liability on the part of medical providers in our overly-litigious culture. Single payer would be a better system than the one we have, but it wouldn't address that issue.
   51. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:41 PM (#1827327)
just who were these "certain people"? they appear not to have been part of the administration &/or in any position to affect policy or actions.

Um, Wolfowitz and many other of the neoconservative hawks with high places in the Bush administration. As much as I disagree with their beliefs and aims I have no doubt that their belief that a policy of preemptive attack against nations hostile to the US and Israel stems from genuine conviction. Not out of attempts to directly funnel oil money into US corporations. The focus of debate needs to be shifted towards the aggressively moralistic and self-righteous foreign policy, even to the point of unilateralism, aims of these few who happen to have Bush's ear in foreign policy.
   52. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#1827343)
What is so terrifying about Castro exporting communist doctrine? What are we afraid of? Can't our ideas and ideals compete?
With tens of thousands of Cuban troops? Not so much. It wasn't a Lincoln-Douglas debate over "ideas."
   53. Danny Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#1827349)
One of the biggest problems is that many people think it IS free, or almost free, just a nominal co-payment. They get hugely unnecessary MRI's, keep comatose people on life support, etc etc and otherwise proceed blithely as if grows on trees.


One of the largest misconceptions about health care (which is behind the push for "consumer directed" plans) is that a lot of health care usage is unnecessary and frivolous. In fact, the vast majority (about 90%) of health care spending is on acute and chronic conditions--spending which is neither frivolous nor superflous.

More specifically to the point, preventative care not only saves lives, it also saves money in the long run.
   54. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:51 PM (#1827350)
Wolfowitz and his PNAC club - smart people no doubt - may truly believe they can "drain the swamp" and bring democracy to the Middle East, but that doesn't mean it's possible, or moral, or legal. We are talking about unilaterally invading another country, killing their leaders, and reorganizing their economy and government.
   55. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#1827356)
With tens of thousands of Cuban troops? Not so much. It wasn't a Lincoln-Douglas debate over "ideas."


I don't understand. You are saying that we need the embargo to defend our country from Cuba, militarily?
   56. rory_b_bellows Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:54 PM (#1827358)
Is the general consensus that Cuba won't play in the WBC? Personally, I have no doubt at all that they will play as the US in the past has let Cuban national teams play in other sporting events. I think the main reason for their ban is the attempt to put an exile Cuban team into the WBC which would seriously embarrass Castro and his cronies. However, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. However, anyone who thinks that Cuba has a chance in this tournament is seriously deluded as they just don't have the talent to compete with the other nations. Plus, the side benefit of possible mass Cuban player defection would also be humourous.
   57. RP Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:57 PM (#1827363)
With tens of thousands of Cuban troops? Not so much. It wasn't a Lincoln-Douglas debate over "ideas."

Have you been watching "Red Dawn" again?
   58. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:57 PM (#1827365)
As much as I disagree with their beliefs and aims I have no doubt that their belief that a policy of preemptive attack against nations hostile to the US and Israel stems from genuine conviction.

I agree. The issue isn't so much that they're duplicitious as it is that they're delusional.
   59. rory_b_bellows Posted: January 18, 2006 at 09:59 PM (#1827375)
Wolfowitz and his PNAC club - smart people no doubt - may truly believe they can "drain the swamp" and bring democracy to the Middle East, but that doesn't mean it's possible, or moral, or legal. We are talking about unilaterally invading another country, killing their leaders, and reorganizing their economy and government.

What the hell do you think we did in Europe starting in 1943?
   60. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#1827376)
You are saying that we need the embargo to defend our country from Cuba, militarily?

Hey, were it not for the embargo, Cuba would have launched an amphibious invasion and taken over half of the US Southeast long ago. Thank goodness we've prevented that!
   61. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#1827377)
You are saying that we need the embargo to defend our country from Cuba, militarily?

I think he's referring to Grenada - the Grenadan government didn't become communist by choice.

Of course, it didn't stop being communist by choice, either.
   62. Traderdave Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#1827385)
We are talking about unilaterally invading another country, killing their leaders, and reorganizing their economy and government.

What the hell do you think we did in Europe starting in 1943?



The Soviets and their 100x more casualties than ours disagree about the unilateral nature of the Europea campaign. Just to nitpick...
   63. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:03 PM (#1827389)
What the hell do you think we did in Europe starting in 1943?

That wasn't unilateral, although I guess technically the adventure in Iraq isn't, either.

A better example might be the destructive bombing and subsequent occupation of Japan.
   64. scotto Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#1827398)
One of the dynamics that feeds that behavior is the fear of liability on the part of medical providers in our overly-litigious culture. Single payer would be a better system than the one we have, but it wouldn't address that issue.
Excessive diagnostic testing for liability avoidance reasons is one component fueling the cost inflation, but Lee, Soffel and Luft point to market failure, technology, administrative costs, patient complexity, and excess capacity as factors in addition to unnecessary care and defensive medicine as the drivers of cost increases ("Costs and Coverage: Pressures Towards Health Care Reform" in <u>The Sociology of Health and Illness: Critical Perspectives</u>). Blaming it all on malpractice suits risks creating a solution that doesn't really fix teh problem.

Part of the issue is also the trend away from risk-pooling and increasing reliance on experience rating by insurance companies, which is one reason why certain populations are finding it hard to get coverage and end up defaulting into government programs.
   65. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:08 PM (#1827401)
A better example might be the destructive bombing and subsequent occupation of Japan.

Yes, but there are just a few differences between the actual danger to neighboring countries and the world at large posed by Tojo's Japan versus Saddam's Iraq, particularly following the 1991 war.
   66. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#1827403)
Blaming it all on malpractice suits risks creating a solution that doesn't really fix teh problem.

Fully agreed, but excessive diagnostic testing for liability avoidance reasons still does occur, and the proper adoption of single payer wouldn't address it.
   67. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:14 PM (#1827409)
What the hell do you think we did in Europe starting in 1943?


Hitler was invading Eurpoean countries in 1943, not the U.S. After that, the U.S. and others decided (Nuremburg principles, U.N. Charter) to make it very illegal.
   68. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:15 PM (#1827412)
Yes, but there are just a few differences between the actual danger to neighboring countries and the world at large posed by Tojo's Japan versus Saddam's Iraq, particularly following the 1991 war.

Actually, by 1945, the Japanese government didn't represent much of a threat to anyone outside Japan. The Japanese navy was rusting at the bottom of the Pacific, and aside from a few starving divisions in Manchuria waiting to be mopped up by the Red Army, they neither had the ability nor the short-term potential to cause harm to even their closest neighbors.

After a crop failure and a bad hurricane season, Japan would have been lucky to not starve to death, much less cause trouble, were it not for the existence of U.S. occupiers.
   69. kcloyalist Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#1827422)
I thought the colonial days were over??? Why should the US have a say in whether Cuba plays in teh WBC?? Our ancient cold war mentality shouldn't deprive the Cubans for their rightful spot in the series. What do we gain from prohibting them? I for one would lose a lot of respect for our natian if we did this; however, it wouldn't surporise me.
   70. Danny Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#1827432)
Part of the issue is also the trend away from risk-pooling and increasing reliance on experience rating by insurance companies, which is one reason why certain populations are finding it hard to get coverage and end up defaulting into government programs.


This frightening trend is the stated goal of the Bush administration in "The Economic Report of the President."
   71. scotto Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:24 PM (#1827434)
Fully agreed, but excessive diagnostic testing for liability avoidance reasons still does occur, and the proper adoption of single payer wouldn't address it

True enough.
   72. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#1827439)
Hitler was invading Eurpoean countries in 1943 not the U.S.

Hitler had declared war on the U.S. in 1941, and had engaged in active warfare against the U.S. Navy ever since.
   73. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:28 PM (#1827442)
Steve I meant Hitler was invading European countries, and the U.S. was not invading European countries.
   74. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:29 PM (#1827443)
I don't understand. You are saying that we need the embargo to defend our country from Cuba, militarily?
No; I'm saying that Cuba was a threat that we couldn't fight merely with "ideas." Not so much anymore, no.

We are talking about unilaterally invading another country, killing their leaders, and reorganizing their economy and government.
You say that like it's a bad thing. (You also say that like "unilateral" meant something different than it actually means.)
   75. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:32 PM (#1827450)
Actually, by 1945, the Japanese government didn't represent much of a threat to anyone outside Japan.

Sure, but that's an argument against the deployment of the Atomic bomb, not an argument against the wisdom of the U.S. policy of warfare against Japan from 1941-45, with the unambiguous objective of unconditional surrender.
   76. sardonic Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#1827458)
I can see it now...

April 1, 2006
Associated Press

San Diego, CA -- In a riveting speech following Cuba's classic 29-inning triumph over the United States in the World Baseball Classic, Cuban starter Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez singlehandedly ended the trade embargo and decades of antagonistic relations between Cuba and the United States.

"I came here tonight, and I didn't know what to expect," said Hernandez. "I've seen a lot of people hating my country, and I didn't know how to feel about that. I guess I didn't like your country much either. During the game, I seen a lot of changing, the way you felt about us, and the way we felt about you."

"In here, there were two teams killing each other," Hernandez continued. "But I guess that's better than a million. What I'm trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, then everyone can change!"

Immediately following the speech, US president George W. Bush phoned Cuban leader Fidel Castro to personally inform him of the lifted embargo, and welcomed him to his Crawford ranch. Cuba will be sending a diplomatic relief mission to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina, while major US corporations, including Coca Cola, Intel and General Motors, have expressed interest in setting up factories on the island state.
   77. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:36 PM (#1827459)
We are talking about unilaterally invading another country, killing their leaders, and reorganizing their economy and government.

There have been times in history when this terrible last-resort policy was necessary and honorable. The Allied campaign against the Fascists in WWII was one. The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not.
   78. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#1827462)
I don't understand. You are saying that we need the embargo to defend our country from Cuba, militarily?
No; I'm saying that Cuba was a threat that we couldn't fight merely with "ideas." Not so much anymore, no.

We are talking about unilaterally invading another country, killing their leaders, and reorganizing their economy and government.
You say that like it's a bad thing. (You also say that like "unilateral" meant something different than it actually means.)
   79. winnipegwhip Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#1827464)
Here is the end of Castro's speech last night. After this clip he turned to the camera and yelled, "LIVE FROM HAVANA! IT"S SATURDAY NIGHT!"
   80. winnipegwhip Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#1827465)
Here is the end of Castro's speech last night. After this clip he turned to the camera and yelled, "LIVE FROM HAVANA! IT"S SATURDAY NIGHT!"
   81. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:39 PM (#1827467)
You say that like it's a bad thing. (You also say that like "unilateral" meant something different than it actually means.)


I do happen to believe it is a bad thing, and I'm not the only one. As noted, the concept is enshrined in international law/treaty, and therefore our Constitution.

I am using the dictionary definition of unilateral. As in, the United States alone up-and-decided to invade Iraq, depose their government, and install a puppet government to do our bidding.
   82. winnipegwhip Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:40 PM (#1827469)
   83. winnipegwhip Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:41 PM (#1827473)
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/wmv/thefallofcommunism.wmv
   84. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:44 PM (#1827478)
I do happen to believe it is a bad thing, and I'm not the only one. As noted, the concept is enshrined in international law/treaty, and therefore our Constitution.

I am using the dictionary definition of unilateral. As in, the United States alone up-and-decided to invade Iraq, depose their government, and install a puppet government to do our bidding.


Out of curiosity, did you happen to feel the same way about the removal of Slobodan Milosevic's government as well?
   85. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:46 PM (#1827480)
Sure, but that's an argument against the deployment of the Atomic bomb, not an argument against the wisdom of the U.S. policy of warfare against Japan from 1941-45, with the unambiguous objective of unconditional surrender.

"Unconditional surrender", with the implication that the Japanese dismantle their government and submit to occupation, was probably no more a necessary condition to a successful conclusion to that war than the destruction of the Saddam regime was a necessary condition to the conclusion of the war begun in 1991.
   86. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:52 PM (#1827498)
Milosevic was an evil motherf#cker, and something should have been done by the international community to stop him. But what happened - Clinton/NATO bombed the hell out of the country - I do not support, no.
   87. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#1827500)
"Unconditional surrender", with the implication that the Japanese dismantle their government and submit to occupation, was probably no more a necessary condition to a successful conclusion to that war than the destruction of the Saddam regime was a necessary condition to the conclusion of the war begun in 1991.

Arguably, sure. But I guess I'm generally objecting to the equation between the Japan and Iraq situations. They were fundamentally different in many important ways. Japan was in 1941 a vastly greater threat than Iraq ever was, and Japan only became the non-threat you correctly describe it as in 1945 as a result of the US policy of warfare against it.
   88. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#1827504)
In a riveting speech following Cuba's classic 29-inning triumph over the United States in the World Baseball Classic, Cuban starter Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez singlehandedly ended the trade embargo and decades of antagonistic relations between Cuba and the United States.

Hernandez singlehandedly won a 29 inning game? Jeff Torborg must be managing.
   89. Dave Bowman Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:04 PM (#1827512)
I do happen to believe it is a bad thing, and I'm not the only one. As noted, the concept is enshrined in international law/treaty, and therefore our Constitution.


Ummm... I think your understanding of the Constitution is a little off here.
   90. Dave Bowman Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:07 PM (#1827516)
Milosevic was an evil motherf#cker, and something should have been done by the international community to stop him. But what happened - Clinton/NATO bombed the hell out of the country - I do not support, no.

Well, what was the "something" that should've been done to stop him? Should they have given him a stern lecture and told him to play nice from now on? How do you remove a dictator from power except through military force?
   91. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:07 PM (#1827517)
Pacific War Japan was directly on the same level as Hitler's Germany down to the ultra-ethnic nationalism and economic justification for invading countries and killing/subjugating peoples.

The bombs, especially the second one, were certainly questionable in their utility, but that has nothing to do with the invading of sovereign countries and killing their leaders.

Can we all just agree that SOMETIMES it's a great idea to invade sovereign countries and kill their leaders, like when they are attacking all sorts of their neighbors or you, but that's doesn't mean it was a good idea when it comes to Iraq...
   92. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:07 PM (#1827518)
Japan was in 1941 a vastly greater threat than Iraq ever was, and Japan only became the non-threat you correctly describe it as in 1945 as a result of the US policy of warfare against it.

And Iraq was probably a non-threat as a result of earlier military action against it, as well.

But I'm really not trying to justify the current war, merely trying to find a historical parallel.
   93. rory_b_bellows Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:12 PM (#1827525)
The goal of the President of the United States is to do what is in the best interests of the citizens of the United States only. It's certainly possible that Saddam's Iraq was no threat to anyone in the world and would eventually fall after causing no threat to other people. It's also certainly possible that he would continue to fund terrorist activities in the Middle East and other places, generally destabilize an area which is critical for our economy, and worse case, develop nuclear weapons and give or sell them to people who would use them in Israel, Europe or the United States. In that case, would the best policy be to just stick our heads in the sand, ala the Clinton administration? If, in the future, something happens that kills more people than on 9/11 I would hope the government had done everything possible to prevent it.

I don't understand why people keep saying this is a war for oil -- like it's a bad thing.
   94. RP Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:13 PM (#1827526)
Ummm... I think your understanding of the Constitution is a little off here.

Article VI: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
   95. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:13 PM (#1827527)
Well, what was the "something" that should've been done to stop him? Should they have given him a stern lecture and told him to play nice from now on? How do you remove a dictator from power except through military force?


From a 1999 article in The Progressive, via Third World Traveler

It would have been far better, instead, to have flooded Kosovo with international peacekeepers- from the United Nations, from countries like India, Ireland, Sweden, and Finland, which had no stake in the battle-to buy time and act as a buffer between Milosevic's forces and the Kosovars. It may even have been better to let Russian troops join in the peacekeeping; that way Milosevic would have had to overrun his friends to get to the Kosovars, and the international community would have united against him.
   96. Steve Treder Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:13 PM (#1827528)
And Iraq was probably a non-threat as a result of earlier military action against it, as well.

The earlier military action, as well as the ongoing imposition of sanctions, inspections, no-fly zones, etc. Saddam was a very, very evil tyrant, but he was no serious threat to anyone outside his borders.

But I'm really not trying to justify the current war, merely trying to find a historical parallel.

Sure, but one of the telling things is how difficult it is to find a good one.
   97. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#1827532)
Pacific War Japan was directly on the same level as Hitler's Germany down to the ultra-ethnic nationalism and economic justification for invading countries and killing/subjugating peoples.

Sure, but that's not why the U.S. insisted on "unconditional surrender".
   98. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#1827533)
I am using the dictionary definition of unilateral. As in, the United States alone up-and-decided to invade Iraq, depose their government, and install a puppet government to do our bidding.
As long as you've got that dictionary out, you might want to cross-reference the word "alone" to find out what it means.
   99. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:18 PM (#1827538)
Are you referring to the "coalition of the willing"? Ha ha ha.
   100. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 18, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#1827540)
Are you referring to the "coalition of the willing"? I know you're not referring to the U.N. Security Council.
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